Maintaining Compliance Records

To receive an Employer Sponsorship Licence, an organisation must nominate a person or persons to fill 3 specific roles within the immigration system in that company. Each of these roles will work to prevent illegal employment and maintain records for the Home Office database of migrant workers.

  • One person can occupy all three roles, or the roles can be split between one, two or three different people.  Some roles can be filled by a nominated legal representative outside of the organisation.

The person or persons nominated for these roles must be based in the UK and must currently have a National Insurance Number.

Sponsoring Employer Roles

Authorising Officer:

  • The Authorising Officer is a staff member of the organisation that wishes to employ migrant workers. The Authorising Officer is ultimately and fully responsible for the actions of the organisation as they relate to hiring migrant workers.  The Authorising Officer should be given to a competent and senior person within the organisation.
  • The Authorising Officer must be a permanent paid staff member of your organisation. The Authorising Officer cannot be a consultant, temporary employee, or person contracted for a specific project. A legal representative cannot be the Authorising Officer for an organisation.
  • People who are undischarged bankrupt cannot act as an Authorising Officer for an organisation.

Key Contact:

  • The Key Contact acts as the primary point of contact between an organisation and the Home Office.  The Home Office will contact the Key Contact in the event that they have any questions, need documentation, or encounter any other issues with the organisation’s hiring of migrants.
  • You may nominate a legal representative from outside your company to act as your Key Contact.

Level 1 User:

  • The Level 1 User is responsible for using the Home Office Sponsorship Management System to conduct the day-to-day activities and record keeping relating to immigrants employed by the organisation.  This day-to-day activity may include assigning sponsorship certificates to migrants, notifying the Home Office of any changes, reporting the activity of migrants and managing the administrative functions of the Sponsorship Management System.
  • You may nominate a legal representative from outside of your company to act as your Level 1 User.

An organisation may also appoint Level 2 Users to undertake simple day-to-day duties and maintain the Sponsorship Management System by assigning Certificates of Sponsorship to migrants and updating the Home Office of migrant activities.  However, there must always be a Level 1 User.

Legal Representatives

Although the Authorising Officer is the ultimate responsibility and must be a permanent staff member, an organisation may nominate people outside of the organisation to act as the Key Contact, Level 1 or Level 2 users.

In practice, this allows organisations without in-house expertise in migration law to contract out the day-to-day maintenance of their system to a qualified legal representative.

Legal representatives must be based in the UK, and must be regulated by the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC), or exempt from the requirement, or otherwise compliant with the Immigration and Asylum Act of 1999.

The employers are required to maintain the documents in the following manner

The Authorising officer is responsible to maintain the documents for Home Office Visits.

  • Copy of passports for all employees (only exception is if the employee has worked for one day or less)
  • Copy of UK Biometric Card or UK Visa confirming permission to work
  • Copy of National Insurance Card
  • A history of employee’s contact details (address, telephone number, mobile telephone number)
  • Record of employee’s absences (this may be kept manually or electronically)
  • Copy of any contract of/for employment/service between company and employee (indicating start date and end dates, details of job or work, salary and name and signatures of the parties)
  • Copy of qualifications and experience relevant to employee’s post
  • Copies of payslips showing NI number, Tax codes, any allowances and deductions made
  • Evidence of the amount and frequency of all salary payments made to each migrant, showing the transfer of each payment into the named migrant’s bank account or onto their pre-paid card, for example a FOREX card. (the employer can keep the bank statement copies to show payments have been made to employees)
  • If an employee is receiving help in terms of accommodation or housing from the employer you must have evidence from the owner or letting agent for the property concerned which clearly states the value of the rent payable by you on the property

Additional Documents if Applying via Tier 2 General

  • Copy of any advertisement placed by the company (only relevant if applying under Tier 2 General) – The vacancy need to be advertised on Job Centre Plus and any relevant website/national newspaper
  • Copies of all the CV’s shortlisted for interview providing details i.e. name, address, etc (including reasons for rejecting EEA and British Nationals