BUSINESS IMMIGRATION LAW
Compliance is a big part of a Sponsor’s life. If your company has been awarded a sponsorship licence, the Home Office sees this as a privilege as opposed to a right. It has long been recognised by the Courts and the Secretary of State that a sponsor licence in fact makes you, the Sponsor, the eyes and ears of the Home Office. With the privilege of a sponsor licence, therefore, comes great responsibility.
The responsibilities involved with being a sponsor are not only time consuming, but they are also confusing. In addition, the sanctions for failing to comply with your duties as a sponsor can be extremely costs with the Home Office routinely suspending or revoking licences with the effect that businesses are no longer entitled to employ migrant workers. Not only can this be extremely disruptive to the day-to-day running of your business may rely on a migrant workforce, but it also runs the risk of requiring expensive challenges in the form of judicial review proceedings in the High Court. The risk of non-compliance is high given the complexity of the Immigration Rules and sponsorship guidance and compliance is heavily policed by the Home Office with the likes of unannounced visits by the Secretary of State’s compliance officers. In addition to this, the Home Office will be able to monitor your compliance through the electronic Sponsor Management System (SMS). The SMS is a system that you will have to be familiar with to ensure that you are complying with your duties and not putting yourself at risk of losing your licence.
SMA Solicitors offers a consultation service whereby we will perform site visits are your request and assess your compliance with the Secretary of State’s policy and guidance for sponsors. The visit will allow us to identify areas of weakness where you may have fallen short of the requirements and where you are most exposed to a negative compliance visit. Once we have identified potential areas of weakness, we will continue to work with you to find solutions that are compatible with your business.
If you have an upcoming audit and wish to have a solicitor present to ensure that the Home Office’s compliance officers comply with the law and to avoid any future problem, please call our dedicated team who will be happy to attend on the day of the audit and be by your side throughout the process.
If you have been the subject of a compliance visit and you have been invited to provide further information, your licence has been suspended or, worse still, your licence has been revoked, please get in touch with us at SMA Solicitors where we will happily advice you on the next steps, whether this involves writing to the Home Office with further evidence to address any concerns or, in the alternative, filing a judicial review application in the High Court challenging a decision.
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