Connecticut, US

Mar 06 2019

Increase in Employer Audits

United Kingdom

The situation

There has been an increase in employer audits conducted by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) over the past two weeks.

A closer look

  • What to expect. During an audit, the UKVI Visiting Officer assesses whether the company is complying with its duties and responsibilities as a Sponsor Licence holder under Tier 2 of the Points Based System. This is done by conducting an interview with the Authorising Officer and any key personnel responsible for the maintenance of the licence, a review of sponsored and non-sponsored worker human resources files and interviews with sponsored migrant workers.
  • Key areas of compliance. During the interview, the UKVI will focus on the following key areas of compliance:
    • Monitoring immigration status and preventing illegal work;
    • Maintaining migrant contact details;
    • Record keeping and recruitment practices;
    • Migrant tracking and monitoring; and
    • General sponsor duties and professional accreditations.

 

Impact – preparing for an audit

To prepare for an audit, employers should ensure their immigration-related records are up-to-date, ensuring that:

  • Sponsored employees’ human resources files contain all relevant documentation in accordance with the requisite government criteria;
  • Where a recruitment campaign has been used to support any Tier 2 General application, all documentation is available;
  • Right to work checks are available for all employees (including non-sponsored/European Economic Area /British nationals and Tier 2 migrants);
  • For Tier 2 migrants placed at third party client sites, Client Service Agreements and proof that the employer maintains day-to-day control;
  • All relevant Sponsor Management System updates following changes of migrant circumstances have been reported to UKVI (this is particularly relevant when a Tier 2 migrant applies for Indefinite Leave to Remain); and
  • All details listed regarding the company are correct on the Sponsor Management System (i.e. address, company name, key personnel).

 

Background - outcomes of a UKVI compliance audit

The most favourable outcome as a result of a UKVI audit is maintaining an A-Rating. A sponsor will maintain their A rated status when the UKVI is satisfied that a sponsor is compliant and meets all sponsorship requirements.

Should a sponsor be deemed noncompliant, the UKVI may look to downgrade a Sponsor Licence to a B-Rating, or in a worst-case scenario, suspend or revoke the Sponsor Licence.

Looking ahead

Increased audits in the United Kingdom show the government’s continued intention to prevent illegal work and stay in the country. With a high number of UK sponsors due to renew their sponsor licences starting September 2020, the UKVI’s commitment to ongoing audits highlights the importance of maintaining strong processes to ensure ultimate compliance under the UK Points Based System.

This alert is for informational purposes only. If you have any questions, please contact the global immigration professional with whom you work at Fragomen or send an email to EMEAComplianceteam@Fragomen.com.