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Compliance update: new sponsor duties


The Home Office has updated guidance on sponsor duties and compliance. Sponsors should note the new duties and expectations to avoid sponsor licence suspension or revocation. Take a closer look at some changes below and at what to do to stay compliant. 

Hybrid and remote working

The Home Office has clarified that sponsors no longer need to report if a sponsored worker moves to a hybrid working pattern. 

However, sponsors must continue to report any changes to a sponsored worker’s main office location or client site work locations. 

Where a sponsored worker is or will be working entirely remotely, with little or no requirement to attend the office or a client site, the sponsor must report to the Home Office. 

Note that the Home Office can ask a sponsor why they need to sponsor a worker to come to the UK if, for example, the worker can work remotely from their home country. 

Complying with wider UK law

The Home Office has specified additional, general legal requirements with which sponsors must comply. These include enrolling employees in a pension scheme if required, paying VAT or other duty penalties, and not being subject to UK or UN-imposed sanctions. 

Compliance checks and sponsor licence revocation

The Home Office can conduct compliance checks against sponsors where they have a poor record of compliance with the Home Office or other government departments. 

There are now additional circumstances in which the Home Office will revoke a sponsor licence. These include where a sponsor was never registered with or accredited by a regulatory or oversight body as may be required for a particular sponsor to operate legally in the UK, e.g. Care Quality Commission registration for certain care providers. The Home Office may revoke a sponsor licence where a sponsor holds a UK Expansion Worker licence, and the Authorising Officer is refused entry to the UK. 

Offshore workers

New reporting requirements have been introduced for sponsors of offshore workers, workers who arrive directly in UK waters for work without first entering through the UK landmass.

Please get in touch if you would like advice on the changes relating to offshore workers.

How to keep your sponsor licence

Changes Immigration offers modular compliance services so that your organisation can access support within your budget to avoid illegal working and fulfil sponsor duties. Choose from personnel file reviews, HR systems reviews and mock audit services. We offer practical notes of advice, e.g. checking right to work documents or understanding sponsor licence key personnel roles.

Compliance services are crucial if your organisation has been checking right to work documents or assigning COS without support from an immigration lawyer.

If you are expecting a sponsor compliance visit from the Home Office, our compliance services can make the difference between keeping or losing your organisation’s sponsor licence. Our services are also useful for organisations planning to apply for a sponsor licence.

Signing up for one of our training sessions is also great way to gain confidence in dealing with immigration compliance.

Please see the Immigration Compliance and Immigration Training pages on our website for further information or get in touch to request a full brochure.

Publication Date: 25 April 2024


Author avatar
Anna Asumadu
Trainee @ Changes Immigration
+44 (0)77 4552 5573