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Basic Compliance Audits for Educational Establishments

Apr 01, 2024

When United Kingdom Visas and Immigration (UKVI) evaluates a sponsor during a Basic Compliance Assessment, it checks if they meet certain core requirements. These requirements include:

• a visa refusal rate of under 10%,
• an enrolment rate of at least 90%, a
• and a course completion rate of at least 85%.

All these requirements must be met by the sponsor at the time of application.

Sponsors must report information that may affect their application promptly.

Failure to do so may be considered a serious breach of their duties as a sponsor and may lead to compliance action.

Visa Refusal Rate

For the visa refusal rate, a CAS (Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies) is considered used when it is submitted in support of an application for entry clearance or permission to stay on the Student or Child Student routes, and that application has been decided. If the total number of refused applications is less than 10% of all the CAS assigned, it meets the requirement.

The refusal rate is calculated for the 12 months preceding the application, using CAS data from the SMS.

Enrolment Requirement

To meet the enrolment rate requirement, at least 90% of students who have been granted entry clearance or permission to stay must enrol on their course within the enrolment period.

The course completion rate requirement

This means that at least 85% of all students sponsored under the Student or Child Student routes who enrol with the sponsor must complete their course. The calculation of this rate considers the number of students who have dropped out of their course before the end date and whose course was due to end in the 12 months preceding the application, excluding students who have deferred their studies or who have switched institutions, immigration category or left the UK. The Sponsor Management System (SMS) provides all CAS data for this assessment.

If none of the sponsor's students were due to complete their course in the 12 months preceding the application, then UKVI will not assess them against this requirement. Sponsors who meet all the other requirements will pass.

If a sponsor reports that a student has left their course using the SMS and that the student has not received leave to switch to another immigration category, leave to switch institutions or leave the UK, that student will be counted when assessing the sponsor's course completion rate.

UKVI will decide whether to apply a discretionary assessment on a case-by-case basis. A discretionary assessment is a special type of assessment that considers the circumstances of the sponsor.

UKVI will only apply this assessment in certain circumstances. These include if the sponsor fails to meet certain requirements such as the Basic Compliance Assessment enrolment rate or course completion rate.

If a sponsor fails to meet these requirements, then UKVI will consider a discretionary assessment. UKVI will look at numerous factors, including why applications were refused, whether the sponsor is complying with their general sponsor duties and the sponsor's compliance history.

If a sponsor has not used any CAS during the assessment period or has only issued CAS to students who are yet to enrol, the sponsor will not normally be considered to have passed the Basic Compliance Assessment. However, UKVI may allow the sponsor to retain their student sponsor licence with their status as a Probationary Sponsor, Student Sponsor or Student Sponsor with a record of compliance until their next Basic Compliance Assessment.

In certain instances, a sponsor who has not issued any CAS in the past 12 months may still successfully pass their Basic Compliance Assessment. UKVI will consider numerous factors beyond their role as a student sponsor, such as their compliance history as a Tier 2 or 5 sponsor, and any past record of Student sponsor compliance (including previous Tier 4 licence holders).

During a Basic Compliance Assessment

During the Basic Compliance Assessment process, UKVI evaluates whether a sponsor meets specific criteria, including a visa refusal rate below 10%, an enrolment rate of at least 90%, and a course completion rate of at least 85%. Sponsors are required to promptly report any information that could impact their application. Failure to meet these criteria will result in a failed assessment, potentially leading to compliance action by UKVI. If successful, UKVI will update their status, granting them full Student Sponsor status.

Rest Assured

Be assured that each assessment is conducted on a case-by-case basis with discretion, considering factors like compliance history and the sponsor's circumstances. Sponsors without any CAS issuance in the previous 12 months may still pass the Basic Compliance Assessment under specific conditions. At UK Visas, we specialise in offering comprehensive compliance services to ensure your organisation meets all Home Office requirements, securing your ability to sponsor and enrol students from abroad. Contact us today to learn more at 01403 801801.

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