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Understanding the Role of an Authorising Officer

Nov 27, 2023

Navigating the world of immigration in the UK can be a complex and daunting process. That's why UK Visas is here to simplify the process and help you understand the requirements you need to meet.

One of the key roles in the Sponsored Management System is that of the Authorising Officer (AO). In this blog post, we will explain what an Authorising Officer is and what their responsibilities are.

Who is an Authorising Officer?

An Authorising Officer is a competent, senior-level employee responsible for ensuring that their employer complies with all the relevant immigration laws, regulations, and requirements. They play a key role in the Skilled Worker visa sponsorship requirements and are responsible for making sure that the employer meets these requirements.

Responsibilities of an Authorising Officer

The role of an Authorising Officer is critical in ensuring that the recruitment of migrant workers within the organisation applying for a sponsor licence is done in accordance with the law. Some of the key responsibilities of an Authorising Officer include:

1. Keeping records: The Authorising Officer must keep all the documents submitted during the application process.

2. Monitoring: The Authorising Officer is responsible for ensuring that sponsorship certificates are only assigned to workers who have the qualifications, experience, and skills required for the job.

3. Reporting: The Authorising Officer must report attendance, compliance, and other important matters to the Home Office on a regular basis.

4. Managing sponsorship management system (SMS): The Authorising Officer must be the individual with overall responsibility for the activities of everyone using the SMS. The SMS is the Home Office portal that allows authorised users to administer day-to-day sponsorship duties and activities, including assigning Certificates of Sponsorship (CoS) to migrant workers.

5. Liaising with UKVI: The Authorising Officer may also be required to liaise with UKVI both during and after the sponsor licence application.

Consequences of failure to comply with duties.

Any failure on the part of the Authorising Officer to comply with their duties, including ensuring compliance on the part of all SMS-users, may result in action being taken against the sponsor licence holder. Depending on the gravity of the breach, this could include a decision to downgrade the sponsor licence, or to suspend or revoke it.

Therefore, it is crucial that the Authorising Officer understands their role and responsibilities and ensures that all SMS-users comply with the rules and regulations.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What does an Authorising Officer mean?

A: The Authorising Officer refers to the person with overall responsibility for the recruitment of migrant workers within the organisation applying for a sponsor licence. They will also be responsible for managing the activities of those using the sponsorship management system.

Q: How do I change my Authorising Officer on SMS?

A: To change your Authorising Officer on the sponsorship management system (SMS), an authorised SMS Level 1 User must access the online system, navigating the ‘Request changes to licence details’ function and selecting ‘Replace your Authorising Officer’, before providing relevant details.

Q: Can the Authorising Officer be a Level 1 User?

A: An Authorising Officer can also be a Level 1 User.

In conclusion, the role of the Authorising Officer is critical in ensuring that a sponsor licence holder is compliant with all the relevant immigration laws, regulations and requirements. Therefore, it is important that the Authorising Officer understands their role and responsibilities and ensures that all SMS-users comply with the rules and regulations.

We at UK Visas specialise in sponsorship licences and will support you with ongoing management and compliance. Contact us to assist and advise on your sponsor licence.

If you have any questions or require assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us via phone or email today. 01403 801 801


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