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Corporate Visa Services

Sponsor Licence Compliance

Navigating the complexities of Sponsor Licence Compliance is a daunting task for many UK employers. At UK Visas, we specialise in providing comprehensive compliance services to ensure your organisation meets all the Home Office requirements, thereby safeguarding your ability to employ talent from overseas.

What is Compliance?

Compliance refers to the adherence to a set of duties and responsibilities mandated by the Home Office for organisations that wish to employ overseas workers. These duties are not just a formality; they are legal requirements that carry significant penalties for non-compliance, including hefty fines and the potential revocation of your sponsor licence.

Sponsor Licence Duties and Responsibilities

Sponsor Duties

As a sponsor licence holder, you are obligated to fulfil several duties to maintain your licence. These include:

  • Reporting Duties: Notify the Home Office of significant changes in your organisation, such as mergers, acquisitions, or changes in key personnel.
  • Record-keeping Duties: Maintain accurate and up-to-date records of all sponsored employees, including their immigration status, contact details, and employment history.
  • Certificate of Sponsorship: Issue certificates of sponsorship only to workers who meet the eligibility criteria.
  • Sponsorship Management System: Utilise the Sponsorship Management System (SMS) to manage your sponsorship duties effectively.

Compliance Audits and Visits

Pre-Licence Compliance Visits

Before granting a sponsor licence, the Home Office  may conduct a pre-licence compliance visit to assess your organisation's readiness and integrity.

Post-Licence Sponsor Compliance Visits

After obtaining a sponsor licence, expect periodic compliance visits from the Home Office to ensure ongoing adherence to compliance responsibilities.

Compliance Audit

Regular internal audits are crucial for ensuring that you meet all sponsor licence requirements. These audits should focus on record-keeping, sponsorship duties, and other compliance-related activities.


Accurate Records

Maintaining accurate records is not just a sponsor duty but a critical aspect of compliance. These records should include:

  • Employment contracts
  • Payroll details
  • Attendance records

Computerised Government Records

Ensure that your records are compatible with government systems for seamless data sharing and verification.

Benefits of Being Compliant

Avoid Penalties

Non-compliance can result in severe penalties, including fines and licence revocation.

Streamlined Processes

A strong compliance record can expedite future visa applications for your sponsored employees.

Enhanced Reputation

Compliance is a mark of your organisation's integrity and commitment to lawful conduct, enhancing your reputation in the industry.


What are the requirements of a sponsor licence?

The requirements for obtaining and maintaining a sponsor licence include:

  • Demonstrating a genuine need for hiring overseas workers.
  • Maintaining accurate and up-to-date records of all sponsored employees.
  • Reporting significant changes in your organisation to the Home Office.
  • Issuing certificates of sponsorship only to eligible workers.
  • Utilising the Sponsorship Management System (SMS) effectively.

How long does it take to get a sponsor licence?

It takes 8 weeks to process a Sponsor Licence however it can take longer if your case is of a complex nature. Please note that priority slots are available on a limited basis for additional fees so your application can be expedited to 10 working days.

How can I prepare for a Home Office compliance visit?

Preparation for a Home Office compliance visit should include:

  • Ensuring all records related to sponsored employees are accurate and up-to-date.
  • Making key personnel available for interviews.
  • Having a comprehensive understanding of your duties and responsibilities as a sponsor licence holder.

What are the consequences of failing to comply with sponsor licence duties?

Failure to comply with sponsor licence duties can result in a range of penalties, including:

  • Fines or civil penalties.
  • Downgrading of your sponsor licence rating.
  • Temporary suspension or permanent revocation of your sponsor licence.

Contact Us

For bespoke Sponsor Licence Compliance services, contact us today.

  • We have a great relationship with the UK Visas team, who provide a prompt, professional service and expert immigration advice. They take the worry out of the visa process, working efficiently even when dealing with numerous requests at once.

    Sarah Bond
    Human Resources Advisor
  • I can honestly say everyone that I deal with at UK Visas are very efficient, super helpful and informative and extremely nice (especially Ana and Garima). Also patient with all my questions – nothing is ever too much trouble, and very prompt with their responses.

    Jackie Thompson
    HR Assistant
  • I’ve worked with UK Visas for almost 10 years now, and the support and advice never fails. From the sponsorship of new employees to training for the whole team, UK Visas are always extremely helpful and knowledgeable. I would highly recommend their services!

    Helena Wittenbach
    Head of Human Resources,
  • Having worked with UK Visas for more than eight years, I cannot recommend their services enough. We have worked with them on a wide variety of immigration topics, including complex licence matters (following acquisitions), day to day sponsorship processes, and reporting; and we have always received an amazing service.

    Members of the team are responsive and come back to our queries quickly, they are always polite, and go out of their way to be as helpful as possible. Thank you to all of the team for the wonderful ongoing support you provide!

    Amy Gadsby
    Director, Human Resources - EMEA
  • We have worked with UK Visas for a number of years and the service that is provided is excellent.

    No query is too big or too small. Always accommodating and helpful. Thank you team!

    Louise Goddard
    Executive Business Partner to CEO and the Board
  • We have worked with UK Visas for over 10 years, since we initially requested obtaining a Sponsor Licence. From day one, their guidance, communication, professionalism, efficiency and support has been and continues to be exemplary, with no request too much.

    Thank you and we look forward to continuing the relationship.

    Sara Searle
    Head of Human Resources and Payroll
  • I’ve worked with UK Visas for over 6 years and always find them helpful, friendly and experts in what they do. I know I can always call them up or send them an email and I will get a detailed response, fast. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them to anyone to help and support with your visa journeys.

    Gerry Weiss
    HR Business Partner
  • We have been using UK Visas for many years and service is always expeditious, even as number of requests have increased in recent years. The team advise on a wide range of queries and are always supportive, informative and clear in their advice.

    Jodie Plom
    HR Administrator CVS Vets
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We are regulated by the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC). Our registration number: F200300183.
Please note we are NOT a UK Government body or agency and have no connection with the UK Government.

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