Becoming a Tier 5 or Tier 2 Sponsorship Licence holder comes with many complex sponsorship duties. One of these includes the use of the Sponsor Management System (SMS). You must keep a record of your migrant employees to maintain an A-grade Sponsor Licence.

Failure to use the SMS correctly could result in your business having its Sponsorship Licence suspended or even revoked.

How can IAS help?

The experts at IAS have produced a simple guide to get you to grips with your Sponsor Management System. This will mean you can start filling vacancies at your company with the best talent the international market can offer.

Follow this simple guide to get you started with your Sponsor Management System.

SMS Guide

SMS users

Each company will need at least of three roles to be filled to operate the Sponsorship Management System.

These include:

  • Authorising Officer – This person must be a senior member of staff. They are responsible for the SMS and all staff who have access.
  • Level 1 User – This person is responsible for the day-to-day running of the Sponsor Management System. They are able to assign a Certificate of Sponsorship and update records. They can also apply for a new CoS for new employees.
  • Key Contact – A person in this role will act as the main point of contact between your business and UKVI. Unlike the other roles, this person does not have to be part of your company.

These roles can also be taken by the same person or shared out between three members of staff. This will depend on the size of your business and the number of workers you wish to sponsor.

Your company may also choose to assign a Level 2 User. A Level 2 User may view records and status of Certificates but cannot make changes.

All members of staff in these roles must not:

  • Be temporary contractor at your company;
  • Be subject to a bankruptcy restriction order;
  • Have any unspent convictions;
  • Have received a Sponsor Licence revocation in the last 12 months;
  • Have a history of non-compliance with the Home Office;
  • Be predominantly based outside of the UK.

What you can do on the SMS

The Sponsorship Management System is used to keep records of all migrant employees during your time as their sponsor. This includes reporting any changes to their immigration status and all absences. You will also need to update the SMS if they are not complying with their visa or if they receive a promotion.

The Sponsor Management System is also how you apply for new Certificates of Sponsorship and issue them to those you have offered jobs.

When you need to apply for your Sponsor Licence renewal, you will do this through the SMS. You will need to ensure that you have all the correct documents and can prove that you have kept an accurate record of your sponsored employees. There is no limit to the number of times you can apply to renew your licence if it is rejected. However, each application costs and once the licence has expired you will need to make a fresh application.

Having trouble with the Sponsor Management System

You may have trouble with the SMS, or the Home Office could decide that your HR methods are insufficient. The first thing you should do is meet with your staff and work towards resolving the issues.

This may include:

  • reviewing your records to ensure that they are thorough and updated regularly;
  • Confirming that there are no discrepancies between the actual job role and the one on the CoS; and
  • Ensuring that the Sponsor Management System is being operated correctly so that data is accurate.

You might find it useful to undertake a full Immigration Audit if your company is facing difficulty with its HR practices.

What services does IAS offer?

IAS houses expert business immigration lawyers in offices across the country. We offer services for every aspect of hiring foreign workers.

Our services include:

  • Immigration Consultancy. Your lawyer will produce a consultation pack for you to follow to resolve any issues and outline the correct way to keep records of your employees.
  • Immigration Audit. This is a service which reviews your HR methods and works to resolve any issues. This can be done before or after a visit from UKVI and can keep your company safe from any unnecessary penalties.
  • Workplace visits. As part of our business services, your lawyer can spend time on-site working with your staff. They will ensure that everything is running smoothly and that the SMS is being operated correctly.
  • Appeal support. If you have had your Sponsor Licence suspended or revoked, we can provide full legal representation. We will review your company and work to resolve your issues. Your lawyer will also complete all appeal forms in full and help organise your evidence.

Get in touch today on 0333 363 8577 or use our online contact form to ask any more questions you may have about the Sponsor Management System.

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