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Understanding Home Office Immigration Audits

The Home Office will inspect all sponsor licence holders at some point during the validity period of their licences. This is to ensure that sponsors are compliant with their sponsorship duties. The audit will involve a Home Office official visiting to check your records and systems to ensure that you comply with your sponsorship responsibilities.

For assistance with ensuring you are compliant, get in touch with us today on 0333 305 9375.


What is an Immigration Audit?

When it comes to business immigration, one of the most important things you can do is to ensure that your organisation complies with the relevant rules and regulations. An immigration audit can help you identify areas where you may need to make changes to ensure compliance.

Before deciding on your sponsor licence application, the UKVI may visit your company premises to conduct inspections.

An immigration audit will typically involve a review of your organisation’s policies and procedures, as well as your sponsorship records. It is important to note that, even if you have previously been through an immigration audit without any problems, this does not mean you will not be subject to another one in the future.

UKVI compliance visits are unannounced audits of your organisation to ensure that you comply with your sponsorship duties.

What is the Purpose of an Immigration Audit?

The purpose of a compliance visit is to check that sponsors comply with their UK sponsorship licence duties. The Home Office has a duty to monitor sponsors and take action if they believe a sponsor is not meeting their obligations.

A compliance visit can be triggered by several things, including:

  • Complaints from employees or members of the public
  • A change in the sponsor’s circumstances, such as a change of address or contact details
  • A change in the type of business the sponsor is undertaking
  • Information received from other sources, such as intelligence gathered by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI)

It is important to remember that a compliance audit visit can happen at any time and without warning. This is why it is important to ensure that a UK employer is prepared for one. The compliance visit is an essential component of UK immigration management, ensuring sponsors have the appropriate procedures and personnel policies in place and have not broken any immigration law.

What Happens During a Home Office Compliance Visit?

The UKVI Office has the right to visit your organisation anytime to ensure you comply with your sponsorship duties. Here are the things compliance officers will evaluate during their visit to your business:

  • The information supplied to UKVI is genuine and correct.
  • You can offer positions at the Tier 2 skill level.
  • Your Tier 2 employees are paid at least the required salary and are not part of illegal working.
  • Your Tier 2 employees are working on the job described in their certificate of sponsorship.
  • Your recruitment processes comply with the rules on advertising, skills tests and resident labour market tests.
  • You have appropriate systems and controls in place to ensure compliance with sponsorship duties.
  • You don’t present a danger to immigration control and don’t have an illegal worker.
  • You agree to fulfil all the duties and responsibilities of sponsorship.

Your record keeping, immigration status monitoring, reporting processes and documentation will be meticulously reviewed for compliance. The compliance officer’s assessment during the visit may not give an indication of your ability to comply with sponsor duties.

What Else do I Need to Know About Sponsor Compliance Visits?

There are a few things you should keep in mind if you are subject to a compliance visit:

  • You should not provide any false or misleading information to the UKVI officer.
  • You should give the UKVI officer full and frank disclosure of all relevant information.
  • You should co-operate fully with the UKVI officer during the visit.

The Audit is Random

There is no set time frame for compliance visits, which can happen anytime. This is why it is so important to ensure that your organisation is always prepared for one. The compliance officer will not give you any warning before the visit. This is to ensure that your organisation’s assessment is as accurate as possible. So, if your migrant foreign workers are employed in a third party’s office, you should inform the UK employers about the audit.

Adverse audit findings may revoke your licence

If the compliance officer finds that you are not complying with your sponsorship duties, you may be charged costly penalties, and your licence may be revoked. This means that you will no longer be able to sponsor foreign nationals. So, it is very important to ensure that you, as a sponsor licence holder, comply with all the rules and regulations before the visit.

The consequences are even worse

All authorized sponsors have their ratings on the Home Office’s website. A downgrading may bring undesirable press and reputation damage. If the Home Office suspects that you attempted to deceive your sponsor licence application, it might pursue prosecution against you.

Do you need help with your sponsorship duties or immigration compliance visit?

How Can an Immigration Lawyer Help With Immigration Audits?

An immigration lawyer can help you prepare for an immigration compliance visit and ensure that you comply with all the rules and regulations. They can also help you appeal any adverse decisions made by the UKVI.

UK immigration rules are complex, and only an expert lawyer authorised and regulated by the v understands the potential non-compliance issues that regular policy changes may cause for your business. UK immigration audits are not something to be taken lightly, so make sure you have the best legal advice.

Please contact us if you would like expert help with your sponsorship duties or immigration compliance visit. We can help ensure that your business complies with all the rules and regulations.

Our immigration audit service will help lighten your load by ensuring that your company meets all the requirements of the Home Office. Our comprehensive advice will guide you through every step of securing a sponsor licence, from licence applications to compliance with any future obligations. You don’t have to go through this process alone!

How can IAS Help?

If the UKVI finds that you are not compliant, your licence may be revoked. This is why it is so important to ensure that you are always prepared for a compliance visit. With the help of an immigration lawyer, you can ensure that your organisation complies with all the rules and regulations.

Working with specialist immigration lawyers can help ensure that your company is prepared for a Home Office inspection and can help you to avoid any potential problems as a sponsor licence holder.

Our team of experienced business immigration solicitors can provide comprehensive support and guidance on all aspects of sponsorship, from sponsor licence applications to audits. Call us on 0333 305 9375 to speak to a team member.

We can help you prepare for a compliance visit.

We offer immigration advice sessions as face-to-face appointments at all of our UK offices, or via the phone.

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