The end of the Brexit transition period has led to a steady increase in sponsor licence applications. The licence, which is required to now sponsor EU nationals for work, is subject to compliance checks by the Home Office. As a part of this compliance, the Home Office routinely make announced or unannounced compliance visits.
The pandemic and various lockdowns resulted in a decline in physical compliance visits, and most compliance activity was conducted virtually through the provision of documents. A physical compliance visit, however, is much more rigorous and in many cases can involve the interview of key personnel and sponsored employees.
With the return of compliance visits, sponsors (new and existing) should ensure that their sponsor licence details are up to date, and that the continue to abide by the sponsor licence guidance on sponsor duties.
If a Home Office compliance officer considers that the sponsor has failed to abide by these duties, they can consider enforcement action. This means that the licence can be suspended, or in some cases revoked.
Our experienced immigration lawyers, have continued to support organisations in applying for licences, and for existing sponsors to ensure that they continue to adequately maintain their licences. We routinely conduct mock compliance visits to ensure organisations are prepared for any compliance visit.