Clarkslegal LLP - Solicitors in Reading and London

Legal Updates

The Sponsorship Management System (SMS) for Beginners

16 February 2018 #Immigration #Inward Investment #Employment

Last month, we posted an article on the role of the Authorising Officer and explained that this person does not have access to the Sponsorship Management System (SMS) unless he/she is a Level 1 or 2 user. Since then we’ve received enquiries from HR staff wanting to know more about the SMS, who has access to it and the differences between a Level 1 and 2 user.

What is the Sponsorship Management System (SMS)?

When you are granted a sponsor licence, the key personnel (level 1 and 2 users) you have chosen will be given access to the SMS. This online function will allow you to:

  • Apply for and assign Certificate of Sponsorships;
  • Report migrant activity such as:
    • Sponsored worker not attending work on the first day
    • Unauthorised absences from work
    • Early termination of employment
    • Significant changes to a sponsored worker’s job role/salary
    • Changes to sponsored worker’s employment (such as if they are affected by TUPE)
  • Reporting changes to your company’s details (acquisitions, mergers, changes of address and name) 

Who has access to the SMS?

Only those appointed as Level 1 and 2 users have access to the SMS. Such users: 

  • Must be permanently based in the UK for the duration of the period that they will fill the role
  • Must meet the specific requirements on criminal convictions set out in the guidance notes
  • Can be paid member of staff or those engaged as an office holder. You could also appoint an employee of a third-party organisation who assists you with your HR functions or a UK based legal representative

You can appoint/deactivate users via the SMS.

What is the difference between a Level 1 and 2 User?

 A Level 1 user has full access to the SMS and can:

  • Add/remove Level 2 users
  • Assign CoS
  • Request more unrestricted CoS
  • Inform UKVI of changes to your details
  • Report worker activity and inform UKVI of changes of work addresses
  • Renew the sponsor licence and track progress

A Level 2 user has limited access to the SMS and can only: 

  • Assign CoS
  • Report worker activity

Whilst the SMS can be tricky to navigate, the government has published guidance on using certain functions.


Clarkslegal, specialist Immigration lawyers in London, Reading and throughout the Thames Valley.
For further information about this or any other Immigration matter please contact Clarkslegal's immigration team by email at by telephone 020 7539 8000 (London office), 0118 958 5321 (Reading office) or by completing the form on this page.
This information is for guidance purposes only and should not be regarded as a substitute for taking legal advice. Please refer to the full General Notices on our website.

Read more articles


Immigration team
+44 (0)20 7539 8000