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.