New obligation for sponsors

Recently we have received a number of phone calls from sponsors or migrants under the Tier 2 General Scheme in connection with the Home Office’s unexpected visits to verify the information provided in the sponsorship licence application and to check whether the companies are meeting their duties.

During these checks, a compliance officer might ask to see a number of different documents, which must be kept by the sponsor as paper copies or in electronic format. There is no prescribed method of storing the documents, however a sponsor must be able to make them available to the Home Office upon request.

It is important to note that if the migrant is sponsored for less than one year, the documents must be kept for the duration the migrant is sponsored or until a compliance officer has examined and approved the documents, whichever period is longer. If the migrant is sponsored for one year or more, different rules apply.

Following the visit, the Home Office will confirm in writing whether the sponsor can destroy any documents that they examined and are satisfied with. Please note that some documents that the sponsor must keep as part of their sponsorship should be stored for a longer period to meet the requirements of the record-keeping set by the Home Office or another government department.

The full lists of the documents, that sponsors must have at hand, are listed in Appendix D of the Sponsorship Guidance.

If you need any further advice on the above, please do not hesitate to contact one of our Immigration Consultants on +44 20 3384 3075 or via email