Reporting duties of a licensed sponsor

Licensed sponsors must fulfil certain duties. Some of these duties apply to all sponsors, whilst others are specific to those licensed under a specific tier or category.

When do your sponsor duties start and finish?

As a licensed sponsor, your responsibilities start on the day when you are granted a Tier 2/4 licence and end once you surrender your licence, or the Home Office revokes it.

In addition, your responsibility for each sponsored employee starts on the day you assign a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS), and it ends:

  • When you report to the Home Office that you are no longer sponsoring them for any reason;
  • When they leave the UK and their entry clearance or leave to remain lapses;
  • When they are granted further leave to remain with a different sponsor, or in another immigration scheme, which means that you do not need to sponsor them under Tier 2 or Tier 5 anymore.

All sponsors have to keep the following records or documents:

  • A photocopy or electronic copy of the relevant page, or pages or each sponsored migrant’s passport or travel document and biometric residence permit (if issued) that show their entitlement to work including their period of leave to remain in the UK;
  • Each sponsored employee’s contact details, up to date UK residential address, telephone number and mobile telephone number;
  • A biometric residence permit is an immigration document issued by the Home Office to migrants who have been granted an entry clearance for more than 6 months or leave to remain.

Reporting duties of a licenced sponsor

A licensed employer must report certain information to the Home Office by using the Sponsorship Management System (SMS). Employers must report the following within 10 working days:

  • If a sponsored migrant does not turn up for their first day of work – you must include any reason given for their non-attendance, for example, a missed flight;
  • If a sponsored migrant’s contract of, or for, employment or services, or registration with a relevant body, is terminated earlier than shown on their CoS – for example, if the migrant resigns or is dismissed; you must include the name and address of any new employer that the migrant has moved to, if known;
  • If you stop sponsoring a migrant for any other reason, such as: you become aware that they have moved into an immigration route that does not need a sponsor; they are absent from work without pay for 4 weeks or more, and this absence is not covered by the exceptions in ‘Unpaid leave and reductions in salary’;
  • If there are any significant changes in the sponsored migrant’s circumstances, for example: a promotion or change in job title, or core duties, other than those which need a change of employment application; a change of salary from the level stated on the CoS, other than changes due to annual increments or bonuses; a change of salary from that stated on the CoS for one of the reasons given in the ‘Unpaid leave and reductions in salary’ section; the location they are employed at changes;
  • If a sponsored migrant’s employment is affected by TUPE or similar protection – for example, if you are involved in a merger or demerger;
  • If the size or charitable status of your business changes – for example: you were a large company but you now qualify as a small company or have gained charitable status; you were a small company but are now a large company; you previously held charitable status but have ceased to do so.

However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Tier 2 and Tier 5 sponsors do not need to report the changes of workplace to the Home Office if their sponsored employees work from home.

In addition, sponsors do not need to report employees’ absences in relation to coronavirus if they need to serve a period of quarantine or they are unable to travel due to the travel restrictions caused by the COVID-19 outbreak.

Moreover, sponsors do not need to withdraw sponsorship if an employee were to be absent from work without pay for four weeks.

Contact Our Immigration Team

For expert advice regarding any aspect of the UK visa application, please contact our immigration team on 0203 384 3075.

The content of this article is for general use and information only. Since each case should be prepared on its own merit and in light of the constant amendments to the Immigration Rules, it is important to note that the information provided must not be relied upon unless Migra & Co has either given written consent or has been officially engaged in relation to a specific immigration matter. As a result, Migra & Co will take no responsibility for any damage, cost or loss resulting from relying on the information contained in this article, blog and website.


We remain open for business and can arrange meetings by phone call or video conferencing to advise and assist with any UK immigration matters.
Click here for further information regarding COVID-19