30 Jan UKBA Visits of Sponsors
Since the beginning of this year we have been approached by an increasing number of corporate clients requesting assistance with the sponsorship audit before or after the sponsorship was granted. The UKBA sponsorship team has been rather busy recently with clearing the backlog of the sponsorship applications which were taking 4-6 months towards the end of 2012.
Many licences are now due for renewal in 2013 and as a result, the UKBA Compliance Team has been conducting more worksite inspections recently to ensure that employers fulfil their sponsorship obligations.
So what can go wrong?
– Several hundred sponsors had their licence downgraded in the last 6 months of 2012 including London Metropolitan University;
– Rules are constantly changing and even simple process might be flawed. Thus it is crucial that the HR team is well informed;
– Most audits are routine and straightforward but compliance issues may arise from the simplest of HR process;
– Possible penalties could include suspension or withdrawal of the licence, civil penalty or criminal proceedings;
– Adverse publicity – the UKBA have been publishing on their website names of non-compliant companies.
At Migra & Co we believe that it pays off to be well prepared for the UKBA audit to avoid any disruptions to the running of the business or avoid possible penalties. We recently launched an Audit Service for corporate clients as part of which we review sponsors’ record keeping and HR procedures to ensure their full compliance.
If you are concerned that your company might not be fully prepared for the UKBA visit, please contact our audit specialists on [email protected].