Sponsorship Licence duties

Any organisation wishing to employ a migrant will need to have a valid A-rated Sponsorship Licence before they are able to do so. A licence is a permission given to an organisation to sponsor workers for its business.

As a sponsor, the company has a duty and responsibility to act in accordance with the Immigration Rules. Failure to do so may pose a risk to immigration control.

Therefore, it must fulfil certain duties with the objective to:

  • Prevent abuse of assessment procedures
  • Capture any early patterns of behaviour that may cause concern
  • Address possible weakness in processes which can cause those patterns
  • Monitor compliance with the Immigration Rules


The duties of an organisation start on the date in which their licence is granted and ends when a licence is surrendered or revoked.

Duties which apply to all sponsors:

Record keeping duties

The organisation must maintain copies of the migrant’s passport and biometric card, confirming their entitlement to work in the UK as well as their up to date contact details.

Report duties

Using the Sponsorship Management System (SMS), the following must be reported within 10 working days:

  • If a sponsored migrant does not turn up for their first day of work;
  • If their employment contract/registration with a relevant body terminates earlier than shown on their Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) e.g. if they resign or are dismissed
  • If a migrant is no longer sponsored- e.g. if they switched immigration routes and no longer require a sponsor
  • Significant changes in their circumstances- promotion, change in job title or core duties, a change in salary or employment address
  • If their employment is affected by TUPE
  • The size of your business changes from small to large or vice versa or if there are significant changes such as you stop trading, go into administration, or change the nature of your business
  • If the migrant if absent for more than 10 consecutive days without permission.


Complying with the law

  • Only employ migrants who are appropriately qualified and meet the requirements to perform the job and keep evidence of this
  • Nos assign a Certificate of Sponsorship when there is no genuine vacancy or role meeting the Tier 2 or Tier 5 criteria
  • Only allow the migrant to undertake the specific role set in the Certificate of Sponsorship
  • Comply with UK employment law
  • Disclose if you assign the Certificate of Sponsorship to a family member
  • Ensure that the migrant has a Disclosure and Baring Service (DBS) check if required for the role


Genuine vacancy

  • The vacancy must be for the period of employment stated on the CoS
  • Examples of vacancies that are not considered to be genuine include but are not limited to: one which contains an exaggerated or incorrect job description to deliberately make it appear to meet the requirements of the tier and category when it does not, for a job or role that does not exist in order to enable a migrant to come to, or stay in, the UK, advertisements with requirements that are inappropriate for the job on offer, and have been tailored to exclude resident workers from being recruited.


There are also Tier specific duties which we would be happy to advise you on in further detail. For further information, please contact [email protected]

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