Which documents should sponsors keep on file?

A new points-based immigration system will come into effect from 1 January 2021. The new points-based style system will include a route for skilled workers who have a job offer from an approved employer (‘sponsor’). This will replace the existing Tier 2 (General) route, which currently only applies to non-EEA nationals.

The future system will apply to both EEA and non-EEA nationals. This means that from 1 January 2021, UK based employers who wish to recruit a non-EEA or EEA national, will need to hold a valid A-level rated sponsorship licence as well as meet all of the duties and responsibilities in order to do so.

Tier 2, Tier 4 and Tier 5 sponsors will need to keep records of the sponsored migrants’ documents (these are listed below), in either paper or electronic format. Employers must keep records throughout the migrant’s sponsorship and until:

  • One year after the migrant’s sponsorship ended;


  • The date on which a compliance officer has examined and approved the documents, if this is less than one year after ending the sponsorship of the migrant.


What type of documents should be kept?

Sponsors will need to keep either paper or electronic copies of the following:


  • A copy of the said migrant’s current passport;


  • Where relevant, evidence of the migrant’s UK entry date, for instance, a Tier 2 or Tier 5 entry clearance vignette and validity as well as an entry stamp (except migrants who hold a valid visa and entered the UK through Ireland, and all of nationals who are eligible to use E-Gate to enter the UK if they hold a valid visa). Please note that if the migrant does not have a UK entry stamp in their passport, the sponsor must provide other evidence, such as travel tickets or a boarding pass (in paper or electronic form) to ensure that the migrant did not enter the UK before the validity of the visa.


  • A copy of their biometric residence permit (BRP);


  • A copy of the worker authorisation registration certificate if they employed a Croatian national who was subject to work authorisation between 1 July 2013 and 30 June 2018 (inclusive);


  • A copy of the migrant’s National Insurance (NI) number, for instance, NI card or NI number notification letter from HMRC or DWP, biometric residence permit if it shows their NI number, wage slip, P45, Real Time Information (RTI) starter checklist, P60, P11 free of tax pay (FOT), RTI Employment Payment Summary (EPS), or RTI Full Payment Submission (FPS);


  • The migrant’s contact details, such as their UK residential address, telephone/mobile phone number. This must always be up to date;


  • If the migrant is under 18 years old, a copy of the letter from the migrant’s parents or legal guardians, or just one parent if he/she has sole legal responsibility for the child;


  • A copy of a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check (if required for the role);


  • A record of the migrant’s absences, which may be kept electronically or in paper form;


  • Any other documents set out in the relevant code of practice in Appendix J of the Immigration Rules and, where relevant, the Code of Practice for Sports Governing Bodies;


  • If the company is licensed under Tier 5 (Temporary Worker) International Agreement to sponsor contractual service suppliers or independent professionals, they must keep a copy of any contract they have awarded for the supply of services to and either one of the following:


  1. the tender document for that contract,


  1. evidence of how the contract was awarded if it was not formally tendered.


Contact Our Immigration Team

For expert advice regarding any aspect of Tier 2 visa applications, please contact our immigration team on 0203 384 3075.




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