August 06, 2012

The United Kingdom’s Border Agency (UKBA) is forwarding e-mail reminders to UK companies registered with the Sponsor Management System (SMS) to submit a timely renewal application of their Sponsor License to avoid becoming ineligible to host foreign national workers.

What’s Changed?

November 2012 marks the four-year anniversary of the UKBA’s introduction of the Points-Based System (PBS) that replaced the traditional Work Permit application scheme.

As part of the PBS, UK companies that wished to host foreign national workers were required to become Licensed Sponsors with the UKBA from November 2008 and to designate an “Authorized Officer” (e.g., usually a senior staff member or director-level employee) who is responsible for all authorized company users (e.g., usually an HR representative or UK Registered Migration Agent granted a “Level 1 user” access to the SMS).

The UKBA is now reminding and recommending to Authorized Officers and/or Level 1 users that UK companies should submit their Sponsor License renewal applications at least three months in advance of their current license’s expiration date.

Authorized Officers and designated HR should be checking their e-mail inboxes for these notifications and refreshing themselves with updated immigration compliance requirements contained in the UKBA’s updatedFull Guide for Employers(http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/sitecontent/documents/employersandsponsors/preventingillegalworking/currentguidanceandcodes/comprehensiveguidancefeb08.pdf?view=Binary).

According to the UKBA’s reminders, “the renewal application will need to be completed by a Level 1 user who must select the appropriate application fee, complete a declaration and make an electronic payment for the application. ”

ACTION ITEMS FOR EMPLOYERS

For those UK companies that applied for their licenses between April and November 2008, November 2012 marks the fourth-year anniversary of PBS and will be the renewal date to apply for a new Sponsor License.

Given the importance of renewing a license in order to receive Certificate of Sponsorship (Cos) allocations for applying on behalf of foreign workers, designated company representatives are reminded that as part of the renewal application, the UKBA may elect to undertake an onsite audit of the company’s immigration compliance files and confirm there are no illegal workers present at the company’s site.

Companies are strongly urged to review their census of foreign workers, confirm their immigration files are in order according to the Full Guide instructions and be in contact with their Authorized Officer to undertake a renewal application within three months of their Sponsor License expiration date.

Companies are also urged to ensure that their list of nominated Authorizing Officer, Key Contact and Level 1 User/s is still current and to update the UK Border Agency of any changes as a matter of urgency. Reminders and other important notifications are only sent to those listed on the system whether they are still in the role or not.

For those companies with a Registered Migration Agent (RMA), it is recommended to work closely with the RMA to ensure all compliance measures are up to date and in place and determine the appropriate time to submit a renewal application.

Glenn Faulk, Senior Manager, Knowledge Management, has written this alert in coordination with our UK KGNM-Sarah Buttler Associates Limited.

Caveat Lector | Warning to Reader

This content is provided for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or final guidance for any immigration matter. Readers are reminded that a country’s immigration laws and requirements may change with little to no advance public notice. Questions regarding specific immigration matters should be addressed to your Pro-Link GLOBAL specialist.