UKVI Compliance, Audits And Training Services For Sponsor Businesses
Obtaining a Sponsor Licence is just the beginning – the real challenge lies in consistently meeting the Home Office's high standards to demonstrate your business's reliability and genuineness

The Home Office conducts regular audit checks to ensure that all working staff have the “Right to Work,” holding the relevant immigration status that allows them to be employed. During these audits, Sponsor businesses are put through strict scrutiny to ensure they have Robust HR systems in place for updated record-keeping of their employees.

When does the UKVI Audit the Business?

The UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) conducts two types of audits to ensure strict compliance with immigration laws and regulations:

Pre-Licence Audits: These audits take place before a Sponsor Licence is issued to a business. The primary objective is to thoroughly assess the company’s operations and verify that they are not engaged in hiring illegal workers. The UKVI evaluates the robustness of the company’s HR systems and processes to ensure they have a seamless and efficient system in place for recording the work attendance and visa expiry deadlines of international recruits.

Post-Licence Audits: Even after successfully obtaining a Sponsor Licence, the UKVI continues to audit businesses on a periodic basis, often with prior notification. These ongoing audits serve as a crucial checkpoint to maintain the integrity of the Sponsor Licence. The UKVI scrutinizes the company’s compliance with immigration laws, ensuring that they consistently adhere to the guidelines for hiring and managing international employees. These audits also verify that the business’s record-keeping systems remain up-to-date and accurate, meticulously tracking the work attendance and visa expiration dates of their sponsored workforce.

Both Pre-licence and Post-licence audits are vital components of the UKVI’s Strict compliance standards. They not only safeguard against the employment of illegal workers but also promotes a culture of accountability and responsibility among Sponsor Licence holders. By conducting these audits, the UKVI aims to uphold the highest standards of compliance, protecting the rights of overseas migrants while maintaining the integrity of the UK’s immigration system.

What happens during the UKVI Audits?

During the Sponsor Compliance Visit, the Home Office typically begins by conducting interviews with your Key Personnel. These interviews aim to provide them with an understanding of your business operations, Certificate of Sponsorship requirements, and your approach to fulfilling your Sponsor’s Licence obligations. The nature of the interview process will vary depending on the interviewee, as the questions asked of an Authorising Officer will differ from those asked of a Sponsored candidate. It’s crucial to ensure that your Key Personnel are well-versed in their responsibilities, duties, and know when and to whom they should refer issues.

Interviews with Sponsored Staff are also a common occurrence during a Sponsor Compliance Visit. The Home Office official may focus on whether the actual job duties of the Sponsored Staff align with the job description outlined in the eligible occupation code and Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS). They aim to determine whether the Sponsored Staff member is performing duties that match the job description stated in their Certificate of Sponsorship. Before the visit, the Compliance Officers will likely conduct thorough research and review the information held by the Home Office on Sponsored Staff, ensuring an effective interview process.

Consequences of the Compliance Failures during Audits

Failure to meet the stringent requirements can lead to severe consequences. Sponsor Licences may face revocation or suspension, and businesses could be slapped with hefty fines. In extreme situations, civil and criminal proceedings might even ensue. This underscores the importance of meticulous preparation for a potential compliance interview by the Home Office official during a Sponsor’s Compliance visit. As an Authorising Officer or HR director, you may be asked to participate in an interview to provide insights into your hiring approach. Additionally, your Sponsored staff may feel intimidated by the prospect of an interview unless they are properly prepared and understand their roles and duties.

How can we help?

At MAK25, we understand the critical importance of maintaining full compliance with UKVI regulations and securing your business’s reputation as a trusted Sponsor Licence holder. We offer comprehensive services to assist you in preparing for both pre-licence and post-licence audits. We conduct thorough mock interviews with your Key Personnel and Sponsored Staff, ensuring they are well-aware in their roles, responsibilities, and the appropriate responses to potential queries from UKVI officials.

Additionally, our pre-audit checks provide a comprehensive evaluation of your company’s systems, processes, and record-keeping practices. We thoroughly review your HR procedures, attendance tracking system, employment agreements, third-party client contracts and visa expiration monitoring protocols, identifying any potential gaps or areas for improvement. By addressing these issues proactively, we help you enhance your compliance levels and position your business as a model Sponsor Licence holder in the eyes of the UKVI.

We understand the critical value of retaining international talent while being fully up to date with the immigration regulations. Our services not only safeguard your Sponsor Licence but also reinforce your credibility as a responsible employer, committed to upholding the highest standards of compliance. Trust MAK25 to be your trusted partner in securing your business’s reputation and ensuring a seamless experience during UKVI audits.

Get in touch with us today to discuss your options.

Enquiries welcome aamil@mak25.co.uk or call +44 7823733189 (virtual conferences available for international clients)