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  • Accountants: +44 (0) 1753 551111
  • Solicitors: +44 (0) 20 7067 4300
  • Once you have submitted your application for a sponsor license UK Visa and Immigration (UKVIS) may want to arrange an inspection as part of the sponsor licence application process. UKVIS will generally contact you by email advising you of the date they plan to visit. Inspections typically happen for every business that has been trading for less than 18 months and less frequently for other types of business. 
  • The UKVIS officer will attend your office on the agreed date/time usually on their own. They will have a pre-printed form which they go through with you.  They explain the purpose of their visit, establish who they are interviewing and indicate that they intend to interview any migrant workers that are currently being employed by you. They will expect to meet the key appointed personnel i.e. your Authorising Officer and Level 1 User.
  • They will ask for general information about the business e.g. what you do and how you operate.
  • They will then seek confirmation of who the authorising officer is, level 1 user and key contact. They will ask the key individual usually the authorising officer to sign a declaration to confirm that they are content to be interviewed, disclose information and effectively be inspected.
  • They then ask questions such as:- 
    • How many people are employed? Is there sufficient office space for them, adequate meeting rooms?
    • How many overseas nationals are employed?
    • What hours do the staff work?
    • What is each employee paid? Are there discretionary bonuses, allowances?
    • How they are paid in terms of frequency and mechanism.
    • What benefits if any are offered? Whether staff are paid whilst they are sick? They ask whether a list of staff is kept and will want to see it.
    • They will ask how checks are undertaken to determine individuals are eligible to work in the UK.
    • How individuals qualifications are checked.
    • How documents/records (meaning personnel files) are kept whether in electronic form or paper and/or both. They will want to check a sample of the documentation you have dependent on whether you keep soft copies or hard copies of documents.
    • They will ask whether individuals have national insurance numbers.
    • They may wish to see payslips, passports, personnel files.
  • They will ask:
    • How you record contact details for individuals?
    • How you record their qualifications?
    • How you record their passport details?
    • They ask whether you check this information and what procedure you have in place to do so?
    • How long do you keep copies of the information?
    • If you are applying for a Tier 2 general license.  They will want to know your recruitment policy.
    • They will want to see that you understand the resident labour market tests and will want you to explain the processes and procedures you have in place for recruitment. Whether there are job descriptions? How do you advertise, interview etc.
    • If a sponsored migrant leaves or does not turn up for work on the first day, what would you do?
    • How would you know if a sponsored migrant changes home address or telephone number?
  • Having inspected all the documentation they will conclude the interview and leave. The UKVIS officer may indicate how you have done, if they are following the book they will indicate that they do not make the decision it is up to HQ in Sheffield. A decision should be made within a week to three weeks as to whether your license has been granted. They submit their report to their head office in Sheffield. 
  • The duration of the visit varies depending on the size of the organisation, the number of persons involved and whether migrants are interviewed. Inspections can take anything from an hour to days. 

You should ensure you have a copy of the application you submitted when applying for your sponsor licence, including all supporting documentation.


Disclaimer: This note does not contain a full statement of the law and it does not constitute legal advice. Please seek legal advice if you have any questions about the information set out above.

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