Update on sponsor’s duties to keep records
Tier 2, 4 and 5 sponsors have a duty to keep records of some specific documents when sponsoring migrants. This duty is extremely important under the UK Immigration Rules.
The specific documents can be kept either as paper copies or in an electronic format. However, they must be available upon request.
The Home Office recently clarified and explained three different points regarding those specific documents which must be retained by sponsors.
How long should the sponsor retain those documents?
The sponsors must retain all documents pertaining to a migrant who they sponsor throughout the period of sponsorship until either:
- One year has passed from the date on which the migrant’s sponsorship has ended, or
- The date on which a Home Office compliance officer has examined and approved the documents (this will be done through an audit of the sponsor) if this is less than one year after the migrant’s sponsorship has ended.
However, it is important to note that all documents provided as part of the Sponsorship licence application (to become a licensed sponsor) must be kept throughout the full duration of the Sponsorship licence.
How to keep evidence of the migrant’s date of entry to the UK if they used ‘eGate’?
Sponsors need to retain documents from a long and detailed list provided by the Home Office, which will help to prevent them from breaching their sponsor’s duties.
One of these documents should evidence the migrant’s date of entry to the UK after their visa is granted. This is to ensure that the migrant entered during the validity of their current visa and therefore has permission to work.
Normally, this is done by taking a copy of their entry stamp in their passport. However, in some circumstances, the migrants might not have an entry stamp. This can be the case if they have a valid visa from Ireland and entered the UK via Ireland.
It also can happen for nationals of Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea and the United States of America because, since 20 May 2019, they can use automated ePassport gates (‘eGates’) to enter the UK if they hold a valid visa.
Therefore, in the above-mentioned cases, the sponsors need to check the entry date by asking for more evidence such as, but not limited to, travel tickets or boarding pass. Those documents can be in paper or electronic form and the sponsor should take a copy of that evidence.
Important note for Tier 5 creative and sporting visa concession:
If the migrant is eligible to enter the UK without a visa under the Tier 5 creative and sporting visa concession, they must not use ‘eGates’. Otherwise, they will not have permission to work in the UK. They need to have an entry stamp from an immigration officer clearly showing that they have been given leave to enter with permission to work for their sponsor.
- What documents should the sponsor retain from the recruitment process?
If the sponsor had to undertake the Resident Labour Market Test, making them advertise the job for at least 28 days following strict immigration rules, they will need to retain all of the following documents from the recruitment process:
- all applications shortlisted for the final interview, in the medium they were received, for example, emails, CV’s, application form – this should include the applicant’s details such as their name, address, date of birth;
- the names and the total number of applicants shortlisted for the final interview;
- for each settled worker who was rejected or did not take up the offer of employment, interview notes or other documentation which show the reasons why they have not been employed.
Should you wish to discuss the full list of documents sponsors should retain, please do not hesitate to contact our professional team of immigration solicitors at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 020 7487 8370. You can access more information about us via http://bararassociates.com/.