Sponsor Licence holders are subject to compliance audits by the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI). UKVI has the right to visit any business premises with or without prior intimation. More often these visits happen without prior notice as Home Office need not have to give you advance notice of the visit.
If inconsistencies are found when you have applied for sponsor licence your application may be refused or if you already have a licence, it could be downgraded or suspended or even revoked, impacting your sponsored employees’ visas and your business.
The purpose of the UKVI compliance audit is to verify whether you have complied with the sponsorship duties and specific requirements. These audits will involve interviewing your nominated officers to check if they have full knowledge of sponsor duties. UKVI Validation Officers will also interview a few of your sponsored employees. They will examine your internal compliance systems, check if you are maintaining the mandatory records of migrant employees, review job descriptions, salary records, hours, work location to check if these are consistent with Certificates of Sponsorship and check if you are complying with Prevention of Illegal Working requirements.
Validation visits are stressful, and even the sponsors with good knowledge of sponsor duties and record keeping can easily faulter if they have not been up to date in carrying out checks on visa validity or updating records or failed to report change of circumstances. When a business is found to be in breach of immigration rules by employing a migrant without right to work, a civil penalty for illegal employment may be served up to £20,000.00 per breach.