Sponsorship Management System and SMS Roles

When you wish to bring migrant workers to the UK, your first step is to obtain the correct type of licence from the Home Office for your business. This licence is commonly known as a ‘sponsor licence,’ and it designates employers as ‘sponsors’ once they receive approval. Obtaining the licence is, in a way, a new beginning for your business in a new direction in terms of employment processes. Every business that holds a sponsorship licence must pay significant attention to what happens after that, even before making an application for a Sponsorship Licence.

UKVI has created a significant number of guidelines to help businesses understand their responsibilities. In this blog post, we will explain the “key personnel” for the Sponsorship Management System (SMS) you will be creating and maintaining as a sponsorship licence-holder business.

Sponsorship Management System Key Personnel:

To embark on the journey of sponsoring employees, it’s crucial to grasp the core elements involved. The foundation of this process lies in identifying responsible individuals within your organisation who will take charge of managing the sponsorship. These designated personnel will wield the sponsorship management system (SMS) as their primary tool.

The sponsorship process entails several distinct roles, each with its own significance:

  • Authorising Officer: A seasoned professional tasked with overseeing the actions carried out by staff and representatives utilising the SMS.
  • Level 1 User: The individual responsible for the day-to-day management of the licence through the SMS, making practical decisions that drive the process forward. 
  • Key Contact: The primary point of contact with UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI), ensuring seamless and effective communication throughout the sponsorship process.
  • Level 2 User: Level 2 Users are optional users with more limited access compared to Level 1 users in maintaining and using the system and may not be relevant to many businesses.

These roles can be fulfilled by a single person or shared among multiple individuals within your organisation, depending on your structure and needs. Access to the Sponsorship Management System is granted exclusively to Level 1 and 2 users. Should the Authorising Officer or Key Contact require access, they must also be designated as Level 1 or Level 2 Users.

There is an exception for UK Expansion Workers. If the business is a branch, and a UK Expansion Worker is being appointed to the UK, these roles can be held by the designated UK Expansion Workers. They might hold these responsibilities during their stay in the UK under a UK Expansion Worker Visa or transfer them to the staff they hire as they establish the UK branch of the OVerseas Business.

Apart from the above exception, at the heart of the sponsorship process is the requirement for at least one Level 1 user to be a settled worker or British Citizen who is an employee or office holder within your organisation. Once the key structure is established, there is flexibility to engage additional users from third-party organisations offering HR services or even temporary staff sourced through agencies for your company’s SMS duties.

Eligibility of Key Personnel:

Each designated Key Personnel must adhere to certain criteria:

  • They must be located in the UK for the duration of their role, with specific exceptions outlined, such as the UK Expansion Worker route.
  • Unspent criminal convictions, as detailed in Annex L4 guidance, are not permissible.
  • They must be a paid staff member or ‘office holder,’ with outlined exceptions for certain cases.

Incorporating UK-Based Legal Representatives to your SMS:

Qualified UK-based legal representatives can assume any role except that of the authorising officer. These representatives must possess the relevant regulations to provide immigration advice or services.

At Immigration Connection, we offer comprehensive guidance to businesses that are applying for Sponsorship Licence. We ensure every step of your project is explained to you accurately and implemented with the highest standards. 

Pre-Consultancy: We assess your readiness and determine the appropriate licence type for your business.

Sponsorship Licence Application: We assist you in the application process and help you choose the right people for your Sponsorship Management System.

Training: Our experts provide training to help you effectively manage your Sponsorship Management System, ensuring compliance with UKVI regulations and preventing licence revocation.

Application Submission: We handle the submission of applications to bring migrant workers on board.

Our dedicated team will understand your business dynamics, whether it be a branch or a UK-based business and identify the requirements relevant to your business. 

We will provide insights into your likelihood of successfully completing the hiring process.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us for a complimentary consultation. We’re here to assist you throughout the process.

A Sponsorship Licence, issued by the Home Office, designates your business as a ‘sponsor,’ allowing you to hire skilled migrant workers from outside the UK. It’s a vital requirement for businesses seeking to employ foreign workers in the UK. To obtain a ‘sponsorship licence’ you need to submit an application following the UKVI regulations and procedures.

The SMS is a crucial tool for managing your sponsorship responsibilities. It helps you track and oversee various aspects of your sponsorship, ensuring compliance with UKVI regulations. Effective use of the SMS is essential to maintaining your licence. If not effectively managed your licence can be revoked.

The SMS involves several key roles:

Authorising Officer: Oversees the activities of staff and representatives utilising the SMS.

Level 1 User: Manages day-to-day SMS operations.

Key Contact: Facilitates communication with UK Visas and Immigration.

Level 2 User: Optional, a user with limited access.

Key personnel must meet certain criteria, including being located in the UK, having no unspent criminal convictions, and being a paid staff member or office holder. Additional eligibility conditions may apply.

Yes, qualified UK-based legal representatives can play various roles within your SMS, except for the Authorising Officer. They must have the necessary immigration advice or services credentials and authorisation.

Feel free to contact us for more information and a complimentary consultation. We’re here to guide you through the process and ensure your business successfully sponsors workers in the UK.

Immigration Connection provides comprehensive support for businesses seeking a Sponsorship Licence. Our services include Pre-Consultancy to assess your readiness and licence type, assistance with the Sponsorship Licence Application, training for managing the Sponsorship Management System, and handling the application submission process. We also offer insights into successfully completing the hiring process and provide a complimentary consultation.

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