What is a Sponsor Licence Management System?

Business team using Sponsor Licence Management Systems

Sponsor licence management systems are an essential online tool for sponsoring organisations. These government systems are used to connect with UKVI (UK Visas and Immigration) and ensure you’re sponsoring overseas workers within UK guidelines.

If you’re new to sponsor licences, then you might be unsure about where to start with the sponsor licence management system. In this post, we’ll guide you through the different user roles and explain what you can do with the system.

What are the sponsor licence management system roles?

Your staff won’t have automatic access to the sponsor licence management system. Instead, you’ll need to assign certain roles to key personnel in your organisation, so they can manage the daily sponsorship tasks. Some – or all – of these key personnel will have access to the system.

These roles are:

  • Authorising officer – senior member of staff who is in charge of recruiting migrant workers and ensuring compliance with the sponsorship duties
  • Key contact – acts as the main contact with UKVI
  • Level 1 user – responsible for carrying out day-to-day sponsorship tasks on the sponsor management system (SMS)
  • Level 2 user – responsible for carrying out certain sponsorship tasks on the SMS, but with restricted access

You can only have one authorising officer and key contact. However, you can request further Level 1 users, and add more Level 2 users. Whilst there is no specific upper limit for Level 1 or Level 2 users, you should ensure you keep them at a level you can reasonably manage. This way, security and accountability are kept to the highest standards.

Keep in mind that only Level 1 and Level 2 users will have access to the SMS. So, if your authorising officer and key contact want access, they will need to be added to the system in one of these user roles.

Key personnel roles can be taken by the same person – e.g., the authorising officer can also act as the key contact, Level 1 and Level 2 user. You should also always ensure that your proposed key personnel meet the eligibility criteria.

What can you do with the sponsor licence management system?

With the sponsor licence management system, staff who are assigned to the Level 1 or 2 roles can fulfil the organisation’s required sponsorship tasks. This can include daily activities, as well as those required to ensure compliance.

Ensuring that you comply with the requirements of the sponsorship licence is essential, including on the SMS. You must ensure that every team member has the necessary training and support when utilising the system. Failure to comply could result in:

  • Your sponsor licence being downgraded
  • Suspension of your licence
  • Your licence being revoked
  • Civil penalties or criminal prosecution (if you are found to be employing migrant workers illegally)

Some of the tasks verified users can carry out within the sponsor licence management system include:

Managing CoS and/or CAS

To hire overseas workers, you’ll first need to issue them with a Certificate of Sponsorship. You can assign these via the SMS. You can also issue Confirmations of Acceptance for Studies with this system.

Level 1 or 2 users can assign CoS, but only Level 1 users can withdraw them. Level 1 users can also request to increase the number of CoS they are allowed to assign.

Reporting worker/student activities

Any relevant activities of the overseas workers or students can also be reported to UKVI through the SMS. Although Level 1 and 2 users can both report these activities, Level 2 users can only report on workers for whom they have personally assigned a CoS.

Key personnel management

Level 1 users can use the SMS to request additional Level 1 users, as well as add and remove Level 2 users.

Tracking licence renewals

You can use the SMS to track your sponsor licence renewal. However, this will no longer be necessary for most businesses due to the update which automatically renews licences for ten years.

You should also be aware that if your licence has already expired or been revoked, then you won’t be able to log in to the SMS.

Track action plans

If your sponsor licence is downgraded from an A to a B rating due to a compliance breach, then you will need to pay for an action plan. You’ll use this plan to show you’ve taken the necessary steps to correct your compliance (and reinstate your A rating). You can pay and track the plan via the SMS.

Viewing home office messages

Level 1 users can view messages from UKVI here, including important messages regarding the licence status.

Applying for a sponsorship licence with immigration solicitors

Applying for a sponsor licence can be a complex process – and it’s important to note that this blog post is for informational purposes only. If you’re unsure about who you can assign to key personnel roles, or how to respond when your licence is suspended, experienced immigration solicitors can advise you at every stage.

At Osbourne Pinner Solicitors, we provide a free, no-obligation consultation, so you can discuss your circumstances with our expert lawyers. You can apply through the online form below or by sending an email to [email protected]. Alternatively, you can call our helpful team on 0203 983 5080.

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