Immigration Audit

The Home Office has powers to conduct onsite compliance inspections on any UK employer, without notice.

An immigration audit can help you avoid penalties.

Immigration audit

An immigration audit can help identify and resolve areas of non-compliance in your organisation, to avoid Home Office scrutiny and penalties.

If you are applying for your first sponsorship licence or are making an application to renew, it is likely you may be inspected by immigration officials.

Organisations who hold a UK sponsor licence are also subject to stringent compliance requirements as part of their sponsorship licence duties. You can expect to be visited by the Home Office at any time during your licence period, often without prior notice.

If immigration officers discover issues during an inspection, your organisation could face punitive action.

Your sponsor licence application may be refused or if you already have a licence, it could be suspended or even revoked, impacting your sponsored employees’ visa.

We can help

DavidsonMorris’ immigration audit services can greatly ease the burden of ensuring that your company is, and remains, compliant with all immigration requirements.

As a team of immigration lawyers and former Home Office employees, we have an established reputation for conducting immigration audits and advising employers on compliance with their duties.

As part of our audit and compliance service, we consider a number of different aspects of compliance, which include:

  • Right to Work document checking systems and processes – which documents are acceptable, when documents are checked, how copies are annotated and stored and diarising further required checks.
  • Processes to avoid discrimination whilst complying with Prevention of Illegal Working requirements.
  • Systems addressing immigration requirements such as permitted working hours for students on Tier 4 visas.
  • Systems addressing sponsorship requirements such as minimum skill levels, minimum salary levels and advertising a vacancy to settled workers first.
  • Systems addressing a sponsor licence holder’s duty to report to the Home Office events relating to the sponsored migrants’ employment and circumstances and on certain changes to the business itself.

Where appropriate we will provide sample documentation and suggest changes and suggestions as to how systems can be improved.

Why have an immigration audit?

While sponsor licence holders operate under certain duties, the Home Office regime for the Prevention of Illegal Working also imposes additional duties, mandatory on all UK employers.

Where the Home Office establishes a breach of these duties, the employer becomes exposed to the civil penalty scheme, potential criminal sanctions and restrictions on sponsoring non-EEA nationals to work in the UK.

It is essential for UK organisations to ensure they have the required evidence of employees’ right to work on file, and that HR systems and processes are compliant.

If you do not seek the proper permission to employ workers from overseas, as well as undertake all prescribed documentation checks, you are liable for fines of up to £20,000 per worker and, in some cases, even imprisonment.

The Home Office has powers to conduct site inspections and investigate employers’ immigration compliance systems and processes, personnel records and to interview your migrant workers.

The Home Office does no have to give you advanced notice of the visit. In fact, if you are submitting a sponsor licence renewal, it is likely you will receive a visit as official it look to verify you have been complying with your licence duties for the preceding four-years and so are eligible to have your licence renewed.

Site visits are stressful, and even employers with a good understanding of the rules can easily fall foul of their duties if their processes and documents have been left unchecked for some time.

Don’t let the Home Office pick up on the issues for you.

Need advice?

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020 7494 0118

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Why DavidsonMorris?

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We are a team of immigration lawyers and former Home Office employees, with an established reputation for supporting employers and HR professionals on all aspects of immigration including immigration audit and compliance.

We are highly experienced in all the document and evidentiary requirements vital to a prompt and stress-free immigration audit.


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