Record keeping guidance for Points-Based System sponsors updated
13 August 2019
The Home Office has made significant updates to Appendix D to the guidance for Points-Based System sponsors, which sets out sponsors’ record keeping duties.
The main changes clarify the required procedures and documents sponsors must keep for their sponsored migrants following the introduction e-Passport gate access to individuals from Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea and the USA from 20 May. It has also been updated to cover the procedures and documents that must be kept where a migrant has entered the UK via Ireland.
Sponsors should be aware that they must satisfy themselves that their sponsored migrants entered the UK on or after the date their sponsored visa became valid, and that they did not enter as a visitor.
In most cases, this can be done by checking and copying a wet stamp endorsed by an immigration officer in the migrant’s passport at the time they entered the UK.
However, if the migrant enters through an e-passport gate or via Ireland, including Tier 5 creative and sporting migrants who enter the UK for three months or less from Ireland using the remote clearance process that was implemented in February, they will not receive a wet stamp in their passport when they arrive in the UK. In these cases, sponsors should check paper-based or electronic evidence of arrival, including (but not limited to) travel tickets or a boarding pass.
Sponsors do not need to keep copies of the evidence of entry that they have checked, however they must still check and copy the visa and make a record of the date the migrant entered the UK. One way to do this is to add wording to the sponsor’s usual right to work endorsement such as ‘Date of entry verified to be [date]’.
Where checks reveal that a migrant has entered the UK before their visa became valid, sponsors are directed to advise the migrant to leave the common travel area (which includes the UK, Guernsey, Jersey, the Isle of Man and Ireland) and to re-enter before they start work.
All Tier 5 creative and sporting migrants other than those who use the remote clearance process must either have a visa or a wet stamp in their passport. It is therefore prudent for sponsors to explicitly tell Tier 5 creative and sporting migrants from low-risk countries who are coming to the UK for three months or less not to use an e-passport gate and to have their passport stamped by an Immigration Officer on arrival. Otherwise, they will be automatically landed as a visitor and will not be allowed to work. Where this happens, sponsors should advise the migrant to leave the common travel area and re-enter, ensuring that they see an immigration officer and receive a wet stamp before they start work.
Separately, the guidance on record keeping for Tier 2 resident labour market testing (RLMT) has been amended to state that the screenshot of a Find a Job advertisement should include the vacancy reference number only if one exists. The previous version of the guidance was unclear regarding whether a vacancy reference number needed to be included on Find a Job screenshots in all cases, so this amendment is helpful.
If you have any queries about these changes, please do get in touch with a member of the immigration team or your usual contact.
Read more on the Sponsor guidance appendix D here.