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Appendix D Guidance for Sponsor Licence Holders

Appendix D Guidance for Sponsor Licence Holders

Last updated: 22 June 2023

Appendix D is a key resource provided by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) that explains the record-keeping requirements for organisations sponsoring overseas workers and students (i.e. employers and education providers). Under the immigration rules, all licenced sponsors are required to comply with their sponsor duties and obligations, one of which relates to record-keeping. Appendix D sets out all of the documents that you need to keep as a sponsor licence holder, the format required, and the duration these must be stored for. It also explains the data protection requirements that you, as a sponsor licence holder, must adhere to when it comes to the information you retain.

Specifically, Appendix D is used by sponsors of overseas nationals on the following types of visa:

It is important to understand the Appendix D document keeping requirements as failure to do so can result in a sponsor licence suspension, revocation or downgrade. Revocation of your sponsor licence will mean that you are no longer able to sponsor overseas nationals, and anyone who is currently sponsored may have their UK visa curtailed. By putting in place a robust process to ensure you keep the documents necessary for each worker or student, and these are easily accessible and stored for the required time, you can avoid any interruption to your ability to sponsor overseas nationals.

What documents do you need to keep as a sponsor?

The following sets out the documents that you must keep as a sponsor licence holder. These are divided into 5 main parts; parts 1 to 4 cover the documents needed for sponsored workers, and part 5 covers the documents needed for students.

Part 1: Documents you must keep for each sponsored worker

As a sponsor, you must keep the following documents for each sponsored person.

  • Evidence that you have carried out a right-to-work check in the UK
  • Evidence of when the sponsored person entered the UK showing they have valid permission to work in the UK – this must show that they arrived in the UK on or after the ‘valid from’ date on their visa
  • National Insurance (NI) number, unless the worker is exempt from requiring one.
  • Latest contact details and history – including UK residential address, personal email, address, and telephone number (mobile and/or landline)
  • A copy of a letter from the child’s parents or legal guardians if the worker is under 18
  • Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS check letter), if required for the role
  • Record of absences
  • Where relevant, any other documents required in the sponsor guidance for employers, Appendix Creative Workers codes of practice or the Sporting code of
    • Practice
  • Global Business Mobility – Service Supplier route sponsors must keep a copy of any contract awarded for the supply of a service and either of the following:
    • A tender document, or
    • Evidence of how the contract was awarded if it was not formally tendered
  • Global Business Mobility – Secondment Worker sponsors must retain a copy of any relevant agreement or contract for goods or investment to which they and the overseas business are parties. For each such agreement or contract, you must also retain the following:
    • Evidence of how you were awarded the contract or investment (e.g. tender application), or
    • A tender document for a contract for goods, or
    • Evidence of how the contract for goods was awarded if it was not formally tendered

Part 2: Documents showing how you recruited your sponsored workers

UKVI requires sponsors to keep documents showing how each sponsored worker was recruited. This is broken down into 2 sub-sections; the first being where a resident labour market test (RLMT) was required, and the second being if an RLMT was not required. If you are still sponsoring workers on visa schemes that were in place before 1st December 2020, you will need to understand the RLMT document requirements.

If you are sponsoring workers on a route that does not require an RLMT, you may need to retain the following:

  • Evidence of the job advertisement – i.e. a copy of the advert and details of where this was placed
  • A list of who applied for the job, how many were shortlisted
  • Evidence of how you chose the most suitable candidate – this must be one of the following:
    • A copy or summary of the interview notes for the successful candidate
    • A list of common interview questions used
    • Brief notes on why the successful candidate was selected and why other candidates were rejected, or
    • Information about the scoring or grading process that was used to identify the successful candidate

If you did not advertise for the role, you will need to provide details of why this was the case – e.g. if the worker was already employed by you or the worker submitted a speculative application, and they met your requirements following an interview and further checks.

Part 3: Evidence of how much you pay sponsored workers

Evidence of pay may include any of the following:

  • Copies of your sponsored worker’s payslips with their name, NI number, tax code, any allowances paid, and deductions made.
  • Evidence of how much and how frequently salaries are paid to each worker – this must show the transfer of each payment into the sponsored worker’s bank account or onto their pre-paid card. This is not required for workers sponsored on the Global Business Mobility – Service Supplier visa route.
  • A copy of any contract of employment or for services or a written statement of employment particulars between the employer and worker showing
    • the names and signatures of all parties involved
    • the start and end dates of the contract
    • details of the job or work that the worker has been contracted to do
    • work hours, and
    • how much the worker will be paid
  • Evidence of the value of worker allowances must be kept unless they are clearly shown in a contract of employment or contract for services or on the worker’s payslips
  • Any other document/s listed in the relevant code of practice

Part 4: Documents showing the skill level of sponsored workers

You will need to keep documents showing the skill level of each sponsored worker, including:

  • Job description, including the duties and responsibilities of the job and the skills, qualifications and experience required
  • Copies of any relevant qualifications held by the workers to confirm their skill level (e.g. degree certificate, references from a previous employer or other evidence of experience)
  • Copies of any registration and professional accreditation documents and/or any confirmation letter the worker is required to have to do their job – e.g. proof of registration with the General Medical Council
  • Details of the worker’s technical or specialist skills for creative workers

Part 5: Documents needed for sponsored students

For each sponsored student or child student, you may need to keep the following:

  • A copy of each sponsored student’s current passport
  • A copy of each sponsored biometric residence permit (BRP) or eVisa
  • A record of each student’s migrant’s absence/attendance
  • Current and past contact details, including their UK residential address, telephone number and mobile telephone number
  • Copy of the Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) clearance certificate if applicable, you must keep a copy
  • For Higher Education Providers (HEP) endorsing migrants under the Start-up route, you must keep evidence of the selection process that resulted in that endorsement
  • If sponsoring a Child Student who is to be cared for in the UK in a private foster care arrangement, you will need to keep and provide details of the name of the foster carer and their address as soon as the student arrives in the UK. This must be provided to the local authority in the area where the child will be living.
  • Copies or originals of any evidence assessed by you as part of the process of making an offer to the student (e.g. copies of references or examination certificates).

Document format

Appendix D does not prescribe a particular format or filing method. The documents you store in accordance with Appendix D can be paper or electronic (or a combination of the two). The key is that you must be able to easily access and make any document available to UKVI on request (e.g. during an onsite compliance visit).

How long do you need to keep the record?

All documents relating to the sponsorship of workers or students in Appendix D must be retained for the full duration of the sponsorship and until whichever is the earlier of:

  • One year from the date on which you end your sponsorship of the worker or Student, or
  • The date on which a compliance officer examined and approved the documents – if less than one year after you ended your sponsorship of the worker or student

In some cases, you may need to keep documents for longer – for example, to comply with the UK’s laws on preventing illegal working. For this reason, it is important to ensure that your processes and procedures for document storage comply with any other legal requirements.

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