Start typing and hit "Enter" to search.
Apr Post Licence Visit What is UKVI Assessing 2

Post Licence Visit – What is UKVI Assessing?

In our recent series of blogs, we have taken a detailed look at various aspects of the Sponsor Licence process, including record keeping, reporting changes, refusals and cooling-off periods, and the pre-licence visit assessment. In this article, we will take a look at what UKVI are looking for during a post-licence visit.

What Is The Purpose Of A UKVI Post-Licence Compliance Visit?

As the name suggests, during a post-licence compliance visit, UKVI is checking whether you, as a Sponsor Licence holder, are properly managing the sponsorship process and you are adhering to your duties and responsibilities. The main purpose of UKVI’s compliance regime is to maintain the integrity of the points-based sponsorship system. In other words, that it is being used for its intended purpose.

According to UKVI, post-licence compliance visits may happen for a number of reasons:

  • UKVI have initiated a visit because they have received information that the sponsoring business may have breached its duties and responsibilities.
  • The sponsor has submitted an application for renewal
  • Another entity within the Home Office has requested the visit as part of a joint operation
  • the sponsor is B-rated and is therefore subject to an action plan that now requires assessment
  • the sponsor has requested the visit
  • a probationary sponsor requires assessment because they have applied for Tier 4 sponsor status
  • the Premium Service team have requested a visit

Post-licence compliance visits may be announced or unannounced, depending on the circumstances. For example, if UKVI is tipped off that a sponsor is using the system to bring in foreign nationals for non-genuine reasons, they are likely to carry out an unannounced visit to ensure any evidence is protected.

What Is Being Assessed During A UKVI Post-Licence Compliance Visit?

During a post-licence compliance visit, the UKVI compliance officer will typically carry out checks in a range of areas, including:

  • your HR systems to ensure you are adhering to your sponsor duties (see below for more details)
  • evidence that your sponsor’s activities pose a threat to the immigration system
  • whether sponsored individuals are complying with the conditions of their leave to stay in the UK
  • whether your business is still trading
  • whether you have been recruiting for genuine vacancies
  • whether sponsored workers have the skills, qualifications, and experience needed to do their job
  • whether you are only recruiting for roles on the list of eligible occupations and that there is no evidence of inflating roles to meet these requirements
  • you are paying the correct level of pay

Whereas a pre-licence compliance visit is about checking that potential sponsors have the systems in place to properly manage sponsored individuals, the post-licence visit is focused on whether this is actually happening. For this reason, you can expect to be asked to provide documents, records, and information by the UKVI compliance officer, which they will check. If they find gaps, they may decide to take further action, including potentially downgrading your sponsor licence to a B-rating. If this happens, corrective action will need to be taken and a further reassessment by UKVI to reinstate your A-rating. If this does not happen, they may then revoke the licence and curtail the leave of your existing sponsored workers.

What Checks Will UKVI Make On Our HR Systems?

As explained above, UKVI will want to see evidence that your business is adhering to the duties of a sponsor licence holder. This means they will check for the following:

You Are Meeting Your Reporting Duties

Under this duty, sponsors have to report certain events within ten or 20 days, depending on what has happened. For example, if a sponsored worker does not arrive at work on the first day, this has to be reported via the SMS system within ten days. If your business changes its name or adds new branches, these must be reported to UKVI within 20 days. For a full list of reporting requirements, see the sponsor guidance. The compliance officer may check that no reports have been missed and that any sent were within the required timescale.

You Are Adhering To The Record-Keeping Duties

The UKVI compliance officer will check that all of the documents/information listed in Appendix D of the sponsor guidance is safely stored and up to date. This includes right to work check documents, copies of passports, qualifications/registration documents, personal contact details of each worker, visa information, copies of BRPs, and National Insurance details. It is essential that your business has a robust and safe system for storing all of this information for each sponsored worker and a method for ensuring it is always up to date.

You Are Complying With The Immigration Laws

UKVI will want to see that you are only employing overseas nationals with the necessary skills and qualifications for a genuine vacancy in an eligible occupation. They will also verify that each worker has the right to work for you and that you are not, even inadvertently employing a person whose visa has expired. For this reason, it is important that your business checks the immigration status of each sponsored person at regular intervals before their visa expires.

You Are Complying With Other Relevant Laws

And finally, UKVI will be alert for any situations where sponsors are not meeting other legal requirements, including UK employment law and data protection laws.

Wrapping Up

While compliance visits should always be taken seriously, there is no cause for concern if you are prepared and have the systems and processes in place to ensure your ongoing compliance. To make sure is the case, you can engage a third party, such as an immigration lawyer, to carry out regular mock audits. Mock audits effectively simulate what would happen during a live UKVI compliance visit and will reveal any gaps or issues which need to be addressed. By taking this approach, you can be confident that no matter what day or time UKVI knock on your door to carry out a compliance audit, you will pass with flying colours.

Get In Touch


Some of our Happy Client

Reiss Edwards Awards

ACQ5 Awards Award
Lexis Nexis
Three Best Rated
Department For International Development
University Of Cambridge
Lexology Legal Influencers
ACQ5 Awards Award ACQ5 Awards Award
Lexis Nexis Lexis Nexis
Three Best Rated Three Best Rated
Department For International Development Department For International Development
University Of Cambridge University Of Cambridge
Lexology Legal Influencers Lexology Legal Influencers

O.L

Andy Tieu is absolutely amazing.

As a lawyer myself I can categorically say that he knows his stuff, gentle, responsive, cares about you and not just about the money, very professional.
I mean I can go on and on!

Andy and the entire team at Reiss Edwards are amazing!

Thanks again Andy.

Kiran Sardar


I found Joe very helpful and tremendous patience which is a must in this professional as there are lots of emotions always involved in each and every case.

The way they dealt with my case during COVID19 Situation is highly appreciable. I would definitely recommend Joe D. and Anna F. Anna is an amazing lady, her patience is beyond my words.

Her hard work and professionalism have no boundaries. She is the right person for all type of cases.

Thanks to Anna and Joe for all your support and guidance which helped me fulfill my dream.

I would say Reiss Edwards is lucky to have Joe D. and Anna F. Great job Reiss Edwards.

thanks once again. Anna you’re a Gem and a Star.

Cheyam Shaked

"Anna Foley was the lawyer helping my partner obtain an EEA EFM visa. She was outstanding. Handling the case with constant correspondence over a lengthy, lockdown delayed 7-month application process. Her expert advice guided us successfully through some difficult times as a result of COVID-19. Some of the best service I have received for any service ever! Often replying to emails late at night, offering to send additional correspondence to the home office and going above and beyond in handling our case! Well done and thank you Reiss Edwards and thank you Anna!!".

Isaac .T

"Professional service. I was very impressed with the fact that my ILR application was successful 6 weeks after the submission amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. I also think the portfolio put together by the team at Reiss Edwards has played a big part in the quick turnaround of my application".

Reiss Edwards Reviews

O.L

"Andy Tieu is absolutely amazing, as a lawyer myself I can categorically say tha...

Read More

Kiran Sardar

"I found Joe very helpful and tremendous patience which is a must in this profes...

Read More

Cheyam Shaked

"Anna Foley was the lawyer helping my partner obtain an EEA EFM visa. She was ou...

Read More

Isaac .T

"Professional service. I was very impressed with the fact that my ILR applicatio...

Read More