Immigration crackdown: 6 ways to protect your business

The Home Office has announced that it will be cracking down on immigration non-compliance in 2023. Here are some practical ways to prepare for a surprise visit so you don’t lose your sponsor licence.

According to the Office for National Statistics, there are an estimated 241,000 migrant workers employed in the UK restaurant industry. Yet, 71% of businesses that received civil penalties for breaking immigration law in London and South East England were restaurants or takeaways.

The Home Office has announced that it will be cracking down on immigration non-compliance in 2023. When you are non-complaint with UKVI, you can lose your sponsor licence, which means your employees will lose their right to work in the UK. You can also be fined up to £20,000 per illegal worker. 

The Home office can make an inspection visit at any point during the four-year validity of your sponsorship license. These visits aren’t always announced beforehand so it’s crucial that you have everything in order.

Related Articles

Sable International’s immigration audit service can help ensure that you meet all the Home Office requirements. Their specialists can check that you have the correct processes and human resources practices in place and that you are compliant with your legal responsibilities as an employer.


Here are Sable International’s top tips to help you prepare for any surprise visits by the Home Office. 

1. Conduct right to work checks

The recruitment process should include a screening stage for verifying the identity, qualifications and right to work status of candidates. You must conduct a right to work check on every candidate who applies for the position, even if they are a British citizen and not subject to immigration control. You will have to show evidence of this during an inspection. 

You must obtain the original documents from the candidate to confirm their identity as well as their right to work in the UK. It’s imperative to keep a photocopy or electronic copy of their passport, UK immigration status document, or online right to work check, and make these documents available to the Home Office on request.

2. Maintain up-to-date contact details

The Home Office expects sponsors to keep a record of each sponsored migrant worker’s contact details, including address, phone numbers and personal email address. These should be made available upon request. This should also include a historic record of any previous addresses.

3. Keep records for sponsored workers


Sponsors must keep all important documents for their sponsored workers as required by the Home Office. These documents include:

  • Job references from previous employers
  • Copies of any educational and professional certificates
  • Any required professional licenses
  • Details of how the worker was hired (copies of any advertisements, details of responses, interview notes etc.)

4. Report changes to Home Office

One of the most important duties for sponsors is reporting. You need to have a system to keep track of your sponsored workers’ attendance and work hours. You should report any significant changes such as their job title or core duties, or if they are absent without leave for more than 10 consecutive days to the Home Office. 

If there are important changes to your business, like changing the name of the company or selling part of the business, the sponsor must report it to the Home Office within 20 working days

5. Ensure you comply with the general sponsor duties

Sponsors need to make sure everyone who uses the Sponsorship Management System (SMS) is aware of their duties and responsibilities as a licenced sponsor. You must also have a plan to keep track of and manage the Certificates of Sponsorship (CoS) you issue and have a process in place to notify the Home Office if anything changes. 

To ensure standards are maintained, you should conduct an internal audit of your systems, processes and documents to check if they meet the Home Office’s requirements.

6. Conduct a mock immigration audit

One of the best ways to prepare yourself for an unannounced visit from Home Office is to carry out an immigration audit on your business. Sable International can provide a full mock Home Office audit on your business to ensure that there are no gaps in your compliance armour, so you can be confident that you will pass the inspection.

Sable International understands the complexity of UK immigration law and the issues that could lead to non-compliance. Their experienced team in the UK can guide you through these complexities. Contact Sable International on +44 (0) 20 7759 5307 or at workpermits@sableinternational.com to find out  more. 

Back to top button