What is Sponsorship Management System (SMS)?
Once licensed, all sponsors are given access to the sponsorship management System or SMS. This online function allows sponsors to carry out day-to-day activities and report any changes to the Home Office, such as a change of address.
- Sponsors will be able to undertake a variety of activities including, but not limited to:
- Manage or renew the organisation’s licence or services
- Create and assign Certificates of Sponsorship (CoS) to workers
- Apply for defined CoS for Skilled Workers
- Report changes in circumstances of your sponsored workers, including
- withdrawal of sponsorship
The SMS account is also a source of information about the organisation’s sponsor licence. Users will be able to see details of how many SMS users have been appointed and who they are, the date the licence will expire, the number of CoS left to assign, and when the allocation of CoS will expire. The SMS account also has a ‘message board’ where the Home Office will post useful messages, such as information about updates to the sponsor guidance.
Level 1 and Level 2 Users
The SMS allows users two access levels – ‘Level 1’ and ‘Level 2’. The level decides the type of access (permissions) the user has to the system and the functions they can perform.
The level 1 user(s) will usually be the person or people undertaking the company’s day-to-day immigration work. Level 1 users have full access to the SMS, from which all functions of your licence are operated.
All level 1 users need to access their SMS account regularly to review and update their licence details and to keep up to date with the latest news, messages, and any changes that may be coming up. The recommended frequency for a Level 1 User to access their account is at least once a month.
You must have at least one Level 1 User who is an employee, partner or director of your organisation in place throughout the life of your licence. If the Home Office finds out that an organisation has no Level 1 User, it may revoke the sponsor licence. Home Office may also revoke your licence if you have no SMS users in place at all.
Level 2 users will have fewer permissions on the system than level 1 users. A level 2 user can only assign certificates of sponsorship and report worker activity. This optional key personnel position is usually utilised in large corporations to manage responsibilities more effectively
Consequences of Non- Compliance
For the Home Office, the sponsorship management system is a crucial instrument. The system’s data tracks sponsors and the foreign workers they employ. As a result, it mandates that the information constantly be updated and preserved. Additionally, the level 1 SMS user is responsible for reporting certain migrant activities within a specific time limit.
The Home Office has a number of options for responding to a sponsor licence guidance violation, including downgrading the licence rating, suspending the licence, or even cancelling the licence entirely.
If a migrant worker is discovered to be working illegally, the employer may be subject to consequences including but not limited to a significant civil penalty or criminal prosecution.
Therefore, SMS users of an organisation must regularly access the system to review and update the licence details. In addition, it is also necessary to keep informed of any changes made by the Home Office to the rules and adapt the company’s processes and policies accordingly
How can we help with your SMS (Sponsorship Management System)?
Our specialist team excels at immigration compliance advice, and we work with employers at all stages of their licence to support compliance, management and licence renewals. We can assist organisations with end-to-end SMS management, reporting duties, adherence to reporting timelines and Key personnel identification from the earliest stages of the Sponsor License application. Contact Us to learn more about how we can help you with your SMS management and ensure complete compliance with Home office guidelines.