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Keeping Documents - Guidance for Sponsors under Tier 2 & Tier 5

08 August 2019 Grace McGill Blog

The documents can be kept either as paper copies or in an electronic format. There is no prescribed method for storing the documents, but you must be able to make them available to the Home Office on request.

All documents relating to a migrant whom you sponsor must be kept throughout the period that you sponsor them and until:

  • one year has passed from the date on which you end your sponsorship of the migrant, or
  • the date on which a compliance officer has examined and approved them, if this is less than one year after you ended your sponsorship of the migrant You may need to retain some documents specified in this appendix for other purposes (for example, to comply with legislation on preventing illegal working) and for longer periods of time.

You must ensure that you meet any other legal requirements for record keeping, such as ones set either by the Home Office or another government department. All documents provided as part of your application to become a licensed sponsor must be kept throughout the duration of your licence.

For each migrant sponsored under Tier 2 or Tier 5

a. Copy of each sponsored migrant’s current passport.

You must copy pages showing the migrant’s personal identity details (including biometric details) and any relevant entry clearances (visas) or leave to enter stamps showing the migrant’s entitlement to work for you as a licensed sponsor. The only exception to this is when a migrant is employed for one day or less and it is not practicable to obtain a copy of the documents.

b. Evidence of the migrant’s date of entry to the UK.

You must always check the date on which the migrant entered the UK to ensure they entered during the validity of their Tier 2 or Tier 5 visa and therefore have permission to work for you. If they entered before the ‘valid from’ date on their visa, they will not have permission to work. If this happens, you should advise the migrant to leave the Common Travel Area (UK, Guernsey, Jersey, Isle of Man and Ireland) and re-enter the UK within the validity of their visa. In most cases, you can check the date of entry by looking for an entry stamp, in the form of a wet ink stamp, from an immigration officer. This will normally be endorsed on the migrant’s visa, unless they entered the UK without a visa under the Tier 5 creative and sporting visa concession (see below).

You must make a copy of this stamp. There are some circumstances in which the migrant may not have an entry stamp, including:

  • migrants who hold a valid visa and entered the UK through Ireland
  • nationals of Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea and the United States of America – since 20 May 2019, nationals of these countries have been eligible to use automated ePassport gates (‘eGates’) to enter the UK if they hold a valid visa If the migrant does not have an entry stamp in their passport, you must still check the date of entry by asking to see other evidence, including, but not limited to, travel tickets or a boarding pass (in paper or electronic form).

You must then make a record of the date that the migrant entered the UK, but do not have to retain evidence of the date.

Important note – Tier 5 creative and sporting visa concession If the migrant is eligible to enter the UK without a visa under the Tier 5 creative and sporting visa concession, they must have an entry stamp from an immigration officer clearly showing that they have been given leave to enter with permission to work for you. If the migrant used the eGates to enter the UK, they will not have permission to work and must therefore leave the Common Travel Area and seek reentry to the UK, making sure that they see an immigration officer on arrival. If the migrant will be entering the UK under the concession via Ireland, they must apply for leave to enter before arriving in the UK by using the ‘remote clearance process’.

c. If the migrant entered the UK with a short-term biometric visa (valid for 30 days).

They must collect their BRP before this visa expires, or within 10 days of their arrival, whichever is later. You must make a copy of the migrant’s BRP.

d. If you employed a Croatian national who was subject to worker authorisation before 1 July 2018.

A copy of their Purple Registration Certificate showing entitlement to work for you as their sponsor.

e. Copy of the migrant’s National Insurance (NI) number unless the migrant is exempt from requiring one.

This could be a copy of one of the following:

  • migrant’s NI card or NI number notification letter from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) or the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP)
  • biometric resident permit, if this shows their NI number
  • migrant’s wage slip
  • migrant’s P45
  • Real Time Information (RTI) starter checklist - formerly P46
  • P60
  • P11 free of tax pay (FOT): employer’s declaration sent to HMRC
  • RTI Employment Payment Summary (EPS) sent online to HMRC - formerly P14: employers annual return sent to HMRC manually
  • RTI Full Payment Submission (FPS) sent online to HMRC - formerly P35: employer’s annual return to HMRC

f. A history of the migrant’s contact details

This must always be kept up to date. (UK residential address, telephone number, mobile telephone number).

g. In the case of the employment of a child aged under 18.

 A copy of a letter from the migrant’s parents or legal guardians, or just one parent if that parent has sole legal responsibility for the child, consenting to the arrangements that have been made with regard to the child’s application, travel, reception and care arrangements in the UK.

h. A copy of the migrant’s Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check.

Where required for the role undertaken by the sponsored migrant.

i. Record of the migrant’s absences, which may be kept electronically or manually.

j. Any other document set out in the relevant code of practice in Appendix J to the Immigration Rules and, where relevant, the Code of Practice for Sports Governing Bodies.

k. If you are licensed under Tier 5 (Temporary Worker) International Agreement to sponsor contractual service suppliers or independent professionals

You must keep a copy of any contract you have awarded for the supply of service to you and either of the following:

  • the tender document for that contract
  • evidence of how the contract was awarded if it was not formally tendered.

The full published guidance can be sourced here.

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