As a UK business hiring foreign workers, an important part of your sponsor duties is maintaining records of your sponsored workers. We detail the documents you need to keep on hand and how you can stay compliant with the Home Office.

As a business with a UK sponsor licence, you have many duties and responsibilities, one of which is having systems in place to ensure that any migrants working for you can be monitored during the course of their employment. If you do not keep an adequate record of their contact details and other important documents pertaining to their employment, your sponsor licence could be suspended or revoked by the UKVI when they do an inspection.

Read more: UK corporate sponsorships and non-compliance: the consequences

Documents to maintain for sponsored workers

Sponsored workers’ contact details and other relevant information need to be stored as either physical or digital copies.

For each sponsored worker you must keep the following documents:

  • Evidence that you have carried out a compliant right to work check 
  • A copy of their current passport (personal details page and any relevant UK immigration endorsements)
  • Evidence of their date of entry to the UK
  • A copy of their biometric residence permit (BRP)
  • A copy of their National Insurance (NI) number
  • A historic record of their personal contact details, including their UK residential address, personal email address, telephone number (mobile and/or landline) – must always be kept up to date
  • A record of their absences
  • Details of the salary they are being paid, including how frequently they are being paid and evidence that it is being paid to them
  • Details of their employment contract, including the start and end dates of the contract, their working hours and job description
  • Copies of relevant qualifications and relevant accreditations that confirm the skill level needed for the role they have been hired for. 

Read more: The dos and don’ts of right to work checks: The employer’s guide

While employers no longer have to conduct a Residence Labour Market Test when advertising, new guidance confirms employers must still retain evidence of any recruitment activity undertaken. If the role was not advertised, employers must be able to explain how the worker was recruited. This information is required for the Home Office to establish that the role is a genuine vacancy.

With this in mind, you should also keep the following documents on file:

  • Evidence of the job advertisement 
  • A list of people who applied for the job and how many were shortlisted 
  • Where a recruitment process was carried out, objective reasons why unsuccessful applicants were rejected and how you chose the candidate. This can include interview notes or information about the scoring or grading process that was used to identify the successful candidate

Other recommended documents that you should keep records of include:

  • A copy of the sponsored worker’s Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS)
  • A copy of the Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) code for the role as of the date of assigning the CoS to the sponsored worker which shows the minimum salary level for jobs within that SOC code
  • A copy of the sponsored worker’s CV
  • Evidence that shows how the sponsored worker meets the English language requirement
  • Copies of any notifications made on the Sponsor Management System in respect of any change of circumstances for the sponsored worker
  • Letters of promotion or changes in respect to the sponsored worker’s salary, job title, core duties or place of work

It is also imperative to have a system in place where sponsored workers can easily update their contact information. As a sponsor, you have a duty to regularly remind your staff that this needs to be done.

How long must records be retained?

You must maintain these records for the entire period the worker is sponsored and keep these records for whichever is shorter of the following:

  • One year from the date sponsorship of the migrant ends
  • The point at which a compliance officer has examined and approved the documents (if the migrant is no longer sponsored)

Conduct an internal audit

It is good practice to conduct a comprehensive immigration compliance audit to identify any gaps in your HR practices when it comes to sponsoring workers from overseas. Maintaining migrant contact details and record keeping is only one of your sponsor duties. Retaining the services of an external company to conduct a “health check” on your whole system will provide a level of governance to ensure that you avoid penalties from UKVI when they conduct their own inspection.

Our Business Immigration team is able to conduct a comprehensive immigration compliance audit to ensure that you will pass a UKVI inspection.

Our experienced team in the UK can guide you through the compliance process, along with assisting you with applications for sponsor licences as well as Skilled Worker visa applications for any prospective employees.

Contact us on +44 (0) 20 7759 5307 or at

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