Inheriting Responsibility of the Sponsor Management System (SMS)
If you have recently been appointed a Human Resource Manager or you are inheriting responsibility of the immigration department of your firm, here are some useful tips to get you started on the Sponsor Management System (SMS).
The Sponsor Management System gives the Sponsor (company you work for) the ability to provide the Home Office with regular updates regarding key contact details, and Tier 2 sponsored migrants. This is also where applications for Certificates of Sponsorship are managed.
Top 3 tips for understanding the Sponsor Management System you have just inherited:
- You must login to gain access to the SMS. The Level 1 user should have a unique ID (a jumble of letters and numbers that the Home Office assign) along with a password.
- Once you are in the system check that the Authorising Officer, Key Contact and Level 1 User are up to date on the licence. Look on the Licence Summary tab in order to check the names are up to date: if anyone is listed on this page that no longer works for the company, updating this should be a first priority.
- There is no list of the migrants you currently sponsor on the system. You will need a list of employees you believe you sponsor under Tier 2. You can check the details of these employees using their surname and passport number or date of birth. On the SMS this information is held under the workers tab, then View CoS tab, then Search for CoS. Salary and job title for the employee should be accurate.
The following is an explanation of the key roles on a Sponsor Management System, all of which are specified when a business applies for the licence. The names need to be updated if these people cease working for the company:
- Authorising Officer: has ultimate responsibility with the Home Office for staying compliant with the immigration rules. The Authorising Officer must be the most senior person responsible for the recruitment of all migrant workers and be a paid member of staff.
- Key Contact: will be contacted by the Home Office regarding the licence application and any documentation. The Key Contact must be a paid member of staff.
- Level 1 User: Level 1 Users can manage the Certificates of Sponsorship on your licence, and update work addresses etc. They are essentially the HR of the Sponsor Management System.
On occasion and depending on which one of the Key Personnel you have been appointed as. The Home Office will send reminder emails, some of which are set out below:
- Applications for certificates of sponsorship in the un-restricted category. Applications must be receive by 05 April for the next financial year. The Authorising Officer on the licence receives reminders about the deadline for the applications in the new year. These applications are free of charge.
- Licence renewal: Three months before the end of your licence the Home Office remind you that you will need to renew in order to continue to sponsor any employee holding a visa to work.
Taking over the responsibility of the Sponsor Management System can be a daunting task. It is advisable to get initial advice from a regulated Advisor or Solicitor so you understand fully the responsibilities set out by the UKVI.