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Sponsor Management System: How to add a level 1 user

Sponsor licence holders must ensure that they are using the SMS system to meet their compliance requirements. It is essential that a team of key personnel are recruited in house to ensure the system is running smoothly, this includes a level 1 user who is responsible for the day-to-day management of the SMS.

For more information on how Birmingham Immigration Lawyers can help you, call our friendly team of advisors today on 0121 667 6530 for immediate assistance.


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    The Sponsor Management System (SMS)

    To ensure that a business has full compliance with the terms of their sponsor licence, the organisation must have an appropriate Sponsor Management System in place to manage the application package their sponsor licence appropriately and ensure no terms of the agreement with the Home Office are being breached.

    The Sponsor Management system is a tool implemented by the Home Office which allows a UK sponsor licence holder to keep track of their sponsorship duties, issue certificates of sponsorship, and, update any licence details should that change in the business.

    To ensure the effective running of the SMS system, a business should orchestrate a team of key personnel who will be responsible for running the SMS system on a daily basis to satisfy the sponsorship licence requirements. The Level 1 SMS user is a key person of particular importance; so it is essential to understand how to introduce these key personnel.

    For more information on how Birmingham Immigration Lawyers can help you, call our friendly team of advisors today on 0121 667 6530 for immediate assistance.

    Skilled worker visa

    What does an SMS level 1 user role involve?

    The level 1 user plays an integral role in the daily running of the company’s immigration system and ensures the correct immigration rules are adhered to. An SMS level 1 user has full access to the Home Office Sponsor Management System and should use it to fulfil the sponsor licence requirements for your compliance with immigration advice.

    A level 1 user SMS can do the following on the system:

    • Assign a certificate of sponsorship to a new migrant worker
    • Report migrant activity and change of circumstances
    • View and amend information about your licence
    • Apply to renew your sponsor licence

    Who can be added as a level 1 user SMS?

    At the point of application, a company must only nominate one user who will take on the SMS level 1 user role. The person you nominate must be an employee or a person such as a trustee or office director.

    To take on any key personnel roles, the nominated individual must meet the following criteria:

    • Based in the UK and working here on a permanent basis
    • They must not be subjected to a bankruptcy restriction order or a debt relief restriction order
    • They must not have any history of non-compliance with sponsor licence requirements
    • They must not be contracted for a specific project

    As part of the recruitment process, you must ensure that the nominated level 1 user is free of any past unspent criminal convictions or immigration breaches.

    Do you need help applying for a Sponsor Licence? Our lawyers can assist you. Get in touch

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      Can more than one level 1 user be added?

      For an effective running of your SMS, it is recommended by UKVI that the implementation of new users is minimised wherever possible. However, after you have been approved for a sponsor licence, you are able to nominate further level 1 users.

      At least one of your SMS level 1 user must be a paid employee within your company. If you would wish to nominate somebody from a third party organisations third-party organisation, it must be a person who assists with your HR services or they must be a UK-based legal representative.

      Adding more than one level 1 user can make things complex and could impair the running of the system, so additional users should only be added if it is absolutely necessary for day-to-day management.

      What if my level 1 user leaves the company?

      If for example, your level 1 user wishes to resign from your company, they must surrender their role within your SMS network. A level 1 user is not able to deactivate themselves so this must be done by an authorising officer or a more senior and competent person within the SMS.

      If you have no other level 1 body in the post, you must nominate a new one and submit a sponsor change of circumstances form which can be obtained from the Gov.UK website.

      Users may be aware of an ‘amend’ button within the system, but this is not to be used to request or create new level 1 users. Any requests made this way will be rejected and will be required to be repeated the correct way.

      Can one single employee have more than one role within the SMS?

      A nominated employee can take on more than one role within the sponsor management system. Each key personnel role can be filled by various different employees or the same person. However, there must only be one authorising officer and the key contact within the sponsorship management system itself. If for example, your nominated authorising officer was willing to take on a level 1 role too, this would be fully permitted.

      Only level 1 and level 2 users have access to the online tool and systems to make changes or assign a CoS. A level 2 user cannot make any changes but is able to assign Certificates of Sponsorship accordingly.

      It should be kept in mind that if your sponsor requirements an authorising officer or key contact needs to be given permission to access the SMS online, they must also be appointed as level 1 or 2 users when you apply for your sponsorship licence.

      What will happen if a person in the SMS breaches the sponsor licence requirements?

      Anybody who breaches the requirements set out in the terms of their sponsor licence faces serious repercussions from the Home Office. This could include having your sponsor licence revoked, downgraded or suspended.

      Illegal working is strictly prohibited and if a company is found to be participating in illegal immigration activity, they will be dealt with severely and could face a penalty of up to £20,000 per person discovered to be working illegally within the company.

      This is why the role of the level 1 user is so integral to the running of the sponsor management system. It is essential that they regularly access the system and make any updates required at the first possible opportunity.

      How can Birmingham Immigration Lawyers help?

      Birmingham Immigration Lawyers are experts in the immigration law field and are ready and waiting to offer you or your company the expert advice to require for your compliance.

      Whether it be how to manage your existing management system or to apply for a new sponsor licence, our lawyers have the knowledge and tools to assist you in legally recruiting overseas workers in your UK organisation.

      For more information on how Birmingham Immigration Lawyers can help you, call our friendly team of advisors today on 0121 667 6530 for immediate assistance.

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