Home Office compliance visits and audits are conducted to assess the compliance of UK employers who hold a sponsor licence to sponsor non-EEA nationals under the Points-Based System (PBS), including the Skilled Worker and other relevant work visa categories.

These visits are a way for the Home Office to ensure that sponsors are adhering to their sponsor licence obligations and maintaining compliance with immigration rules.

It is essential for sponsors to be well-prepared for compliance visits and to maintain accurate records and robust HR systems to demonstrate compliance with their sponsor licence obligations.

In case of any doubts or concerns, seeking advice from qualified immigration solicitors can be beneficial.

If you need legal advice or assistance with the preparation for the Home Office compliance visit, contact our sponsorship licence solicitors at 0203 417 3700.

Page Contents

  1. What is the purpose of a compliance visit?
  2. What are the common types of compliance visits?
  3. Audits and record checks
  4. The outcome of compliance visits
  5. What is the role of the compliance officer?
  6. Need Legal Advice & Assistance?

What is the purpose of a compliance visit?

The primary purpose of compliance visits is to verify that the sponsor is meeting its sponsorship duties and responsibilities, including:

  • Keeping accurate and up-to-date records of sponsored employees.
  • Ensuring sponsored employees have the right to work in the UK and meet the visa requirements.
  • Reporting relevant changes or events to the Home Office within the required timeframes.
  • Complying with advertising and recruitment processes for specific visa categories.
  • Maintaining genuine employment and not engaging in illegal or unethical practices.

What are the common types of compliance visits?

There are three different types of compliance visits that the Home Office may conduct:

  1. Unannounced Visits
  2. Pre-Licence Compliance Visit
  3. Post-Licence Compliance Visit

Unannounced Visits

These visits are conducted without prior notice to the sponsor. The Home Office can visit the sponsor's premises to assess compliance at any time.

Pre-Licence Compliance Visit

This visit may be conducted before granting a sponsor licence to assess whether the sponsor is ready to meet their duties.

Post-Licence Compliance Visit

After obtaining a sponsor licence, the Home Office may conduct a visit to ensure that the sponsor is complying with their obligations.

Audits and record checks

During a compliance visit, Home Office officials may request access to the sponsor's records, including employee details, Right to Work checks, and other relevant documentation. They will review these records to verify compliance with the sponsor licence requirements.

Home Office officials may interview key personnel, such as HR managers or employees, to gain further insights into the sponsor's processes and compliance procedures.

The outcome of compliance visits

Based on the findings of the compliance visit or audit, the Home Office may take various actions, including:

  • Providing feedback and guidance to the sponsor on areas for improvement.
  • Requiring the sponsor to take specific corrective actions within a given timeframe.
  • Suspending the sponsor licence temporarily if significant issues are identified.
  • Revoking the sponsor licence if serious and repeated breaches are found.

What is the role of the compliance officer?

Designated Representative

The Compliance Officer is a key individual designated by the sponsor to oversee compliance with the sponsor licence requirements. They act as the main point of contact between the organisation and the Home Office on compliance matters.


The Compliance Officer is responsible for ensuring that the organisation is compliant with its sponsor licence obligations and duties. This includes keeping accurate records, reporting changes, conducting Right to Work checks, and maintaining genuine employment.

Communication with Home Office

The Compliance Officer communicates with the Home Office on behalf of the organisation, responding to any queries, providing requested information, and ensuring timely reporting of relevant events.

Training and Awareness

The Compliance Officer may provide training to relevant staff within the organisation to ensure that everyone involved in the sponsorship process is aware of the sponsor licence requirements and their role in compliance.

Monitoring and Auditing

The Compliance Officer regularly monitors the organisation's compliance with the sponsor licence requirements and conducts internal audits to identify and address any potential issues.

Having a dedicated and proactive Compliance Officer is crucial for ensuring effective compliance with the sponsor licence and minimising the risk of any non-compliance issues during the Home Office compliance visits.

If you have any doubts or questions about the Home Office compliance visit & audit, speak to experienced sponsor licence solicitors at 0203 417 3700.

We provide expert advice, practical assistance, and professional representation to guide you through the application and decision-making process, from start to finish. 

We're authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA), so you know you're in safe hands.

Contact our solicitor today to get legal advice and assistance with your UK immigration matters.

You can call us on 02034173700 or leave your details here for a callback request regarding your legal matter.