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[Immigration] SMS (Sponsorship Management System) Level 1 User

10 May 2021

Thomas Miles

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What is the SMS and what are the responsibilities of a Level 1 User?

If companies wish to hire migrant workers, they must obtain a Sponsor Licence from the Home Office. The Sponsor Management System (SMS) is the system companies with a sponsor licence use to carry out daily sponsorship activities. Companies must assign a Level 1 User to record information of the overseas migrants they sponsor, notify the Home Office of any change of circumstances, request/assign certificates of sponsorship to migrants and apply for renewal of the sponsor licence.


What can go wrong?

The Home Office expect relevant information to be recorded in an accurate and timely fashion. Even innocent mistakes may lead to:

· Downgrading of a sponsor

· Fees for a corrective sponsor Action Plan

· Revocation of licence

· Shortening of leave for current migrants

It is therefore crucial that Level 1 Users, who are primarily responsible for the day-to-day management of the SMS, are knowledgeable about the SMS and immigration rules in general. In addition, it is a Home Office requirement that at least one Level 1 User must be a permanent UK resident (with only limited exceptions).


Can this responsibility be delegated to an external third party?

Ultimately, the company is responsible for complying with the Home Office sponsorship rules. That includes maintaining an internal Level 1 User. However, the good news is that sponsors can designate a third-party organisation to manage their SMS. That organisation would become an additional Level 1 User. Here at 3CS we do offer this popular service to a large number of existing immigration clients.


What Level I User immigration services do 3CS offer and how much do they cost?

The costs will vary depending upon the size of your company and the level of activity you anticipate throughout the year. We will be happy to discuss this with you and provide a quotation. The Level 1 User service package includes:

o Immigration Law helpline – unlimited access to immigration-related queries (excluding visa applications)

o Notify the Home Office of changes to level 1 users

o Requesting increases to the number of Certificates of Sponsorship available

o Apply for Defined Certificates of Sponsorship

o Apply for renewal of the Sponsor Licence

o Notify the Home Office of changes to the company’s details

o Notify changes to migrant circumstances, e.g. job descriptions, returning to HQ, etc.

o Assigning of Certificates of Sponsorship (including Defined Certificates of Sponsorship)


Please contact us to discuss our Level 1 User package and any of our other immigration services.

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Solicitor/Head of Legal​​

Thomas Miles