Be Home Office inspection ready

If you sponsor employees from outside the EEA the Home Office has a duty to conduct annual inspections to ensure you are complying with your sponsorship license. Before the Home Office (HO) conduct their inspection the employer will receive an inspection notice and from this employers should anticipate:

  • very short notice of the HO’s intended inspection;
  • notification of the HO’s purpose and what they will require from the employer; and
  • the notice will provide a detailed list of requirements which the employer must have available upon their arrival. 

Here are our nine key HO requirements and processes to pass home office inspection


  1. Systems in place to enable you to meet your sponsorship duties
    Ensure you are familiar with your sponsorship duties; eg a full application of an HR Management system to capture and retain employee information. This system must hold copies of all procedures followed when recruiting, including  the procedures required when ensuring all staff have the right to work in the UK.

  2. Advertising for roles
    The sponsored role(s) must be advertised externally in line with HO code of practice for sponsorship for that particular role, or you must hold evidence that the advertised role held exemption (an approved shortage occupation, for example). Processes must be followed and documented.

  3. Work permit arrangements and other immigration related legislation
    Employers must have certified copies of eligibility to work in the UK documents in line with the latest HO list of acceptable documents.

  4. Systems and processes
    The employer’s full cycle recruitment processes must be clear and consistent in your organisation. You must maintain an absence management system e.g. for holidays and sickness absences with a clear approval procedure in place. A record of all work permit expiry dates and whose responsibility it is to ensure the non EEA licence is still current must be kept on site.

  5. Full staff list of all employees highlighting all non EEA nationals
    Having a robust HR Management system or process will help capture the requirement elements.  

  6. Organisation chart showing lines of responsibility/supervision
    The HO is looking for consistency in the role and what the employee actually does which should match your sponsorship licence. Employers must periodically check that the actual role undertaken continues to meet the sponsorship criteria.

  7. Job descriptions and contracts of employment for all non EEA nationals
    Employers need to make sure the job title matches what's on the licence.

  8. Last 4 weeks staff rotas (if applicable)
    The employer’s HRIT system or its payroll department should be able to provide this.

  9. Full payroll information showing all employees on the Payroll. P60s may be required
    Employers will need to provide a payroll report of all staff and their earnings. Please note HO is trying to match all information provided so far for consistency.


We will work with you to ensure your organisation is Home Office inspection ready. Please contact Steve Sweetlove to find out more.