Sponsoring students sure is not easy as a Student sponsor. You must be a Home Office authorised sponsor licence holder. You must have a sponsor licence to sponsor students overseas for courses longer than 6 months.
Highly important for you to meet education oversight requirements laid down in the sponsor licence guidance.
Category of student licence
As an education provider, if you have independent school only then you can sponsor children under the child student route, for children between the ages of 4 years and 18 years.
Other education providers can sponsor students under the mainstream student route.
Education provider’s trustworthiness test
The Home Office clearly specifies that the education provider or any prospective sponsor licence holder must ensure that the system is never abused.
System abuse is a common reason for many sponsor licence suspension and revocation.
The Home Office strictly asserts that the education provider must:
- Be a legitimate education provider with acceptable educational quality standards.
- Be operating lawfully in the UK and adhering to all relevant rules and regulations
- Be regarded as qualified and suitable to hold a sponsor licence
- Be capable of carrying out its duties as a sponsor.
Your organisation must provide clear evidence that it is capable of fulfilling sponsorship obligations.
In that sense, the first essential step is assigning Key personnel
- Authorising officer: An authorising person takes overall responsibility of the licence, hence it is recommended that he/she must be a senior person in the organisation. An authorised person must never be a legal representative of the organisation.
- Key contact person: he/she is personally responsible for connecting with the Home Office. He/she could be a legal representative.
- Level 1 & level 2 user: These individuals will be in charge of the licence’s day-to-day management as well as the process of sponsoring students through the sponsorship management system (SMS)
Home office audit
The application which you submit will have the Home Office visit you soon. The visiting officer will want to speak with people who will be in charge of compliance to see how the organisation plans to follow the rules and standards outlined in the sponsor guidelines.
It becomes imperative that you prepare in advance.
You can take legal consultation from Immigration Solicitors, who help you guide and prepare you for the Home office audit.
Life as a sponsor
Once the licence has been issued, you are bound to complete an annual basic compliance assessment(BCA)
Every year, the sponsor must submit an online form to the Home Office demonstrating that:
- Less than 10% of the students it sponsored the previous year had their subsequent visa application denied.
- and at least 85% of sponsored students who were supposed to finish courses that year did so.
- at least 90% of those students enrolled
In case you fail to meet with the Basic Annual Assessment(BCA), your licence is directly revoked by the Home office.
To avoid such a mistake, you must consult A Y & J Solicitors, their bespoke visa and immigration services can help you understand sponsorship obligations.