Sponsorship Management System
(SMS) unavailable from
2 - 4 April 2024

In an update to Part 2 of its guidance for sponsors of foreign workers, the Home Office has noted that the online Sponsorship Management System (SMS) will be unavailable from 19:00 hours on 2 April 2024 until 09:00 hours on 4 April 2024.

The SMS will be updated to implement the changes to the Immigration Rules which are due to take effect on 4 April 2024, including:

  • Replacing the Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) 2010 system currently used in Appendix Skilled Occupations with the SOC 2020 system – with changes to some occupation codes numbers and job descriptions.
  • Increasing salary thresholds for Skilled Workers, Global Business Mobility Workers, Scale-up Workers and Seasonal Workers.

These changes will affect any application for entry clearance or permission supported by a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) assigned on or after 4 April 2024.

During this period, sponsors will not be able to:

  • Apply for a sponsor licence, apply to add routes to a licence, or renew a licence.
  • Apply for any Skilled Worker Defined Certificates of Sponsorship (DCoS).
  • Ask to increase or renew the allocation of Undefined Certificates of Sponsorship (UCoS).
  • Assign any CoS to workers they wish to sponsor.

Sponsors will therefore need to take action if they wish to apply for or assign any CoS before these changes take effect:

  • Any applications outstanding at 7pm on 2 April 2024 will be cancelled and a new application will have to be made after 9am on 4 April 2024 based on the relevant SOC 2020 codes and revised salary thresholds.
  • Any DCoS granted before 7pm on 2 April 2024 with a SOC 2010 code must be assigned before that time and date or it will be cancelled.
  • Any UCoS with the status of “work in progress” or “ready to go” which has not been assigned by 7pm on 2 April 2024 will need to be updated with the relevant SOC 2020 code and with a salary that meets the revised salary thresholds before it can be assigned to a worker.
  • DCoS or UCoS which have been assigned to workers before 7pm on 2 April 2024 will not be cancelled and will remain valid for the normal 3-month validity.
  • Applications for entry clearance or permission made using these CoS will be considered with reference to salary thresholds and SOC 2010 codes under the Immigration Rules in place before 4 April 2024, even if the worker applies on or after that date.

Support for sponsors of Skilled Workers

Smith Stone Walters can support your business in managing and maintaining your sponsor licence, fulfilling your sponsor duties and ensuring ongoing compliance with the immigration rules.

To find out more about the range of business immigration services we offer, please contact us today.

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