An employer intending to employ a foreign national who is subject to UK immigration controls, is required to apply and maintain a sponsor licence for this purpose.
Similarly, universities in the UK are required to have a sponsor licence when recruiting students to their study programmes from the overseas.
Under this arrangement, UK immigration authorities delegate part of their border control responsibilities to the private sector. Therefore, this is a serious matter.
The institutions need to have very clear policies and procedures in place in order to administer the foreign nationals subject to UK immigration controls in a prescribed manner.
The sponsor licence is withdrawn and penalties apply to employers and universities who fail in their task in the eyes of the UK immigration authorities.