Immigration alert – amendments to appendix D: guidance for sponsors on keeping documents

When announcing the changes to the Points Based System, UK Visas and Immigration (‘UKVI’) emphasised the fact that the formal Resident Labour Market Test requirements would be removed as a requirement for sponsorship under the Skilled Worker route.

Employers gave a sigh of relief at this news, as many had often struggled with the onerous and at times artificial requirements of the resident labour market test. However, they were soon to discover that the devil was in the detail. Employers were still required to retain evidence of the recruitment process to ensure that the role was for a genuine vacancy, but now had no guidance on what evidence would be considered appropriate. 

The guidance for sponsors on the keeping of documents, otherwise known as Appendix D, was amended on 16 March 2021. This now provides greater clarity on the documents that employers are being expected to retain as evidence of their recruitment practices.

Advertised roles

If the role was advertised, employers are expected to retain:

  • Details of any advertising placed including:
    • screenshots, printouts or photocopies or a recording of the text of the advert; and
    • Information on where the job was advertised (e.g. website address) and for how long
  • A record of the number of people who applied for the job, the number of people shortlisted for interview and for other stages in the recruitment process; and
  • At least one other item of evidence or information which shows the process used to identify the most suitable candidate. This could include (but is not limited to):
    • A copy / summary or the interview notes for the successful candidate
    • A list of common interview questions used for candidates as part of the selection process
    • Brief notes on why the successful candidate was selected and why others were rejected
    • Information about any scoring or grading process
    • Any other relevant information or evidence.

The UKVI have also clarified that, unlike the RLMT requirements, there is no specific minimum number of adverts you must place, or a prescribed method of advertising. They do recommend that, where multiple adverts are run, you retain evidence of all the adverts placed.

They have also confirmed that employers are not required to retain application forms, CVs, interview notes or other personal data relating to unsuccessful candidates.

Roles not advertised

If the role has not been advertised, employers must, if asked, be able to explain (and, where practical, to provide evidence of) how they identified the worker was suitable. This could include but is not limited to the following:

  • If you identified the candidate through a University ‘milkround’ – you should retain evidence of the ‘milkround’ in accordance with Section A of the Guidance.
  • If the candidate was already legally working for you on another immigration route, and you establish they were suitable for the role through their previous performance.
  • The candidate applied to you outside of a formal advertising campaign and you were satisfied they had the necessary skills and experience to do the job (e.g. through interviewing them and / or checking references or qualifications).

What does this mean for you?

This amendment to the guidance provides some much-appreciated clarity for employers who may have been unsure about what documentation they should be retaining now that formal resident labour market test requirements have been removed.

Our immigration team at Mazars are here to offer support with your sponsor compliance obligations. We can assist you to navigate this complexity in a number of ways. This could include:

  • responding to queries on document gathering and retention;
  • providing training on the requirements; 
  • undertaking sponsor health checks to review your Appendix D documentation compliance; and
  • working with you to create policies and processes that will help you ensure you can remain compliant.

How we can help

If you have any questions or queries relating to anything in this update, please contact our immigration team via the button below.

Get in touch