Sponsors urged to be vigilant over "scam"

UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) are urging sponsors to be extra vigilant with the security of Level 1 user details.

A number of sponsors have reported that they have been contacted recently by an individual claiming to be from UKVI and advising that the SMS system for the sponsor has been locked. The individual claims that UKVI requires a Level 1 user name and password in order to reactivate the SMS account.

UKVI will never ask a sponsor to divulge SMS login details under any circumstances and sponsors should therefore not comply with any such requests.

Sponsors must be aware that providing SMS details to a third party is a breach of sponsor duties and could lead to compliance action being taken.

In another instance, the caller has suggested that the sponsor change their Level 1 user details and provide them to the caller, for which they would be paid £2000 for each CoS assigned. Once again, complying with any such request would constitute a serious breach of sponsor guidance; this would lead to the revocation of the sponsor licence.

Clients are urged to exercise caution in light of this situtation and be aware of the implications of breaching sponsor duties.

Stuart Beaty

Celsium, Birmingham, UK