Illegal immigration is a hot topic right now. The Conservative government, led by Prime Minister, Theresa May, has steadfastly kept to a manifesto pledge of bringing immigration down into the tens of thousands (a figure which has never been achieved).
At A Y & J Solicitors, our focus is on the people at the heart of the matter – those wanting to come to the UK for a better life, and the employers whose businesses grow and benefit from skilled migrant workers. As a solution-focused firm, we believe in confronting challenges head-on and finding resolutions. Here are some important facts about illegal immigration in the UK, and some ideas to help people find a safe, legal entrance into the country.
Trying to enter the UK legally is challenging. For most under the Tier 2 visa category, you should be first sponsored for a skilled job that could not be filled by a UK resident. You must also pass background checks, prove your qualifications, complete lengthy application forms, and show you have the funds to support yourself, as well as pay application fees and health surcharges. Should you wish to enter the country on a Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa, you must pass a difficult ‘Genuine Entrepreneur Test’ which often includes attending an interview with a UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) official. You also need to have £50,000 or £200,000 in funds which must be invested in a start-up or a pre-existing business in the UK.
Everyone loses when good, qualified individuals ready to fill critical job shortages are denied a visa due to technicalities and unintentional errors. Our specialists are experts at preparing and reviewing visa applications to ensure they are accurate, complete, and successful. We work with our clients, collating relevant supporting documentation and ensuring they have completed the necessary forms correctly. In addition, we can help Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa applicants prepare persuasive business plans and ensure they know what to expect in a UKVI interview.
Many illegal immigrants are forced into low-paying jobs and poor working conditions. Their need to maintain secrecy about their status, in addition to unscrupulous employers willing to take advantage of them is a dangerous combination. UK Illegal immigrants do not have access to services that the rest of the population rely on, and risk exposure if they do seek help. They also find it difficult to find accommodation as landlords have a legal duty to perform “Right to Rent” checks to ensure all people living in the property have a legal right to be in the UK. Furthermore, from January 2018, British banks and building societies will be required to monitor the immigration status of current account holders.
Employers must be discouraged to employ illegal immigrants, and the only way to do this is to make the process of legally employing non-EEA workers simple.
Employers often struggle with the challenging process of becoming Sponsor Licence holders. With new, stricter guidelines in place, including up to the £1,000 Immigration Skills Charge for every new migrant, many potential sponsors are losing out on the opportunity to grow their business by recruiting Non-EU skilled staff.
Our specialist teams can ensure that employers are fully prepared and qualified to employ migrant workers through sponsorship legally. This provides excellent benefits for the companies and their employees. In principle, the UK government agrees that improving this process is beneficial.
As the government works to fulfil their mandate of cracking down on illegal immigration UK, they are imposing much stricter actions against businesses found to be employing illegal workers. Most companies who have been found to be employing illegal migrants have not intentionally set out to break immigration laws. Non-compliance is normally caused by employers not having the HR policies and procedures in place to ensure they can meet their Sponsor Licence duties and responsibilities.
The consequences for an organisation caught employing illegal workers can include unlimited fines, criminal charges, prison sentences, public record of illegal actions, loss of licences and permits, and removal of company directors.
Business owners must also be conscious of the reputational damage they may suffer if they are caught employing illegal workers.
Businesses that conduct proper Right to Work checks on individuals before employing them effectively protect themselves against UK government corrective action. This use of a statutory excuse is valid if an employer has viewed the employee’s documents with them present, believed the documents to be valid, and kept copies of the documents and a record of the check. As long as the documents checked are on the list of acceptable documents, and the employer reasonably believes them to be authentic, they are protected from prosecution.
If you are concerned with any aspect of illegal immigration UK, including the compliance of Sponsor Licence holders, Right to Work checks, visa applications, and Judicial Reviews for refusals and licence revocations, we can help.
Because we take the time to get to know your business, you can be confident that our team will keep you up to date with any immigration law developments which may affect you.
A Y & J Solicitors have a team of expert immigration law solicitors with a proven track record of quality results dealing with Civil Penalty notice and excellent customer service. Please contact us today on +44 20 7404 7933 or email us at [email protected]. We’re here to help
Disclaimer: No material/information provided on this website should be construed as legal advice. Readers should seek an appropriate professional advice for their immigration matters.