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Immigration and your business

 

Business immigration rules now mean that any enterprise that uses migrant workers must comply with all of the current regulations, including the new points system. The New UK Border Agency that is part of the Home Office now looks after all business immigration matters.

The points-based system

The new points-based system enables business immigration to take place, but only those citizens who are allowed to work in the UK can legally enter the country to do so. Note that the points-based system only applies to immigration by citizens:

  • Outside of the EEA (European Economic Area)
  • Switzerland

Business immigration will mean your enterprise will need to become the sponsor to all the workers you employ in the UK.

Employing migrant workers

As an employer of migrant workers you should be fully aware of the corporate immigration laws and regulations that govern overseas workers in the UK. The UK Border Agency (part of the Home Office) is a new agency that deals exclusively with immigration.

It is your business’s responsibility under corporate immigration law to check the immigration status of every overseas worker you employ. Currently there is no law to compel you to do this, but if you do employ an overseas worker that cannot work legally in the UK, your business could be fined £10,000 for each worker the UK Border Agency identifies.

To help your business with corporate immigration law, you can use the UK Border Agency’s checking services. This is aimed at all employers of migrant workers. The service is still being developed, but it can help you with checking the validity of Application Registration Cards (ARC) that should be provided by every migrant worker.

Employing illegal immigrants

Corporate immigration laws state that your business should take all the steps it can to ensure it does not employ illegal immigrants. Your business is, though, not expected to be expert in spotting forged documents for instance. You can use the UK Border Agency Sponsorship and Employers’ helpline for more help and support on 0300 123 4699.

If your business is accused of employing migrant workers that do not have the legal right to work in the UK, the consequences could mean:

  • A very high fine
  • A prison sentence

It is, therefore, vitally important to have legal representation. A solicitor that is expert in corporate immigration law can support your business if your case comes to court.

As the penalties for employing illegal immigrants can be very high, having legal representation at every stage of your case is vitally important. Working with your solicitor can give your business the best chance of winning your case.

For more advice on employing workers from overseas, see our information page on immigrant workers.

Are you planning to employ migrant workers, but are unsure of the legalities involved? Caven can recommend an expert business immigration lawyer to advise you on the legal implications of hiring staff from abroad. Please call us on 0800 433 4846 or complete the web-form above.

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