Business immigration services
Many businesses depend on international talent to remain competitive, however, employing this talent isn’t always an easy task. In the UK a business cannot simply employ a foreign worker. They must first be given permission from the Home Office to be allowed to sponsor a foreign workers’ visa application, before the applicant can apply for their visa to enter the country to work for you.
At AWH Solicitors we offer business immigration services for UK businesses large and small that are looking to recruit any number of foreign workers to join their ranks.
As a business you can face many challenges employing foreign workers. You may need to apply for a sponsorship licence, and you must check all your employees’ right to work.
With our specialist business immigration services on hand you won’t need to worry. We will help you to employ foreign workers safely, apply for sponsorship licences, carry out right to work checks and we will work with your internal teams providing them with business compliance training too.
UK immigration law on employing foreign workers
As an employer it’s your responsibility to prevent illegal working. That is why you need to make sure that you have the right evidence to prove that each of your employees has the right to work in the UK.
All data and evidence showing your employees’ right to work should be stored safely and securely within your HR systems, in compliance with the code of practice.
Furthermore, if you wish to recruit employees from overseas and sponsor their work visa, you must apply for a sponsorship licence first.
If you employ workers from overseas, you need to be very careful and make sure you are following UK immigration law to the letter.
Our expert business immigration solicitors can make sure you don’t make any mistakes whilst you make the most of your national and international talent. We are here ton guide and advise you on your business immigration policies and procedures, recruitment processes and employee management systems.
To find out more, speak to our business immigration team today or request a call back.
If you wish to recruit non-EU workers in your UK business for permanent or long-term positions your company must secure a Tier 2 sponsorship licence directly from the Home Office.
This is an agreement between your company and the government in which you agree to adhere to the compliance duties as set out by the Home Office in regards to employing migrant workers.
To be able to apply for your businesses’ sponsorship licence you should not have:
- Any past criminal convictions for immigration offences or certain other crimes like money laundering
- Any history of failing to carry out your sponsorship duties
We can help you assess your eligibility for the sponsorship licence, and when you’re ready, we can apply for the license on your behalf.
During your application
Your application for your sponsorship licence will get checked thoroughly.
While you’re applying for a sponsorship licence you can expect to receive a visit from officers of the Home Office’s UK visas and immigration section (UKV&I). These officers will check:
- That you have the processes and human resource practices to meet your sponsorship duties now, and in the future
- That you are compliant with your legal responsibility to prevent illegal working, and other related immigration legislation
Right to work checks
Right to work checks for all employees
In the UK each business must check that all their employees have the right to work.
These checks should be carried out before employment begins, and proof of the employees’ right to work should then be stored in a safe place for the entire duration of their employment.
When you don’t check employee rights
Failing to check your employees’ right to work, or to store documents that prove that right to work checks have been properly carried out, can lead to fines of up to £20,000.
If it can be proven that you knowingly employed migrants without the right to work penalties will be more severe. Such a breach of UK law is taken very seriously. As a result, as the employer, you can face unlimited fines, the revoking of your business licence and imprisonment.
If you are caught employing migrant workers without the right to work in the UK you will also be publicly named on the Home Office list of organisations facing sanctions.
Please note that you need to check the right to work for anyone that can be considered to be working for you. That means that even if you are using contractors, you must have valid checks in place.
How fines are calculated
The Home Office considers the following factors when calculating your fine:
- Which checks you have carried out
- How co-operative you have been during the investigation
- If you have any previous offences
- If you have quickly disclosed evidence of suspected illegal workers in full
Remember, employers that breach their immigration duties and who are caught employing people illegally are given penalties. Even if they didn’t mean to.
It’s up to employers to make sure that all checks are carried out, and that employees have permission to work legally in the UK.
By working with our expert business immigration solicitors you can stay fully compliant with UK law at all times.
If you knowingly employ workers without the right to work
Knowingly breaching the law by employing workers who do not have the right to work, or whom, you can reasonably suspect do not have the right to work, is considered a severe offence.
That is why the Home Office can and will check that right to work checks have been carried around in businesses across the UK, regardless of size and industry.
Penalties include unlimited fines and even imprisonment if it can be proven that you had ‘reasonable cause’ to believe that your employees did not have the right to work in the UK.
Reasonable causes include:
- Knowing that the employee was not granted leave to enter or leave to remain
- Knowing that their leave has expired
- Knowing that legal documents they provided were false or incorrect
- Knowing that they were restricted in the type of work they could do.
If you have any reason to suspect one of your employees is working for you without the right to, you must take action immediately.
How we can help
We can help educate you and your team in every aspect of compliance, so you never fall foul of the small-print.
Speak to our business immigration solicitors
Our immigration solicitors are here to guide businesses like yours through the complex UK business immigration processes with ease. Get in touch and see how we can support you in growing your business by employing foreign workers, ensuring your compliance with immigration law and sponsoring visa applicants.
Starting the process couldn’t be more simple!
- Contact us Get in touch however suits you best and arrange a consulation with one of our solicitors
- Meet an expert You’ll meet the expert solicitor assigned to your case and discuss all the necessary details
- Authorise Once we’ve got all the details of your case and you’re happy to proceed, just give us the go-ahead
- We get to work It’s time for us to get to work! We’ll set up your file on our system and get to work right away
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