Last month, ahead of the Queen’s Speech, David Cameron released a statement on the UK Government’s website in which he discussed his plans to control immigration. In particular, the Prime Minister discussed how he intended to crack down on abuse in the immigration system by closing “bogus” colleges and making it tougher for illegal immigrants to remain in the UK.
This follows on from the Conservative Party’s belief that the Labour Party had left the student visa system “open to widespread abuse from bogus colleges.”
Conservatives to Get Tough on Tier 4 Sponsors
The Conservative Party’s manifesto mentions that the Conservative Party will reform the student visa system with new measures to tackle abuse and reduce the numbers of students overstaying once their visas expire. The Conservatives mention their plans to clampdown on “satellite campuses” opened in London by universities located elsewhere in the UK and also to review the highly trusted sponsor system for student visas.
In addition the manifesto states:
“…the introduction of exit checks will allow us to place more responsibility on visa sponsors for migrants who overstay, we will introduce targeted sanctions for those colleges or businesses that fail to ensure that migrants comply with the terms of their visas.”
Tier 4 Sponsors: Non Compliance with Immigration Rules and Sponsor Guidance
A Tier 4 Sponsor Licence is valid for 4 years from the date it is granted, unless it is revoked or surrendered. One of the roles of UK Visas & Immigration is to monitor sponsors’ compliance and take action against those who pose a threat to immigration control; or breach their sponsorship duties, or otherwise fail to comply with the Immigration Rules or sponsor guidance.
Where the breach is an isolated or minor issue, the sponsor is willing and able to correct it, and the sponsor poses no continuing threat to immigration control, UKVI will in most cases support the sponsor in making the relevant improvements by issuing an action plan, which sets out the steps that the sponsor must take in order to retain its Tier 4 licence.
However, where there is a serious breach indicating a significant or systematic failing, the sponsor no longer meets the eligibility or suitability requirements for holding a Tier 4 licence, or UKVI considers that the sponsor constitutes a serious threat to immigration control, UKVI may decide to revoke the sponsor’s licence. This may also occur where there has been sustained non-compliance over a period of time, or where there have been a number of breaches which are isolated or minor in themselves but – taken together – indicate a serious or systematic failing.
Immigration Compliance Solicitors
Our advice for UK businesses/employers (corporate clients) and education providers encompasses the following:
- Ongoing compliance with UK immigration laws and sponsorship duties for Tier 2, Tier 4 and Tier 5 Sponsor;
- Advice on Prevention of illegal working;
- Assistance with Home Office Audits;
- Advising on appropriate record keeping and monitoring processes;
- Training for businesses and educational institutions, including training on compliance procedures and recruiting international staff and students; and
- Keeping you updated with the changes in UK Immigration Law.
Our team of experienced and professionally qualified solicitors and barristers are ready to provide you with effective solutions to your business immigration needs. Our expert immigration solicitors based in London, provide business clients with a tailored service and are on hand to expedite the sponsor licence process. We ensure that we help you achieve and maintain an A rated sponsor licence and provide ongoing compliance checks to ensure you are aware of your duties as a Home Office registered sponsor.
To contact one of our Immigration Solicitors or Immigration Barristers please complete our legal case assessment form and we will get in touch or call us now on 0845 8622 529 for a free telephone assessment and free case assessment.