The UK’s Immigration Minister has today announced a new offence of illegal working which will allow wages to be seized as proceeds of crime. Immigration Minister James Brokenshire has announced that anyone prosecuted for this new offence will face a sentence of up to six months in prison and an unlimited fine in England and Wales.
The UK government have made a series of immigration announcements over the summer of which this is the latest. The Immigration Bill is due to be introduced this autumn and will include a range of new powers to deter people from trying to find work in the UK illegally and measures to deal more effectively with businesses who offer them employment.
UK Government to “Crack Down” on Abuse
It is estimated that the backlog of people in Britain who have overstayed their visas and whose whereabouts are unknown is 300,000, but it is not known how many are working. This has led to the government introducing new powers in the new Immigration Bill which will see illegal workers face imprisonment hoping to deter people from working without status in the UK.
“Anyone who thinks the UK is a soft touch should be in no doubt — if you are here illegally, we will take action to stop you from working, renting a flat, opening a bank account or driving a car.”
Powers to Close Businesses Suspected of Hiring Illegal Workers
UK border officials will also be given powers to temporarily close businesses who employ workers with no immigration status in the UK. Employers may have their licences removed or face prosecution in some circumstances.
The immigration bill proposes closing businesses found to be employing illegal migrants, possibly for up to 48 hours, while they prove right to work checks have been conducted on staff. These measures come as ministers seek to toughen curbs on rogue employers in response to the recent migrant crisis in the French port of Calais.
UK Immigration Legal Advice for Employers & Migrants
Business owners sponsoring migrants from outside the EEA must ensure that they are legally registered to sponsor migrants and must have a valid Tier 2 Sponsorship Licence. If the Home Office has contacted you in relation to carrying out a compliance visit at your business premises, contact us for legal advice. You can also contact us if you have been issued with a Civil Penalty Notice and feel you have grounds to appeal against it.
Illegal migrants with strong Human Rights arguments ought to take legal advice and regularise their stay in the UK as soon as possible and before it is too late. Contact us to discuss your immigration situation and we will assess your case.