UK Immigration Raids: Chinese Restaurant Faces Fine of Up to £140,000

This afternoon, the Hertfordshire Mercury reported that seven “illegal” workers had been arrested during a raid carried out by the Home Office’s Immigration Enforcement unit. Last week, The China Star in Turners Hill, was visited by immigration officers who suspected that the business may have been employing workers with no valid visas.

The Chinese restaurant now faces fines of up to £20,000 for each of the workers unless the owners can prove they carried out the necessary checks.

Home Office Raids Chinese Restaurant

Immigration officers from the Home Office’s Immigration Enforcement unit are regularly deployed to track immigration offenders by working with partners such as the police to regulate migration in line with government policy.

In this case, immigration officers raided The China Star after they suspected the business of employing illegal workers. Their initial checks found that most of the workers, who were from Chinese and Malaysian backgrounds, had either overstayed their visas or were failed asylum seekers with no valid leave to remain in the UK. The Hertfordshire Mercury reports that five of the workers have now been detained and two have been released on immigration bail.

UK Business Now Faces £140,000 for Employing Illegal Workers

Following the raid last week, the business now faces a potential fine of up to £140,000 for employing the illegal workers. If the Home Office find that the employers failed to carry out their necessary checks, they can be fined £20,000 for each illegal worker.

All employers (not just licensed sponsors) must make sure that their employees are entitled to work for them. The Home Office will impose a range of penalties on those employing people illegally. In some cases, the Home Office’s compliance officer’s may refer cases of illegal working for prosecution or the issue of a civil penalty. If you are issued with a civil penalty for employing illegal workers your licence may be revoked.

UK Immigration Compliance Solicitors

A UK business sponsor must ensure that they have the appropriate checks in place, can demonstrate that they will be able to meet their sponsor duties and have the appropriate records for their skilled workers. The Home Office carry out spontaneous checks on organisations on a regular basis and on such visits will expect to examine those areas of Human Resources and procedures which are outlined in their guidance. They will also verify the information provided by sponsor’s on their application for obtaining the sponsorship licence.

Our team of experienced and professionally qualified solicitors and barristers are ready to provide you with advice and are on hand to 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.

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