The UK’s Hostile Environment Policy for immigrants in the UK is showing no sign of easing as the crackdown on illegal working in the UK continues. We have previously written about the Home Office’s unannounced compliance raids on businesses with a Tier 2 Sponsor Licence and this week it has been reported that several businesses across England and Wales have been raided due to concerns of illegal working. It is therefore imperative that Tier 2 Sponsor Licence holders comply with the UK Visas and Immigration and Home Office guidelines and carry out the appropriate right to work checks for all employees.
Recent Unannounced Compliance Raids on Tier 2 Sponsor Licence Businesses
This week there have been numerous reports of unannounced Home Office compliance raids on businesses with a Tier 2 Sponsor Licence across England and Wales due to suspected illegal working taking place. 4 people have been arrested after Immigration Enforcement Officers raided two nail shops in Worthing, whilst 6 businesses in Wales, including a restaurant in Cardigan, face up to £140,000 in penalties.
The head of the Kent and Sussex Immigration Enforcement team has stated that;
“we are happy to work with businesses to explain the simple pre-employment checks needed to establish a person’s right to work in the UK, but to those who choose to ignore the rules the message is clear – we will find you and you will face a heavy financial penalty”.
Therefore it is wise to ensure that all Tier 2 Sponsor’s are compliant with their duties. Our team of solicitors and Barristers can assist with preparing for a Home Office unannounced compliance raids. Our specialist immigration team can carry out mock Home Office compliance checks and also prepare a tailored and comprehensive guide for the Tier 2 employers on successfully satisfying the requirements for staying compliant to Tier 2 Sponsor Licence duties.
Tier 2 Sponsor Licence Holder Duties
Tier 2 Sponsor Licence Holders have certain record-keeping and reporting responsibilities in regard to hiring migrant workers. Employers are required to keep records of their worker’s identification documents and employment contracts and carry out regular right to work checks. Any changes with their workers’ immigration and employment status must be reported immediately to the Home Office. Under the Immigration Act 2016, if an employer has ‘reasonable cause to believe’ that an employee does not have a right to work in the UK because of their immigration status and they fail to act accordingly, then it is even easier to find an employer liable for this offence.
Failure to Comply with Tier 2 Sponsor Licence Duties
It is widely reported that the UK’s Hostile Environment Policy is designed to get rid of as many migrants in the UK as possible in order to reach Theresa May’s net migration target of less than 100,000. Due to this current climate, it is essential that Tier 2 employers are especially sure that they are compliant with their Tier 2 Sponsor Licence duties. If the Home Office discovers that a Tier 2 Sponsor has failed to carry out their duties and carrying out regular right to work checks, employers could face a civil penalty of £20,000, receive a possible custodial sentence of up to 6 months and/or be made to pay an unlimited fine and Immigration Enforcement Officers will have the power to close the premises for up to 48 hours. Moreover, it is increasingly common that the Tier 2 migrant worker will be deported back to their home country and given a 10-year ban from re-entering the UK if they are found to have no right to work or even be in the UK. This is why it is important for Tier 2 workers to have a valid Tier 2 work visa.
Using Legal Representation to Overcome Unannounced Compliance Raids
Legal representatives, such as our specialist immigration and visa law firm, are qualified to advise you on immigration law and your immigration status. It is possible to instruct an immigration and visa legal representative to ensure you understand your duties and responsibilities of being a Tier 2 Sponsor Licence Holder and help you ensure that your business is and remains compliant with all immigration requirements. Our immigration solicitors can help you conduct ‘mock immigration audits’ to help identify any potential issues which could be resolved before a ‘surprise’ UKVI Compliance Audit.
Caseworkers at the Home Office are trained to reject applications which are improperly prepared, for example by failing to provide the correct supporting evidence. In order to ensure your application succeeds, all necessary documents must be provided.
This can be a significant administrative task and you will need to submit the correct documentary evidence. The UK Immigration Rules are complex and a legal representative can help ensure that your application meets the Immigration Rules.
Successfully Overcome Unannounced Compliance Raids
Our team of solicitors and barristers are specialist immigration lawyers who act in your best interest. We offer a client-tailored approach from the outset. From the very first meeting, we will be able to advise you in respect of your immigration status and the merit of your visa and immigration application before your matter even reaches the Home Office UK Visa & Immigration department. We can assist you with the preparation of your immigration and visa application and ensure that you meet all the requirements of the relevant rules.
Our offices are based in the legal epicentre of London, just across the road from the Royal Courts of Justice in order to ensure we get the best results for our clients. We are minutes away from the Immigration and Asylum Tribunal, the Royal Courts of Justice and other central London courts.
Preparation is the key to successful immigration applications. Our UK immigration and visa solicitors are here to guide you through the complex immigration rules and requirements. If you wish to meet one of our lawyers, please call our Immigration Team so we can assess your case and arrange your legal consultation.
Contact our London immigration solicitors on 02071830570 or complete our contact form.