Immigration for Businesses
Many businesses in the UK rely on foreign workers to fill the gap of lack of skilled workers and many educational institutions in the UK will accept foreign students to study in their institutions. The Tier 5 Points-Based System requires employers and education providers to be registered with the UK Border Agency as a Sponsor. Employers and education providers will not be able to employ migrant workers or enrol non-EEA students on courses without a Sponsor Licence. An employer will need to apply as a Tier 2 Sponsor and education providers will need to apply as a Tier 4 Sponsor.
Employers and education providers are under more obligations than ever before. As a Sponsor Holder, you will be responsible for notifying the UK Border Agency of changes relevant to your organisation and individuals who you are sponsoring.
Employers are under continual obligations for an individual employed and they can face a Penalty of up to 2 years’ imprisonment or a fine or both if found to employ illegal workers.
A Civil Penalty of a maximum of £10,000.00 per illegal worker is likely to prevent you from being able to secure a Sponsor Licence. There is statutory defence against a Civil Penalty if any legal workers are found at your premises, provided you follow the correct procedures in checking and recording certain documentation from your employees. It is advisable that you seek legal advice so as to ensure that your business adheres to the required procedures and holds documentation required to demonstrate that checks on the immigration status of your employees have been carried out.