If you employ Tier 2 and/or Tier 5 workers, you have to comply with the UK immigration rules, including carrying out right to work checks and complying with your sponsorship licence duties. You are also likely to be visited by the Home Office to check your legal compliance.
At Thorntons solicitors we can carry out an audit of your immigration compliance to identify and deal with any areas of non-compliance, prepare you for a Home Office visit and help you resolve any issues following a visit.
As an employer of Tier 2 workers, your responsibilities include:
- Ensuring the workers have right to work documents
- Ensuring workers have been assigned with a Certificate of Sponsorship correctly
- Maintaining records of employees (existing and past)
- Having relevant systems in place to avoid visa over-stayers and to ensure employees carry out agreed roles
At Thorntons, we can advise you on your obligations under employment law and immigration requirements and help ensure you have the right systems and processes in place for compliance.
You need to see relevant documents from any proposed employee before employing them to ensure they have the right to work in the UK. Examples of relevant documents include but are not limited to:
- British passport
- Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) card
- Immigration status document proving right to work
If you fail to carry out a right to work check, you could face substantial sanctions including but not limited to a civil penalty of up to £20,000 per illegal worker.
As a sponsoring employer of Tier 2 and/or Tier 5 workers, you have responsibility to act in accordance with the immigration rules and regulations, sponsorship guidance and wider UK law.
You are also expected to act in a manner which is in line with the Home Office wider values and not to the detriment of public good. The Home Office can visit your organisation to check you are complying with your licence obligations and if you are not, can demand corrective action, downgrade your sponsor licence or in some cases revoke your immigration sponsorship licence.
The Home Office can visit your organisation to check you are complying with immigration rules and regulations. You would normally get notice of the visit, but they can also do a surprise visit. A visit may be scheduled because they have had intelligence or there is suspicion that you are using illegal workers who do not have the appropriate right to work in the UK.
During an immigration audit visit, the auditors will check if you are meeting your sponsoring employer obligations, including whether you have the correct documents, processes and systems in place, and are filing the right information with the Home Office. They will interview sponsored staff and those managing the sponsorship licence, review files and check policies and procedures.
Our team can carry out a compliance audit for you to make sure you are complying with your immigration control obligations ahead of any Home Office visit. We will highlight any problem areas and advise you on the measures to take to ensure immigration compliance.
A Home Office visit may highlight areas to address or it may uncover major issues leading to the downgrading or revocation of your sponsorship licence.
If your licence is downgraded to a B-rating, there will be an action plan provided by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) for you to undertake over the next three months to address the problem areas and you will be charged a fee for this. In this time, you will not be able to sponsor any more employees. There will then be a further visit to check you have addressed the highlighted issues.
If your licence is revoked, this can have a big impact on your business and your sponsored Tier 2 and/or Tier 5 employees.
Our Immigration Law team can help you address the problems highlighted by the Home Office visit and work with you to reinstate your licence.
Thorntons’ specialist Immigration solicitors can advise you, as an employer, on your duties when employing foreign nationals and your responsibilities as a sponsorship licence holder. We can also help you in challenging civil penalties and dealing with Home Office immigration enforcement, visits and checks.
Our immigration lawyers can provide compliance audits to check you are meeting all your sponsor obligations and have the systems and processes in place for ongoing compliance. This can ensure you are prepared for any Home Office inspection and visit.
Call the Thorntons Immigration Law team on 03330 430350 to find out more about our immigration compliance services and immigration advice, or complete our enquiry form and we will contact you.