Sponsoring a non-EEA migrant worker

9th October 2019

You can employ a non-EEA worker Your organisation must have a sponsorship licence. The primary immigration routes for non-European Economic Area (EEA) migrants who wish to work in the UK are the Tiers 2 and 5 points-based routes. Non-EEA migrants must be sponsored by an organisation that holds a Tier 2 and/or Tier 5 licence. You must have a sponsorship licence A sponsorship licence is permits an organisation to employ a non-EEA migrant workers in its business. An organisation with a sponsorship licence is known as a sponsor. You have a duty to prevent illegal working All employers have a duty to carry out checks to prevent illegal working in the UK. Checks can be carried out in 3 simple steps. Changes to tighten and simplify the penalty for employers who partake in employing illegal workers came into force on 16 May 2014. Sections 15 to 25 of the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006 (the 2006 Act) and sections 24 and 24B of the Immigration Act 1971 set out the law on preventing illegal working in the UK. You must carry out the right to work checks All employers must check a person’s documents to determine if they have the right to carry out the type of work the employer is offering. Under section 15 of the 2006 Act, an employer may be liable for a civil penalty if they employ someone who does not have the right to undertake the work in question.  The three key steps required are: Step 1. Obtain the person’s original documents as specified in this guidance; Step 2. Check the validity of the documents in the presence of the holder; and Step 3. Make and retain a clear copy, and make a record of the date of the check. You must meet four key criteria to apply for a licence An organisation with a sponsorship licence a responsibility to act in accordance with the Immigration Rules. The Home Office has a duty to ensure that all sponsors discharge their responsibilities, and will take compliance action when it is considered that a sponsor has failed to do so. Your organisation must: Be genuine and operate lawfully in the UK Have a good history and background. The key personal named on your application involved in the day to day running of the organisation must are honest, dependable and reliable. Be capable of carrying out its sponsor duties and evidencing its compliance in a timeframe and manner set out in the Sponsor duties. An assessment of your organisation’s current human resources and recruitment practices will be made to make sure that your organisation will be able to fulfil its sponsor duties You may need to pay to employ a non-EEA worker On or after the 6 April 2017, under the Immigration Skills Charge Regulations 2017, organisations may be required to pay the Immigration Skills Charge each time they sponsor a worker from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland. The amount payable is dependent on the size of the organisation and the length of employment stated on the worker’s certificate of sponsorship. The skills charge […]

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Demistifying Asylum Seekers

9th October 2019

Unfortunately the media in Britain plays a significant role in corrupting the minds of well meaning citizens of our community and causing a lot of anxiety amongst asylum seekers in the UK. Everyone who comes to Britain to live and work has a story to tell. The story of an asylum seeker is always that of fear. Many of them flee their country by any and all means possible because of fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or possession of a certain political stance – essentially for who they are. Where has our compassion gone? We hear a lot about how asylum seekers are taking our jobs, taking advantage of our benefit system, being given priority over social housing and so on. If there is any truth in these, it would be because of a failure in government policies and not because of immigration. However, these are myths being portrayed as truth. There is so much misinformation and misunderstanding about immigration and asylum and sadly the media isn’t helping particularly in the run up to the General Election. It is worth taking a moment to dispel some of the entrenched myths I have come across in my five years of Immigration and Asylum Practice. But first I need to make a distinction between an asylum seeker, a refugee and an illegal immigrant. In the UK when a person makes an application for asylum they are referred to as an asylum seeker. However, if their application is successful they are granted refugee status and are referred to as a refugee. A refugee is granted a five year leave to remain in the UK without any condition The Home Office can at any time before the end of the five year period revoke a refugee status and if not, Indefinite Leave to Remain (indefinite visa) would be granted. A person is an illegal immigrant if they enter the UK without a visa and have not made themselves known to the authorities, or where they have overstayed, or failed to comply with the conditions of their visa without a reasonable excuse. Myths and Facts Myth – Asylum seekers take our jobs. This is not true. Fact – Asylum seekers are not normally allowed to work. However, they can apply for permission to work only in occupations with a shortage of suitable candidates and they must meet certain strict conditions. Myth – Asylum seekers take our benefits. This is not true. Fact – Asylum seekers do not have access to mainstream benefits. However, those who are at risk of homelessness and destitution may be able to apply for housing and money through asylum support previously known as National Asylum Support Service (NASS) and not through the local authorities. Asylum support is means tested with very strict terms and ceases when an asylum claim is finally decided. Myth – Asylum seekers are draining our economy. This is not true. Fact – There is no single profile of an asylum seeker. They come from all works of life in their country of origin. They may be highly skilled professionals fleeing their country […]

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Right to Rent in the United Kingdom

9th October 2019

What does the new law on right to rent mean for landlords? The Immigration Act 2014 introduced a new legal requirement on private landlords in England to carry out immigration checks on all new prospective tenants from February 2016. The new law applies to residential agreements including tenancies, leases of less than 7 years, licences and sub-tenancies or sub-leases. British citizens, EEA nationals and Swiss nationals are all relevant nationals that can rent  accommodation BUT must  show evidence that they are relevant nationals. Anyone who is not a relevant national BUT has been granted a visa to enter or remain in the UK has a right to rent accommodation. What does this mean for landlords? It is important that landlords carry out checks on all the adults over the age of 18 who will be living in their properties and take steps to ensure that all adult tenants will live in their property as their only or main home.The right to rent obligation only apply to new tenancies from 1st February 2016. The 3 golden rules are (a) Obtain original documents from the tenant showing they have the right to rent. (b) Check that the documents are valid with the tenant present and  (c) make Copies of the original documents and record the date you made the checks. Landlords should be aware that: There are monetary penalties of up to £3,000 for non-compliance based upon each illegal migrant being housed. Enforcement measures are now active. This means that if they are found to be in breach, they are automatically considered as committed an offence on notice from the Home Office. They can be sentence to up to 5 years imprisonment and an unlimited fine. They are obligated to keep track of their tenant’s leave to remain. They can pass their obligation to carry out right to rent to an agent but this must be done in a written agreement clearly stating that the agent takes full legal responsibility for carrying out the checks and any penalty. There is a legal responsibility to meet tenants face to face or via a medium such as Skype. What does this mean for tenants: Tenants may find that their landlord can terminate their tenancy agreement by: Mutual agreement. Serving notice upon the tenant in accordance with usual procedure for that tenancy. Following eviction routes for disqualified people in England. Tenants may also find that if they are caught, they will be arrested and  would likely be removed/deported from the UK. Who has the Right to Rent? Those who are subject to pre- entry control, more commonly known as a visa with leave to enter incorporated. Those with permission to enter into the UK granted to non-visa nationals visiting the UK. Those with leave to remain in the UK usually granted in-country to those with existing leave. Those with a time limited leave (to enter or remain), granted for a certain period with a specified expiry date. Those with unlimited leave that has no expiry date but can be lost if conditions are not met. If you would like advice on how the Act might affect you, or how to conduct a right to rent check to avoid hefty penalties, […]

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