Hiring Foreign Workers
How do you employ foreign workers?
For all businesses, one of the most important issues is employing the right person who can contribute to the business. If the right person you intend to employ is not a UK or EEA (European Economic Area) citizen, you will need to meet different legal requirements to ensure you stay on the right side of the law.
If you are employing a foreign worker who needs a Tier 2 or Tier 5 visa to work in the UK, you must hold a Sponsorship Licence issued by the Home Office. With a Sponsorship Licence, you can issue certificates of sponsorship to your new foreign employees, which they need to apply for their work visas.
We provide professional advice on the process of employing foreign workers, assisting you with sponsorship licence applications, and ensuring that you carry out the proper sponsorship duties. We can also provide legal assistance in challenging a decision to revoke your sponsorship licence. Please Contact Us to discuss your case.
What are the requirements for employing non-EEA workers?
If you are a UK-based business and intend to employ non-EEA or Swiss workers, there are certain requirements that you need to meet. Your business must:
- not have any unspent criminal convictions for immigration offences or certain other crimes
- not have failed to carry out your sponsorship duties in the past
- have an appropriate system in place to monitor sponsored employees
The Home Office will review your application and may visit your business to check whether you are a genuine business and are able to carry out your sponsorship duties. There are also specific supporting documents that you need to provide with your sponsorship licence application. If you meet all the requirements, your sponsorship licence should be granted within 8 weeks.
It is important to meet all the requirements to ensure you will not employ any workers illegally.
What are my sponsorship duties?
To carry out sponsorship duties, you must:
- have a sponsorship licence before you employ any skilled foreign workers under Tier 2 or Tier 5 visas
- issue a certificate of sponsorship to each foreign worker. They need it for their Tier 2 or Tier 5 visa applications
- use the Sponsorship Management System (SMS) to manage your licence, assign certificates of sponsorship to prospective employees, and report any changes of circumstances in relation to your sponsored employees
If you fail to meet any of these sponsorship duties, then it may result in your sponsorship licence being suspended or revoked.
Employing foreign workers illegally
Under the civil penalty scheme, employers who are found employing an illegal worker could be fined up to £20,000 per illegal worker. A successful conviction could result in an unlimited fine or a two-year prison sentence.
We are able to provide legal assistance if you are charged with immigration offences for illegal workers. Please keep in mind that there is a very strict time for appealing any notice. Therefore, you need to Contact Us immediately if you find yourself in this situation.
To give your case the best chance of success, get in touch
To give your visa the best chance of success, and to reduce your stress, please contact our immigration experts.
If you wish to speak directly with one of our immigration specialists to get advice about business and personal immigration, or education in the UK and other visa issues, then please contact our Glasgow Head Office on Phone T: +44 (0)141 212 3355 or request a call back by completing the Online Form. You can also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. More information can be found from Contact Us.
*Disclaimer: The above information is for general reference only. Specialist legal advice should be sought.