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Our specialist immigration team can provide you with advice and assistance in relation to all aspects of business immigration. We work with you to understand your needs and assist with navigating and ensuring compliance with complex immigration law and requirements.
We have knowledge and experience of the UK Visa and Immigration system and work with organisations in the UK and abroad who employ foreign nationals from both within and outside of the EU. We also assist those looking to invest or start up a business in the UK.
We provide advice on all elements of the visa process, including sponsorship applications, business visits, visas under Tier's 1, 2 and 5, compliance, illegal working prevention and with Home Office requirements and representations.
You will need to deal with this situation very carefully and be certain the employee does not have the right of work before taking further action. You will still need to follow a fair process and ensure that if you are terminating employment that the dismissal falls within the band of reasonable responses and you have a fair reason for dismissal.
Going forwards, you should ensure that proper record-keeping and monitoring processes are in place, to identify when immigration permissions will expire, be aware of the circumstances that could lead to an employee losing their right to work in the UK and put procedures in place to prevent illegal working.
Please ensure that you contact us for specific legal advice if you find yourself in this situation.
From 1 January 2021, in most circumstances, employers wanting to recruit EEA nationals will need a Sponsorship Licence. The same applies if you wish to employ NON-EEA nationals from elsewhere in the world.
Anyone that an employer recruits from outside the UK for the Skilled Worker route will need to demonstrate that:
The Worker Licence is divided into four different categories:
The application is done via an online form. You need to pay a fee when you apply. The fee depends on the type of licence you're applying for and what type of organisation you are. Most applications (8 out of 10) are dealt with in less than 8 weeks. UKVI may need to visit your business.
If you need assistance completing a sponsorship licence application, we are able to advise further on the process and supporting documentation needed.
Updated guidance has been published on the documents which sponsor licence holders must retain for their sponsored workers. These documents are outlined in Appendix D of the sponsor guidance. Although the Resident Labour Market Test has not been a requirement for sponsorship from 1 January 2021, the updated guidance details that evidence of the recruitment activity undertaken must be retained for all sponsored migrants from this date or reasons why a recruitment process was not conducted.
All documents must be retained for the duration of the migrant's sponsorship as well as for at least one year thereafter or until a UKVI audit has reviewed them (if earlier). This retention requirement will take precedence over other GDPR policies.
Please contact us if you have further questions regarding this.
For EU citizens who are currently living and/ or working in the UK, the Government guidance emphasises that it is the responsibility of the employee to complete a Settlement Scheme application and ensure this is in place by 30 June 2021. However, you should ensure that you are familiar with key dates to enable to you to carry out effective right to work checks and follow up checks.
UK nationals no longer have an automatic right to move to work within the European Union and similarly, EU nationals hoping to come to work in the UK no longer benefit from this right.
Whilst the specific rules will depend on the EU27 country being visited, visa-free travel will generally only be possible for UK passport holders for a limited number of permitted business activities. This is likely to cover business meetings with colleagues, clients, or customers, attending conferences and exhibitions connected with trade, industry or work and providing services (even with a charity). However, even in these circumstances, travel will be limited to 90 days in any 180-day period without a visa.
On 10 December 2020, the UK Government published guidance on the new Frontier Worker Permit. This is for those Europeans based outside the UK, but who travel to the UK to work if they have not already obtained status under the EU Settlement Scheme.
From 1 January 2021 to 30 June 2021, frontier workers will be able to enter the UK and carry on their activities without a permit or visa. From 1 July 2021 onwards, they will be required to present a frontier worker permit or other visa permission under UK law, to evidence their right to work in the UK.
Frontier workers can apply now from outside of the UK. They can also apply now from inside the UK if they use the 'UK Immigration: ID check' app. Otherwise they will need to wait until 22 January 2021 to apply online from within the UK.
For further information on eligibility and the application process, please contact us.
The Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa is no longer available if you do not already live in the UK. If you want to set up or run a business in the UK, you might be able to apply for an Innovator visa or a Start-up visa. There are a number of eligibility requirements that we can advise on further.