Immigration is certainly a hot topic right now for the UK, as well as in the United States. Many countries are essentially nations of immigrants unto themselves, which brings our moral dilemma to the forefront:
Offering sponsorships or incentives to attract foreign talent isn’t a bad thing. After all, it does allow the free flow of innovation and genius to cross all borders – something we can all benefit from these days. However, it’s vital to continue to stimulate and motivate the native population; those who have patronized the very companies who now are seeking to outsource their workforce.
Where Does The UK Stand?
With the right balance, employing immigrants and foreign students can be a win-win for the UK as it struggles in its efforts to achieve economic stability.
One thing is for certain, the UK is intent on making sure that its companies also hire local workers – effectively proposing that new visa levies be put into place which will fund UK apprenticeship programs for Britain and the rest of the EU. Also reported in May 2015, the strict government crackdown on illegal immigrants is in direct response to a 20% increase over 2014’s number of foreign offenders subject to deportation.
Immigration Enforcement is a part of the Home Office, and its duties include abuse prevention and tracking of offenders. Though IE regulates orderly immigration within the law, it also supports economic growth.
Rules For Employing Immigrants
Whether your reasons are altruistic or just practical – as a prospective employer of foreign workers, you will need to comply with the laws and regulations the UK has in place. Keep in mind that you are responsible for making certain your worker is legal, because an employer’s penalties can be quite severe for any lack of due diligence.
First of all, does your prospective employee have a right to work in the UK? Perform an immigration status check if the person does not have a passport issued by from the UK, the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland.
Depending on the circumstances, as an employer you may need to apply for a sponsor’s licence in order to hire an immigrant worker. First, you can find out whether your business is eligible, then submit the appropriate sponsor’s licence application (covering either a Tier 2 or Tier 5 worker, or both). Additionally there must be an appointed manager of the sponsorship process within your business. There is also an application for sponsoring a student worker.
UK-Bound Immigrant Workers
If you are interested in or aware of a potential candidate for immigrant status, be sure to forward this article to them. International business laws can be quite complex, but fortunately, the UK Visas and Immigration authority provides a broad overview, with links to necessary details for everything from settling in the UK to visa processing times.
There is also a points-based calculator available to let these applicants know whether they are eligible to study or work in the UK. Additional certificates of sponsorship and confirmation of studies are described, as well as how these might apply to their circumstances.
Types of Available Work Visas
All immigrant workers and students must pay the immigration health surcharge prior to posting applications (students may only apply online). Depending upon the type of Tier, there is up to one renewal allowed, after which the worker may apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain.
July 14, 2015 changes to student visa immigration rules, have been inacted to “help reduce immigration abuse, ensuring the UK maintains a competitive offer and attracts the brightest and best international students. The UK continues to welcome genuine students to our world class universities.”
Tier 4 (general) – Application for the student visa allows for study in the UK if you have an unconditional offer on a course with a licenced Tier4 sponsor. Students must be a minimum age of 16 years old, and from a country not in the EEA or Switzerland. Further, you must speak and write English, have the money to support yourself and pay for courses. There is also a Tier 4 (child) visa for students between 4 and 17 years of age; who must additionally have consent from a guardian or parent.
Remember the law stipulates that these students must be paid at least as much as a UK student carrying out the same internship. All compensations made to one, must be made to the other; and employers must make contributions to National Insurance on the immigrant student’s behalf. This student may not fill the role of the employer’s regular staff.
You must have a sponsor, and your work must relate to that sponsor’s industry.
Tier 2 (general) Visa – If you are a skilled worker with a job offer, or intra-company transfer to its UK branch, you may apply for a Tier 2 visa. This visa typically is meant to bridge the gap in shortage positions which the UK cannot fill. The term lasts up to 5 years and you can apply for up to a total of 6 years.
Tier 5 (temporary workers) – Apply for Tier 5 visas if the position is for a short term live and work position in the UK of up to 2 years. They can range from temporary religious and charity positions to creative and sporting events, working for a foreign government or as a private servant in a diplomatic home. You can work self-employed (as long as your equipment is less than £5,000) with no employees but cannot obtain public funding.