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Employing Foreign Nationals

Do you need to apply for a Employing Foreign Nationals?
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Obligations of an Employer when Employing Foreign Nationals and

If you are thinking about employing foreign nationals, there are pros and cons that you should consider to make sure that you get the best out of your new employees and that you make the right decision for your business. It is also vital that you keep up to date with current legislation, as it is a criminal offence to employ someone who is not entitled to work in the UK.          

Before employing the employer should ensure you check the status of any new employees during the recruitment process.

For arriving at a correct decision you must seek the help of our experts about the process and will he will help you in making the right choices for your team and your company.



Foreign Nationals may be helpful to you in providing skill sets that aren’t available with you to enhance your business. You may also find the right people for your business’s needs who may also help the UK speed up its rise during recession. Like in the field of UK digital technology which is a booming industry in the UK, it is attracting investment and continually creating new jobs. It needs to attract the best international talent in order to grow the digital technology industry and the UK economy.

While employing Foreign Nationals it may be ensured that English being foreign language, it may prove to be a language barrier for him, and they may not grasp business jargon easily or have trouble with understanding British slang. As per the policy Foreign nationals need to be able to communicate with both the written and spoken word. If they are not able to pass written assessments it can delay or prevent them getting permanent opportunities of final settlement.  Further as an employer one has also ensure complying with the laws that govern employing foreign nationals; failing which both fines and jail sentences can be given for employing unentitled employee for work in the UK.

Checking suitability for recruitment

As an employer you must ensure that you are complying with all the Rules in vogue.  You must check that the employees you are going to employ are entitled to work in the UK as It is an offence to employing someone aged 16 or over or who does not have the right to work in the UK or the right to do the type of work that you are offering under the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006.

While processing recruitment it is pertinent to avoid race discrimination. Employers must not discriminate against foreign national applicants or dismiss their application on account of their race, as they may well be entitled to work in the UK. In the event foreign nationals are turned down for a job role in the UK, it is always likely that they may bring a discrimination claim in the same way as UK citizens can.  Therefore, as an employer you must avoid this by following the same recruitment procedures you follow for foreign nationals as you would for UK applicants.  You must obtain the information to prove their immigration status early in the process.

It sometime may happen that your successful applicant, a foreign national, may not have permission to work in the UK.  In such an eventuality then you can sponsor a prospective employee as an alternative to help them getting the necessary permission to work in the UK.

Following the Policy

While framing, your company policy should ensure that you check the immigration status of every prospective employee irrespective of their origin. In order to check the veracity of claim, all potential employees should be asked to show original documents that prove that they are entitled to work in the UK. Check that all the details are correct, photographs match the employees’ real appearance and that no dates have expired.  You must also retain copies of all such documents for your records and keep them in custody carefully. The conditions and contract of employment should be mentioned that states that the employee must keep the employer updated with information that may affect their immigration status. One of the clause should also allow the employer to terminate a foreign national’s employment immediately if there is a change in their status that was at the time of recruitment (usually without notice or any sort of compensation due to the breach of contract).

Breach and the penalties

An employer knowingly hire illegal workers (this includes students with expired visas and those who are only on a visitor’s visa) breach of the law,  may be liable to pay a civil penalty of up to £20,000 per worker (this increased from £10,000 on 6th April 2014) and may also receive a jail sentence of up to two years.  In case the employers are able to prove that they had completed all the formalities and had asked for and copied all the necessary documents from the employee, in such case the law gives employers a statutory defence against conviction for employing an illegal worker.

The law does not impose any restriction to work and live in the UK on foreign nationals from the European Economic Area (EEA) countries and Switzerland (and Bulgaria and Romania since January 2014).


Periodical checks of employees

All prospective employees need to be checked if they have a right to work in the UK. Such check should not be just on those who appear to be of non-British descent as such an action may tantamount to discrimination and the employees may lay claims. If cases where foreign national’s permission has expired, or is about to expire and is unlikely to be extended, an employer may have to dismiss them to avoid breaking the law. However, where such employee has made an application to extend it and the decision is pending, it is inadvisable to dismiss them as the employee may still have the right to work in the UK.  Such information about their status may be ascertained from the Visa and Migration Lt.

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Do you need to apply for a Employing Foreign Nationals?
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We specialise exclusively in UK Immigration and Nationality Law. We are regulated by the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner(OISC). We provide immigration services to clients from worldwide. Immigration law is complex and with the rules constantly changing we strongly recommend that you use specialists to support and represent you from the start. Call us now for an honest opinion of your case, possible costs and options.

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