Employment Rights For Workers On Visas
If you're in the UK on a Tier 2 General Visa, you may be wondering what your employment rights are, and how they might differ from other workers. In this article, we will look at employment rights for Tier 2 General Visa holders and look at what affects them specifically in the workplace.
How are my employment rights different from other workers if I'm working in the UK on a Tier 2 General Visa?
In essence, they are not any different from any other worker in the UK. That's the idea anyway, in reality, as your employer is also your sponsor, you may need to keep in mind that they can significantly affect your life and this is in contrast to your colleagues who do not rely on the employer to keep them in the country. This may sound a little oppressive, but it's only meant to protect you. While you clearly have the same rights as your colleagues, the potential of having the right to remain in the UK taken away means that Tier 2 General Visa workers are often expected to maintain a high standard of work.
You are though entitled to all of the same protections that your colleagues are, these include the right to be paid correctly and treated fairly in all dealings. If the business is looking to sack you, they need to do it the right way: they need to conduct adequate and fair investigations and also give you a disciplinary hearing to ensure that you understand what is going on and that you have a right to reply. This is the same as any employee and any failure on their part to do this leaves them open to employment tribunals and legal action.
What happens if I'm on a Tier 2 General Visa and get sacked?
Unfortunately, the answer in this case is: it depends. The first action you should take in this situation is to contact an immigration specialist such as ourselves. Where we proceed with your case will depend on the circumstances of why you were sacked and if the process was followed correctly. If the process was followed correctly, we may advise you to look for an alternative job with another Tier 2 Sponsor Licence holder. If you can get another job with a new employer, they will provide you with a new Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS), you will then be able to apply for a new visa. If the dismissal was unfair then we may opt for a different approach entirely.
Your current Tier 2 Sponsor Licence holder is duty bound to inform the Home Office within 10 days of the change to your circumstances. Once the Home Office receives this information, they will then make a decision on your future. If you have more than 60 days left on your visa, it is likely that they will curtail your visa to end within 60 days. If your visa is curtailed, you will need to leave the country within 60 days. If you have less than 60 days left on your visa, they will likely just let it lapse.
Can I appeal against losing a Tier 2 General Visa if I'm sacked?
This will depend on the advice you get from the Home Office. In many circumstances you may be advised that you are not entitled to appeal, that being the case, you will need to seek alternative employment or leave the country. If you speak to us, we can assess your case to see if there's anything we can do for you. Often many people have more options than they believe they do, and by talking to us, we can work through your options.
Whatever you decide to do, it is important that you speak to us at the earliest opportunity. Once your employer contacts the Home Office, as they are duty bound to do within 10 days, a decision will be made quickly on your situation. Often this decision will be to curtail your visa and give you 60 days to leave the country. Clearly this doesn't leave you very much time to make alternative arrangements, and by speaking to us there may be an alternative option you haven't considered.
Can I move jobs if I'm on a Tier 2 General Visa?
Yes, you can. As long as you're within your current visa period, you'll be able to seek alternative employment. Unless you're about to receive Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR), your new employer would also need to be a Tier 2 Sponsor Licence holder. Essentially you will need to apply for a brand new visa using a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) from the new intended employer. Once your new visa is granted, your old visa will come to an end and you will be free to move jobs.
Many Tier 2 General Visa holders believe incorrectly that they are stuck with their current employer, this simply isn't the case. As long as they can maintain the eligibility criteria of a Tier 2 General Visa, they will be able to move to the employment of an alternative Tier 2 Sponsor Licence holder. If you are worried about your Tier 2 General Visa and moving jobs then please get in touch, our expert advisors can help you to understand your rights and help with a new application for a visa.
Where can I get more help?
If you need help with your Tier 2 General Visa, or indeed you have any other immigration query then please get in touch. Our expert immigration solicitors can help you with your query, they can also help with applications for visas and almost anything else you can think of related to immigration. Don't suffer in silence, have your query answered today.