Tier 2 General Visa Compliance: Common Mistakes Employers Make
The Tier 2 General Visa is an exceptionally useful and popular visa route for both employers and skilled migrants in the UK. The visa allows employers in the UK with a Tier 2 Sponsor Licence the ability to allocate a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) to an intended employee so that they can apply for a Tier 2 General Visa. As long as all the conditions have been met, the application should be reasonably straightforward and the worker can move to the UK, you will then be responsible for maintaining their records. Unfortunately, this is where things can start to go wrong for Tier 2 Sponsor Licence holders - holders regularly make serious errors with the maintenance of their Tier 2 Sponsor Licence obligations. This failure of compliance can be a serious issue for your business and your staff. In this article, we are going to look at some of the more common compliance issues for Tier 2 Sponsor Licence holders in order to help you to maintain your licence.
What Are The Common Mistakes That Employers Make When It Comes To Tier 2 General Visa Compliance?
You may be surprised at just how easy it is to run afoul of the law when it comes to Tier 2 Sponsor Licence compliance. There is a significant amount of record-keeping that must be done in order to satisfy the requirements of the Tier 2 Sponsor Licence. In the section below we look at some of the most common reasons as to why these companies lose control of compliance.
Not keeping required documents
Keeping the right information on your Tier 2 General Visa holding staff is vital for compliance for Tier 2 Sponsor Licence holders. As part of the conditions that you agree to when applying for your Tier 2 Sponsor Licence, you must ensure that you keep up to date records. Record keeping is a vital part of ensuring that workers are meeting their visa conditions and the trust is placed in your business to help to ensure that this is the case. The documents below are the most important when it comes to record-keeping for Tier 2 Sponsor Licence holders.
- Current address
- Right to work document
- Sick leave and other absences
Failure to maintain even these basic records will result in a punishment if you are inspected by officials. You, therefore, must ensure that you have a robust and reliable system for ensuring that these are kept up to date. If you need help creating a system, get in touch with our immigration lawyers today and we can help put you on the right track for compliance.
Not updating the COS system when an employee leaves your employment
As your employees' Tier 2 General Visa is tied to your business, it is vital that the Home Office is notified when a visa holder leaves your employment. This is because their visa becomes nullified and they are no longer permitted to work in the country. Failure to notify the Home Office is a serious offence and must not be committed.
What Are The Punishments For Non-Compliance With Regards To The Tier 2 General Visa?
Punishments for non-compliance for Tier 2 Sponsor Licence holders can be severe; your sponsor licence could be suspended and that will prevent you from taking on any more Tier 2 General Visa holding staff. Depending on the severity of the offence, you may also be liable for heavy fines (up to £20,000 per worker) and even face criminal charges, therefore it is vital that you ensure compliance at all times.
If you do face one of these punishments, you will be informed at the time of how long this punishment will last. The penalty and the inability to hire more Tier 2 General Visa staff could be significant, and it could do long-term damage to your business. We cannot recommend strongly enough the importance of keeping complete and accurate records of all of your Tier 2 General Visa holding staff.
Can I Appeal A Punishment Received Due To Non-Compliance Of My Tier 2 Sponsor Licence?
The usual punishment for an infraction on a Tier 2 Sponsor Licence is known as a Civil Penalty. This penalty can be issued if you are visited by immigration officials who suspect that you have been employing workers illegally. Currently, this punishment is a fine of up to £20,000 per illegal worker. You will be notified by the immigration officer of their suspicions and will be handed a Referral Notice if it is believed that you have correctly carried out the Right to Work checks as appropriate. This referral notice means that the case has been referred to the Home Office so that further investigation can be completed. Once completed, you will then receive advice from the Home Office as to whether they intend to take the case forward or not. If you have been visited, get in touch and our immigration solicitors specialists will help you with what to do next. It is vital that you speak to us as quickly as possible so that we can offer the maximum amount of help.
It is possible to appeal a Civil Penalty - if you have been handed one, please get in touch and we can look into your situation to see if you have grounds to appeal. If you do have a case, our immigration specialists will be more than happy to take up your case and help to protect your business. If you would like to speak to someone about appealing a Civil Penalty, get in touch today and our team will be more than happy to help.
Where Can I Get More Help?
If you need more help with an immigration query, please get in touch. Our specialist immigration solicitors can help with all manner of immigration queries. Our experienced team have extensive experience and knowledge to help those with a query to reach a resolution. So call today and speak to our team about your immigration query.