The UK Border Agency (UKBA) has announced a change to the Immigration Rules, which were laid before Parliament this week, related to Tier 2 and work permit holding migrants applying for indefinite leave to remain (ILR).
The Government has made a ‘minor technical change’ to the evidential requirements for settlement:
‘From 31 October, migrants under Tier 2 and work permit holders will need to provide supporting documents as proof of their income before they are granted settlement’.
In practice, proof of income is normally requested by caseworkers when considering an application for extensions or ILR, but the changes to the Immigration Rules sets this in stone.
Cynthia Barker, of Immigration Advisers Bison UK, warns that this minor change should be of major concern to work permit and Tier 2 visa holders who are not being paid the correct salaries – i.e. as stated on their work permits.
‘Migrant workers often find themselves being compromised by employers who basically state salary information on immigration forms in order to obtain a work permit but do not actually pay the agreed rate to the worker.
‘In some cases the worker has agreed to the deception, but in others they are unaware or forced to go along with the ‘arrangement’ (which the UK Border Agency would consider as a fraudulent application) in order to keep their jobs and stay in the UK.’
In most cases for Senior Care Worker work permits, the required minimum pay rate was £7.02 per hour and it was on this basis that a work permit would have been issued. If you are not receiving this rate or more you will have problems renewing your visa or applying for ILR. Your visa could also be cancelled following a UK Border Agency inspection and file check.
Employers – who are advised to carry out regular file audits on all migrant workers before they get a visit from the UKBA – may get a slap on the wrist or a civil penalty, but the worker could face a refusal and eventual deportation.
Cynthia Barker advises workers who are being paid below the legal rate to talk to ‘their employers or seek further advice’. If a settlement cannot be reached the worker may have to find another employer.
If you need any immigration advice or help with Sponsorship or Work Permits, Visa, ILR/Settlement, Citizenship, dependant visa or an appeal against a refusal please email: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.immigrationmatters.co.uk