The UK Government are to simplify the verification process to enable employers to carry out immigration checks to find out whether foreign nationals have the right to work in Britain, Immigration Minister Damian Green announced today.
Within the next three months employers will have online access to verify that the details contained on a foreign employee’s biometric residence permit (BRP) are correct.
Damian Green said:
‘It is vital that we work with employers to give them the tools they need to meet their obligations.
‘Our new online checking service will also turn up the pressure on those who wish to live and work here illegally. The message is clear – the UK is no longer a soft touch for illegal workers.’
The Government also announced that from 29 February 2012 BRPs will be issued to more categories of foreign nationals, including refugees and those granted permission to settle in the UK.
BRPs, which contain data such as fingerprints and photograph on a secure chip, are issued to non-EEA nationals with permission to remain in the UK for more than 6 months.
BRPs are simplifying the process of checking an individual’s right to work by replacing the wide range of documents currently in use.
Around 600,000 BRPs have been issued since November 2008. From next year they will cover all those applying from inside the UK to remain here for more than 6 months.
To meet increased demand and provide foreign nationals with more locations around the UK where fingerprints and photographs can be taken, the immigration minister has today announced that a contract for the collection of this information has been awarded to the Post Office Ltd, which will offer a network of around 100 locations. Source: UK Border Agency.
Employers will welcome the new system as it will make their lives easier when trying to decide whether or not a person can work legally or not, as well as avoiding a massive fine of up to £10,000 per illegal worker.
Following an unprecedented number of major changes to the Immigration Rules in the last five years, there is widespread confusion over who can and cannot work in the UK.
For instance, the number of hours a student or their dependant can work, yellow cards, blue cards, purple cards and EU citizens exercising EC treaty rights.
Non-EU Tier 4 students are a minefield for employers who are not always sure of the hours they can work and, with so many colleges closing down, whether or not they are even studying.
The situation with workers from the European Union is not as straightforward as you would imagine. Employers are often unaware of the distinct difference between ‘A8’ nationals (Polish, Latvian, Slovakian, Czechs, Hungarians, Slovenians Lithuanians and Estonians), who joined the EU in 2004 and more recent members from Bulgaria and Romania. Although both groups have the same rights to freely enter the UK, they do not enjoy the same rights to work, or free movement of labour.
Even though they are EU members, when it comes to employment Bulgarian and Romanian citizens do not have the same rights as other Europeans, for instance from Poland, Slovakia or other A8 Accession countries.
UK work restrictions on Bulgarian and Romanian nationals have been extended until the end of 2013.
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:
Majestic College offer special packages for EU students. They also have a number of employers looking for staff right now and are willing to employ Bulgarians and Romanians.
For more information call Joanna on 0208 207 1020 or email firstname.lastname@example.org