The UK Border Agency nabbed another 11 illegal immigrants in raids on 2 factories in the Midlands last week.
On 15 August border officers paid an unannounced visit to Merridale Polishing and Plating Ltd, Brookside, off Friars Street, Wednesbury and at the company’s sister site in Oxford Street, Bilston, Wolverhampton.
Eight Indian men were arrested at the Wednesbury site and a further three Indian men were caught at the Bilston site after checks showed that they had no right to work in the UK.
The business was issued with a potential fine of up to £10,000 per illegal worker which will have to be paid unless it can prove that it carried out proper pre-employment checks.
The agency said that action will now be taken to remove the illegal workers from the UK as soon as possible.
Alice Hopkins, from the UK Border Agency West Midlands, said:
‘Foreign nationals who are in this country illegally should be in no doubt that they will be found, arrested and removed from the UK.
‘Companies that think they can undercut competitors by employing illegal workers should be warned that they will face heavy fines and possible prosecution.’
Employers unsure of the steps they need to take to avoid employing illegal workers can visit the Preventing illegal working section, or they can call the UK Border Agency’s Employers Helpline on 0300 123 4699.
Anyone with information about suspected immigration abuse can contact crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 0800 555 111 anonymously or complete the Report immigration crime form. Source: UK Border Agency.
The UK Border Agency West Midlands team has deported over 250 illegal immigrants from the Midlands area of the UK in just two months, according to the Birmingham Mail last month.
They were removed from the West Midlands, Warwickshire and West Mercia during a major campaign to clamp down on companies which employ foreign nationals who do not have the right to work in the UK.
Since May 8 this year, officers from the agency’s Solihull base have stepped up efforts to find, arrest and detain foreign nationals who have overstayed their limited leave to remain visas – e.g. overseas students.
They tracked down 102 visa overstayers and 154 other immigration offenders were arrested and removed following unannounced visits by UK Border Agency officers.
Raids on homes and business addresses took place across the region, including Birmingham, Coventry, Rugby, Wolverhampton and Worcester.
Most of those removed were from Bangladesh, India and Pakistan. But EU nationals from Romania are also working illegally without the required permission.
Bulgarian and Romanian citizens are still subject to restrictions on working in the UK and cannot be employed in the same way as other EEA nationals. UK work restrictions on Bulgarian and Romanian nationals, were extended until the end of 2013 by the government last November.
Employers who fail to carry out the proper checks on migrant workers, including Bulgarians and Romanians, risk a fine of up to £10,000.
Immigration Advisers Bison Management has helped many companies avoid a £10,000 fine by carrying out immigration audits on all staff files. Immigration Adviser Cynthia Barker said:
‘Busy managers and owners are not always aware of the ever changing Immigration Rules on Tier 2 working visas, student visas, dependant visas and EU workers from Bulgaria and Romania who need permission to work.
‘Student visa rules on working hours and dependant’s entitlement to work have changed and many students or their dependants are working illegally because the employer has not bothered to check their visas.
‘My advice is to call in a professional to do a complete audit on all staff files before the UKBA walks in and does it for you.’
Employers, especially those who employ migrant workers on working or student visas, must have a system in place to check entitlement to work and monitor visa expiry dates, as the government is targeting illegal working.
If you need any immigration advice or are worried about the new immigration rules or need help with Sponsorship or Tier 2, Tier 4, applying for university if your college has closed down, Visa, ILR, Settlement, Citizenship, Dependant Visa or an appeal against a UK Border Agency or British Embassy refusal, or if you have been waiting for a reply from the Home Office for longer than a year, 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