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Illegal working raids in London’s Chinatown fourteen arrested | Immigration Matters

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The UK Border Agency has confirmed that fourteen arrests were made following an illegal working crack down in London’s Chinatown on Wednesday 27 June.

Acting on intelligence, officers targeted New World Restaurant, Gerrard Place at around 16:30. Immigration checks were carried out on individuals to see if they were entitled to live and work in the UK.

Fourteen Chinese nationals including 6 men, aged between 20 and 44, and 8 women, aged between 23 and 44, were arrested. They were all detained for a variety of immigration offences, including overstaying their visas and leave to entering the UK without leave to do so.

Three of the men and one woman remain in immigration detention awaiting removal from the country whilst the others have been released on immigration bail.

Steve Fisher, from the UK Border Agency, said:

‘We carry out hundreds of operations like this every year across London, and where we find people who are in the UK illegally we will seek to remove them.

‘Illegal working has a serious impact on communities, undermining legitimate businesses and taking jobs from those who are genuinely allowed to work.

‘We’re happy to work with businesses to let them know what checks need to be done on staff, but those who do break the law should know that we are out there looking for them and they will face heavy fines.’

Eleven of the people working for New World had no right to work in the UK and a civil penalty notice has been served for employing suspected illegal workers. If the employers are unable to provide evidence that legally required checks were carried out before giving the workers a job a fine of up to £10,000 per illegal worker will be imposed.

Anyone with information about suspected immigration abuse can contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 anonymously or complete the Report immigration crime form. Source: UK Border Agency.

The UK Border Agency has launched updated guidance for employers on preventing ‘illegal working’ to help them check if someone has a right to work.

Information about employing Romanian and Bulgarian citizens has been included in the new guidance for the first time.

The agency says the guidance has been completely revised and simplified to make it easier to read.

The new guidance provides much needed information on which documents are acceptable when ‘proving a right to work’ and helps employers understand what checks they are expected to carry out.

Employers who fail to demonstrate that they have carried out the appropriate checks and are found employing workers illegally could be fined £10,000 for each illegal worker and even face a 2 years in prison.

The guidance is available on the UKBA website includes the following changes:

  • More information relating to biometric residence permits, specifically to those that show a holder has indefinite leave to stay in the UK
  • Information on the various work restrictions placed on students from outside the European Economic Area (EEA)
  • The impact of fines when applying for a sponsor licence or on licensed sponsors
  • Best practice recommendations when carrying out document checks

This guidance also sees information relating to certain European nationals moved to the guidance on employing EEA nationals, as restrictions no longer apply.

Even though they been members of the European Union since 2007, 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. See: Free Movement of EU nationals explained.

UK work restrictions on Bulgarian and Romanian nationals, were extended until the end of 2013 by the British government last November. Other European countries have similar barriers to their newest EU ‘partners’.

Bulgarians and Romanians coming to the UK on Yellow Card registration permits can work and study full time on vocational courses such as NVQ or QCF courses in Health and Social Care

Further information and important updates on preventing illegal working can be found on the UKBA website.

See also:

UK Border Agency update guidance on preventing illegal working

How to live and work legally in the UK if you are Bulgarian or Romanian

Albanian car wash owner ordered to handover £60,000 for immigration crime

12 illegal workers arrested in UK Border Agency restaurant raids

How Romanians and Bulgarians working illegally without Yellow Card or papers can legalise their status in the UK

Employment restrictions for Bulgarians and Romanians extended until end of 2013 

36 arrested in illegal worker raid in West London

Home Secretary ‘planning changes to ‘Life in the UK’ immigrant test

New appeal regulations on family visit visa confirmed


Immigration clampdown announced – if you want to marry a foreigner and live in the UK together you must earn £18,600

Visa and Immigration Appeals on the increase

Full right of appeal removed for UK family visit visa

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 refusal, or if you have been waiting for a reply from the Home Office for longer than a year, please email: or visit for free immigration news updates.

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