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Leave Our Overseas Workers Alone! | Immigration Matters

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Employing foreign workers has become a necessity in the Care Industry, which would grind to a halt without them.

Following my last article “The Care Industry Still Needs Foreign Workers” we have received an overwhelming response from Care Managers and owners up and down the country.

The vast majority of calls and letters we received agreed that the industry depends upon foreign workers from outside the EU.

One home owner in the learning disability sector said that he would not have been able to expand his business without his Filipino and Indian staff: “they are the backbone of our business and we couldn’t operate without them” he said.

Several managers were appalled that the Home Office had become much stricter when dealing with new Work Permit renewals for overseas care staff. Some had even lost staff due to Work Permit refusals.

All agreed that they should have the right to choose where to recruit their staff from and be assured that their existing Work Permit holding staff will be safe from future Home Office policy changes.

The message to the government is clear:

“Leave our overseas workers alone!”

What Documentation is required for Overseas Workers?

I am asked this question several times a day. Although we have covered this issue in previous articles, I thought it might be helpful to give you the following guidelines, prepared in conjunction with Martin Wigg for the Hertfordshire Care Providers Association (HCPA), on the documentation an employer should have for an overseas worker.

For the purpose of this exercise let’s assume that there are two categories of overseas or ‘Non UK National’ Staff:

  • Citizens of the European Union (EU), European Economic Area (EEA) and the new Accession 8 Countries (A8).
  • Citizens of Countries outside the EU

EU/EEA Citizens are permitted to live and work anywhere within its borders, including the UK. When recruiting EU Citizens the same documentation of identity as for UK Nationals is required eg: Passport, Original Photograph, Birth Certificate, etc. If you are in any doubt, call the Home Office Employers’ Help Line on 0845 010 6677.

Citizens of the A8 former eastern bloc nations, such as Poland and Latvia, are permitted to work in the UK subject to certain conditions. People who have worked here for less than 12 months need to register with the Workers Registration Scheme (WRS). For further information visit ‘Useful Websites’ at

In respect of non UK staff from outside the EU, in addition to the usual references and checks, the following documents should be examined, and copies taken for record purposes:

  • A valid Passport
  • A valid Work Permit issued by the UK Home Office
  • A Visa (or Leave to Remain) stamp issued by the British Embassy in their country of origin or by the UK Home Office.
  • CRB & POVA Checks

A Work Permit is not sufficient on its own and is applicable to one employer.

The Expiry date of the Visa should be checked to ensure that it will remain valid for the period worked. If a Visa or valid Leave has expired the person should not work and will normally have to leave the UK.

If a Work Permit holder changes jobs they must apply to the Home Office for a new Work Permit and Further Leave to Remain. It is illegal to employ a NUKN citizen (Non EU/EEA) unless they hold either a valid Visa or Leave to Remain Permit.

In respect of Students the following documentation is required:

· A valid Passport

· A valid Visa

· Letter from the Home Office granting them Student Status. This will be time limited.

· A letter from the College confirming they are a current student

· CRB & POVA Checks

Students may normally only work a maximum of 20 hours per week during their term time. During holiday times they may work in excess of 20 hours. Sandwich courses may allow them to work longer hours if the course is work related.

NB: if students are going to work in excess of 48 hours they must, like all other staff, sign a ‘Consent to Work in Excess of 48 Hours’ form.

NOTE: All newly recruited staff (including NUKN Staff & Students) must also be treated in accordance with the Care Standards Act and Employment Law, including undergoing Common Induction Standard Training and receiving a Contract/Terms of employment.

For regular immigration updates see

If you should have any questions or views you would like to express concerning Work Permit, Visa Extensions, Leave to Remain or need help finding staff please email

Charles Kelly

I will be speaking on: “Are You Employing Staff Illegally?” at:

Surrey Care Association 14th September 2006

The Care Show (NEC 25th October 2006)

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