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New updated guidance for employers on preventing illegal working | Immigration Matters

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The UK Border Agency has published new guidance this week for employers on ‘preventing illegal working’.

This guidance is intended to help employers understand the law on illegal working and what the steps the must take to comply and avoid fines of up to £10,000 per illegal worker.

The new document is an update of the original comprehensive guidance, which was published in February 2008 at the start of the illegal working civil penalty regime. It includes details of document checks that employers are advised to undertake, and provides up-to-date images of the documents, stamps and endorsements that may be presented by migrant workers as evidence of their right to work in the UK.

The main changes include:

  • confirmation that employers can accept evidence of status in expired passports and travel documents (with the exception of the certificate of entitlement to the right of abode) – pages 20 and 32 refer;
  • updated images of documents, stamps and endorsements;
  • 2 new appendices – Appendix B (‘Employing asylum seekers and refugees’) and Appendix D (‘Employing students’); and
  • updated contact details for further support and information.

You can download the updated guidance from the preventing illegal working – guidance and documents page on the UK Border Agency website.

For general enquiries regarding illegal working, contact the Sponsorship and employers’ helpline on 0300 123 4699.

Evelie Padadac, an OISC registered immigration adviser with Bison Management UK who specialises in work and study related visas as well as a file checking audit service for employers, hopes the new guidance will help employers. She said:

“Many of our employer clients are confused by the rules on employing EU and non EU workers, for instance those on student or dependant visas, or Romainian and Bulgarian EU citizens who do not enjoy the same rights as all other Europeans.

“Tier 2 Sponsors can effectively issue their own work permits and mistakes are being made which may not come to light until a UKBA insepction or when the migrant worker applies for indefinite leave to remain.”

See also:


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: or visit

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