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Ukrainian woman jailed for 5 years over immigration scam | Immigration Matters

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The UK Border reports that a woman who made hundreds of thousands of pounds by employing illegal immigrants has been jailed, following an investigation by the London immigration crime team.

Ukranian national, Halyna Semenikhina, 42-years-old of Well Street in Hackney was found guilty of assisting illegal immigration and money laundering on Wednesday 16 February following a trial at Southwark Crown Court. The judge sentenced her to 5 years in prison.

Her prosecution followed a raid on the Lanesborough Hotel on Hyde Park Corner on 12 August 2010. Two contract cleaners were arrested for immigration offences. They told officers that Semenikhina was their boss.

Investigators from the London immigration crime team discovered that Semenikhina was responsible for recruiting and supervising the employees. She had their wages paid direct into her bank account, and would charge them at least £200 per week for accommodation.

Financial investigations revealed that, at the time of her arrest, Semenikhina had more than £380,000 in her numerous bank accounts.

Chris Foster, London immigration crime team, UK Border Agency said:

‘This woman cruelly exploited the desperation of others for her own personal financial gain.

‘As this case shows, illegal immigration can be big business. I hope this sends out a message that we are committed to tackling the criminals behind it, putting the ringleaders before the courts, and, ultimately behind bars.

‘Proceeds of Crime Act proceedings are now underway, to confiscate her assets and ensure that Halyna Semenikhina never benefits from her criminality. She also faces deportation at the end of her sentence.’

The London immigration crime team is a specialist unit of police officers seconded from the Metropolitan Police working alongside warranted UK Border Agency officers to investigate organised immigration crime.

Anyone who has information about immigration crime can contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 anonymously. Source: UK Border Agency

Last week Immigration Matters report that the owner of three Indian restaurants in Cumbria, in the North of England, had been jailed for two years for employing illegal immigrants. 

The government are taking a tougher line against persistent and deliberate immigration offenders by imposing criminal rather than civil penalties.

Employers who fall foul of the law normally risk a £10,000 civil penalty for employing an illegal immigrant, but the threat of a term in prison and a criminal record is a far more serious deterrent.

Despite the threat of £10,000 fines and a widely publicised information campaign, many employers are slipping up because there is still a lot of confusion surrounding the whole area of employing foreign nationals, students and even EU workers.

For instance a common assumption is that all members of the European Union have the same rights. Wrong. Not all EU members have the right to freely work in the UK.

As members of the European Union, Bulgarians have visa-free access to the UK, however, like Romanians, they do not enjoy the same treaty rights to work at the moment as the earlier A8 Eastern European EU accession countries such as Poland and Latvia.

Employers cannot employ a Romanian or Bulgarian worker in the same way they can a Polish or other A8 accession country citizen.

Many Romanians and Bulgarians register as self employed and start businesses, which is allowed, or work and study on a Yellow Card Visa. Romanian and Bulgarian Students taking work related vocational or sandwich courses, such as NVQ in Health and Social Care, are allowed to work full time, as stated on their Yellow Cards.

Other issues which cause confusion are overseas workers on student visas and dependants of Tier 4 students and Tier 2 working visa holders.

Immigration Adviser Evelie Padadac said:

‘My employer clients are so confused by the rules surrounding Tier 2 and Tier 4 Student Visas, and in particular Romanian and Bulgarian workers who despite being EU members do not have the automatic right to work here, that they are risking huge fines.’

This week the Home Office has unveiled details of a proposed major overhaul to the Tier 2 working visa route scrapping many of the procedures brought in by the previous Government.

Employers are advised to carry out an annual ‘health check’ or employee file audit to ensure that work permit holders and workers on student visas are still legal and avoid fines of up to £10,000 or even prison.

Evelie Padadac is an OISC registered immigration adviser with Bison Management UK specializing in work and study related visas as well as a file checking audit service for employers. For a free consultation call her on 0208 905 1822.

See article:

UK Border Agency launch new website

The newly revised UK Border Agency website has a better look and feel and navigation seems faster, but previously published links to specific pages of the site may no longer exist.

For instance, the link for European Workers is now:

http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/eucitizens/bulgaria-romania/work-permits/applying/

The link for ‘Bulgarian and Romanian nationals‘ is:

http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/eucitizens/bulgaria-romania/work-permits/

The UK Border Agency and Home Office website contains a vast amount of information which can be difficult to wade your way through the guidance and Immigration Rules.

The navigation section for European workers from Bulgaria and Romania also appears to have been simplified although finding specific information is still a challenge.

Confusion remains over the need for Bulgarians and Romanians applying for BR1 Yellow Cards as students to take out Comprehensive Sickness Insurance cover. 

The BR1 Form in Section 9 states:

‘If sections 4 (Students) and 5 (Self-sufficient) have been completed: evidence of ‘Comprehensive Sickness Insurance’ cover in the UK and funds to show you are economically self-sufficient, e.g. a bank statement.’

In other words, the paragraph means you need comprehensive sickness insurance only if you are applying under both ‘student’ and ‘self sufficient’ sections.

Nevertheless, student applicants are being asked to take out private medical insurance policies and are being refused if they fail to supply the correct cover.

What is the correct insurance cover?

One insurance company manager told Immigration Matters that he has been trying to get clarification on the exact requirements from the UK Border Agency for several weeks.

Active Quote offers an easy to use online quotation and application system, but also has telephone support from advisers who are on hand to answer questions.

To obtain a quotation for Comprehensive Sickness Insurance visit the Active Quote website 

See article:

 

UK Border Agency launch new website

The newly revised UK Border Agency website has a better look and feel and navigation seems faster, but previously published links to specific pages of the site may no longer exist.

For instance, the link for European Workers is now:

http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/eucitizens/bulgaria-romania/work-permits/applying/

The link for ‘Bulgarian and Romanian nationals‘ is:

http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/eucitizens/bulgaria-romania/work-permits/

The UK Border Agency and Home Office website contains a vast amount of information which can be difficult to wade your way through the guidance and Immigration Rules.

The navigation section for European workers from Bulgaria and Romania also appears to have been simplified although finding specific information is still a challenge.

Confusion remains over the need for Bulgarians and Romanians applying for BR1 Yellow Cards as students to take out Comprehensive Sickness Insurance cover. 

The BR1 Form in Section 9 states:

‘If sections 4 (Students) and 5 (Self-sufficient) have been completed: evidence of ‘Comprehensive Sickness Insurance’ cover in the UK and funds to show you are economically self-sufficient, e.g. a bank statement.’

In other words, the paragraph means you need comprehensive sickness insurance only if you are applying under both ‘student’ and ‘self sufficient’ sections.

Nevertheless, student applicants are being asked to take out private medical insurance policies and are being refused if they fail to supply the correct cover.

What is the correct insurance cover?

One insurance company manager told Immigration Matters that he has been trying to get clarification on the exact requirements from the UK Border Agency for several weeks.

Active Quote offers an easy to use online quotation and application system, but also has telephone support from advisers who are on hand to answer questions.

To obtain a quotation for Comprehensive Sickness Insurance visit the Active Quote website

See also:

Indian Restaurant owner jailed for employing illegal immigrants

UK Border Agency taking tough line on illegal working but employers are still confused

CYNTHIA BARKER SAYS EMPLOYERS WHO ISSUE TIER 2 CERTIFICATES IN ERROR SHATTER MIGRANT WORKERS’ LIVES

YES, SENIOR CARERS ARE HAVING PROBLEMS OBTAINING ILR UNDER 5 YEAR RULE

Tier 2 Working visa reforms announced by UK Border Agency

71 shortage occupations to be removed from Tier 2 visas in points-based shake up

Immigration cap on foreign staff will compromise patient care says NHS

Australia to speed up skilled migrant applications to boost economy

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: 

info@immigrationmatters.co.uk or visit www.immigrationmatters.co.uk

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