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Yes, even the Attorney General makes mistakes on domestic worker’s visa | Immigration Matters

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If you are a migrant, it is your responsibility to ensure you have the right to remain in the UK. The employer may be fined, but you are the one who will be deported.

The revelation that the UK Attorney General had employed an illegal immigrant as a housekeeper has sent shock waves through the Filipino domestic worker community.

Attorney General Baroness Scotland, who is the Government’s chief legal adviser and Minister, employed 27-year old Tongan Loloahi Tapui for six months without going through the proper checks to ensure she was legally entitled to work in this country.

Employers, including individuals employing household staff, are under a duty to verify the status of their employees. The UK Border Agency regularly imposes civil fines of up to £10,000 to firms employing illegal immigrants. Knowingly taking on an illegal worker is a criminal offence punishable by a two-year prison sentence and an unlimited fine.

A spokesperson for the Minister said she had employed Ms Tapui “in good faith”, and believed that she ‘lived locally and been married to a UK national’, was in registered employment before being taken on by the attorney general.  Ms Tapui was registered for tax and national insurance prior to her being hired and that tax and national insurance had been paid on her wages.

But the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006, which the Baroness herself helped steer through the House of Lords when she worked as a Home Office Minister, does not recognize any of the above as evidence of a person’s entitlement to work in the UK.

An employer taking on a non-EU migrant must check their passport visa stamp to show that the holder is allowed to stay in the UK and to do the type of work in question, or a new-style Biometric Immigration Document.

Non EU workers should have work permit or other approval, such as a Domestic, Dependant or Student Visa, in order to work in the UK. This must be produced in combination with either a passport endorsed to say the holder may stay and work here, or a Home Office letter confirming that this is the case.

Related articles:

Attorney General’s ex-housekeeper arrested on immigration offences

£5000 fine for Baroness Scotland over illegal employee

Government Minister ’employed illegal worker’ 

UK Border Agency ‘cleans up’ arresting three illegal immigrants at car wash

Employing illegal migrants could cost you £10,000 per worker

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Cynthia Barker is an Immigration Adviser and Co Author of the book: How 2 Come to the UK to Live Work Study or Visit. Cynthia writes a regular immigration column for Planet Philippines and Europhil Journal.

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