A report commissioned by an immigration law firm found that a majority of British companies were not aware of the correct rules for sponsoring overseas workers. Consequently, many businesses could face fines, closure or even prison sentences for directors if they fail to comply with the visa rules.
The report found that two-thirds of the businesses surveyed were unaware what documents they needed to keep on file for sponsored overseas workers, and 95 per cent were not reporting all the required changes in circumstances for sponsored workers.
In addition, the report found just 7 per cent of companies were advertising job vacancies correctly when filling a position with a non-EEA citizen
The findings revealed that businesses are not carrying out sufficient internal compliance audits to ensure internal policies, procedures and guidelines follow the required ‘duties’ of a sponsor to ensure they meet the Home Office’s stringent compliance checks.
As a result, the report warned that up to 95 per cent of small and medium-sized businesses risk having their sponsor licence revoked and many could even face closure under strict new provisions of the Immigration Act 2016. Directors risk heavy fines or even a prison sentence.
Employers wishing to retain both EU and non-EEA workers need to get fully prepared ahead of Brexit. In order to do so, the services of an immigration solicitor advising and assisting for Sponsorship Licence applications but also for the compliance with visa rules are now primordial.
If you wish to apply for a Sponsorship Licence or are already a sponsor and want to make sure that you comply with the complex immigration rules, please do not hesitate to contact our immigration team or our senior solicitor, Pam Barar.