Immigration Advice

This advice is not provided in any official capacity and is our view only. You should validate our views with the UKBA website.

Immigration continues to be a huge topic in the UK and continues to affect the technical recruitment sector.

BizTek employs former OISC regulated immigration advisors and continues to consult with the UKBA on scheme issues. BizTek offers advisory services to clients and candidates.

The UK continues to see net migration numbers rising greater than planned and this has been largely due to the expansion of Europe, as well as financial difficulties in some EU countries resulting in the UK being a desirable location for work purposes.

Prior to this the UK was openly encouraging workers from outside the EU and the Tier 1 HSMP and PSW schemes were the main route for talent to enter and work in the UK. Of course due to the increased migration from within the EU, these schemes have been terminated or restricted.

This has resulted in the increased use of the Tier 2 visa scheme, as well as the increased arrival of spouses under dependant visas.

In our capacity as a recruitment consultancy we are actively working at the forefront of immigration legislation in validating non EU workers either entering the UK or those already here.

In our experience we are seeing whole scale abuse of the immigration system, largely being encouraged by a lack of agency and client knowledge and a proliferation of umbrella companies and/or payroll companies operating schemes in breach of immigration scheme legislation. In fact BizTek has in the past couple of years been engaged by clients to perform immigration audits, one resulting in the removal of many illegal workers, as well as working with the UKBA identifying illegal scheme providers.

The following is advice re the main two schemes and some pitfalls to look out for.

Tier 2

Formally known as a work permit, this allows a UK company to employ a non EU national in a permanent capacity, NOT on a typical contract basis via an agency.

Although the candidate must make the application, the employer must be a registered Tier 2 sponsor and must supply the candidate with a sponsorship certificate to submit with their application. In general, the employer must prove to the UKBA that they have already conducted a European wide recruitment search to identify a suitable candidate and have failed. Hence hiring Tier 2 applicants can be a lengthy process.

Tier 2 visas are ONLY applicable to full time permanent employment. The employer must provide the applicant with their work and they must manage their daily work outputs, career etc. Unless the employer is performing project work onsite at a client, the applicant will be employed in the employers own office.

NOTE that ‘contracting' (as normally arranged via an agency) is not allowed under a Tier 2.

Beware Illegal schemes: There are a number of umbrella companies who are offering to sponsor Tier 2 visas and telling the applicant to then obtain their own work via the agency market. Applicants are then simply contracted out as agency contractors. This is in breach of UK legislation. The UKBA is actively working to eliminate such schemes. Our advice is to phone the UKBA help line to seek guidance.

Tier 2 - Dependants

In recent years we are seeing a huge increase in people working as a dependant of a Tier 2 holder. Dependants can generally work in any capacity, permanent or contract. BUT note that employers must realise that the person's ability to stay in their job is dependent on the Tier 2 holder obtaining a visa extension from his/her employer/sponsor.

Companies employing a Tier 2 dependant must be aware:

1.   Validate the Tier 2 visa holder.  If the visa holder is illegally working e.g. via an umbrella scheme/payroll provider and supplied out via an agency as a contractor, then the dependant is equally illegal.

2.  Tier 2 visa holders and their dependants are generally seeking to stay long term in the UK and after 5 years working in the UK, can apply for ILR (indefinite leave to remain), otherwise known as British settlement. This means that they can live and work in the UK without any recourse to visas. However there are two main types of Tier 2 visas - General and ICT (Intra-company Transfer). Note that holders of an ICT Tier 2 cannot apply for ILR.  Hence it is vital for any employer thinking of hiring a Tier 2 dependant to validate this. Obviously an ICT dependant cannot be indefinitely employed, which generally is what the employer is expecting.

The above is just a snapshot of the BizTek GLC services, open to our clients and of course as implemented within our recruitment teams as part of our candidate validation process.

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