A new Immigration Bill published today contains policies outlined in the Conservative Party’s plans to tackle illegal work and manage migration. The intention of the bill is that without access to work, illegal migrants will depart voluntarily, but where they do not, other measures will support enforced removals.
The key points of the bill include the following proposals:
- The introduction of new penalties related to labor market rules violations and the appointment of an individual to govern the implementation of these rules and offences;
- Rolling out Right to Rent checks (piloted in the West Midlands earlier this year), requiring landlords to ensure renters are legally entitled to be in the United Kingdom;
- Conferring additional powers on banks and police which require them to undertake checks on individuals and provide feedback to the UK Visa and Immigration service;
- The introduction of new powers for immigration officers to seize and search for nationality documentation and retain passports;
- The cancelation of leave extensions if the foreign worker has failed to comply with a condition attached to their leave or has used deception in seeking leave to remain;
- The imposition of a language requirement for public sector workers; and
- The introduction of an Immigration Skills Charge which will apply to all Tier 2 sponsored migrants.
What This Means for Employers and Foreign Nationals
Employers should ensure that their foreign workers have valid permission to enter or remain in the United Kingdom at all times.
Employers should be prepared to incur additional charges applying to all Tier 2 sponsored workers once the skills charge is introduced.
Foreign nationals must avoid overstaying the expiry date of their visa, as overstayers will be subject to tougher penalties.