Business Immigration

We'll keep you on the right side of business immigration law

Businesses in the UK often look for talent from inside and outside the UK. Now that the Brexit transition period has ended, businesses must now familiarise themselves and comply with immigration laws to bring in workers from outside the UK, or risk losing access to the skills they potentially need to run their business.

There are serious penalties if you do not follow the immigration rules, which can impact on your business’ ability to recruit the skills you need. We can help you navigate the processes, applications, and compliance issues that are relevant to you. We will focus on making sure that you understand your legal obligations, and help you to meet them.


Immigration updates

To keep you up to speed with the latest changes, and answer any question you may have on business immigration, we regularly host webinars. To access the recording, please click on the “register now” button below.

We can help with:
Sponsorship

When you sponsor migrant workers, there are all types of regulations to follow and obligations to comply with. The first step is to become a sponsor licence holder.

We can help you with all aspects of becoming a sponsor of migrant workers, clearly explaining your initial and ongoing obligations.

Visas

We will explain and guide you through the process of all types of visas, including:

  • Tier 1 Visas (Investor and Global Talent Visas)
  • Skilled Worker Visas (previously known as Tier 2 General Visas) and Inter-Company Transfer Visas
  • Business Visitor Visas

Settlement Scheme

If your business has a large EU workforce, you will no doubt have questions on what you can do to ensure your EU workers can remain in the UK after the transition period ends. We have helped many businesses to understand the Government’s settlement scheme, which allows EU workers in the UK to continue to live and work in the UK from January 2021. We can:

  • Advise on the settlement scheme, the deadlines, and steps to take to ensure your workers have status to continue living and working in the UK after 31 December 2020.
  • Train HR on handling queries and help EU workers to understand the impact that the UK’s exit from the EU will have on their immigration status, and how to apply for either settled or pre-settled status under the settlement scheme.

Applications

We will guide you through all types of immigration applications, making sure you understand the process and content. This includes application for:

  • sponsoring migrant workers applying for certificates of sponsorship
  • extensions

Changes to your business

The immigration rules impose requirements on businesses to update the Home Office when changes occur in your business. We can advise you on the impact of and how to comply with the immigration rules on:

  • a transfer under the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006
  • mergers and acquisitions including share sale and asset purchases
  • other changes of ownership of your business

Even where the proposed change does not impact the immediate business, changes to a sponsor licence holder’s parent or holding company can also impact on a sponsor licence. There are rules on reporting and in some cases, requirements to obtain a new licence altogether.

We work closely with our tier 1 ranked corporate team to ensure a seamless, efficient and cost effective service when advising on the impact changes to your corporate structure can have on workers you employ from outside the UK.

Conducting an immigration audit

To prevent illegal working, the Home Office imposes mandatory duties on all employers.

As a sponsor licence holder, you will have additional, more onerous obligations than you owe to settled workers, which you must comply with to satisfy your sponsorship duties. If you do not, you could lose your sponsorship licence, receive a fine, or, in some cases, face imprisonment.

The Home Office can carry out compliance visits at any time – with or without warning – and will visit all sponsors at some stage. For this reason, it is important that sponsor licence holders are fully proficient in and are aware of their duties to be compliant.

Our immigration team can conduct an audit of your documents and HR systems to make sure you are compliant.

We will:

  • Provide you with guidance to help you adequately prepare for our audit.
  • Review your HR systems and employee records on the day to make sure they are appropriate.
  • Guide you through the type of questions you might be asked by the Home Office.
  • Provide a full report after the audit, detailing risk areas and action points.

Right to work checks

UK employers have a responsibility to prevent illegal working, by conducting right to work checks before employing someone. It is very important that employers get this right, otherwise they will not have a defence to show they have done what it can to prevent illegal working. The penalties for employing someone illegally include hefty fines and in some cases, criminal sanctions.

Businesses can find it overwhelming carrying out right to work checks, particularly given the different types of visa and evidence that can be provided to show a right to work. We can help by:

  • Undertaking a right to work check ‘audit’ to ensure you are conducting checks correctly.
  • Providing advice and training to HR and line managers on how to conduct right to work checks.

Workforce planning

If your business relies on EU workers, you might be concerned about how to plan your workforce to minimise the impact of being unable to recruit EU workers without sponsoring them, when free movement ends on 31 December 2020.

We can advise you on the options available to you, to ensure you access the right people to help run your business. All our business immigration lawyers are also employment law specialists, who can provide advice both on the business immigration and employment law implications, ensuring you have one point of contact for all legal implications involved in planning for changes in recruitment and labour.

“Capital Law Limited excels at handling business immigration matters for standalone clients, as well as on behalf of the firm's broader corporate client base. The team has a particular specialism advising employers on becoming and retaining sponsor status, as well as on tiers 1 and 2 of the points-based system''.

The Legal 500
2020