The UK Border Agency called business to action today through the launch of a new TV advert designed to help prepare them for the introduction of the Government's new route for skilled migrant workers going live in November.
Under the Government's new Australian-style Points-Based System businesses wanting to employ skilled foreign workers from outside Europe and sponsor their entry to the UK must apply for a licence.
The Agency is committed to supporting industry through the introduction of the rules to ensure legitimate businesses do not fall foul of the new regime and only those with the skills the country needs will be able to work or study here and no more.
The advert, which depicts a man being forced to jump over hurdles before being considered for entry to the UK, sends a clear message that those that do not play by the rules will not get in - businesses that want to hire illegal workers face huge fines and being barred from hiring workers from outside the EEA.
UK Border Agency Chief Executive Lin Homer said:
"The Points-Based System is one of the biggest shake-ups to the immigration system in a generation ensuring only those with the skills we need will be able to work or study here and no more.
"Our message to businesses is loud and clear - if you want to employ foreign workers from outside the EEA, you need to apply now for a sponsor licence. Business benefits from migrant labour but must join us in helping crack down on illegal working and ensure a system which is both firm and fair."
Earlier this year the Home Office unveiled the criteria which businesses will have to meet to become a sponsor under the Points-Based System. These are that:
- any business must register with the Agency as a sponsor before they can bring foreign workers from outside the EEA into the UK to work; and
- as a condition of keeping their licence, sponsors will need to alert us if migrants do not comply with their immigration conditions - for example if they disappear or do not turn up for their job or course. Any sponsor that does not comply with this requirement will risk losing its licence.
Most businesses using Tier 2 have been able to register as sponsors since February this year, with all remaining sponsors being able to apply since late July. From November, those who register successfully will be able to sponsor new foreign workers to work in the UK or support those already in the UK who want to stay.
To get in under Tier 2 (General) skilled foreign workers must have:
- enough points through their qualifications and potential earnings;
- a good grasp of English language; and
- enough money to support themselves for the first month of their stay.
The new Points-Based System is just one part of the biggest shake up to immigration and border security in 45 years, along with fingerprint visas for anyone wanting to come to the UK and compulsory ID cards for foreign nationals.