News stories about the latest illegal immigration statistics or government crackdowns are never far from the headlines. Indeed, since 2020, legal enforcement visits have increased and 3,228 were conducted in January to March 2023, which is 53% higher than what has been documented in 2020.
Don’t Read Too Much into Sensationalist Stories
The negative connotations generated by sensationalist newspaper headlines can be problematic. Constantly pointing out the negatives with regard to illegal immigrants, fines and government crackdowns can, in some ways, imply that international recruitment is an area employers should avoid altogether. Of course, that’s not true and, once you move beyond tabloid news stories, you realise that overseas workers are not only a valuable asset to the British economy, but more than welcome as long as proper procedures are observed.
The problem that employers face is knowing what the proper procedures are. A fledgling business on the brink of expansion could benefit from recruiting talent from overseas. However, if the CEO doesn’t understand the international recruitment process and only focuses on things such as increased fines for making mistakes (i.e. employing migrants illegally), a whole pool of talent will be ignored. The good thing is that it doesn’t take a ton of work to get a general understanding of the process.
You will almost certainly need the help of legal experts at some point. However, before you engage the services of an immigration lawyer and spend money, you need to know whether it’s a route you want to take. That’s where a little bit of knowledge goes a long way. The sponsor licence allows UK businesses and educational establishments to legally bring over migrants. It works by vetting both parties. For example, a company that wants to recruit international workers needs to be a legitimate business with a suitable HR system in place to meet its sponsor duties.
Know Your International Recruitment Rights and Obligations
As noted by immigration law firm Reiss Edwards, other requirements include a genuine need to recruit workers from overseas, a minimum salary and the right type of visa. For example, companies can use the sponsor licence system to recruit people under the skilled worker visa, the scale-up worker visa or the senior/specialist worker visa. These things and more need to be considered before you start the sponsor licence application process.
The basics are available online, and a quick search should reveal whether it’s right for you. If it is, engage the services of a lawyer because they’ll not only make sure you get through the process properly but as efficiently as possible. They’ll also make sure you avoid any fines for mishandling the process and breaking the law.
Illegal immigration is indeed a problem, but that doesn’t mean you should avoid overseas recruitment. Don’t let sensationalist headlines about increased fines and government crackdowns put you off. According to ONS data , there were 1.7 million non-EU nationals working in the UK as of June 2022. These people are a valuable part of the economy and, moreover, a reminder that there’s a wealth of talent out there if you’re willing to follow the proper procedures.