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Following the Home Office’s announcement about post study work visas, you might be wondering what immigration means for your business. It’s a fair consideration. After all, should Immigration Compliance call in and discover undocumented workers, you could be issued a £20,000 civil fine. Per worker. Oof.

Fortunately, there are steps you can take to protect you and your business, whilst still hiring the best person for the job.

What is the proposed new post-study work immigration route?

The proposed changes will allow international students to work in the UK for two years after successfully completing their studies at a UK university. Though there is an existing Post Study Work (PSW, as it’s known in the biz) route in use, the new one looks likely to be a less onerous application process.

The suggested changes are perhaps more fairly described as a return to the two year PSW visa which was scrapped by Teresa May’s Home Office. Under those rules, international students could enter the UK to study at university level, and then remain for a further two years in order to gain work experience.

Unlike the closely monitored period of study, the old style PSW work visa wasn’t attached to a particular employer. As a result, graduates became more difficult to keep track of.

What are visa categories?

The immigration system in the UK is divided up into ‘Tiers’ which broadly identify the reason that person is in the country. For example, a Tier 4 student visa usually means someone is here to study. Just to make it even harder, there are non-tier immigration routes, too, for visitors.

Though the eligibility criteria for most immigration routes share a common theme, the exact rules do vary between categories. These differences can affect the type or number of hours of work permitted, or who the migrant can work for using that visa.

How do I check someone has the right to work in the UK?

To avoid discrimination, employers should check everyone’s right to work. It’s a safer, more thorough approach, too. Employers are expected to see original documents, presented in-person by their owner. Scanning and emailing them over just won’t cut it (and makes it harder to fulfil the ‘check the document, check the face’ advice!).

The original documents that you check should confirm that the person has the right to work in the UK. They might have a British passport, or a visa for an immigration route which permits work (and for the work which you’re offering).

The Home Office do have a right-to-work checking service, which might give you peace of mind! Their site is also a useful source of information about all immigration routes, including becoming a sponsor for employees from overseas.

If you are considering recruiting staff, take a look at our blog ‘How Can You Attract the Best Talent to your Small Business?

About The Author

Elizabeth Hughes

A content writer specialising in business, finance, software, and beyond. I'm a wordsmith with a penchant for puns and making complex subjects accessible. Learn more about Elizabeth.

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