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first_img Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos. Data file: Obtaining work permits for foreign workersOn 16 Oct 2001 in Personnel Today The latest in a series of articles that give the basics on key areas ofemployment legislation.  This issue welook at obtaining work permits for foreign workersThe hard facts It is an offence, under section 8 of the Asylum and Immigration Act 1996,for an employer to knowingly employ individuals without the necessary UKimmigration permission. To comply with the legal requirements an employer mustobtain a work permit for all non-EEA nationals who do not qualify to enter theUK and take employment under any other immigration category, for exampleCommonwealth nationals with UK ancestry. Work permit applications are submittedto Work Permits (UK) in Sheffield, a division of the Home Office. In support ofa work permit application, it is necessary to show: – That there is a genuine vacancy in the UK, and – That the overseas national possesses the skills, qualifications andexperience required for the position, and – That the position requires a recognised degree-level qualification, or isa senior-level position requiring at least three years’ relevant experience, orrequires high-level technical or similar skills and relevant specialisedexperience, and – That the post cannot be filled by a worker from the resident EEA labourforce, for example by advertising the position in a national newspaper, tradejournal or placing instructions with a recruitment agency. It is not necessary to advertise the position in certain circumstances andthese include: – Intra-company transfers – Board-level posts, whether internally or externally appointed – Inward investment – minimum investment of £250,000 by companies, notindividuals – Shortage occupations. Work Permits (UK) recognises suitability qualifiedpersons in short supply in the UK, including certain IT positions and skillsand healthcare professionals. Obtaining a work permit It is not usually possible to “switch” immigration status whilethe individual is in the UK, except where he or she is already here underanother long-term stay immigration category. It may therefore be necessary tomake arrangements for the proposed employee to leave the UK when theapplication is submitted. – Forms and timeframes Work Permits (UK) now accepts applications by e-mail, provided that theemployer and, where applicable, its representative have pre-registered.Alternatively, hard copy paper forms can be completed. Work permit applicationstypically take between one and three weeks to process. Where genuine commercialreasons exist it is possible to arrange for an application to be expedited. Following approval of a work permit application – Visa applications for work permit-holders Nationals of certain countries require a visa to enter the UK as well as awork permit. A visa application cannot be made until after the work permit hasbeen issued and must be submitted to the relevant British mission in theindividuals’ home country or country of residence, before travelling to the UK.– Dependants Spouses and dependant children under the age of 18 years must obtain entryclearance before accompanying the work permit-holder to the UK. Over-agedependants may also be admitted to the UK where there are exceptionalcircumstances which make exclusion from the UK undesirable, for example,disabled children or elderly parents who have no other means of support. Also,unmarried partners may be eligible to apply for entry clearance as the dependantof a work permit-holder but only where there is a legal bar to marriage. – Registration with the police Following arrival in the UK, nationals of certain countries are required toregister with the police within seven days. Any accompanying spouse and childrenaged 16 or over must also register. Reading around the subject – Work Permits (UK) provides guidance on the requirements of the work permitscheme and application forms: www.workpermits.gov.uk– The Home Office and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office provide advice onvisas: www.homeoffice.gov.uk and www.fco.gov.uk/travelBy Andrea Ferguson at Wragg & Co. www.wragge.comlast_img read more