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Sponsoring Workers From Outside the EU? The Rules Are Tight!

ComputerMany companies rely heavily on specialised overseas workers from outside the EU and are permitted to sponsor their entry into Britain. However, the exercise of that privilege is subject to strict safeguards, as one IT company discovered to its cost.

The company employed about 600 people in India and about 50 in the UK. It held a sponsorship licence but was subject to an unannounced inspection by border control officers, who discovered a number of irregularities. After members of the company’s staff were interviewed, the licence was suspended and later revoked.

In one instance, officers reported that a worker who had entered Britain on the basis that he would be working as a software developer at the company’s head office had in fact been deployed to clients’ premises. The company was said to have provided false information, in that the vacancy that the man had been assigned to fill was not genuine. There had also been a failure to report that certain sponsored individuals had not in fact commenced employment with the company.

In dismissing the company’s judicial review challenge to the revocation of its licence, the High Court could find nothing unreasonable or disproportionate in the decision. The move was entirely justified on the evidence and arguments that there had been an unlawful failure to consider the impact on workers’ children were also rejected.