Introduction of Civil penalties from 22 January 2024 to prevent illegal work

19 Dec 2023, 33 mins ago

On 4 October 2023, the majority of immigration and nationality costs, including but not limited to work and study visas, visit visas, Certificates of Sponsorship, in- and out-of-country priority and super priority service fees, saw an increase of about 15%.

Additionally, the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) will increase from 16 January 2024. This means that adults will pay £1,035 annually (instead of £624), while children, students and applicants under the Youth Mobility Scheme will pay £776 annually (instead of £470). This is a staggering 66% increase in IHS fees. Most applicants for UK visas must pay IHS fees upfront in order to receive free access to the National Health Service (NHS) and medical care while they are in the country.

The last piece of news is the publication of a new draft Code of Practice on the civil penalty scheme for employers, aiming to prevent illegal working. From 22 January 2024, this Code shall apply to all right-to-work checks, including follow-up checks to maintain a statutory excuse, and even where the initial check was conducted using an earlier version of the code that was subsequently updated. For every unlawful worker, the civil penalty payable by the employers will increase from £15,000 to £45,000 (assuming no violations have occurred in the preceding three years) and from £20,000 to £60,000 in the event of multiple violations.

Therefore, it is critical that companies assess their right-to-work check policies to make sure they are adequately compliant, follow the most recent guidelines and provide their employees with the necessary training to avoid becoming subject to civil penalties.

How Gherson can assist

Gherson’s Immigration Team are highly experienced in advising on UK visa matters. If you have any questions arising from this blog, please do not hesitate to contact us for advice, send us an e-mail, or, alternatively, follow us on X, FacebookInstagram, or LinkedIn to stay-up-to-date.

The information in this blog is for general information purposes only and does not purport to be comprehensive or to provide legal advice. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the information and law is current as of the date of publication it should be stressed that, due to the passage of time, this does not necessarily reflect the present legal position. Gherson accepts no responsibility for loss which may arise from accessing or reliance on information contained in this blog. For formal advice on the current law please do not hesitate to contact Gherson. Legal advice is only provided pursuant to a written agreement, identified as such, and signed by the client and by or on behalf of Gherson.

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