UNITED KINGDOM: Immigration Enforcement Activity

February 3, 2023

Among the many consequences of the global pandemic was a notable pause in Home Office enforcement action against UK employers, including those in possession of sponsor licenses. Overnight, Home Office visits ceased. However, with a return to some form of “normality” in the previous year, in December 2022, the UK’s Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, announced his intent to tackle illegal working and immigration. This included a plan to hire 200 new immigration enforcement officials and restarting data sharing with banks to ensure that those here illegally do not have access to bank accounts.

What does this all mean for UK employers? In short, increased Home Office enforcement activity. In the five weeks since the PM’s announcement, a total of 1,152 immigration enforcement visits took place across the UK to identify illegal working, marking an almost 10% rise on visits completed in the same period prior to 11 December 2022.

With this renewed focus on Home Office compliance enforcement, UK employers will be prudent to implement processes that are fully compliant with the prevailing laws. Newland Chase is positioned to ensure this.

Our team of compliance experts have extensive experience of working with UK businesses and also within the Home Office, thereby understanding only too well the Home Office’s approach to immigration visits. We can attend your offices in person or virtually to conduct a ‘mock’ audit by assuming the role of the Home Office. By robustly assessing your processes we will deliver clear, practical advice on any necessary revisions necessary to your compliance processes, including any follow-up services to help bolster these revisions.

Additionally, Newland Chase offers bespoke services to suit your business’ specific compliance needs, including (but not limited to):

  • Training – we can deliver all aspects of immigration compliance (including Right to Work, Digital ID Checking Services, Sponsorship Compliance), tailored to your requirements
  • Policy reviews – by reviewing your existing internal policies, including on remote working practices, we make straightforward recommendations in relation to your HR policies
  • Project handling – we can assume oversight for your more complex compliance processes – for example, advising on and overseeing the Right to Work checks upon the inheritance of a workforce following a takeover


Immigration Insights

If you have any compliance queries on the above or which are more nuanced please contact us directly on [email protected].

For general advice and information on immigration and business travel to the UK, please contact us.

This immigration update is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for legal or scenario-specific advice. Furthermore, it is important to note that immigration announcements are subject to sudden and unexpected changes. Readers are encouraged to reach out to Newland Chase for any case- or company-specific assessments.