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Corporate Immigration Solutions

Immigration is a particularly political area of UK law and, as such, is subject to regular change. There are a multitude of immigration routes for non-European Economic Area nationals to work in the UK. The UK's immigration rules are complex and strictly applied. The repercussions of getting it wrong can be severe. Pinsent Masons' Corporate Immigration Team can help you navigate this complex system.

Key Contacts

Any UK-based employer which engages foreign nationals in its business in the UK needs to ensure it is complying with UK immigration laws. Transferring people from one country to work in another on a long-term basis, or even for short-term secondments, can give rise to a minefield of immigration and employment issues.

Many employers will be licensed to sponsor and employ non-EEA nationals. Our team is well versed on the Point Based System and can work with you to acquire a sponsorship licence, guide you on employing individuals under an existing licence and complying with your extensive sponsor duties in order to maintain that licence. Members of our team also regularly act as Key Contact and/or Level 1 User on client licenses, to provide administrative support and second review.

Whether licensed under the Points Based System or not, all UK employers are under a duty to prevent illegal working. The potential consequences of employing someone illegally are severe and include criminal liability, civil penalties of £20,000 per illegal worker, reputational damage, interruption to business and losing the ability to employ foreign nationals under the Points Based System. The team has extensive experience on the prevention of illegal action and dealing with enforcement action by UKVI.

Our specialists will work alongside your team and use their in-depth technical and practical immigration expertise and experience to guide you in this increasingly complex area of law. The team also works closely with our wider employment team and corporate colleagues to advise on the immigration implications and requirements stemming from corporate restructures, acquisitions and sales.

As the only full-service law firm operating across all three UK jurisdictions, we are ideally placed to advise on all your immigration matters. We have specialists based across the UK who can deliver practical and effective advice, whenever and wherever you may need it.  

We can help you with:

  • Identifying the correct immigration route for particular individuals, including non-sponsored routes such as Investor visas and Representative of an Overseas Business Visas
  • Advising on European immigration rights in the UK
  • Strategic Planning and Application for a Sponsorship Licence
  • Preparing and advising on sponsorship and visa applications
  • On-going sponsor compliance support
  • Advising on the prevention of illegal working and right to work checks
  • Conducting compliance audits  of your organisation, to ensure compliance with immigration rules and best practice
  • Crisis Management in the event of urgent dealings with UKVI 
  • Strategic advice on the impact of changes in UK immigration law on your employees or recruitment plans
  • Bespoke in-house training, to up-skill your teams

Our Corporate Immigration Team is also a member of the Immigration Law Practitioners' Association.

Recent experience includes:

  • Advising a large supermarket chain on the dismissal of a senior employee mistakenly employed without valid right to work, and on options for future immigration applications
  • Advising Dixons in relation to a senior international executive, on how best to preserve qualifying periods spent in the UK for the purposes of an Indefinite Leave to Remain application
  • Providing advice that prevented a UK university making an unfair dismissal on an incorrect understanding of the interaction between leave to remain and certificates of sponsorship
  • Advising a larger employer in the food and drink sector on the immigration compliance steps required following its acquisition of a business holding a sponsor licence and the subsequent TUPE transfer of sponsored employees
  • Supporting a large university in responding to a UKVI investigation into alleged illegal working and providing strategic advice to minimise exposure to penalties
  • Supporting a large university in its preparations for a UKVI compliance inspection
  • Advising a Government body on the immigration considerations stemming from a redundancy exercise involving a Tier 2 (General) employee, including immigration limitations on the ability to take up alternative employment
  • Advising a large US-based employer on the immigration options to enable its assignment of a US national to the UK to start up a UK branch and successfully obtaining a Representative of an Overseas Business Visa to enable that start up