Staff Immigration

Roles and responsibilities

The University has a duty to prevent illegal working by carrying out document checks to confirm if a person has the right to work in the UK. We must also comply with our responsibilities and obligations as a sponsor of international staff and students.

We all have a role in ensuring the University remains compliant with immigration law.

Central HR immigration team:

  • Ensure compliance with UKVI legislation.
  • Support and guide HR Divisions.
  • Produce guidance documentation for HR teams and sponsored workers.
  • Apply for Certificate of Sponsorships and liaise with sponsored workers.
  • Ensure all personnel records are maintained in line with UKVI requirements.
  • Report non-compliance.

Divisional HR teams:

  • Ensure compliance with UKVI legislation.
  • Provide appropriate guidance to hiring managers ensure that the recruitment process is compliant.
  • Provide appropriate guidance to hiring managers on how to conduct a fair recruitment process.
  • Provide guidance to candidates and hiring managers regarding eligibility to work in the UK and the University’s immigration processes.
  • Ensure all recruitment documentation is correct and kept in line with UKVI requirements.
  • Ensure all staff provide their right to work documentation prior to commencing employment.
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  • A fair recruitment and selection process has been conducted for all positions.
  • Proof of eligibility has been taken for timesheet staff prior to the start of the contract.
  • HR is aware of all new starters and a recruitment process has taken place (posts over 3 months).
  • All non-attendance, unauthorised absences, or disappearances of migrants are reported to HR immediately.
  • Resignations or retirements of sponsored staff are reported to HR immediately.
  • Any change in circumstances for a Tier 2 staff is reported to HR in advance of the change occurring
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  • All documentation and information provided at application stage regarding your immigration status is correct.
  • The points requirement has been met, i.e. English Language Test, financial support and qualifications.
  • You apply for the appropriate visa and meet the requirements for entry clearance or leave to remain.
  • Your right to work documentation is produced prior to commencing employment.
  • You comply with the conditions of your visa.
  • All absence is authorised, including sickness absence in line with the University’s Sickness Absence Policy.
  • Your Line manager/HR is informed immediately of a resignation or retirement.
  • Any change in personal circumstances is reported immediately to HR.
  • Any other change which may have an impact on the sponsorship is reported to HR prior to the changes taking place.
  • HR is kept informed of any change to contact details (address, telephone number and mobile telephone number) during employment with the University.
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Non Compliance: Failure to follow the rules and guidance laid down by UKVI may mean that for each individual that the University is found to have employed illegally, we could face up to a £20,000 penalty per illegal worker.  We may also have our sponsorship licence revoked which would negatively affect employing non-EEA citizens, and the ability to sponsor overseas students. Individuals who knowingly allow someone to work illegally could be subject to imprisonment. The failure to ensure that checks are conducted on a consistent basis may give rise to complaints of discrimination from employees, potential employees, students and visitors. 

Personal responsibility: Although the University, as the employer, is responsible for complying with immigration rules, it is also the responsibility of individual employees to ensure compliance.  In an organisation as diverse and large as the University we are reliant on colleagues to ensure compliance at all times and if unsure, to seek advice.

An unlimited fine and/or maximum of a two year prison sentence may be applicable for anyone knowingly employing an illegal migrant worker.

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Immigration - © University of Kent

The Registry, The University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NZ, T: +44 (0)1227 824998

Last Updated: 21/12/2021

Banner Image: Anne Worner