Our managing director, Jonathan Beech spoke to Personnel Today about the significance of data sharing between the UK Home Office, DWP, HMRC and other government departments which have an impact on HR compliance.
Read the full article here.
The Immigration Plan published on 24 May 2021 reveals how UKVI wish to revolutionise their processes regarding sponsored workers, including how they wish to store and share data. Therefore, providing incorrect information, not remembering or declaring all relevant facts could get a lot more serious.
This has recently been emphasized in the case of Novak Djokovic’s visa cancellation by Australia. Providing incorrect information or ticking the wrong box regarding travel can not only lead to refusal of entry on public health grounds but can also be seen as deception.
What’s in store
In the next two years, UKVI are planning to be more efficient with the way it obtains, stores and shares data. Information provided at the pre-entry stage will be stored and re-used for future immigration applications.
A close collaboration with HMRC, DWP, the NHS, as well as other public service providers will revolutionise the way individuals can access benefits and healthcare services, check their right to work and rent.
Data sharing between UKVI and HMRC can highlight any gaps in the reporting of changes in the migrant worker’s circumstances. Employers have a duty to inform the Home Office when a sponsored worker’s salary is reduced or they leave the organisation. This change must be reported within 10 working days of the event. HMRC can alert UKVI to any change in salary, which in turn can lead to a Home Office compliance audit.
Most visa application forms ask for a lot of information related to friends and family, travel history, income, any convictions or penalties. It is important to disclose all penalties, including minor speeding fines. UKVI can crosscheck the information provided against the shared data. Therefore, it is advised to keep a record of all information provided. A subject access request can be submitted to request information provided in previous applications, if the application forms were not retained at the time.
Information and documents provided with all immigration applications are checked not only against an overseas worker’s data but UKVI also check whether the organisation organisation providing an invitation to enter the UK for a business visit or a financial organisation supplying evidence of accounts or tax returns is legitimate.
In a recent case UKVI have uncovered that the invitation letters provided by the UK organisation contained false information and the tax return provided as evidence of funds to support the business trip was not genuine. As a result the application was refused for false representations and a 10-year re-entry ban was also imposed. There is no possibility to appeal the decision and any chance of entering the UK will mean looking at family life or human rights claims. This is an example which shows that deception imposes the maximum penalty.
Incorrect information or false documents provided can affect an individuals future travel not only to the UK but to other countries too, as details of overseas refusals must be declared in any visa application.
Therefore, it is essential to get things right the first time both for HR and the overseas workers.
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