UK visa issues could result in fines for restaurants

26 Jul 2011 | Posted by Carl Thomas

A total of 16 people have been found to have flaunted UK visa regulations by working illegally in restaurants around Oxfordshire and west London.

The employees are now facing a range of fates, but the restaurants concerned could be required to pay substantial fines of up to £10,000 for each worker if they are unable to prove they conducted the correct right-to-work checks before hiring.

In Woodstock, UK Border Agency officers arrested one Bangladeshi man for overstaying his UK visa and another for entering the country illegally. While a third was discovered to be working illegally, he was not arrested as he had an outstanding application lodged with the Home Office.

Meanwhile, four Bangladeshi men were arrested at a restaurant in Chipping Norton, two for overstaying their UK visas and a further two for entering the country illegally. There was a similar story at a restaurant in Twickenham. A total of seven of the individuals arrested in the region are still in detention pending their removal from the country, while the other eight have been granted UK immigration bail while their cases are processed.

Commenting on the raids, UK immigration minister Damian Green said: "These raids show we have stepped up action to tackle serious and organised abuse of our immigration system. The message is clear - the UK is no longer an easy touch.

"This summer we are targeting our efforts on breaking up the gangs behind visa scams; hitting rogue employers who repeatedly break the rules and doing more than ever to stop unwanted people coming to the UK."