Home Office & Immigrant Fines

Many businesses employ staff of non-UK or EU status, especially in the retail and restaurant sectors. As required by law, it is the responsibility of the employer to check a person’s national status when offering a position within the organisation. It is also the employer’s responsibility to keep a check on any employee’s working visa if they are of non UK or EU status unless they have been granted indefinite leave to remain.

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You may have overlooked one of your employee’s national status by forgetting to check their visa status, or something else similar. Whatever, if you receive a visit from a Home Office agent asking to see your employees records and it is found one or more of your workers do not have sufficient status to be working, you will be fined.
If you do find yourself in such circumstances then you must treat the matter as a real threat to your business if you do not move quickly to pay the fine. The problem you may find is the amount of the fine for this type of offence which can run into many thousands.
What if I cannot afford to pay a Home Office fine?
You can offer to pay in stages if you are unable to raise the necessary amount. If you can raise some of the required monies then it can be offered as part-payment followed by the remaining balance being paid by instalments.
Can a settlement offer be made?
The Home Office may accept a full-final-settlement offer depending on a number of factors. These include the offer in proportion to the fine, your personal financial circumstances as well as your business and the time it will take to pay the fine should the offer be declined and you pay whatever instalments that are maintainable.
How long do I have to pay?
The simple answer to this is how long is a piece of string? It all depends on whether you have sufficient assets for the fine to be paid. If your business has enough tangible assets, unless you make an arrangement the Home Office will obtain an order that will enable bailiffs to seize your assets. If your business does not have sufficient assets but personally you have such as owning your home, measures will be taken to secure those assets such as a charging order, order for sale or petition for bankruptcy.

Whatever your situation is, if you find yourself in these circumstances of having to deal with a Home Office fine, move quickly to establish what options you have of paying the fine. If you would like us to assist you we can help you to see what would be the best way forward with minimum disruption to your business.