Global Migration Digest

April 2014 (Vol. 2, No. 3)

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www.aila.org 7 by Katrina Cooper and Douglas Badder, Faegre Baker Daniels LLP T he ease of conducting cross-border business means it's increasingly common for UK companies to put contracts out to tender at an international level. e UK company may be seeking a particular type of expertise which is unavailable in the domestic market or it may simply wish to profit from cheaper services offered by non- UK companies. However, problems can arise where the non-UK service provider has no UK presence and needs to bring employees to the UK to carry out the contract. Normally this would involve the overseas company setting up a UK company, applying for a Tier 2 sponsor licence and then obtaining Tier 2 (Intra Company Transfer) visas for each transferring employee. However, most service providers are unwilling to undergo this troublesome procedure, especially if they wish to avoid a permanent UK presence for tax reasons. e temptation would be instead for the service provider to send its employees to the UK on business visitor visas. is would breach immigration law as business visitors are prohibited from taking employment or providing services within the UK. Although the service provider is ultimately responsible for complying with UK law, the UK company could still be inconvenienced by any potential UKBA investigation and ensuing negative publicity. Knowingly allowing migrant contractors to work on their premises opens them up to an interpretation of "employing an illegal migrant" and subsequent fines. In the past, a more liberal attitude may have been accepted by the relevant authorities in this regard; however, the Home Office's recent attitude (particularly regarding breaches under the Points Based System) is that "non-compliance is non- compliance." e little known Tier 5 (Temporary Workers- International Agreement) visa ("IA visa") subcategory provides a potential solution to these difficulties. But even the solution is riddled with further compliance obligations and requires the UK company to obtain a sponsor licence under this category. An IA visa can be used to bring employees of an overseas company (or certain self-employed professionals) to the UK to provide services to a UK client under a relevant contract. e UK client company would need to apply for a Tier 5 (IA) www.aila.org 7 Tier 5:The Holy Grail for Non-UK Service Providers COMING JUNE 2014! The NEW Kurzban's Get the new edition of the book thousands of immigration lawyers and government officials turn to for reliable, comprehensive, and authoritative immigration law analysis. + ORDER Pre-Order Yours Today! "An IA visa can be used to bring employees of an overseas company (or certain self-employed professionals) to the UK to provide services to a UK client under a relevant contract." CONTINUED on pg.8 >>

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