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What Happens if My Employee’s Work Permit Expires UK

Many employers are unsure what to do if they have an employee working for them in the UK whose visa has expired. They are torn between ending the employment agreement or keeping the employee and assisting them with the new visa application. The employee’s visa type will significantly impact the case’s resolution, though you are not required to let them go unless they do a voluntarily.

You can contact us at 0333 305 9375 or live chat on our website for assistance if you need more details about what to do when your employee’s UK work permit expires and the procedures involved in requesting another.

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Why Should You Review Your Employee Visa Documentation?

It’s crucial for employers to regularly do a follow-up check on their employees’ current visa paperwork so that they can be aware of their visa expiry date and immigration status. You must go through a procedure known as ‘Reverification’ when you learn that a worker’s previous permission is about to expire, as it’s not something to be done on your own time. The employee will need to submit supporting documents that will help with their work permit renewal application.

It’s important to remember that your employee cannot apply for a work permit renewal using expired documents. It is best to complete all necessary paperwork and procedures in person with the employee to prove their authenticity.

Cost of renewing an employee’s visa

The standard fee for extending, switching, or updating your employee’s visa if you are applying from within the United Kingdom depends on how long he/she plans to stay in the country.

The cost of renewal for persons staying up to three years is £719. For people staying more than three years, the cost is £1,423.

Eligibility Requirements To Renew A Work Permit Or Visa In The UK

General eligibility requirements

You can apply to extend your employee’s UK work permit as an employer if you have a valid sponsor licence and if your employee fulfils the following criteria:

  • If your employee has the same job as when he/she was given the previous work permit to enter or stay in the UK and has a biometric residence permit.
  • If his/her job has the same valid occupation code as when he/she was given the previous skilled worker visa or work permit in the UK
  • If your employee is still working for you. This is important because your company’s name has to be on the certificate of sponsorship, especially in cases of innovator visa and start-up visa. But if your employee has a new job offer or a new employer, there’s nothing you can do
  • If your employee’s partner or children will need to apply separately to extend their visa, they can either apply at the same time as your employee or any other time before their current visa expires in exceptional circumstances.
  • In addition, it’s important to know that while the application is being processed, your employee must not travel outside of the UK until you get a decision from the body involved. If he/she travels before that time, the work permit extension application will be withdrawn.

Exceptions in the general eligibility requirements

The UK government states that depending on whether your employees received their certificate of sponsorship before or after November 24, 2016, or whether they applied for their first UK visas before April 6, 2021, they may need to meet different eligibility requirements if they hold a Tier 2 (General) visa or work permit. This is because the government and the relevant bodies made some structural changes during the period of time mentioned.

For clarity, If your employee got his/her certificate of sponsorship before the 24th of November, 2016, and applies to extend before the 24th of May, 2023, he/she will receive a pay of £20,800 annually unless your company pays more than that. However, if he/she got the certificate of sponsorship on or after the 24th of November, 2016, and he/she applies to extend the work permit before the 1st of December, 2026, there will still be a need to meet the new salary requirements which may include allowances.

Furthermore, your employee’s occupation code is also an important factor to consider when applying for a work permit extension. The above requirements will only be necessary if your employee has a general work visa or had a general work visa and has been extended as a skilled worker.

According to the UK government, the minimum wage requirement for an employee with a general work permit or skilled worker visa is £10.10 per hour. If this isn’t paid, the going rate for the work your employee is doing won’t apply. Finally, if your employee is leaving your organisation, he/she will need to apply to update their visa.

We can help with your work visa renewal application.

when must permit renewal be done

When Must Work Permit Renewal Be Done?

As soon as the previous work permit expires, a new one must be obtained. Employees have a grace period of 90 days before their current work permit expires to apply for a new one, and employers who wish to assist their employees must do the same. A new work visa takes about 90 days to process. However, you should not apply too soon because you cannot apply four months before the current skilled worker visa expires.

Additionally, you can create a calendar reminder system that notifies your employees when they should reapply and ensures that the HR department keeps track of the dates to make it simpler for them to remember. It will be necessary to reverify any employees whose status changes on or before the date that their work permit is due to be renewed to update their status.

Finally, it’s critical to convey to your employee the importance of being proactive to update their status successfully and correctly. Applying for a new work permit should be done as soon as possible rather than waiting until the last minute.

How Soon Do You Need To Terminate An Employee When The Work Permit Expires?

First and foremost, it’s crucial to remember as an employer that it’s a criminal offence to hire someone who doesn’t have a work permit or whose work permit has expired, even for a short time. It is advised that they renew their work permit before the current one expires so that your company will not have a criminal record. You must fire or suspend an employee if they don’t have a new work permit when their current one expires, and in some cases, they have to leave the UK immediately. If the appropriate paperwork is filed, such an employee may be reinstated.

However, you are not permitted to threaten or fire an employee for failing to renew his or her work permit in the name of doing it for a reasonable cause. Employers who act in this way are committing discrimination. The best thing you can do is to remind, inspire, and support your employees as they renew their visas or work permits which they will do if they’re concerned about their work status.

Working with a specialist like the Immigration Advice Service is advised because the procedures involved in renewing your employee’s work permit can be quite stressful. You can call us at 0333 305 9375 if you want to keep track of your employee’s work permit status after you’ve applied, learn more about the nuances surrounding work permit expiration, and make sure everyone is up to date.

What Are The Consequences Of Having A Worker With An Expired Visa Or Work Permit?

In violation of immigration law, it is a grave offence when a company permits a worker to work with an expired work permit. If it is discovered, both the employee and the employer risk severe legal penalties. In some circumstances, the employer might be required to pay a fine and terminate the employee’s employment without giving them a chance to be reinstated.

expired visa or work permit

If you need assistance on what to do when your work permit expires, our lawyers can help

How Can IAS Help?

Workers from inside and outside the UK frequently apply for extensions to their visas or work permits, and while some of these applications are approved, many are denied because of mistakes, late visa application, immigration status problem, and personal circumstances that could have been avoided. If you want to help your employee extend their UK visa or work permit, you may run into problems if you don’t have enough information.

We are experienced legal advisors and can help if you need assistance with your employee’s visa application by working with you on the application, guiding you through the procedures involved, and liaising closely with the Home Office to get your employee a new work permit as soon as possible. You can call us at 0333 305 9375 or contact us via live chat for more information.

We offer immigration advice sessions as face-to-face appointments at all of our UK offices, or via the phone.

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