What is the change? The United Kingdom has issued guidance that requires Tier 2 and Tier 5 sponsors to check the date on which migrant employees enter the U.K. Sponsors are then required to create and retain a document recording the date of entry.

  • Implementation time frame: Immediate and ongoing.
  • Visas/permits affected: Tier 2 and Tier 5 visas.
  • Who is affected: Tier 2 and Tier 5 sponsors.

Additional information: In most cases, the date of entry can be checked by examining the entry stamp in the employee’s passport. In some cases, however, the employee will not have an entry stamp (e.g., if the employee holds a valid visa and entered the U.K. through Ireland or if the employee entered the U.K. using eGates at the airport). In these cases, sponsors must ask to see additional evidence such as a ticket or boarding pass. Sponsors must make a record of the date of entry but are not required to retain other evidence.

Sponsors should make sure employees entered the U.K. when their visa was valid. In cases where employees entered the U.K. before their visa was valid, they should leave the Common Travel Area and re-enter the U.K. when their visa is valid. Employees who entered the country before their visa was valid are not eligible to work.

Analysis & Comments: The new rules create additional administrative requirements for sponsors and may, in some cases, lead to delayed start dates if employees entered the country before their visa was valid. Sponsors should note that the new rules do not replace or change sponsor responsibilities to ensure that non-EEA/Swiss nationals are eligible to work in the U.K.

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