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4 March 2024

Sponsor Licence employment scams 2024

Lately employment scams related to Sponsor Licences and Worker Visas have been covered a lot in the news. Learn how to avoid these scammers in our blog.
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes
Scam call from someone carrying out employment scams.

Sponsor Licence employment scams have been reported in several high profile news outlets lately, including The Guardian

Whilst employment scams have been covered at various points over the last few years, the recent news comes as a result of a report carried out under David Neal, who was until recently the independent chief inspector of borders and immigration.

The report shows that many fake employers have managed to become registered with official Government bodies, including Companies House. This in turn makes them appear to be legitimate organisations, when they are not. 

What are Sponsor Licence employment scams?

Basically, fake employers will ask that prospective overseas employees looking for a job in the UK on, for example, a Skilled Worker Visa, pay fees to the company as part of their application to the job. 

Fake employers may do this under the excuse of needing you to partially pay for Sponsor Licence fees that they have to pay, recruitment fees, or they may use another excuse related to applying for the role. 

Regardless of the reason they use, they will try to get people to pay thousands of pounds to get a job that does not exist.

Many people then come to the UK after getting their visa, only to find that they do not actually have a job. They end up being stuck in the UK with no money and nowhere to go. 

The only fees that an overseas worker coming to the UK will need to pay are the fees related to their visa application, and the immigration health surcharge.

How are fake companies managing to scam people?

As previously stated, fake companies that are only a few months old have managed to successfully apply for Sponsor Licences.

This has been a particular issue with companies that have managed to become registered with the Care Quality Commission (CQC), when they are not a legitimate company. Then, they scam people who want to come to the UK on a Health and Care Worker Visa

The CQC is an organisation that is meant to check that companies hiring employers both within the UK and overseas, are legitimate and are not abusing their workers. All care providers operating in England must be registered with the CQC as of February 2024.  The CQC only applies to England, whilst Scotland has the Care Inspectorate, Wales has the Healthcare Inspectorate, and Northern Ireland has the Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority.  

As a result of fake companies being registered with the CQC, it makes it harder for an overseas worker to know if the company offering them a job is legitimate or not. It also means that anyone assisting them with their visa application will have to take a longer amount of time to make sure the employer is legitimate.

How to avoid Sponsor Licence employment scams

Normally, it would be recommended that you check Companies House to see if a company is registered and operating; additionally, it would also be recommended to check the CQC’s website if you are applying for a healthcare role. 

Sadly, due to many fake companies being registered with both, it makes it much harder to check for scammers.

However, there are some things that you can potentially try to look out for. For example, many fake employers use the same copy and pasted websites. They also use fake reviews, which whilst hard to spot, there may be noticeable patterns such as similar language used throughout different reviews. 

However, you can contact an immigration adviser, such as our company, who will carry out deeper checks to see if the company is legitimate. We have processes in place that we go through to try and ensure an employer is offering a real role.  

Please be aware that there are also immigration adviser scams out there as well. This ranges from offers of fake visas to phishing for personal details. Read our blog on avoiding immigration adviser scams to find out more on how you can stay safe.

How we can help

If you need assistance with applying for a Skilled Worker Visa, Health and Care Worker Visa, or any other kind of Worker Visa, then we can help you. We will do our best to make sure that your potential employer is legitimate, so you do not have to worry about employment scams.

You can arrange a free 10-minute consultation with a member of our experienced immigration law team. Once they have determined if they can help you or not, you can then book a longer, paid consultation that will last either 30 minutes, or an hour. You can visit our webpage about what to expect at your consultation to find out more.

The team member you have your initial consultation with will act as your point of contact within our company, and will be available to answer any questions you may have.

Get in touch with us today for our expert legal advice.

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