- About Our Global Tax Services
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Our Global Immigration Practice has offered comprehensive UK immigration services for more than 30 years as a core part of our global Human Capital business. We have immigration teams in 143 countries, consisting of over 600 immigration experts dedicated to providing high-quality immigration services around the world. In simple terms, we are where you are globally. Working alongside you to refine and streamline your immigration program we can assist you in achieving maximum efficiencies, beyond simply ensuring immigration applications are processed in a seamless and cost effective manner.
Our UK Immigration team is one of the largest specialised immigration teams in the UK, with substantial experience providing immigration advice across the full range of corporate UK Immigration, including specialist expertise in investor, entrepreneur and nationality law applications.
Our unparalleled expertise is derived from:
- Experienced professionals from a combination of legal, consulting and industry backgrounds ensuring our advice and solutions are tailored to meet compliance requirements whilst also retaining a strong sense of commerciality
- Active participation in key government agencies world-wide and industry bodies. For example: our UK team has direct relationships with senior leadership at the Home Office and Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) policy advisors. We run regular seminars for our clients alongside the Home Office on business visitor and premium service policy and changes to the law to ensure that you stay ahead of potential changes in UK Immigration legislation and processes.
- Daily interaction with the immigration authorities and the consular posts abroad enabling us to develop a strong network of contacts in different jurisdictions
- Sound knowledge of immigration and nationality law – our professionals regularly prepare and present internal and external training to HR professionals and other immigration professionals through continuing professional development courses and on “hot topics” in the immigration field
- Providing an integrated service to our clients covering immigration, assignment management (e.g. relocation, removals and coordination), expatriate tax, social security, compensation planning and share schemes advice as required.
With our regional coordination offering in four major centers around the world, EY can effectively service any part of the globe in which you operate providing a seamless and fully integrated global network of country practices delivering the highest quality service.
We have a proven track record of coordinating global immigration engagements from our offices in London and Manchester. We currently provide centrally-coordinated global immigration services to more than 30 blue chip multinationals worldwide, as well as to a large portfolio of UK headquartered organisations.
Through this central control and oversight of your immigration program we can work proactively with you to identify and address patterns, potential risk areas and pressure points in the specific locations in which you operate and highlight these issues to you. We are then committed to working with you at the strategic level to design and implement systems and processes to ensure a robust and compliant global program.
Key UK service offerings
Consular Visa services
Further utilizing our global network we are well placed to make appointments, including “third country” visa processing appointments, at any Consulate or Embassy worldwide. Our established dedicated Consular Support Services practice, which operates in conjunction with our global immigration network of firms, allows us to offer a variety of consular services wherever our clients may need them. This kind of dedicated global coordination and direct contact with our unified global immigration network is unique within the marketplace allowing us to assist you when and where your assignees most need it.
Points Based System and illegal working service offering
- Provision of on site or remote immigration workshop and support materials and briefings for relevant recruitment chain and wider business
- Assessment of all current internal immigration and HR processes and policies to ensure that they comply with the more stringent requirements under the PBS rules
- Carry out review of HR systems and processes and prepare summary report for submission to the Home Office with sponsor licence application, and we can provide refresher training when we help clients renew their sponsor licences, and technical training updates on the Points Based System and Immigration rules and policy (please see further details below regarding this unique offering)
- Assistance with all aspects of preparing and submitting a sponsorship application
- Undertake Level 1 and 2 responsibilities on behalf of all clients
- Assess candidate against PBS objective points-based criteria, to establish that they meet the requirements and have sufficient independently verifiable documentation to support the application
- Complete application on Sponsor Management System and issue Certificate of Sponsorship on behalf of the company including payment of certificate fee
- Expiry date management ensuring future compliance
- Assistance with annual checking requirements, including on site review to validate current status of migrant workers
Review and health check
By way of background, the Home Office have indicated that they will want to do either a pre or post licence application review of the HR systems and processes of all companies who apply for a sponsor licence. In conducting this review, the Home Office would rate the sponsor's HR systems and processes on a three point scale (1 being the best score and 3 the worst). Specifically, they would look at the following five areas:
- Monitoring immigration status and preventing illegal working
- Maintaining migrant workers’ contact details
- Record keeping
- Migrant tracking and monitoring
- Recruitment practices and professional accreditations
To maintain an A sponsor rating under the Points Based System, you would need to receive a 1 or near 1 rating in each of these areas.
EY is one of a limited number of firms recognised by the Home Office as having a thorough understanding of PBS sponsorship arrangements and obligations.
The Home Office has made it clear that it is presently conducting audits of a number of sponsors. As many sponsors have recently renewed their licences it is increasingly important that companies are compliant with their sponsor duties. We can provide training and document checks to ensure you are up-to-date with compliance duties and have the necessary documents in place for a Home Office audit.
EY's review process includes a comprehensive checklist which asks key questions around each of the five areas outlined above. It also includes random sampling of personnel files, reviewing HR on-boarding and tracking processes to ensure appropriateness for your organisation and compliance with the new PBS requirements.
Once the review is completed, we will draw on our wealth of experience advising in this area to provide you with a report highlighting risk areas and summarising our best practice recommendations to ensure compliance, which you may submit to the Home Office. The Home Office has advised that where you provide an EY report to them, they are unlikely to also need to conduct a full audit. In our experience, many companies prefer to have us visit to go through their systems, rather than the Home Office, wherever possible.
Our Global Immigration team’s experience and connections with the Home Office have provided our clients with the information they need to stay at the forefront of immigration regulation. With continued tightening of UK immigration rules, it is now more important than ever to be up-to-date and compliant. Using this information, our Global Immigration team can provide extensive knowledge and experience, coupled with an integrated tax offering, to ensure a seamless transfer of personnel around the world.
- HR and Tax Alert: UK announces a number of changes to immigration rules for all immigration routes 124K, November 2014
The UK Government has made changes to the immigration rules for all immigration routes. The changes will affect all applicants, with proposed changes to visitor's visas and all tiers under the Points Based System.
- HR and Tax Alert: UK updates "Right to Rent" checks for tenancy agreements and civil penalty scheme for landlords 109K, November 2014
Residential landlords will soon have to check prospective tenants' immigration status to determine whether, if required, they have permission to be in the UK.
- British-Irish Joint Visa Scheme 103K, October 2014
The UK and Ireland have introduced a new scheme allowing Chinese and Indian nationals holding either a UK or an Irish visit visa to visit both countries on the same visa.
- HR and Tax Alert: UK introduces NHS levy for migrants 104K, July 2014
The UK's Department of Health has published plans to introduce an annual levy payable by migrants if they wish to use the NHS. This will mean only British citizens and those permanently settled in the UK will enjoy free NHS access.
- HR and Tax Alert: Changes to the UK immigration system 213K, September 2013
The UK Government has introduced changes to the immigration rules which took effect from 1 October 2013 and could affect employers sponsoring overseas nationals.
- HR and Tax Alert: Changes to UK immigration rules including increased salary thresholds for skilled worker visas 143K, March 2014
The UK Government has published a statement of changes to the immigration rules, the majority due to take effect from 6 April 2014, which could affect employers sponsoring migrant workers under the points based system.
- HR and Tax Alert: UK updates Code of Practice on preventing illegal working and the civil penalty scheme for employers125.81 K, May 2014
The Code details significant changes for employers in conducting right to work checks, and specifies factors the Home Office must consider when determining the amount of civil penalty for employing illegal workers.