Legal information: UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI)
The UK Borders Act 2007 allows HMRC and UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) to exchange certain information. Claimant Compliance Officers may make a request for information through the UKVI gateway for use in administering tax credits or Child Benefit (ChB), but only when the request has been authorised by a Senior Officer. Information can only be requested to check and decide if the customer:
- is present in the UK
- is ordinarily resident in UK
- has a right to reside in the UK
- is not subject to immigration control.
Further information about residency and immigration can be found in TCTM02001 and TCTM02100.
The type of information held on the UKVI database is:
- Immigration or visa status including
- their right to reside in UK, and
- if so, whether they have recourse to public funds
- whether someone has left or been removed from the UK i.e. no longer resident.
You should not use the UKVI gateway to:
- verify the authenticity of any forged or manipulated passports or ID cards or home office documents. If you have suspicions that these documents have been tampered with in order to claim benefits or credits check the customer’s immigration or visa status
- check information held by the Home Office Worker Registration Scheme.
How to make a request through the UKVI gateway
The request to UKVI for information must always be compliant with the Data Protection Act, General Data Protection Regulation, and the Human Rights Act. HMRC must state in all requests that the information is necessary in order to be able to exercise our functions under the Primary Legislation of Tax Credit Act 2002 (TCA 2002) or the Social Security Administration Act 1992 (SSAA 1992).
Spontaneous Disclosures from HMRC to UKVI:
UKVI also welcomes any information that will help identify individuals in breach of immigration law and are particularly interested in the following information:
- lists of stolen or abused National Insurance Numbers from risk teams
- information that indicates asylum fraud e.g. tax credit and ChB customers who present forged asylum related documents as identity documents which do not give evidence that asylum has been granted
- information which indicates that migrant workers are being employed illegally e.g. original travel or ID documents are being kept by the employer/gang master or employer refuses to provide documents relating to workers
- employers and individuals employed in a workforce that is made up entirely of migrant workers or the workers are all paid cash in hand with no wage slips.
If you have any information you wish to disclose to UKVI you should email the Home Office at IIC@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk.