You can be fined up to £10,000 per worker for employing illegal workers.

You can be prosecuted for employing illegal workers, including:

  • students with expired visas, or students working more hours than they’re allowed to
  • people on a visitor’s visa

You will receive a ‘notification of potential liability’. You may then be issued a ‘notification of liability’ and a fine (‘civil penalty’) of up to £10,000 for each illegal worker.

When to pay

You have 28 days to do one of these:

  • pay the fine in full
  • ask to pay in monthly instalments (the notification will tell you how to do this)
  • appeal against the civil penalty to UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) - the notification will tell you how to do this
  • lodge an appeal to the county court (England, Wales and Northern Ireland) or the Sheriff’s court (Scotland) - the notification will tell you how to do this

Your business’s details may also be published by Immigration Enforcement as a warning to other businesses not to employ illegal workers.

You can go to jail for up to 2 years and receive an unlimited fine if you knowingly employ an illegal worker.

Call the UKVI employers’ helpline for help with making sure your employees are entitled to work in the UK.

UKVI employers’ helpline
0300 123 4699
Find out about call charges

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