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Document updated/added on 02.12.2020

Topic: Recruitment

Repayment of immigration fees agreement
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Repayment of immigration fees agreement

Repayment of immigration fees agreement

Our agreement provides for a sponsored migrant worker to repay some, or all, of the fees you may agree to pay for them to obtain the necessary immigration permission to work in the UK.

Employer sponsorship

If you wish to employ an overseas skilled worker, including EEA and Swiss citizens arriving in the UK from 1 January 2021 onwards, you need to sponsor them under the points-based immigration system, for which you need to hold a sponsor licence (unless the migrant has the right to perform their role under their existing immigration status). The migrant can then apply for entry clearance to the UK, or further leave to remain in the UK, and they will need to pay a fee to do so. They will also need to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS). If you agree to pay (or reimburse) some or all of these fees in respect of the migrant (and their dependants, if any), as these can be significant sums, you might wish to enter into an agreement with them for repayment in certain circumstances.

Fees covered

Our Repayment of Immigration Fees Agreement is limited to repayment of the immigration application fee and, optionally, the IHS (if you want to cover that cost of that too). You will need to pay the fee for a sponsor licence as that’s your licence and it isn’t linked to the migrant’s continued employment with you. You will also have to pay the Immigration Skills Charge (ISC), and the Home Office’s guidance says that you must not pass any of that charge on to the migrant.

Penalty clauses

Our agreement contains a repayment provision in relation to the immigration fees if the employee leaves your employment within a certain time frame after starting work for you. We’ve drafted it on the basis that the amount owed by the employee reduces by 1/24th for each complete calendar month following commencement of their employment, up to two years. Any tie-in should be on a sliding scale like this, because the longer the employee remains employed, the more benefit you will have received from the expense of the fees. If you don’t have a sliding scale, the provision is likely to constitute an extravagant penalty on the employee and it will then be unenforceable.

No repayment

Our agreement operates whether the employee resigns or is dismissed, and it also covers the situation where they fail to commence employment with you in the first place. However, we’ve added optional wording so that you can, if you wish, confine repayment in dismissal cases to ones where they’re dismissed for misconduct or other reasons arising out of their wilful or negligent acts or omissions. Finally, our agreement provides you with the necessary contractual authority to deduct the sums owed from the employee’s wages - and if this isn’t sufficient, there’s a clause requiring them to repay you the balance within one month of their employment termination date.

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