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South Africans - do they have a right to work in the uk

(8 Posts)
Armchairlawyer Wed 16-Mar-16 19:53:00

A friend of mine is being investigated by immigration. As far as I'm aware she's worked in the UK for ten years. She is employed by a reputable employer who are very strict about gaining proof of right to work. I know things will be tightening up soon and she will have to earn above a certain amount but does anyone know if South Africans are normally able to acquire work visas and do these perhaps run out after a certain amount of time. she is in a low skilled job but one which is generally filled by immigrant workers.

Llareggub Wed 16-Mar-16 19:54:15

What does her visa say?

Armchairlawyer Wed 16-Mar-16 19:58:19

Don't know as I've never seen it and can't ask her at the moment as she's been taken away. Just know she's been paying tax and is therefore in the system and not as far as I know "hiding" anything.

GiddyOnZackHunt Wed 16-Mar-16 20:03:01

It's not possible to tell on the info you'be given. Of course in some situations it's legal. In others it isn't. If she's being detained ahead of removal then I'd think it unlikely she had permission to work.

ByThePrickingOfMyThumbs Wed 16-Mar-16 20:08:13

It's impossible to say from the information you've given. She may currently have a valid work permit or she may not. If she does have one this should be easy enough to prove. But if she is being detained, it seems unlikely she had permission to work.

nancy75 Wed 16-Mar-16 20:12:14

Isn't a work visa usually 3 years? Obviously there are loads of different visas but I know most of our OZ friends have had to go home after 3 years

Armchairlawyer Wed 16-Mar-16 20:18:27

Sorry I have to be vague as I don't want to identify anyone. The only thing I can think of is that the agency who employed her didn't check her status as the institution she is working in is very strict on proof of right to work.

I know you can get various visas if you have family, marital ties etc. I don't necessary think it was deliberate on her part as she was being employed, paying tax etc. Maybe she had a visa, it ran out or wasn't renewed.

If she doesn't have the necessary paperwork, is she likely to get bailed? Maybe they don't bail in immigration cases. She's an older lady who works extremely hard and I don't like to think of her locked up somewhere even if she is ultimately deported.

MrsSparkles Wed 16-Mar-16 21:38:29

Depends entirely on her visa. There's no automatic right to work in the UK. A lot of South Africans I know have ancestoral EU/UK passports, some came over on working holidaymaker visa's (now withdrawn) - these tended to be the lower skilled and were valid for 2 years usually.

Most other visa's (work and marital) were usually for 5 years at which point you'd become eligible for UK residency (and then citizenship year later). Or you could renew your visa (or your company renew it) depending on the type.

I doubt she'd be locked up for not having the necessary paperwork but could well be deported.

Mistakes do happen with visa's - when DH's work permit was being transferred to another company it was discovered it had been accidentally cancelled a couple of months before - luckily was with 2 multinational companies so was resolved easily.

Hope it gets sorted out!

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