Ministers have warned they will be cracking down on employers who make up fake jobs to get round visa rules.
It was reported over the weekend that positions in businesses including takeaways and petrol stations were being advertised as highly-qualified, allowing employers to “sponsor” workers from overseas to come to the UK.
When immigration officials investigated the practice they found that either the vacancies didn’t exist at all or, if there was a job on offer, it was completely different from the position advertised.
It is estimated that as many as 2500 immigrations have been handed visas as a result.
Now however, the Government has vowed to root out those companies breaking the law and warned that many hundreds of immigrants could be deported as a result.
James Brokenshire, Immigration and Security Minister, said: “We’ve all heard the stories under the last government of people on skilled visas working as takeaway drivers – but our reforms are cracking down on abuse.
“The fact that fewer than two per cent of the Tier 2 sponsor licence applications were refused under the old government is ample illustration of the open-door immigration policy and the incompetence of the UK Border Agency in administering it.
“Crackdowns like this are yet another example of how we are building an immigration system that works for British nationals and legitimate migrants, and is tough on those who flout the rules.”
Among the bogus jobs uncovered by officials include a £30,000-a-year sales manager role, advertised by a local newsagent, and a second general manager at a fishmonger, which only had six employees to begin with.