I’ve been dismissed. What happens to my work permit now?

I am on was on a work permit but my employer no longer requires my services and has dismissed me. I am worried about my immigration status as I know that my work permit means that I can only work with the employer with whom I got the work permit with. What do I do to stay in the UK – I don’t want to go back home?

If you’re lucky enough to find another employer who will sponsor you as an employee under the new Tier 2 system (previously called “work permit”), then you should look into making an application to transfer your status as a work permit holder to a Tier 2 migrant with the new employer.

However, in the current climate, it is increasingly difficult to obtain a suitable Tier 2 employer as employers have to firstly obtain a sponsor’s license from the Home Office in order to allow them to employ foreign workers which can be costly and requires employer’s efforts to comply with the Home Office’s somewhat strict criteria.

Unfortunately, currently there are no immigration rules or concession that assist people in your predicament to obtain legal residence when they lose their job.

However, it is possible to switch into another visa category from a work permit holder, such as changing status to a Student under the Tier 4 system or under Tier 1 as a Highly Skilled Migrants who wishes to work, or become self-employed in the UK.

On a separate note, it may also be worth looking in whether you have a claim under employment law if you feel you have been unfairly dismissed o by your previous employer – employment law remedies include you being re-instated for your previous job or monetary compensation- an employment lawyer can advise you on this in more detail.

by Raheela Hussain,
Principal Solicitor of Greenfields Solicitors.

The above article is meant to be relied upon as an informative article and in no way constitutes legal advice. For legal advice regarding your case, please contact Greenfields Solicitors on 020 8884 1166 for a Consultation with a Solicitor.

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