Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 08-14-2018, 05:07 AM
Eva Luna Eva Luna is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Chicago-ish, IL
Posts: 10,526
Brit Dopers: a question about job opportunities for (legally resident) foreigners

No, I'm not contemplating moving to the U.K. - to make a long story short, an old friend of mine from college has lived there for ~ 20 years, is married to a Brit, and is saying it's been extremely difficult to impossible for her to find a full-time job for most of that time because she is not a UK citizen. I am trying to evaluate the veracity of that statement, because the resultant money issues are part of what has made her life kind of a mess these days. (She doesn't live in London, if that makes a difference.)

Specifically, she says that UK immigration laws changed after 9/11, and when she was made redundant and tried to get another job, she found out she wasn't fit to work in the UK because she didn't have the right paperwork. She applied for her Biometric Resident Permit which took 5 months and was at home unable to work during that time.

However, I know several other non-Brits who have been working in the UK (legally) for years - another college friend with U.S./French higher education, another high school friend of mine with U.S. education, a couple of Bulgarians...but they are all in the London area.

Is it likely that she has had this much difficulty finding a full-time job? Or does she need to do something different and/or just try harder? She is finally applying for UK citizenship after 20 years, but the reasons why she hasn't until now are a rant for another day.
  #2  
Old 08-14-2018, 05:53 AM
bob++ bob++ is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Worcestershire UK
Posts: 6,087
France and Bulgaria are in the EU, so no problems for them. The law requires that a job applicant can prove their right to live and work in the UK, much like the green card system in the US.

Once she has the correct documentation, she is competing with everyone else in her field for the jobs. If she is an engineer, a nurse or a teacher, she might have fewer problems.

Last edited by bob++; 08-14-2018 at 05:53 AM.
  #3  
Old 08-14-2018, 07:04 AM
kferr kferr is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: 51.3180N, 0.7300W
Posts: 2,137
Seems strange. I have a US ex-pat friend who changed jobs at least twice before she got citizenship with no problems. What kind of job is she after? If there are plenty of applicants then employers may be playing safe by taking citizens. I imagine many small employers are nervous about how brexit is going to shake out.
  #4  
Old 08-14-2018, 07:10 AM
upend upend is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: London
Posts: 56
I think the clue is in the question

"she wasn't fit to work in the UK because she didn't have the right paperwork"
"She is finally applying for UK citizenship after 20 years"

it's a bit of a minefield, and there have been cases where spouses have been deported - just because you are married to a Brit doesn't give you an automatic right to a stay or a work Visa. However - after 20 years, I suspect she could be rather further on than she is.

I did find this as a cite however from www.gov.uk that if that person was born in the UK then she could have applied for an ILR after 2, 5 or 10 years, depending on stuff

Eligibility
You need to have been living in the UK with a ‘partner of a settled person’ visa for:

2 years if you applied for your visa before 9 July 2012
5 years or 10 years if you applied for your visa on or after 9 July 2012
Read the guidance for the 2-year route and the 5- and 10-year routes.

https://www.gov.uk/settle-in-the-uk/...h-your-partner
  #5  
Old 08-14-2018, 07:57 AM
Quartz Quartz is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Home of the haggis
Posts: 29,150
Is your friend an American citizen? Because a lot of companies don't want the hassle of dealing with American tax and financial authorities.
  #6  
Old 08-14-2018, 08:41 AM
SanVito SanVito is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: The Big Smoke
Posts: 4,102
Without knowing details, it sounds to me like she hasn't got her legal paperwork in place giving her permission to work. UK companies employ millions of foreign workers with little thought or issue, so I doubt its some kind of prejudice, and there isn't an unemployment problem here (it's actually the lowest its been since the '70s).

What's her field? Is her citizenship 'really' the issue, or is it experience in whatever she's persueing?

Last edited by SanVito; 08-14-2018 at 08:42 AM.
  #7  
Old 08-14-2018, 09:19 AM
kferr kferr is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: 51.3180N, 0.7300W
Posts: 2,137
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quartz View Post
Is your friend an American citizen? Because a lot of companies don't want the hassle of dealing with American tax and financial authorities.
The UK employer doesn't have to deal with US tax or financial institutions. The foreign employee will have a National Insurance number and pay UK tax through PAYE just like everyone else. It's down to the US citizen to deal with the IRS themselves.
  #8  
Old 08-14-2018, 09:51 AM
Quartz Quartz is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Home of the haggis
Posts: 29,150
Quote:
Originally Posted by kferr View Post
The UK employer doesn't have to deal with US tax or financial institutions.
That doesn't appear to be the case hereabouts. Large companies can deal with it, of course, but small ones cannot. Of course, hereabouts it's the oil industry with its connections to 'Evul Muslim' (tm) countries, so that may be a factor.
  #9  
Old 08-14-2018, 09:57 AM
SanVito SanVito is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: The Big Smoke
Posts: 4,102
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quartz View Post
That doesn't appear to be the case hereabouts. Large companies can deal with it, of course, but small ones cannot. Of course, hereabouts it's the oil industry with its connections to 'Evul Muslim' (tm) countries, so that may be a factor.
Are you sure? My small (45sih people) company, and others I've worked for, have employed people from all around the world at various times, including the US. As long as they have a permit to work for the time we want them and the NI number to go with it, that's all we care about - their tax back home is not our concern.
  #10  
Old 08-14-2018, 09:57 AM
Eva Luna Eva Luna is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Chicago-ish, IL
Posts: 10,526
Quote:
Originally Posted by SanVito View Post
Without knowing details, it sounds to me like she hasn't got her legal paperwork in place giving her permission to work. UK companies employ millions of foreign workers with little thought or issue, so I doubt its some kind of prejudice, and there isn't an unemployment problem here (it's actually the lowest its been since the '70s).

What's her field? Is her citizenship 'really' the issue, or is it experience in whatever she's persueing?
A bit more detail: the person in question is my college roommate. She moved to the UK on a fiancee visa in ~ 1997, married her husband, applied for permanent residence, had 2 kids, and has lived in the UK as a permanent resident (or whatever the appropriate UK term is) ever since. She was eligible to apply for UK citizenship, she says, in 2002, but never did because of money issues. I am trying to figure out whether it was because her husband is a cheap bastard (which he is; I have seen the evidence on several occasions when I have visited them), or whether it's because she is being a martyr (which is also entirely possible).

I think money has always been a big issue in their relationship. For various historical reasons, she really wanted to be a SAHM, and hasn't had a full-time job since her kids were born (they are now 16 and 18). I also really doubt that she has been completely unable to find a FT job all this time, but that's a rant for another day. She has a university degree in French and Spanish and has worked as a teacher, both in the U.S. and in the U.K. Before her kids were born, she was pursuing some sort of alternative teacher certification program that required 2 years of supervised teaching, but she got pregnant and didn't finish the second year. She has been substitute teaching here and there, but says she hasn't been able to find a steady job. I am trying to evaluate the validity of that assertion.

The GQ here is what the backstory is these days in the UK with what documentation employers require for hiring purposes, I guess.
  #11  
Old 08-14-2018, 10:14 AM
Eva Luna Eva Luna is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Chicago-ish, IL
Posts: 10,526
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quartz View Post
Is your friend an American citizen? Because a lot of companies don't want the hassle of dealing with American tax and financial authorities.
Yes. But she has never mentioned that as an issue and has been doing various temp jobs for much of this time.
  #12  
Old 08-14-2018, 10:16 AM
Eva Luna Eva Luna is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Chicago-ish, IL
Posts: 10,526
Quote:
Originally Posted by bob++ View Post
France and Bulgaria are in the EU, so no problems for them. The law requires that a job applicant can prove their right to live and work in the UK, much like the green card system in the US.
The friend with French education is a U.S. (and not also French) citizen. He has an Austrian wife and has lived in the UK and several other countries based on her EU nationality, but has never lived in any one EU country long enough to become a citizen himself. Now he owns his own business - it will be interesting to see what happens to him after Brexit.
  #13  
Old 08-14-2018, 10:17 AM
SanVito SanVito is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: The Big Smoke
Posts: 4,102
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eva Luna View Post
She has been substitute teaching here and there, but says she hasn't been able to find a steady job. I am trying to evaluate the validity of that assertion.

The GQ here is what the backstory is these days in the UK with what documentation employers require for hiring purposes, I guess.
Well, I am in no way an expert in UK immigration, but if she's been supply teaching, then it sounds like she does have a permit to work (schools don't tend to employ illegal immigrants, even on a temporary basis!). It sounds like she just can't find a decent job, which wouldn't be visa related.

Indefinite Leave to Remain tends to be the equivalent of what you're calling 'Permanent Residency'. ILR gives you the right to work, so if she's using 'work permit/paperwork issues' as a reason... she may be telling porkies.

Maybe the paperwork issue is more to do with the teaching? You can't work as a full time school teacher without a recognised teaching qualification (beyond a degree), so maybe she just isn't appropriately qualified at this point. She should have finished her course!

Last edited by SanVito; 08-14-2018 at 10:17 AM.
  #14  
Old 08-14-2018, 10:24 AM
SanVito SanVito is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: The Big Smoke
Posts: 4,102
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eva Luna View Post
The friend with French education is a U.S. (and not also French) citizen. He has an Austrian wife and has lived in the UK and several other countries based on her EU nationality, but has never lived in any one EU country long enough to become a citizen himself. Now he owns his own business - it will be interesting to see what happens to him after Brexit.
It's a worrying time for a lot of people, including many EU citizens. I have a German friend (with British wife) who's lived here for almost 20 years. With five years residence, she could have applied for Indefinite Leave to Remain, but her wife's work took them to Brazil for a couple of years, which broke her record.

She's crossing all toes that EU citizens like her will get a pass. Plus she owns a business employing five others. But it's a genuine worry. I have other friends desperately trying to rush through British Citizenship, even though that wouldn't be their first choice.
  #15  
Old 08-14-2018, 10:27 AM
bob++ bob++ is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Worcestershire UK
Posts: 6,087
By and large, and I have no expertise in immigration issues, a self-employed foreigner who is earning enough, and especially if they are an employee, would have little trouble getting the required status. The main concern is that immigrants become dependant on state benefits without having made any contribution in the first place.

The OP's friend might do better starting her own business. Her marriage probably entitles her to remain, but running an internet-based business from her garage might be a way forward. She should also consider agency work - I have a friend who is a retired teacher and he gets work as a locum, for as many weeks as he wants.

Maybe her best course of action would be to contact the Department of Employment for proper advice.
  #16  
Old 08-14-2018, 10:29 AM
GreedySmurf GreedySmurf is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: London, England
Posts: 1,565
I donít know what other issues might be there, but her lack of work most definitely has nothing to do with her not being a U.K. citizen. Iím in the U.K. on a spousal Visa, and am quite happily employed full time. As long as she has evidence of her immigration status no employer is going to think twice about employing her just because sheís not a full citizen.
  #17  
Old 08-14-2018, 03:55 PM
Blue Mood Blue Mood is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: UK
Posts: 688
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eva Luna View Post
... and has lived in the UK as a permanent resident (or whatever the appropriate UK term is) ever since. She was eligible to apply for UK citizenship, she says, in 2002, but never did because of money issues.

She has a university degree in French and Spanish and has worked as a teacher, both in the U.S. and in the U.K. Before her kids were born, she was pursuing some sort of alternative teacher certification program that required 2 years of supervised teaching...

The GQ here is what the backstory is these days in the UK with what documentation employers require for hiring purposes, I guess.
Permanent residency is all she needs to be allowed to work. Becoming a citizen just means she can get a UK passport and vote (and it is VERY expensive - around $1500).

The issue is probably one that was touched upon in a previous post - her teaching certification. Teachers here usually need something called Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) in order to secure a proper teaching post. It would be very hard to get a teaching job without it, though academies will sometimes hire what's charmingly called an "unqualified teacher". She may have started a programme like Schools Direct, which pays for training. It's certainly something for her to look into, although there may not be a lot available depending on where she is.
  #18  
Old 08-14-2018, 06:20 PM
Eva Luna Eva Luna is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Chicago-ish, IL
Posts: 10,526
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue Mood View Post
Permanent residency is all she needs to be allowed to work. Becoming a citizen just means she can get a UK passport and vote (and it is VERY expensive - around $1500).

She also pointed out that when she was first eligible, the cost was around $200, but somehow they never found the money.

Quote:

The issue is probably one that was touched upon in a previous post - her teaching certification. Teachers here usually need something called Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) in order to secure a proper teaching post. It would be very hard to get a teaching job without it, though academies will sometimes hire what's charmingly called an "unqualified teacher". She may have started a programme like Schools Direct, which pays for training. It's certainly something for her to look into, although there may not be a lot available depending on where she is.
From the sound of her latest email, it may be moot because she wants to leave her husband and move back to the U.S.
  #19  
Old 08-15-2018, 07:17 AM
Melbourne Melbourne is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 4,044
In a fairly recent scandal, a whole lot of post WWII migrants found that they couldn't document their right to live in the UK, because the responsible UK department had destroyed all the old paperwork.

Even before that, it wasn't unusual for people to have problems with particular government departments -- UK attitudes to that were illustrated by the 1985 satire "Brazil", which starts with a man loosing his life because of a government paperwork error.

It is entirely credible that she was unable to find work because her residency paperwork was not in order. Since she apparently now has that sorted out, it's no longer an issue.
  #20  
Old 08-15-2018, 08:41 AM
bob++ bob++ is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Worcestershire UK
Posts: 6,087
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue Mood View Post
Permanent residency is all she needs to be allowed to work. Becoming a citizen just means she can get a UK passport and vote (and it is VERY expensive - around $1500).

That may have been true once but not these days. Employers have to carry out checks to ensure that the [potential] employee is legally allowed to work here.

Quote:
The law on preventing illegal working is set out in sections 15 to 25 of the Immigration,
Asylum and Nationality Act 2006 (the 2006 Act). This legislation replaced section 8 of
the Asylum and Immigration Act 1996 (the 1996 Act) in respect of employment that
commenced on or after 29 February 2008. Under section 15 of the 2006 Act, an
employer may be liable for a civil penalty if they employ someone who does not have
the right to undertake the work in question. However, an employer may establish a
statutory excuse against this liability by carrying out prescribed document checks
before the employment starts, although this excuse is not available if the employer
knows that the employment is not permitted. The check has to be repeated if the
employee only has limited permission to be in the UK.
It's not simple to establish what an individual needs to do - this sets it out in detail: https://assets.publishing.service.go...cuments_v5.pdf
  #21  
Old 08-15-2018, 09:52 AM
Blue Mood Blue Mood is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: UK
Posts: 688
Quote:
Originally Posted by bob++ View Post
That may have been true once but not these days. Employers have to carry out checks to ensure that the [potential] employee is legally allowed to work here.
This is true but doesn't seem to be the problem in this case. The OPs friend has a permanent resident document, which is acceptable proof (see page 7).

It now sounds like there are personal reasons for her not to have secured permanent employment ...
  #22  
Old 08-15-2018, 06:43 PM
Eva Luna Eva Luna is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Chicago-ish, IL
Posts: 10,526
Quote:
Originally Posted by Melbourne View Post
It is entirely credible that she was unable to find work because her residency paperwork was not in order. Since she apparently now has that sorted out, it's no longer an issue.
She's had her residency paperwork sorted out since roughly 1997, except for some kind of biometrics document, which she has also now had for years. I suspect the actual barriers to employment are some combination of a long absence from the full-time workforce, age discrimination, a lack of regular teaching credentials, and a certain lack of desire to work full-time for a large chunk of that time, which has compounded the other issues. And others have suggested that public sector budget cuts impacting education funding may have played a role, too.
  #23  
Old 08-16-2018, 04:14 AM
bob++ bob++ is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Worcestershire UK
Posts: 6,087
Regular British born empty-nesters have trouble finding work here. A degree helps but gives no guarantee that someone who has been out of the workplace for ten years or more will be able to find anything other than a minimum wage, low skilled job.

Your friend has fallen behind on so much: technology, systems, national curriculum... She either has to go back to college or look outside education and it is always easier to find a job if you already have one, so grabbing the first opportunity and working up is probably the only way to go.

You say she is thinking of going back to the US. Has she considered how she will support herself there?
  #24  
Old 08-16-2018, 04:42 AM
TokyoBayer's Avatar
TokyoBayer TokyoBayer is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Taiwan
Posts: 9,502
I’ve worked overseas continuously over the last 28 years and there are no burdens placed on employers from the US government.
Quote:
Originally Posted by bob++ View Post
That may have been true once but not these days. Employers have to carry out checks to ensure that the [potential] employee is legally allowed to work here.







It's not simple to establish what an individual needs to do - this sets it out in detail: https://assets.publishing.service.go...cuments_v5.pdf
from your quote
Quote:

Adding the NINo to the BRP will assist the employer in two ways. First, the BRP provides an employer with a secure and simple means of checking a migrant’s right to work in the UK linking their identity to a unique reference number. Second, the
then talks about taxes.

It looks like your quote is saying the opposite. With a Biometric Residence Permit, which the OP’s friend appears to have, this indicates it’s straightforward.
  #25  
Old 08-16-2018, 04:46 AM
bob++ bob++ is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Worcestershire UK
Posts: 6,087
Quote:
Originally Posted by TokyoBayer View Post
Iíve worked overseas continuously over the last 28 years and there are no burdens placed on employers from the US government.
from your quotethen talks about taxes.

It looks like your quote is saying the opposite. With a Biometric Residence Permit, which the OPís friend appears to have, this indicates itís straightforward.
Had I known that she had a BRP, I would have agreed. The consensus now seems to be that she is in the same position as a native-born citizen in the same situation.
  #26  
Old 08-18-2018, 08:41 PM
Eva Luna Eva Luna is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Chicago-ish, IL
Posts: 10,526
Update: she is in the States for the first time in 20 years, and 2 other college friends and I have been staging somewhat of an intervention. She has finally taken the first step toward UK citizenship and taken and passed the Life in the UK exam. I donít know that she has made any actual decisions about her next steps toward changing her situation, but she seems to have the idea that after 20 years of indefinite leave to remain, her Immigration status is still dependent on her marriage.

I am no expert, but what I have been able to find is almost identical to the US system: citizenship eligibility after 5 years of permanent residence in most cases, or 3 years if married to a UK citizen.

Is that correct and she is pulling the crazy idea about needing to stay married out of her ass, or am I missing something?
  #27  
Old 08-19-2018, 07:57 PM
UDS UDS is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Australia
Posts: 8,263
ILR can be revoked, but it won't be revoked simply on the basis of having been divorced (or widowed). It could be revoked if there was found to be fraud or deception in the circumstances in which it was acquired, but presumably there's no suggestion of that here. It can also be revoked if she becomes "liable to deportation", which will happen if the Home Secretary thinks her deportation is "conducive to the public good". The most likely circumstance in which this happens is if she is convicted of a serious offence. But he could also move to deport her on national security our counter-terrorism grounds, or if he judges her to be involved in "serious and organised crime", even if she herself has not been convicted of an offence. SFAIK there is no right of appeal against the Home Secretary's decision, but you can challenge it in the courts if you can make a case it that he made it improperly.

If she leaves the UK for more than two years, her ILR lapses. She can reapply, but her application will be judged on her circumstances at the time of the reapplication, not at the time of the original application.
  #28  
Old 08-20-2018, 06:46 AM
kferr kferr is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: 51.3180N, 0.7300W
Posts: 2,137
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eva Luna View Post
... citizenship eligibility after 5 years of permanent residence in most cases, or 3 years if married to a UK citizen.

Is that correct and she is pulling the crazy idea about needing to stay married out of her ass, or am I missing something?
That's how it worked for me. I was on work permits for 4 years, applied for the permanent residence visa, then a year later became a naturalized citizen. Back then there was not test, no ceremony, and it only cost about £50.
  #29  
Old 08-20-2018, 12:22 PM
Eva Luna Eva Luna is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Chicago-ish, IL
Posts: 10,526
Quote:
Originally Posted by UDS View Post
ILR can be revoked, but it won't be revoked simply on the basis of having been divorced (or widowed). It could be revoked if there was found to be fraud or deception in the circumstances in which it was acquired, but presumably there's no suggestion of that here. It can also be revoked if she becomes "liable to deportation", which will happen if the Home Secretary thinks her deportation is "conducive to the public good". The most likely circumstance in which this happens is if she is convicted of a serious offence. But he could also move to deport her on national security our counter-terrorism grounds, or if he judges her to be involved in "serious and organised crime", even if she herself has not been convicted of an offence. SFAIK there is no right of appeal against the Home Secretary's decision, but you can challenge it in the courts if you can make a case it that he made it improperly.

If she leaves the UK for more than two years, her ILR lapses. She can reapply, but her application will be judged on her circumstances at the time of the reapplication, not at the time of the original application.
If you could point me toward a cite on that subject, I'd greatly appreciate it so I can pass it along. (I already found the cite for the basic citizenship eligibility criteria.) And I'd think that after 20 years and 2 kids, nobody will question that it is a real marriage!
  #30  
Old 08-20-2018, 07:37 PM
UDS UDS is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Australia
Posts: 8,263
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eva Luna View Post
If you could point me toward a cite on that subject, I'd greatly appreciate it so I can pass it along. (I already found the cite for the basic citizenship eligibility criteria.) And I'd think that after 20 years and 2 kids, nobody will question that it is a real marriage!
Here's the Home Office manual on revocation of indefinite leave. It's a practical guide for Home Office staff, but it's publicly available, and it includes references to the relevant legislative provisions.
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:23 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@straightdope.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Copyright © 2018 STM Reader, LLC.

 
Copyright © 2017