House of Lords written question – answered on 21 December 2010.

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Photo of Lord Laird Lord Laird UUP

To ask Her Majesty's Government how many foreign students last year were detected working full-time contrary to their visa requirements; what sanctions are available; and whether those sanctions were applied to them.

Photo of Baroness Neville-Jones Baroness Neville-Jones Minister of State (Home Office) (Security)

For the period April 2009 to March 2010, 128 individuals, identified on our systems as students, were arrested during enforcement visits for working in breach of their conditions of leave, of which 88 have subsequently been removed and two have been prosecuted. The figures provided are sourced from management information tools; they are not quality assured under National Statistics protocols and are subject to change.

Where a foreign student is found to be working full-time in breach of his or her conditions of leave to enter or remain, there are a range of sanctions that the UK Border Agency can use including prosecution, curtailment of leave, refusal of future applications for leave and removal. Employers who fail to check that employees have the right to work in the UK can be fined up to £10,000 per illegal worker encountered. Employers who knowingly employ an illegal worker may be liable to an unlimited fine and/or imprisonment.

The UK Border Agency does not keep central records of the number of individuals whose leave was curtailed or application refused for working in breach of their conditions, or of fines issued to employers for employing students in breach of their conditions. This information could only be obtained by the detailed examination of individual case records at disproportionate cost.

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