In May 2019, the Government announced the widening of the automated e-gates to nationals of seven countries. By July, these gates had been used by over 1 million users, and the numbers continue to soar. An overwhelming number of sponsors employ migrant workers from these seven countries, and a key part of their sponsorship duty is to check and retain entry of the migrant’s date of entry. This was previously easily done by taking a copy of the passport page with the UK entry stamp. With automated e-gates, the passports of these nationals no longer have these stamps.
As a result, the Home Office has recently updated their guidance to include circumstances where the migrant may not have an entry stamp (nationals of these 7 countries and those who enter through Ireland). The guidance now states that sponsors can now check evidence of entry by asking to see evidence which includes (but is not limited to) the following:
Sponsors must then make a record of the date the migrant entered the UK but do not have to retain the evidence. However, we would strongly recommend retaining this evidence, in case of any discrepancies.
We recommend that sponsors review the files of all migrant workers in light of the updated guidance to check if they have the records of the appropriate date of entry. This is especially important for migrants of these seven countries, as if they enter the UK earlier than the start date of their Tier 2 visa, this could potentially cause issues to their immigration status in the UK (and therefore their right to work).