Is it an offence to employ a foreign national who is subject to immigration control?

Under the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006, it is not an offence to employ someone who is subject to immigration control, provided that they have leave to enter or remain in the UK and is not prevented from working. However, it is a criminal offence knowingly to take on a foreign national who has not been granted leave to enter or remain in the UK, or who does not have permission to work in the UK.

The definition of the criminal offence was extended, from 12 July 2016, so that it is not limited to the situation where it can be shown that the employer "knowingly" employed a foreign national who does not hold the right to work in the UK; instead it is also an offence for the employer to employ such an individual when it has "reasonable cause to believe" that they do not hold the right to work in the UK.