Although a visit by the Home Office may seem daunting, it doesn’t necessarily have to be doomsday. Every business in Dubai and UAE is required to comply with all relevant immigration laws and legislation. UAE Businesses may be subject to heavy penalties and criminal prosecution if they are found guilty of violating the terms or the immigration act, whether knowingly or not.(employing staff without valid working permit.)
What Happens During An Immigration Audit?
The following is a typical company auditing services:
Notification for Immigration Audit
An official immigration audit notice may be issued to you. This will tell you when officers can visit your company and the date. Notifications will be sent to the contact person you designated at the time that your sponsorship license was applied. This usually happens within a few days. Sometimes, the immigration specialists might be flexible and arrange a time and date that suits the needs of the auditee.
It is becoming more common for the government, however, to visit businesses and conduct intensive audits unannounced. It is not possible to guarantee that you will receive notice. Compliance officers may arrive at your premises at any moment. Even if there’s no evidence that the business has violated any UAE migrant worker laws, compliance officers may still visit your premises unannounced and expect to prove their compliance. Therefore, we strongly recommend regular internal audits and periodic consultations with legal advisers in order to maintain compliance.
Preparation for the Audit (Where applicable)
It is important to make all evidence that the Dubai, UAE compliance officers may request available and easily accessible in the days or weeks leading up to an audit. Compliance officers are very focused on transparency. The more information they can access, the more trustworthy and responsible the business will appear. There are no set rules for the checks that are performed during an audit. You need to be prepared for any eventuality.
If officers are having difficulty accessing information, your company could be declared “partially compliant” (or “non-compliant”) by the authorities. It is your responsibility to ensure that all documentation and information required are correct, complete and legible.
Day of the Audit
One or more compliance officers will arrive at your premises to request a variety of records and documents. They will want to see evidence of how you approach migrant migration, the strength of your HR framework, and information collected during migrant worker hiring processes. They may also ask you, your coworkers, and your migrant workers, as well as any other questions that might be of interest to compliance officers.
After the Audit
The business will receive a summary of the audit’s findings in due time. This will include details about the Dubai, UAE compliance officer’s decision, and any actions or improvements that may be required.
Scores are given for immigration audits. The following three areas of compliance are the key ones that determine whether points are added or taken away.
This is the degree to which the company has a strong, effective HR system to monitor the initial hiring as well as the status of non-EEA immigrants during their stay in the UK.
Convictions and Civil Penalties
Comprehensive checks are made to make sure that non-EEA migrants who work for the company do not have unpaid convictions or are liable in civil penalties.
Verification that an organization complies with all rules as set out in the official UK immigration policy. These include the limitations on working hours, the nature and amount of work performed, salaries paid, and so forth.
What Are The Consequences Of Non-Compliance?
Your business’ sponsorship license will remain valid if the UAE immigration audit officers find that there are no grounds to dispute your compliance. It is unlikely that you will be subject to another Home Office inspection. If the UAE government discovers evidence of non-compliance, they may take one or more of these steps:
- Suspended And Revoked Licenses
- A downgrade to a lower rating
- Reputational damage to businesses
- Reduction in the cost of a sponsor’s certificates
- Penalties for illegal migrant workers
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Expert Immigration Audit Specialists in Dubai and UAE
At Audit Firms in Dubai, we can help you prepare for your audits or deal with the aftermath of an inept inspection. Our business immigration experts are highly skilled in handling all aspects of worker immigration law, large and small. Our team can ensure that your business is compliant with all applicable immigration rules, so you are able to pass any UAE compliance inspections.
Our company auditing services can identify potential weaknesses and areas for improvement in your HR system by implementing a mock audit. Remember that not all immigration audits will be announced. You may be chosen for an inspection randomly at any given time. Do not take chances with something so important like immigration law. Audit Firms in Dubai can help you to understand more about our corporate immigration services.
Kasun Liyanage is an Audit Manager with over 7 years of experience dealing with diversified corporate clients. He not only manages the team’s work schedule but also is an expert in handling audit areas such as external audits and fraud investigation, Internal control benchmarking and best practices and well as preparation of financial statements and IFRS compliance.