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Licensing Act 2003

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5. Immigration Act 2016

Provisions to prevent illegal working in the alcohol and late night refreshment sectors

Immigration safeguards are being introduced to the licensing regime for alcohol and late night refreshment. The objective is to better prevent illegal working in these sectors of the economy. This took effect from 6 April in 2017 England and Wales

The following information sets out the main immigration changes to the Licensing Act 2003. Specifically by Section 36 of and Schedule 4 to the Immigration Act 2016. Separate guidance has also been provided to assist licensing authorities in respect of these changes.

The new provisions mean that licensing authorities are prohibited from issuing premises and personal licences for the sale of alcohol or provision of late night refreshment to anyone who is illegally present in the UK or not permitted to carry out work in a licensable activity.

For all such applications made on or after 6 April 2017, applicants should submit one of a number of specified copy documents which show that:

  • they are in the UK lawfully (if they are resident here),
  • and permitted to carry out work in a licensable activity.

To support these changes, the application forms have been amended. They now include the applicant’s date of birth, nationality and the address at which they are ordinarily resident. The forms also set out the evidence of entitlement to work in the UK to be provided as part of the application.

Personal and premises licences granted on or after 6 April 2017 will lapse if a licence holder’s permission to be in the UK and work is time-limited, and comes to an end. 

From 6 April 2017: Immigration Enforcement, acting on behalf of the Secretary of State, is added to the list of responsible authorities. It will receive all premises licence applications for alcohol and late night refreshment (except licences for regulated entertainment only). In some limited circumstances, personal licence applications. Where Immigration Enforcement considers that a grant of a licence will be prejudicial to the prevention of illegal working or immigration crime, it will make representations or object using a prescribed form.

Immigration Officers will be permitted to enter premises which they have reason to believe are being used to sell alcohol or provide late night refreshment, to investigate whether immigration offences are being committed in connection with the licensable activity. Immigration Officers to be able to enter on the same terms as a Licensing Enforcement Officer or Police Constable. This enables better joint operations and inspections for immigration offences in relation to the licensable activity and illegal working.

If you require any further information about the new arrangements, please visit the Immigration Enforcement website.