The UK visa system is enabling unscrupulous employers to treat foreign workers as modern-day slaves, workers who were paid little or nothing, were not allowed out and were sometimes abused or beaten, a BBCinvestigation has found.
The situations come from "tied" visas - meaning the right to be in the UK can be withdrawn by the employer - and "transit" visas on fishing boats. Transit visas are being used to bring in recruits to the fishing industry who have no right to set foot on dry land - and therefore no access to UK employment rights. Some fishing workers spend weeks at a time at sea, sometimes unpaid, sleeping in cramped conditions, often physically and verbally abused.
With tied visas, employees must stay with the employer they arrived to work for - so if they are mistreated and run away, they are likely to be deported.