Ranjit Kumar, aged 36, was jailed for 12 months for using a fake identity to secure a job. The illegal worker had been working at a clothing factory in Leicester.
The Indian national was caught after routine Covid-19 checks were made.
Kumar had visa applications to visit the UK rejected four times but he entered Britain illegally and used a fake ID document to secure a job in a false name.
Officials made a routine check at Singh Clothing Ltd, in Brighton Road, on July 3, 2020, to check the factory was operating in a Covid-19 compliant way.
The prosecutor Elizabeth Dodds said Kumar was stopped by an officer who saw him using a fire exit in order to avoid them. He appeared nervous when questioned.
Kumar produced a Portuguese ID card with his photograph, but in the name of someone else who had genuinely been issued with a visa to enter the UK.
Miss Dodds explained: “His true identity was revealed via a portable fingerprint scanner.”
Kumar’s home in Haynes Road, Leicester was searched. Several wage slips in the false names were found.
Kumar admitted possessing a false Portuguese ID card with improper intent and fraudulently using it to obtain a National Insurance number and employment.
Leicester Crown Court heard his employers were unaware of Kumar’s illegal status.
Recorder James Smith told the illegal worker: “You’ve clearly been working for a period of time in the UK, earning just over £5,000.
“The ID card was a carefully crafted false document bearing your photograph and someone else’s details.”
“It was a sophisticated false document used to obtain a National Insurance number, which is the gateway to employment and other services and benefits.
“You knew your entry into the UK wasn’t permitted and you had no right to remain, having been refused a visa on four earlier occasions, between 2014 and 2016.”
The court was not told when or how Kumar was smuggled into the UK.
In mitigation, Sarah Cornish said Kumar wanted to work legally in the UK and had been paying tax and National Insurance.
She said: “He has a wife and two small children and came to Europe, first to Portugal and then the UK, to find work to send money back to them in India.
“He was able to find work in the factory in Leicester, having obtained a National Insurance number.
“His aim was to work and not commit any offences and not to be reliant on benefits.
“He’s been in custody since his arrest and is likely to be deported after serving his sentence.”
Leicester Mercury reported that Kumar was jailed for 12 months.