Three people have been arrested for overstaying their visas during UK Border Agency raids on premises in Canvey Island and Maldon.
Two of the men were discovered at two Indian restaurants in Maldon, The Raj in Mill Road and Curry Nights in the High Street.
A 45-year-old Sri Lankan man was found in a flat above a Londis shop in Canvey Road, Canvey Island.
The UK Border Agency said it was now working to deport the men.
Immigration officer Tom Leach said: "If people want to live and work in the UK, there are ways that they can come here legitimately.
"If they decide to flout the law we will find them and remove them from the country."