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Immigration News - September update

 

Working in the UK 

Restricted Certificates of Sponsorship (RCoS)

UKVI have published the restricted Certificates of Sponsorship (RCoS) allocation for August 2018.

All valid applications received by 5thAugust were successful if they scored at least 21 points. The number of points required for a successful application returned to normal levels in August, in comparison to that seen in recent months when salary levels of up to £60,000 were required. This has most likely been driven by the decision to exclude nurses and doctors from the cap on skilled worker visas, as this has freed up additional places for other skilled occupations.

A total of 2,256 restricted certificates were granted in August 2018. The total number of certificates available for allocation in August 2018 is 1,965.

Further information can be viewed here.

Please do not hesitate to contact us on 01344 624016 or at enquiries@veristat.co.ukfor advice or guidance in respect of any aspect of Tier 2 sponsorship or the recruitment of migrant workers.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/employer-sponsorship-restricted-certificate-allocations

 

Sponsorship transparency data: Tier 2/5

UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) have published their transparency data on sponsorship activities during the second quarter (Q2) of the 2018/2019 year.

The key points in relation to Tier 2/5were as follows:

  • A total of 27,115 Tier 2 and 3,816 Tier 5 sponsors were on the register during this period.
  • During this quarterly period, new licence applications were received from:
    • 1,296 Tier 2 sponsors
    • 2 Tier 2/4 sponsors
    • 1 Tier 2/4/5 sponsor
    • 26 Tier 2/5 sponsors
    • 97 Tier 5 sponsors
  • The average length of time to process a sponsorship application was 29.86 days.
  • 7,884 Tier 2/5 sponsor notifications in potential non-compliance categories were received.
  • A total of 149 Tier 2, 4 Tier 2/5, and 5 Tier 5 pre-registration visits were conducted.
  • During this quarterly period, follow-up visits were conducted for:
    • 228 Tier 2 (95 unannounced)
    • 8 Tier 5
    • 12 Tier 2/5
    • 1 Tier 2/4/5
  • A total of 84 Tier 2 and 22 Tier 5 sponsors were suspended, and 41 Tier 2 and 3 Tier 5 sponsor licence were revoked during this same period.
  • 20,802 sponsor notifications received for Tiers 2 & 5 required curtailment action.

You can download the Q2 2018 sponsorship transparency data here.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/sponsorship-transparency-data-august-2018

 

Migration Statistics Quarterly Report: August 2018 (Working in the UK)

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) have published their Migration Statistics Quarterly Report for August 2018.

The key findings in relation to working in the UK were as follows:

  • Work remains the most common reason people come to the UK, with 253,000 people arriving for work in the year ending March 2018.
  • 176,000 of those arriving for work came for a definite job, and 77,000 came looking for work, which was down from 130,000 at the peak in the year ending June 2016. This decrease is mainly accounted for by a decrease in the number of EU citizens coming to the UK to look for work, with the number almost halving between the year ending June 2016 and the year ending June 2017. This decrease was seen across all EU groupings.
  • There were 1.27 million non-EU nationals working in the UK during the year ending March 2018, which was 74,000 more than the previous year.
  • Non-EU immigration for work has remained fairly stable, although there has been an increase in Asian (particularly South Asian) citizens over the last year for work-related reasons. IPS estimates suggest that 45,000 Asian citizens came to the UK for work-related reasons in the year ending March 2018, which was up from 30,000 in the previous year. During the same period, the number of South Asian citizens coming for work had increased from 16,000 to 29,000, an increase of 13,000 from the previous year.
  • There were 2.28 million EU nationals working in the UK during the year ending March 2018 – 86,000 fewer than the previous year, which is the largest annual fall since comparable records began in 1997.
  • There were 0.88 million EU8 nationals working in the UK – 117,000 fewer than the previous year, which is the largest annual fall since comparable records began in 1997.
  • The number of EU citizens arriving looking for work appears to have stabilized at around 35,000 per year, except EU8 citizens where the decline has continued.
  • The number of EU citizens coming to the UK for a definite job has returned to similar levels as seen in 2014, at 86,000 for the year ending March 2018. However, there has been a decrease of 20,000 in the number of EU15 citizens coming to the UK for a definite job.
  • The employment rate for EU nationals was 83.1%, which was higher than that for UK nationals (75.5%) and non-EU nationals (62.9%).

The full report can be viewed here.

https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/populationandmigration/

  

Immigration statistics, year ending June 2018 (Working in the UK)

The Home Office has published their Immigration statistics for the year ending June 2018.

The key statistics in relation to working in the UK were as follows:

  • There were 167,271 work-related visas granted in the year ending June 2018 (2% higher than the previous year), which included:
    • 96,376 Tier 2 (Skilled) visas, up 4%
    • 40,360 (Youth mobility and temporary worker), down 3%
    • 5,502 Tier 1 (High-value) visas, up 17%
  • The top 5 nationalities (India, USA, Japan, Philippines and Australia) accounted for 76% of all Tier 2 visas granted. Indian nationals accounted for the majority of grants (56%), with the next most common nationality being US nationals (10%).
  • In the year ending June 2018, five sectors accounted for the vast majority (87%) of skilled work visa applications, with almost two out of every five accounted for by the IT and communications sector. The top five sectors were:
    • Information and communications (39%)
    • Professional, scientific and technical (16%)
    • Human health and social work (14%)
    • Financial and insurance activities (12%)
    • Education (6%)
  • Over the last 10 years, the overall grant rate for work-related visas has increased from 80% to 95%.
  • According to estimates from the Labour Force Survey, the number of people employed in the UK increased by 313,000 (to 32.39m) in April to June 2018, compared with previous year. This was driven by increases in non-EU and UK nationals.
  • The number of non-EU nationals in employment increased by 74,000 (to 1.27m), while the number of EU nationals in employment decreased by 86,000 (to 2.28m).

You can view/download the Home Office Immigration statistics here.

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/immigration-statistics-year-ending-june-2018

 

Tier 2 and 5 sport governing bodies

UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) have updated their list of contact details for the sport governing bodies that can provide an endorsement for those applying for a licence to sponsor sportspeople.

The revised list of sports governing bodies can be viewed here.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/tier-2-and-5-sports-governing-bodies

  

Studying in the UK

Immigration statistics, year ending June 2018 (Studying in the UK)

The Home Office has published their Immigration statistics for the year ending June 2018.

The key statistics in relation to study in the UK were as follows:

  • 8% of total passenger arrivals in the year ending June 2018 were for study.
  • In the year ending June 2018, there were 224,097 Tier 4 (sponsored study) visas granted (5% increase from previous year).
  • There were notable increases in the number of Tier 4 visas granted to Chinese nationals (up 9% to 89,304) and Indian nationals (up 32% to 15,392). Chinese nationals accounted for 40% of all Tier 4 visas granted.
  • The three nationalities with the largest increase in the number of Tier 4 study visas granted were:
    • Chinese, up 7,084 (+9%) to 89,304
    • Indian, up 3,693 (+32%) to 15,392
    • Kuwaiti, up 446 (+15%) to 3,449
  • The three nationalities with the largest decrease in the number of Tier 4 study visas granted were:
    • Indonesian, down 906 (-28%) to 2,328
    • Saudi Arabian, down 607 (-7%) to 7,922
    • Malaysian, down 341 (-4%) to 7,640
  • The number of Tier 4 applications for Higher Education Institutions increased by 7% to 182,199.
  • In the year ending June 2018, there were 233,309 applications for Tier 4 study visas (4% increase from previous year).
  • In the year ending June 2018, the number of study sponsored visa applications (main applicants) rose 6% to 217,060, which included a:
    • 7% increase in sponsored visa applications for the Higher Education (University) sector (to 182,199), made up of a 9% increase for Russell Group universities (to 89,936) and a 4% rise for other universities (to 92,263)
    • 9% increase for the Independent school sector (to 14,066)
    • 38% increase for English Language schools (to 4,050)
    • 1% decrease for the Further education sector (to 14,289)
  • There were 229,000 Short-term student admissions for non-EEA admissions for non-EEA nationals in 2017, which was more than twice the number of Short-term student visas granted (106,840) over the same period. This is due to many student visitor admissions being from non-visa nationals (such as the USA).

You can view/download the Home Office Immigration statistics here.

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/immigration-statistics-year-ending-june-2018

 

Sponsorship transparency data: Tier 4

UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) have published their transparency data on sponsorship activities during the second quarter (Q2) of the 2018/2019 year.

The key points in relation to Tier 4 were as follows:

  • A total of 1,227 sponsors were on the register of Tier 4 sponsors during this quarterly period.
  • New licence applications were received from the following during this period:
    • 24 Tier 4 sponsors
    • 2 Tier 2/4 sponsors
    • 1 Tier 2/4/5 sponsor
  • 3% of new Tier 4 sponsor licence applications took over 4 weeks to process.
  • During this period, the percentage of Tier 4 sponsors with full ‘Tier 4 Sponsor’ status was 93.7%.
  • The average length of time to process a sponsorship application was 29.86 days.
  • 11,744 Tier 4 sponsor notifications in potential non-compliance categories were received.
  • A total of 11 Tier 4 sponsors had pre-registration visits.
  • Follow-up visits took place for 18 Tier 4 (1 unannounced), 1 Tier 2/4/5, and 5 Tier 2/4 sponsors.
  • 6 Tier 4 sponsors received ‘intention to revoke’ action and 1 Tier 4 licence was revoked.
  • 6,903 sponsor notifications were received for Tier 4 that required curtailment action.

You can download the Q2 2018 sponsorship transparency data here.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/sponsorship-transparency-data-august-2018

 

Migration Statistics Quarterly Report: August 2018 (Studying in the UK)

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) have published their Migration Statistics Quarterly Report for August 2018.

The key findings in relation to studying in the UKwere as follows:

  • During the year ending March 2018, a total of 191,000 people came to the UK for study.
  • The Home Office visa and Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) data show that non—EU long-term student immigration has remained broadly stable since 2013. However, in contrast the International Passenger Survey (IPS) data indicates that non-EU student immigration estimate decreased in the year ending 2016, which is believed to have been an anomaly. In the year ending September 2017, this estimate increased back to levels seen in early 2015.

The full report can be viewed here.

https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/populationandmigration/ 

 

Other Immigration News

EU Settlement Scheme

The Home Office has published updated information for EU citizens and their families on applying for settled or pre-settled status.

The EU Settlement Scheme will open fully by March 2019. The deadline for applying will be 30 June 2021.

The fee to apply will be £65 if you’re 16 or over or £32.50 if you’re under 16. It will be free to those who already have valid indefinite leave to remain or permanent residence document. It will also be free for any children in local authority care.

The rights for citizens of Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland are still being negotiated.

Further information can be viewed here.

A private pilot for the EU Settlement Scheme is currently taking place and guidance for EU citizens taking part in this can be viewed here. The guidance for caseworkers considering applications under the EU Settlement Scheme during the private pilot can be viewed here.

We have helped many EEA/EU and Swiss nationals apply for permanent residence. If you are interested in applying and would like our support, please get in touch to see how we can help.

https://www.gov.uk/settled-status-eu-citizens-families

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/eu-settlement-scheme-view-and-prove-your-rights-in-the-uk

  

English Language tests

UKVI have published a revised list of the tests and test centres approved to show that applicants have the required level of English for their visa.

You can view the latest list of approved English Language tests and providers here.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-on-applying-for-uk-visa-approved-english-language-tests

 

Migration Statistics Quarterly Report: August 2018 (Other)

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) have published their Migration Statistics Quarterly Report for August 2018.

Other key findings were as follows:

  • Net migration has fallen from the peak levels seen in 2015/2016 and remained broadly stable since.
  • Long-term immigration (610,000) and long-term emigration (340,000) have remained broadly stable in year ending March 2018. 270,000 more people came to the UK than left in the year ending March 2018, so long-term net migration has continued to add to the UK population.
  • EU net migration was at its lowest levels since 2012, although it continues to add to the UK population with approximately 90,000 more EU citizens coming to the UK than leaving in the year ending March 2018.
  • The number of EU citizens who came to the UK in the year ending March 2018 was 226,000, which was lower than levels seen in 2015 and 2016.
  • The number of EU citizens leaving the UK was 138,000 for year ending March 2018, which remained at a stable level following an increase from September 2015 and September 2017.
  • Non-EU immigration was 316,000, which was at a similar level to that seen in 2011.
  • 77,000 came to the UK to accompany or join family members in the year ending March 2018.
  • There were 6,568 grants of asylum to main applicants and dependants during year ending March 2018, which was 1,618 (20%) lower than the previous year.
  • There were 2,038 grants of alternative forms of protection to main applicants and their dependants, which was 870 (74%) higher than the previous year.
  • 5,702 people were provided with protection under various resettlement schemes, which was 1,159 (17%) lower than the previous year.
  • 6,051 family reunion visas were also issued to partners and children of those granted asylum or humanitarian protection in the UK, which was an 11% increase compared to previous year.

The full report can be viewed here.

https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/populationandmigration/ 

  

Immigration statistics, year ending June 2018 (Other)

The Home Office has published their Immigration statistics for the year ending June 2018.

Other key statistics were as follows:

  • There were 139.2 million passenger arrivals in the year ending June 2018, including returning UK residents, an increase of 4.7 million compared to the previous year and a record number.
  • In the year ending June 2018, there were 141,416 visas granted for family reasons (9% increase from previous year). This included:
    • 43,228 family-related visas (+18%)
    • 68,726 dependants of people coming to the UK on other visas (excluding visit visas) (+7%)
    • 29,462 EEA Family permits (no change from previous year)
  • In this same period, there were 235,152 grants of extension of temporary stay (+22% from previous year).
  • The latest available data for year ending December 2017 shows that 78% of extensions allowed the individual to stay within their previous broad reason for stay category, and 22% of extensions were to switch categories.
  • 81,359 people were granted settlement in the UK in the year ending June 2018 (40% increase from previous year).
  • 95,580 registration certificates/cards were issued, which was a14% decrease from previous year), accounted for by falls in those issued to EU nationals following the large increase after the EU referendum. The number issued to non-EU nationals continued to grow.
  • 116,323 documents certifying permanent residence and permanent residence cards were issued in the year ending June 2018, the majority of which were issued to EU nationals.
  • British citizenship applications from EU nationals rose by 47% to 42,027. Of these, 29% were from EU nationals, compared with 11% in the year ending June 2016. Applications for British citizenship from non-EU nationals fell by 6% to 101,649 in year ending June 2018.

You can view/download the Home Office Immigration statistics here.

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/immigration-statistics-year-ending-june-2018

 

Changing humanitarian protection status to refugee status

An updated application form has been published for those people who were resettled under the Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme or the Vulnerable Children’s Resettlement Scheme who wish to request their status in the UK is changed from Humanitarian Protection to refugee status. 

You can view/download the updated application form here.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/request-to-change-humanitarian-protection-status-to-refugee-status

 

Veristat Service

Training for employers and education providers

We provide bespoke training on all aspects of immigration matters, including Right to Work, Tier 2 sponsorship, Tier 4 sponsorship, and identification of fraudulent documents.

These training sessions are conducted on the client’s premises for a standard half-day rate for up to 12 persons per session.

If you think your organisation would benefit from training in any of these areas, please contact us for a quote by emailing us at  enquiries@veristat.co.uk. If you would like to discuss the contents of our training packages or require a bespoke training package to be delivered please contact us by telephone on 01344 624016 or email us as above.

 

Audits and Inspections

Veristat is hugely experienced at providing compliance audits across all immigration tiers. We have worked with hundreds of employers, ranging from small family businesses to multi-nationals, high street retailers and professional sports clubs. In the education sector, we have also worked with over 30 universities and a significant number of colleges and schools.

Our audit/inspection service is fully flexible and can be tailored to individual requirements, and is based on sound practical experience of UKVI’s policies, culture and approach.

  • For employers, we offer on-site Tier 2 compliance inspections (with staff aware or unaware to simulate a surprise UKVI visit). We also offer right to work compliance visits.
  • For education providers, our service ranges from a “lite” health-check to a comprehensive review of Tier 4 activities, assessing compliance with UKVI requirements and sharing best practice. We also offer targeted inspections covering specific issues, such as BCA, Tier 2 compliance, policies, student unions, relationships with partner institutions, etc.

On completion, we provide a comprehensive, evidence-based report, together with an assessment of how compliant the business or institution is with UKVI’s requirements. We will support the introduction of change if required and offer a ‘spot check’ follow up service at a later date if required to reassure management that recommendations have been implemented.

If you’re interested in booking an audit/inspection, please call us on 01344 624016 or email us at enquiries@veristat.co.uk.

 

File Inspection Days

If you’re unsure whether you require a full compliance audit or specific training but would like an independent check of your files to ensure they are fully compliant with Home Office requirements, we can provide a UKVI file compliance inspection of either your staff or student files.

Depending on the number of employees/students you have, we would either check all files or an agreed sample. After the inspection has taken place, we would provide a written report outlining any risks, feedback and recommendations.

For further information or a quote for our file inspection days, please call us on 01344 624016 or email us at enquiries@veristat.co.uk.

 

Presentations for European nationals (Brexit)

We provide sessions targeted at European nationals currently living and working in the UK. We can come to your premises and speak directly to your EU/EEA and Swiss employees, outlining their position now, and the likely situation they may find themselves in following Brexit. These practical sessions are designed to clarify the situation and more importantly their options moving forwards.

If you’re interested in booking a session for the European nationals working for you, please call us on 01344 624016 or email us at enquiries@veristat.co.uk.

 

To download and print a pdf version of the monthly update, please click here.

 

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