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Immigration News - June update


Working in the UK 

Restricted Certificates of Sponsorship (RCoS)

UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) have published the allocations of restricted Certificates of Sponsorship (RCoS) for May 2018.

The quota on Tier 2 (General) visas has been reached for several consecutive months, which has had a detrimental impact on those recruiting skilled workers from outside of the UK/EU. Employers should be aware of this, as it may affect their ability to obtain a restricted CoS, and may affect recruitment timescales and employment contracts.

The Home Secretary, Sajid Javaid, has reportedly said he is “taking a fresh look” at the skilled work visas cap.

All valid applications received by 5thMay were successful if they scored at least 51 points. A total of 1,906 restricted certificates were granted in May. The total number of certificates available for allocation in June 2018 is 2,052.

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.





UK Sponsorship Transparency Statistics: Tier 2/5

Data on sponsorship activities during the first quarter of 2018 has been published by UKVI.

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

  • There was a total of 27,013 Tier 2 sponsors and 3,813 Tier 5 sponsors registered.
  • There was a total of 1,377 new Tier 2 sponsor applications, 161 new Tier 5 sponsor applications and 23 Tier 2/5 sponsor applications during this period.
  • The average length of time taken to process a sponsorship application during this quarterly period was 23.89 days.
  • A total of 7,600 Tier 2/5 sponsor notifications in potential non-compliance categories was received.
  • A total of 191 Tier 2, 6 Tier 5, and 7 Tier 2/5 pre-registration visits were undertaken.
  • A total of 210 follow-up visits were conducted by UKVI to Tier 2 sponsors, 67 of which were unannounced.
  • A total of 144 Tier 2 or 5 sponsor licence were suspended and 105 Tier 2 or 5 sponsor licence were revoked during this period.
  • A total of 10,147 Tier 2 or 5 sponsor notifications regarding potential non-compliance were received that required curtailment action.

The full sponsorship transparent data can be viewed here.



Studying in the UK

Tier 4 Sponsorship duties: updated guidance

UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) have updated the sponsorship duties guidance, which sets out the requirements for education providers wishing to apply for, and hold, a licence to sponsor international students to come to the UK under Tier 4 of the Points Based System.

The updated guidance is for use on or after 8 May 2018.

The following changes have been made:

  • A reference has been added to para. 5.83 to confirm that level B1 is the minimum required level of English language ability, to reflect previous change to paragraph 5.81.
  • An example has been added to Annex A of when it is unnecessary to report a student absence because it was caused by lecturers’ industrial action.

You can view the revised sponsorship duties guidance here.

The modernised Tier 4 guidance has also been updated to remove dates listed under the Tier 4: visa pilot section. You can view the updated modernised guidance here.





English language requirements for international students: IELTS

A recent study published by Cambridge University Press has found that the UK government’s IELTS score should be higher.

This study investigated language and literacy of international students who successfully met language entry requirements and those of home students. It found that international students were at a disadvantage regarding the language skills that are essential for academic success in comparison to domestic students.

The full study report can be viewed here. Further information can be viewed here.





UK Sponsorship Transparency Statistics: Tier 4

Data on sponsorship activities during the first quarter of 2018 has been published by UKVI.

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

  • As of 24 May 2018, there were a total of 1,236 Tier 4 sponsors registered.
  • During this quarterly period, there were a total of 12 Tier 4, 4 Tier 2/4, and 1 Tier 2/4/5 new sponsor applications submitted.
  • The average length of time taken to process a sponsorship application during this quarterly period was 23.89 days.
  • 6% of Tier 4 sponsors have the full ‘Tier 4 Sponsor’ status.
  • A total of 13,038 Tier 4 sponsor notifications in potential non-compliance categories was received.
  • A total of 14 Tier 4 and 1 Tier 2/4 pre-registration visits were undertaken.
  • A total of 25 follow-up visits were conducted by UKVI to Tier 4 sponsors, of which 2 were unannounced.
  • During this period, a total of 3 sponsors have received an intention to revoke their licence.
  • A total of 9,316 Tier 4 sponsor notifications regarding potential non-compliance were received that required curtailment action.

You can view the sponsorship transparency data here.




International student policy

The UK Home Secretary, Sajid Javid, has reportedly said that he would like to review the policy that includes international students within the government’s net migration figures. UK Higher Education sector leaders have welcomed this news.

Further information can be viewed here.





Other Immigration News

Applying for Permanent Residence (EEA and Swiss nationals)

The application form for applying for permanent residence has been updated by UKVI. This form is to be used for applications made on or after 10 May 2018.

The updated form can be downloaded here.

We have helped a number of EEA 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.




Windrush Scheme

The Home Secretary, Sajid Javid MP, has announced the introduction of legislation to bring into force a package of measures under a Windrush scheme.

This will enable the government to start processing citizenship applications for the Windrush generation – Commonwealth nationals who settled in the UK before 1973 – free of charge.

Further information can be viewed here.

A call for evidence on the Windrush compensation scheme will run until 8thJune. Further information about the call for evidence can be viewed here.





Right of abode

To help citizens of the United Kingdom and Colonies assess whether they had the right of abode on 31 December 1982, UKVI have published a new flow chart document.

The new flow chart document can be downloaded here.




Sopra Steria awarded new UKVI contract

A contract has been awarded to Sopra Steria to deliver a new service for people applying for a work or study visa, settlement or citizenship from within the UK. This new contract will take effect in October 2018.

This service will allow people using the service to submit biometric information, including photos, fingerprints and signatures and their supporting evidence at a single appointment. The evidence will then be copied and sent to UKVI, so applicants won’t have to hand over important documents, such as passports, whilst their applications are being processed. They will also be able to upload digital files in advance of their appointment.

Further information can be viewed here.




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.


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