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Immigration News - March update

 

Working in the UK

Restricted Certificates of Sponsorship (RCoS): Tier 2 cap reached for 3 consecutive months

UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) have published the allocations of restricted CoS for February 2018, which has confirmed that for 3 consecutive months, the Tier 2 allocation quota has been reached. This has meant that unless the annual salary is greater than about £50,000 per year, then the application is unlikely to be successful. Applications for PhD or shortage occupation roles are still likely to gain sufficient points at lower salary levels.

As demand tends to be generally higher earlier on in the sponsorship year, there are more RCoS available at the start of the allocation year. Therefore, it may be easier for employers to obtain a RCoS from April 2018 onwards when the new quota starts.

All valid applications received by 5th February were successful if they scored at least 46 points. A total of 1,707 restricted certificates were granted in February with there being a total of 1,126 available for allocation in March 2018.

Further information can be viewed here.

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

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/feb/18/uk-hits-skilled-worker-visa-cap-third-month-home-office-refuses-applications

 

Illegal working civil penalties – regional report

UKVI have published their quarterly report on the number of civil penalties, illegal workers found and the value of the penalties issued between 1 July to 30 September 2017.

The quarterly report shows that in this specified period, there was:

  • a total of 826 illegal workers identified;
  • a total of 600 civil penalties issued; and
  • a gross value of £9,678,125 for the penalties issued.

You can download the full regional report here.

If you have any concerns about your internal policies and procedures on checking right to work, please contact us by telephone on 01344 624016 or by email at enquiries@veristat.co.uk. We conduct independent audits of right to work, including undertaking inspections of your staff files to ensure they comply with right to work requirements. In addition, we also provide trainer-led workshops on right to work and document examination.

 

Tiers 2 and 5: Sponsorship transparency data

UKVI have published their quarterly sponsorship transparency data for the fourth quarter of 2017.

These figures show that during this quarter:

  • There was a total of 27,161 Tier 2 and 3,797 Tier 5 registered sponsors.
  • New sponsor applications were received from 1,485 Tier 2, 79 Tier 5, 28 Tier 2 & 5 and 3 Tier 2/4.
  • 9% of new Tier 2/5 sponsor applications were decided within less than 4 weeks. The service standard for new sponsor applications is 8 weeks.
  • There was a total of 296 announced and 124 unannounced follow-up visits to Tier 2 only sponsors during this period.
  • A total of 151 Tier 2 and 12 Tier 5 sponsor licence were suspended; and 99 Tier 2 and 3 Tier 5 sponsor licence revoked during this period.
  • Curtailment action was required on 8,197 Tier 2 and 5 sponsor notifications regarding potential non-compliance during this period.

You can download the full sponsorship data figures here.

 

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

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has published its Migration Statistics Quarterly Report for February 2018.

The key points about working in the UK were as follows:

  • The total number of people coming to work in the UK was 248,000 in the year ending September 2017, a decrease of 45,000 compared to the previous year. This decrease was driven by fewer EU citizens coming to the UK looking for work.
  • The number of EU citizens coming to the UK for work-related reasons has fallen over the last year, in particular, those coming to the UK “looking for work”.
  • From October to December 2017, there were 2.35 million EU nationals working in the UK – (101,000 more than previous year), and 1.17 million non-EU nationals working in the UK (68,000 fewer than previous year).
  • Latest figures for the year ending December 2017 show the total number of work-related visas that were granted slightly increased to 165,131 (1% increase).
  • Indian nationals accounted for over 50% of all skilled work visas granted, whilst 40% of sponsored visa applications were from within the Information Technology sector.

The full report can be viewed here.

 

Studying in the UK

Tier 4: Sponsorship transparency data

UKVI have published their quarterly sponsorship transparency data for the fourth quarter of 2017.

These figures show that during this quarter:

  • There was a total of 1,239 Tier 4 registered sponsors.
  • A total of 14 Tier 4 and 3 Tier 2/4 new sponsor applications were received.
  • 4% of Tier 4 sponsors registered have the full ‘Tier 4 Sponsor’ status (formerly HTS).
  • 40% of new Tier 4 sponsor applications were decided within less than 4 weeks. The service standard for new sponsor applications is 8 weeks.
  • 20,242 Tier 4 sponsor notifications in potential non-compliance categories were received.
  • There were 9 announced and 1 unannounced follow-up visits to Tier 4 only sponsors during this period.
  • The following action was taken against Tier 4 sponsors during this period: 3 - intention to revoke and 2 - revoked.
  • Curtailment action was required on 6,675 Tier 4 notifications regarding potential non-compliance during this period.

You can download the full sponsorship data figures here.

 

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

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has published its Migration Statistics Quarterly Report for February 2018.

The key points about working in the UK were as follows:

  • Study remains the second most common reason to come to the UK.
  • Immigration for study (163,000) increased by 29,000 compared with the previous year and is now at a similar level to that in early 2016.
  • Almost three quarters (113,000) of these were non-EU citizens, which saw an increase of 26,000 compared with the previous year.
  • In the year ending December 2017, there were 223,536 study-related visas granted (including dependants), which was an increase of 8%. This excludes short-term study visas.
  • Three nationalities (China, United States and India) accounted for over half (53%) of the study-related visas granted in 2017. The largest number were granted to Chinese nationals (88,456 or 40% of the total).

The full report can be viewed here.

 

Other immigration news

Brexit update: UK leaving the EU

The UK government has confirmed it is currently in discussions with Norway, Iceland, Lichtenstein and Switzerland about securing the status of their citizens who are resident in the UK. They have also confirmed that the rights of British and Irish citizens in each other’s country are rooted in the Ireland Act 1949, therefore Irish citizens will not need to apply for settled status.

EU citizens working in the UK and UK businesses employing EU citizens don’t need to do anything now. The UK government will be working closely with businesses and others to look at how they will be affected by the changes.

The independent Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) have also been commissioned to gather evidence on patterns of EU migration and the role of migration in the wide economy, ahead of the UK’s exit from the EU. They are due to report back by September 2018 and its evidence will be used by the UK government to develop the future immigration system.

Further information can be viewed here.

Registration of children as a British citizen

The guidance for caseworkers about the registration of minors as a British citizen by entitlement and discretion has been updated to clarify that registration under section 3(5) of the British Nationality Act 1981 gives British citizenship otherwise than by descent. The updated guidance can be viewed here.

Also, the guidance on applications for registration as a British citizen from children of British parents has been updated to provide clarification on the application of Section 4C(3A) of the British Nationality Act 1981. The updated guidance can be viewed here.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/children-nationality-policy-guidance

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/children-of-british-parents-nationality-policy-guidance

Immigration Healthcare Surcharge to increase

The government plans to double the Immigration Healthcare Surcharge (HIS) paid by temporary migrants to the UK. The IHS is paid by people outside the EEA who are seeking to live in the UK for 6 months or more to work, study or join family.

The IHS is due to increase from £200 to £400 per year. The discounted rate for students and those on the Youth Mobility Scheme will increase from £150 to £300.

We expect the increase to take effect from the new financial year (i.e. from 6th April 2018), although a date has not yet been confirmed.

Further information can be viewed here.

Migration Statistics Quarterly Report: February 2018 (Other)

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has published its Migration Statistics Quarterly Report for February 2018.

Other key points were as follows:

  • In the year ending September 2017, net migration was at a similar level to early 2014 with 244,000 more people coming to the UK than leaving.
  • EU net migration has fallen over the last year, as fewer EU citizens are coming to the UK and the number leaving the UK has increased. However, there are still more EU citizens coming to the UK than leaving.
  • In 2017, the UK granted asylum, alternative forms of protection or resettlement to almost 15,000 individuals, 40% of who were under 18 years of age. Including, 6,212 people who were provided protection under a resettlement scheme.
  • Additionally, 5,218 family reunion visas were issued to partners and children of granted asylum or humanitarian protection in the UK – a 14% decrease since last year.

The full report can be viewed here.

 

Veristat Services

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.

If you or a colleague would like to subscribe to receiving this update by email every month, please email us at enquiries@veristat.co.uk.

 

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