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Immigration News - November update


Working in the UK 

Restricted Certificates of Sponsorship (RCoS)

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

All valid applications received by 5thOctober were successful if they scored at least 21 points.

A total of 1,595 restricted certificates were granted in October 2018. The total number of certificates available for allocation in October 2018 is 2,153.

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.



EU Settlement Scheme: employer toolkit

The Home Office have published HTML versions of the employer toolkit which aims to equip employers with the tools and information to support EU citizens (and their family members) who are working for them to submit an application to the EU Settlement Scheme.

The EU Settlement Scheme: employer toolkit can be viewed here.

We provide sessions to European nationals who are living and working in the UK on Brexit and the EU Settlement Scheme. For details and quote to hold a session at your workplace, please call 01344 624016 or at enquiries@veristat.co.uk.



 Tier 2 sponsors - size of organisation or charitable status

It is the responsibility of Tier 2 sponsors to notify UKVI when the size of their business changes or if the charitable status of their organisation/business changes.

If you are reporting such a change via the Sponsorship Management System (SMS), please note it can take several weeks for the change to be reflected in the rate of the Immigration Skills Charge (ISC) applied when assigning a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS). Therefore, in the interim UKVI will contact you to correct an ISC payment, or alternatively you can contact the Business Helpdesk to request a refund or to make the appropriate payment.

Further information can be viewed on the SMS message board or in the Tier 2/5 sponsor guidance that can be viewed here.



Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur)

The list of authorised institutions that can endorse graduates applying under Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) has been updated by UK Visas and Immigration.

The Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) visa is for graduates who have been officially endorsed as having a genuine and credible business idea, and meet all other eligibility requirements.

The revised list of authorised institutions can be viewed here.



Studying in the UK

Tier 4 policy guidance

The Tier 4 policy guidance has been updated in line with the changes to the Immigration Rules.

The key changes are as follows:

  • References to ‘original’ documentation being required has been removed as the evidential requirements in the rules have been amended to remove this to enable copies of documents to be accepted.
  • A link to the Evidential Flexibility guidance has been included as this has been recently updated and may be useful to applicants in understanding the flexibility arrangements in place regarding evidential documentation.
  • The requirement that you must be completing an “intercalating year” to meet the academic progression requirements has been amended to an “intercalating course” to take into account intercalated PhD courses.
  • It has been clarified that it is only when an intercalated course can be completed within the student’s extant period of leave that they are not required to submit a new application to the Home Office before starting this course.
  • The references to Health Education South London have been replaced with Health Education England.
  • The information on work placements has been amended to be consistent with the Immigration Rules which state the length of the placement must not exceed either one third or one half of the total length of the course, which is undertaken in the UK.
  • An amendment has been made to the information on work placements, as students are not permitted to undertake a full-time permanent vacancy unless they are on a recognised Foundation Programme, filling the role as a Student Union Sabbatical Officer, are on the Doctorate Extension Scheme or are switching into Tier 2.
  • The list of acceptable postgraduate qualifications has been updated to include Doctor of Jurisprudence or Juris Doctor, where these courses are approved FHEQ level 8/SCQF level 12.

The latest version of the Tier 4 policy guidance can be viewed here.

We provide full advice and support to education providers on assigning Certificates of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) under both Tier 4 (General) and Tier 4 (Child), so please call us on 01344 624016 or email us at enquiries@veristat.co.ukif you need help with this.



Lost higher education export revenue - report by Universities UK

Universities UK has published a briefing on its research into the lost export revenue that is estimated due to the lack of growth in the number of international students coming to the UK in recent years.

Firstly, it estimates that if UK non-EU growth had continued at the rate observed between 2008 and 2012, prior to the immigration rule changes, there would have been 103,000 more non-EU students studying in the UK in 2016-17.

Secondly, it estimates that if UK non-EU total student growth had mirrored the international student growth seen in Australia during this period, there would have been 153,000 more non-EU students studying in the UK in 2016-17.

Using the latest education export figures available for 2015, they have calculated that the lost export revenue for 2013 – 2015 was between £1.9 and £2.9 billion.

The report concludes that the lack of growth in international student numbers in the UK since 2012 has significantly and adversely affected both UK export revenue and the positive economic impact that international students have in the UK.

The full report by Universities UKcan be downloaded here.




Other Immigration News

EU Settlement Scheme - Pilot

The Home Office has published a report on its findings from the first test phase of the EU Settlement Scheme. The full report can be viewed/downloaded here.

The lessons learned from the first test phase were as follows:

  • Minor changes to the application process are required to improve customer experience.
  • Improvements to UKVI’s ability to automatically match applicants to HMRC data are required as evidence of residence.
  • Some of the terminology should be simplified to aid understanding.
  • The process for verifying an applicant’s email address should be improved.
  • Communications materials should be developed to help applicants prepare for and complete the application.

The next phase of the EU Settlement Scheme pilot has also been confirmed and will include staff in the higher education, health and social care sectors. Details of phase 2 can be viewed here.

We provide sessions to European nationals who are living and working in the UK on Brexit and the EU Settlement Scheme. For details and quote to hold a session at your workplace, please call 01344 624016 or at enquiries@veristat.co.uk.





EU Settlement Scheme - Guidance and funidng for vulnerable applicants

The guidance for those applying under the EU Settlement Scheme has been updated to provide a revised list of evidence that can be provided if you can’t confirm this through an automated check of UK tax and benefits records. You can view the updated list guidance/list here.

The Home Office has also announced grant funding of up to £9 million to support vulnerable EU citizens apply for settled status. Further information can be viewed here.

We provide full advice and support about applying for permanent residence or settled status. Please call us on 01344 624016 or via email at enquiries@veristat.co.ukfor details and a quote.




UK Visa and Citizenship Application centres opening 

From Friday 2ndNovember, people applying for work or study visas, settlement or citizenship from within the UK will be able to use the new UK Visa and Citizenship Application Services centres (UKVCAS). These will be delivered by commercial partner Sopra Steria.  Further information can be viewed here.

Free appointments will be available to all applicants, although customers will also have the option of purchasing added value services, such as same day appointments and on demand services. In most cases, people won’t need to hand over original documents (e.g. passports) whilst their applications are being processed. Digital copies of evidence will be made instead. 

The first centre will open on Friday 9 November 2018 in Manchester and new centres will be opening shortly in Birmingham, Glasgow, Cardiff, Belfast and Croydon. There will also be 50 enhanced service centres nationally, which will be available to applicants for an additional charge, as well as a Premium lounge located in London.

We provide visa application support services to all applicants applying for leave to enter/remain in the UK, as well as citizenship and permanent residence/settled status applications. Please call us on 01344 624016 or by email at enquiries@veristat.co.ukfor further details and a quote.




Windrush compensation scheme - consultation extends

The consultation for the Windrush compensation scheme has been extended and will now close on 16 November 2018 to allow people to contribute.

Further information can be viewed here.





Application for certificate showing right of abode

An updated form has been published for those applying for a certificate of entitlement proving they have the right to live and work in the UK. You can apply online of by downloading the form.

The revised application form can be downloaded here.

UKVI have also published updated information about their fees for citizenship and right of abode applications and revisions have also been made to the payment slip. Further information can be viewed here.




ePassport gates

The Home Office has been announced that from summer 2019, eligible travelers from Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand and the United States will be able to use the ePassport gates at 14 ports, both in the UK and at Eurostar terminals at Brussels and Paris. 

Further information can be viewed here.




Premium visa upgrade request form

UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) have updated the form to be completed by applicants requesting their submitted postal visa application to be transferred to the premium service. The form was updated on 8 October 2018 to reflect the new fee.

You can view/download the form and guidance here.




DNA evidence in immigration cases

An independent internal review has been conducted by Richard Alcock on the government’s policy on requirements to provide DNA in visa and asylum cases.

You can view/download the full report 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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