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Immigration News - March 2022 update

 

2022 has already brought in lots of changes. The most significant of late have related to Right to Work and how UKVI have embedded technology in the entire process and removed the ability for employers to manually check Biometric permits.  Please see more details below, we will continue to use these updates to inform you of the immigration news and policy updates that will most impact you as employers or education providers.

We appreciate that this continues to be an exceedingly challenging time for businesses and many of you will have been impacted by the tragic events in Ukraine. Should you need any advice or support with anything, please do not hesitate to contact us.

 

Working in the UK

Right to Work checks | Updated guidance for employers

In preparation for the changes to right to work checks being introduced from 6th April 2022, the Home Office (UKVI) have published a draft version of their guidance.

The changes in the draft guidance relate to:

  • The way in which biometric residence cards, biometric residence permits and Frontier Worker permit holders will prove their right to work from this date onwards. From 6 April 2022, BRC, BRP and Frontier Worker Permit (FWP) holders are required to evidence their right to work using the Home Office online service only. Employers will no longer be able to accept physical cards for the purposes of a right to work check even if it shows a later expiry date. BRCs, BRPs and FWPs have been removed from the lists of acceptable documents used to conduct a manual right to work check.
  • Changes and further guidance to enable employers to use identity service providers (IDSPs) to carry out digital identity verification as part of right to work checks. Appendix D of the guidance sets out the employer’s responsibilities to conduct right to work checks when using Identity Service Providers (IDSPs) to complete the identity verification element of checks involving British and Irish citizens who hold a valid passport (including Irish passport cards). There is no requirement for employers to use IDSPs but they can do so, if they wish to do so.
  • There has been an extension of the Covid-19 temporary adjusted right to work checks until 30th September 2022 to ensure employers have sufficient time to develop commercial relationships with identity service providers, make the necessary changes to their pre-employment checking processes and carry out responsible on-boarding of their chosen provider. Annex E outlines the process for Covid-19 temporary adjusted right to work checks.

The draft guidance can be viewed here. Further information about the introduction of the digital identity checking process for employers can also be viewed here.

We are now offering training for employers and their staff on the changes that are being introduced from 6th April 2022 onwards. This will include the new digital identity verification process for right to work checks. If you are interested in booking this training for your staff, please get in touch at enquiries@veristat.co.uk for further information and a quote. We anticipate that high demand, so please do get in touch at the earliest convenience should you wish to book in.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-digital-identity-checking-for-landlords-and-employers-to-tackle-immigration-abuse

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/right-to-work-checks-employers-guide

 

Workers and Temporary Workers | Updated guidance for sponsors

The Home Office (UKVI) have published updated guidance for sponsors in relation to the Skilled Worker and Temporary Worker routes. The updated guidance can be viewed here.

The key changes are as follows:

  • Minor amendments have been made to the following paragraphs to reflect that jobs under occupation code 6145 (Care workers and home carers) have been added to Appendix Shortage Occupation List and are now eligible for the Skilled Worker route (as set out in the recent Statement of Changes HC 1009): Paragraphs S1.18, S3.18, S9.10 - third bullet point have been amended.
  • Amendments have been made to reflect the ending of the fee concession for Certificates of Sponsorship (CoS) assigned to CESC nationals from 26th February 2022: Paragraphs S2.12, S2.13 have been amended.
  • A minor clarification has also been made to Paragraph S7.56 on carrying out right to work checks on workers who hold a biometric residence permit. If a migrant needs to start work for an employer before they collect their BRP, they can use their vignette as evidence of their right to work (provided it is still valid). Once they’ve received their BRP, the employer must carry out a further right to work check.

The Home Office (UKVI) have also updated their guidance for their staff on considering applications under the Skilled Worker route. This new staff guidance can be viewed here

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/workers-and-temporary-workers-guidance-for-sponsors-part-2-sponsor-a-worker

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/skilled-worker-visa-caseworker-guidance

 

Changes to the Skilled Worker route to update minimum salary requirements

The going rates for certain health and education occupations, which are taken from national pay scales, are being updated in line with the latest pay scales.

You can view the Statement of Changes to the Immigration Rules, which includes the introduction of these new routes here

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/statement-of-changes-to-the-immigration-rules-hc-1118-15-march-2022

 

Introduction of Global Business Mobility routes

The Global Business Mobility routes are a new category of sponsored routes that are being introduced for overseas businesses seeking to establish a presence in, or transfer staff to, the UK for specific business purposes. These will replace four existing business mobility provisions and create a new provision for secondments.

There will be five routes that correspond to different assignment types, as follows:

Senior or Specialist Worker – The Senior or Specialist Worker route is for senior managers or specialist employees who are being assigned to a UK business linked to their employer overseas. This route replaces the Intra-Company Transfer route.

Graduate Trainee – The Graduate Trainee route is for workers on a graduate training course leading to a senior management or specialist position and who are required to do a work placement in the UK. This route replaces the Intra-Company Graduate Trainee route.

UK Expansion Worker – The UK Expansion route is for senior managers or specialist employees who are being assigned to the UK to undertake work related to a business’s expansion to the UK. This route replaces the Sole Representative provisions in the Representative of an Overseas Business route.

Service Supplier – The Service Supplier route is for contractual service suppliers employed by an overseas service provider and self-employed independent professionals based overseas, that need to undertake an assignment in the UK to provide services covered by one of the UK’s international trade commitments. This route replaces the contractual service supplier and independent professional provisions in the Temporary Work – International Agreement route.

Secondment Worker  The Secondment Worker route is for workers being seconded to the UK as part of a high value contract or investment by their employer overseas. This is a new route in the Immigration Rules.

The Global Business Mobility routes will open to new applicants on 11th April 2022. You can view the Statement of Changes to the Immigration Rules, which includes the introduction of these new routes here

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/statement-of-changes-to-the-immigration-rules-hc-1118-15-march-2022

 

Introduction of the High Potential Individual route

The High Potential Individual route is a new route which is being introduced which aims to “introduce an elite points-based route to attract the brightest and best to the UK to maintain our status as a leading international hub for emerging technologies’.

Applicants for this route must either have a bachelor’s or postgraduate degree qualification from one of the top global universities outside the UK as published in the Global Universities List by the Home Office, awarded during the last 5 years from the date of application. This list will be compiled on an annual basis and consists of eligible non-UK institutions that are included in the list of the top 50 universities in at least two of the following ranking systems:

  1. Times Higher Education World University Rankings
  2. Quacquarelli Symonds World University Rankings
  3. The Academic Ranking of World Universities

Permission will be granted for a period of 2 years for applicants relying on a qualification equivalent to a UK Bachelor’s or Master’s level degree; or for 3 years where the applicant holds a qualification equivalent to a UK PhD.

You can view the Statement of Changes to the Immigration Rules, which includes the introduction of these new routes here

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/statement-of-changes-to-the-immigration-rules-hc-1118-15-march-2022

 

Illegal Working Penalties

The Home Office (UKVI) have published their quarterly regional report listing the civil penalties (fines) for illegal working. The key findings of the quarterly regional report for 1st July to 30th September 2021 are as follows:

  • A total of 86 civil penalties were issued across all regions during this period.
  • A total of 109 illegal workers were found across all regions during this period.
  • The total value of civil penalties (fines) issued during this period was £1,275,000.

This quarterly report can be viewed here

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/illegal-working-civil-penalties-anonymous-regional-report

 

Ukrainian nationals on work routes | Concessions to the Immigration Rules

The Home Office (UKVI) has published guidance to their staff on the temporary concessions for Ukrainian nationals on work routes. This guidance outlines the concessions made to the Immigration Rules for Ukrainian nationals who either entered the UK prior to 24th February 2022 or had made an entry clearance application prior to that date and subsequently arrived in the UK using that entry clearance. These concessions also apply to their dependants.

The key points in relation to these concessions are as follows:

  • These concessions permit some Ukrainian nationals to apply for permission to stay on a different route under the Immigration Rules to that which they currently have (‘switching’) when the rules do not usually permit it.
  • The concession recognises that some Ukrainian nationals may be in the UK and eligible for other immigration routes, but may face challenges if they required to return to Ukraine to make an out of country application for entry clearance as would normally be required.
  • The applicant will need to write to confirm their wish to be considered under this concession and explain their reasons for applying in-country, rather than returning to Ukraine to make an entry clearance application. The decision maker does not require detailed evidence, so a reasonable written explanation will be sufficient.
  • Dependants will be permitted to either switch in line with the main applicant (providing the route allows dependants) or switch to become a main applicant in their own right, where they meet all the other requirements of the rules for the route under which they are applying.
  • Due to the current situation in Ukraine, an applicant may be unable to provide the full range of documents required under the route under which they are applying. If so, the applicant must write to explain why they cannot provide a normally required document when they make their application.
  • The requirement for a TB test certificate has been temporarily waived for Ukraine nationals, as TB test facilities in Kyiv are closed and screening for TB cannot reasonably take place and the relevant certificates cannot be reasonably obtained.
  • A concession has been introduced permitting Ukrainian nationals with permission as a Seasonal Worker to extend their stay in the UK to 31st December 2022.

The guidance can be viewed here. This guidance applies to all decisions made from 24th February 2022.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/ukrainian-nationals-on-work-and-study-routes-concessions-to-the-immigration-rules

 

Sponsorship transparency data: Q4 2021 | Skilled Worker/Temporary Worker Sponsors

The Home Office (UKVI) have published their quarterly data on sponsorship activities for Quarter 4 2021. You can view the full data here.  The key findings in relation to sponsorship under the Skilled Worker or Temporary Worker routes were as follows:

  • There were a total of 38,812 Skilled Worker and 3,134 Temporary Worker sponsors on the register of sponsors as of Q4 2024.
  • New sponsor applications were made for 5,035 Skilled Worker licences, 119 joint Skilled Worker/Temporary Worker licences, 96 Temporary Worker licences, 11 Skilled Worker/Temporary Worker/Student licences, 1 Temporary Worker/Student licence, and 4 Skilled Worker/Temporary Worker/Student licences
  • The average length of time taken to process new licence applications in Q4 2021 was 52.45 days, which is 9 days more compared with the previous year.
  • The following actions were taken against sponsors in Q4 2021: 46 Skilled Worker licences and 5 Temporary Worker licences were suspended, and 34 Skilled Worker licences and 3 Temporary Worker licences were revoked

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/sponsorship-transparency-data-q4-2021

 

Changes to the endorsement criteria and requirements for the Global Talent route

Changes are being made to the endorsement criteria and evidential requirements to reflect feedback and recommendations from the endorsing bodies for the Global Talent route. The evidential requirements for digital technology endorsements are being amended. The full Statement of Changes to the Immigration Rules can be viewed here

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/statement-of-changes-to-the-immigration-rules-hc-1118-15-march-2022

 

Expansion and updates to the Seasonal Worker route

The Seasonal Worker route is being expanded to include roles in ornamental horticulture. A new minimum hourly pay requirement has also been added to the route to require that all workers will be paid at least £10.10 per hour. The full Statement of Changes to the Immigration Rules can be viewed here

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/statement-of-changes-to-the-immigration-rules-hc-1118-15-march-2022

 

Studying in the UK

Coronavirus (Covid-19): guidance for student sponsors, migrants and short-term students

The Home Office (UKVI) have published updated Covid-19 guidance for student sponsors, migrants and short-term students. You can view the latest guidance here.

The key changes since the last publication are as follows:

  • The end date for transition from distance learning has been updated to 30th June 2022 (see para 2.11). Institutions can continue to provide distance learning for their existing sponsored students who are outside the UK, who will transition to face-to-face or blended learning in the UK before 30th June 2022. Sponsors can also commence sponsoring new Students and Child Students who will start studying through distance learning from overseas in the 2021-22 academic year, provided they transition to face-to-face learning when they arrive in the UK, which must be no later than by 30th June 2022.
  • If local social distancing restrictions in any of the four nations of the UK prohibit in-person teaching or on-campus attendance, distance learning will be permitted for students studying at a sponsor in that part of the UK in line with the duration of those restrictions.
  • Distance learning will also be permitted if guidance issued by Government strongly recommends avoiding social mixing in an educational setting, but this is not enforced by rules. (Para 2.16)
  • Student sponsors are permitted to adopt a blended learning approach for students who are studying in the UK until 30th June 2022. Unless restrictions or guidance meeting the criteria in para. 2.16 applies, sponsors will not be able to provide tuition which is delivered entirely remotely to students who are undertaking their studies within the UK, there must be some face-to-face learning as specified in para. 2.18 of the guidance.
  • A correction has been made to the police registration concession (para. 3.10) to clarify that this applies to both permission to stay and permission to enter.
  • Students who commence a course of 12 months or less in Autumn 2021 or Spring 2022 via distance learning from overseas must enter the UK no later than 30th June 2022 and complete that course of study in the UK with permission as a Student to be eligible for the Graduate Route. Students should travel once they are able to do so.
  • Students sponsored for a course lasting longer than 12 months will not be prevented from being eligible for the Graduate route as a result of any distance learning that took place either in the UK or overseas between the period of 24th January 2020 and 27th September 2021 or any distance learning which took place overseas between 27th September 2021 and 30th June 2022.

The updated guidance can be viewed here.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-student-sponsors-migrants-and-short-term-students

 

Changes to the Immigration Rules | Students and Short-Term Students

The following changes are being made in relation to students, short-term students and graduates.

  • Work conditions:
    • Amendments are being made to the rules on work conditions for students to allow students switching to the Graduate route to begin working full time in a position that fills a permanent vacancy, provided they have successfully completed their course and made a valid application to the Graduate route.
  • Financial requirements:
    • A correction is being made to the financial requirement to clarify that students do not need to hold the specified level of funds for a 28-day period if they are being officially financially sponsored.
    • An amendment has also been made to clarify that if the funds held in the applicant’s account on the date the decision fall substantially below the level of funds required the difference must have been used to pay for outstanding course fees, a deposit for accommodation, or other costs associated with the proposed course of study in the UK.
    • A corresponding amendment has been made to sections relating to dependents to remove the requirement the funds must have been used ‘in part’ to pay for a deposit on accommodation.
  • Work placement requirements:
    • An amendment has been made to the work placement requirements to permit such placements as part of a course at degree level or above (as recognised by Ecctis) where the student is enrolled at a higher education institution overseas and is undertaking a study abroad programme in the UK, in line with the longstanding policy position on such placements.
  • Academic Progression:
    • An amendment has been made regarding academic progression for students on integrated programmes who are considered to be moving onto a discrete, lower-level course when their sponsor decides they are not able to finish the higher master’s/PhD qualification based on progress to date.
  • Short-Term students:
    • A technical amendment has been made to clarify that a course has to be at least 6 months long.
  • Graduates:
    • The study in the UK requirement has been amended to ensure it accurately reflects the policy intention that a Student is expected to hold Student permission for the relevant period of time rather than be undertaking study for a relevant period.
    • The requirement has also been updated in light of the Covid-19 concessions on distance learning being extended to 6th April 2022.
    • Students will not be prevented from being eligible for the Graduate route if they undertook remote learning from 21st June 2021 and 6thApril 2022, which is in line with the guidance.
    • Graduate applicants used to have to provide a passport or other travel document to satisfactorily establish their identity and nationality. The rules have been updated to allow an applicant to provide a non-travel document (i.e. Biometric Residence Permit), as proof of identity and nationality.

You can view the Statement of Changes to the Immigration Rules, which includes the introduction of these new routes here

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/statement-of-changes-to-the-immigration-rules-hc-1118-15-march-2022

 

Sponsorship transparency data: Q4 2021 | Student Sponsors

The Home Office (UKVI) have published their quarterly data on sponsorship activities for Quarter 4 2021. The key findings in relation to sponsorship under the Student route were as follows:

  • There were a total of 1,108 Student sponsors on the register of sponsors as of Q4 2024.
  • New sponsor applications were made for 11 Student licences, 11 Skilled Worker/Student licences, 4 Student/Skilled Worker/Temporary Worker licences, and 1 Student/Temporary Worker licence.
  • The average length of time taken to process new licence applications in Q4 2021 was 52.45 days, which is 9 days more compared with the previous year.
  • 9% had full Student Sponsor status (formerly HTS)
  • During Q4 2021, there was one Student sponsor issued with an intention to revoke their licence. No other action has been taken against Student sponsors.

You can view the full data here

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/sponsorship-transparency-data-q4-2021

 

Ukrainian nationals on study routes | Concessions to the Immkigration Rules

The Home Office (UKVI) has published guidance to their staff on the temporary concessions for Ukrainian nationals on work routes.

This guidance outlines the concessions made to the Immigration Rules for Ukrainian nationals who either entered the UK prior to 24th February 2022 or had made an entry clearance application prior to that date and subsequently arrived in the UK using that entry clearance. These concessions also apply to their dependants.

The key points in relation to these concessions are as follows:

  • These concessions permit some Ukrainian nationals to apply for permission to stay on a different route under the Immigration Rules to that which they currently have (‘switching’) when the rules do not usually permit it.
  • The concession recognises that some Ukrainian nationals may be in the UK and eligible for other immigration routes, but may face challenges if they are required to return to Ukraine in order to make an out of country application for entry clearance as would normally be required.
  • The applicant will need to write to confirm their wish to be considered under this concession and explain their reasons for applying in-country, rather than returning to Ukraine to make an entry clearance application – the decision maker does not require detailed evidence as to why returning to Ukraine will be problematic, so a reasonable written explanation will be sufficient.
  • Dependants will be permitted to either switch in line with the main applicant (providing the route allows dependants) or switch to become a main applicant in their own right, where they meet all the other requirements of the rules for the route under which they are applying.
  • Due to the current situation in Ukraine, an applicant may be unable to provide the full range of documents required under the route under which they are applying. If so, the applicant must write to explain why they cannot provide a normally required document when they make their application.
  • The requirement for a TB test certificate has been temporarily waived for Ukraine nationals, as TB test facilities in Kyiv are closed and screening for TB cannot reasonably take place and the relevant certificates cannot be reasonably obtained.

The guidance can be viewed here. This guidance applies to all decisions made from 24th February 2022.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/ukrainian-nationals-on-work-and-study-routes-concessions-to-the-immigration-rules

 

Other Immigration News

Closure of Tier 1 (Investor) route

As of 17th February 2022, the Home Office have closed the Tier 1 (Investor) route with immediate effect to all new applicants. This route had allowed entry and stay in the UK for those wishing to invest funds in shared capital or loan capital in active and trading UK registered companies.

This route has been closed due to security concerns, including people acquiring their wealth illegitimately and being associated with wider corruption. Settlement under this route will now be conditional on applicants executing an investment strategy that can show genuine job creation and other tangible economic impacts, passively holding UK investments will no longer be enough to obtain settlement.

Reforms are due to be made to the Innovator route, which provides an ambitious investment route which works more effectively in support of the UK’s economy.

Further information can be viewed here. The Tier 1 (Investor) caseworker guidance has also been updated and can be viewed here.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/tier-1-investor-visa-route-closes-over-security-concerns

 

Coronavirus (Covid-19): advice to visa applicants and temporary residents

The updated Home Office (UKVI) advice and information for visa applicants and temporary residents in relation to the coronavirus (Covid-19 can be viewed here.

The information has recently been updated to remove the sections ‘if you work in healthcare and your visa expires between 1 April 2021 and 30 September 2021’ and ‘if you’re a pre-registration nurse or midwife on the Temporary Register in the UK’ as these concessions have now ended.

A link to information about visa decision waiting times has also been added.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-advice-for-uk-visa-applicants-and-temporary-uk-residents

  

UK visa support for Ukrainian nationals

The Home Secretary provided an update to Parliament on 10th March 2022 about support for Ukrainian nationals. You can read the full update here.

The Home Office (UKVI) has also published guidance on support available to Ukrainian nationals and their family members. This is being updated regularly but the latest information and guidance can be viewed here.

The following schemes have been introduced for Ukrainian nationals:

Ukraine Family Scheme – this allows family members of British nationals, UK settled persons and certain others to come or to stay in the UK. Further information about this scheme can be viewed here.

Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme (Homes for Ukraine) – this scheme allows Ukrainian nationals and their family members to come to the UK if they have a named sponsor under the Homes for Ukraine Scheme. Further information about this scheme can be viewed here. Further information about becoming a sponsor under this scheme can be viewed here.

Ukrainians already in the UK with a visa will also be able to extend their stay by extending their visa or switching to another immigration route, where eligible, even if their visa does not normally allow them to do so. Further information about this can be viewed here.

https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/home-secretary-update-on-support-for-ukrainians

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/support-for-family-members-of-british-nationals-in-ukraine-and-ukrainian-nationals-in-ukraine-and-the-uk

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/apply-for-a-ukraine-family-scheme-visa

 

Visa decision waiting times | Applications made inside the UK

The latest visa decision waiting times for a decision on a UK visa application made from inside the UK can be viewed here.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/visa-decision-waiting-times-applications-inside-the-uk

 

Changes to settlement rules on the Hong Kong BN(O) Route

Changes are being introduced to Appendix Hong Kong British National (Overseas) so that people on the BN(O) route who apply for settlement and do not meet the settlement requirements will no longer be refused if they appear to continue to meet the requirements for permission to stay.

They will instead have their application varied and as long as the applicant pays the requested Immigration Health Charge, they will be granted permission to stay. Should an applicant not pay the Immigration Health Charge, their application will be rejected as invalid on that basis. The fee paid for the settlement original application will be retained but no fee will be required for the permission to stay application.

Minor changes are also being introduced to correct a number of small errors in Appendix Hong Kong British National (Overseas).

You can view the Statement of Changes to the Immigration Rules, which includes the changes to the settlement rules on the BN(O) route here

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/statement-of-changes-to-the-immigration-rules-hc-1118-15-march-2022

 

Ukrainian nationals on family routes: concession to the Immigration Rules

The Home Office (UKVI) has published guidance to their staff on the temporary concessions for Ukrainian nationals applying to join a family route. The guidance can be viewed here. This guidance applies to all decisions made from 24th February 2022.

These concessions are authorised under the Equality (Ukrainian nationals – changing immigration routes and evidential requirements) Authorisation 2022 which came into operation on 24th February 2022. As a result of it the Home Secretary has personally approved more favourable treatment for some Ukrainian nationals in the UK, and some outside the UK, when they apply for entry clearance, or leave to remain under Appendix FM.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/ukrainian-nationals-on-family-routes-concession-to-the-immigration-rules

 

Changes to the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) and EUSS Family Permit

Changes are being made to the EUSS and the EUSS Family Permit. The main changes in respect of the Immigration Rules for the EUSS in Appendix EU and for the EUSS Family Permit in Appendix EU (Family Permit) are as follows:

  • To bring within the Rules the current concession arrangements for an EUSS family permit to be issued in place of an EEA Family Permit where an EEA family permit would have been issued (including on appeal) to a dependent relative extended family member, or a person with a derivative right to reside, had the route not closed after 30th June 2021.
  • To bring within the Rules the current concession arrangements enabling a person arriving in the UK with an EUSS family permit issued on the basis of starting their qualifying period of continuous residence in the UK after the end of the transition period.
  • To bring within the Rules the current concession arrangements for an appropriate letter to be issued by the Secretary of State in place of an EEA residence card (and relied upon in a subsequent EUSS application) where an EEA residence card would have been issued (including on appeal) to an extended family member had the route not closed after 30th June 2021.
  • To enable a dual British and EEA citizen who exercised free movement rights in the UK before acquiring British citizenship and who has retained their EEA nationality of origin – known as a ‘Lounes dual national’, in line with EU case law – to sponsor relevant family members under the EUSS and the EUSS family permit notwithstanding the fact that they acquired British citizenship without having met free movement requirements to have held comprehensive sickness insurance in the UK As a student or self-sufficient person.
  • Other minor adjustments and clarifications have been made to the rules in respect of the EUSS and the EUSS Family Permit.

You can view the Statement of Changes to the Immigration Rules, which includes the changes to the EUSS and the EUSS Family Permit here

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/statement-of-changes-to-the-immigration-rules-hc-1118-15-march-2022

 

Right to Rent immigration checks: updated guidance/landlords' code of practice

The Home Office (UKVI) have updated their guidance for landlords, letting agents and homeowners on how to conduct a right to rent check when letting privately rented accommodation.

The code of practice for landlords, homeowners and letting agents has also been updated to reflect the changes being introduced from 6th April 2022 in relation to biometric residence permits and identity digital service providers (IDSPs).

The updated guidance can be viewed here.  The Right to Rent document checks user guide has also been updated and can be viewed here.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/right-to-rent-landlords-code-of-practice

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/right-to-rent-document-checks-a-user-guide

 

Changes to settlement requirements for those on the Innovator route (Appendix Innovator)

Changes are being introduced so that people on the Innovator route who apply for settlement and do not meet the settlement requirements will no longer be refused if they appear to meet the requirements for permission to stay.

These individuals will instead have their application varied, and as long as the applicant pays the requested Immigration Health Charge, they will be granted permission to stay. Should an applicant not pay the Immigration Health Charge, their application will be rejected as invalid on that basis. The fee paid for the settlement original application will be retained but no fee will be required for the permission to stay application.

You can view the Statement of Changes to the Immigration Rules, which includes the changes to the settlement requirements for those on the Innovator route here

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/statement-of-changes-to-the-immigration-rules-hc-1118-15-march-2022

    

Veristat Services

Training on IDSPs, the Skilled Worker or Student routes/Right to Work/Forgery

We provide comprehensive training on all aspects of immigration, including; IDSPs, the Student route, the Skilled Worker route, Right to Work and the identification of fraudulent documents.

We can also deliver a session simply focusing on the recent changes being brought about by the new points-based immigration system and how employers and education providers can be prepared moving forwards.

The new routes have brought about significant changes for sponsors and our training outlines these changes and helps prepare employers and education providers for sponsoring employees and students under these routes.

All training can be provided in person on the client’s site or remotely via Microsoft teams/Zoom.

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 call us on 01344 624016 or email us as above.

  

Sponsor licence applications

With the introduction of the 2021 immigration system, employers or education providers wishing to employ EEA/EU nationals or non-EEA nationals who do not have right to work need to apply for a Sponsorship licence.

We provide a comprehensive advice and support package to employers and education providers applying for a licence. This can include preparation for a Home Office (UKVI) visit and training on the new Skilled Worker or Student routes and the SMS system, as well as assistance with applying for Certificates of Sponsorship (CoS) or Confirmation for Acceptance for Studies (CAS) and a step by step guide for completing the application itself.

Please email us at enquiries@veristat.co.uk or by telephone on 01344 624016 for further details and/or a quote for helping you with your application. 

 

Audits and Inspections

Veristat is hugely experienced in providing compliance audits across all immigration routes. We have worked with hundreds of employers, ranging from small family businesses to multi-nationals, high street retailers and professional sports/football clubs. In the education sector, we have 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. It is  based on sound practical experience of UKVI’s policies, culture and approach.

  • For employers, we offer on-site Skilled Worker or ICT compliance inspections (with staff aware or unaware to simulate an announced or unannounced 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 student route activities, assessing compliance with UKVI requirements and sharing best practice. We also offer targeted inspections covering specific issues, such as BCA, Skilled Worker 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 beneficial to reassure management that recommendations have been implemented.

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

Please note we are also now offering remote audits and inspections- please contact us for more details.

 

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.

 

Advice/Support packages

We offer advice/support packages on either a fixed rate monthly retainer basis or on a fixed-hourly basis, which can include a number of our services, such as: acting as your Level 1 user, issuing of CoS/CAS, immigration audit, etc.  If you do not require ongoing retainer advice/support, we offer either 5 or 10 hour annual support packages at reduced rates.

If you are interested in discussing our retainer or hourly advice/support packages further, then please contact us on 01344 624016 or email us at enquiries@veristat.co.uk.

 

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