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Immigration News - April 2019 update


Brexit update

The EU and the UK have agreed a delay to Brexit until 31 October 2019 but the UK could leave earlier if a withdrawal agreement has been ratified by MPs.

In the event of a no deal, the EU Settlement Scheme will continue. EEA citizens who are resident in the UK before the UK leaves the EU will continue to be eligible to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme, until at least 31 December 2020.

For EEA citizens arriving in the UK from the date of exit from the EU to 31 December 2020, transitional immigration arrangements will be put in place:

  • EEA citizens can continue to come to the UK, to live, work and study without applying for a visa in advance, using a valid EEA passport or national identity card as they do now.
  • After free movement ends, EEA citizens who want to stay in the UK for more than three months will need to apply for European Temporary Leave to Remain. Further information can be found on the GOV.UK website.


EU Settlement Scheme

The EU Settlement Scheme was launched on 30 March 2019. UKVI announced on 1 April 2019 that there were over 50,000 applications to the EU Settlement Scheme on the opening weekend of the scheme going live. Further information can be viewed here.

The system will enable EU citizens and their family members living in the UK to protect the rights they currently have in the UK. Applicants will only need to prove their identity, demonstrate their UK residence, and declare any criminal convictions.

The system will be free for European nationals and their family members to use.

Deal or no deal, EU citizens will have until at least 31 December 2020 to apply.

The Home Office (UKVI) have also recently announced that the ‘EU Exit: ID Document Check’ app should be available on Apple devices by the end of the year.

The current processing times for applications to the EU Settlement Scheme are between 1 and 4 days to process where no additional information is required. However, if applicants need to post their identity document to them, the processing time starts when they receive their identity document.  

Further information can be viewed here.

We provide full application advice and support to European nationals and their family members applying under the EU Settlement Scheme. For further details and a quote, please email us at enquiries@veristat.co.ukor call 01344 624016.




EU Settlement Scheme: application fee refunds

Those EU/EEA nationals who paid a fee when they applied to the EU Settlement Scheme under the pilot scheme will receive a full refund. Applicants do not need to anything because their payment will be refunded automatically to the card they used to pay the application fee.

Once the refund has been processed it can take up to 10 working days for the payment to reach the card. It may take longer for certain types of cards and issuers.

The Home Office will send applicants an email confirming their refund has been processed once their card has been refunded.

Further information can be viewed here.



Visiting the UK after Brexit

The Home Office has published information for those people who wish to visit the UK after the UK leaves the EU, including whether or not they will need to apply for a visa in the event of the UK leaving with or without a deal.

The guide can be viewed here.



Working in the UK

European nationals

The Home Office have confirmed that obligations as an employer have not changed with regards to right to work checks, and there is no need for employers to check the status of their existing EEA employees. This applies whether the UK leaves the EU with or without a deal. For more information, please refer to the Home Office’s guide to employing EU citizens after Brexit.

To help employers communicate with their staff, the Home Office have produced an employer toolkit to support them in reassuring EEA citizens and helping them apply to the EU Settlement Scheme. This includes:

  • An introduction for employers
  • A full EU Settlement Scheme briefing pack
  • Videos
  • Information leaflets
  • Social media assets
  • Posters

This content can be used as required to reassure your employees and pass on the necessary information. 

Further information can be viewed here. The Employer’s Brexit toolkit can be viewed here.





Right to Work Checks

UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) have published guidance for employers wishing to offer a job to long-resident Commonwealth citizens and other long-resident non-EEA nationals.

If an applicant has lived in the UK permanently since before 1973 and has not been abroad for long periods within the last 30 years, they have the legal right to live and work here.

If such individuals cannot present specified documentation in line with the prescribed right to work checks, but provides you with information indicating they commenced their residence before 1988, you should contact the Employer Checking Service using the online form.

The guidance can be viewed here.

We provide training to employers on right to work and document examination, so please contact us on 01344 624016 or email us at enquiries@veristat.co.ukfor further information or a quote.




Restricted Certificates of Sponsorship (RCoS)

UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) have published their restricted Certificates of Sponsorship (RCoS) allocation for March 2019.

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

A total of 1,598 restricted certificates were granted in March 2019. The total number of certificates unused from the 2018/2019 annual limit was 530.

Further information can be viewed here.

Please contact us on 01344 624016 or by email at enquiries@veristat.co.ukfor advice or guidance on any aspect of Tier 2 sponsorship or the recruitment of migrant workers.




Start-up visa

A new ‘Start-up visa’ immigration route has been opened for those who wish to set up a business in the UK and are from outside the EEA and Switzerland.

To apply for this visa, you must be endorsed by an authorised body that is either a UK higher education institution or a business organisation with a history of supporting UK entrepreneurs.

Further information can be viewed here. A list of the approved endorsing bodies can be viewed here.

Please contact us on 01344 624016 or by email at enquiries@veristat.co.ukfor advice or guidance on any applying for a start-up visa.




Innovator visa

A new ‘Innovator visa’ immigration route has been opened for those who wish to set up or run a business in the UK and are from outside the EEA and Switzerland.

To apply for this visa, you must have at least £50,000 in investment funds and you will need to have your business or business idea endorsed by an approved body. You do not need to have funds if your business is already established and has been endorsed for an earlier visa.

Further information can be viewed here. A list of the approved endorsing bodies can be viewed here.

Please contact us on 01344 624016 or by email at enquiries@veristat.co.ukfor advice or guidance on any applying for a innovator visa.



Studying in the UK  

International students - report by the Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI)

A joint report has been published by the Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI) and Kaplan International Pathways (Kaplan) on research on the financial contributions of international students who graduate from higher education and stay in the UK to work. The research shows that the tax and National Insurance payments of just one cohort of international students who stay to work in the UK after their studies amounts to £3.2 billion. Over £1 billion of this is spent on income tax, £700 million in employees’ National Insurance Contributions; £800 million in employer’s National Insurance Contributions; and nearly £600 million in extra VAT payments.

You can read the full report here.



Other Immigration News

UK visa fees

The Home Office (UKVI) has published updated immigration and nationality fees for all applications made from outside and within the UK.

You can view the current application fees here.



UKVI support centres for complex cases

The Home Office has opened 7 dedicated Service and Support Centres (SSC) across the UK to help those with complex cases. Experienced UKVI staff at these centres will provide face-to-face support to help people throughout their immigration application in the hope that this will help reduce the number of instances where further information and evidence has to be provided.

People with exceptional circumstances such as serious medical issues or destitution, may also qualify for travel assistance or mobile services.

Further information can be viewed here. The Home Office announcement about the SSC centres can also be viewed here.





Veristat Service

Advice/Support packages

These packages can either be on a fixed rate monthly retainer basis, which can include a number of services, such as: acting as your Level 1 user, issuing of CoS/CAS, immigration audit, etc.  Alternatively, you can purchase an annual package of either 5, 10, 15 or 20 hours’ advice/support per year 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.


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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