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Immigration News - December 2019 update

 

Brexit update

EU Exit: ID Document Check app

The Home Office (UKVI) have updated their guidance to EU citizens and their families applying to the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) for using the EU Exit: ID Document Check app. The app is now available to both android (Android 6.0 and above) and iPhone users (iPhone 7 or 7 Plus or newer model).

The guidance can be viewed here.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/using-the-eu-exit-id-document-check-app

  

EU Settlement Scheme: ID document scanner locations

The Home Office (UKVI) have updated the list of locations where EU citizens and their family members can go to get their biometric ID document scanned if they do not have an Android or iPhone device.

You can view the updated list here.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/eu-settlement-scheme-id-document-scanner-locations

 

Migration Statistics Quarterly Report, November 2019 (EU Migration)

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has published its Migration Statistics Quarterly Report for November 2019.

The key points in relation to EU migration are as follows:

  • EU net migration has fallen following peak levels in 2015 and 2016 and now stands at 48,000 in the year ending June 2019. However, a greater number of EU citizens come to the UK to stay for 12 months or more than leave the UK and they therefore continue to add to the UK population.
  • The decline in EU net migration over the last few years is a trend that has been seen for all EU groups but the largest decline has been seen in EU8 citizens (those from Central and Eastern European countries who joined the EU in 2004).
  • Immigration for work has fallen but remains the most common reason for EU citizens moving to the UK. The number of EU citizens arriving for work has fallen to 90,000, the lowest level since 2012.
  • Since the year ending June 2016, there has been a decline in the number of people coming to the UK looking for work, which is mainly because of a fall in the number of EU citizens coming to the UK looking for work, now at 22,000 in the year ending June 2019, compared with a peak of 82,000 three years earlier.
  • There were 457,000 National Insurance number registrations for EU citizens in the year ending September 2019.
  • For the period July to September 2019, the latest estimates from the Labour Force Survey show that there were an estimated 2.24 million EU nationals working in the UK.

Further information can be viewed here.

https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity

   

Working in the UK

Updated guidance for Tier 2 applicants

The Home Office (UKVI) have updated their guidance for those applying to enter or remain in the UK under Tier 2 of the Points Based System.

The key changes are as follows:

  • PhD-level occupations have been removed from the Tier 2 limit
  • Added an exemption from the 180 days absence requirements for continuous leave for applicants in PhD-level occupations who are undertaking research overseas
  • Added statutory parental leave, sick leave, absence due to assisting in a national or international environmental or humanitarian crises overseas and taking part in legal strike action to the list of permitted absences that can benefit from certain exemptions under Tier 2
  • Added the Department of education ‘Teaching Vacancies’ service on GOV.UK as an acceptable form of advertising under the Resident Labour Market Test (RLMT) section.

The updated guidance can be viewed here.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/points-based-system-tier-2

   

Applying for a UK visa: approved English language tests - updated 

The Home Office (UKVI) have updated the list of tests and test centres approved by them to show that applicants have the required level of English for their work visa.

The updated list can be viewed here.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-on-applying-for-uk-visa-approved-english-language-tests

  

Migration Statistics Quarterly Report, November 2019 (Working in the UK)

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has published its Migration Statistics Quarterly Report for November 2019.

The key points in relation to working in the UK are as follows:

  • Following an increase between 2013 and 2017, non-EU immigration for work has remained broadly stable over the last two years. However, there have been different patterns for those arriving with a definite job and those coming to the UK looking for work.
  • The number of non-EU citizens arriving for a definite job has increased since 2013, now at 74,000 in the year ending June 2019. This has mainly been driven by an increase in Asian citizens arriving for a definite job – the number has more than doubled since the year ending June 2017 to 53,000.
  • The number of work-related visas (including short-term or temporary work) granted in the year ending September 2019 was 189,459, which is the highest level since the year ending March 2008. The majority (59%) of these were for Tier 2 (Skilled) work visas, which increased by 12% to 111,035 in the latest year, following relatively stable levels between 2015 and 2018.
  • The number of Tier 2 visas has been rising steadily since July 2018, which was when doctors and nurses were removed from the Tier 2 cap.
  • In the year ending September 2019, there were 293,000 National Insurance number registrations from non-EU nationals, which was an increase of 50% on the previous year.
  • For the period July to September 2019, the latest estimates from the Labour Force Survey show that there were an estimated 1.35 million non-EU nationals working in the UK.

Further information can be viewed here.

https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity

  

Studying in the UK  

Applying for a UK visa: approved English language tests - updated

The Home Office (UKVI) have updated the list of tests and test centres approved by them to show that applicants have the required level of English for their study visa.

The updated list can be viewed here.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-on-applying-for-uk-visa-approved-english-language-tests

 

Migration Statistics Quarterly Report, November 2019 (Studying in the UK)

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has published its Migration Statistics Quarterly Report for November 2019.

The key points in relation to studying in the UK are as follows:

  • Immigration for study is the most common reason for non-EU citizens (157,000 in the year ending June 2019) moving to the UK and has gradually increased since 2016.
  • In the year ending June 2019, the overall number of people estimated to arrive in the UK intending to undertake formal study for a year or more was 212,000.
  • The number of people arriving in the UK to study has returned to levels last seen in 2011, which has largely been driven by an increase in Asian citizens coming to the UK for formal study, which was at 124,000 in the year ending June 2019.
  • The number of Tier 4 (Sponsored Study) visas granted in year ending September 2019 was 276,889, which was its highest level since 2011. Over half of these were from Chinese or Indian nationals (43% and 11% respectively).
  • The majority (86%) of sponsored study visa applications in the year ending September 2019 were to study at higher education (university) institutions, and the number of non-EEA nationals arriving at universities was the highest level on record.
  • Since the year ending September 2011, the number of Tier 4 visa applications for the further education sector fell from 100,371 to 13,223.

Further information can be viewed here.

https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity

   

Other Immigration News

UK ancestry: updated guidance for caseworkers

The Home Office (UKVI) have updated their guidance on how decisions are made about applications from Commonwealth citizens to work in the UK because they have a grandparent born in the UK.

The updated guidance can be viewed here.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/uk-ancestry

 

Applying for a UKvisa: approved English language tests - updated

The Home Office (UKVI) have updated the list of tests and test centres approved by them to show that applicants have the required level of English for their visa.

The updated list can be viewed here.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-on-applying-for-uk-visa-approved-english-language-tests

 

Biometric residence documents: information for financial providers

The Home Office (UKVI) have updated their guidance for financial providers to understand how to consider a biometric residence document as proof of identity and perform Knowing Your Customer(KYC) checks.

The updated guidance can be viewed here.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/biometric-residence-documents-information-for-financial-providers

 

Right of abode - updated guidance

The Home Office (UKVI) have updated their guidance for how they consider right of abode applications in the UK.

Following fact checking of the Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration’s inspection report into Right of Abode, a redacted section on page 14 of the guidance has been re-instated to ensure transparency. The section on applications received before 6 April 2015 has also been removed.

The updated guidance can be viewed here.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/right-of-abode-nationality-policy-guidance

 

Migration Statistics Quarterly Report, November 2019 (Other)

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has published its Migration Statistics Quarterly Report for November 2019.

Other key points in relation are as follows:

  • In the year ending June 2019, long-term international migration continued to add to the UK population, as an estimated 212,000 more people moved to the UK with an intention to stay for 12 months or more than left the UK (net migration).
  • Over the year ending June 2019, 609,000 people moved to the UK (immigration) and 397,000 people left the UK (emigration).
  • Long-term net migration, immigration and emigration have remained broadly stable since the end of 2016.
  • In the year ending September 2019, the total number of people granted protection in the UK (19,480) comprised of:
  • 11,596 grants of asylum (+68%) with notable increases in grants to Iranian (+1,348), Sudanese (+890) and Eritrean nationals (+839)
  • 1,099 grants of Humanitarian Protection (+3%), over half (622) of which were granted to Libyan nationals
  • 1,179 grants of an alternative form of leave (-12%)
  • 5,606 people were provided protection under resettlement schemes (-6%), mainly Syrian nationals granted under the Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme 

Further information can be viewed here.

https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity

 

Veristat Service

EU Email Advice Helpline

Due to recent demand from clients, we are now offering an EU email advice service to employers in relation to enquiries they receive from their European (EEA/EU and Swiss) employees about securing their status in the UK and applying under the EU Settlement Scheme.

You can purchase a package of 5 hours advice/support, which would enable the employer to email us any queries they cannot answer themselves and we would provide advice by email within 48 hours (normally 24 hours) of the email being received.

If you are interested in purchasing this EU advice package, please contact us on 01344 624016 or email us at enquiries@veristat.co.ukfor further information and a quote.

 

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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