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Immigration News - July 2020 update

 

Introduction

We appreciate this is a very difficult time for employers and education providers in light of the coronavirus outbreak. Veristat Ltd is still operating as normal and please feel free to contact us if you need any advice or support, now or in future.

If you have any questions or concerns about your sponsored workers or students in light of the current situation, please do not hesitate to get in touch. During the lockdown period a number of organisations have been contacting us looking to apply for sponsorship licences in advance of the implementation of the new Immigration system in 2021, if you are an organisation that doesn’t have a licence but believe you will need one in the future, we would be happy to help you.

 

New Immigration System

New immigration routes will open from autumn 2020 for applications to work, live and study in the UK after 1 January 2021.

The UK government has published a policy statement providing further details about their plans for the new UK points-based immigration system. This policy statement can be viewed here. Further information about of the key points provided in this recent policy statement can be found in the working in the UK, studying in the UK, and other immigration news sections of this update.

The overarching documents in relation to the Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill can be viewed here. Additional information about the proposed changes being introduced can be found under the relevant sections in this update.  

To provide more information about each of the provisions in the Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill, the Home Office has published a series of Factsheets, which can be viewed here.

We will be using this update to inform you of any key news or announcements about the new immigration system as they are published by the Home Office (UKVI). We will also be working very closely with our retainer clients to support them with the implementation of the new immigration system. If you would like details of our retainer advice/support services to employers and education providers, please email enquiries@veristat.co.ukor call us on 01344 624016.

We will also be delivering a training package for employers and education providers on the new points-based immigration system to be offered from Autumn 2020 onwards, provided either remotely via Microsoft Teams or on the client’s site. We anticipate this training will be in high demand, so if you would like to book a date now for a session later this year, please email us at enquiries@veristat.co.ukor call us on the number above. 

We provide support to both employers and education providers in applying for a licence. If you are not already a sponsor, but wish to become one (especially in light of the introduction of the new immigration system in January 2021), please get in touch now for further details and quotation for supporting you with applying for a licence.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/new-immigration-system-what-you-need-to-know

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/uk-points-based-immigration-system-further-details-statement

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/immigration-bill-2020-overarching-documents

 

Working in the UK

Coronavirus (Covid-19): advice for Tier 2 & 5 sponsors

The latest guidance for Tier 2 & 5 sponsors in relation to coronavirus (COVID-19) can be viewed here.

The key points are as follows:

  • Enforcement actions will not be taken against sponsors who continue to employ migrants despite absences due to coronavirus. This will include absences due to illness, their need to isolate or inability to travel due to travel restrictions.
  • A sponsor does not need to withdraw sponsorship if because of coronavirus an employee is absent from work without pay for more than 4 weeks.
  • If a sponsor has issued a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) and the sponsored employee has not yet applied for a visa, the start date for the employment stated on the CoS may have changed, but the Home Office (UKVI) will not automatically refuse such cases. They may accept a CoS if they have become invalid because the employee was unable to travel as a result of coronavirus. They will consider this on a case by case basis.
  • If you’re sponsoring employees who are working from home, you do not have to notify the Home Office (UKVI) if you’re sponsoring employees who are working from home due to coronavirus. Other changes to their working arrangements must still be reported as usual.
  • If you’re sponsoring an employee who’s waiting for their Tier 2 or 5 visa application to be decided, you may allow employees to start work before their visa application has been decided if:
    • You have assigned them a CoS
    • The employee submitted their application before their current visa expired
    • The role they are employed in is the same as the one on their CoS
  • If a sponsor cannot pay the salaries of sponsored employees because they’ve temporarily reduced or ceased trading, they can temporarily reduce the pay of their sponsored employees to 80% of their salary or £2,500 per month, whichever is the lower. Any reductions must be part of a company-wide policy to avoid redundancies and in which all workers are treated the same. These reductions must be temporary, and the employee’s pay must return to at least previous levels once these arrangements have ended.
  • The Home Office (UKVI) will exceptionally accept scanned documents as evidence due to coronavirus.
  • On-site compliance and pre-licence visits have been suspended due to coronavirus, although they are carrying out some telephone audits instead in the interim.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-advice-for-tier-2-4-and-5-sponsors

 

Working in the UK - New Immigration System (Further policy statement)

The UK government has published a policy statement providing further details about their plans for the new UK points-based immigration system.

The key points about working in the UKare as follows:

  • The current cap on Tier 2 (General) visas (the current route for skilled workers) will be suspended, which will result in there being no limit on the numbers of skilled workers who can come to the UK.
  • Sponsors will no longer be required to carry out a Resident Labour Market Test(RLMT).
  • The Immigration Skills Chargewill be levied on UK employers of skilled workers on the same basis as now, except they intend to remove the current exemption or employers of EU, EEA and Swiss citizens when free movement is ended between the UK and the EU.
  • A sponsorship requirement will apply to the Skilled Worker route and to the Health and Care visa, as well as to some specialised worker routes – this will apply to both EU and non-EU citizens alike.
  • Sponsors must undergo checks to demonstrate they are a genuine business, are solvent, and that the roles they wish to recruit into are credible and meet the salary and skills requirement (if applicable).
  • Sponsors must also pay a licence fee and ensure they act and behave in a way which is conducive to the wider public good.
  • Existing Tier 2 (General) and Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer) sponsors will automatically be granted a new Skilled Worker licence or Intra-Company Transfer licence, with an expiry date consistent with their current licence, and receive an appropriate allocation of Certificates of Sponsorship (CoS).
  • There will be a £25,600 general salary threshold, although there is scope to earn the required extra tradeable points if the applicant is paid less than the general threshold or the ‘going rate’, provided they are paid at least £20,480.
  • There will also be different minimum salary rules for workers in certain health or education jobs, and for “new entrants” at the start of their career.
  • In line with the recommendation from the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC), they will create a broader unsponsored route within the new system to run alongside the employer-led system for highly skilled workers. This will allow a smaller number of the most highly skilled workers to come to the UK without a job offer. This route is likely to be capped initially and would be carefully monitored during the implementation phase.
  • A new Health and Care visa will be introduced as part of the Skilled Worker route, which will ensure individuals working in eligible health occupations with a job offer from the NHS, social care sector or employers and organisations which provide services to the NHS, to come to the UK and work. There will be fast-track entry for this visa, with reduced application fees and support with the application process. Those eligible to apply for this visa will be exempt from paying the Immigration Health Surcharge
  • Applicants applying for a Tier 2 Intra-Company Transfer visa must be skilled to RQF6, and will be subject to a different minimum salary threshold than the main Skilled Worker route. However, it will not be subject to English Language requirements, but will be subject to a requirement that the worker has been employed by the sending business for a minimum period prior to the transfer (12 months in the case of ICT transfers or 3 months in the case of ICT graduate trainees)
  • As per present rules, the Intra-Company Transfer route will not provide an avenue to settlement. However, those admitted on this route, will now be allowed to switch into the Skilled Worker route whilst still in the UK if they meet the qualifying requirements for that route.
  • The existing Tier 2 “cooling off” rules will also be adjusted by replacing it with a new rule that more simply requires that an overseas intra-company transfer must not hold entry clearance or leave to enter or remain as an intra-company transferee for more than five years in any six-year period, except where they qualify to be granted up to nine years on the basis of their salary.

The policy statement outlining these further details can be viewed here.

The Home Office (UKVI) has also published information to help employers prepare for the new system. This information can be viewed here.

Employers who are not yet a sponsor who wish to recruit workers from outside the resident labour market from 1 January 2021 will need to apply to become one. Until this date, current immigration rules will apply. The standard processing time for a licence application is usually 8 weeks and will start when the Home Office (UKVI) receive your application. We offer support to employers and education providers on applying for a sponsor licence, so please do get in touch if you would like further information and a quote for helping you with this.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/uk-points-based-immigration-system-further-details-statement

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/uk-points-based-immigration-system-employer-information

 

Assigning Certificates of Sponsorship (CoS)

An issue has recently arisen that is preventing some sponsors from assigning a CoS. The issue can arise when text is copied from an external source (e.g. a word document or email) and pasted directly into text fields on the CoS form. This action may lead to bullet points or hidden characters being entered into the SMS fields. If these characters are present in mandatory fields the system may not allow the CoS to be assigned.

The Home Office (UKVI) has advised users to ensure that these characters are not present in any fields when creating a CoS. When copying text from an external source it is advisable to paste it into a plain text editor first, in order to check and amend the text, before pasting it into the SMS.

If users are unable to assign a granted restricted CoS due to this issue, they are advised to contact the Business Helpdesk or their premium account manager for assistance. The IT supplier is currently working to fix this issue.

  

SMS payment issues

There is currently an issue which can affect customers when making a payment on the Sponsorship Management System (SMS). When attempting to pay for a product or service, some customers are taken back to an earlier screen in the SMS without payment being taken, and without the product/service being purchased. For example, if this issue occurs during CoS assigning, the customer will be returned to an earlier screen on the SMS and the CoS will not be assigned.

Any users experiencing this issue are advised to ensure that all details are correct whenever they enter information – such as their payment card details, when completing a payment.

The Home Office (UKVI) are currently working to resolve this issue as a matter of urgency.

 

Tier 2 & 5 Sponsorship Priority Service

Due to the ongoing situation regarding coronavirus (COVID-19), the Tier 2 & 5 Sponsorship Priority Service remains closed.

Sponsors are asked not to send any requests to the Tier 2 & 5 Priority inbox as they will not be considered at this time.

  

Updated guidance on applications for Tier 2 visas

The Home Office (UKVI) has published updated guidance on applications made under Tier 2 of the Points-Based System. The updated guidance can be viewed here

The guidance has been updated to include a new section on the Health and Care Visa. The Health and Care Visa builds on the government’s commitment to make it faster, easier and cheaper for health and care professionals to come and work in the UK.

We provide visa application services for applicants applying for leave to enter or remain under Tier 2 of the Points-Based System, so please get in touch by telephone on +44 (0)1344 624016 or by email at enquiries@veristat.co.ukfor further information and a quote.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-on-application-for-uk-visa-as-tier-2-worker

  

Studying in the UK

Coronavirus (COVID-19): advice for Tier 4 sponsors

The latest guidance for Tier 4 sponsors in relation to coronavirus (COVID-19) can be viewed here.

The key points are as follows:

  • The Home Office (UKVI) will not take enforcement action against sponsors who continue to sponsor students despite absences due to coronavirus.
  • A sponsor does not need to report student absences related to coronavirus. This can include absences due to illness, their need to isolate or inability to travel due to travel restrictions.
  • A sponsor does not need to withdraw sponsorship if because of coronavirus a student is unable to attend for more than 60 days.
  • A sponsor can continue to sponsor existing Tier 4 students who are continuing their studies through distance learning, or starting a new course, whether they’re in the UK or another country.
  • A sponsor can start sponsoring new students who will start studying through distance or blended learning in the 2020-2021 academic year, provided you intend to transition to face-to-face learning as soon as it is possible to do so.
  • Sponsors must report as usual if a student has permanently withdrawn from their studies or deferred their studies for reasons unrelated to coronavirus.
  • Sponsors do not need to withdraw sponsorship for new students who have been issued with a Tier 4 visa but are distance learning because they have been unable to travel to the UK. However, if a student stops engaging with their distance learning, whether overseas or in the UK, sponsorship must be withdrawn immediately.
  • New international students who have not yet applied for a visa but want to start a course which will wholly be studied overseas by distance learning do not require sponsorship under Tier 4.
  • Sponsors do not need to tell the Home Office when students have moved to distance learning. This distance learning concession will be in place for the duration of the 2020-21 academic year, but will be subject to regular monitoring to ensure it is working as intended.
  • If a sponsor has issued a confirmation of acceptance for studies (CAS) and the sponsored student has not yet applied for their visa, the start date for the course stated on the CAS may have changed, but the Home Office (UKVI) will not automatically refuse such cases. A CAS may be accepted it becomes invalid because the student was unable to travel as a result of coronavirus – this will be considered on a case by case basis.
  • If an education provider is sponsoring a student who’s waiting for their Tier 4 visa application to be decided, they may allow students to start their studies before their visa application has been decided if:
    • They are a Tier 4 sponsor (other than Tier 4 legacy sponsors)
    • They have assigned the student a CAS
    • The student submitted their application before their current visa expired and has shown you evidence of this
    • The course they start is the same as the one listed on their CAS
    • The student has a valid Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) certificate if required.
  • A sponsor’s responsibility starts from the date the CAS is issued, not from the date that their visa application is granted. If the student’s application is eventually rejected as invalid or refused, the sponsor must terminate the student’s studies.

If a sponsor has issued a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) and the sponsored employee has not yet applied The latest guidance for Tier 4 sponsors, migrants and short-term students on temporary concessions in response to the outbreak of coronavirus can also be viewed here.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-advice-for-tier-2-4-and-5-sponsors

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-tier-4-sponsors-migrants-and-short-term-students

 

Studying in the UK - New Immigration System (Further policy statement)

The UK government has published a policy statement providing further details about their plans for the new UK points-based immigration system.

The key points about studying in the UKare as follows:

  • There will be no limit on the number of international students who can come to the UK to study.
  • They will seek to increase the number of international students in higher education as set out in the International Education Strategy published in March 2019.
  • A new Graduate route will be launched in Summer 2021 to allow those who have completed a degree at a UK Higher Education Provider, that has a track record of compliance, to stay in the UK for two years (three years for PhD graduates) and work at any skill level, and to switch into work routes if they find a suitable job.
  • The new Points-Based Student route will build on the current Tier 4 system, but will be improved, making it more streamlined for sponsoring institutions and their students.
  • Students will require a total 70 points to be granted leave. Points will be non-tradeable and will be awarded for meeting the requirements of the route.
  • The period of time in which a student can apply for permission to come to the UK before the start of their course will be extended from three to six months.
  • The study limit for students studying at a postgraduate level will also be removed, although students will still be expected to be progressing academically in their studies when making a further application in the UK.
  • The Home Office (UKVI) will not routinely request students to submit documentary evidence of funds when making further applications to remain in the UK.
  • Students who are on a recognised Foundation Programme as a doctor or dentist in training, or who are employed as a Student Union Sabbatical Officer, will not be required to demonstrate funds.
  • Higher education providers with a track record of compliance will be able to make an offer of study to students at degree level and above and carry out their own assessment of those students’ academic ability.
  • Applicants of low risk countries will benefit from reduced documentary requirements and EU countries will be added to this list. This list will be reviewed regularly.
  • Sponsors will be required to monitor the academic engagement of their students, and they will need to keep records of a student’s engagement. This requirement will replace the current attendance monitoring duty for higher education providers.
  • Sponsors will need to record details of how any self-assessment of English language was made when offering a place of study to a student.
  • The current Tier 4 Pilot Scheme will close as the new Student route opens.
  • There will continue to be separate child and adult Student routes, and those sponsoring students will be required to have regard to the safeguarding of international students under 18 studying at their institution.
  • They will consider diversifying the Student route further by splitting the adult route into separate Higher Education and Further Education routes to accentuate the pathways.
  • No switching of sponsoring institution will be allowed without making a new application.
  • Students can apply for further leave as a Student or switch into other routes in line with the wider approach to switching when applying for leave inside the UK. This will include the ability to switch into work routes if they are able to meet the requirements.
  • Whether supplementary work is allowed will depend on the level of study and sponsoring institution. Separate restrictions apply regarding what type of employment is permitted.
  • The Graduate route will be launched in Summer 2021 to provide international students the opportunity to stay in the UK to work or look for work after they graduate. This will be an unsponsored route.
  • The Doctorate Extension Scheme (DES) will be closed as the new Graduate Route is introduced.
  • Short-term study: study of up to six months will be permitted under the standard visit route. Recreational courses undertaken for leisure, that last no longer than 30 days and which do not lead to any formal qualifications, will not need to be undertaken at an accredited institution.

The policy statement outlining these further details can be viewed here.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/uk-points-based-immigration-system-further-details-statement

 

Assigning Confirmations of Acceptance for Studies (CAS)

An issue has recently arisen that is preventing some sponsors from assigning a Confirmations of Acceptance for Studies (CAS). The issue can arise when text is copied from an external source (e.g. a word document or email) and pasted directly into text fields on the CAS form. This action may lead to bullet points or hidden characters being entered into the SMS fields. If these characters are present in mandatory fields the system may not allow the CAS to be assigned.

The Home Office (UKVI) has advised users to ensure that these characters are not present in any fields when creating a CAS. When copying text from an external source it is advisable to paste it into a plain text editor first, in order to check and amend the text, before pasting it into the SMS.

If users are unable to assign a CAS due to this issue, they are advised to contact the Business Helpdesk or their premium account manager for assistance. The IT supplier is currently working to fix this issue.

 

SMS payment issues

There is currently an issue which can affect customers when making a payment on the Sponsorship Management System (SMS). When attempting to pay for a product or service, some customers are taken back to an earlier screen in the SMS without payment being taken, and without the product/service being purchased. For example, if this issue occurs during CAS assignment, the customer will be returned to an earlier screen on the SMS and the CAS will not be assigned.

Any users experiencing this issue are advised to ensure that all details are correct whenever they enter information – such as their payment card details, when completing a payment.

The Home Office (UKVI) are currently working to resolve this issue as a matter of urgency.

 

Other Immigration News

UKVCAS Service Status

The UKVCAS appointment booking system is being opened up to even more customers and a new UKVI policy has been introduced to coronavirus (Covid-19) which will hopefully accelerate the application process.

The booking system has now been opened up to those whose application was submitted between 1 June and 30 June 2020. They are continuing to work from the earliest to the most recent registrations. Customers should receive an email asking them to book an appointment and they will provide full instructions about the next steps. However, some customers within this date range will not be invited to book an appointment, but will instead be able to use the accelerated application process detailed further below.

The new accelerated approach to applications where the Home Office (UKVI) can reuse biometrics (fingerprints) that have been recorded in a previous application as part of the process to verify their identity. This means that somecustomers will not need to attend a UKVCAS service point. UKVI are currently working to identify those customers that are eligible to use this new approach.

Further information can be viewed here.

https://www.ukvcas.co.uk/flash-message-detail?flashmessageId=74833

 

Coronavirus (COVID-19) - Advice for UK visa applicants and temporary UK residents

The latest advice from the Home Office (UKVI) to UK visa applicants and temporary UK residents in relation to coronavirus (COVID-19) can be viewed here.

For those who are applying for leave to remain in the UK, if the Home Office (UKVI) can reuse their fingerprints already given for a previous application, they will email the applicant with detailed instructions on how the applicant can send an image of their face and their supporting documents. In these cases, the applicant will not need to attend a UKVCAS or SSC service point appointment to provide biometric information. However, if the applicant cannot send the information through the instructions given, they’ll be able to book an appointment.

Some English Testing Centres are resuming services. For more information on how an applicant can book their English Language Test, they should contact either the test centre of Trinity College London, International English Language Testing System (IELTS), LanguageCert website, or Pearson Test of English directly.

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

 

New Immigration System - further policy statement (Other key proposals)

The UK government has published a policy statement providing further details about their plans for the new UK points-based immigration system.

Other key points made in this recent policy statement are as follows:

  • At the end of the transition period, free movement will end and EU citizens will come within the scope of the new immigration system.
  • The UK Government says that its intention is for citizens of the EU and Switzerland to not require visas to visit the UK.
  • Short-term study: study of up to six months will be permitted under the standard visit route. Recreational courses undertaken for leisure, that last no longer than 30 days and which do not lead to any formal qualifications, will not need to be undertaken at an accredited institution.
  • As part of a phased programme to 2025, we will introduce a universal ‘permission to travel’ requirement which will require everyone wishing to travel to the UK (except British and Irish citizens) to seek permission in advance of travel to facilitate the passage of legitimate travellers.
  • Electronic Travel Authorisations (ETAs) will be introduced for visitors and passengers transiting through the UK who do not currently need a visa for short stays or who do not already have an immigration status prior to travelling.
  • The ETA system will require applicants to undertake a light-touch application process, which will allow security checks to be conducted and more informed decisions taken on information obtained at an earlier stage, as to whether individuals should be allowed to travel to the UK. This will act as their permission to travel.
  • For British and Irish citizens, who do not require leave to enter the UK, their permission will be demonstrated by their passport.

The policy statement outlining these further details can be viewed here.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/uk-points-based-immigration-system-further-details-statement

 

 

Hong Kong BN(O) Visa

The UK government has released more information on the new Hong Kong BN(O) visa, which will create a bespoke immigration route to enable British National (Overseas)(BN(O)) citizens ordinarily resident in Hong Kong, and their immediate family members to move to the UK to work and study.

The government is committed to opening this new immigration route following the Chinese government’s decision to impose a new National Security Law on Hong Kong.

This new visa will allow BN(O) visa will allow BN(O) citizens to apply for two periods of 30 months’ leave or 5 years’ leave. This route will allow BN(O) citizens the right to live and work or study in the UK and gives them a path to full British citizenship.

This will also allow those born after 1 July 1997 to a British National (Overseas) registered parent to apply to come to the UK.

Whilst BN(O) citizens coming to the UK will have access to the job market at any skill level and without salary threshold, they will not have access to public funds under this route. They will be able to apply for indefinite leave to remain (ILR) once they have lived in the UK for 5 years, and after 12 months with ILR status, they will be able to apply for British Citizenship.

You can view the full announcement here. Further information can be viewed here.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/home-secretary-announces-details-of-the-hong-kong-bno-visa

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/british-nationals-overseas-in-hong-kong

 

 

Applying for a UK visa: approved English language tests/test centres - updated list

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

 

 

An Inspection of the Handling of Complaints and MP's Correspondence by the Home Office Borders, Immigration and Citizenship System (BICS)

The Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration has published his report on the handling of correspondence by the Home Office Borders, Immigration and Citizenship System (BICS).

The report by the Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration can be viewed here and the Home Office’s response can be viewed here.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/inspection-report-published-an-inspection-of-the-handling-of-complaints-and-mps-correspondence-by-the-home-office-borders-immigration-and-citizensh

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/response-to-an-inspection-of-the-handling-of-complaints-and-correspondence

 

 

Veristat Service

Sponsor licence applications

With the announcement of the new Immigration system to be implemented from 1 January 2021, employers wishing to sponsor non-EEA and EEA/EU nationals from this date may wish to apply now for a licence.

We provide a comprehensive advice and support package to employers applying for a licence, including preparation for a Home Office (UKVI) visit and can also include training on Tier 2/5 or Tier 4 sponsorship and the SMS system, as well as assistance with applying for Certificates of Sponsorship (CoS).

Please email us at  enquiries@veristat.co.ukor contact us by telephone on 01344 624016 for further details and a quote for helping you apply for a licence.

 

Remote training and audits

In the current climate, we are now offering remote video conference audits and training via Microsoft Teams/Zoom, etc.

Our remote audits emulate UKVI’s remote audits, which we have already participated in and cover all key areas of immigration compliance.

 

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. We will also be providing training on the new immigration system detailing all future requirements.

These training sessions are conducted on the client’s premises for a standard half-day rate for up to 12 persons per session.

Also, in response to demand from clients, we are now providing live bespoke online training via Microsoft Teams/Zoom, etc.

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.

 

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.

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