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Immigration News - November 2019 update

 

Brexit update

EU Settlement Scheme: 2 million applications

The Home Secretary, Priti Patel, has announced that two million applications have now been received for the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS). The government has also launched a new EUSS advertising campaign.

Further information can be viewed here.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/two-million-applications-to-the-eu-settlement-scheme

 

EUSS application processing times

It currently takes approximately 5 working days for EUSS applications to be processed, although  it can take up to a month if the case is complex or additional evidence/information is required. If using the EUSS app, the processing time starts from the date the online application is submitted.

If the applicant needs to provide biometrics as part of their application, the processing time starts when UKVI receive their biometrics. If applicants need to post their identity document to UKVI, it is usually returned within 3 days of being received. This does not include the postage times and UKVI recommends that applicants allow at least 10 days from sending their document.

Further information can be found here.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/eu-settlement-scheme-application-processing-times/eu-settlement-scheme-pilot-current-expected-processing-times-for-applications

 

No-deal Brexit: EU citizens and their families moving to the UK after Brexit

The Home Office (UKVI) have published guidance on the immigration arrangements for EU/EEA and Swiss nationals and their family members who move to the UK after Brexit if the UK leaves the EU without a deal.

In the event of a no-deal situation, EEA/EU or Swiss citizens and their families would need to apply for European Temporary Leave to Remain (Euro TLR) when the scheme opens after Brexit day. The deadline for applications will be 31 December 2020. There will be no fee for these applications.

Successful applicants would receive a temporary immigration status that will allow them to stay in the UK for 36 months from the date it is granted. They will be given a digital status. They will need to prove their rights using their digital status from January 2021.

Non-EEA family members of EEA/EU or Swiss citizens will be able to apply for Euro TLR. Close family members are spouses, partners and dependent children under 18. They will be able to apply once their EU/EEA or Swiss citizen family member has applied for Euro TLR. They will be able to stay in the UK until the Euro TLR granted to their EU/EEA or Swiss citizen family member expires.

You can view the guidance here.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-announces-immigration-plans-for-no-deal-brexit

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/european-temporary-leave-to-remain-in-the-uk

  

Administrative review

The Home Office (UKVI) have updated their guidance for how they validate, consider and decide applications under the EU Settlement Scheme for an administrative review made under the Immigration Rules.

The updated guidance can be viewed here.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/administrative-review

 

  

Working in the UK

Guidance for sponsors on keeping documents (Appendix D)

The Home Office (UKVI) have updated their guidance for sponsors on keeping documents (Appendix D).

The key changes are as follows

  • Clarification of the circumstances in which a Tier 2 or Tier 5 sponsor is required to check the migrant’s date of entry to the UK. (Part 1b)
  • Updated the document to include references to the GOV.UK ‘Teaching Vacancies’ online job-search service. (Part 2g-h)
  • Deleted text that stated that it was not necessary to retain evidence of qualifications or relevant professional registration for contractual service suppliers or independent professionals, as this did not accurately reflect the Immigration Rules or sponsor guidance.

The updated Appendix D: guidance for sponsors on keeping documentscan be viewed here.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/keep-records-for-sponsorship-appendix-d

  

Tier 2 and 5 sports governing bodies

An updated list of the contact details for the sport governing bodies which are included in Appendix M of the Immigration Rules has been updated by the Home Office (UKVI). This is applicable to relevant Tier 2 and 5 visa applications.

Further information can be viewed here.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/tier-2-and-5-sports-governing-bodies

 

Tier 2 policy guidance

The Home Office (UKVI) have updated their guidance for people wanting to apply to come to or remain in the UK under Tier 2 of the points-based system.

Due to an administrative error, the job role of Archaeologists was omitted from the list of shortage occupations, despite a recommendation by the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) for it to be included on the list. To ensure that no individual migrant or sponsor is impacted adversely, from 6 October 2019, this job will be treated as a shortage occupation. The Immigration Rules will be updated accordingly at the next available opportunity.

The updated guidance can be viewed or downloaded here.

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

 

English Language guidance for Tier 1 and 2 applicants

The Home Office (UKVI) have updated their guidance on how English Language requirements are assessed for Tiers 1 and 2 of the points-based system.

Amendments have been made to reflect the removal of Appendix O from the Immigration Rules and changes to the English Language requirements for doctors, dentists, nurses and midwives applying under Tier 2 (General).

Further information can be viewed here.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/points-based-system-english-language

 

Indefiite Leave to Remain (ILR) applications on basis of Tier 2

The Home Office (UKVI) have introduced a new Priority Visa service to offer increased customer choice for Tier 2 indefinite leave to remain (ILR) customers wishing to apply to settle in the UK.

Previously customers could choose between a 6-month service standard and the Super Priority next working day service for an additional fee of £800. The priority service now bridges the gap between the two, offering a 5-day service standard for a fee of £500. The service can be selected as part of the normal application process after 13 November 2019.

Further information can be viewed here.

https://www.gov.uk/settle-in-the-uk/y/you-have-a-work-visa/tier-2-general-visa

 

Start-up and Innovator visas: endorsing bodies

The Home Office (UKVI) has published updated lists of the endorsing bodies in relation to start-up and innovator visas. The list of endorsing bodies for start-up visas can be viewed here, and the list of endorsing bodies for innovator visas can be viewed here.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/endorsing-bodies-start-up

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/endorsing-bodies-innovator

 

 

Studying in the UK  

Tier 4 applications: updated guidance

The Home Office (UKVI) have updated their guidance for those applying to come to the UK under Tier 4 of the points-based system.

The key changes are as follows:

  • Clarified that students may be asked to attend more than one credibility interview.
  • Clarified that when switching into the student route from another points-based system route, the new course must start within 28 days of the expiry of their permission to stay.
  • The reference to the applicant’s legal guardian being named on the birth certificate has been removed as this isn’t applicable and ensures the guidance is consistent with the Immigration Rules.
  • A clarification has been made to confirm that the period before the course starts is considered to be outside of term-time and therefore students who are permitted to work are able to do so on a full-time basis during this period.
  • References to the Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) immigration route have been removed following the closure of this route and have been replaced with ‘Start-up migrant’.
  • Guidance has been added that confirms that ‘Start-up’ applicants can undertake self-employed work whilst they are awaiting a decision on their ‘Start-up’ visa application.
  • The exemptions to academic progression have been updated to clarify that Tier 4 students studying a PhD or doctoral qualification are able to apply for leave to remain from within the UK where they are extending in order to continue studying the course they had undertaken in their last grant of leave.

The updated guidance can be viewed here.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-on-application-for-uk-visa-as-tier-4-student

 

Tier 4 student: guidance for educators

The Home Office (UKVI) have updated their guidance to educators on applying for a Tier 4 sponsor licence and how to sponsor students. All four guidance documents for Tier 4 sponsors have been updated.

The key changes are as follows:

  • Clarification has been made to confirm that the period before a course starts is considered to be outside of term-time and therefore students who are permitted to work are able to so on a full-time basis during this period.
  • The exemptions to academic progression have been updated to clarify that Tier 4 students studying a PhD or doctoral qualification are able to apply for leave to remain from within the UK where they are extending in order to continue studying the course they have undertaken in their last grant of leave.
  • References to Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) have been removed following the closure of this immigration route. These have been replaced with ‘Start-up migrant’. Additionally, guidance has been added that confirms that these applicants can undertake self-employed work whilst awaiting a decision on their ‘Start-up’ visa application.
  • A change has been made to the student circumstances table in Document 2 of the Tier 4 policy guidance to remove the requirement for sponsors to report instances where a Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) has missed a three-month expected contact point. This has been removed to separate sponsorship duties from responsibilities as an endorsing body.
  • References to QAA have been removed from the table of English Educational Oversight bodies, since all English higher education providers must now obtain Educational Oversight from the Office for Students.
  • Reference to the Bridge Schools Inspectoratehas been deleted as any Educational Oversight inspection from this body has now expired.
  • Added a reference to sponsors in the Devolved Administrations, since they are eligible to gain the full privileges if they meet the requirements.
  • Added information about how the status of Higher Education Providers which gain the full privileges will be displayed on the Tier 4 Register of Sponsors.

You can view the updated guidance for Tier 4 sponsors here. The caseworker guidance on how UKVI considers Tier 4 applications has also been updated and can be viewed here.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/sponsor-a-tier-4-student-guidance-for-educators

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/studying-under-tier-4-of-the-points-based-system

   

Tier 4 pilot - process guide for rectifying an incorrect length of leave

The Home Office (UKVI) have published a process guide for their staff on the steps to take when responding to reports of an incorrect length of leave that is granted to Tier 4 Students who are eligible for the Tier 4 Pilot scheme 6-month leave extension, and how they should correct them.

The pilot is for students that are studying a master’s degree for a duration of 13 months or less at a participating university who are eligible for an additional 6 months ‘wrap up’ leave as part of the Tier 4 Pilot scheme.

The process guide can be viewed here.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/tier-4-pilot

 

Non-EU citizen school children travelling to the UK as part of a school group

The Home Office (UKVI) have published guidance for leaders of school parties and other groups who are bringing children of a non-EU, EEA or Swiss nationality to the UK as part of a school group. The guidance explains the steps that must be taken before bringing non-EEA school children to the UK as part of organized school groups.

The guidance can be viewed here.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/school-children-travelling-to-the-uk-as-part-of-a-school-group

  

Other Immigration News

Inspection of Border Force operations at Glasgow and Edinburgh airports

The Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration has published his report on an inspection of Border Force operations at Glasgow and Edinburgh airports.

A number of areas for improvement were identified at both airports. The report makes three recommendations relating to queue measurement and on ensuring that Border Force operational managers, not just at Glasgow and Edinburgh, understand and articulate their risks thoroughly and consistently.  The full report 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-border-force-operations-at-glasgow-and-edinburgh-airports

 

Common Travel Area (CTA)

The Home Office (UKVI) have updated their guidance for their staff on the Common Travel Area (CTA), including its legal basis, instructions and requirements for people travelling to and within the CTA and in-country encounters.

The updated guidance can be viewed here.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/common-travel-area

  

Response to ONS engagement on adjustment of migration statistics

Professor Alan Manning, chair of the Migration Advisory Committee(MAC), has responded to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) engagement on the adjustment of migration statistics.

The ONS are carrying out investigations to understand better the differences between multiple data sources on migration and how this affects the estimates of the long-term migration statistics.

The response from Professor Alan Manning can be viewed here.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/response-to-ons-engagement-on-adjustment-of-migration-statistics

  

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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