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Immigration News - October update


Working in the UK 

Restricted Certificates of Sponsorship (RCoS)

UKVI have published the restricted Certificates of Sponsorship (RCoS) allocation for September 2018.

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

A total of 1,671 restricted certificates were granted in September 2018. The total number of certificates available for allocation in October 2018 is 2,012.

Further information can be viewed here.

Please do not hesitate to contact us on 01344 624016 or at enquiries@veristat.co.ukfor advice or guidance in respect of any aspect of Tier 2 sponsorship or the recruitment of migrant workers.



Migration Advisory Committee's (MAC) report on EEA migration

The Migration Advisory Committee(MAC) have published their report on the impact of EEA migration in the UK.

The key recommendations for work migration post-Brexit were as follows:

  • It should be easier for higher-skilled workers to migrate to the UK than lower-skilled workers.
  • There should be no preference for EU citizens, on the assumption UK immigration policy is not included in the agreement with EU.
  • It recommended that the cap on the number of migrants under Tier 2 (General) was abolished.
  • Tier 2 (General) should be made open to all jobs at RQF3 and above. TheShortage Occupation List will be fully reviewed in their next report in response to the SOL Commission.
  • The existing salary thresholds for all migrants in Tier 2 should be maintained.
  • The Immigration Skills Charge should be retained but should be reviewed.
  • Consider the abolition of the Resident Labour Market Test. If not abolished, to extend the numbers of migrants who are exempt through lowering the salary required for exemption.
  • There should be a review of how the current sponsor licensing system works for small and medium-sized businesses.
  • It recommends that the Home Office should consult more systematically with users of the visa system to ensure it works as smoothly as possible.
  • It should avoid Sector-Based Schemes - with the potential exception of a Seasonal Agricultural Workers (SAWS) scheme - for lower-skilled workers.
  • If a SAWS scheme is reintroduced, they should ensure upward pressure on wages via an agricultural minimum wage to encourage increases in productivity.
  • If a “backstop” is considered necessary to fill low-skilled jobs, then the MAC recommends that the Tier 5 Youth Mobility Scheme be extended.
  • There is a need to monitor and evaluate the impact of migration policies, as well as a need to pay attention to managing the consequences of migration at a local level.

The full report by the MAC on EEA migration can be downloaded here.



Illegal working penalties: quarterly totals publishd by the Home Office (UKVI)

UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) have published their quarterly report showing the total number of fines (civil penalties) for illegal working given to employers from 1 January 2018 to 31 March 2018.

These quarterly statistics show that:

  • A total of 438 penalties were issued across all regions in the UK during this quarterly period, with the greatest number (240penalties) issued in the London and South-East region.
  • A total of 637 illegal workers were found during this period.
  • The total value of penalties issued during this quarterly period was £7,645,000

You can view/download the quarterly report here.

The guide to the civil penalty scheme for employers who give a job to an illegal worker has been updated to include a link to the right to work checks: employer guidance collection.

We are hugely experienced in providing right to work audits for employers, which mirror the inspections that are carried out by UKVI, so please do get in touch by telephone on 01344 624016 or by email at enquiries@veristat.co.ukfor further details and/or a quote.



Studying in the UK

Migration Advisory Committee's (MAC) report on international students

The Migration Advisory Committee(MAC) have published their report on the impacts of international students in the UK.

The key recommendations of this report were as follows:

  • There is currently no cap on the number of Tier 4 visas which can be issued to non-EEA international students, and they strongly recommend this continues as there is clear evidence of the benefits of international students.
  • Government and the sector should continue to work together to increase the number of international students.
  • International students should not be removed from the net migration statistics.
  • There should be no changes to the work conditions for international students and their dependents.
  • To widen the window for switching applications from Tier 4 to Tier 2.
  • Post-study leave period should be extended to six months for Master’s students, although a more thorough review should be made to see whether this is appropriate.
  • It recommends that the 12 months leave to remain after PhD completion be incorporated into the original visa duration, subject to meeting progress requirements and course completion, for eligibility to remain in the UK after course end date. This would replace the existing Doctoral Extension scheme that allows the same rights but has to be applied for with associated visa costs.
  • Tier 4 students who passed their Level 6 (or above) qualification in the UK, should be entitled to a two-year period from course completion during which they can apply out-of-country for a Tier 2 visa, under the same rules as current in-country switching from Tier 4 to Tier 2.

The full report by the MAC on international students can be downloaded here.



Office for Students: Register of providers

The new regulator for institutions in England, Office for Students (OfS), has published the latest register of providers. You can view the OfS register here.

The OfS was established by the Higher Education and Research Act 2017 (HERA), and is the independent regulator of English Higher Education Providers. Higher Education providers have been able to apply to join the OfS register since 3 April 2018. Any English Higher Education Provider which is, or wishes to be, a Tier 4 sponsor will need to register with the OfS as an Approved Provider, in order to obtain the Educational Oversight required to operate within Tier 4. Further information about the role of the OfS and how this affects new or existing Tier 4 sponsors can be viewed in the Home Office’s Higher Education regulatory reform guidance.

There were concerns that a delay in publishing the latest tranche of registered providers could have an impact on students applying. The OfS state on their website that they are still in the process of registering higher education providers for 2019-20 onwards, and that no conclusions should be drawn about it based upon that fact.

Those providers who are not yet registered must go through a registration process. To register with the OfS, providers have to demonstrate that they meet challenging requirements relating to quality, student protection, financial sustainability, and more. Information about the OfS registration process can be viewed here.



Other Immigration News

Update to Home Affairs Select Committee (HASC) on Windrush

The Home Secretary, The Rt Hon Sajid Javid, has provided an update to the Home Affairs Select Committee (HASC) in relation to Windrush. You can view his update to the HASC on Windrush here.

The Home Office have also published information in relation to Windrush confirming that more than 2,000 members of the Windrush generation have been granted citizenship free of charge. Further information can be viewed here.

The Home Office has also updated the information provided to those who may be eligible to apply for citizenship under the Windrush Scheme, confirming that they may be able to apply if both:

  • You or one of your parents arrived in the UK before 1973
  • You’ve lived in the UK and not been away from it for more than 2 years

They also confirm that if your parent arrived in the UK before 1973, you must have either:

  • Been born in the UK
  • Arrived in the UK before you were 18




UK visa fees

UKVI have published updated fees for immigration and nationality for applications made from outside and within the UK. These fees take effect from 8 October 2018.

The revised fees tables can be viewed here. To calculate the cost of your UK visa application in the country you’re in, you can also use the visa fees tool, which can be found here.

We provide full application support for those applying for leave to enter/remain in the UK, as well as all other immigration and nationality applications. Please get in touch by calling us on 01344 624016 or by email at enquiries@veristat.co.ukfor further details and/or a quote for how we can help you apply.



Reforms to British citizenship

The Home Secretary has proposed a series of reforms to British citizenship applications including tougher English language requirements and changes to the Life in the UK test to give greater prominence to the British values and principles expected.

He has announced that there will be a public consultation on the Life in the UK test. The proposals will ensure that the test is more relevant to daily life and culture of the UK.

Further information about this announcement can be viewed here.

We provide full application support for those applying for citizenship, so please get in touch by calling us on 01344 624016 or by email at enquiries@veristat.co.ukfor further details and/or a quote for how we can support you with this.



Application to register child under 18 as British Overseas citizen

An updated form has been published for those wishing to register a child under 18 as a British Overseas citizen. The child must meet strict requirements, which can be found in the MN3 form guidance.

The revised application form can be downloaded here.



Application for certificate showing right of abode

An updated form has been published for those applying for a certificate of entitlement proving they have the right to live and work in the UK. You can apply online of by downloading the form.

The revised application form can be downloaded here.

UKVI have also published updated information about their fees for citizenship and right of abode applications and revisions have also been made to the payment slip. Further information can be viewed here.




Settle in the UK on the basis of Long residence

An updated form and guidance has been published for those applying for indefinite leave to remain (settlement) on the basis of long residence (10 years).   

You can view or download the new application form and guidance here.



Transfer indefinite leave to remain in the UK (form NTL)

UKVI have published an updated application form and guidance for those applying to transfer an existing settlement visa from an old passport to a biometric residence permit.

The revised application form and guidance can be viewed or downloaded here.



Veristat Service

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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