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Immigration News - July update

 

Working in the UK 

Doctors and nurses to be removed from Tier 2 visa cap

Changes have been laid before Parliament for doctors and nurses to be excluded from the cap on skilled worker visas. This means there will be no restriction on the numbers of doctors and nurses who can be employed via the Tier 2 visa route.

The exclusion of doctors and nurses from the cap will free up hundreds of places a month for other highly skilled occupations.

Further information can be viewed here.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/doctors-and-nurses-to-be-taken-out-of-tier-2-visa-cap

  

Restricted Certificates of Sponsorship (RCoS)

UKVI have published the allocations of restricted Certificates of Sponsorship (RCoS) for June 2018.

All valid applications received by 5th June were successful if they scored at least 60 points. A total of 1,862 restricted certificates were granted in June. The total number of certificates available for allocation in July 2018 is 2,187.

Further information can be viewed here.

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

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/employer-sponsorship-restricted-certificate-allocations

 

Right to Work - updated guidance

UKVI have published revised guidance to employers on conducting right to work checks on prospective or existing employees.

The following key changes have been made:

  • A clarification has been added to the ‘For whom is this guide relevant’ section on page 5 to confirm that from 16 May 2014 an immigration endorsement must be made in a current passport to demonstrate a right to work. However, if the check was conducted between 29 February 2008 and 15 May 2014 and the employer accepted an immigration endorsement ina passport that had expired or had since expired, their statutory excuse continues because this was an acceptable document at the time they conducted the check. The employer is not expected to carry out retrospective checks on employees if they have previously satisfied themselves that the employee was entitled to work.
  • Additional information has been added to the ‘For whom is this guide relevant’ section on page 5 to explain that if the employer is not the direct employer of the workers involved in their business, that there are compelling reasons why they should still seek to know that their workers have a right to work, including: adverse impacts on their health and safety and safeguarding obligations, potential invalidation of their insurance if the identity and skill levels of their workers are not as claimed, as well as reputational damage.
  • A clarification has been made to the ‘What is a right to work check’ section on page 8 to confirm that “you are also required to conduct a follow-up check on people who have timelimited permission to work in the UK when this permission expires.”
  • Information has been added to the ‘What is a right to work check’ section on page 8 to confirm that employers should also contact the Employer Checking Service (ECS) if the person does not have acceptable documents and provides them with information indicating that they are a non-EEA national who has been a long-term lawful resident of the UK since before 1988.
  • The section on ‘Why do you need to do checks?’ on page 9 has been updated to confirm that when illegal working is identified, the fullest sanctions are applied. In addition, it also refers to the data sharing arrangements that have been put in place, to ensure that non-EEA nationals who have lived lawfully in the UK since before 1988 are not denied access to work.
  • An amendment has also been made in the ‘Who do you conduct checks on?’ section, at the top of page 13, that employers should conduct right to work checks on all potential employees, not just those who appear to be migrants.
  • A clarification has also been made to the ‘Who do you conduct checks on?’ section on page 13 to confirm that you are only required to conduct repeat checks on an existing employee if they have limited permission to be in the UK.
  • A further point has been added to the ‘When to contact the Home Office to verify right to work’ section on page 20, to confirm that employers should contact the Home Office when they have not been provided with any acceptable documents, but the person presents other information indicating they are a long-term resident of the UK who arrived in the UK before 1988.
  • A section has also been added on ‘Windrush generation individuals’ (page 22).
  • A further point has been added to the ‘When do you conduct checks?’ section on page 25 to confirm that if the prospective employee is unable to provide acceptable documentation but presents other information indicating they are a non-EEA long-term lawful resident of the UK who arrive before 1988, the employer’s statutory excuse will continue from the expiry date of their employee’s permission for a further period of up to 28 days. This is to allow them time to carry out a check with the Employers’ Checking Service (ECS).
  • Revisions have also been made to the ‘Croatian nationals’ section (page 35) to confirm that from 1 July 2018, Croatian nationals will no longer be subject to restrictions on their access to the UK labour market.

The latest version of the ‘Employers guide to right to work checks’, published on 29 June 2018, can be viewed here.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/right-to-work-checks-employers-guide

 

 

Resident Labour Market Test

From 14 May 2018, the Jobcentre Plus Universal Jobmatch service has been replaced with the ‘Find a Job’ service.

Please note that the job ID/reference numbers on the adverts do not automatically show on the adverts. However, the reference number can be located at the end of the URL, although the current advice from the UKVI Business Helpdesk is that you contact the ‘Find a Job’ service to obtain confirmation from them as to what the job reference number is. This is because you will need to confirm this when applying for a restricted CoS.

Please do not hesitate to contact us on 01344 624016 or at enquiries@veristat.co.uk for advice or guidance in respect of any aspect of the recruitment of migrant workers, including carrying out the Resident Labour Market Test (RLMT).

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-find-a-job-service-to-support-thousands-of-jobseekers-into-work

 

 

Changes to the Immigration Rules (Tiers 1 and 2)

The government has announced changes to the Immigration Rules affecting a number of categories.

The key changes relating to working in the UK are as follows:

  • Exclusion of doctors and nurses from the Tier 2 visa cap.
  • Plans for the exceptional talent visa route to include leading fashion designers, whereby applications will be assessed by the British Fashion Council under the endorsement remit of Arts Council England (ACE). The route has also been opened up to a wider pool of TV and film applicants, under the remit of ACE.
  • Tier 2 migrants will be unable to hold more than 10% of shares with their sponsor indirectly.

These changes came into effect on 6 July 2018.

You can view further information about the announced changes here. You can download and/or view the statement of changes here.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/changes-to-the-immigration-rules--2

 

Illegal working penalties: quarterly report

UKVI have published a quarterly report showing the total number of fines (civil penalties) for illegal working given to employers in each region of the UK.

The key statistics for this quarterly period were as follows:

  • A total of 624 penalties were issued across all regions;
  • A total of 990 illegal workers were found across all regions;
  • The total value of penalties issued was £11,600,000.

You can download the full report here.

We provide training on right to work/document examination for UK employers and HR/recruitment professionals. The workshops are conducted on the client’s premises for up to 12 people per session. We also provide right to work audits and file inspection days, so if you are concerned as to whether your company is complying with Home Office requirements, please call us on 01344 624016 or email enquiries@veristat.co.uk to book or for further details and a quote.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/illegal-working-penalties-quarterly-totals

 

New start-up visa route for entrepreneurs

The Home Secretary, Sajid Javid, announced during London Tech Week that a new route is being introduced to widen the applicant pool of entrepreneurs, as well as making the visa process faster and smoother for entrepreneurs coming to the UK.

This will replace a visa route that was exclusively for graduates, creating more opportunities for a wider pool of business founders. Applicants will require an endorsement from a university or approved business sponsor, including accelerators.

The new visa route has been designed following advice from the Migration Advisory Committee and feedback from the tech sector and other stakeholders.

This new visa route will be launched in Spring 2019. You can view further information about this announcement here.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-start-up-visa-route-announced-by-the-home-secretary

 

 

Studying in the UK

Changes to the Immigration Rules (Tier 4)

The government has announced changes to the Immigration Rules affecting a number of categories.

The key changes relating to studying in the UK are as follows:

  • Expansion of the list of countries from which students will benefit from a streamlined Tier 4 application process. An additional 11 countries, including China, will be able to provide a reduced level of documentation when applying for a Tier 4 visa. However, UKVI reserve the right to request this evidence in full and will do so for a random sample of applications.
  • If a student on a Tier 4 visa is studying a postgraduate course of nine months or more (previously it was 12 months), they will be able to be accompanied by dependants.
  • The scope of the Academic Technology Scheme (ATS) certificate requirement has also been expanded.

These changes came into effect on 6 July 2018.

You can view further information about the announced changes here. You can download and/or view the statement of changes here.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/changes-to-the-immigration-rules--2

 

  

Studying under Tier 4 of the points-based system

UKVI have updated their guidance for how they consider applications from people to enter or remain in the UK under Tier 4 of the points-based system. The Tier 4: visa pilot section has been amended to remove any reference to dates.

You can view the updated guidance (version 43.0) here.

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

  

 

Other Immigration News

Settlement scheme for EU citizens

The Home Office has published details of the new settlement scheme for EU citizens.

Those applying under the new scheme will only need to complete 3 key steps: prove their identity, show that they live in the UK, and declare that they have no serious criminal convictions.

The proposed fee for people applying under the scheme will be £65 for adults and £32.50 for child

applicants, although this is subject to parliamentary approval.

The Home Office will check employment and benefit records held by the government which will mean that, for many EEA nationals, their proof of residence will be automatic.

EEA nationals who have not yet lived in the UK for five years will be granted pre-settled status and be able to apply for settled status once they reach the five-year point. From April 2019, this second application will be free of charge.

The new settlement scheme will open in a phased way later this year and will be fully open by 30 March 2019.

The deadline for applications will be 30 June 2021.

Further information can be viewed here. The Statement of Intent can also be viewed here.

We offer a ‘Preparing for life after Brexit’ session for groups who are currently living and working or studying in the UK, which incorporates the latest details of the proposed settlement scheme. For details/costs of this session, please call 01344 624016 or email enquiries@veristat.co.uk.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/home-office-publishes-details-of-settlement-scheme-for-eu-citizens

 

 

Changes to the Immigration Rules (Other changes)

The government has announced changes to the Immigration Rules affecting a number of categories.

Other key changes are as follows:

  • Creation of a new form of leave for children under section 67 of the Immigration Act 2016 (the Dubs amendment). This will ensure that those children who do not qualify for refugee or humanitarian protection leave will still be able to remain in the UK long term.
  • Afghan interpreters and their family members who have relocated to the UK can apply for settlement after 5 years’ residence. This will mean that up to 40 Afghan interpreters and their family members will be eligible to relocate to the UK.
  • Electronic Visa Waiver (EVW) holders will be able to present their EVW in a digital format for the first time, allowing a smoother journey to the UK.
  • A new settlement category is being introduce for Turkish business people, workers and their families who are in the UK under the EU-Turkey European Communities Association Agreement (ECAA), allowing Turkish workers and business people to settle in the UK after 5 years as either an ECAA business person or ECAA worker.

These changes came into effect on 6 July 2018.

You can view further information about the announced changes here. You can download and/or view the statement of changes here.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/changes-to-the-immigration-rules--2

 

Free movement rights: extended family members of EEA nationals

An amendment has been made to the guidance on free movement rights of extended family members of EEA nationals.

A clarification has been added to the ‘Definition and rights of an extended family member’ section to confirm that since 11 February 2016 an applicant related by marriage to the spouse of an EEA national who has not previously been issued with documentation under the regulations is not considered to be an extended family member.

The revised guidance can be viewed here.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/extended-family-members-of-eea-nationals

  

Home Office Biometric Strategy

The Home Office have published a document setting out the overarching framework within which the Home Office will consider and make decisions on the use and development of biometric technology.

You can download/view the Home Office Biometrics Strategy here.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/home-office-biometrics-strategy

 

Quarterly Migration Statistics

There has been a delay to the publication of the quarterly migration statistics by the Office for National Statistics (ONS). They were due to be published in May 2018, but they are due now to be released on 16 July 2018.

The reason for this delay was due to a processing issue that was identified during quality assurance of the data.

Further information can be viewed here.

https://www.ons.gov.uk/releases/migrationstatisticsquarterlyreportmay2018

 

 

Right to rent checks

The Home Office has published revised guidance to landlords, letting agents and tenants on understanding the right to rent checks.

The updated guidance can be viewed here.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/landlords-right-to-rent-checks-guide

 

 

Approved English Language tests

UKVI have published a revised list of the tests and test centres approved by them to show that applicants have the required level of English for their visa. 

The updated guidance can be viewed here.

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

 

 

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.

 

To download and print a pdf version of the monthly update, please click here.

 

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