Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Immigration News: December 2014



Working in the UK



Immigration Statistics, July to September 2014

The Home Office has published its quarterly immigration statistics for the period July to September 2014.

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

  • There were 6% more work-related visas granted (+9,535 to 161,585) in the year ending September 2014. This increase was largely accounted for by the higher numbers for skilled workers (Tier 2, +9,912 or +13%), and for Youth mobility and temporary workers (Tier 5, +2,207).
  • The 13% increase in skilled workers (Tier 2) visas granted coincided with a 13% increase in sponsored applications for skilled work visas.
  • The majority of the sponsored skilled work visa applications were for the Information and Communication, Professional, Scientific and Technical Activities and Financial and Insurance Activities sectors.
  • There were 31% fewer work-related grants of extension (-40,678), which was mainly accounted for by lower numbers in categories closed to new entrants (39,215 fewer Tier 1 General grants and 1,193 fewer Tier 1 Post-Study grants).
  • There was a 3,754 increase in Tier 1 Entrepreneur grants of extension.
  • Grants of extension for Tier 2 Skilled Workers fell from 63,166 to 60,838 (-4%), reflecting lower numbers in both the Tier 2 General category (from 43,576 to 42,642) and the Tier 2 Intra-Company Transfers category (from 18,059 to 16,942).

You can read the full report here.

Migration Statistics Quarterly Report, November 2014

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has published its quarterly migration statistics report (November 2014). Note that these figures include estimates of long-term immigration trends and data obtained via the International Passenger survey by interviewing a sample of people arriving in and leaving the UK; and may differ from Home Office data.

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

  • There was a statistically significant increase in immigration for work (+45,000 to 247,000), with increases for non-EU citizens (+14,000), EU2 citizens (+11,000) and EU15 (+10,000).
  • Estimated employment of EU nationals (excluding British) resident in the UK was 16% higher in July to September 2014, compared to the same quarter in 2013.
  • National Insurance Number (NINo) registrations to adult overseas nationals increased by 12% to 668,000 in the year ending September 2014 from the previous year.
  • Work visas granted rose by 6% (+9,500) in the year ending September 2014, reflecting higher levels of skilled work visas granted.
The full report can be read here.
    http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/migration1/migration-statistics-quarterly-report/november-2014/index.html



    Right to rent: landlord's code of practice

    From 1 December 2014, landlords, homeowners and letting agents in Birmingham, Walsall, Sandwell, Dudley and Wolverhampton will be required to check that someone has the right to live in the UK before letting a property to them. The right to rent checks only apply to new tenancy agreements starting on or after 1 December 2014 and relate to adults aged 18 and over living at the property. Affected landlords, who let a property after this date to someone who doesn't have the right to rent, could be fined up to £3,000. This is a pilot project in the Midlands prior to national rollout.

    The guidance for landlords can be read here and the 'right to rent' information leaflet can be viewed here.

    UKVI have also published a summarised checklist for landlords, which can be viewed here.




    Preventing Illegal Working: guidance for employers

    UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) have updated their guidance to help employers prevent illegal working by conducting right to work checks. The updated 'employer's guide to right to work checks' can be downloaded here.

    UKVI have also made revisions to the 'Code of Practice' on preventing illegal working: civil penalty scheme for employers. The revised 'Code of Practice' can be downloaded here.

    In addition to the above, UKVI have also updated the form used by employers for checking an employee's right to work. The updated form can be downloaded here.

    Tier 2 : updated guidance

    UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) have updated their guidance for those applying to come to the UK as a Tier 2 skilled worker or to extend their stay.

    The updated Tier 2 guidance can be viewed here and the revised guide to supporting documents for Tier 2 (General) can be viewed here.

    UKVI have also made revisions to their modernised guidance, outlining how they decide applications for people to enter or remain in the UK as a Tier 2 migrant. The updated modernised guidance can be viewed here.

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


    Tier 2 Priority Service - updated form

    UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) have updated the Tier 2 Priority form for those making a priority application to extend stay in the UK under Tier 2, and get a Biometric Residence Permit; and also for their dependants. These forms and guidance are for use on or after 1 December 2014.

    Tier 1: updated immigration directorate instructions

    UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) have published updated Chapter 6a, section 1 of their immigration directorate instructions, which deals with applications for indefinite leave to remain for those with leave to remain in the UK as a Tier 1 (General) migrant. The updated immigration directorate instructions can be viewed here.


    Domestic workers in private households

    UKVI have updated their modernised guidance for how they consider applications for leave to enter from domestic workers in private households. The revised modernised guidance can be viewed here.


    Restricted certificate allocations (November 2014)

    The restricted certificates allocation for November 2014 published by UKVI can be viewed here. The figures show that all valid applications for restricted CoS which score the minimum 32 points continue to be granted with carry-overs from the previous month(s).

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




    Tier 1: updated forms and guidance

    UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) have updated forms and guidance for those applying to come to the UK under Tier 1 of the points-based system and for those applying to extend their stay under Tier 1 or switch into it from another immigration category. The modernised guidance for how they consider applications under Tier 1 of the points-based system has also been updated.



    Tier 5 (Temporary Worker): updated guidance

    UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) have made revisions to the Tier 5 (Temporary Worker) policy guidance for use on or after 6 November 2014.

    The updated policy guidance can be viewed here.

    https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-on-application-for-uk-visa-under-tier-5-temporary-worker



    Tier 5: Government Authorised Schemes

    The latest details and contacts for the approved Tier 5 government authorised exchange schemes can be viewed here.

    Education


    Immigration Statistics, July to September 2014

    The Home Office has published its quarterly immigration statistics for the period July to September 2014.

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

    • Study-related visas (excluding student visitors) granted increased by 3% to 222,941 (+6,140) in the year ending September 2014, compared to the previous 12 months.
    • There was a 2% increase in university sponsored study visa applications, and a 13% decrease in the numbers sponsored by the further education sector in the year ending September 2014, compared to the previous 12 months.
    • There was an increase in the number of study visas granted (excluding student visitors) for Chinese (+2,286 or +4%), Brazilian (+2,323 or +70%), Saudi Arabian (+1,140 or +12%) and Libyan (+1,061 or +39%) nationals. There were falls for Indian (-828 or -6%), Nigerian (-782 or -7%) and Pakistani (-506 or -10%) nationals.
    • The number of student visitor visas granted fell by 1% (-1,115) to 75,525.
    • There were 13% fewer study-related grants of extension (-12,864).

    You can read the full report here.




    Tier 4 - updated policy guidance

    UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) have updated their policy guidance on applications to stay or come to the UK under Tier 4 (General) and Tier 4 (Child).

    The updated Tier 4 policy guidance can be viewed here.

    Migration Statistics Quarterly Report, November 2014

    The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has published its quarterly migration statistics report (November 2014).

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

    • Immigration for study remained stable (176,000) in the year ending June 2014.
    • Study visas granted continued to increase in the year ending September 2014 by 3% (+6,100), reflecting higher levels of university sponsored applications.
    The full report can be read here.



      General Immigration Matters


      Immigration Statistics, July to September 2014

      The Home Office has published its quarterly immigration statistics for the period July to September 2014.

      The key points in relation to 'other' immigration matters are as follows:

      • There were 24,257 asylum applications, an increase of 2% compared with the previous 12 months (23,805), but low in relation to the 2002 peak of 84,132.
      • The largest number of asylum applications was from Eritrean (2,932), Pakistani (2,891), Iranian (1,999) and Syrian (1,802) nationals.
      • 22,879 asylum applications received since April 2006 from main applicants were still pending a decision at the end of September 2014.
      • There was a 1% increase in visitor visas granted to 1.9 million, excluding United Arab Emirates (UAE), Qatari and Omani nationals following the introduction of the Electronic Visa Waver scheme in January 2014.
      • The largest increases in visitor visas granted were for Chinese (+13%, +36,342), Philippine (+36%, +8,401) and Saudi Arabian (+8%, +7,677) nationals.
      • The largest decreases in visitor visas were for Russian (-6%, -12,962) and South African (-13%, -11,870) nationals.
      • There was a 5% increase in family visas granted (34,747), although family-related grants to stay permanently continue to fall (-36% to 37,734).
      • There were 30% fewer (-46,082) grants of permission to stay permanently (settlement), falling to 107,565.

      You can read the full report here.



      Sanctions for non-compliance with the biometric registration regulations

      The Home Office currently issues biometric immigration documents (BIDs) to non-EU citizens residing in the UK when their leave to remain is extended so their total stay is more than 6 months. However, from early 2015, the biometric immigration document scheme is being extended in phases for overseas applicants. Successful overseas applicants will be required to collect their BID from a local post office on arrival in the UK.

      A consultation has been opened to seek comments on the proposed amendments to the code of practice in preparation for the extension of the BID scheme. The consultation closes on 23 December 2014.


      Further information about the scheme and the proposed changes can be viewed here.




      Migration Statistics Quarterly Report, November 2014

      The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has published its quarterly migration statistics report (November 2014).

      The key points in relation to 'other' immigration matters were as follows:

      • Net long-term migration to the UK was estimated to be 260,000 in the year ending June 2014, a statistically significant increase from 182,000 in previous 12 months.
      • 583,000 people immigrated to the UK in the year ending June 2014, an increase from 502,000 in the previous 12 months.
      • There were significant increases in immigration of EU (+45,000) and non-EU (+30,000) citizens.
      • An estimated 323,000 people emigrated from the UK in the year ending June 2014.
      • There were 24,300 asylum applications in the year ending September 2014, an increase of 2% compared with the previous 12 months (23,800) but low compared with the 2002 peak (84,100).
      The full report can be read here.


        Changes to Transit Visa Rules

        From 1 December 2014, changes are being made to Airside and landside transit visa requirements. Further information about these changes can be viewed here.

        In conjunction with these changes, UKVI have updated their modernised guidance for how they consider applications from transit visitors to visit the UK. The updated modernised guidance can be viewed here.




        Further leave to remain applications

        UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) have published updated versions of forms FLR(FP), FLR(M) and FLR(O) in relation to applying for further leave to remain.

        The new forms are for use on or after 6 November 2014.




        HR Immigration Services



        Training for employers


        We are increasingly being asked to provide training on Right to Work and/or Tier 2 sponsor duties.

        These are normally half day courses conducted on your premises for a standard charge of £400 regardless of the number of people attending. If you think your organisation would benefit from training in either or both of these areas, please contact us for a no commitment discussion of your requirements by telephone on 0844 335 1619 or by email at enquiries@hrimmigration.co.uk



        NEW!!!! Online Right to Work Learning and Assessment


        We have also now set up an online review of employer right to work checks with a self-assessment. The package is priced at £39 plus VAT and provides a comprehensive introduction to UKVI's requirements for checking employees' right to work and 20 randomly selected questions from a bank of over 100 to enable you to test your learning. It is suitable for both small and large employers, with reductions for higher numbers of users and the potential to incorporate onto your own online learning platform. Contact helen@hrimmigration.co.uk or call 0844 335 1619 for further information.



        LinkedIn 'HR Immigration' Group


        We have set up a 'HR Immigration' group on LinkedIn, which aims to provide a networking space for UK employers and HR/recruitment professionals to share and discuss news and best practice about current UK immigration issues.

        To join this group please go to http://www.linkedin.com/groups?gid=6537658