Friday, 3 March 2017

Immigration News: March 2017

 

Working in the UK


Immigration Skills Charge

Subject to parliamentary approval, legislation expected to come into force on 6 April 2017 means that employers may be required to pay the Immigration Skills Charge where you sponsor a worker from outside the EEA.
The skills charge will apply to a sponsor of a Tier 2 worker assigned a certificate of sponsorship in the 'General' or 'Intra-company' Transfer route and who will be applying from: outside the UK for a visa; inside the UK to switch to this visa from another; or inside the UK to extend their existing visa.

The skills charge does not apply if you are sponsoring:
  • a non-EEA national who was sponsored in Tier 2 before 6 April 2017 and is applying from inside the UK to extend their Tier 2 stay with either the same sponsor or a different sponsor;
  • a Tier 2 (Intra-company Transfer) Graduate Trainee;
  • a worker to do a specified PhD level occupation; or
  • a Tier 4 student visa holder in the UK switching to a Tier 2 (General) visa.
You do not have pay the skills charge for the worker's family members ('dependants').

The skills charge will be £1,000 per employee per year for medium or large sponsors and £364 per employee per year for small or charitable sponsors. It will be payable upfront and for the total period of time covered by the certificate of sponsorship.

Sponsors will need to pay the skills charge at the same time that they pay to assign a certificate of sponsorship to sponsor someone to do a skilled job in the UK.

Further information can be viewed here.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/governments-new-immigration-skills-charge-to-incentivise-training-of-british-workers



Tier 2 and 5 Sponsor Guidance

UKVI have added an addendum to their guidance about how to sponsor a migrant worker.

The addendum covers the following points:  
  • Information has been added about the skills charge, which subject to parliamentary approval will come in to effect from 6 April 2017. 
  • Information has been added about the new overseas criminal record certificates requirement.
  • The guidance at para. 23.9 about the Certificates of Sponsorship start date has been revised to confirm that the start date on the CoS must be the date that the migrant will start working for you. It also confirms that once the entry clearance has been granted, it is possible to delay the start date but, in the case of a Tier 2 (General) migrant, any revised start date cannot be put back more than 4 weeks from the original start date on the CoS. However, under Tier 2 (ICT), it is possible for the start date to surpass the 4 weeks, as long as the migrant continues to be paid by the sending overseas entity.
  •  The guidance at para. 28.7 about the exemption of carrying out a resident labour market test (RLMT) for a job in a shortage occupation is being revised to confirm that if a job is in the SOC code 2231 Nurses, a RLMT must be carried out. It also confirms that you can only assign a CoS for a job in the shortage occupation list if the migrant will be working a minimum of 30 hours per week.
  • The guidance at para. 29.2 about the timing of milkround recruitment is being revised to confirm that for CoS assigned from 6 April 2017, the migrant must have been offered the job within 6 months of the milkround recruitment campaign ending.
The revised guidance can be viewed here.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/sponsor-a-tier-2-or-5-worker-guidance-for-employers

 

 

Reminder - annual renewal of CoS allocation

Sponsors are reminder that if they are required to manually renew their follow-on allocation of Certificates of Sponsorship (CoS) that they must do so before the end of March. However, if your follow-on CoS allocation is automated, you will automatically be granted a new allocation equal to the number of CoS assigned in that category during the previous allocation year.

To establish if your allocation will be renewed automatically, please log in to the Sponsor Management System (SM) and select 'Licence summary, applications and services', then 'Request renewal of annual CoS/CAS allocations'. You will then see on the screen whether your allocations are renewed automatically. However, if the screen does not say 'automatic renewal', you will need to manually apply to renew your CoS allocation before the end of March.

If you need any support with doing this, please contact us by telephone on 01344 624016 or by email at enquiries@veristat.co.uk



Statistics on changes in migrants' visa and leave status - formerly known a 'Migrant Journey' (Working in the UK)

The Home Office (UKVI) has published a report that explores changes in migrants' visa and leave status within the UK's immigration system.

The key points in relation to working in the UK were as follows:
  • Of those issued a skilled work visa (which has a potential path to settlement) in the 2010 cohort, 30% (21,507) had been granted settlement 5 yeas after their initial visa had been granted.
  • A further 14% (10,255) of the 2010 cohort still had valid leave to remain in the UK after 5 years.
  • Indian nationals were issued the largest proportion (40% of the total) of skilled work visas in the 2010 cohort, and of these skilled workers, 32% had received settlement after 5 years, while a further 12% still had valid leave to remain in the UK.
  • Of the top 5 nationalities issued a skilled work visa in the 2010 cohort, American and Australian nationals were less likely to have settled after 5 years (10% and 14% respectively), whereas Pakistani nationals were more likely to have settled (57% had reached settlement by 2015).
  • Approx. 8% of those arriving on a short-term or temporary work visa in 2007 still had valid leave to remain in the UK or had settled 8 years after entry.
  • The proportion of migrants who still had valid leave to remain in the UK or had been granted settlement after 8 years was lower for those issued a work visa in 2007 than for those issued a work visa in 2004, 2005 and 2006, possibly reflecting the prevailing economic conditions, as well as changes to the Immigration Rules.
The full report can be viewed here.




Restricted certificate allocations (February 2017)

The restricted certificate allocations for February 2017 published by UKVI can be viewed here.

The figures show that all valid applications for restricted Certificates of Sponsorship (CoS) which scored at least 21 points were granted with carry-overs from the previous month(s).

A total of 1,767 CoS were granted in February 2017.

The next monthly allocation date is 13th March 2017. There are 2,169 CoS available for allocation in March 2017.

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



Studying in the UK


Statistics on changes in migrants' visa and leave status - formerly known as 'Migrants Journey' (Studying in the UK)

The Home Office (UKVI) has published a report that explores changes in migrants' visa and leave status within the UK's immigration system.

The key points in relation to studying in the UK are as follows:
  • The majority (69%) of migrants who were issued a study visa in 2004 no longer had valid leave to remain in the UK 5 years later.
  • The proportion of migrants who gained settlement 5 years after entering on a study visa decreased from 2005 to 2010.
  • For people issued a study visa in 2004, only 4% gained settlement 5 years later, and a further 27% still had valid leave to stay in the UK, either as a student or in another route.
  • For those arriving in 2010, only 1% had gained settlement 5 years later, and a further 18% still had valid leave to stay in the UK.
  • Of the people issued a study visa in 2010, 48% had expired leave to remain in the UK after 2 years, which reflects that many people on student visas will come to study short courses, including postgraduate studies or further education courses.
  • The majority (60%) of non-EU students who started at a UK university in 2010 to 2011 were studying a postgraduate course, rather than an undergraduate degree.
  • In the 2010 cohort, 5 nationalities accounted for over half (55%) of the people who entered the UK via the study route. These nationalities were Indian, Chinese, Pakistani, American and Nigerian.
  • 89% of those granted a study route visa in 2010 were main applicants, and the remaining 11% were dependants who were travelling with the student.
  • Around a third (33%) of Nigerian students had valid leave to remain in the UK or had obtained settlement after 5 years, the highest proportion among the top 5 nationalities.
  • Almost 1 in 7 (14%) of those arriving on a student visa in 2007 still had valid leave to remain in the UK or had settled 8 years after entry.
The full report can be viewed here.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/statistics-on-changes-in-migrants-visa-and-leave-status-2015/statistics-on-changes-in-migrants-visa-and-leave-status-2015



Number of EU Students applying to UK universities falls by 7%

The Independent has reported that there has been a significant (7%) decrease in the number of EU students applying to study at UK universities since the Brexit vote. UK applicant figures have decreased to a total of 469,490, which is a fall of 5% from the previous year.

The full article can be viewed here.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/education/education-news/eu-students-numbers-apply-uk-universities-fall-7-per-cent-brexit-latest-news-figures-a7558131.html



2017 Times Higher Education ranking of world's most international universities

The 2017 Times Higher Education ranking of the world's most international universities shows 5 of the UK's universities in it's top ten. These are: Imperial College London, University of Oxford, University of Cambridge, University College London and London School of Economics and Political Science.

The list can be viewed here.

https://www.timeshighereducation.com/features/worlds-most-international-universities-2017


General Immigration Matters



EEA nationals - qualified person

UKVI have updated their guidance on how they assess whether a European Economic Area (EEA) national is a qualified person. Changes have been made to reflect commencement of the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2016.

The revised guidance can be viewed here.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/european-economic-area-nationals-qualified-persons



Misuse of rights and verification of EEA rights of residence

UKVI have published guidance for how they assess whether a person has misused a European Economic Ara (EEA) right of residence in the UK, and how to verify an EEA right of residence.

This new guidance can be viewed here.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/misuse-of-rights-and-verification-of-eea-rights-of-residence


EEA and Swiss nationals: free movement rights

UKVI have published revised guidance for how they consider the free movement rights of nationals of the EEA and Swiss nationals, and who can enter and live in the UK under European Community (EC) law.

This updated guidance can be viewed here.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/eea-and-swiss-nationals-free-movement-rights



Rejection of EU citizens seeking UK residency hits 28% (reported by The Guardian)

The Guardian has reported that more than a quarter of EU citizens are having their applications for permanent residence rejected since the UK voted for Brexit, according to new analysis of the government's migration data.

Further information can be viewed here.

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/feb/27/rejections-eu-citizens-seeking-uk-residency




Statistics on changes in migrants' visa and leave status - formerly known as 'Migrant Journey' (Other)

The Home Office (UKVI) has published a report that explores changes in migrants' visa and leave status within the UK's immigration system.

Other key points were as follows:
  • For people issued a family visa in 2004, over two-thirds (68%) had gained settlement 5 years later.
  • In the 2010 cohort, the top 5 nationalities accounted for around two-fifths (38%) of the visas issued through the family route. These nationalities were Pakistani, Indian, American, Somali and Bangladeshi.
  • Of the top 5 nationalities issued a family visa in the 2010 cohort. Americans (63%) and Somalis (76%) were the least likely to have obtained settlement after 5 years; Bangladeshi (91%), Pakistani (87%) and Indian nationals (86%) were the most likely.
  • Around 4 out of 5 people (80%; 32,377) issued a family visa in the 2010 cohort had been granted settlement 5 years later; with a further 5% recorded as still having valid leave to remain in the UK.
  • A higher proportion of family migrants issued a visa in 2007 still had valid leave to remain or had settled after years, compared with the 3 preceding years.
The full report can be viewed here.




Migrants in the UK - report by The Migration Observatory at the University of Oxford

The Migration Observatory at the University of Oxford has published a briefing on the number, population share, geographic distribution and citizenship of migrants in the UK.

The key points were as follows:
  • Between 1993 and 2015 the foreign-born population in the UK more than doubled from 3.8 million to 8.7 million. During the same period, the number of foreign citizens increased from nearly 2 million to more than 5 million.
  • London has the greatest number of migrants (approx. 3.2 million foreign-born people in 2015).
  • In 2015, the UK population was 13.5% foreign-born (increase of 7% since 1993), and 8.9% foreign citizens (increase of 4% since 1993).
  • Of the Inner London population in 2015, 41% were foreign-born.
  • Poland (9.5%), India (9.0%) and Pakistan (5.9%) are the main three foreign countries of birth, followed by Ireland (4.5%) and Germany (3.3%).
  • India was the country of birth for 9.1% of all foreign-born persons living in London in 2015.
You can download the full briefing here.




HR Immgiration Services



 

Training for employers and education providers


We provide bespoke training on all aspects of immigration matters, including Tier 2 sponsorship, Tier 4 sponsorship, right to work, and identification of fraudulent documents.

These workshops are conducted on the client's premises for a standard charge of £680 for up to a maximum of 12 persons attending, so that the charge per person will generally be less than £100 without them having to spend the day away from the office. We can also provide bespoke online training on request.

*All prices are subject to VAT.

If you think your organisation would benefit from training in any of these areas, please contact us for a no commitment discussion of your requirements at enquiries@hrimmigration.co.uk
 

 

 

Workshops for European nationals (Brexit)


We provide workshops targeted at European nationals currently living and working in the UK. We can come to your premises and speak directly to your EU/EEA staff, outlining their position now, and the likely situation they may find themselves in following Brexit. These are practical sessions designed to clarify the situation and more importantly their options moving forwards.

If you're interested in booking a workshop for the European nationals working for you, please email us at enquiries@hrimmigration.co.uk




Audits and Inspections


We have been providing audits/inspections of compliance for Tier 2/5 and Tier 4 for the past 8 years. In the education sector, we have worked with schools, colleges and over 20 universities; we have also worked with numerous employers, including well-known brands, on Tier 2/5 and "right to work" requirements. If/when it is required, we also operating in association with John Vine, formerly the first Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration.

Our audit/inspection service is fully flexible and can be tailored to individual requirements. And our approach is based on sound practical experience of the reality of the UKVI's approach.

- For education providers our service ranges from a "lite" health-check to a comprehensive review of Tier 4 activities, identifying compliance - or otherwise - with UKVI requirements, as well as any omissions or areas which can be improved. Alternatively, it can comprise inspection of a specific issue, such as visa refusals, or relationships with partner institutions.
- For employers, we offer inspections of Tier 2 compliance in whatever level of detail is required, as well as on-site inspections (which can be announced or unannounced to simulate a UKVI visit) of compliance with "right to work" checks and requirements.

On completion, we provide a comprehensive, evidence-based report together with an assessment of how well the institution or business is prepared to withstand scrutiny by UK Visas and Immigration. We will support the introduction of change if required and offer a 'spot check' follow up service at a later date to reassure management that recommendations have been implemented.



Contact us today for further information about any of our services or to talk over any issues or concerns you have, confidentially and without obligation.

T: +44 (0)1344 624016
E: enquiries@hrimmigration.co.uk
W: www.hrimmigration.co.uk