UK EXPANSION WORKER VISA-REPLACEMENT FOR SOLE REPRESENTATIVE ROUTE

On 11th April 2022, a new route was introduced for overseas businesses wishing to establish a branch or subsidiary in the UK.

Unlike under its predecessor, the Sole Representative route, an employee being sent to the UK to establish a branch will need to be sponsored by their overseas employer which must apply for a UK Expansion Worker Sponsor Licence.

Interestingly, the route allows the overseas business to nominate an eligible employee to act as the authorising officer of the new entity and to sponsor him or herself to enter the UK.

The employee in question should have worked for the overseas business for at least 12 months before they apply for a visa (unless they earn an annual salary of £73,900 or more), must generally earn at least £42,400, and must be coming to undertake a skilled role.

Once in the UK, they may be able to sponsor up to 4 additional eligible employees to help with the establishment of the UK entity.

This route is only aimed at businesses without an existing trading entity in the UK.

Employees coming to the UK under this route will not be able to settle here though they may be able to switch to the skilled worker route and apply for settlement once eligible on that basis.

For more detailed advice on using this route, and for applying for a UK Expansion Worker Sponsor Licence, please email us on info@jennyharveyimmigration.co.uk

NEW UKRAINE EXTENSION SCHEME-HELPFUL FOR THOSE ALREADY IN THE UK

Ukrainian nationals already in the UK are unable to apply to remain here under the Homes for Ukraine Scheme.

The new scheme, introduced on 3rd May 2022, means that many more Ukrainian nationals will now be able to apply to stay in the UK for up to three years.

If for example someone is working here as a seasonal worker or is a student in the UK, they may be able to make a free of charge application under this scheme.

During the three years of permission to live here, they will be able to work and study though there is no route to settlement in the UK ( the same as with the other schemes introduced to help Ukrainian nationals).

The link to the guidance is below.

Apply to stay in the UK under the Ukraine Extension Scheme – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

For further information on this scheme, or on any of the other schemes for Ukrainian nationals, please email us at info@jenenyharveyimmigration.co.uk

RIGHT TO WORK CHECKS GUIDANCE UPDATED-ESSENTIAL READING FOR EMPLOYERS

An employer’s guide to right to work checks (publishing.service.gov.uk)

New guidance came in to force on 6th April 2022.

One of the most important changes is that relating to the holders of biometric residence permits and biometric cards whose rights to work will from 6th April need to be checked using the on-line system. Manual checks can no longer be undertaken though there is no need for employers to make retrospective checks of cards already checked before the April dead-line.

Another useful addition is Annex F which explains the rights to work of Ukrainian nationals under the various new schemes.

For advice on any aspect of the new guidance please contact us on info@jennyharveyimmigration.co.uk

Ukraine Family Scheme Visa Guidance Published

Apply for a Ukraine Family Scheme visa – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

The Home Office has published guidance on the Family Scheme Visa which is good news for some.

Eligible Ukrainian Nationals (plus immediate family members of Ukrainian nationals) will be able to apply to join UK based family members if those family members are British or settled, if they have pre-settled status, or if they have refugee or humanitarian protection in the UK.

This does not just apply to immediate family members of those UK based family members but also includes extended family members such as the parents of a child who is over 18, children over 18, grandparents, grandchildren and siblings.

The visa application process will be free of charge and will enable successful applicants to live in the UK for up to 3 years.

Unfortunately the scheme is not helpful to the family members of people based in the UK on a temporary basis .

For more information on the scheme and how to make an application please get in touch and we will try to help.

GUIDANCE FOR UKRAINIAN NATIONALS IN UKRAINE AND THE UK

In response to the terrible events unfolding in Ukraine, the Home Office has published guidance on visa applications from outside the UK and on certain concessions for Ukrainian nationals inside the UK.

Certain close family members of British nationals who normally live in Ukraine can apply for a “Family Migration visa” free of charge and should contact UK Visas and Immigration before making an application.

They must provide their biometrics and will be able to do so at the Visa Application Centre in Lviv.

Outrageously, other Ukrainian nationals are not currently able to apply for UK visas from inside Ukraine though they will be able to do so from another county if they have managed to leave Ukraine and are eligible for a visa.

For those Ukrainian nationals already in the UK , some temporary concessions have been introduced, though they do not go far enough.

Those here as visitors will temporarily be able to switch in to a family route or a points- based route without leaving the UK but only if they are eligible for the new route.

The link to the current guidance, dated 27th February 2022,  can be seen below.

Support for family members of British nationals in Ukraine, and Ukrainian nationals in Ukraine and the UK – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

It may well change as events unfold.

Please contact us if you or your family members are in need of help and we will try to assist.

IMPORTANT FOR EMPLOYERS- CHANGES TO RIGHT TO WORK CHECKS FROM 6TH APRIL 2022

From the above date employers will only be able to check Biometric Residence Permits and Biometric Residence cards using the Home Office online service.

They will no longer be able to conduct manual right to work checks as explained on pages 56 and 57 of the most recent guidance on Employer Right to Work Checks.

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1047370/2022_01_17_Employer_s_Guide_.pdf

Until 5th April 2022 employees can choose to use their physical cards to evidence their right to work in the UK and employers must not insist on using the online service.

British and Irish citizens do not hold biometric cards and employers should continue to undertake manual checks of their documents though a new “ digital identity verification” process is in the pipe line.

Surinder Singh dead-line fast approaching – 29th March 2022

If you are the family member of a British national and you are living in the EU but planning to relocate to the UK you should be aware of the above dead-line.

You may need to apply for an EU Settlement Scheme Family Permit and you must do so before 29th March this year.

There are currently long delays with permit applications being processed but as long as you are in the queue you should then be able to enter the UK once a permit is issued and to apply for pre-settled status using the required paper application form. (This one cannot be made on-line).

Strictly speaking the application should be submitted inside the UK  by 29th March 2022 but the Home Office has confirmed that a delay in being issued an EUSS permit will count as a “reasonable ground” for not applying in time.

Please contact us for more information about this or for assistance in making an application for an EUSS family permit or pre-settled status.

Updated guidance for travel to England

Guidance was updated on 7th December 2021 and is a vital read for anyone planning to travel to England. It sets out different rules for those who are fully vaccinated, those who are not fully vaccinated and for those who have been in a “Red List” country in the ten days before their planned arrival in the UK. New countries have recently been added to the “Red List” in the wake of Omicron’s emergence.

The guidance explains what it means to be “fully vaccinated” and how to prove your vaccination status . It also sets out the rules for those travelling with children.

Similar guidance for those travelling to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland can be found on the link below.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/travel-to-england-from-another-country-during-coronavirus-covid-19

IDENTITY CARDS GENERALLY NO LONGER VALID ALTERNATIVE TO PASSPORTS FOR ENTRY TO UK

From 1st October 2021 most EU, EEA, and Swiss nationals will no longer be able to use their identity cards instead of passports to enter the UK.

Existing UK residents with EU-settled status or similar will still be able to use their cards.

GRADUATE ROUTE NOW OPEN

Eligible graduates can, from 1st July 2021, apply to remain in the UK for a further two years ( three years if awarded a doctorate) after graduation and can undertake employment at any skill level.

They don’t need to be sponsored by an employer and they will not be required to prove any level of financial support or English language ability.

This is a really welcome development for employers and graduates though time spent on this immigration route will not lead to settlement. Switching in to skilled sponsored work will be permitted and doing so as soon as possible is sensible for those graduates hoping to settle in the UK.

Family members already in the UK as a student’s dependents can apply to be joined to an application but new family members cannot.

An application must be made from within the UK and will generally be made using an App.

The guidance below sets out more detail on who will be eligible for this route, and how to make an application.

The points-based immigration system: The Graduate immigration route (publishing.service.gov.uk)

For more information on this new route, or for assistance with making an application please contact us on info@jeennyharveyimmigration.co.uk