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

NEWS FOR LANDLORDS-EEA NATIONALS AND FAMILY MEMBERS MUST PROVE IMMIGRATION STATUS FROM 1ST JULY 2021

From 1st July this year prospective EEA tenants will no longer be able to rely on an EEA passport or national identity card as proof of their right to rent. They will need to prove their right to rent in the same way as non- EEA nationals do and as explained in the most recent guidance for landlords to be found at the link below.

 

Landlord’s guide to right to rent checks (publishing.service.gov.uk)

 

Many will have settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme and will be able to prove their right to rent by providing landlords with a “share code” and their date of birth. These can be used to make checks through an online checking service and confirmation of settled status will give the prospective tenant a continuous right to rent.

 

Others will have a pre-settled status which can similarly be checked using the online checking service. Importantly, pre-settled status gives a prospective tenant a time-limited right to rent so follow up checks will need to be made.

 

Many will have applied for permission to remain in the UK under the EU Settlement Scheme but will be waiting for a decision. They will be legally able to rent until their application is decided and landlords will be able to make checks on their status as explained on page 57 of the guidance. 

 

There is no need to carry out retrospective checks on EEA Citizens who entered into a tenancy agreement before 1st July.

 

Irish citizens can continue to use their Irish passport or an Irish passport card to prove their right to rent and have a continuous right to rent.

 

It is very important that landlords do not discriminate when checking the status of prospective tenants and that checks are conducted on all prospective adult tenants, including British Citizens.

 

For advice on the new guidance or on any aspect of the right to rent checks please contact us at info@jennyharveyimmigration.co.uk

MAJOR CHANGE TO RIGHT TO WORK CHECKS ON EEA CITIZENS AND THEIR FAMILY MEMBERS FROM 1st JULY 2021

From 1st July employers must carry out right to work checks on new EEA employees in accordance with new guidance dated 18th June 2021.

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk

They can no longer rely on a prospective employee’s EEA passport or national identity card which will no longer be proof of their right to work in the UK.

 

Most EEA citizens will need to provide future employers with a “share code” and their date of birth which will enable the employer to check their immigration status using an online service. (See page 39 of the guidance.)

 

EEA citizens granted settled status under the European Settlement Scheme will have a continuous right to work in the UK but those with pre-settled status will only have a time-limited right to work here and a follow-up check will be required.

 

Some EEA citizens will not have status under the European Settlement Scheme but will have the right to work in the UK through another route. Irish nationals will be able to continue to prove their right to work using their passport or Irish passport card as they will continue to have unrestricted access to work in the UK.

 

There will be no need for employers to make retrospective checks on EEA citizens and their family members who are already working for them prior to 1st July.

 

Importantly, there is a transitional measure to assist employers who identify that an existing EEA citizen employee (employed before the end of June 2021) has not applied under the European Settlement Scheme by the 30th June deadline. Until 31st December 2021, an employer can carry out the steps set out on page 46 of the guidance, to include advising the employee that they must make an application to the EUSS within 28 days and provide them with a certificate of application (a CoA). They do not need to cease employment immediately but can await the determination of the employee’s application.

 

For advice on right to work checks please contact us at info@jennyharveyimmigration.co.uk

NEW GRADUATE VISA TO BE INTRODUCED ON 1ST JULY 2021- GOOD NEWS FOR STUDENTS AND EMPLOYERS

From 1st July this year eligible international graduates will be able to apply to remain in the UK for a further two (or three if awarded a doctorate) years.

They will be able to work in any job without needing to be sponsored by an employer though they can later switch in to the skilled worker route if they find a suitable role.

Family members who are with them in the UK, and who are already their dependents, will be able to apply to remain here too.

This is a welcome introduction and something which has long been hoped for since the abolition of the previous post-study work route.

Please contact us for more information on the new route or on any other aspect of the immigration rules.

HONG KONG BRITISH NATIONAL (OVERSEAS) VISA ROUTE NOW OPEN

Applications can now be made from inside the UK or from abroad.

At the moment they can only be submitted on-line which means that applicants and their dependents will need to attend a biometric appointment as part of the process.

From 23rd February 2021 a new app will be available , meaning that eligible applicants and their family members will be able to avoid the need for attending a biometric appointment . The application process is likely to be much quicker but only those holding chipped BN(O), HKSAR or EEA passports will be able to use the app.

It is very important to note that dependents must apply at the same time as the main applicant. It will otherwise be too late.

Please get in touch for help in submitting an application or if you have queries about this new immigration route.

HOPING TO LEAVE THE UK BUT UNABLE TO DO SO AND WORRIED THAT YOUR PERMISSION TO BE HERE IS ABOUT TO EXPIRE?

You may be able to ask for “exceptional assurance” if your leave will expire before 31st May this year.

The attached guidance sets out how to ask, and the information you need to supply, to be given this protection against becoming an “overstayer.”

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-advice-for-uk-visa-applicants-and-temporary-uk-residents

Asking for “exceptional assurance” may not be your only choice. You MAY be able to apply to remain in the UK on a longer-term basis if for example, you have an urgent reason for needing to stay here and can not leave the UK to apply for a visa as you would in normal times. You will see from the guidance that this can be complicated to navigate so please feel free to email us for more information on any aspect of the guidance or on any other Covid- related query on immigration during the Pandemic.

NEGATIVE COVID-19 TEST REQUIRED TO ENTER ENGLAND

Travellers arriving in England from 4 am onwards on Monday 18th January must bring with them proof of a negative Coronavirus test.

 

This will apply to UK citizens and to those arriving from a country on the current travel corridors list though there are some limited exemptions including children under 11 years old and those doing certain jobs.

 

The test must be taken in the 3 days before the journey to England starts and must meet the requirements set out in this guidance.

 

Coronavirus (COVID-19): testing for people travelling to England – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

 

Failure to provide a negative test result could mean being unable to board and a fine of £500 upon arrival.

 

The guidance of course makes the point that those who test positive should not travel.

HONG KONG BRITISH NATIONAL (OVERSEAS) VISA CAN BE APPLIED FOR FROM 31ST JANUARY 2021

Hong Kong BN(O) Citizens and close family members will be able to apply to come to the UK, or to remain here, from the end of this month.

Successful applicants will be granted permission to live here for 30 months or for 5 years, depending on the length of time they apply for, and after 5 years of living in the UK under this route they will be able to settle permanently (if eligible at the time.)

They will be permitted to work and study in the UK and will have access to the National Health Service as they must pay the Immigration Health surcharge as part of the application process. Their children will be able to attend state schools.

Applicants may need to provide a TB test certificate, even those who are already in the UK in certain situations.

More detailed information can be accessed at the link below and if you have questions or would like us to assist with your application please e mail us on info@jennyharveyimmigration.co.uk

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/hong-kong-british-national-overseas-visa-applications

Important dead-lines for some EEA Nationals and their family members

The UK has now of course left the EU and the end of the 12 month “transition period” is almost here. It will in fact end at 11 pm on 31st December 2020.

EEA nationals and their family members who are resident in the UK before the end of the transition period will be able to apply (assuming they need to) for pre-settled status in the UK. They will have until the end of a further 6 month “grace period” – until 30th June 2021 – to do so.

Family members may still be able to join EEA family in the UK even if they have not become resident by the end of 2020 but they will generally need to apply to do so from outside the UK. They should not enter the UK as visitors and try to apply once they are already here.

From 1st July 2021 dependent parents of adult EEA children will need to prove their dependency in order to join their children in the UK. This is a significant change from the current assumption of dependency.

The consequences of Brexit, and the various deadlines to be aware of, are complex.

Please contact us for additional information about any of the above points or about any other aspect of immigration law on info@jennyharveyimmigration.co.uk

SIGNIFICANT NEW RULES FOR SKILLED WORKERS IN FORCE TODAY

Much of the UK’s new immigration system has come into force today.

One of the biggest changes is the introduction of the Tier 2 Skilled Worker route which replaces the Tier 2 (General) Visa category.

A collection of new guides for employers has been published and can be found at this link. T2 (Worker) or T5 (Temporary Worker): guidance for sponsors – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Some welcome changes have been made, including the abolition of the “Resident Labour Test”, the scrapping of the annual cap on certificates of sponsorship, a reduction in the required skilled level and a reduced minimum salary level. The “cooling off period” has also been removed along with the six-year maximum length of stay in the UK.

Sponsoring employers will still need to apply for a Certificate of Sponsorship (COS) if the skilled worker they wish to employ is outside the UK. Such certificates are now called “Defined” certificates and detailed information on how to apply for them is set out in the new guidance and manuals.

From 1st January 2021, most skilled EU nationals who wish to work in the UK will need to be sponsored under this route and employers without a sponsorship licence are being encouraged to apply as soon as they can to ensure that they can employ relevant EU workers from next year.

For advice on the above or on any other aspect of the new immigration rules please email us on info@jennyharveyimmigration.co.uk