Banks and Building Societies required to carry out immigration status checks

From today , banks and building societies are  required to close the current accounts of people “disqualified” from holding bank accounts because of their immigration status.

The Home Office will tell them who is “disqualified”.

Recent tests have shown  errors in the Home Office database and it’s likely that disruptive and costly mistakes will be made at the expense of people who are legally in the UK.

Please get in touch if this happens to you and you need some help.

Prime Minister’s message on Permanent Residence and the new “Settled Status” being proposed to replace it.

Teresa May has sent out a message in which she talks about the new “ Settled Status” proposed for EEA nationals and their family members post-Brexit.


She has confirmed that people applying for the new status will not need to list  each trip out of the UK. Importantly, applicants will no longer need to show that they hold comprehensive sickness insurance.


Those with Permanent Residence under current law will be able to use a “ simple process put in place to swap their current status for UK Settled Status.”


Nothing is yet set in stone but please get in touch if you have any questions or if you would like help in applying for confirmation that you already have Permanent Residence in the UK.


New guidance on right to work checks for employers

A new guide has been published, dated 16.8.17, and applying to people employed after 8.8.17.


Changes include advice about the employment of non- EEA family members of EEA nationals, voluntary workers and international students and is a vital read for employers and their HR teams. It also explains the new illegal work measures such as closure notices and compliance orders as well as the introduction of immigration checks in to the licencing regimes for taxis and private hire vehicles and alcohol and late night refreshment.

Changes to minimum income rule for partners and children where there are “exceptional circumstances.”

The Home Office must now consider whether additional  sources of income , financial support or funds should be taken in to account when deciding whether to allow partners and children to enter or remain in the UK under “ Appendix FM “ of the immigration rules. Third party financial support could now be regarded as relevant , and so could future earnings from employment or self- employment. This long-awaited softening of the rules will be welcome to many but there is a lot of detail to consider before an application is made.

Are there “exceptional circumstances”?

Is an offer of financial support “credible and guaranteed”?

Is the prospect of employment or self-employment credible and sustainable”?


Leave granted under the new rules will mean an applicant waiting for ten years to settle rather than five years as normal and  it would be wise to  take legal advice before making an application.

New Guidance for People Needing help with Immigration and Asylum

The Solicitors’ Regulation Authority has been involved in publishing new guidance for members of the public looking for legal advice on immigration or asylum . It explains the difference between various types of lawyers and who regulates them , the importance of asking questions when choosing a lawyer and what can be expected of a good advisor.

Download Need help with your immigration and asylum issues? What you need to know.

Government Offer for EU Citizens – New Policy Paper

The Government’s paper of 26th June has raised  more questions for EU nationals and their family members:

Will those with permanent residence need to apply for a new “settled status”?

What is the cut -off date for EU citizens to qualify for the new rights envisaged?

Will qualifying EU nationals be able to bring their family members to join them?

Nothing is yet  finalised but please e-mail me if you have concerns on

Confusing Home Office guidance for EEA nationals

Recently issued guidance suggests that EEA nationals “sign up for email alerts” rather than apply for confirmation of their status in the UK. Many of my clients have applied for confirmation of status, particularly of permanent residence. This is partly for peace of mind but also because it is ESSENTIAL to have confirmation of permanent residence in order to apply to naturalise as a British citizen.

The guidance does not prohibit the making of applications and is no doubt a response to the Brexit-related flood of recent applications.

If you are not sure what to do and would like to discuss this please email me on and we can set up a time to talk.

Criminal Record Certificates And Tier 2 Visa Applicants

Tier 2 ( General ) visa applicants will from  April 2017 need to check whether they need a criminal record certificate, or certificates,  before making an application. This is a new requirement and will affect people coming to work in certain occupations including medicine, teaching and social work. A certificate will be required from each country in which an applicant has lived continuously or cumulatively  for 12 months  or more in the 10 year period before the application.

Additional Cost For Tier 2 Sponsors

From 6th April 2017, you may have an extra cost to factor in to your recruitment budget as you may need to pay the IMMIGRATION SKILLS CHARGE for sponsoring a worker from outside the EEA. A small sponsor or a charity will in some cases be required to pay a charge of £364 whilst a large sponsor may be expected to pay £1000 per worker.

Financial Threshold For Partners  to Remain At £18600

Towards the end of February 2017, the long-awaited Supreme Court judgement in the case of MM upheld the financial threshold that has kept many spouses and other partners apart from their British sponsors. This disappointing outcome does though have a silver lining as the Court was critical of the harm the rule is doing to children, and of the inflexibility over sources of income and financial support. Some changes for the better are expected.