Updated Coronavirus advice issued

If you are in the UK and your visa is due to expire between 24th January and 31st May 2020 your permission to be here will be extended to 31st May if you can not leave the UK because of travel restrictions or self-isolation.

You will need to email the Coronavirus Immigration Team and supply details as set out in the guidance.

https://auth.quill-interactive.co.uk/core/login?signin=6db824e8503a11e847880082596b571c

If you are in the UK and want to switch to a visa which you would normally need to switch to in your own county you will make able to make the application here in the UK until 31st May.

If you have a question about the new guidance and what you should do please email us on info@jennyharveyimmigration.co.uk

SOPRA STERIA LIBRARY BIOMETRIC APPOINTMENTS TO BE POSTPONED

People who have booked biometric appointments in UK libraries will not be able to attend as the libraries are now closed. They should receive emails to confirm that their appointment has been postponed and that it will be re-booked.

The Sopra Steria site states that “customers are not to worry if their appointment has to be re-scheduled” and that the Home Office will be aware. Sadly this is one of many disruptions to the usual process of applications.

At the moment the other sites remain open but for how long we do not know.

https://www.ukvcas.co.uk/flash-message-detail?flashmessageId=56249

GLOBAL TALENT ROUTE BECOMES LAW

The “Global Talent” route has been much publicised by the Government in recent weeks and has replaced the previous “Exceptional Talent Route”.

It is aimed at “talented and promising individuals” in the fields of science, engineering, medicine, humanities, digital technology and arts and culture (including TV, fashion design and architecture) who want to work in the UK.  Applicants must be “leaders in their field” or show that they have “potential to be leaders” and must obtain an endorsement from a Home Office approved endorsing body before applying for a visa or for leave to remain in the UK.

People who already hold leave under the previous “Exceptional Talent Route” and who wish to extend their leave must do so under the new “Global Talent Route”.

People who hold leave under the “Exceptional Talent Route” who are eligible to settle must still do so under the “Exceptional Talent Route”.

Those endorsed under the “Exceptional Talent” criteria of the new route may be eligible to settle after just 3 years though their partners will still need to live here for 5 years to be eligible.

Home Office guidance for those unable to return to China during the Coronavirus outbreak

The Home Office has today issued guidance explaining how they will deal with the immigration status of those who are currently unable to return to China.

Chinese nationals who have complied with immigration conditions until the outbreak of the virus and whose leave expired after 24th January 2020  will automatically have their leave to remain extended until 31st March 2020. This will also apply to anyone whose leave will expire between now and 30th March 2020.

There is a helpline that can be contacted free of charge on 0800 678 1768 to request a new biometric residence document with a revised date.

The guidance also confirms that Chinese nationals wishing to switch from Tier 2 Intra-Company Transfer status can switch into Tier 2 ( General) without leaving the UK if their leave expired/will expire between 24th January and 30th March 2020.

Please contact us if you have questions on the above or on any of the issues covered by the guidance.

Dead-lines for EU nationals and their family members

We have now left the EU and are in what’s called the” transitional period”. Almost definitely this will end on 31st December 2020.

If you have not yet made an application under the new “ Settlement Scheme” it makes sense to think about doing so now.

If you are already in the UK or will arrive here before the end of December 2020, you may have until 30th June 2021 to apply. But why wait?

Even if you have a permanent residence card you will still need to apply under the scheme as your card will no longer be proof of your status after the end of 2020.

Children will also have to apply under the scheme though they may be eligible to apply for British Citizenship and, once British, will not need to register under the new scheme.

Similarly, some adults may already be eligible to apply for British Citizenship and for information on this or on any aspect of the above please feel free to contact us.

 

Exceptional Talent Visa Route to end on 20th February 2020.

If you are planning to apply for a visa under this route  you must apply before the above date ( though endorsement letters issued after this date will still be valid under the new “ Global Talent Route”.)

This “Global Talent Visa” route, as promised by Boris Johnson , seems to offer some genuine good news for universities and research institutions by making researchers named within an application for qualifying research funding automatically eligible for a visa. The route will be attractive to eligible scientists and researchers as they will be able to settle in the UK after just 3 years and as neither they nor their dependents will be prevented from settling on account of excess absences where those absences were work -related.

GOOD NEWS FOR STUDENTS WITH THE RETURN OF A TWO- YEAR POST STUDY WORK VISA

Students will again be able to remain in the UK and to work for up to two years after they have graduated.

A similar scheme was abolished back in 2012 and there has been a lot of pressure on the Government to re-introduce it.

The recent news has been welcomed by students, universities, and employers.

It is not yet clear whether those who are already studying university courses will benefit.

Eligible students starting in the academic year 2020 will be able to stay and work at the end of their studies.

For information on this or any other aspect of immigration law please contact Jenny Harvey on info@jennyharveyimmigration.co.uk

Extension of Registration Scheme Unlawful

The Supreme Court has recently decided that the extension of the registration scheme between 1st May 2009 and 30th April 2011 was unlawful. Under the scheme nationals of the 8 countries which joined the EU in 2004 were obliged to register as workers before they could start work or change jobs. It was a criminal offence for employers who employed an “ A8” national who had not registered ( with some defences.) Employers who were convicted during this period may wish to see if they can have their convictions overturned.

Applications for confirmation of permanent residence have in some cases been refused on the grounds that Applicants were not registered and that their time working in the UK prior to 30th April 2011 was “ unlawful” This has had a knock-on effect on applications for British Citizenship. If you have been affected by the extension of the scheme , now found to have been unlawful, please feel free to contact Jenny Harvey for advice.

EU Settlement Scheme now open

https://www.gov.uk/settled-status-eu-citizens-families

Applications can be made from nationals of the EU as well as nationals of Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway plus family members.

Depending on how long they have lived in the UK those eligible will be granted “settled status” or “pre-settled status.”

There have already been some technical hitches but applications are generally straightforward and free of charge.

You will see lots of relevant information in the link above but please contact Jenny Harvey on info@jennyharveyimmigration.co.uk if you have questions or would like assistance with an application. It may be sensible to ask for advice before making an application if you have lived in the UK for more than 5 years and if you are hoping to apply for British Citizenship. Settled status will not be backdated and you may need to wait a further year until you are able to apply to become British. If you “acquired” permanent residence under current EU rules you may already be able to apply.

Refunds of “Settlement Scheme” Fees to be made automatically

If you have applied under the “Settlement Scheme” you should receive an automatic refund of your £65 fee.

The Home Office has published information about how this should work https://www.gov.uk/guidance/eu-settlement-scheme-application-fee-refunds?utm_source=db925eb2-919d-4b79-904e-51af5997e40d&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=govuk-notifications&utm_content=immediate

Please contact Jenny Harvey on info@jennyharveyimmigration.co.uk if you have questions about this or about any other aspect of the “settlement” and “pre-settlement” schemes.