IMMIGRATION HEALTH SURGHARGE TO DOUBLE ON 8th JANUARY 2019

Unfortunately students and youth mobility visa applicants will, from 8th January, need to pay £300 per year instead of the current £150.

All other applicants will be charged £400 per year, double the current charge of £200.

It is becoming ever more expensive to come to the UK and to stay here.

LONG-AWAITED IMMIGRATION WHITE PAPER FINALLY PUBLISHED

The Immigration White paper, published by the Government on 19th December 2019, has perhaps attracted most media attention with its proposal that future skilled workers- to include those from the EU- will be expected to earn £30000 pa. This is  not set in stone and there will be a period of consultation. For a period of time lower skilled workers from some “ low risk “ countries will be permitted to work in the UK for a maximum of 12 months and must then leave for a “ cooling off period” of at least another 12 months. They will not be able to extend their stay , to settle here or even to bring dependants for the year that they are here.

It isn’t all bleak though and employers will no doubt be pleased by the proposal to abolish the annual cap on skilled workers who can come to the UK plus the abolition of the Resident Labour Market Test.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-uks-future-skills-based-immigration-system?utm_source=559016b0-1596-4e07-a461-79deca197952&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=govuk-notification

There is no doubt a lot of debate to be had and nothing is concrete as yet but if you do wish to discuss any issues raised in the paper please e mail us on info@jennyharveyimmigration.co.uk

WIDENING OF EU SETTLEMENT SCHEME TESTING PHASE

From 21st January 2019 a much wider group of people will be able to apply for the post-Brexit immigration “ settled status”. Earlier pilot phases seem to have been successful and from January 21st eligible EU nationals with a valid passport and their eligible  non- EU family members with a valid biometric residence card will be able to apply under the scheme before it’s fully rolled out in March 2019.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/eu-settlement-scheme-rolled-out-to-public-test-phase?utm_source=09f6a04d-09ba-46af-95b8-5c1a614d4304&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=govuk-notification&utm_content=immediate

For information on who is likely to be eligible for “ settled status” and on how to apply please contact us on info@jennyharveyimmigration.co.uk

MORE PAPER APPLICATION FORMS SCRAPPED

The Home Office is continuing  the process of replacing paper applications with compulsory on-line applications. Applications to extend stay in the UK as a partner of dependent child using Form FLR(M)

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/apply-to-extend-stay-in-the-uk-as-a-partner-or-dependent-child-form-flrm/apply-online-form-flr-m

and applications on the basis of long residence using Form FLR(LR)

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/application-to-extend-stay-in-uk-long-residence-form-flrlr/apply-online-form-flr-lr are two of the applications which must now be made on-line.

RECENT CONFUSION OVER INVESTOR VISA APPLICATIONS CLARIFIED

Contrary to recent information published in the press, the Tier One Investor route has not been suspended. Please watch this space as concerns about the source of funds /money laundering means that changes are very likely to be  on their way.

New Immigration Application Systems

New in-country application procedures are being introduced from today ( 2nd November 2018) meaning that many more applications will be completed on-line with paper application forms gradually being withdrawn .

A new UK Visa and Citizenship Application Service ( UKVCAS) has been established and will open 57 centres across the UK including centres in Gloucester, Reading and Swindon where supporting evidence will be submitted and biometrics will be taken.

Additional services will be available for an extra cost, similar to those on offer when applying for visas from outside the UK. These will include out of hours appointments and a document translation service.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-uk-visa-and-citizenship-application-services-centres-open?utm_source=1b9d68f1-fbb3-48d3-84f4-6b3395351793&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=govuk-not

For additional information on the changes please e mail Jenny Harvey on info@jennyharveyimmigration.co.uk

Pilot EU Settlement Scheme Expanded to Include EU Staff of Higher Education Institutions

The post-Brexit “Settlement Scheme” is being piloted to see how effectively it will work. From 15th November 2018 eligible EU staff members of higher education institutions will be able to apply for “settlement” using the new online application process which requires access to an android device.

 

For further information on the pilot or on other aspects of the EU settlement scheme, please contact Jenny Harvey on info@jennyharveyimmigration.co.uk

EU Settlement Scheme – Information for Employers

The Home Office has published a “toolkit” for employers and suggests that employers “cascade it” to their employees.

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/728672/EU_Settlement_Scheme_Introduction_To_Employer_Toolkit.PDF

EU employees cannot yet apply for “settlement” – although the application scheme is now being piloted – but the information is a useful summary of how it will work.

There are some useful reminders for employers:

  • They must not discriminate against EU workers
  • There will be no change to the rights of EU workers until 2021
  • They should be careful not to give immigration advice when distributing information

Employers – please contact me for more information and let your EU employees know that I can advise on their current and future rights.

Relaxation of Rules on Absences Calculation

Certain visa categories including Tier 1 entrepreneurs and  Tier 2 (General) workers require an Applicant to show “continuous residence” for a 5-year period when applying for indefinite leave to remain in the UK.

“Continuous residence” can be broken by absences of 180 days or more in 12 months. This used to mean that an Applicant should not have been out of the UK for more than 180 days in any of the 5 years preceding the date of their application.  A new rule brought in on 11th January 2018 meant that an application could be refused if at any point over the 5 years in question the limit was exceeded in any rolling 12 month period.

The new rule was applied retrospectively and has led to widespread condemnation. It has now, from 6th July 2018,  been relaxed, meaning that it won’t apply to absences occurring during leave granted prior to 11th January 2018.

For more information about this or for any question about applying for indefinite leave please contact Jenny Harvey on info@jennyharveyimmigration.co.uk.

Some Positive Changes for Students

  • As of 6th July 2018, students from an additional 11 countries including China, Japan, South Korea and Thailand will be able to produce a reduced level of documentation when applying for Tier 4 Visas.
  • The minimum length that a postgraduate course needs to be in order for a Tier 4 student to bring dependents to the UK has been reduced from  12 months to 9 months.
  • And evidence of previous qualifications now includes print-outs from awarding bodies’ online checking services.