UK & EEA Immigration Lawyer & Advocate

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Тема: Новости UK & EEA Immigration Law от Legal Centre, 07791145923

  1. #381
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    09 January 2020 – Just useful and interesting UK & EEA Immigration Law news and updates from the Legal Centre – Open 7 days a week - www.legalcentre.org - +44(0)3300010342, +44(0)7791145023 (WhatsApp/Viber)

    >>> Government promises extra family reunion rights for people of Northern Ireland: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/d...eland-tomorrow

    White smoke rises from Stormont, where the British and Irish governments have produced a draft deal to bring back power-sharing government in Northern Ireland following lengthy talks with the region’s main political parties.

    The agreement includes a promise to address the fallout from the DeSouza case. That case confirmed that people from Northern Ireland are legally British citizens as well as Irish, and so cannot rely on the more liberal rules on family visas available to EU — but not UK — citizens.

    The deal says:

    “14. The Government will change the rules governing how the people of Northern Ireland bring their family members to the UK. This change will mean that eligible family members of the people of Northern Ireland will be able to apply for UK immigration status on broadly the same terms as the family members of Irish citizens in the UK.

    15. This immigration status will be available to the family members of all the people of Northern Ireland, no matter whether they hold British or Irish citizenship or both, no matter how they identify.”

    While the UK government says that this is a unilateral measure, it is being made “in the context of an agreement being reached”. That suggests that it may be dropped if the deal is not signed off by the regional parties.

    It also seems likely to become redundant once Brexit takes hold and the bonus family reunion rights of Irish citizens in the UK come to an end. The time will show.

  2. #382
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    14 January 2020 – Just useful and interesting UK & EEA Immigration Law news and updates from the Legal Centre – Open 7 days a week - www.legalcentre.org - http://bit.ly/legalcentre – +44(0)3300010342, +44(0)7791145023 (WhatsApp/Viber)

    >>> Law Commission calls for total rewrite of Immigration Rules: https://www.lawcom.gov.uk/project/si...gration-rules/

    The Law Commission’s long-awaited report on Simplification of the Immigration Rules says that rewriting and paring down the “overly complex and unworkable” document would improve legal certainty and transparency for applicants as well as save money for the courts and the Home Office.

    The Immigration Rules are the document that set out the precise criteria for granting or refusing permission to enter and remain in the United Kingdom. It is the single most important legal instrument for day to day immigration law. The dire drafting of the Rules has for some time been an acute source of frustration for individual applicants, the lawyers trying to help them and even the judges deciding their cases.

    The independent law reform body recommends a rewrite of the 1,100 pages of the Rules, with a complete restructure complemented by improved drafting and fewer changes in future. The last such exercise took place in 1994, over 25 years ago, and the current version of the rules has grown hugely and chaotically since then. The two separate sections both entitled ‘Asylum’ at Part 11 and Part 11B, separated by Part 11A entitled ‘Temporary Protection’ are probably “personal favourite” among many lawyers.

    The report’s 41 recommendations include:

    - A new 24-part structure to the Rules, covering definitions, commons provisions and specific routes, followed by seven appendices
    - Giving each paragraph a number, rather than a confusing blend of letters and numbers
    - A new drafting guide, including advice such as “get straight to the point” and “use simple, everyday English”
    - An advisory committee to review the text at regular intervals
    - Producing “booklets” of the Rules that apply to each visa category
    - Simplifying and consolidating Home Office guidance documents in tandem with tackling the Rules themselves
    - “A less prescriptive approach to evidential requirements”, with lists of accepted and acceptable evidence provided (similar to the approach in Appendix EU)
    - Only two statements of changes to the Rules a year, unless there is “an urgent need for additional change”

    A separately published impact assessment concludes that the savings across government — including reductions in unnecessary cases for the immigration tribunals and in Home Office casework costs — would be £70 million over ten years.

    >>> Court of Session clarifies time limits for judicial review challenges in Scotland: https://www.bailii.org/scot/cases/Sc...20_CSOH_2.html

    In Odubajo v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2020] CSOH 2, the Court of Session has ruled that the three-month time limit for raising judicial review proceedings starts on the date of the decision, even though the person affected may not have been notified of that decision. This is a departure from what everyone previously thought in Scotland – which was that you cannot be expected to challenge a decision until you have been notified of it.

  3. #383
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    16 January 2020 – Just useful and interesting UK & EEA Immigration Law news and updates from the Legal Centre – Open 7 days a week - www.legalcentre.org - +44(0)3300010342, +44(0)7791145023 (WhatsApp/Viber)

    >>> Visa appointment fees rise with no warning

    The cost of an appointment at visa application centres in the UK has risen with no warning given to applicants or their representatives.

    Sopra Steria, the outsourcing company that runs UK Visa and Citizenship Services, has hiked appointment costs from £60 to £69.99 for a standard appointment and from £125 to £135 for appointments on Saturdays or out of regular office hours.

    It appears to be applicable nationwide rather than to any particular UKVCAS centre.

    The government website still lists the old cost, but the Sopra Steria website now says that “prices start at £69.99 per person”.

    Free appointments are available, in theory, at six “core service points” in major cities, but fees are charged at the other 50 application centres.

    The Immigration Law Practitioners’ Association says that it has contacted the Home Office and Sopra Steria to ask for more information.

  4. #384
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    20 January 2020 – Just useful and interesting UK & EEA Immigration Law news and updates from the Legal Centre – Open 7 days a week - www.legalcentre.org - +44(0)3300010342, +44(0)7791145023 (WhatsApp/Viber)

    >>> New guidance: False representations – Tier 1 (General) earnings concerns: https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=...WI2Cb13VV1o2_P

    UKVI has published new supplementary guidance relating to applicants who previously held Tier 1 (General) leave where UKVI have concerns that false representations have been made regarding their earnings. This guidance must be applied in conjunction with the main guidance on False Representations and the guidance on General Grounds for Refusal (GGfR) under Part 9 of the Immigration Rules.

    This guidance relates to issues decided by the Court of Appeal in Balajigari v SSHD [2019] EWCA Civ 673.

  5. #385
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    16 January 2020 – Just useful and interesting UK & EEA Immigration Law news and updates from the Legal Centre – Open 7 days a week - www.legalcentre.org - +44(0)3300010342, +44(0)7791145023 (WhatsApp/Viber)

    >>> If something is required by the Immigration Rules, it must be possible, appeal judges declare: https://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWCA/Civ/2019/2293.html

    Prior to the closure of the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) route, the main requirement was evidence that an applicant had access to funds for investment in their proposed venture.

    The Immigration Rules permitted applicants to rely on their own funds, or alternatively on funds that have recently been transferred to them by third parties. In certain circumstances, the rules also permitted reliance on funds that were still held by a third party at the time of the application.

    In this scenario, the applicant (and the Home Office) was relying on the third party’s promise that, if and when the visa is granted, the funds would be made available to the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) for their venture.

    It is still a mystery why the drafters of the Immigration Rules permitted this funding structure at all. If the third party was serious about investing, why not require the funds to be transferred to the prospective Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) prior to the submission of the application?

    Nothing is impossible

    Lord Justice Davis, giving judgment in the Court of Appeal, doesn’t really address the bonkers nature of the requirement itself. Instead he sticks to the “rules is rules” theme of applications made under the Points Based System:

    "The underpinning rationale for the current requirements of the PBS under the Rules is, as I have said, clear. These requirements have been, in a context such as the present, expressly approved as workable and fair in cases such as Durrani and Iqbal (cited above). There is no reason not to apply the reasoning in those cases to paragraph 41-SD(c)(i) of Appendix A and to this particular case, and every reason for doing so. The rules here are specific in their requirements; and the applicant in this case failed to meet those requirements. As paragraph 245DD of the Immigration Rules stipulates, in such circumstances the application will be refused. That, put shortly, is the end of the matter, as I see it."

    Davis LJ did not accept that such a declaration could not be obtained:

    "I should in any event make clear that I was wholly unpersuaded on the evidence that there was an impossibility of compliance here. It may be that the evidence (including the two witness statements) indicates that the Halifax Bank itself does not, as a matter of its practice, currently choose to provide letters in the required format. But that does not mean at all that it is impossible for the Halifax Bank to do so. Nor does it preclude an applicant or sponsor from going to some other regulated financial institution which does not have such a practice.".

  6. #386
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    24 January 2020 – Just useful and interesting UK & EEA Immigration Law news and updates from the Legal Centre – Open 7 days a week - www.legalcentre.org - +44(0)3300010342, +44(0)7791145023 (WhatsApp/Viber)

    >>> Note on BRP expiry dates of 31/12/2024 (23 January 2020)

    It has become apparent that Biometric Residence Permits (BRPs) which do not incorporate the next generation of encryption technology are required by the EU to have a validity date of no later than 31 December 2024. Until 1 January of this year, this issue only affected those granted indefinite leave to remain, and some measures were put in place to ensure those who were granted ILR were aware that their leave would remain extant beyond 31 December 2024.
    As 31 December 2024 is less than five years away, individuals granted limited leave to remain for five years are now receiving BRPs with validity dates earlier than the expiry of their leave.

    The Home Office's response is as follows:

    "We are required by the EU to restrict BRPs which do not incorporate the next generation of encryption technology to a validity date of 31 December 2024, subject to the UK leaving the European Union and the outcome of any Brexit negotiations.

    As the UK intends to introduce the new technology in due course, the date restriction affects only cards issued with Leave valid past the date of 31 December 2024.

    Any card restricted to 31 December 2024 which is still rightfully held on 01 July 2024 will be replaced free of charge, with the remainder of the leave period initially expected being issued on a new BRP.

    This means that anyone who has paid a fee in expectation of receiving a period of leave for longer than the 31 December 2024 date, will still do so but it will be spread over two BRPs.

    The date restriction does not change the entitlements of the rightful holder to work, access services/benefits or travel.
    Information on how to replace a BRP that is due to expire as a result of this restriction will be updated approximately 6 months prior to 31 December 2024 and applicants affected should consult these web pages at that time for the latest advice"

    >>> New Knowledge of Life in the UK (KOLL) guidance (23 January 2020): https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=...o-tmXOZQF-qjx9

    The guidance has been changed to reflect the changes to the Immigration Rules and Nationality Regulations on 17 December 2019.

  7. #387
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    27 January 2020 – Just useful and interesting UK & EEA Immigration Law news and updates from the Legal Centre – Open 7 days a week - www.legalcentre.org - +44(0)3300010342, +44(0)7791145023 (WhatsApp/Viber)

    >>> Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) visa to be re-named in February 2020: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/b...htest-and-best

    The Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) visa will be rebranded as the “Global Talent” route from 20 February. The science funding agency UK Research and Innovation will be able to endorse applicants for the rejigged route, according to a government press release, which adds that the system will:

    "- Provide for a brand new fast-track scheme, managed by UKRI which will enable UK-based research projects that have received recognised prestigious grants and awards, including from the European Space Agency and the Japan Science and Technology Agency, to recruit top global talent, benefitting higher education institutions, research institutes and eligible public sector research establishments. This will enable an individual to be fast-tracked to the visa application stage.
    - Double the number of eligible fellowships, such as Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions, the European Research Council and Human Frontier Science, which also enable individuals to be fast tracked.
    - Continue to ensure dependents have full access to the labour market.
    - Preserve the route’s flexibility by not requiring an individual to hold an offer of employment before arriving or tying them to one specific job.
    - Provide an accelerated path to settlement for all scientists and researchers who are endorsed on the route.
    - Provide for an exemption from our absences rules for researchers, and their dependants, where they are required overseas for work-related purposes, ensuring they are not penalised when they apply for settlement.".

    Details will be available on 30 January, when a statement of changes to the Immigration Rules is due.

    >>> Accountants taking the blame for tax discrepancies should give evidence in person: https://www.bailii.org/uk/cases/UKUT/IAC/2020/27.html

    Following another paragraph 322(5) case, where an applicant was refused indefinite leave to remain on the basis of dishonesty for disclosing different income to HMRC as opposed to the Home Office, the Upper Tribunal has issued guidance on evidence from accountants purporting to take the blame for those tax discrepancies.

    The case of Abbasi (rule 43; para 322(5): accountants’ evidence) [2020] UKUT 27 (IAC) had seemed to be going well for the appellant, Mr Abbasi. Mr Abbasi was initially refused indefinite leave to remain but then won his appeal at the First-tier Tribunal. The tribunal found that Mr Abbasi had acted innocently and had relied on his accountants, who provided a letter claiming to have made a mistake with his tax returns.

    The First-tier Tribunal placed significant weight on the accountants’ letter. The Home Office appealed to the Upper Tribunal, but it found in Mr Abbasi’s favour once again. That decision was promulgated in July 2019 and Mr Abbasi was granted indefinite leave to remain by the Home Office in October.

    All’s well that ends well, you might say. But then comes the twist: on 16 September 2019, the Upper Tribunal received an email from the accountant who supposedly wrote the letter in support of Mr Abbasi’s claim, stating that she had never heard of Mr Abbasi or ever assisted him, and she had not written, let alone signed, the letter.

    The Upper Tribunal then convened a hearing to consider whether it had the power to use rule 43 of the Tribunal Procedure (Upper Tribunal) Rules 2008 to set aside the decision. It concluded that it did have the power to apply rule 43 of its own motion, where the evidence relied upon by the tribunal in an appeal was forged or otherwise bogus.

    In practice, though, it could not do so in this case because the appellant had been granted indefinite leave nine days before the Upper Tribunal sent its notice of hearing. The grant of indefinite leave to remain meant that the appeal proceedings had come to an end, and therefore the Upper Tribunal no longer had any jurisdiction. But it is open to the Home Office to revoke Mr Abbasi’s indefinite leave to remain, and I would be surprised if it didn’t.

    The Upper Tribunal also concluded that accountants who admit to making a mistake with an appellant’s taxes should attend the hearing to give evidence and explain their error. If they do not, the tribunal is unlikely to be able to place any material weight on letters of this kind.

    This is an example of when one applicant’s fraudulent actions results in making life harder for others. From now on, accountants in these cases are likely to be expected to attend hearings in person to give evidence.

    Headnote:

    1. The Upper Tribunal can apply rule 43 of the Tribunal Procedure (Upper Tribunal) Rules 2008 of its own motion.

    2. The use of fraud before the Upper Tribunal constitutes an abuse of process such as to amount to a “procedural irregularity” for the purposes of rule 43(2)(d).

    3. In a case involving a decision under paragraph 322(5) of the immigration rules, where an individual relies upon an accountant’s letter admitting fault in the submission of incorrect tax returns to Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs, the First-tier or Upper Tribunal is unlikely to place any material weight on that letter if the accountant does not attend the hearing to give evidence, by reference to a Statement of Truth, that explains in detail the circumstances in which the error came to be made; the basis and nature of any compensation; and whether the firm’s insurers and/or any relevant regulatory body have been informed. This is particularly so where the letter is clearly perfunctory in nature.

  8. #388
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    29 January 2020 – Just useful and interesting UK & EEA Immigration Law news and updates from the Legal Centre – Open 7 days a week - www.legalcentre.org - +44(0)3300010342, +44(0)7791145023 (WhatsApp/Viber)

    >>> UKVI Document Reduction Pilot - Appendix FM applications

    From the UK BA:

    "Following our meeting recently in which we discussed Document Rationalisation, I thought this would be a good time to update you on our Appendix FM project and some of the work that we are doing to reduce the number of unnecessary documents submitted.

    Firstly, I promised you some feedback from the settlement Document Reduction pilot in India. The pilot ran for a total of 6 weeks and the main findings were:

    · Customers were invited to take part on a voluntary basis and as expected, uptake was quite low. We received a total of 25 applications, however, 6 of these applications were invalid as they did not meet the pilot criteria.
    · 35 customers chose not to take part in the pilot. The main reason being - the sponsor or representative collated the supporting documents for them and they were instructed that all the documents must be scanned, there was also a perception amongst these customers that the more documents that are submitted, the stronger the application and greater chance of success.
    · Of the 19 valid applications, none were scanned in line with the pilot guidance and therefore could not be assessed by the Decision Makers as part of this pilot.
    Whilst at initial look it seems that the pilot was unsuccessful, we weren’t disappointed by this as it actually confirmed our initial thoughts on some of the challenges that we will face around ingrained customer behaviour and perception. It also confirmed that the Appendix FM route is a very complex one and our commercial partners require much more support to identify specific cohorts of FM customers and support with scanning documents in the required order.

    Following the India pilot, we have re-focused our efforts and are planning two further settlement initiatives to support document rationalisation.

    Auto-email message:

    There will be an auto-email message sent to all Appendix FM customers from the online customer journey. The message informs customers that we will no longer accept the unnecessary documents listed and in addition to this we will only accept a maximum of 10 photographs. The benefit of sending this message out from the online customer journey is that it gives customers, sponsors and legal representatives the opportunity to read and understand our requirement before the customer attends their appointment at the VAC.
    This auto-email went live on the 26th January 2020 and will initially only be sent to Appendix FM customers attending appointments at one of the VACs in India. This will reviewed before being rolled out more widely.

    Document Reduction at the UK scanning hubs:

    We will be duplicating the India pilot at the VFS UK scanning hubs. The advantage of doing this in the UK as opposed to overseas is that in the majority of Appendix FM cases, the sponsor or the legal representative will be submitting the documents in person at one of the UK scanning hubs and VFS hub staff will be able to support them through the process. It also means that our staff in Sheffield will be able to provide direct and immediate support to the hub staff with time zones not being a practical barrier to this.

    All customers meeting the pilot criteria will be expected to take part – this will not be voluntary basis. The pilot will be launched on the 4th February 2020 at the VFS scanning hub in London with the remaining VFS hubs going live shortly afterwards. I have sent you the notice that will be displayed at the scanning hubs.

    From an operational perspective, rest assured that we are working closely with our Decision Makers to analyse the impact of both these initiatives and to ensure that adverse decisions are not made on the basis that these documents have not being submitted. As we’ve discussed, Decision Makers are encouraged to request documents when appropriate and on the rare occasion that they need to see one of these unnecessary documents, they will contact the customer to request it before a decision is made."

    >>> Home Office can detain migrants for up to five weeks after law requires that they be released: https://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWCA/Civ/2020/36.html

    The Court of Appeal has given judgment in R (AC (Algeria)) v SSHD [2020] EWCA Civ 36. The case is about “grace periods” in unlawful detention claims.
    A grace period, as described by Lord Justice Irwin in his judgment, is

    "that period of time allowed to the Secretary of State, once detention has ceased to comply with the Hardial Singh principles, to make suitable arrangements for release.".
    Последний раз редактировалось Advocate; 29.01.2020 в 16:27.

  9. #389
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    30 January 2020 – Just useful and interesting UK & EEA Immigration Law news and updates from the Legal Centre – Open 7 days a week - www.legalcentre.org - +44(0)3300010342, +44(0)7791145023 (WhatsApp/Viber)

    >>> Government advised not to bother with points based attempt for migrants with job offers: https://www.gov.uk/government/public...ary-thresholds

    The government should think twice about re-introducing a points based immigration system after Brexit, and lower the minimum salary necessary to get a work visa, the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) has recommended.

    In a report published recently, the MAC says that the existing Tier 2 (General) work visa system should be left intact, with employers continuing to sponsor workers with a job offer. By contrast, Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) visas could be allocated using a points calculation, if the government is really so keen on it.

    Key recommendations include:

    - Retaining the Tier 2 (General) skilled worker route, because “the combination of skill eligibility and a salary threshold works well for an employer-driven system”.
    - Reducing the minimum salary threshold to around £25,600, instead of the £30,000 recommended in the MAC’s last major report.
    - Turning Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) into a points based route for skilled workers without a job offer, since at the moment it “does not work well” anyway = aka Tier 1(General) pre-2011, is not it ?

    Given these problems, if the Government wants to have a PBS route on entry, it could make sense to re-orient Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) with the aim of increasing the numbers though the challenge is to do this without significantly affecting quality.

    This may be regarded as unfortunate timing, since the government is pushing through unrelated reforms to Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) on Thursday.

    But if the report’s approach were adopted, the resulting mixture of sponsorship and unsponsored migration would reflect how countries with points based immigration systems do things. In Australia, Canada and New Zealand, the MAC calculates, people arriving without a confirmed job offer through points based routes only account for about 40-60% of economic migration. Those nations still use employer sponsorship as well.

    The report is expected to be influential in the design of the UK’s post-Brexit immigration system, under which EU citizens will come under the same visa rules as non-EU citizens, but those rules will be made more liberal overall. That includes a lowering of the minimum salary required for a work visa, from £30,000 today to under £26,000 (the exact number depends on a fairly technical calculation). This recommendation is not a surprise, in the sense that the MAC had previously recommended keeping the threshold at £30,000 and was told to try again.

    The post-Brexit dispensation taking shape is expected to “result in a lower level of immigration, a lower rate of growth in population, employment and GDP”. But there is a glaring caveat not reflected in some of the breathless coverage of today’s report. MAC chief Professor Alan Manning writes that “almost all of these estimated impacts at the macro level are small”. In other words, while the end of free movement has real human impacts, the MAC does not think that it has particularly significant economic effects.

    The report also reveals that Professor Manning is not being kept on as Chair of the Migration Advisory Committee, despite his desire for a second term. The government is advertising for a replacement.

    The MAC's recommendations in full + Legal Centre's (www.legalcentre.org) comments:

    "Points-based systems

    1. We recommend retaining the existing framework for Tier 2 (General).
    2. If government wants to have a PBS route on entry, it should consider modifying Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) in the following way:
    • There should be an overall annual cap on those admitted;
    • The route should operate on an expression of interest basis creating a pool of migrants interested in coming to the UK;
    • There should be a monthly draw from this pool with those selected invited to submit a full application; - What is this ? A visa lottery ?
    • The selection of those invited to apply should be based on those who have the highest number of points in the pool using a points-based system with tradeable points;
    • There should also be an absolute minimum number of points;
    • Points should be given for characteristics that the Government wants to attract through this route and for whom other routes are not suitable;
    • Among the characteristics that the Government might want to consider in assigning points are: Qualifications with a rigorous process to assess the quality of qualifications and not just the level; Age; Extra points for having studied in the UK; Priority areas such as STEM and creative skills - This was called HSMP route a cople of decades ago, do not they remember it ?
    • Changes should only be made if data is collected on the outcomes of migrants on this route, with monitoring and evaluation of the route.
    3. There should be an immediate pause in the proposed increases to the settlement threshold.
    4. We recommend a review of the requirements for settlement, to establish a clearer picture of how it is currently working and possible changes that could be made.
    Salary thresholds in Tier 2 (General)
    5. Both the occupation specific and general salary thresholds should be based on the relevant distribution of full-time earnings as reported in the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE) and updated annually. The appropriate salary threshold should continue to be the higher of the occupation specific and general threshold.
    6. The occupation specific threshold should be the 25th percentile of the full-time annual earnings distribution for that occupation.
    7. The general threshold should be set at the 25th percentile of the full-time annual earnings distribution for all Tier 2 (General) eligible occupations.
    8. National pay scales should be used as the relevant salary thresholds in 24 occupations in health and education instead of both the occupation specific and general thresholds.
    9. If the Government is concerned about the impact of the general threshold on lower-wage medium-skill occupations, we recommend the use of an occupational cap to be set at the 75th percentile. We do not recommend this given the level of the general threshold we propose.
    10. There should be more adequate monitoring of how migrants are faring in the UK labour market after entry and ongoing review of the impacts of the recommendations on levels of salary thresholds.
    11. The relevant salary thresholds should apply across the UK.
    12. There should be a separate pilot visa for ‘remote’ areas of the UK, part of which could be lower salary thresholds for migrants into those areas. This should only be done with a full evaluation to understand its effectiveness and impacts.
    13. Salary thresholds should not be pro-rated to allow for part-time work.
    14. The Government should consider more flexibility (i.e. prorating salary thresholds) for visa holders switching to part-time work after becoming a parent.
    15. Only salary on the main job should be used to determine whether the salary threshold is met. Allowances, equity and employer pension contributions should not be included.
    16. The rules on Tier 2 (General) visa holders owning equity in the employer sponsoring them should be reviewed.
    17. Occupations on the Shortage Occupation List should not have lower salary thresholds for entry.
    18. We recommend a review of whether the SOL is needed after the new immigration system has been fully introduced.
    19. National pay scales should be used as the relevant salary thresholds in 24 occupations in health and education instead of both the occupation specific and general thresholds.
    20. The salary thresholds for new entrants should be a single ‘reduction’ percentage applied across both the general experienced worker threshold and the occupation specific experienced worker thresholds.
    21. The reduction percentage for new entrants should be set at 30 per cent.
    22. The definition of a new entrant should be widened to include those are working towards recognised professional qualifications and those who are moving directly into postdoctoral positions.
    23. The new entrant rate should apply for five years, an extension from the current three-year entitlement. Any time spent on the new post-study work route should count towards the five years of new entrant threshold eligibility.
    24. We recommend adding/removing the following occupations from the list of RQF3+ occupations
    • Add: Air-conditioning and refrigeration engineers, Rail and rolling stock builders and repairers, Skilled metal, electrical and electronic trades supervisors, Carpenters and joiners, Glaziers, window fabricators and fitters, Plasterers, Floorers and wall tilers, Painters and decorators, Construction and building trades supervisors, Childminders and related occupations, Teaching assistants and Educational support assistants.
    • Remove: Fishing and other elementary agriculture occupations n.e.c. and Waiters and waitresses.
    Data issues
    25. The Government and ONS should seek to link datasets across government to allow a better understanding of the employment outcomes of migrants, for the purposes of research whilst ensuring confidentiality.
    26. The Government should invest in a data set designed to link migrants with subsequent outcomes to be used for the evaluation of all visas.
    27. The Home Office should ensure it retains historical data on migration routes in a usable format for future analysis.
    28. The Home Office should publish breakdowns of entry clearance visas disaggregated by gender on a regular basis."

  10. #390
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    31 January 2020 – Just useful and interesting UK & EEA Immigration Law news and updates from the Legal Centre – Open 7 days a week - www.legalcentre.org - +44(0)3300010342, +44(0)7791145023 (WhatsApp/Viber)

    >>> UK Global Talent visa (formerly Tier 1 Exceptional Talent) - an overview

    The new immigration category has been announced via the Statement of Changes here: https://www.gov.uk/government/public...0-january-2020

    The specifics have now landed via today’s statement of changes to the Immigration Rules (NB: The changes set out in this statement shall take effect on 20 February 2020. In relation to those changes, if any application for endorsement, entry clearance, leave to enter or leave to remain has been made before 20 February 2020, such applications will be decided in accordance with the Immigration Rules in force on 19 February 2020.). At first glance, the changes seem to introduce a new level of impenetrability, with certain terms (e.g. “directly incurred costs”) that will be little understood outside universities and research institutes. So what does it all mean?

    What this introduces is a new immigration route within what was Exceptional Talent and is now called Global Talent. This new route will be intrinsically linked to the recruitment regimes of the higher education/research sector and provide an unlimited right to work for up to five years.

    What kind of research jobs does this affect?


    For clarity, the existing ways of getting a Global Talent (formerly Exceptional Talent) endorsement will remain in place. Those are:

    - The “standard” route where an academic/scientist/researcher can ask for peer review of their career under the categories of “promise” or “talent”
    - The “accelerated” route for those in receipt of a job offer for a senior role at a UK university or research institution
    - A further accelerated route where the person holds a prestigious grant/fellowship (with the list of eligible fellowships to be expanded)

    The changes introduce a fourth route covering two types of employees at UK universities and research institutions.

    The first is post-doctoral researchers: those at an early stage of their academic career, having just gained their PhD. The second is specialist technologist roles.

    This latter group is the most significant, and is a group which the sector has previously identified as being particularly vulnerable to being shut out under a post-Brexit immigration system.

    What if you're not a scientist?

    The explanatory memo accompanying the statement of changes says that “whilst specific provisions are made for the science and research sector, the Global Talent category is also open to talented and promising applicants within the digital technology and arts and culture (including film and television, fashion design and architecture) sectors”. More on this in a separate post.

    Why include technical specialists?

    Research sector organisations have consistently argued that salary is not an adequate indication of skill level for jobs in this sector. This is especially true of technical experts within research teams.

    Technical experts form a critical part of any research team. They make crucial intellectual contributions to research by providing technical excellence and through maintaining and developing new technologies. The concept here is “Team Science” – that is, it takes the whole team working together, with individuals holding different specialisms and knowledge, to deliver a research project.

    Whilst not all such roles require non-UK nationals to fill them, where a skills gap exists it is vital that this is met through an adequate immigration system. Failure to do so would make the delivery of much of the research in the UK impossible.

    Under the current Tier 2 work visa system, specialist technician roles would be ineligible for sponsorship due to skill level requirements (RQF level 6 and above). Under the immigration white paper published by Theresa’s May government, skill level requirements would be lowered, bringing such roles within the scope of Tier 2 — but they would likely fail to meet the recommended £30,000 minimum salary. This could result in a critical skills gap.

    Bringing these specialist roles under the umbrella of the Global Talent route shelters them from the unknown quantities of a future immigration system.

    That said, it is important to note that not all technician/technical roles will be able to access this route. Rather, it is for those with specialist technical expertise and skills which cannot be readily found within the settled workforce.

    How will it be easier to recruit for such roles?


    The new route works by making eligibility for a Global Talent visa automatic when a researcher or specialist is recruited using certain UK research funding grants. The key concept, as written into the Immigration Rules, is that the hire is part of the “directly incurred costs” of the project.

    In the wonderful world of research-speak, this is defined as costs which form an integral part of a grant funding application associated with a UK research project. One such “directly incurred cost” is the payroll costs of the staff necessary to deliver a research project. These staff are recruited by the employer which has the grant funding.

    A researcher and/or specialist who is offered a job at a UK university or research institution, and whose job title or name was included within an application for qualifying research funding as a directly incurred cost, will be automatically eligible for a Global Talent visa.

    This new category will provide the research sector considerable freedom to recruit the researchers and specialists it needs via the medium of research grant funding, without day-to-day Home Office scrutiny. This is hugely significant, given the context of the current immigration system, but it should not be interpreted as a route which will allow unregulated migration. Far from it.

    Which research grants qualify?


    There are several notable restrictions on who can access this new route, and how:

    - The person must be named or appointed to a role on a successful grant application from a recognised funder
    - The person must be employed, hosted or in receipt of a job offer from a UK university, independent research organisation or public sector research establishment
    - The research grant must have been awarded under the “peer review” principle
    - The minimum value of the grant must be £30,000 and must support a project of at least two years in duration
    - The person must have, or be given, a contract of at least two years in duration at the point of application for endorsement, and work at least 50% FTE

    The list of recognised funders will be administered by UK Research and Innovation, which oversees a large proportion of the UK’s science and research funding.

    This system reflects the direction of travel over the last few years of devolving the decision-making process for certain visa types away from immigration caseworkers and on to expert third parties bodies (as seen recently with the Innovator and Start-up visas).

    The concept has now been taken one step further, weaving eligibility for a visa into the sector’s unique method of recruitment and funding. It will be impossible for those working outside the sector to access this endorsement route, and it should shift a lot of recruitment currently undertaken by universities and research institutions out of Tier 2 and into Appendix W.

    Those granted entry under this new route will be granted a visa of up to five years with the ability to gain settlement after three years. They will not be tied to their host institution, meaning no restrictions on their ability to move between roles and employers, provided the above rules were met at the outset. The route will also have no arbitrary cap on numbers. Final details on the application process will be released shortly.

    In our view, this new route is a fragile gift to the sector — one which will need to be embraced proactively to ensure it is utilised to the full.

    >>> EU Settlement Scheme appeal rights introduced: https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/.../contents/made

    The Immigration (Citizens’ Rights Appeals) (EU Exit) Regulations 2020 (SI 2020 No. 61) has come into force today, on the Brexit day, 31 January. They create a right of appeal to the Immigration Tribunal for people refused pre-settled or settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme. As the accompanying explanatory note puts it:

    "This instrument provides that, where a person makes a valid application for leave under the EUSS, or for an EUSS family or travel permit, on or after exit day, they will have a right of appeal against a decision to:

    - refuse the application;
    - in the case of an application under the EUSS, grant limited leave to enter or remain (pre-settled status under the scheme) where they believe they should have been granted indefinite leave to enter or remain (settled status under the scheme)."

    Note that this only applies to applications “on or after exit day”, but does allow people to appeal a grant of pre-settled status up to full settled status.

    There are also appeal rights for various scenarios where settled status is being cancelled or revoked. Appeals go to the First-tier Tribunal (FTT IAC), unless certified as a national security issue for the Special Immigration Appeals Commission.

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