Tag archives: Immigration

Right to work checks: Extension of the COVID-19 concession to 20 June 2021

In order to obtain a statutory defence against illegal working, employers should check the right to work of all employees’ original documents in person on or before their employment commences.  In the absence of a correct check and in the event that an illegal working issue arises, this will assist the employer in avoiding civil liability.   As a result of the COVID-19 Pandemic, the UK’s Home Office introduced a concession under which employers have temporarily not been required to see an employee’s original document in person in order to carry out a compliant right to work check, and instead can … Continue Reading

UK Home Office announces further changes to immigration routes

Last week the Home Office published a series of changes to the Immigration Rules, many of which will take effect on 6 April 2021.

Graduate Route
In welcome news to many UK employers, the Home Office is introducing a new Graduate route into the UK (under a new section in the rules, called Appendix Graduate). Whilst UK graduates will need to meet a points threshold (in line with the new points based system), applicants will meet this by satisfying the essential criteria to the immigration route: (1) successfully completing their studies with an approved institutions; (2) obtaining a bachelor’s degree, … Continue Reading

Budget – Immigration Proposals

In addition to the measures referred to in the Budget which are aimed at addressing the immediate challenges of COVID-19 and putting the UK’s public finances on a sustainable footing in the medium term, the Government stated in the Budget that it recognised the importance of creating the conditions for an investment-led recovery driven by private sector growth. In view of this, in the Budget, the Government has made a number of immigration policy decisions which it regards as modernising the UK’s immigration system to help the UK attract and retain the most highly skilled, globally mobile talent – particularly … Continue Reading

The EU- UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement – implications for employment and immigration

On 31 December the UK parliament implemented the European Union (Future Relationship) Act 2020. This makes provision to implement into UK law the three main future relationship agreements with the EU including the EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA). What does the TCA mean for employment and immigration law?

Employment

A significant portion of UK employment law is derived from and grounded in EU law. Under the EU Withdrawal Agreement all EU employment legislation which had effect on 31 December 2020 is adopted into UK law and so workers’ rights which existed prior to the end of the implementation period … Continue Reading

UK Migrants stranded abroad due to COVID-19. – will their ability to settle in the UK or apply for further leave to remain be impacted?

The effects of the global pandemic are far reaching; few have been unaffected by measures and restrictions introduced in response to the spread of COVID-19. As borders have closed and visa processing services have been suspended, those living and working outside their home jurisdictions have, and continue to face, uncertain times.

Some migrants made the decision to return to their home jurisdictions as the reality of long term border restrictions unravelled, worried they would be unable to see family for unknown periods of time. As this coincided with widespread working from home, many employers permitted their employees to continue to … Continue Reading

Will intra country commuting continue post Brexit? UK Government issues new guidance on frontier workers.

A frontier worker is an EU, EEA or Swiss national, who is economically active in the UK (through employment or self-employment) but resides outside the UK. Under the EEA right of freedom of movement, such nationals are currently free to travel and work in all EEA countries.

However as freedom of movement comes to an end, the UK Government is introducing a Frontier Worker Permit, due to be launched later this year. Those individuals who hold ‘frontier worker status’ by 31 December 2020 will be able to maintain this status, providing they apply for a Frontier Worker Permit by 1 … Continue Reading

La réforme finale : le nouveau Programme de l’expérience québécoise en vigueur depuis le 22 juillet 2020

Suite à une tentative échouée de réforme du Programme de l’expérience québécoise (PEQ) en novembre 2019, le Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Francisation et de l’Intégration (MIFI) a dû retirer une grande partie de son nouveau règlement et tenir des consultations publiques en vue de présenter un nouveau projet de réforme.

Le 22 juillet dernier, après plusieurs moutures, le nouveau PEQ est entré en vigueur et prévoit les modifications suivantes :

Pour les travailleurs : 2 années d’expérience de travail au Québec plutôt qu’une

  • Les travailleurs étrangers temporaires devront désormais cumuler une expérience de travail de
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UK points-based immigration system: Further details announced

On 13 July 2020, the Home Office published further details on how the UK’s points-based immigration system will work from 1 January 2021. As set out in the Policy Statement published in February, anyone coming to the UK for work, including EU citizens, will need to demonstrate they meet a specific set of requirements for which they will score points. There is no overall cap on the number who can apply under the Skilled Worker route.

The key change to note is that any employer wishing to employ EU citizens will need to have a sponsor licence and pay the … Continue Reading

Managing Immigration Remotely

The current situation is presenting a number of practical difficulties for employers regarding right to work and other immigration matters that may arise amongst their employees. The Home Office has been proactive in relaxing many of its strict requirements to assist, however some areas remain uncertain:

 

  • Right to work checks – a valid right to work check is required in order to obtain a statutory excuse against illegal working. Right to work checks must be conducted by an employer before the employee commences work and to ensure any time limited leave to remain is validly extended. Those checks must
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The UK proposes a new points based immigration system

On 19 February 2020 the UK Government published its policy statement setting out its proposals for a new points-based immigration system. Following the UK’s exit from the EU, free movement of workers will cease and all EU and non-EU citizens will be treated equally from 1 January 2021.  The Government will introduce a new immigration system which will be a points-based system giving priority to highly skilled migrants.  This arguably has particular implications for certain industry sectors such as construction, hospitality and social care where many people employed by those sectors are low-paid workers and a significant number of them … Continue Reading

A new immigration landscape: Migration Advisory Committee Recommendations

The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) published its widely anticipated report on 28 January 2020, setting out its recommendations for a new UK immigration system to be launched in time for the end of free movement of people on 31 December 2020. The Government will be considering the recommendations in the context of its Immigration Bill, expected to be published in March 2020. The main recommendations are set out below.

Possible role of a points based system

 

1. Skilled worker route for entry with a job offer. The current Tier 2 General category should be retained and apply … Continue Reading

Skilled Worker Immigration Act

On 1 March 2020, the Skilled Worker Immigration Act  will come into force. The law completely opens up the German labour market to skilled workers from countries outside the European Union. In addition to the measures set out in our blog the German legislator has included further measures including an accelerated administrative procedure and more efficient recognition procedures.

  • Accelerated procedures: The employer is able to reduce the official processing time by initiating the procedure himself following an agreement with the competent immigration authority. As soon as all necessary documents are available and the authority consents to entry, the skilled worker
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Right to work in the UK and requests for evidence

A recent UK case considered whether an employer acted reasonably in requiring an employee, who was not a national of the European Economic Area (EEA), married to an EEA national, to produce documentation to show his right to work in the UK.

In the UK:

1) it is illegal to for an employer in the UK to employ somebody who does not have a right to work in the UK;

2) an employer can avoid liability for a civil penalty for breach of the above obligation if it carries out the requisite right to work checks before an employee’s employment … Continue Reading

The End of Free Movement in the UK?

The UK Government’s announcement, that free movement will end the day after a no deal Brexit on 31 October 2019, has left many wondering how the rights of EU citizens will be impacted in the days that follow.

Whilst some have speculated that it is unlikely that this means anything different than the original ‘no deal’ plan that was published some months ago (under the previous Home Secretary), others, including the Home Office, indicate that there could be immediate practical implications with reference to a ‘new immigration system’ being ‘developed’ and that plans will be revealed in due course.

These … Continue Reading

Are all employees who enter the U.S. on business “Business Visitors”?

It is not uncommon for Canadian employers to send their employees to the U.S. for business reasons. When they do so, employers should be mindful of the difference between business and work travel. Depending on the purpose for travel, an individual may enter the U.S. as a Business Visitor, or they may need to apply for a work authorization.

The following information aims to assist employers whose employees frequently travel to the U.S. for either work or business-related reasons.

What is a Business Visitor?

An individual entering the U.S. may enter as a “B-1” business visitor for … Continue Reading

New fast track visa to cement the UK as a science superpower

The Home Office has announced a new fast-track immigration offer for individuals with skills in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects. The scheme will provide a three-year visa, during which the individual can come and go from the UK at will. Following the three year period, those on the scheme can apply for indefinite leave to remain. If successful, this will provide a permanent right to reside in the UK and access to healthcare and benefits on the same basis as British citizens.

There will be no minimum salary requirement, and the individuals do not need to secure a … Continue Reading

Home Office update to guidance for companies with sponsor licences.

The Home Office has published an unexpected update in relation to the Tier 2 and 5 Guidance for Sponsors.

Where an employee wishes to enter the UK as a skilled worker (Tier 2) or temporary worker or under the youth mobility scheme (Tier 5), they will need to be “sponsored” before they can apply to enter or remain in the UK. Employers therefore need to obtain a sponsor licence which requires them to provide information about their organisation. They must also ensure that any system is maintained and that the government is updated regarding any changes to either the employee … Continue Reading

Migration Advisory Committee asked to review salary threshold by UK Government

The Home Secretary has asked the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) to review future salary thresholds for the new immigration system which is due to come into force in January 2021.

As we mentioned in our blog post- The immigration white paper – what will it mean for the UK’s future immigration system? December 2018 – the Government’s proposals in its White Paper published in December 2018 are to adopt a new single skills-based immigration system.  The proposed route for skilled workers will follow the Tier 2 of the Points Based System which already exists, but will be extended to achieve … Continue Reading

No Deal arrangements for EU citizens

One of the many outstanding issues for immigration lawyers was how EU citizens would be able to enter the UK after 29 March 2019 in the event of a “no deal” scenario. Whilst a new immigration system is due to come into force in 2021, the situation remained unclear as to what would happen to any EU citizen seeking to enter the UK after the UK had left the EU in March in the event of a no deal.  On 28 January 2019, the Home Secretary, Sajid Javid set out the provisions for EU citizens coming to the UK after … Continue Reading

Settled status for EU citizens

The EU Settlement Scheme, which processes applications of EU citizens living in the UK to allow them to remain in the UK after Brexit, has gone live.

From 21 January 2019 a public test phase will run for individuals who are resident EU citizens (with a valid EU passport) or non-EU citizen family members of EU citizens (with a biometric residence card) . The Scheme will open fully on 30 March 2019.

The EU Settlement Scheme applies to EU citizens already in the UK prior to 29 March 2019, or those who enter before the end of the transition period … Continue Reading

The immigration white paper – what will it mean for the UK’s future immigration system?

The UK Government has now published the White Paper on the future immigration system for the UK after it leaves the EU. It has confirmed, following many of the recommendations by the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC), that it will adopt a new single skills-based immigration system from 1 January 2021.  The new system will put an end to the EU free movement of people regime and will be a system where it is “a worker’s skills that matter, not which country they come from” and there is a focus on “quality” rather than “… Continue Reading

Brexit – English Soccer and dispute over foreign players

Another interesting and unforeseen consequence of Brexit is the power struggle that has been triggered between the Premier League and the FA in relation to post Brexit quotas for “home grown” players and the visa requirements for overseas players.

The FA is seeking to use Brexit as an opportunity to boost the longer term health of the national team by reducing the number of overseas players in each squad. This is not proving popular with the Premier League which takes the view that a continued influx of high profile international players adds to the global appeal of the league.

Following … Continue Reading

Cannabis and the U.S. border – a complex relationship

Recreational cannabis will become legal in Canada effective October 17, 2018.  However, taking cannabis or any product containing cannabis (whether medicinal or recreational) across Canada’s international borders will remain illegal and can result in serious criminal penalties both domestically and abroad.  This prohibition applies equally to individuals travelling to or from a jurisdiction where cannabis has been legalized or decriminalized.

Cannabis is illegal in most countries.  As such, the Government of Canada has warned that previous use of cannabis, or any substance prohibited by local law, could result in a traveller’s being denied entry to their destination country.

In addition, … Continue Reading

Theresa May sets out her offer for the rights of EU citizens after Brexit

Until the UK withdraws from the EU, EU law will continue to apply in the UK and so the rights of EU citizens and their family members to live and work in the UK remain unchanged. However, after Brexit, free movement rights will come to an end. On 26 June 2017 Theresa May briefed MPs on the details of the Government’s proposals to safeguard the rights of EU citizens living in the UK after Brexit. The “offer” is conditional on a reciprocal arrangement with the EU to safeguard the rights of UK nationals living in the EU.

In summary, the … Continue Reading

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