There has been no change to the rights and status of EU nationals in the UK, and UK nationals in the EU, as a result of the referendum

Image result for eu flagThe decision about when to trigger Article 50 and start the formal process of leaving the EU will be for the new Prime Minister. The UK remains a member of the EU throughout this process, and until Article 50 negotiations have concluded. When we do leave the EU, we fully expect that the legal status of EU nationals living in the UK, and that of UK nationals in EU member states, will be properly protected.

The government recognises and values the important contribution made by EU and other non-UK citizens who work, study and live in the UK.

I have lived in the UK for more than 5 years. What does the vote to leave the EU mean for me?

  • EU nationals who have lived continuously and lawfully in the UK for at least 5 years automatically have a permanent right to reside. This means that they have a right to live in the UK permanently, in accordance with EU law. There is no requirement to register for documentation to confirm this status.
  • EU nationals who have lived continuously and lawfully in the UK for at least 6 years are eligible to apply for British citizenship if they would like to do so. The eligibility requirements can be found here.

 What if I have lived in the UK for less than 5 years?

  • EU nationals continue to have a right to reside in the UK in accordance with EU law. EU nationals do not need to register for any documentation in order to enjoy their free movement rights and responsibilities. For those that decide to apply for a registration certificate, there has been no change to government policy or processes. Applications will continue to be processed as usual.
  • Non-EU family members of EU nationals must continue to apply for a family permit if they wish to enter the UK under EU law, and they do not have a residence card issued by a member state. There has been no change to government policy or processes, and applications will continue to be processed as usual.
  • Extended family members of EU nationals must continue to apply for a registration certificate (if they are an EU national) or residence card (if they are a non-EU national) if they wish to reside in the UK. There has been no change to government policy or processes, and applications will continue to be processed as usual.
  • Irish nationals enjoy separate rights, under various pieces of legislation, which allow Irish nationals residing in the UK to be treated in the same way as British nationals in most circumstances. There is no change to this position.
  • Croatian nationals might continue to need to apply for a registration certificate to be allowed to work in the UK under the transitional arrangements that were put in place when Croatia joined the EU in 2013. The type of registration certificate that they might need will depend on whether they need permission to work in the UK, and what they will be doing. There has been no change to government policy or processes, and applications will continue to be processed as usual.

 Does the government plan to remove EU nationals from the UK?

There has been no change to the right of EU nationals to reside in the UK and therefore no change to the circumstances in which someone could be removed from the UK.

As was the case before the referendum, EU nationals can only be removed from the UK if they are considered to pose a genuine, present and sufficiently serious threat to the public, if they are not lawfully resident or are abusing their free movement rights.

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Changes to the Immigration Rules come into effect on 13 December 2012

13 December 2012

A number of changes to the Immigration Rules come into effect on the 13 December 2012. These changes will affect non-European Economic Area nationals applying to enter or remain in the UK.

The changes include:

  • Non substantive changes to all PBS tiers.
  • Establishing a more robust and clear criminality framework against which immigration applications will be assessed.
  • Amendments to clarify the absences from the UK that are allowed during the continuous residence period for settlement for Tier 1 (General), Tier 2 and pre-points based system work routes (for example work permits, self-employment and business person).
  • Minor changes to the child and parent routes to make them as clear and comprehensive as possible and changes to simplify the operation of the income threshold for sponsoring family migrants;

Should you require further advice please do not hesitate to contact us on 01634 828288.

 

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Changes to UK Immigration Laws

22 November 2012

Today, Thursday 22 November 2012, a written ministerial statement has been laid in Parliament outlining a number of changes to the Immigration Rules which will come in to force on 13 December 2012.

These include non substantive changes for sponsors and migrants coming to the UK under the following routes of the points-based system:

  • Tier 1 – entrepreneurs and investors.
  • Tier 2 – skilled workers, including changes for senior intra-company transfers.
  • Tier 4 – students, including extending the interim limit.
  • Tier 5 – temporary workers including the requirements for the government authorised exchange category and private servants in a diplomatic household.
  • Sponsorship – revised sponsorship guidance will be published in December.

In addition, there are changes to the Rules affecting:

Criminality

  • Establishing a more robust and clear criminality framework to assess immigration applications against which immigration applications will be assessed.
  • Recalculating the length of time, based on the length of sentence, before we will revoke a deportation order.
  • Introduction of a re-entry ban, for some foreign national offenders who have been removed from the UK as part of a conditional caution and additional powers to end (curtail) a migrant’s visa or leave.
  • Creation of a ‘route’ for ex-Armed Forces to remain in the UK.

Settlement

  • Amendments to clarify the absences from the UK that are allowed during the continuous residence period for Tier 1 (General), Tier 2 and pre-points based system work routes (for example work permits, self-employment and business person).

Family and private life

  • Minor changes to the child and parent routes to make them as clear and comprehensive as possible.

There will also be some changes to the Youth Mobility Scheme quotas and Tier 4 loan letters in early 2013.

For full details, please see the Statement of Changes to the Immigration Rules and the explanatory memorandum within the document. The written ministerial statement and statement of policy can be found on the Home Office website.

For further advice and guidance contact us today and speak with Shabana Shahab
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Soho Restaurant faces illegal worker fine – Notice to Employers

02 November 2012

The Border Agency has recently reported that a West End restaurant is facing a fine of up to £80,000 after 8 staff members were arrested during a UK Border Agency raid.

Acting on intelligence, officers visited the Old Town 97 restaurant in Wardour Street, Soho, at around 7:00pm on Saturday 27 October, where they carried out checks on staff to see if they had the right to work in the UK.

They arrested 8 employees for a variety of immigration offences. 3 Chinese men aged between 21 and 24 and a 47-year-old Chinese woman had all overstayed their visas, while 3 Chinese men aged between 23 and 43 were found to be failed asylum seekers. In addition, 1 Malaysian woman, aged 28, was found to be working in breach of her visa conditions.

All 8 were detained pending their removal from the UK.

The Border Agency has reported that the restaurant could now be fined up to £10,000 per illegal worker unless it can prove to the UK Border Agency that the correct right-to-work checks were carried out on employees.

Assistant Director Steve Fisher, from the UK Border Agency, said:

‘Our enforcement teams are out almost every day in London carrying out operations like this and where we find someone who is in the UK we will seek to remove them.

‘But we are also targeting employers who take on illegal workers. They are both fueling illegal immigration and damaging the majority of legitimate businesses who play by the rules.

‘This is why we have the power to hit those who break the law with heavy fines.’ (Quote from Border Agency website)

Every year, the UK Border Agency imposes civil penalties on hundreds of companies which fail to carry out proper right-to-work checks on staff.

As most restaurants do not have a dedicated HR system that provides a service of recording migrants status, there are systems available, we offer a system which has been viewed by BIA  inspectors and praised for its simplicity, clarity and ability to withstand the Sponsor Licence Regulations regarding reporting on migrant workers.

Contact us for further advice whether or not you have been fined we can help you today on 01634 828288.

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Croatia to join the European Union in 2013

The government has announced that by 18 October 2013 the introduction of the Parliament the European Union (Croatian Accession) Bill.

The bill will include provisions for transitional access arrangements for Croatian nationals.

Croatia is expected to join the European Union (EU) on 1 July 2013. Transitional arrangements will be introduced to restrict Croatian nationals’ access to the UK labour market.

The Home Office has published a Statement of Intent setting out the transitional restrictions which it expects to apply to Croatian nationals working in the UK after 1 July 2013.

Some of the conditions are listed below:-

In principle, any Croatian national who intends to take employment in the United Kingdom will be subject to the work authorisation requirement.

However, the following (this is not an exhaustive list at this stage)
will be exempt from the requirement:

  • Please note that the above list is an indication of just a few of the types of restrictions, the Home Office announce the “official list of restrictions on the 1 July 2013.those Croatian nationals who are legally present in the UK on the
  •  date of accession and who, on that date, are not subject to any restrictions on working (for example, those Croatian nationals who have already been granted settlement in the UK);
  • those Croatian nationals who are legally working in the UK on the date of accession and have been legally working for an uninterrupted period of 12 months ending on that date;
  • those Croatian nationals who work legally for an uninterrupted period of 12 months falling partly or wholly after the date of accession;
  • those Croatian nationals who are also a national of the UK or of another Member State whose nationals are not subject to similar restrictions.

You are able to seek further advice by contacting us on 01634828288 or speak with Shabana Shahab today on this matter.

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How to apply for proof that you have not become a British Citizen

The decision as to whether a person qualifies for Citizenship is that of the Border Agency.

The  decision will be made by the UK Border Agency as to whether, on the balance of probabilities, a person making the claim holds British nationality.

The decision comes in the form of a written opinion contained in either letter or certificate form. If the opinion of the UK Border Agency is that British Nationality is held, then a British Passport may be issued if the status letter/certificate is included with a fully completed passport application and other requirements for the issue of a passport are met. For further advice and assistance please do not hesitate to contact us on 01634 828288

Whether you have British nationality is a matter that can be determined conclusively only by the courts. The law on British nationality is complex and it is not possible, in this short guide, to list all the circumstances that give rise to a claim to British nationality or to cover all of the exceptions to the general principles we describe. This guide focuses on British citizenship. Similar rules apply to the acquisition of the other forms of British nationality that can be acquired automatically without the need for an application. If your circumstances do not exactly match the guidance and examples given here, you may wish to consult an immigration lawyer or agent. If you use an immigration agent, you should ensure that they are registered with the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC). The lawyer or agent cannot give you a status letter/certificate acceptable for passport applications.

This guide is not a definitive statement of nationality law and is intended to help those with a clear claim to British citizenship. Liability cannot be accepted for any action taken on the basis of this guidance. Other information about citizenship and immigration, including information about becoming a British Citizen through naturalisation or registration, is available on the UK Border Agency website at www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk

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1st October – Changes to UK Immigration Laws

01 October 2012

As previously announced, a number of changes to the Immigration Rules are coming into effect today (1 October 2012).

New Rules now apply for extending your visa

If you are applying to extend your visa under the points-based system, all working and student routes, visiting routes, long residency routes and discharged HM Forces and UK ancestry routes, new rules will now apply.

If you have limited leave to enter or remain in the UK and wish to extend your visa, you must apply within 28 days of your current visa expiring. Your application for further leave will be refused if you have overstayed your visa by more than 28 days when you apply.

If you have no right to be in the country the Border Agency

expects you to leave voluntarily and will enforce your return if you fail to do so. Where the Border Agency  need to enforce someone’s return they may contact us now on 01634 828288 for instant free advicee subject to a ban on re-entering the UK.

 

Changes to Tier 1 (Exceptional talent) route

Minor changes to the Tier 1 Exceptional talent route come into effect fro the 1 October . These changes are intended to clarify the rules of
  • this route and make it easier for suitably qualified applicants to apply.

The changes include:

    • An amendment to the definition of the purpose of the scheme, to explain that the “exceptional promise” aspect does not apply to the field of the arts.
    • Small amendments to the criteria used by The Royal Society, The Royal Academy of Engineering and The British Academy to assess applicants, following discussions with these designated competent bodies.
    • Widening the eligibility by allowing Tier 2 (General) migrants and sponsored researchers who are Tier 5 (Temporary worker) migrants to switch into the Exceptional Talent route while they are in the UK.
    • Changes to the unique reference number (URN) system.
    • Clarification of the evidence for extension applications.
Contact us now on 01634 828288 for instant free advice
New streamlined UK visa application process for students from Botswana and Malaysia

From today, Botswana and Malaysia have joined the list of low-risk countries, whose nationals applying for a Tier 4 student visa benefit from a streamlined UK visa application process.

Under the streamlined process eligible applicants will generally not be expected to provide documentary evidence of financial maintenance and education qualifications, making the application process simpler and easier. Applicants from Botswana and Malaysia will still need to meet the requirements and students must be able to provide the appropriate documents if requested.

 

Contact us now on 01634 828288 for instant free advice

 

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Changes to applications from overstayers from 1 October 2012

The  Border Agency will from 1 October 2012 not approve applications for further leave to remain if a migrant has overstayed his or her leave and his or her leave has expired by more than 28 days at the point of making an application.

The new rules  already apply to applications made under the family migration route and, from 1 October 2012, will apply to applications under the Points Based System

If a migrant has limited leave to remain he or she must ensure he or she  applies to extend his or her leave in good time if the migrant applies for further leave under:

    • the points-based system;
    • all working and student routes;
    • visiting routes;
    • long residency routes;
    • discharged HM Forces; or
    • UK ancestry routes.

If the migrant wishes to remain in the UK after the 28 day period they should leave the UK and reapply for a visa.

Switching from study to Tier 2

The changes to the rules do not affect the existing requirement for migrants seeking to switch from a study route into Tier 2 of the points based system, applying under Tier 4 points based system.  If the migrant is  seeking to switch from a study route into Tier 2 he or she must have valid leave to remain at the point of making the application. If a migrant is applying to extend your Tier 4 (Student) leave the gap between the end of his or her current leave and the start of his or her studies, which must be no more than 28 days.
This change will affect all Tier 4 applications for further leave to remain that are made on or after 1 October 2012.  Contact Shabana Shahab for further advice and assistance or for further information go to www.statussolutionsuk.co.uk
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Changes to the Immigration (European Economic Area)

On 16 July 2012, the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2006 did change.

The amended regulations will set out the rights of EEA nationals and their family members to enter and reside in the UK and will also confirm the criteria for rights to permanent residence.

The key changes to the regulations include:

  • new rights of residence;
  • restrictions on free movement rights;
  • amendments to reflect current operational practice;
  • amendments to implement agreements reached with the European Commission or stakeholders in relation to the UK’s implementation of Directive 2004/38/EC;
  • the extension of refusal powers based on public policy, public health, and public security; and
  • amended appeal rights.

The regulations have been amended to give effect to the judgments of the Court of Justice of the European Union (ECJ). The court establishes new rights to enter and reside in the UK and restricts the terms on which free movement rights can be exercised.

Rights to reside in the UK on the basis of ECJ judgments do not stem directly from Directive 2004/38/EC, therefore they are referred to as ‘derivative rights’. This means that the recognition of this right by the UK is not equal to rights under the directive.

This also means that those who acquire derivative rights are not eligible to acquire permanent residence in the UK, or to sponsor family members in to the UK once they have acquired a right to reside.

These changes will affect:

  • children of EEA national workers or former workers where the child is in education in the UK;
  • primary carers of self-sufficient EEA national children;
  • primary carers of children of EEA national workers or former workers where that child is in education in the UK; and
  • dependent children under the age of 18 of the primary carers in each of the categories listed above.

You should seek legal advice if you believe that your immigration status will be affected.

Immigration Status is an information board setup by Status Solutions UK regulated by the OISC Licence Number F200400202.

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Over 250 illegal immigrants

Over 250 illegal immigrants have been removed from the West Midlands, Warwickshire and West Mercia during a major campaign by the UK Border Agency.

Since 8 May this year officers from the agency’s Solihull HQ have stepped up efforts to locate, arrest and detain foreign nationals who have overstayed their limited leave to remain visas. Up until 12 July, 102 visa overstayers and 154 other immigration offenders had been arrested and removed following unannounced visits by Border Agency officers.

Raids on residential and business addresses have taken place across the region, including Birmingham, Coventry, Rugby, Wolverhampton and Worcester. The majority of those removed are from Bangladesh, India and Pakistan.

The figures include foreign nationals who have been removed by force, those who have left voluntarily after being contacted by the agency and others who have been cross-checked against the e-borders database, which confirms the names of all passengers who have left the country on inter-continental flights.

All foreign nationals that have overstayed visas face being barred from re-entering the UK.

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