Mr Andrew Osborne

Andrew Osborne

Updates

Employment & Immigration

Important amendments to document-keeping guidance for sponsors of workers
United Kingdom | 07 April 2021

The Home Office recently clarified the documentation that sponsors of workers must keep regarding their recruitment activity. The changes are helpful and should not be onerous for sponsors to comply with; however, there may be actions that some employers will need to take to ensure compliance. This article highlights the changes that are set out in Appendix D to the sponsor guidance, which covers document-keeping requirements for sponsors.

Home Office issues further guidance on right-to-work checks for EEA nationals during grace period
United Kingdom | 31 March 2021

The Home Office has provided UK employers with further details about which actions they may take when checking the right to work of EEA nationals and their family members during the post-transition grace period from 1 January 2021 to 30 June 2021. The guidance covers topics including checking right-to-work documentation issued under the Immigration Rules and carrying out retrospective right-to-work checks for existing employees.

Launch of new graduate route and changes to skilled worker route announced
United Kingdom | 24 March 2021

The Home Office is launching a new graduate route from 1 July 2021 and is making amendments to the skilled worker route from 6 April 2021, including changes to the shortage occupation list, the eligible occupations, the salary calculation rules and the compliance requirements where a salary is reduced. This article discusses the implications of the main changes and flags the changes that will most likely be of interest to employers.

Skilled Worker visa: everything you need to know
United Kingdom | 17 March 2021

The Skilled Worker visa route is designed for individuals who have been recruited to work in the United Kingdom in a specific job. The job offer must be from a Home Office-approved sponsor and for an eligible skilled occupation. This article outlines everything that applicants should know regarding the Skilled Worker visa, including with regard to its purpose and conditions, its eligibility requirements, settlement and dependants.

Immigration announcements in Spring Budget 2021
United Kingdom | 10 March 2021

Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak recently presented the Spring Budget 2021 and announced a range of immigration measures designed to help highly skilled and skilled international talent come to the United Kingdom to support business growth, particularly for scale-up businesses, innovative businesses and intra-company transfers. The measures also aim to contribute to the advancement of key industry sectors such as academia, science, research and technology.

Skilled Worker visa provides a shareholding solution for Tier 2 (General) migrants
United Kingdom | 24 February 2021

Tier 2 (General) migrants cannot have a shareholding of more than 10% in their limited company sponsor; however, the skilled worker route does not include this restriction. How can a Tier 2 (General) migrant take advantage of this change if they are offered a shareholding that would take them above the 10% threshold? The lifting of the maximum shareholding requirement for the skilled worker route should open doors to more businesses and business founders wishing to work in the United Kingdom.

England introduces quarantine hotels and further post-arrival COVID-19 testing
United Kingdom | 17 February 2021

From 15 February 2021, international arrivals to England must quarantine in a government-managed hotel if, within the 10 days before their arrival, they have been in or transited a country to which a travel ban applies. Additional post-arrival COVID-19 testing has been mandated from the same date. A raft of penalties will also apply for non-compliance.

COVID-19 requirements for travelling and entry to the United Kingdom
United Kingdom | 10 February 2021

Since the beginning of 2021, the government has implemented a raft of additional travel and entry measures to minimise the spread of new COVID-19 variants in the United Kingdom, including pre-departure COVID-19 testing, travel bans, the suspension of travel corridor arrangements and the requirement that visits to the United Kingdom be for an essential purpose. This article outlines the recent developments for travel to England.

Key immigration action points for employers in 2021
United Kingdom | 03 February 2021

Free movement between the United Kingdom and the European Economic Area and Switzerland has ended and has been replaced in the United Kingdom by the domestic immigration system, including the new points-based immigration system. EEA and Swiss nationals (excluding Irish nationals) who want to work in the United Kingdom now need some form of visa permission, depending on when they arrived in the country. This change has significant implications for UK employers.

Skilled Worker visa provides new options for foreign workers
United Kingdom | 27 January 2021

Under the new immigration system launched on 1 December 2020, the skilled worker route has replaced Tier 2 (General). Benefits for employers include the fact that there are fewer restrictions on switching to the Skilled Worker visa from within the United Kingdom, the skills threshold has been lowered to Regulated Qualifications Framework Level 3, the salary thresholds have been reduced and the resident labour market test has been removed.

Right-to-work checks for EEA nationals during first half of 2021
United Kingdom | 20 January 2021

The Home Office has confirmed that there will be no change to the right-to-work (RTW) check procedure for EEA nationals who start work in the United Kingdom between 1 January 2021 and 30 June 2021 (the post-transition grace period). However, it has left unanswered the question of what to do when an EEA national has no RTW.

What does the Brexit trade deal mean for immigration law?
United Kingdom | 13 January 2021

With the end of the Brexit implementation period comes the end of the free movement of persons. This is the case irrespective of the fact that the United Kingdom has secured a trade deal with the European Union. Employers and individuals must digest what the new immigration rules look like, both for EEA and Swiss nationals (aside from Irish nationals) wishing to come to the United Kingdom and British nationals wishing to go to the continent.

Q&A: right-to-work checks beyond 2020
United Kingdom | 16 December 2020

The end of the transition period and freedom of movement is only a few weeks away. Although employers are busy getting to grips with the post-Brexit immigration system, they are also concerned about what changes they must make to their right-to-work check procedures and when. This Q&A – based on questions asked by attendees of a recent webinar – answers the key questions on this matter.

New immigration act becomes law
United Kingdom | 09 December 2020

The Immigration and Social Security Coordination (EU Withdrawal) Act 2020 recently received royal assent. The act provides the legislative basis for ending EU free movement arrangements in the United Kingdom after the end of the transition period and recognising the immigration status of Irish citizens in the United Kingdom.

Home Office issues new guidance for sponsors
United Kingdom | 02 December 2020

The Home Office has issued new guidance for sponsors which replaces the Tier 2 and Tier 5 sponsor guidance. It covers the skilled worker, intra-company transfer and temporary worker routes and aims to provide information on sponsorship when these routes are launched from 1 December 2020.

Immigration Rules confirmed for Hong Kong British National (Overseas) citizens
United Kingdom | 25 November 2020

From 31 January 2021 two new immigration routes will be introduced for British National (Overseas) (BN(O)) citizens and their adult children who were born on or after 1 July 1997. These two routes are BN(O) status holder and BN(O) household member. The Home Office recently published the detailed Immigration Rules for these routes, which this article summarises.

Q&A on new immigration system
United Kingdom | 18 November 2020

Employers have lots of questions regarding the new immigration system that will apply in 2021, particularly with regard to the Skilled Worker visa, which will replace Tier 2 (General) from 1 January 2021. This Q&A – based on questions asked by attendees to a recent webinar – answers employers' main questions.

MAC commissioned to report on intra-company transfers
United Kingdom | 11 November 2020

The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) has accepted a commission from the home secretary to review intra-company transfer visa arrangements. The MAC has also been asked to consider what provision could be made to allow overseas businesses to send a team rather than one individual to establish a UK branch or subsidiary, or carry out a secondment to work on a high-value goods or services contract. The report is due by the end of October 2021, with a revised route likely becoming available in 2022.

Six pitfalls to avoid with EU Settlement Scheme
United Kingdom | 04 November 2020

Despite the EU Settlement Scheme being publicised as simple and straightforward, there are many potential pitfalls for the unwary, particularly when the circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic are factored in. To avoid them, individuals must be aware of the scheme and get to grips with it before the end of 2020. This article sets out some of the potential pitfalls and suggestions for how to avoid them.

Home Office publishes Immigration Rules for new immigration system
United Kingdom | 28 October 2020

The Statement of Changes in Immigration Rules HC 813 was recently published. This key document outlines the features of the government's points-based immigration system and simplifies the language and structure of some areas of the Immigration Rules. The new system will apply to EEA and Swiss nationals, aside from Irish nationals. This article highlights some of the changes that are likely to be of most interest to employers.

Global Talent visas for digital technology applicants: factsheet
United Kingdom | 21 October 2020

The Global Talent visa route is designed for individuals who are recognised or emerging leaders in digital technology and wish to work in the United Kingdom. Successful applicants will be granted up to five years' leave in the United Kingdom and can apply to extend their visa as many times as they like. This article outlines the criteria for endorsement used to assess whether an applicant qualifies as either a recognised or an emerging leader.

MAC publishes report recommending expanded shortage occupation lists
United Kingdom | 14 October 2020

The Migration Advisory Committee has recommended a significant expansion of the occupations deemed to be in shortage for the purposes of sponsorship under the new skilled worker category, which will replace Tier 2 (General) from 1 January 2021. The Home Office will now need to consider the recommendations and finalise the Immigration Rules for skilled workers.

Countdown to new 2021 immigration system and Brexit – are you ready?
United Kingdom | 07 October 2020

From 1 January 2021 there will be a new immigration system in the United Kingdom. Due to free movement ending, the new system will apply to EEA and Swiss nationals as well as non-EEA nationals. Employers must start to prepare for this change now. This article provides a timeline which outlines the areas that employers must consider and suggests timeframes for taking action.

New Immigration Rules for students give employers insight into what's to come for workers
United Kingdom | 30 September 2020

The Home Office recently published new Immigration Rules for students. The rules provide the first glimpse of the new points-based immigration system and highlight what some of its implications will be, not only for students, but also for employers and workers. While the new rules for work routes will not be published until later in Autumn 2020, the new rules for students provide some significant pointers on the Home Office's general thinking and flag some areas in which further policy clarifications will be needed.

ICIBI calls for evidence on UKVI's commercial partners' performance
United Kingdom | 23 September 2020

Employers and other stakeholders have until 1 October 2020 to provide the Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration (ICIBI) with views on how well the commercial partners of UK Visas and Immigration are performing, for applications made both in the United Kingdom and abroad. The ICIBI is seeking evidence from stakeholders on whether commercial partners are meeting the needs of UK visa applicants.

Innovator visa: everything you need to know
United Kingdom | 16 September 2020

This article outlines everything that applicants should know regarding the Innovator visa, including with regard to the purpose and length of stay, endorsing bodies, endorsement criteria and genuineness and other considerations. The innovator route is open to applicants who are experienced businesspeople looking to establish a business in the United Kingdom and are the founders of their business, relying on their own business plans, among other things.

Start-up visa: everything you need to know
United Kingdom | 09 September 2020

This article outlines everything that applicants should know regarding the requirements for the Start-up visa, including with regard to the purpose and length of stay, endorsing bodies, endorsement criteria and genuineness and other considerations. The start-up route is open to applicants who are looking to establish a business in the United Kingdom for the first time and are the founders of their business, relying on their own business plans, among other things.

UK immigration strategies for EEA business travellers and workers from 2021
United Kingdom | 02 September 2020

EEA nationals and their employers are now turning their minds towards how frequent business and work travellers and cross-border commuters can continue to come to the United Kingdom from 2021. For some, the best solution may be offered by the EU Settlement Scheme, but there are also other options to consider.

Home Office issues communications to sponsors regarding licence renewals
United Kingdom | 26 August 2020

The Home Office has started to make early contact with sponsors whose licences are due to expire before the end of 2020. These sponsors will be able to apply to renew their licences earlier than the usual maximum 90 days before expiry. This should help to avoid delays at the end of 2020 when thousands of licences are up for renewal at the same time as European free movement ends for UK citizens.

Home Office confirms COVID-19 immigration arrangements beyond 31 July 2020
United Kingdom | 12 August 2020

In a last-minute update on 29 July 2020, the Home Office pivoted towards a return to business as usual regarding immigration policy. Some significant concessions remain available until at least 31 August 2020; however, there are a number of potential pitfalls of which employers and individuals should be aware.

Home Office publishes COVID-19 minimum income policy for family visa route applicants
United Kingdom | 05 August 2020

The Home Office recently updated its policy guidance to confirm a surprisingly limited concession to the usual minimum income requirements that most applicants for partner and child visas must meet. The guidance is intended to ensure that applicants are not disadvantaged as a result of circumstances beyond their control because of COVID-19. However, it is concerning for multiple reasons.

New Health and Care visa to launch on 4 August 2020
United Kingdom | 29 July 2020

The Home Office has released the first guidance on the new Health and Care visa for doctors, nurses and allied health professionals, including individuals working in the social care sector. The Health and Care visa will be available from 4 August 2020 and will fall under the Tier 2 (General) category.

Home Office provides consolidated details of new immigration system
United Kingdom | 22 July 2020

The Home Office has published a more detailed policy statement on the changes to the UK immigration system due to come into effect from 1 January 2021, including its redesign of points-based immigration routes. The statement summarises the planned reforms to the most commonly used work, business, study and visit routes ahead of simplified immigration rules and guidance being published in Autumn 2020. This article outlines the key policy points for specific immigration categories and arrangements.

Updated guide to immigration implications of COVID-19 for employers
United Kingdom | 15 July 2020

This article sets out the main immigration law issues and Home Office guidance of which employers need to be aware so that they can consider the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic for their business. It summarises the latest updates and provides further details on issues ranging from logistical considerations to Tier 2 and prevention of illegal working requirements.

UK immigration beyond lockdown
United Kingdom | 24 June 2020

UK visa processing is slowly starting to resume, but it is not yet business as usual. There are still many things that employers and applicants must monitor and potential pitfalls to avoid. The issues relating to processing remain complex and, as each country is moving out of lockdown at a different pace depending on their local restrictions, each application should be considered on a case-by-case basis.

New quarantine rules cause confusion for cross-border workers
United Kingdom | 17 June 2020

New rules require most international travellers who arrive in the United Kingdom from 8 June 2020 to self-isolate for 14 days. There is an exemption for cross-border workers; however, how this works in practice is not straightforward. This article examines the exemption and provides information for employers with regard to eligibility.

MAC launches six-week call for evidence on shortage occupations
United Kingdom | 27 May 2020

Employers have until 24 June 2020 to provide their views to the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) on what occupations should be on the shortage occupation lists for UK sponsored skilled migration from 1 January 2021. Employers can complete an online form outlining details of what occupations they have difficulty recruiting for and why. In light of the COVID-19 outbreak, the MAC would also like to hear from employers that are unable to respond before the deadline, but can provide details for future research.

Pandemic right to work checks procedures
United Kingdom | 20 May 2020

Under the Home Office's current guidance for right to work (RTW) checks, it is possible to conduct a fully compliant initial or follow-up RTW check without seeing an individual face to face. Where this is impossible during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Home Office has instituted a temporary adjusted procedure, which must be backed up by retrospective checks in due course. This article summarises the options and procedures and highlights some general points to be aware of during the pandemic.

Guide to immigration implications of COVID-19 for employers
United Kingdom | 06 May 2020

This article sets out the main immigration law issues and Home Office guidance of which employers need to be aware so that they can consider the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic for their business. It summarises the latest updates and provides further details on issues ranging from logistical considerations to Tier 2 and prevention of illegal working requirements.

UK employment rights in a no-deal Brexit
United Kingdom | 28 August 2019

What might a no-deal Brexit mean for UK employment rights? What could employers do now to prepare? And what might the future hold in a no-deal scenario? Prime Minister Boris Johnson is clear that he would be prepared to leave the European Union without a deal if necessary and the current legislation commits the United Kingdom to leaving the European Union at 11:00pm on 31 October 2019. Thus, it seems like a good time to revisit the employment law implications of a no-deal Brexit for employers.