IMMIGRATION LAW UPDATE 2015

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1 IMMIGRATION LAW UPDATE 2015

2 Doyle Clayton and GCS Seminar An update on UK Immigration Law Changes in July 2015, Reading Owen Jones, Partner and Head of Business Immigration Anita Pali, Associate

3 About Doyle Clayton Largest niche Employment and Business Immigration Law firm with offices in Reading, City, Canary Wharf and Mayfair. Offer an integrated Employment and Immigration service; covering all aspects of Business Immigration. Provide prompt, efficient and cost effective advice and support (personalised guidance/checklists/plan options and strategy). Direct access to qualified and experienced solicitors (no passing work to inexperienced junior solicitor or unqualified paralegals). Members of ILPA and ELLINT.

4 What we will cover: A comment on politics and immigration in Common HR questions and the different UK Immigration Visa categories available to migrants and businesses. The Key Immigration Rule changes in 2015: - the new genuineness test. - Sponsor licence compliance. - SOC code changes. - Visitor rules, NHS Levy, language tests and more. Further changes on the horizon.

5 Politics and Immigration in 2015 Huge changes since introduction of the points based system in Direction of travel to a more restrictive system than ever before. Introduction of caps and targets. Tension between the needs of business and the perceived public needs.

6 Common HR questions in relation to UK Immigration: 1. Can this person work for our company on this visa? 2. Will the new immigration changes affect our recruitment plans or cause any delays? 3. Are there any new changes that I need to know about which could present a risk to our company s compliance and our Tier 2 Sponsor Licence?

7 A Refresher: The 5 Tiers of the Points Based System Tier 1 Highly Skilled Migrants, Entrepreneurs and Investors Tier 2 Skilled Workers requiring sponsorship Tier 3 Low Skilled never rolled out Tier 4 Students Tier 5 Temporary Workers

8 Can an employee work on this visa? TIER 1 (GENERAL) (Also known as Highly Skilled/HSMP) Allows complete and unrestricted employment. No longer available.

9 Can an employee work on this visa? continued TIER 1 (ENTREPRENEUR) No employment with your company permitted applicants should be working in their own business. TIER 1 (GRADUATE ENTREPRENEUR) Employment with your company now usually permitted (previously restricted to 20 hours per week). This changed in 2013 need to check each visa. TIER 1 (INVESTOR) Can be employed however exercise caution as predominant purpose of stay in the UK is to invest funds, could impact extension, contact Doyle Clayton if concerned.

10 Can an employee work on this visa? continued TIER 1 (EXCEPTIONAL TALENT) No employment with your company permitted, unless aligned with the visa eg. Opera Singer singing at the Royal Opera House. TIER 1 (POST STUDY WORK) Allowed complete and unrestricted employment with any company. Now withdrawn.

11 Tier 2: TIER 2 (GENERAL) Employment is only permitted in line with certificate of sponsorship (COS) and must be issued in relation to your company. TIER 2 (ICT) No employment with your company permitted unless the visa was specifically issued on behalf of your company.

12 Students? TIER 4 (GENERAL) Employment is permitted however this is subject to the time limits as endorsed on their visa/biometric residence permit. This will be either zero hours, 10 hours or 20 hours per week during TERM TIME and full time during VACATIONS, and after the COURSE COMPLETION date until the visa expiry date.

13 Tier 5 TIER 5 HAS A NUMBER OF SUB-CATEGORIES

14 Other Immigration categories permitting employment UK ANCESTRY Allows complete and unrestricted employment. SPOUSES AND EEA FAMILY MEMBERS (EEA RESIDENCE CARD) Allows complete and unrestricted employment INDEFINITE LEAVE TO REMAIN Allows complete and unrestricted employment. Do update

15 Developments in 2015 Continued politically driven change. A more aggressive approach from the Home Office/UK Visas & Immigration. Stricter compliance requirements with genuineness tests implemented across the Points Based System including Tier 2. Awareness is key! Easy to get it wrong small mistakes but significant consequences. Breaches could lead to serious consequences for businesses leading to prosecution, civil penalties and public naming and shaming in the media affecting brand reputation.

16 Home Office have a name and shame list:

17 Common Triggers for Home Office visits are: Specific intelligence about the sponsor Specific intelligence about individuals working for the sponsor A change in policy placing the sponsor or migrant workers in a higher risk category. Bounced s eg. Indicating that an Authorising Officer has left.

18 Key Immigration Rule Changes in 2015: Changes to SOC Codes 1. The Standard Occupational Codes (SOC Codes) were updated in April Shortage Occupation List For Tier 2 Sponsors who frequently rely on the Shortage Occupation list the new Rules make some changes. Removal of some roles, others replacing them. Changes to minimum salary levels There has also been a general increase in relation to the minimum salary thresholds.

19 Key Changes: Changes to SOC Codes Continued Tier 2 ICT Short Term/Skills Transfer assignees now requiring a minimum salary of 24,800; Tier 2 ICT Long term assignees requiring 41,500; Tier 2 General assignees requiring 20,800 and Tier 2 High Earners requiring exemption from the Resident Labour Market Test (RLMT) or the Cooling Off period now need to be paid 155,300. However this must be read in conjunction with the Standard Occupational Classification codes (SoC Codes) e.g. Business Development Manager Code 3545.

20 Cooling off period: The 3 month COS Those spending only 3 months at a time in the UK will no longer be subject to the usual 12 month Cooling Off period. This will greatly assist businesses who require staff to urgently transfer to the UK on short term assignments and will enable these Assignees to return to the UK soon after.

21 The NHS Levy: An Immigration Health Surcharge is now applicable for visas of 6 months or more duration. Applies to entry clearance applications as well as those extending their visas. 200 per year and is based on the duration of the Certificate of Sponsorship (COS). The fee applies to the main applicant and any dependants applying.

22 New BRP Process for out of country applications: Biometric Residence Permits (BRP) are now being issued to those applying from overseas who are issued a UK visa of more than 6 months. A vignette for 30 days will be placed in the Assignee s passport which will allow the assignee to travel to the UK. Once the Assignee arrives in the UK they will then have 10 days to attend their chosen Post Office to collect their Biometric Residence Permit.

23 English Language Tests: The list of approved English Language providers has been changed and providers such as ETS have now been removed from the new list. Need to ensure that any English Language test certificate being provided either meets the new requirements or falls under the transitional arrangements.

24 Loss of Appeal Rights: Immigration Act 2014 changes implemented on 6 November 2014 and additional changes made on 6 April Appeal rights are now only available in very limited circumstances, such as where the Applicant has merits to Appeal on Human Rights grounds, Asylum or EEA rules. A formal system of Administrative Review replaces appeals.

25 Visitor visa changes: Visitor visa categories have now been reduced from 15 categories to only 4. These comprise of Visitor Standard, Visitor for Marriage or Civil Partnership, Visitor for Permitted Paid Engagements and Transit Visitor. Anyone now travelling to the UK for leisure or business will now fall under the Visitor Standard route. Permitted activities of business visitors increased in scope.

26 Residential Tenancies provision: Visa Checks required by Landlords in relation to tenants and anyone associated to the tenant residing in the property. Landlord will be fined if person does not have valid visa! The requirement to carry out document checks currently only applies to: landlords letting property located in the West Midlands to be rolled out nationally later this year; all adults aged 18 and over living at the property; and new tenancy agreements which started on or after 1st December 2014.

27 Summary: Always carry out a right to work check on or before the first day of work and ensure that the signed and dated copies are stored safely on the Employee HR file and if a visa is required Apply for the appropriate visa prior to Employee commencing work and check whether in light of the new changes: Does their English Language qualification still meet the rules? Do they need to pay the IHS (NHS) Surcharge? Have you advertised the role at the correct salary level? Will the Assignee be arriving within 30 days of the vignette issue date? Where will they be living when they arrive in the UK?

28 On the Horizon A Sponsor licence as a privilege rather than an entitlement. Hitting the migrant cap for the first time: 11 June rejections for some restricted CoS requests. Immigration Bill.

29 On the Horizon continued Latest announcements: MAC to advise on more new measures to reduce demand for migrant labour from outside EEA. Radical change is in the air. Possibilities: - Hugely restrict Tier 2 General - limit to skills shortage and experts. - Reduce number of jobs appropriate for migrants. - Increase minimum salary - greater costs for business. - Remove the right to work for dependants. EU referendum!

30 Business Immigration Team contact details: London City Office ( ) : Owen Jones, Partner & Head of Business Immigration Anita Pali, Business Immigration Associate Mandeep Khroud, Business Immigration Associate Reading Office ( ): Victoria Burnip, Associate London Canary Wharf office ( ) : Chloe Harrold, Solicitor

31 London City One Crown Court Cheapside London EC2V 6LR T: Canary Wharf Level 10 One Canada Square London E14 5AA T: Mayfair Berger House Berkley Square London W1J 5AE T: Reading Sovereign House Vastern Road Reading RG1 8BT T:

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