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Introducing our Immigration Practice

Immigration continues to be an area of focus for our clients as they adjust to the changing landscape brought on by Brexit, while continuing to manage a growing list of routine immigration compliance responsibilities and issues.

We understand the pressures on employers and the need for practical immigration advice and tips, information on changes and how to manage them, and commentary on future policy development and potential issues. To assist our clients and contacts we will be sharing regular immigration news updates, editorials on topics such as Brexit and immigration policy developments, upcoming deadlines and changes to be aware of, as well as invites to immigration seminars, training sessions and roundtable events.

In this immigration news update we have a news round-up, dates for your diary and employer actions, and the latest on Brexit.

https://www.dentons.com/en/insights/articles/2018/february/22/introducing-our-immigration-practice

 

Introducing our Immigration Practice

Brexodus continues…

Net migration from the EU has plummeted from 165,000 in 2016 to 90,000 in 2017

As expected, in the latest statistics released by the Office of National Statistics today, net migration from the EU has plummeted, with fewer EU nationals moving to the UK and more leaving:

2016 2017
EU nationals who immigrated to the UK 268,000 220,000
EU nationals who emigrated from the UK 103,000 130,000
Net migration +165,000 +90,000

This is of significant concern to industries and sectors that rely heavily on EU talent, with health and medical services, and farming and agriculture already dealing with considerable labour shortages.

The UK will officially leave the EU on 29 March 2019, and even though this is still over 12 months away, employers are already feeling the impact.

The other interesting statistic released today is the huge increase in EU nationals applying for British citizenship. In 2016 15,460 EU nationals applied for British citizenship – following the Brexit referendum this number more than doubled to 38,528 in 2017.

What we can take from both of these statistics is that the lack of certainty in citizens’ rights and future immigration policy following Brexit is forcing individuals to consider and protect their position in the UK. At one end of the spectrum we can see that EU nationals are securing their rights in the UK by naturalising as a British citizen, and at the other end EU nationals are reassessing whether the UK is the place to establish a life and career in the first place. Without certainty on citizens’ rights and future immigration policy we can expect these statistics to continue on the same trajectory.

Brexodus continues…

Stretched resources – immigration and gender pay

Two stories have made the headlines today, and both relate to stretched resources. The stories look at preparing the UK immigration system for after Brexit, and the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) enforcing employers to publish gender pay gap information.
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Stretched resources – immigration and gender pay

Changes to Immigration Rules on continuous residence

In the latest round of changes to the Immigration Rules, two changes to the rules on continuous residence are likely to have a significant impact for many of those looking to secure indefinite leave to remain (ILR) in the UK.
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Changes to Immigration Rules on continuous residence

Brexit update

As you will no doubt have seen in the news, progress has been made in phase one of the Brexit negotiations. We have prepared a summary of the position on citizens' rights; whilst it has been stressed that "nothing is agreed until everything is agreed", the lie of the land is starting to look a little clearer for those EEA nationals who are already in the UK.
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Brexit update

Cooking up a storm – Tier 2 chefs

The immigration rules make a distinction between chefs working at takeaway establishments and those working at restaurants.
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Cooking up a storm – Tier 2 chefs

Scotland – a separate system for global mobility?

The Times newspaper has revealed plans by Scottish ministers to pave the way for a bespoke immigration system. Scottish ministers are concerned that Brexit will lead to a fall in immigrant workers, who are vital to the Scottish economy. Alasdair Allan, the Scottish government's Europe minister, raised this as an issue to the Europe Committee earlier in 2017. He said: "The Scottish government will continue to call for a less restrictive and more humane system from the UK which recognises individual and demographic circumstances."
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Scotland – a separate system for global mobility?

Government update on settled status

The Government has published further details on how the new settled status scheme for EU citizens and their family members will work as the UK leaves the EU. In the technical document sent to the European Commission, the Government has pledged that this new system will be streamlined, low-cost and user-friendly and will be designed with input from EU citizens.

Following the UK’s exit from the EU, EU citizens will have up to two years to apply to stay in the UK and obtain settled status. Applications will be decided solely on the criteria set out in the Withdrawal Agreement and there will be no discretion for refusal based on other reasons. As yet, these criteria are not conclusive. However , the Government has confirmed that they will be simple and transparent and will minimise the need for documentary evidence. Unsuccessful applicants will have a statutory right of appeal in line with current rights provided by the Free Movement Directive.

There are also plans to set up a voluntary application process to provide those currently resident with the option to get new settled status at their earliest convenience. This is in recognition of the administrative challenge of granting status to potentially over 3 million EU citizens and their families.

 Negotiations between the UK and EU are ongoing with the next talks set to take place on 9 and 10 November.

 

Government update on settled status

Safeguarding the status of EU citizens: UK and EU negotiation update

The EU and UK have concluded their fifth round of negotiations. Progress has been made on coming to an agreement in relation to the rights of EU citizens living in the UK. Some points are still to be negotiated.
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Safeguarding the status of EU citizens: UK and EU negotiation update

Have your say on the future of the UK immigration system

As highlighted in our September Round-Up, we are participating in the call for evidence of the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC).
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Have your say on the future of the UK immigration system