1. Skip to navigation
  2. Skip to content
  3. Skip to sidebar

Phase 2 of the EU Settlement Scheme trial set to commence soon

With the UK leaving the EU on 29 March 2019, the EU Settlement Scheme provides the basis for resident EU citizens and their family members to obtain the immigration status they will need to remain in the UK. It is anticipated that EU citizens and their family members who are resident in the UK or who move to the UK before 31 December 2020 will have to submit an application by 30 June 2021. Under the scheme, applicants may be granted either settled status if they have been in the UK for five years (indefinite leave to remain) or pre-settled status (limited leave to remain) if they have not reached the five-year mark at the time of making their application.

Phase 1 of the EU Settlement Scheme trial

The Home Office conducted an initial phase testing from 28 August to 17 October, in which EU nationals from 12 NHS trusts in the north-west of England, as well as students and staff from three Liverpool universities, were invited to apply for residence documentation via the EU Settlement Scheme.

1,053 applications were received. From those, 924 decisions were made and sent out to applicants by 30 October. Based on automated checks made against HMRC data, 85 per cent of those 924 applicants did not have to provide additional evidence. The other 15 per cent had to provide additional evidence to demonstrate their residence.

Phase 2 and next steps

The second phase of private testing will commence on 1 November 2018, and will cover a much wider group of potential applicants, including those with more complex cases who may not have a complete set of government data. From 15 November students and staff at UK universities will be able to apply, and from 29 November the testing pool widens again with inclusion of workers in health and social care.

Implications for employers

With the success of Phase 1 and the announcement of Phase 2, employers should ensure their employees have access to the most up-to-date information, and understand the key elements of the EU Settlement Scheme.

Phase 2 of the EU Settlement Scheme trial set to commence soon

Immigration Health Surcharge increase – one month to go

On 11 October 2018, the House of Commons introduced the Immigration (Health Charge) (Amendment) Order 2018, which seeks to double the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) from £200 per visa applicant, per year of visa validity, to £400 per visa applicant, per year of visa validity. The increase is set to come into effect in December 2018, subject to Parliamentary approval. This is particularly relevant to employers who provide Tier 2 sponsorship to non-EEA nationals. To minimise the impact of the IHS increase, employers should review their pipeline of new applications and in-country extensions and consider applying before the increase takes effect.
Read more »
Immigration Health Surcharge increase – one month to go

What can employers take from the latest migration statistics?

Earlier this month we blogged on the CIPD's latest quarterly labour market snapshot which found that the number of applicants per vacancy had significantly decreased across all skill levels in the last 12 months. The ONS has now released its August quarterly report on the UK migration statistics for the year ending March 2018 and the report highlights some interesting shifts in the patterns of EU migration in and out of the UK.
Read more »
What can employers take from the latest migration statistics?

CIPD reports that a reduced amount of EU to UK migration has caused a skills shortage in the UK

According to CIPD's latest quarterly labour market snapshot, a slump in the number of EU citizens migrating to the UK has exacerbated skills shortages in the UK.
Read more »
CIPD reports that a reduced amount of EU to UK migration has caused a skills shortage in the UK

Migrants’ rights in the spotlight

Brexit is thought to be one of the reasons why the Tier 2 (General) restricted Certificate of Sponsorship cap has been reached. However, we may at last be seeing some reprieve from this.
Read more »
Migrants’ rights in the spotlight

New entrepreneurial visa route announced

In a move announced by the Home Secretary yesterday, foreign nationals who want to start a business in the UK will be able to apply for a "start-up" visa.
Read more »
New entrepreneurial visa route announced

Tier 2 Restricted Certificates of Sponsorship – Quota hit

Tier 2 Restricted Certificates of Sponsorship (CoS), which employers use to employ non-EU/EEA nationals in the UK, are scarce.
Read more »
Tier 2 Restricted Certificates of Sponsorship – Quota hit

The “Windrush” generation – the similarities for EU nationals

The UK government's immigration minister, Caroline Nokes, has set out the government's commitment to support the "Windrush" generation. The "Windrush" generation is a reference to the ship, the Empire Windrush, that brought workers from the West Indies to Britain in 1948.
Read more »
The “Windrush” generation – the similarities for EU nationals

People, Reward and Mobility – Annual update and diversity review – May 2018

The People, Reward and Mobility team are pleased to invite you to our annual update seminar. Designed to bring you up to date with the latest key developments affecting your workforce, we will review:

  • the top employment cases for 2017 and 2018 and legislative changes, together with their implications for your business;
  • key changes in pensions and other employee reward schemes and their effects on your business;
  • the latest implications from Brexit on immigration matters, including what you can be doing now to be prepared; and
  • diversity and inclusion, with a spotlight on what #MeToo means for your business and gender pay gap reporting, a year into the regime.

The seminar will be preceded by a breakfast buffet and an opportunity to network. We will hold a complimentary legal clinic after the event.

For further information (including dates), please visit our Events page:

Events

People, Reward and Mobility – Annual update and diversity review – May 2018

Mergers and acquisitions post completion immigration actions

Where an organisation has a Tier 2 Sponsor Licence to employ non-EEA workers they have a responsibility to report to the Home Office when certain events occur. Examples include where the organisation moves premises, changes its name, or there is a merger, takeover, de-merger or, more generally, any transaction where there is a change of ownership.

Even though we are approaching the 10-year anniversary of the introduction of Tier 2, there continues to be a lot of confusion and misunderstanding regarding the sponsor licence reporting process, especially in relation to transactions. With strict deadlines for reporting (20 days from the date the event occurs) it is critical to understand the events that need to be reported, and any additional actions you must complete.

Preparation in advance of a transaction is key – if you only start assessing the necessary actions once a transaction has completed it is usually too late and there is a risk that the deadline will be missed. This could jeopardise the immigration status of any sponsored employees and your ability to sponsor employees in the future.

The questions you need to ask to determine necessary actions are:

  1. What type of transaction is taking place – is it a merger, acquisition, demerger, share sale?
  2. What entities are involved and do they currently have a Tier 2 sponsor licence?
  3. Will there be a change in the direct ownership of the sponsor licence entity, or will the change in ownership be higher up the chain?
  4. Will TUPE apply?
  5. Who are the Tier 2 visa holders impacted by the transaction?
  6. Will there be secondary changes now or in the future that need to be reported, for example will there be a change to the name or location of the organisation?

Depending on the responses to these questions the necessary actions in relation to the organisation could be as simple as a short report to the Home Office, or as complex as needing to apply for a new Tier 2 sponsor licence. In respect of each employee with a Tier 2 visa, again it may be as simple as a short report to the Home Office or as complex as each employee needing to apply for a new visa (which they may not be eligible for).

In addition, a new right to work check needs to be completed for any employee who TUPE transfers into your organisation.

Given the complexities in identifying the necessary actions, the strict timeframes with which to comply, and the negative impact of making an error, it is critical to think about immigration early on in the corporate deal.

A final point to consider is that, if the transaction includes operations outside the UK, similar immigration compliance actions may be required in each location, adding to the overall complexity and risk position.

Mergers and acquisitions post completion immigration actions