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Immigration monthly round-up: November 2021

Immigration monthly round-up: November 2021
  • United Kingdom
  • Employment law
  • Global mobility and immigration

22-11-2021

Welcome to our regular immigration round-up, providing a helpful summary of what's new and in the pipeline for UK immigration, along with links to a wealth of detailed resources and courses at your disposal.

In this edition, you can find:

We hope you find these updates useful.

UK immigration updates

Covid-19: Changes to international travel rules

The Government’s guidance on international travel was updated on 4am on Monday 1 November 2021. The rules for international travel to England changed to remove the remaining 7 countries from the red list.

These countries were:

  • Colombia
  • The Dominican Republic
  • Ecuador
  • Haiti
  • Panama
  • Peru
  • Venezuela

Passengers returning to England from these countries will no longer be required to enter a managed hotel quarantine.

Reminder: It is important to monitor and regularly check the UK’s international travel rules before travelling as your entry to the UK might be impacted. Changes may be implemented with little or no notice as COVID-19 infections continue to rise. Furthermore, specific guidance should be checked should you be travelling to Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland to ensure you comply with the relevant requirements which apply in those jurisdictions.

Update on the Home Office’s caseworkers guidance for dependant family members in work routes

The Home Office has updated its caseworkers’ guidance for dependant family members in work routes to clarify the cohabitation requirements for unmarried partners. Typically, the 2-year period of living together for a couple who are not married or in a civil partnership must normally have been completed immediately prior to the date of application.

Through this recent update, the Home Office has now clarified that the 2-year period does not have to have been completed immediately preceding the date of application if, for example (this is not an exhaustive list):

  • the couple are currently living apart for work reasons
  • one of the couple needs to attend training in another territory
  • one partner demonstrates they have significant caring responsibilities, provided that the relationship has existed continuously since the 2-year period of cohabitation and continues to be genuine and subsisting at the date of application

The Home Office caseworkers’ guidance states that the applicant must demonstrate that:

  • it was not reasonably possible for the other partner to accompany or join them
  • there is evidence that the relationship continued throughout that period, for example, by visits, letters, logged phone calls, shared financial accounts

The updated Home Office’s caseworkers’ guidance on dependant family members in work routes can be found here.

New guidance on ethical decision-making model

The Home Office has published new guidance with the aim of providing aid to its caseworkers when making decisions on difficult ethical issues. This will enable them to articulate and raise concerns and is intended to address the issues that were identified by the Windrush Lessons Learned Review; staff were aware that unintended impacts of Home Office decisions were occurring, but the culture and processes of UK Visas and Immigration did not allow those concerns being raised or addressed. It is expected that the model will help identify “decision discomfort” - where a decision-maker feels that the proposed outcome is not right – and prevent decisions being made on the basis of published criteria only.

New guidance on biometrics self-employment feasibility trials

The Home Office has published guidance on how personal information is used within the biometrics self-enrolment feasibility trials. The trials are being conducted as the Home Office is looking to expand the use of its digital app to other cohorts.

If rolled out, this will mean that other individuals might potentially be able to use the digital app to enrol their biometrics instead of attending an appointment at the visa application centre to enrol their biometrics which will be particularly useful for those who are not based within a close distance of a visa application centre.

Clarification on pending EUSS applications, travel and study

The Home Office has provided clarification on certain matters for EEA citizens and family members who have made an application to the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) by 30 June 2021 or after that date through a letter circulated by the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA).

The key takeaways are that applicants who applied under the EU Settlement Scheme after 30 June 2021 but have been a resident in the UK by 31 December 2020:

  • should not travel outside or to the UK if relying on EUSS until they are in possession of a Certificate of Application
  • have rights in the UK protected pending the outcome of their application under the EU Settlement Scheme and any appeal
  • can log into the Home Office’s online system if they have a Certificate of Application to access their account and generate a share code to prove their rights (such as the right to work, study or rent

New statement of changes in immigration Rules

The government has issued a new Statement of Changes in Immigration Rules, which came into force at 16.00 hrs on 11 October 2021, to expand the Temporary Work—Seasonal Worker route to include poultry workers and heavy goods vehicle (HGV) drivers involved in the transportation of food goods for a limited period.

Deadlines:

  • applications for poultry workers under the temporary worker visa scheme are no longer possible. Visas under the temporary workers scheme are only available for 5,500 poultry workers and will expire on 31 December 2021)
  • those for pork butchers under the temporary workers visa scheme are open until 31 December 2021. Visas under the temporary workers scheme are only available for 800 pork butchers and are valid for 6 months from date of issue)
  • the application for HGV food drivers under the temporary workers visa scheme is open until 1 December 2021. Visas under the temporary workers scheme are only available for 4,700 HGV food drivers. (Visas for HGV food drivers will expire on 28 February 2022)

Information & guidance sheets

  • Service standard: The Home Office continue to experience very high global demand, meaning that some visa categories are taking longer than normal to be processed. The Home Office has reminded applicants who need to travel urgently to the UK for compassionate reasons will still need to apply for a visa in the usual way. Applicants should clearly explain the compelling or compassionate reasons for their visit in their application form and alert the staff at the visa application centre during biometric submission
  • UKVCAS service improvement: Since 1 November 2021, UKVCAS started to offer free and chargeable appointments at all Service Points (excluding Premium Lounge sites). In addition, UKVCAS has increased the number of free appointments available and has introduced a simplified pricing structure for all chargeable appointments
  • Visa checker: The Home Office has created a page which allows an individual to check if a visa is required based on their nationality and their plans whilst in the UK

Alerts, webinars & resources

Immigration RTW podcast – In this short podcast, partners Audrey Elliott and Jessie Uppal discuss the impact of the Home Office’s new right to work guidance on the process for undertaking right to work checks and the new changes in relation to the employment of EU/EEA nationals.

Click here to listen.

You can also listen on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts or Spotify.

Catch up with our latest immigration round-up, providing a helpful summary of what's new and in the pipeline for UK immigration, along with links to a wealth of detailed resources and courses at your disposal.

Bookmark: Brexit legal publication hub: resources and guides


Upcoming public courses

- Commencing 10/05/2022 at 13:00 to 16:00 & 12/05/2022 at 13:00 to 16:00 : UK employment law training: This introduction to UK employment law course is aimed at all those who have responsibility for UK-based employees but are unfamiliar with employment law and HR practice in the UK, for example international HR managers and directors or inhouse employment counsel whose regional responsibility includes UK HR matters, but also UK based HR or line managers who are quite new to their role and looking for an introductory overview of how employment law shapes HR practice. It will also be useful to employers who anticipate entering the UK market and wish to develop an awareness of their potential employment responsibilities. A prior knowledge of the employment laws applicable in the UK is not required to attend this course.

Ensure you are subscribed to our training updates: Subscribe to receive training updates, briefings and event information

For Immigration updates select: Preferences > Service lines > Employment & Labor Law > Immigration and Global Mobility


Tip of the month

EU nationals applying under the Skilled Worker route can opt to submit their visa application through the “traditional” method of attending an appointment at a visa application centre instead of submitting their visa application through the Home Office’s digital app.

Submitting one’s visa application through the “traditional” method allows an applicant to opt in to one of the expedited services (Priority/Super Priority, if available at their location) to receive a quicker decision.


Immigration team members spotlight

Louisa Cole and Judith Hockin are the newest addition to Eversheds Sutherland’s national immigration team.

Louisa joined the team in November 2021 following a decade of experience in the industry advising clients across a breath of industries including financial services, engineering and media.

Judith Hockin also joined the team in November 2021. Judith has been advising in immigration matters for over 16 years particularly in the Higher Education sector.


Horizon scanning

In the Autumn Budget 2021, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, the Rt Hon Rishi Sunak MP, announced further details on the digitisation of the UK border and the introduction of new visa routes (Scale-up, High Potential Individual and the Global Mobility) in Spring 2022.