Jan 25, 2022 - Social care workers can get Skilled Worker visas from 15 February 2022

Employers (but not private households) will be able to sponsor care assistants, home carers, nursing home support workers and similar so long as they pay at least £20,480 and £10.10 an hour. They must also include a criminal record certificate.

By way of background: lots of the people who do the vital, unglamorous day-to-day work of looking after elderly and disabled people are from abroad. Pre-pandemic, 16% of the adult social care workforce were foreign nationals, while almost 40% of care home nurses trained abroad.

Medical professionals and senior care workers already qualify for what is br...

Jan 24, 2022 - British citizenship can be taken away if criminal offending not disclosed

The Upper Tribunal has affirmed the continuing obligation to disclose material facts in applications for naturalisation as a British citizen, including facts which arise after submitting the application. The case is Walile (deprivation: self-incrimination: anonymity) [2022] UKUT 17 (IAC).

Offence committed while citizenship application pending

The facts in this case were particularly unpleasant. Mr Walile applied for naturalisation in January 2010. In March 2010, he raped a child. Shortly afterwards, he left the UK, returning on 3 May. He was issued a certificate of naturalisation the followin...

Jan 20, 2022 - Changes to right to work checks from 6 April 2022

Employers who want to avoid the possibility of a fine for hiring an unauthorised migrant are well advised to carry out right to work checks. 

Such checks are not mandatory, but where companies do carry them out, the Home Office advises that “all potential employees, including British citizens” be checked to avoid discrimination. As a result, inspections of passports or other ID is built into the hiring processes of firms across the land.

At present, there are three possible ways of carrying out these checks:

  • Online right to work checks, where the employer looks the person up in a Home Off...

Jan 11, 2022 - EU citizens fighting deportation keep full residence rights

The Home Office has conceded that EU citizens being lined up for deportation retain full residence rights in the meantime. This is so long as they have applied to stay in the UK under the EU Settlement Scheme and are protected by the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement.

The case involved a 19-year-old Portuguese citizen who has lived in the UK all his life but received a four-year prison sentence in 2018. He applied to the Settlement Scheme before the 30 June 2021 deadline and was refused; an appeal is pending.

The Home Office initially said that, if released on licence, he would be unable to work or ...

Jan 06, 2022 - Tax self-assessment: HMRC waives fines again for late filings

Fines will be waived for anyone who submits their self-assessment tax return up to a month after the normal deadline of 31 January.

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) said fines would not be enforced for anyone who files by 28 February.

The move has been met with surprise. Typically, not meeting the deadline results in an automatic £100 penalty.

HMRC said Covid had put added pressure on individuals and tax advisers to complete online submissions.

The tax agency said 6.5 million customers had already filed their tax returns for the 2020-21 financial year, just over half of the 12.2 million required ...

Dec 22, 2021 - No EU citizenship, no extended family members and the Brexit impacts

In Sabina Begum v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2021] EWCA Civ 1878 the Court of Appeal considered whether an extended family member, hoping to stay in the UK with their EEA citizen sponsor, can do so when the sponsor only acquired that citizenship after the extended family member entered the UK.

The answer is no, they can’t.

Direct and extended family members

Direct family members of European Economic Area nationals – such as spouses and children under the age of 21 – had an automatic right to enter and reside in the UK under EU free movement law. More distant family members – r...

Dec 21, 2021 - Covid: Rishi Sunak announces £1bn fund for businesses

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has set out a £1bn fund to help businesses hit by the rise in Covid cases, including the leisure and hospitality sector.

Hospitality businesses like pubs and restaurants will be able to apply for cash grants of up to £6,000 per premises.

The government would also help some firms with the cost of sick pay for Covid-related absences, Mr Sunak said.

And he announced an extra £30m to help theatres and museums.

Many hospitality and leisure firms have been hit by a collapse in bookings and reduced footfall due to people's fears over the spread of the Omicron variant.

Mr Sunak ...

Dec 17, 2021 - Right to Rent Update – what is new from 6 April 2022

The way in which Biometric Residence Card (BRC), Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) and Frontier Worker Permit (FWP) holders evidence their right to rent is changing. From 6 April 2022, BRC, BRP and FWP holders will evidence their right to rent using the Home Office online service only, presentation of a physical document will no longer be acceptable.

This means that, from 6 April 2022, landlords will no longer be able to accept or check a physical BRC, BRP or FWP as valid proof of right to rent, even if it shows a later expiry date. 

Landlords do not need to retrospectively check the status o...

Dec 16, 2021 - Victims win court ruling that some laws on applying for naturalization can be waived in special cases

Two victims of the Windrush scandal have won a High Court challenge arguing for citizenship law to be applied more leniently in special cases like theirs. Mr Justice Bourne held today that a seemingly inflexible provision of British nationality law requiring applicants to be physically in the UK exactly five years before they apply for naturalisation can be waived where insisting on it would be a human rights breach. The case is R (Vanriel & Anor) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2021] EWHC 3415 (Admin).

Windrush victims denied British citizenship

Vernon Vanriel, the first claiman...

Dec 16, 2021 - Bank of England raises interest rates to 0.25%

The Bank of England has raised interest rates for the first time in more than three years, in response to calls to tackle surging price rises.

The increase to 0.25% from 0.1% came despite fears that the Omicron variant of Covid could slow the UK economy by causing people to spend less.

The Bank's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) voted 8-1 in favour of the increase.

Rates had been at 0.1%, a record low, since March last year, when they were cut in response to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. It was the second month in a row that Bank policymakers had surprised the markets.

Economists had...