News

Oct 01, 2021 - Immigration officials may stop people travelling from Ireland to Great Britain

Immigration officials may stop people travelling from Ireland to Great Britain and ask to see their papers despite the Common Travel Area, the Home Office has confirmed.

A newly updated version (10.0) of the Common Travel Area guidance says:

Whilst there are no routine immigration controls when travelling to Great Britain (GB) via Ireland individuals may be required to provide a document to confirm their nationality and identity if they are encountered by an official as part of an intelligence led control on arrival from Ireland into GB.

Such “intelligence led” checks have long been in place o...

Sep 30, 2021 - Furlough scheme ends today after supporting millions of workers during the pandemic and the UK Government announces £500m in new grants to help poorest households

The government's furlough scheme closes on Thursday, with uncertainty ahead for people who have not yet fully returned to work.

Nearly one million workers were expected to be on the scheme at the end of September, according to research by the Resolution Foundation.

Of those on furlough in late July, about half on the scheme were able to work some of the time, the HMRC says.

Since the start of the pandemic, it has helped pay the wages of 11.6 million workers.

But many forecasters, including the Bank of England, are expecting a small rise in unemployment as it ends.

The chancellor said he was "i...

Sep 29, 2021 - The 180-day absence rule doesn’t apply to people with a spouse or partner visa

Many UK immigration categories impose a requirement that the visa holder must not be outside the UK for more than 180 days in any 12-month period — that is, if the person wants to apply for indefinite leave to remain. 

The good news is that this rule doesn’t apply to spouse and partner visa holders.

Is there an absences limit for spouses?

In short, no. Within the Immigration Rules for spouses and partners — found in the notorious Appendix FM — you won’t find a rule that says a person holding a spouse or partner visa should not be absent from the UK for a certain number of days.

But this doesn’

Sep 27, 2021 - HGVisas: what do we know so far?

The government has announced that HGV drivers and poultry workers will be eligible for temporary visas from next month. The policy represents a shift from the firm line against “low-skilled” immigration post-Brexit. Here is what we know about it so far.

There are two government press releases outlining the plan. The first was made public on Friday night. It says:

… 5,000 HGV drivers will be able to come to the UK for 3 months in the run-up to Christmas, providing short-term relief for the haulage industry. A further 5,500 visas for poultry workers will also be made available for the same short...

Sep 15, 2021 - Immigration application made during visa expiry grace period is not “in time”

When is an immigration application made “in time”? Does it need to be submitted before the expiry of the applicant’s visa? Or is an application made after the visa expires, but within the grace period permitted under the Immigration Rules, also “in time”?

This is the issue considered by the Court of Appeal in Secretary of State for the Home Department v Ali [2021] EWCA Civ 1357.

The court confirmed that an application is only in time if it is submitted before the date of expiry of the person’s visa (in the court’s more technical language, their “leave to remain”). The effect of the decision is...

Sep 10, 2021 - New statement of changes to the Immigration Rules: HC 617

On 10 September 2021 the Home Office published a statement of changes to the Immigration Rules (HC 617). It is 183 pages long and makes adjustments in quite a number of areas. Some of the main changes are:

  • A new International Sportsperson route, consolidating what were the Tier 2 and Tier 5 sporting visas
  • Tweaks to Global Talent, making it slightly easier to get an endorsement, and doubling the number of awards that mean no endorsement is required
  • Changes to EU Settlement Scheme family permits, including “to allow a joining family member to apply to the EUSS whilst in the UK as a ...

Sep 10, 2021 - New statement of changes to the Immigration Rules: HC 617, Part 3

Afghan citizens

Tweaks to existing resettlement schemes for Afghans, including granting indefinite leave to remain from the outset

Paragraphs 276BA1 to 276BS4 in Part 7 of the Rules cover permission for Afghan citizens to come to the UK under two special schemes. These are the Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy and the ex-gratia scheme. The paragraphs in question are being replaced by new text, rather than just amended.

One significant change is to paragraph 276BA1. This currently says that Afghans who qualify for these schemes will be granted permission to enter the UK for five years. I...

Sep 10, 2021 - New statement of changes to the Immigration Rules: HC 617 Part 2

Changes to the visitor rules to provide further clarity on the activities students can undertake in the UK and when employees of overseas manufacturers or suppliers can come to the UK as visitors

The visitor rules are being updated to incorporate a concession in the Visit guidance, which allows students to come to the UK to undertake activities relating to a course they are undertaking at a UK institution from overseas via distance learning.

The changes will also allow students studying nursing overseas at the equivalent of degree level to come to the UK as a visitor to undertake electives wi...

Sep 07, 2021 - National Insurance rise could hit economy

A new health and social care tax to pay for reforms and the NHS in England has come under fire from business groups.

The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) said it would "be a drag anchor on jobs growth" as firms emerge from the pandemic and furlough winds down.

Manufacturing trade group Make UK's boss also described its introduction as "ill-timed as well as illogical".

The tax will begin as a 1.25% rise in National Insurance for employees and employers from April 2022.

It will then become a separate tax on earned income from 2023 - appearing on an employee's payslip.

The prime minister has in...

Sep 07, 2021 - Boris Johnson, the UK Prime Minister outlines new 1.25% health and social care tax to pay for reforms

A new health and social care tax will be introduced across the UK to pay for reforms to the care sector and NHS funding in England.

Boris Johnson said it would raise £12bn a year, designed to tackle the health backlog caused by the Covid pandemic and to bolster social care.

He accepted the tax broke a manifesto pledge but said the "global pandemic was in no-one's manifesto".

The tax will increase from April 2022 by 1.25% for both workers and employers and will then become a separate tax on earned income from 2023 - calculated in the same way as National Insurance and appearing on an employee's...