News

Sep 06, 2021 - Coronavirus and the UK immigration system (as of 06 September 2021)

People stuck outside the UK

For people who were “unable to travel back to the UK due to coronavirus travel restrictions” up to that date, “a short break of up to 6 months in continuous residence will be overlooked and you will face no future adverse immigration consequences as a result”.

For those worried about breaking their period of continuous residence in the UK for the purposes of indefinite leave to remain, Appendix Continuous Residence now states that absences caused by “travel disruption due to… pandemic” will not count towards the 180-day maximum. There is also guidance for people wit...

Sep 02, 2021 - A look at the skilled immigration sponsorship roadmap

The Government has released details of its sponsorship ‘roadmap’ for employers recruiting skilled workers from abroad. This follows on from the publication of its New Plan for Immigration back in March 2021. The new roadmap sets out the Home Office’s proposals for long-overdue ‘radical changes’ to the sponsorship system, which will come into effect over the next three years. It promises to create a simpler and streamlined service, which – in theory – should be easier to navigate and substantially reduce the sheer time and effort it currently takes to employ an overseas national in a sponsored ...

Sep 01, 2021 - How electronic travel authorisations could harden the Irish border

The Nationality and Borders Bill 2021 has lain dormant over the summer but will be taken up again once Parliament returns on 6 September. Down in the miscellaneous provisions is a requirement for people entering the UK without a visa or British/Irish passport to register in advance. Known as electronic travel authorisation, the system will be familiar to British or Irish people travelling to the United States: they don’t need a full-on visit visa, but do need to complete and pay for an ESTA. The ETA, due to come in by the end of 2024, is the same thing but for non-visa nationals entering the U...

Aug 31, 2021 - Court of Appeal confirms that 3C leave can be revived

When a person’s visa expires whilst they have an outstanding application or appeal, they have what is referred to as “3C leave”. This is named after section 3C of the Immigration Act 1971, which essentially provides that the person’s visa continues until the application is decided.

An important and seemingly simple provision. Without it a person becomes an overstayer, subject to the hostile environment. However, the full text of the provision reveals a more complex framework:

 (1) This section applies if—

(a) a person who has limited leave to enter or remain in the United Kingdom applies to th...

Aug 25, 2021 - A Shortage Occupation List review in 2022 is too late

Jobs that British employers struggle to recruit for are on the Shortage Occupation List. With separate entries for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, it seeks to be responsive to the needs of industry across the devolved nations. The Migration Advisory Committee advises the UK government on which roles should be on the list. The next MAC review is pressing — but will not even begin until 2022.

Aug 12, 2021 - UK economy grows 4.8% as Covid restrictions ease

The UK economy grew by 4.8% between April and June, according to official figures, as most businesses emerged from lockdown.

Data from the Office for National Statistics showed that the expansion in gross domestic product (GDP) was fuelled by retail, restaurants and hotels.

Education also boosted the economy as schools reopened in the second quarter.

However, the figure was slightly below the 5% the Bank of England expected.

The UK economy is now 4.4% smaller than it was before the pandemic.

But Capital Economics said it expected the economy to return to pre-Covid levels later this year.

"We a...

Aug 05, 2021 - Passports can be issued to British children abroad without abusive father’s consent

In April 2021 the High Court held that Her Majesty’s Passport Office was wrong to insist on signed consent for child passports from an abusive father overseas. That judgment has now been robustly upheld by the Court of Appeal following a disastrous appeal by the Passport Office: Secretary of State for the Home Department v GA & Ors [2021] EWCA Civ 1131.

We say “disastrous” because not only were each of the Passport Office’s grounds of appeal dismissed, but GA and her children were actually able to introduce a further point in their favour, with which the Court of Appeal agreed. So this appeal ...

Aug 02, 2021 - Coronavirus and the UK immigration system

People stuck in the UK

Some people who in the UK during the pandemic were unable to leave before their permission to be here expired because of travel restrictions. The government had been allowing people in this situation to easily extend their visas through a simplified online application process, but that concession has now been replaced with “exceptional assurance”, a promise of extra time to stay that falls short of proper leave to remain.

It is still possible to request additional time to stay in individual cases. The Home Office initially called this “exceptional indemnity” but it is no...

Jul 30, 2021 - Covid: One in five firms plan job cuts as furlough tapers - survey

One in five firms plan on letting staff go in response to Sunday's furlough policy change, which will see employers contribute more, a survey has found.

The British Chamber of Commerce said extra training was needed to deal with thousands of redundancies predicted.

From Sunday, government payments reduce to 60% towards salaries, with employers paying 20%.

The government said the approach was "right" and meant "we can focus support elsewhere" as the economy recovers.

According to the most recent figures up to 30 June, about 1.9m workers were on furlough, down from a peak of 5.1m in January.

The...

Jul 28, 2021 - Fewest people on furlough since pandemic began

The number of people on furlough has fallen sharply, with young people moving off the government scheme fastest, new figures show.

At the end of June, 1.9 million people were still on furlough, the lowest level since the start of the pandemic and half a million fewer than in May.

In the last three months, younger people came off furlough twice as fast as all other age brackets.

Almost 600,000 under-25s had left the scheme in that time, the Treasury said.

At the same time, more than a million people in hospitality and retail have left the scheme.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak hailed the latest figures...