Jul 30, 2020 - Coronavirus: PM postpones lockdown easing in England

The further easing of coronavirus restrictions in England - due to come in this weekend - has been postponed for at least two weeks, amid concerns over an increase in coronavirus cases.

Mr Johnson said planned reopening for 1 August would be delayed for at least a fortnight.

That means venues such as casinos, bowling alleys, skating rinks and remaining close contact services must remain closed until 15 August.

Indoor performances will also not resume, pilots of larger gatherings in sports venues and conference centres will not take place, and the planned expansion of wedding receptions to allo...

Jul 29, 2020 - Huge increase in no recourse to public funds applications

The number of migrants applying to lift their visa condition of “no recourse to public funds” in order to access the welfare safety net has surged during the pandemic, new Home Office data shows.

There were almost 5,700 applications to have the NRPF condition lifted in April, May and June 2020, compared to 914 in the same quarter last year — a 520% increase. Around 90% of the applications decided on in that period were granted, although around half were still pending at the end of the quarter.

Coronavirus and the accompanying economic crash have thrown many people out of work, and migrants wit...

Jul 29, 2020 - Coronavirus and the UK immigration system (as of 30 July 2020)

If you are in the UK and your leave expired between 24 January 2020 and 31 July 2020

If you had a visa that expired between 24 January 2020 and 31 July 2020 you were able to request an extension if you were not able to return home because of travel restrictions or self-isolation related to coronavirus (COVID-19).

If you decide to leave the UK

To allow time to make the necessary arrangements to leave the UK, if you have a visa or leave that was due to expire between the 24 January 2020 and 31 August 2020, you’ll be able to stay within the UK to 31 August 2020.

From 1 to 31 August 2020, the cond...

Jul 29, 2020 - New law to ensure furloughed employees receive full redundancy payments

Government brings in law to ensure furloughed employees receive statutory redundancy pay based on their normal wages, rather than a reduced furlough rate.

Workers with more than two years continuous service who are made redundant are usually entitled to a statutory redundancy payment that is based on length of service, age and pay, up to a statutory maximum.

But many of the UK's 9.5 million furloughed workers are being paid at 80% of their normal wage.

This legislation, which will come into force from tomorrow (Friday 31 July), will ensure that employees who are furloughed receive statutory re...

Jul 28, 2020 - Coronavirus and the UK immigration system (as of 29 July 2020)

If you are in the UK and your leave expired between 24 January 2020 and 31 July 2020

If you had a visa that expired between 24 January 2020 and 31 July 2020 you were able to request an extension if you were not able to return home because of travel restrictions or self-isolation related to coronavirus (COVID-19).

Now travel restrictions are lifting globally you will no longer be able to extend your visa automatically on this basis and you are expected to take all reasonable steps to leave the UK where it is possible to do so or apply to regularise your stay in the UK.

If you decide to leave th...

Jul 23, 2020 - The government's 10-years tax administration strategy

A new government report Building a trusted, modern tax administration system sets the government’s vision for the future of tax administration in the United Kingdom, designed to improve its resilience, effectiveness and support for taxpayers.

As part of this 10 years vision, the document sets out a roadmap for the extension of Making Tax Digital (MTD) and opens up a wider conversation on longer term reforms to the tax administration system.

HMRC confirmed that MTD would be extended as follows:

  • MTD for VAT will apply to all VAT registered businesses, regardless of turnover, from April 2022...

Jul 21, 2020 - The Hong Kong British National (Overseas) Visa

Details about the visa scheme for British National (Overseas) citizens in Hong Kong have finally been published on 22 July 2020 in a policy statement.

The key pieces of information published today are that:

  • the new visa route will open in January 2021, 
  • British National (Overseas) citizens in the UK will be permitted to switch in-country without departing from the UK
  • British National (Overseas) citizens and their family members arriving at the UK border before January 2021 can be granted “Leave Outside the Rules” for a limited period of six months.

If a British National (Overseas...

Jul 20, 2020 - First virtual citizenship ceremony welcomed by Home Office minister

Local authorities will now be able to conduct citizenship ceremonies for individuals and households virtually.

As a result of coronavirus restrictions, group citizenship ceremonies have been suspended. However, citizenship ceremonies will now be allowed to take place via video conferencing. The move will allow applicants to complete their unique citizenship journey and become British citizens.

The first virtual citizenship ceremony has been led by Southwark Council, London, who began offering the option from 20 July 2020.

Those aged 18 or over who have successfully applied to become a British ...

Jul 20, 2020 - The Government borrowing hits record £127.9bn in the first quarter of the financial year

The UK government has been forced to borrow a record £127.9bn between April and June to combat the coronavirus pandemic, more than double the amount it did over the whole of last year.

June borrowing hit £35.5bn for the government, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said. That was five times higher than the previous year. But it fell below a Reuters poll of economist forecasting a sum of £41.5bn after a downward revision for May.

Nevertheless, June's borrowing figure was still the third highest monthly total since records began in 1993 and about five times more than the same month last y...

Jul 19, 2020 - Seven year rule does not apply to EU children until they’ve lived in UK for seven years

In MM (section 117B(6) – EU citizen child) Iran [2020] UKUT 224 (IAC ) the Upper Tribunal holds that the seven year rule at section 117B(6) of the 2002 Act (which applies to British children and foreign national children resident for seven years) cannot be read as applying to EU children resident for less than seven years on the basis that it is contrary to the EU prohibition on discrimination between citizens of a Member State and other EU citizens.

The official headnote states as follows:

1. The definition of “qualifying child” contained in section 117D(1) of the Nationality, Immigration and...