Sep 06, 2020 - UK visa updates for international students: Here’s what you should know

The UK will implement a points-based immigration system from 2021 onwards, as announced earlier this year by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI), the division of the Home Office responsible for the country’s visa system. Following this announcement are a host of UK visa updates for visa applicants and temporary residents. Here’s what you should know as an international student.

You can apply for Tier 4 visa six months ahead

Under the latest UKVI guidelines, students can apply for a study visa as soon as they gain admission into the university and confirm their UK travel. This is a welcome change t...

Sep 02, 2020 - UK Immigration and Citizenship launch biometric identity verification app to speed up applications

UK Visa and Immigration (UKVI) has been working with UK Visa and Citizenship Application Services (UKVCAS) to develop a new biometric identify verification (IDV) application that allows users to register facial images and travel documents.

“In some cases, UKVI is allowing biometrics (fingerprints and photographs) to be reused, if they have already been recorded in a previous application. UKVI and UKVCAS have been working together to create a way of submitting facial images using a new Identity Verification (IDV) app,” the legal practice Herrington Carmichael notes.

The initiative comes as resp...

Sep 01, 2020 - Plans for independence vote for Scotland to be published in draft bill

The Scottish government is to set out its plans for a second independence referendum in a draft bill at Holyrood.

Ministers have accepted that there is "clearly" not time to hold a fresh vote before the Scottish Parliament elections in May 2021.

However, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said a draft bill would be published setting out the timescale and potential question for a new referendum.

The SNP will then "make the case" for this plan in the election campaign.

Opposition parties hit out at the move, with Scottish Conservatives accusing Ms Sturgeon of putting independence "front and centre" ...

Sep 01, 2020 - Government launches £2 billion kickstart scheme to get young people back to work

A £2 billion scheme to help young people into work has been launched by the UK Government today (2nd September).

Businesses are now able to sign up to be part of the Kickstart scheme, giving unemployed young people a future of opportunity by creating high-quality, government-subsidised jobs across the UK.

Under the scheme, announced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak as part of his Plan for Jobs, employers can offer young people aged 16-24 who are claiming Universal Credit a six-month work placement.

The new KickStart jobs initiative will see the Government pay 100% of each person's National Minimum Wa...

Aug 31, 2020 - Coronavirus: Rishi Sunak is considering a set of tax increases to pay for Covid crisis

The UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak is considering plans for a £30bn tax raid increases to help fix the huge hole in the nation’s finances caused by the coronavirus crisis, some British newspapers said.

Under proposals that are due to form the centrepiece of the budget in November, the Rishi Sunak is also considering a proposal to increase corporation tax from 19% to 24%, a move that would raise £12bn next year, rising to £17bn in 2023-24, but would put the government on a collision course with businesses hit by the pandemic.

The potential increase to corporation tax would come after years of corpor...

Aug 26, 2020 - EU Settlement Scheme rejects majority of Zambrano carers

The Home Office has so far rejected the majority of EU Settlement Scheme applications that rely on Zambrano rights. New figures show that 770 of the 1,260 Zambrano carers applying for leave to remain under the scheme have been rejected (61%).

A non-EU citizen who is the primary carer of a British citizen may have a right to reside in the UK under EU law, relying on the judgment in case C-34/09 Zambrano.

Zambrano carers did not have a route to settlement in the UK before the EU Settlement Scheme, so immigration lawyers initially welcomed the fact that they were able to use it. But the Home Offi...

Aug 26, 2020 - HMRC issue briefing: how HMRC will continue to support customers and the economy

UK HM Revenue and Customs publishes today (27 August) issue briefings for external organisations who want to know more about its work. 

The briefing sets out how HMRC will continue to support customers and the economy over the coming months.

The document contains information about the support schemes and policy changes that HMRC has implemented and their principles for the next steps around tax collection, benefits payments, compliance checks and debt activity.

Support schemes and policy changes

HMRC’s work has been at the centre of the government’s response to COVID-19.

Through the Coronaviru...

Aug 24, 2020 - Brexit ready? No big rise in businesses getting sponsor licences

From January 2021, all going to plan, EU free movement will end and employers who want to recruit from overseas will need a licence to sponsor people for work visas. While the government has made it possible for businesses to apply for a sponsor licence ahead of time, the concern is that not enough are prepared for the nasty shock of having to use the sponsorship system to hire someone from France, Germany or Spain.

New data suggests that concern is well placed. The number of organisations holding a Tier 2 sponsor licence has been drifting up, but there has not been the significant rise that o...

Aug 20, 2020 - No Home Office duty of care to migrants hit by delays confirming leave to remain

The case of Advocate General for Scotland v Adiukwu [2020] CSIH 47 answers the question of whether the Home Office has a private law duty to grant a person discretionary leave to remain and issue them with a letter to allow them to take up employment once a tribunal has granted their appeal on human rights grounds. It doesn’t.

Attempt to sue for loss of earnings

Ms Adiukwu, a Nigerian law student, won her human rights appeal in the Upper Tribunal in March 2015. The Home Office did not issue her with a status letter until November 2016. She took a civil action against the department, suing for ...

Aug 20, 2020 - Coronavirus: Eviction ban to be extended by four weeks

Ministers have extended the ban on landlords evicting tenants in England and Wales until 20 September 2020, following fears thousands could lose their homes

In most cases, until the end of March, renters will also get six months' notice if their landlord plans to evict them.

Courts had been due to resume cases on Monday after a five-month pause.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said the latest announcement just gave "renters a few more weeks to pack their bags".

Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick said he was "supporting renters over winter" adding that, when the ban was lifted, the most serious ca...