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Police Registration Scheme is Abolished

The government has abolished the previously known “Police Registration Scheme” with immediate effect. Having been introduced in early 2014, the scheme ended on the 4th of August 2022. The removal of the scheme is a welcome change to immigration law as the registration process was onerous for individuals coming to the UK.

 

Registering with the police was a part of visa requirements for individuals over the age of 16 coming from several countries on a visa that lasted longer than six months. These individuals were required to report to their local police within seven days of arrival or risk a reduction in the length of their stay. The scheme also required individuals to report any subsequent changes to the information they provided to the police.

 

How Does the Change Impact You?

If you had an upcoming appointment with the police, you would likely have received some form of communication to inform you that it has been cancelled. You do not have to take any action concerning this, as all appointments have been cancelled for everyone. If you were to book an appointment, you would now see that there are none available, this is not an error of the system, and as the removal of the scheme is with immediate effect, no appointment will now be held.

 

If you are an individual who has previously had to report to the police, there is nothing else that you must do, and you no longer have to inform the police of a change of circumstances. You may have a police registration certificate; previously, you needed to keep a hold of this as it would be asked as part of future applications; you are no longer required to keep this in your records.

 

If you are an individual who has received a visa to come to the UK with a requirement to register at your local police, this is no longer a part of your visa requirement. This means that once you arrive in the UK, you can settle into your new life in the UK without the added stressor of registering at your local police station.

 

If you are awaiting a visa decision and you previously were told the visa would come with the requirement to register at the police, this will no longer be the case. All visas decided from the 4th August 2022 should not have a requirement.

 

Applications that are being made even after the 4th of August still ask whether you have previously had to register with the police and whether this was a requirement on your visa. There is no update on the immigration guidance regarding when this will no longer be asked, but in the meantime, we recommend that you continue to answer yes to this question if you have previously had to register.

 

Concluding remarks

This change is no doubt a sigh of relief to many foreign nationals that no longer are under strict time pressure to go to the police station or face a reduction on their visa entitlement. However, note that although you do not have to go to the police anymore when your circumstances change, you are still required to inform the Home Office.

Return of Priority Services

On the 12th of August, the UKVI announced the return of Priority services for certain visa categories after a 5-month suspension of all priority services for out-of-country applicants. This is great news for many who would like the option to get their decision within a few working days rather than waiting for the standard processing times.

However, only specific categories have been reinstated. Namely, student visas and sponsored work visa applications. Under these routes, there are both options for super priority service and priority service. You cannot purchase the priority service at the centre; it must be purchased at the biometric appointment part.

Unfortunately, the service for family applications has not resumed, so standard decision-making times apply.

It is important to note that you cannot book these retrospectively, nor can you change the service you have selected for an already submitted application.  Additionally, not all centres have the service; therefore, it is best to look in advance on the vfs or TLS site to determine whether this is even an option for your nearest centre.

Service Supplier

The Service Supplier visa is for overseas workers or service providers undertaking temporary work assignments in the UK. This visa replaces the provisions for contractual service suppliers and independent professionals within T5 International Agreement route was arguably underused. This new route allows providers and self-employed people to come to the UK under a contract to supply services covered by one of the international trade agreements. This reformed route ensures that international trade is at the centre of British economy by focusing on trade agreements whilst also maintaining the objective of the GBM routes to increase mobility.

 

Eligibility Requirements

 

To qualify, you must:

  • Work as or for an overseas service provider that will provide services for the UK.
  • Be doing an eligible job listed in the eligible occupations and codes. If your job is not listed, you may be able to apply if you have relevant qualifications and professional experience.
  • Have continuously worked in the same sector as the service provided to the sponsor for the last 12 months or 12 months of professional experience if you are self-employed.
  • Have a valid Certificate of Sponsorship.
  • You do not need to satisfy a salary requirement.
  • You must be able to support yourself financially, showing proof of at least £1270 funds available.

 

With the visa, you can:

  • Work for your sponsor.
  • Study.
  • Travel abroad and return to the UK.
  • Do voluntary work.
  • Apply for your partner and children, if eligible.

 

You cannot:

  • Gain permanent settlement.
  • Access public funds.
  • Change jobs unless you update your visa.
  • Have a second job.

 

Length of Stay

For this visa route, you will normally be granted a period of 6-12 months depending on the trade agreement relied on. The visa can be extended provided that you have not reached the maximum total stay, which is 12 months, and that you are still contracted to work.

 

Settlement

The Service Supplier route does not lead to settlement in the UK. However, you may be eligible to switch to another visa such as the Skilled Worker visa which does lead to settlement.

 

When should you apply?

You can apply for a Service Supplier visa up to 3 months before the day you are due to start work in the UK.

If you require further assistance on this visa or any other Global Business Mobility visas, get in touch on 01403 582 340 or email at [email protected] to talk to one of our friendly experts.

Senior or Specialist Worker (Global Business Mobility)

As part of the revamp of immigration routes for business, the Senior or Specialist Worker visa has been introduced, replacing the Intra-Company Transfer (ICT) visa from the 11th of April 2022. This route is for overseas workers who will be undertaking temporary work assignments in the UK, seeking to make it easier for overseas businesses to manage workers coming to the UK. The Home Office has championed this as a modernised immigration route addressing mobility issues of previous routes. 

 

Eligibility Requirements 

To qualify for the Senior or Specialist Worker Visa you will need to: 

  • Be 18 years or over. 
  • Be a senior manager or specialist employee who is being assigned to a UK business linked to their employer overseas.
  • Be working for a business or organisation linked to the sponsor by common ownership/control OR a business or organisation that has a joint venture with the sponsor on which the applicant is sponsored to work.
  • Have a genuine job at an appropriate skill level.
  • Have a valid Certificate of Sponsorship from your employer issued no more than three months prior to the visa application.
  • Ensure the sponsor confirms on the Certificate of Sponsorship that the applicant has the required overseas work experience even if they are a high earner
  • Be paid at least £42,400 per annum or 100% of the ‘going rate’ for your job (whichever is higher).
  • Have worked for the sponsor or the linked business for a period of at least 12 months before the date of application (unless you earn £73,900 per annum then there is no minimum time criteria) 
  • You have provided a valid TB certificate, if applicable. 

With the visa you can: 

  • Work for your sponsor in the job stated in your CoS
  • Study 
  • Travel abroad and return to the UK 
  • Do voluntary work
  • Apply for your partner or children under 18, if eligible. 

You cannot: 

  • Gain settlement 
  • Access public funds 
  • Change jobs, unless you update your visa
  • Have a second job 

Length of Stay 

The length of the visa can either be: 

  • The work end date on the certificate of sponsorship plus 14 days; or
  • 5 years 

You can apply to extend your visa or apply for another one: 

  • 5 years in any 6-year period if you’re paid less than £73,900 a year; or
  • 9 years in any 10-year period if you’re paid £73,900 a year or more.

Settlement

 

It should be noted that this route is not a route to settlement as it is a temporary work visa. However, you may be eligible to switch into another route such as a Skilled Worker visa which can lead to settlement, but this is dependent on if you meet the requirements. 

When should you apply? 

 

  • You can apply for a Senior or Specialist Worker visa up to 3 months before the day you are due to start work in the UK. 


Our team has experience in assisting employers and skilled workers in many different companies. We can also assist UK employers to obtain the right sponsor licence. Get in touch on 01403 582 340 or send us an email at [email protected] to talk to one of our friendly experts.

Global Business Mobility Route: An Introduction

In the newest statement of changes the Home Office has announced a variety of new visa routes to cover a variety of scenarios as well as the abolition of some existing routes. In this series we will address each of them in turn with a summary of what we know about them so far.

We will start with the Global Business Mobility Route which will be replacing the Intra-Company Transfer visa as well as the Sole Representative of an Overseas Business visa. It is comprised of several pathways which we will discuss below. For all routes applicants cannot be present in the UK for more than 5 years in every 6. All positions must also be skill level RQF 6 or higher.

 

Senior or Specialist Worker

 

This route replaces most aspects of the Intra-Company transfer route. It is suitable for sponsoring firms that already are established in the UK. Workers on this route will require sponsorship. In many respects it closely resembles the Intra-Company transfer route and firms hoping to sponsor individuals will need to first apply for a sponsor license before being able to bring applicants over.

The key features at a glance are:

  • Applicants must have ordinarily been working for an overseas branch of the firm linked by common ownership or control, for a minimum of 12 months, unless they are making over £73,900 or applying as a graduate.
  • Applicants must earn at least £42,400 per annum or the going rate for the job, whichever is higher.
  • Applicants on the Graduate route must earn at least £23,100 or 70% of the going rate for the job, whichever is higher.
  • Supplementary employment is not permitted and the applicant must only work for the sponsoring company.
  • Applicants may bring dependant partners or children under the age of 18.
  • Settlement is not permitted for either the main applicant or their dependants.
  • There is a cap on the length of time applicants can spend in the UK on this route dependent on their salary.

 

Secondment Worker

 

This is a new addition to the roster. The details of how it will work still require some clarification, but so far we know that route is branded as being intended for overseas workers who are “being seconded to the UK as part of a high value contract or investment by their employer overseas”. The details of what would count as a high value contract is not defined in the rules, and we will need to await further guidance on this. The MAC recommendations suggested a threshold of £50 million which would limit the scope of widespread accessibility to this route.

The key features at a glance are:

  • The visa can be granted for up to 12 months at a time and 2 years total (previously secondments came solely under the visit visa rules and were therefore limited to stays of 6 months at a time).
  • This route will require sponsorship.
  • There will need to be a registered contract with the overseas business for the applicant.
  • Settlement is not permitted.
  • Applicants may bring dependant partners or children under the age of 18.
  • Applicants must have 12 months tenure with the overseas business, with no exemption for high earners.
  • Pending further clarification, it seems likely the role will require roles to be at least RQF level 6.

 

Service Supplier

 

This route is covered by the International Trade Agreement and is designed to cover temporary work assignments in the UK. It is for workers who are either service suppliers employed by an overseas service provider, or independent self-employed professionals based overseas.

The key features at a glance are:

  • Applicants must have a sponsor to issue a Certificate of Sponsorship.
  • Applicants must have been working with the overseas service provider for a period of at least 12 months. There is no exemption for high earners.
  • The UK sponsor issuing the Certificate of Sponsorship must have a contract with the overseas service provider. The contract must be registered with the Home Office.
  • This route does not lead to settlement.
  • Applicants may bring dependant partners or children under the age of 18.
  • The job must be at the appropriate skill level for the visa.

 

UK Expansion Worker

 

This route will be replacing the Sole Representative of an Overseas Business visa. This constitutes a big change as the Sole Representative visa was not previously considered a part of the Points Based System.

The key features at a glance are:

  • Applicants will require a certificate of sponsorship, and we are awaiting details on how sponsorship under this route will work.
  • Applicants are not permitted to settle under this route.
  • Applicants are able to be a majority shareholder, which constitutes a change from the sole representative visa.
  • Less decision making authority is required than for the sole representative visa, but we are awaiting further details on what this might look like.
  • Applicants may bring dependant partners or children under the age of 18.
  • Applicants must have been working for the sponsor group for at least 12 months or qualify as a high earner.
  • Salary must be £42,400 or 100% of the going rate for the role, whichever is higher.
  • Applicants must be able to certify their own maintenance or have already been present legally in the UK for a minimum of 12 months, and this cannot be certified on a Certificate of Sponsorship.
  • Permission will be granted for up to 2 years.

 

If you need help with any of the above visa categories we can help. Get in touch with us by calling us on 01403 801 801 or by email at [email protected] to talk to one of our friendly experts.

The Expansion of the Skilled Worker Route for Care Workers

I have written previously about the Health and Care visa route and its implications for the healthcare sector, particularly care homes where many of the lower paid or skilled roles did not fall within scope of this or of the Skilled Worker visa more generally.

The government has now responded to the increasing pressure of widespread staff shortages by adding many of these lower skilled roles to the Shortage Occupation list despite the fact that they still do not recognise these roles as skilled at RQF level 3, which would render them eligible for the Skilled Worker visa. They have been added only to the Shortage Occupation list, and then the rules have been amended to allow lower skilled roles to be sponsored in the event that they are included on the shortage occupation list.

From, 15th of February 2022 employers (but not private households looking to bring over an individual for personal care) will be able to sponsor care assistants, home carers, nursing home support workers and other individuals in similar roles provided they meet the salary threshold of at least £20,480. It is likely as well that they will be eligible for the Health and Care visa, exempting applications from the Immigration Skills Charge and the Immigration Health Surcharge as well as entitling them to the lower application fee and faster processing time.

The new SOC (Standard Occupational Classification) code added to this route is 6145 – Care Workers and home carers, with the note that “private households or individuals (other than sole traders sponsoring someone to work for their business) cannot sponsor Skilled Worker applicants. The related job titles are:

 

  • Care Assistant
  • Care Worker
  • Carer
  • Home Care Assistant
  • Home Carer
  • Support Worker (nursing home)

 

This visa is designed as a temporary solution to ‘alleviate current pressures on the health and social care system as a result of Covid-19’, and for the time being the window for applications is 15/02/2022 – 14/02/2023, however it is unclear what the Home Office will do when reviewing this in February 2023 and there is every possibility that this visa path will end up open indefinitely.

If you are in need of a sponsor license, or help managing Skilled Worker visas, including for Care Workers, we can help. Get in touch on 01403 801 801 or send us an email at [email protected] to arrange a consultation with one of our friendly experts.

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UK VISAS NO WIN NO FEE PROMISE

We provide a ‘No Win – No Fee’ guarantee for all points-based system visa applications unless expressly stated at the time of appointment. We will guarantee our service for these applications by offering a full refund on our fee should it be unsuccessful.

These guaranteed terms are conditional upon the client being able to demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Home Office that they have earned the income claimed or that they have the necessary funding in place for maintenance or are fully conversant with their business plan in the case of Tier 1 Entrepreneurs.

It also presumes that neither the applicant nor their dependants have previously come under scrutiny or been under investigation by the Home Office for any immigration matter. In order that we can do our job properly the necessary information and details required should be made available and they must genuine as well as accurate.