All Articles: Points Based System

Comment: Boris’s science visa promises ring hollow

Boris Johnson announced seemingly sweeping changes to the UK immigration system for scientists on 8 August 2019. Behind the usual rhetoric about attracting the “brightest and the best”, the reality is a lot less dramatic and potentially a ...

13th August 2019 By

Attracting the “brightest and the best”: the UK’s record on visas for academics and researchers

This autumn will see a decided shift in immigration policy toward being more welcoming to non-EU academics, scientists and researchers; a group commonly defined by the somewhat worn-out phrase, “the brightest and the best”, first coined by David C ...

26th July 2019 By

I advise investment visa clients. Channel 4’s undercover investigation was all too familiar

“I have a client,” said the tax lawyer with splayed finger tips connected, “and this client may or may not have deposited half a million pounds into a bank account in the Cayman Islands in the 1980s”. The room erupted with hearty laughs an ...

24th July 2019 By

Visa options for overseas entrepreneurs setting up a UK business

The Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa route was closed in March 2019. At the same time, two new immigration routes — Innovator and Start-up — came into being. But entry to either scheme rests on the notoriously difficult task of getting an endors ...

25th June 2019 By

Work visa refusal based on “genuine vacancy” rule declared irrational

Where a company sponsors a worker from overseas to fill a vacancy in the UK they must only do so if that vacancy is “genuine”. The case of R (Suny) v SSHD [2019] EWCA Civ 1019 arose from a disagreement between a sponsored worker and the Ho ...

25th June 2019 By

Why can’t politicians get over the idea of an Australian-style immigration system?

Nigel Farage, Boris Johnson and Michael Gove have all, at various times, declared that an “Australian-style points based system” is the solution to cutting net migration to the UK. For politicians with an agenda to push and a vote to win, talking ...

19th June 2019 By

Home Office tries to tackle eGates problem that makes short-term study illegal

Since 20 May 2019, people from Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea and the USA have been able to enter the UK using ePassport gates (‘eGates’). British and EU citizens have been able to use eGates since 2008. The ...

18th June 2019 By

One in ten jobs eligible for work visa priority in proposed new Shortage Occupation List

An influential government advisory group has recommended a major expansion of the list of jobs that get priority for work visas. The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC), a crack team of economists that advises the government on immigration, published i ...

30th May 2019 By

Indian entrepreneur faces being kicked out of UK over payroll paperwork

Hot on the heels of the decision in Sajjad comes another mind-bending Home Office decision on Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa extensions, this time relating to job creation.  In R (Khajuria) v SSHD [2019] EWHC 1226, an Indian entrepreneur had created the ...

22nd May 2019 By

Comment: the innovator visa route is effectively closed to overseas applicants

At the risk of sounding negative in the middle of Brexit, there’s a lot wrong with the new innovator visa route. The main problem being that it is effectively closed to migrants, certainly those overseas. Previous articles on the innovator route hav ...

16th May 2019 By

The UK innovator visa: innovative and scalable, but is it viable?

At the end of March 2019, the UK government launched its new innovator visa for overseas entrepreneurs and closed the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) category to new applicants. The innovator visa is aimed at “more experienced business people” who have £50 ...

7th May 2019 By

How to invest: Court of Appeal gives important guidance to entrepreneurs

One of the requirements for Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) migrants extending their visas in the UK is to show they have invested £200,000 that they previously showed was available for investment in their initial applications. The important case of R (Sajjad) ...

24th April 2019 By

What is a UK start-up visa?

From 29 March 2019 the government’s new ‘start-up’ visa finally opened for new applicants. Announced last June, the visa is intended as a replacement to the Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) route but carries with it the expectation that it will, a ...

11th April 2019 By

Comment: urgent rethink needed on UK’s visa for global entrepreneurs

The Home Office’s new innovator visa went live, in terms of being incorporated into the Immigration Rules, on 29 March 2019. Unfortunately, almost a week on and it’s still anything but live for those hoping to make an application. CJ has been ...

4th April 2019 By

Early warning signs for new innovator visa route as endorsements hard to come by

The government’s flagship new visa for overseas entrepreneurs is facing early problems as it emerges that few of the organisations required to endorse applicants are prepared to do so. Most of the official endorsing bodies for the newly launched ...

4th April 2019 By

Helpful decision on evidential flexibility nevertheless demonstrates failure of Points Based System

Almost as soon as a court has provided substantive guidance on a particular area of immigration law, the law seems to change. So it is in R (Islam) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2019] EWCA Civ 500. The Court of Appeal in this case take ...

1st April 2019 By

New innovator and start-up visas launch today — but is anybody ready?

The new innovator and start-up visas went live today. They replace the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) route which is now closed to new applicants, and the Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) route which will close from 6 July. All applicants for these visas must no ...

29th March 2019 By

No deal planning: Home Office forgets about Scotland

Depending on which pundit you speak to, a no-deal Brexit has either got more likely or less likely over the last couple of weeks. It remains the default if the UK-EU withdrawal agreement is not passed at the third time of asking, and a further extensi ...

26th March 2019 By

Home Office changes tack on “professional sportsperson” definition – but is it enough?

The Home Office amended its definition of a ‘professional sportsperson’ back in January 2019. At the time, I set out why I thought the changes were significant: Why coaching your kid’s football team could breach your visa conditions. Sin ...

19th March 2019 By

New statement of changes to the Immigration Rules: HC 1919

A new statement of changes to the Immigration Rules was published today, 7 March 2019. It is 294 pages long and covers a lot of ground. The main changes are to Tier 1 entrepreneur and investment visas, and to the EU Settlement Scheme. This requir ...

8th March 2019 By

“Fairness” in immigration cases is overrated says Court of Appeal

Bhandari & Anor v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2019] EWCA Civ 129 considered some fairly elderly Upper Tribunal case law on fairness and the Points Based System, and in particular a decision of Mr Justice Blake in Patel (Revocation ...

20th February 2019 By

Government Authorised Exchange: one visa, 60 options

The Tier 5 (Government Authorised Exchange) category of the Immigration Rules is one of the least known of all the UK’s visa options. Following the recent publication of the government’s immigration white paper, much has been said about th ...

12th February 2019 By

Only private schools in the UK to be able to sponsor EU children from 2021

The government recently published information about arrangements for EU citizens who move to the UK after the UK leaves the EU in the event of a no-deal Brexit. The proposals would mean that EU (and EEA) national children who move to the UK between th ...

5th February 2019 By

Why coaching your kid’s football team could breach your visa conditions

For reasons that don’t appear to have been explained anywhere, at least not that I can find, the Home Office has made significant changes to the definition of a professional sportsperson. This is important because a prohibition on performing act ...

18th January 2019 By

Failure to submit specified documents fatal to Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) application

The Court of Appeal has reluctantly but unanimously agreed with the Home Office’s decision to refuse a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) application for further leave to remain based on a factual issue of specified documents not being submitted. It rejected arg ...

15th January 2019 By

Future immigration sponsorship system for UK employers – it really does need to be simple this time

There is so much in the immigration white paper, publishedjust before Christmas, that sounds pretty good for employers. But if the sponsorship system is to cope when extended to cover skilled workers arriving from the EU, a huge amount of work will b ...

9th January 2019 By

The immigration white paper is a charter for the wealthy

There is one, overwhelming, message from the immigration White Paper published on 19 December. It is mentioned in the Foreword by the Prime Minister, and the Foreword from the Secretary of State for the Home Department. The aims of the White Paper are ...

21st December 2018 By
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