All Articles: Points Based System

Plague of incorrect Biometric Residence Permits causes havoc across education sector

September and October are important and busy enrolment periods for Tier 4 student visa sponsors. Immigration compliance teams had enough to contend with this academic year with the introduction of passport eGates, which means having to find evidence o ...

16th October 2019 By

Briefing: UK immigration law and the British Crown Dependencies

Are you applying to stay in the Isle of Man, Jersey or Guernsey? Immigration professionals often come across this question at the submission stage of various UK visa applications. Invariably we check “no” and carry on.  But you might, on occasion ...

11th October 2019 By

Power to close down businesses employing illegal workers goes virtually unused

The Immigration Act 2016 authorises immigration officers to temporarily close down businesses persistently employing illegal workers. The provision is one of several that make up the hostile environment policy, which has been rebranded the “complian ...

23rd September 2019 By

Return of two-year post study work visa announced

The two-year post study work visa has returned from the dead, apparently. Multiple statements, from the Prime Minister, the Business Secretary, the Department for Education and, last and least, the Home Office have been released announcing the resurre ...

11th September 2019 By

Statement of changes to the Immigration Rules HC 2631: changes to work visa routes

A new statement of changes to the Immigration Rules was published yesterday, 9 September 2019. This post will cover changes to work and student visa routes, while a separate post deals with changes to the EU Settlement Scheme and other changes br ...

10th September 2019 By

MAC instructed to ponder points based immigration system

The long suffering Migration Advisory Committee, or ‘MAC’ to its friends, has been commissioned to carry out yet another review. Back in June 2019 the MAC were asked by one Home Secretary to think again about salary thresholds for skilled ...

5th September 2019 By

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
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