All Articles: Points Based System

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

Immigration white paper published

The government has published its plan spelling the end of free movement. A long-awaited white paper on post-Brexit migration proposes that EU workers would in future have to earn a minimum salary in a job requiring A-level qualifications or above to b ...

19th December 2018 By

New statement of changes to the Immigration Rules: HC 1779

A statement of changes to the Immigration Rules was published today, 11 December 2018. The main changes are to introduce the pilot scheme for short-term agricultural workers that was announced earlier this year, and to expand the domestic violence set ...

11th December 2018 By

Home Office confirms chaotic U-turn on suspension of Tier 1 (Investor) visas

The Home Office has rowed back last week’s announcement that the Tier 1 (Investor) route was suspended with near-immediate effect. It was widely reported last Thursday that the route would be closed to new applications from midnight the next day ...

11th December 2018 By

Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visas to be scrapped in Points Based System shake-up

We expected a full statement of changes to the Immigration Rules to be laid before Parliament yesterday but instead we got a statement about the statement. The immigration minister, Caroline Nokes, gave us a sneak preview of a range of tweaks to the r ...

7th December 2018 By

How easy is it to buy British citizenship?

To go along with the private jet and luxury yacht, the current ‘must-have’ for a discerning multi-millionaire seems to be a range of international passports. The phenomenon of citizenship by investment has emerged over the last few decades an ...

31st October 2018 By

New statement of changes to the Immigration Rules: HC 1534

A new statement of changes to the Immigration Rules was laid on 10 October 2018. There is some very welcome news, including more flexibility given to caseworkers on whether and when they can write to applicants to ask for missing documents. (Whether ...

12th October 2018 By

No second chance for work visa applicants if sponsoring company loses licence

In the case of Pathan & Anor v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2018] EWCA 2103 the Court of Appeal reminds us, once again, of the rigidity and inflexibility of the Points Based System. It is also a good reminder of the purpose and pol ...

4th October 2018 By

10 things we (might) now know about the post-Brexit immigration system

After months of uncertainty we finally have a picture emerging of what the post-Brexit immigration system will look like. We have known for some time that after we leave the EU on 29 March 2019, the plan is to enter a transition period until 31 Decemb ...

3rd October 2018 By

Comment: MAC’s recommendations would create administrative burdens for UK employers

Today’s Migration Advisory Committee recommendations are incredibly significant from a UK employer’s perspective. I can immediately see that a huge number of UK employers are likely to be faced with potentially significant new administrat ...

18th September 2018 By

Migration Advisory Committee: scrap the cap on Tier 2 work visas after Brexit

The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) has published its long-awaited research into migration from the EU and how it should be managed after Brexit. The report will disappoint advocates of a fairly liberal regime, recommending as it does that if there ...

18th September 2018 By

Migration Advisory Committee recommends “tweaks” to Tier 4 student visa rules

Immigration lawyers helping sponsoring universities navigate the complexities of the Points Based System naturally have an economic interest in overseas students — but then so does the rest of the nation. That is the uncompromising conclusion of ...

11th September 2018 By

Ambiguous changes to entrepreneur visas show why the Immigration Rules need simplifying

As regular readers of this blog will be aware, the Home Office’s latest statement of changes to the Immigration Rules comes into force tomorrow (Friday 6 July 2018). Nath has summarised the various changes being introduced in a previous post. Althou ...

5th July 2018 By

The meaning of “residence” for indefinite leave to remain applications

In the case of R (Nesiama & Ors) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2018] EWCA Civ 1369, the Court of Appeal found that “residence” in the UK means “physical presence”, such that continuous residence in an application for indefi ...

27th June 2018 By

New statement of changes to the Immigration Rules: HC1154

On Friday 15 June, a new statement of changes was laid. Rather atypically, many of the changes are welcome news! All changes will come into force on 6 July 2018, although some only apply to applications made after that date. As always, practitioners a ...

18th June 2018 By

Comment: an NHS exemption will help, but the Tier 2 visa cap should go

Less than two months into the job, Sajid Javid appears to be, so far, quite a pragmatic Home Secretary. Following six months of the Tier 2 cap wreaking havoc amongst employers and users of the Points Based System, resulting in the NHS losing out on hi ...

18th June 2018 By

Home Secretary announces new “start-up” visa

With London Tech Week upon us, Sajid Javid today announced the introduction of a new “start-up” visa route for entrepreneurs looking to set up businesses in the UK. According to one part of the announcement, it will replace the Tier 1 (Gra ...

13th June 2018 By

Pressure on the visa quota system continues to build, new figures show

What started as a minor aberration has now turned into a worrying trend. The Home Office confirmed on 24 May that we have hit the monthly cap on visas for skilled non-EU workers for the sixth month in a row. On top of that, Freedom of Information d ...

25th May 2018 By

No legitimate expectation arises from a chat with the Business Helpdesk

The responsibility to take the utmost care to ensure that the Points Based System, Immigration Rules and guidance are followed remains with the sponsor. A Mr Talpada attempted to challenge the applicability of the Rules and guidance to his case on the ...

15th May 2018 By

Briefing: the immigration rules covering foreign citizens in the UK fishing fleet

One of the interesting aspects of the ongoing national debate about Brexit is the prominent position occupied in the debate by the UK fishing industry. I would venture to say that maritime immigration control is a topic infrequently encountered even b ...

15th May 2018 By