2012 : Welcome to the latest issue of this update, keeping you
informed and giving a detailed opinion of new developments in
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Immigration Services – Immigration Seminar – 14 June 2012
exemption to ‘cooling off period’ announced
to family visitors
2012 Olympics – potential impacts
Screening – increased number of affected countries
14 June changes
IMMIGRATION SERVICES – TIER 2 TRAINING SESSION
is now open for our Tier 2
Immigration Seminar to be held at our offices on Thursday 14 June
have developed this session following the recent spate of changes to
Tier 2 Policy and the minefield of queries that have arisen as a
result of these changes.
are delighted to be joined by Senior Members of the UK Border Agency
Policy Department, as well as the Migration Advisory Committee. This
will provide you as a user of the Tier 2 system with direct contact
to UK Border Agency Policy that otherwise would be very difficult to
come by. We will also be speaking about practical tips on handling
Tier 2 applications.
full agenda and registration form can be located at:
UKBA have started to send out reminders to Authorising Officers and
Key Contacts where a company’s sponsor licence is coming up for
companies initially received approval from the UKBA for a sponsor
licence, they were advised that their licences were valid for a
period of 4 years. For example, if you were granted a sponsor licence
on 04 January 2009, your sponsor licence would be valid until 04
UKBA are writing to sponsors and advising that their licence is up
for renewal. The UKBA are writing to sponsors approximately 4 months
in advance of the expiry date of the sponsor licence.
can apply for a renewal of their sponsor licence online via the
sponsorship management system. A new application will be required to
be completed online and submitted along with payment for the
application. The UKBA will charge a new application fee to apply for
a licence renewal. The fee will vary depending on the size of the
is then likely that the UKBA will write to request original
documentation to establish that the company is active and trading in
experts in the field of sponsor licence applications, we would be
pleased to work with you on your sponsor licence renewal. Our network
of immigration professionals and links with the UKBA will ensure that
we provide you with a smooth service and to ensure that the
application stands the best chance of success.
note that, if your organisation has not yet been audited by the UKBA
it is highly likely that you will receive a visit prior to the
sponsor licence renewal being granted.
team has assisted in numerous UKBA audits of sponsors and are leading
experts in the field of compliance therefore if you have any queries
about an audit, or general compliance matters you are welcome to
EXEMPTION TO ‘COOLING OFF PERIOD’ ANNOUNCED
UKBA have announced the first exemptions to the cooling off period
for Tier 2 migrants. The cooling off period was introduced to curb
Tier 2 migration to the UK and remains a subject for strict scrutiny
by immigration professionals owing to the manner in which it was
implemented into legislation.
has been announced that, Summer 2011 interns who previously obtained
Tier 2 permission will not be subject to the cooling off period. This
is a temporary exemption and will be closing on 31 October 2012.
qualify, applicants need to demonstrate the following:
are being sponsored by the same company where they worked as an
intern in the summer of 2011;
granted permission under Tier 2 (General) with that company for a
temporary job lasting no more than 4 months as an intern or a summer
completed a degree course within 18 months of the application;
will be returning to the UK on a graduate trainee scheme; and
making a Tier 2 (General) application with a start date on the
certificate of sponsorship of 31 October 2012 or before
temporary exemption will be beneficial to clients who operate a
trainee scheme, and who are required to bring back interns to the UK.
is a very positive step for sponsors, as it shows that the UKBA are
listening to sponsors and representatives concerns regarding the
cooling off period. We are therefore hopeful that this is a step in
the right direction, and we look forward to hearing about further
exemptions to the controversial cooling off period.
a period of consultation, it has been announced that, as of 2014, the
right of appeal will be removed from family visit visa applications.
the UKBA have allowed applicants who have been refused a family visit
visa to fully appeal all aspects of the decision. However, as of 2014
(date to be determined), this full right will be removed, and only if
a refusal of a family visit visa attracts human rights or race
discrimination elements, then the decision can be appealed.
in July 2012, those who applied for a family visit visa to visit
their cousin, uncle, aunt, niece or nephew, will no longer have the
full right of appeal.
always, we strongly recommend consultation with us prior to
submitting a family visit visa application so we can review your
proposed activities and visa application. Removing the right of
appeal will potentially lead to an increase in human rights and/or
race discrimination claims therefore it is critical that you consult
with us before submitting an application.
2012 OLYMPICS – POTENTIAL IMPACTS
we are sure you know, London will be hosting the 2012 Olympics from
27 July to 12 August 2012 and the 2012 Paralympic Games from 29
August to 09 September 2012.
have already seen a slight increase in processing times from visa
application centres overseas as UKBA staff will be giving priority to
visa applications from athletes, spectators, Games family members and
anticipate that, as the opening of the 2012 Olympics approaches, the
impact on visa processing times overseas will increase. Please
therefore consult with us if you anticipate submitting a visa
application overseas that is non-Olympic related.
impact on visa processing is likely to last until just after the end
of the 2012 Paralympic Games, 09 September 2012, so the summer months
will be incredibly busy for visa application centres and planning
ahead is critical.
would also take the chance to remind you that, during this Summer,
London is expected to be busier than ever with accommodating the
Olympics. Accommodation, transport and travel will be severely
impacted so we are happy to consult with you about proposed impacts
to manage your business accordingly over Summer 2012.
Immigration Services have worked with Key Stakeholders in large
businesses and provided a number of training seminars on how to
manage the impact of the 2012 Olympics. If you are interested in
arranging a training session on this matter, please contact us and we
would be pleased to arrange this.
SCREENING – INCREASE IN AFFECTED COUNTRIES
UKBA have announced that passengers from an increased number of
countries will be subject to screening for Tuberculosis. The increase
in countries reflects the higher number of countries where TB is
prevalent. This will affect those coming to the UK for 6 months or
more. Migrants will need to apply for a TB test before being able to
apply for a visa.
contact us if you have any queries in this regard.
previously announced, there are a number of important changes coming
into effect on 14 June 2012. We set out a summary of these changes
TO SKILL LEVEL
of 14 June 2012, any migrant making a fresh Tier 2 application will
need to perform a role with a skill level of at least National
Qualifications Framework (NFQ) 4 to NFQ 6.
has led to a dramatic reduction in the occupational codes that will
meet the Tier 2 criteria, some of which are stated below:
and Exhibition Managers
and Dental Technicians
and Accounting Technicians
if you are considering sponsoring a migrant after 14 June 2012 that
may not meet this skill level it is critical that you contact us
without delay for assessment.
this will not apply to persons who currently hold leave under Tier 2
granted before 14 June 2012 and who need to extend their stay or are
applying for a change of employer application.
LABOUR MARKET TEST
14 June 2012 any jobs commanding a salary of £70,000 or require at
least a PhD will not be required to advertise the position in Job
you may know the current position is that all sponsors are to
advertise positions with Job Centre Plus in addition to another
medium as dictated by the standard occupational code. However, the
Job Centre Plus advertising requirement for these roles will no
longer be mandatory.
removing the Job Centre Plus requirement, we hope that this will
certainly improve the quality of candidates that apply for positions
and who subsequently require sponsorship under Tier 2.
wish to remind you that from 14 June 2012, the required funds for
applicants under Tiers 1 and 2 to evidence their maintenance when
making an application is set to increase.
you are making an application for entry clearance or leave to remain
in either Tiers 1 or 2 after this date then you will need to show a
higher level of funds than before. This applies to main applicants