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Immigration - Legal Updates

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May
16
2014

Revised code on preventing illegal working: simpler checks, higher fines.
#Immigration

On 6 May 2014 the Home Office published a draft code of practice on preventing illegal working detailing a revised civil penalty scheme for employers expected to come into force today. It will apply where any breach occurred on or after 16 May 2014. Having replaced the previous code issued in February 2008, it has statutory force and contains some comprehensive changes to right to work checks to...

May
16
2014

Drop in Bulgarians and Romanians working in the UK
#Immigration

According to BBC News, the number of Romanians and Bulgarians working in the UK fell by 4,000 in the period January to March 2014, following the lifting of restrictions on nationals from these countries on 1 January. Despite these citizens now having the same rights as other EU citizens, it appears that we have not seen the huge wave of immigration prophesised by some politicians and commentators...

Apr
25
2014

New Visa Fees Come into Force
#Immigration

A number of changes were introduced to the immigration rules on 6 April 2014 (see our previous Buddy blog). Alongside these changes came the yearly increase in fees for visa, immigration and nationality applications and premium services, which also apply from 6 April. As before, the fees vary depending on the type of visa application and whether the application is being made outside or inside the...

Apr
16
2014

Update on Illegal Worker Penalties
#Immigration

We recently reported that the government intends to increase the maximum penalty payable by an employer who employs an illegal worker from £10,000 to £20,000 per illegal worker.  By way of update, the government has recently announced that it expects this change to come into force at the start of May 2014....

Apr
09
2014

Government publishes draft statutory code of practice to prevent unlawful discrimination and illegal working
#Immigration

The government has recently published a draft statutory code of practice on how to avoid unlawful discrimination while preventing working. What does the code say? All employers have a duty to carry our pre-employment immigration checks to ensure that their workers have the right to work in the UK.  However, an obvious risk arises if an employer only undertakes checks in respect of its non-Brit...

Apr
07
2014

Changes to the Immigration Rules come into force
#Immigration

On 6 April 2014 a number of changes to the Immigration Rules came into force. Full details of the changes (including an explanatory note) can be found here. So how will these changes impact on employers? There have been changes to the Tier 2 (General) visa route, under which workers from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) can be sponsored by licenced employers (sponsors) to carry out a...

Apr
04
2014

Increased penalty for employing illegal workers
#Immigration

Last year we reported that the government planned to introduce tougher civil penalties for employers who employ illegal workers by increasing the maximum penalty.  Since then a draft order has been presented to parliament which will increase the maximum penalty from £10,000 to £20,000 per illegal worker (The Immigration (Employment of Adults Subject to Immigration Control) (Maximum Penalty) (Amen...

Mar
18
2014

Not discrimination where the reason for mistreatment was immigration status
#Immigration

The Claimants in the cases of Owu v Akwiwu; Taiwo v Olaigbe were both Nigerian nationals who came to the UK after being granted visas to work as migrant domestic workers for two separate families. Both were subsequently badly treated and exploited by their employers, through long working hours, underpayment, restrictive living conditions and physical and verbal abuse. The Claimant`s were success...

Feb
25
2014

Illegal worker succeeds in sexual harassment claim against employer
#Immigration

In the case of Wijesundera v Heathrow 3PL Logistics Ltd the EAT held that a Sri Lankan national who was working without a work permit was able to bring a claim of sexual harassment. On applying for work with the Respondent, the employee informed them that she required a visa to lawfully work in the UK. In the months before she started work she visited the Respondent`s offices to discuss work and...

Feb
14
2014

Controversy over student visas and fraudulent English test providers
#Immigration

UK immigration continues to be a controversial issue. The BBC`s Panorama programme has recently highlighted alleged abuses of the student visa system, including cheating in English tests and falsifying documents in order to provide illegal entry to the UK. Footage shows "fake sitters" with perfect English taking speaking and listening exams in the place of candidates, as well as the invigilator r...

Nov
22
2013

Government Immigration Fees consultation - seeking justification for increases yet again?
#Immigration

The Government is currently consulting upon the current charging structure for immigration fees and visas required by individuals who want to visit, live and work in the UK. The consultation which is open until 3 December 2013, seeks views upon how the Government can ensure that those individuals who benefit directly from the immigration system and border control contribute appropriately to its r...

Nov
20
2013

Immigration fees
#Immigration

You may deal with immigration issues in your business. The Government has announced that a consultation process will be undertaken about immigration fees and charges. The consultation started on 12 November and will last for 3 weeks. The government has announced a consultation looking at charging principles which begins on 12 November and will last for 3 weeks, its purpose is to ensure that thos...

Nov
08
2013

European plans to improve rights for non-EU seasonal workers
#Immigration

The EU Commission estimates that over 100,000 third-country seasonal workers come to the EU every year. A new Directive aims to end exploitation as well as ensuring that temporary stays do not become permanent. If approved at a plenary vote which is due to take place in January 2014, member states will have two and a half years to bring it into effect. It is proposed that any application to ente...

Oct
29
2013

Preventing illegal working: updated guidance
#Immigration

The Home Office has published a new, updated version of its `Full guide for employers on preventing illegal working in the UK`. This version replaces the previous one published in May 2012. The substantive content remains the same but the main changes in the updated guidance are: Highlighting that the current restrictions on Bulgarian and Romanian nationals being will come to an end on 31 De...

Sep
13
2013

Proposals for ‘London Visa`
#Immigration

Boris Johnson has plans for a fast-track visa to attract the world`s "best and brightest" technology experts and fashion designers to London in proposals that he has submitted to the Home Office. The aim is to make it easier for exceptional applicants in these fields to get jobs in the capital. Supporting the proposal Deputy Mayor Kit Malthouse emphasised that individual talent is essential to th...

Aug
13
2013

Preventing illegal working - let the UKBA know what you think!
#Immigration

The Government has published a consultation on proposals to strengthen and simplify the current civil penalty scheme, which is aimed at preventing migrants from working in the UK illegally....

Aug
02
2013

Select Committee report highlights migration statistics not accurate
#Immigration

The House of Commons Public Administration Select Committee report on migration statistics was published on 29 July 2013. The report makes the following findings "Migration statistics produced by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and the Home Office are blunt instruments for measuring, managing, and understanding migration to and from the UK".  They are not detailed enough to measure t...

Aug
02
2013

Vince Cable says illegal immigrant adverts "stupid and offensive"
#Immigration

The "go home or face arrest" campaign has been widely criticised.  The Home Office was forced to defend the week long £10,000 campaign in six London boroughs which we commented on last week....

Jul
26
2013

In the UK illegally? Asks adverts on vans
#Immigration

Following the announcement in May for tougher rules to be introduced to tackle immigration the government continues with its policy to reduce the overall numbers. To this end, the Home Office this week launched a novel one-week pilot scheme to encourage illegal migrants to leave the UK voluntarily. Vans were driving around Hounslow, Barking & Dagenham, Ealing, Barnet, Brent and Redbridge displa...

Dec
31
2012

Nobel prize winning scientist attacks UK`s immigration rules
#Immigration

Sir Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov were awarded the Nobel prize for physics in 2010 after they developed the material graphene at the University of Manchester. According to the University of Manchester`s website: "Graphene is a two dimensional material consisting of a single layer of carbon atoms arranged in a honeycomb or chicken wire structure. It is the thinnest material known and yet is...

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