In the last eight months, we’ve all become used to working from home, and remote work is likely to remain prevalent for many workers moving forward. The media keeps reporting that some firms have no plans to return to the office. Some companies are planning not to renew their leases and move to full-time remote working.
On 22 October 2020, the United Kingdom government issued a Statement of Changes to the Immigration Rules that will come into force for visa applications submitted after 9 a.m. on 1 December 2020. Under the new rules, the visa application process for European Union (EU) and non-EU-nationals will be the same. Additionally, four new routes to obtaining a visa have been added, as well as numerous changes to other routes and concessions for the COVID-19 pandemic.
For the full alert, visit the Faegre Drinker website.
For most people, the EU Settlement Scheme has largely lived up to the government’s promise of being generous and straightforward, but confusion over permitted absences is likely to cause some trouble. In particular, EU nationals who hold Pre-settled Status should be aware of the absence rules, particularly if they want to remain in the U.K. and plan to apply for Settled Status after five years.
Under current rules, if an EU national with Pre-settled Status is outside the U.K. for more than six months in any 12-month period during the five years it takes to qualify for Settled Status, they will generally have to start the five years all over again. And if they return after 31 December 2020, they may lose the right to upgrade to settled status entirely. Which means that these individuals will need to apply for a visa after 1 January 2021 under the new immigration rules.
On 13 July, the U.K. government released further details about the U.K.’s future immigration system, which will apply to EU and non-EU nationals from January 2021. Under normal circumstances, such a significant change would be top of mind for companies operating in the U.K., but it has slipped off the business world’s radar as leaders grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic and related economic challenges.
But the immigration system in the U.K is going to change, regardless of how prepared the business world is for the new system. The U.K. government has made clear that it is still committed to roll out this new system first thing next year.
Recent U.K. government statements have confirmed what many have suspected for some time: the post-January 2021 immigration system will be predicated on a reworked version of the Tier 2 sponsorship route. In the first episode of our new Faegre Drinker Immigration Law Podcast, we take a close look at the Tier 2 sponsorship application process and explain why U.K. employers planning to hire foreign nationals in 2021 should apply for a Sponsor Licence before the immigration system changes take effect.
On Monday 13 July, the U.K. government published further details outlining their plan for a new immigration system which will amend the existing points-based immigration system. This system is to take effect from 1 January 2021. The 130-page document doesn’t contain a lot more detail than the proposals released earlier in the year, which we summarized in April. The new system will end free movement with the EU and represents a significant change to immigration in the U.K. The system will apply to both EU/European Economic Area (EEA) and third-country applicants.