UK Immigration steps up pressure on illegal migrants

With the general election now in clear sight. The UK government has decided to step up their approach targeting illegal immigration, much to the annoyance of their coalition partners who said that they found their adverts distasteful.

UK Border Enforcement Team in Tooting SW17

UK Border Enforcement Team in Tooting SW17

The Home Office has defended the campaign covering six London boroughs, which involved leaflets and small posters being distributed and two advertising vans being driven around for a week. The department said it represented a constructive approach to the problem of illegal immigration. It is understood that Downing Street has indicated that the controversial campaign could be extended nationwide.

 Meanwhile UK Border Agency staff has stepped up its increase presence in the London boroughs. They were visible on tooting on Saturday when they closed a local store.  Concerns have been raised about the government’s approach, many feel it is reminiscent of the 1970  images, and could be seen to unfairly target legal migrants.

Meeting the Skill Level Requirements for Tier 2 (general) & Tier 2 (intra country transfer)

  

One of the important aspects of the work permit process is employers will need to ensure the position meets the skills requirements of the job description.  If an employer wants to recruit what is the level of the skills the position needs to be?   In relation to the qualifications required for the migrants, please refer to our previous article in this category. The work permit scheme allows employers to be able to recruit if they are unable to find a suitably qualified settled worker.  In determining what the level of skills required will depend if the migrant has been previously been granted leave to remain.

work permit for londonAll migrants coming into the UK under Tier 2 (general) and Tier 2 (ICT) or switching must be coming to fill a vacancy that that is at or above National Qualifications Framework (NQF) level 6 or equivalent.  This would include a position as Manager, Director, or IT specialist Manager, Construction Project Managers etc.

If the employer wants to sponsor a migrant who is already working in either of these categories, then the skill level required is determined on when they were first granted leave.

 The next question that an employer will need to consider is whether the job is available at the skill level required. For example a position offered as local government’s administrative office will not meet the requirements.  Before an employer can sponsor a migrant under Tier 2, they must check that the job will meet the requirements on the skill level of the job and the ‘appropriate rate’ of pay for the job.  If the job does not meet these requirements, they will not be able to assign a certificate of sponsorship.  It is essential to refer to the codes of practice tell the minimum rates of pay and the skill level required before applying.

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Switching from Tier 4 student (general) to Tier 2 (General) work permit employment

Under Tier 4 (general) of the point based system adult aged 16 – 17+ are able to come to the UK to study a course at or above National Qualification Framework level 3.  Entry clearance is a requirement.  The UK economy still actively encourages students to come to the UK to study. Students are able to switch into work permit employment, if suitable employment is secured.

adultstudentsdefault

The UK still remains one of the top destinations for students wishing to study, followed by Germany. Germany has is not only Europe’s biggest economy. It is also well-known for its high-class education especially in the field of engineering.

Immigration Minister Damian Green   ‘Britain is open for business to the brightest and the best migrants……..”

 So what are the opportunities for securing a work permit employment to those able to find employment after graduating?   What specific skills are required from the applicant?   In what instances does the resident labor test apply, and when is it exempt? We will be examining the answers to these common questions.

Qualifications Required

 

The job must require the applicant to have either:

 

       A UK equivalent degree level qualification; or

       An Higher National Level (HND) level occupational qualification that is

       relevant to the post on offer; or

       An HND level qualification which is not relevant to the post on offer, plus

12 months of relevant full-time work experience; or

       At least 3 years relevant experience at NVQ level 3 or above.

 


 

Switching – Post Study work visa & IGS

 Applicants who are in the UK on a Tier1 post study visa or International Graduate Scheme (IGS) will also be able to switch into this category.  

Securing offer of employment

Applicants will first have to secure employment offer in their respective fields of discipline before they can apply.

Resident labor Market Test

The test requires that the employer must advertise  in  national form of media  to enable a resident worker to apply. Eg Job centre plus or a publication that is available throughout the UK.  This test does not need to be done if the applicant is applying following a post study visa or under the International Graduate Scheme (IGS).   The test is also not required where the skill is listed on the shortage occupation list.   The Tier 2 (General) category is also the route for applicants outside the UK who have been offered a skilled job route.

 Attributes

 Applicants must score a minimum of:

 50 points for Attributes, which includes having a sponsor and a valid Certificate of Sponsorship (Appendix A of the Immigration Rules); and

Criterion

Points

Assigned Certificate of Sponsorship having met the requirements of:

• A resident labor market test exemption; or

• A resident labor market test by the sponsor; or

• An extension – Continuing to work in the same occupation for the same sponsor.

30

Appropriate salary  £20,300 or above

20

 

10 points for English language skills (except for certain Intra-Company Transfers) (Appendix B of the Immigration Rules); and

10 points for Maintenance (funds) (Appendix C of the Immigration Rules).

The Certificate of Sponsorship must confirm that the job is at NQF level 6 (or the equivalent in Scotland) as stated in the codes of practice, or the job is a creative sector occupation skilled to NQF level 4 as listed in the Tier 2 & 5 Sponsor Guidance. This does not mean that the applicant must be educated to that level; it means that the job is at that level.

The Certificate of Sponsorship must also confirm that the applicants will be paid at or above the appropriate rate for the job.

 Leave granted up to 3 years + extension

 Successful Tier 2 (General) applications will be granted leave up to 3 years with the possibility of extending for a further 3 years.  They will not be able to extend beyond 6 years.  Applicants will also not be able to re-apply to return to the UK under Tier 2 until 12 months after their last leave under Tier 2 expired or they can show they have been outside the UK for 12 months, whichever is sooner, unless they will be paid a gross annual salary of £152,100 or more.

 

David Cameron sets out government policy on immigration welfare benefits and housing

In this video the Prime Minister David Cameron sets in detail government policy and what policies are to be implemented this year.

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A summary of the key points have been listed below:

Welfare Benefits Job seekers Allowance
Proposals that there will be a limit of up to 6 months where a jobs seeker and also EU nationals will be able to access job seekers allowance. After 6 months if unable to show that they  have a genuine chance of getting a job the benefit will be cut. ability to speak English language will be part of the assessment process.

NHS service

To get better at reciprocal charging. There will strict requirement on private health insurance for foreign nationals visiting the UK. Strengthen the test on applicants who can access the health service.

 Housing Allocation

 New statutory allocation targets to create a local residence test

 Illegal Migrants

Will no longer be able to hold a driving licence.

 Private Landords

Will be required to check the immigration status of tenants, and tough sanctions  similar to employers fines, if they failed to.

Shortage Occupation Skills

Reduction in the list of occupation on this list.

 Employers

Doubling fines required by employers

Deportation

Faster deportation measures to be introduced.

 

Opportunity knocks & rocks in the UK under the PBS Tier 1 Entrepreneur

 

Immigration Minister Mark Harper said:

The UK remains open to the brightest and best – genuine entrepreneurs with the ideas and motivation to drive economic growth will always be welcome in the UK.’

UK

 Although tough times are times are still here, there remains clear indications from various forecasts that the economy is now moving ahead. It is predicted there will be a gradual recovery to the UK economy. There are real opportunities for investors and entrepreneurs who want to invest in the UK by setting up or taking over, and being actively involved in the running of, a business or businesses here.  The entrepreneur visa is designed to enable the brightest and best to come to the UK to set up and start trading.

UK trade & investment website quotes

“The UK is the ideal location for entrepreneurs to achieve growth and success. With a rich history of innovation and a dynamic business environment, we value entrepreneurs in the UK – and we’re pulling out all the stops to make things work for business”.

 The Requirements -PBS

The flexibility of the Immigration rules has been revised to allow applicants to use money invested in a UK business while they were here in a different immigration category. Applicants will need to meet the points score.  Under Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) applicants must score at least 75 points for attributes. They must have access to not less that £200,000 or not less than £50,000 if planning to switch into this category if they qualify.  £50,000 can come from a Venture Capital firm, Seed Funding Competition or UK Government Department/Devolved Government Department. The funds must be held in a regulated institution, (Appendix A of the Immigration Rules); 10 points for English language (Appendix B of the Immigration Rules); and10 points for Maintenance (funds) (Appendix C of the Immigration Rules).

The Procedure – Applying

If the Applicant is outside the UK the applicant(s) will need to make an application for entry clearance. Applicants who are in the UK, who are in the categories (see below) qualified to switch will need to apply for further leave to remain. Applicants who are in the UK in the following categories can apply to switch into this category and apply for further leave. They must have access to the funds mentioned.  Successful applicants switching will initially be granted 3 years leave.

 

a highly skilled migrant;

a Tier 1 (General) migrant;

a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) migrant;

a Tier 1 (Investor) migrant;

a Tier 1 (Post-Study Work) migrant;

a Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) migrant

a Businessperson;

an Innovator;

a Work Permit holder;

a Writer, Composer or Artist;

a Self employed Lawyer;

a participant in the International Graduates Scheme (or its predecessor, the Science & Engineering Graduate Scheme);

an Investor;

a participant in the Fresh Talent: Working in Scotland Scheme;

a Tier 2 migrant;

a Prospective Entrepreneur.

 

 

        The following categories below can also apply to switch into Tier1 Entrepreneur

a Tier 4 migrant;

a Student nurse;

a Student;

a Student writing up a thesis;

a Student re-sitting an examination;

a Postgraduate Doctor or Dentist;

 

 

On 31 January 2013 the Immigration Rules changed to tackle abuse on this route, while leaving genuine entrepreneurs unaffected.

The changes are:

 Where we have concerns, we may ask you to demonstrate that the funds you have used to apply remain available to you beyond the date of your application. The funds must continue to be available to you until they are spent by your business or businesses. ‘Available to you’ means that the funds must be:

(1) In your own possession; or

(2) in the financial accounts of a UK incorporated business of which you are the director; or

(3) available from the third party or parties named in your application (if applicable).

 If you are applying on or after 31 January, the declaration from your third party funds donor must confirm that the funds will remain available to you until they are used

 It is useful to note that money for investment can be shared by a team of a maximum of two Entrepreneurs. Each team member may apply to come to the UK as a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) using the same investment funds. Neither applicant must have used the same funds with any other applicant.  Applicants will need to provide all the documents needed for evidence.

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MP calls for a UK Immigration amnesty

Mr Nadhim Zahawi made the controversial comment after the Tories attracted just 16 per cent of black and Asian voters at the last election – 50 per cent less than Labor. He said the following:

Mr  Nadhim Zahawi

Our failure to appeal to ethnic minorities should send loud alarm bells ringing in Downing Street and Central Office”.

“Unless we act now this electoral penalty will only get worse.” Mr Zahawi, who is MP for Stratfordupon-Avon, said an influx of immigrants would help boost Britain’s economy.  Although he has won backing from the London Mayor Boris Johnson he faces strong opposition from his own party.

 I listened to Mr Zahawi whilst he was been interview on LBC Radio discussing this proposal.  He mentioned that it would benefit the economy and the UK tax system, which is in need of revenue.   But critics of mass immigration dismissed his   suggestion, including the Prime Minister David Cameron. Mr Nadhim Zahawi should be commended for raising this subject. Mr Zahawi, who was born in Iraq to Kurdish parents who fled Saddam Hussein’s regime, said: “We shouldn’t be afraid to think outside our comfort zone. I agree.

It is estimated that the figure for overstayers including illegal immigrants and failed asylum seekers is around 573,000. It would costly to remove all these people, through the legal process, and many would advance arguments under Article 8 ECHR.  Arguments were advanced on the radio that it would be unfair to those who entered the UK legally and had complied fully with the Immigration Rules.  LBC presenter Ian Dale argued that the amnesty could be considered as patronizing to those prospective voters, who were seeking to regularize their stay.  Although no one who was in this position called to voice their comments on whether they agreed.

UK Government set to get tough on overstayers, Illegal Immigrants & failed asylum seekers

The queen speech gave news of the recent proposal by the UK government to tackle illegal immigration Proposal are expected to increase employers sanctions, restrict access to the National health service, and require landlords to check immigration status.

 Uk Border Agency

Clearly these proposals will be viewed as alarming for some who has overstayed, entered the UK Illegally or, failed asylum application. How the new law will be implemented in practice, we will have to wait and see. The proposals appear to be in response to concerns from the public generally about immigration.

However here are my concerns, Immigration from the European Union (EU) countries cannot be stopped, because UK is part of the EU.  On 1 Jan 2014 Romania and Bulgarian will have full EU membership, and have the same rights to work. We are having been built up to expect a stampede of migrants. So evidently there is nothing the UK Government can do about this, whether this materializes or not… Why then is there in response to these concerns, that the UK government decides to turn its resources into focusing on the small proportion of those who do not have a right to remain. By the UK governments own admission does not know how many overstayers or illegal immigrants or failed asylum seekers are in the UK. The figure may be small. Consider the following extract from Capita “There are only a very small minority of people living in the UK illegally”

Many who are have overstayed are in the position where they have outstanding applications, and are awaiting a decision. How will the proposals affect those who are in this position? Will they be asked to move from their home?  If someone is in need of urgent medical treatment, will they then be denied medical treatment?

The point that is being made here is that the UK Border Agency seems to be proposing the new immigration bill purely as a means to appease their voters and supporters. But are they focusing on the real issues? Or are they just goings for easy pickings. 

UK referred to the European Court because of breach in EU Laws

 

 

 The Commission has referred the UK Government to the European Court over breaches in UK law over its failings in applying the habitual residence test to EU Nationals. 

Instead the UK government applies the right to reside test. This is an additional test, and has been imposed unilaterally by the UK.

UK nationals meet the requirements of habitual residence by virtue of their UK citizenship, whereas other EU nationals have to demonstrate that they do have the “right to reside.”

The effect are that EU national  who are unable to demonstrate that they  do not have the right to reside cannot  receive specific social security benefits.

·         Child Benefit

·         Child tax credit

·         Job Seekers Allowance (income based)

·         State pension credit

·         Employments and support allowance

Opportunities for Tier 2 Male Migrants under Points Based System:

Migrants are a huge topic within British life and especially in recent times. The debate about migrants is not just about the people themselves, but their culture, background and home country all factor in and affect people’s views and opinions.

 The doors are open

One of the big factors British citizens seem to face is the employment crisis which has come hand in hand with the economic down turn. Newly released figures show that there are real opportunities for applicants seeking work permit employment under Tier 2(General). Although the overall figures of employment are still steadily dropping, male migrants situated within the UK have seen a much higher level of employment than native born citizens. These figures have been the same since 2007, and have continued that way to this day. By having immigrant’s cultures and citizens can learn a lot from each other and enable much better development all round.

Sir Andrew Green, chair of campaign group Migration Watch UK, said: “It is time for a thorough assessment of the impact of immigration on the employment of British workers that this report only touches on.

“The effects may not show up statistically in a labour force of nearly 30 million but the anecdotal evidence is very strong.

These findings have been supplied by “think-tank” who has also revealed that the UK and Germany are the biggest recipients of immigrants globally, with figures doubling within the last few years.

The UK operates with a Points Based System, to attract the brightest and the best, in order for the country to be able to gain. Tier 2 of the PBS system is all about offering “skilled working”.  This means that any immigrants that have the required skills set are able to apply for work permit employment.

This Tier system works very well for the UK and attempts to ensure that anybody trying to gain residency within the UK must be able to fill a gap in the workforce that cannot be filled by a settled worker. This is to stop people coming into the UK and abusing the system, such as coming directly for the NHS.

Tier 2 states that “foreign nationals whom have been offered a skilled job to fill in the gap in the workforce that cannot be filled by a settled worker”, meaning that its aim is to utilize the immigrants in a way in which benefits everybody and the country as a whole.  Many of the UK’s immigrants that were formerly students have been able to switch into this category to remain within the UK and offer something valuable for the country and its residents. This means that the country can now benefit from its migrants and they have a lot to offer.

The UK is still dedicated to attracting the brightest and best immigrants possible, whilst still trying to control immigration fairly and effectively.

 

UK Immigration and its Effects

UK Immigration and its Effects

Wages decreasing  tough times

Wages decreasing sign of tough times threshold earnings set at £18.600

UK Immigration has been a big part of British culture and news for quite some time, but a lot of the time for the wrong reasons. People seem to tar immigrants with the same brush, whilst on the one hand I can see how people believe that it has a detrimental effect on British Citizens, I also believe that they have a positive impact on UK life. To put into perspective how much UK immigration plays on British citizens lives, Sky news released some stats that shows immigration is to of the list of concerns for Britain.

 Sky News asked the question: “Do you think that the United Kingdom should remain a member of the European Union?” – 51% voted No, with 49% supporting the Yes option. This shows just what the average British person is thinking right now, and it seems they are blaming the EU. Of this 49% supporting the EU, just over half of them said that they would change their mind if the Euro was forced upon them. With just over 65% of respondents answering that “They want more control over immigration”. It may not be immigration itself that is effecting the British, it is how its regulated and controlled. Some immigrants come to this country for things such as the NHS and benefits. The NHS has been hit hard and the immigrants abusing it are causing a huge £1bn rise in the NHS spending.

 However some of the UK’s immigration workers and Governmental figures may have rushed into immigration whilst panicking and have created a huge array of problems for some families, namely that a new “minimum earnings rule” has been applied, meaning that if this minimum earnings isn’t met, British citizens cannot bring their non-European Wife/Husband into the UK. The number is currently set at £18,600 which in this economic climate is a hard salary to come by. If the couple also has a child, the minimum is set at £22,400 which is even steeper. After your first child, each additional child then rises the threshold by £2400. This is killing family life for some immigrants which causes them to choose between a “better life” or staying together in another country.

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