Immigration Barristers' Blog

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In applications made under Appendix FM of the Immigration Rules for entry clearance or leave to remain as a partner the applicant is required to satisfy a financial requirement. The Rules require an applicant to demonstrate, by reference to specified evidence, a gross annual income of at least £18,600. Where the applicant and their partner have children (who are not British or a citizen of an EEA country), the income threshold is increased by £3,800 for the first child and an additional £2,400 for each child thereafter.

Many nurses will be forced to leave their jobs with the NHS and return to their home countries because of changes to immigration rules, the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) has warned.

UK employers have a duty to prevent illegal working in the UK by people who are subject to immigration control. Where this is not complied with, an employer may face a financial penalty (civil penalty) and in some cases, prosecution. An employer can avoid becoming liable for a civil penalty and prosecution by carrying out simple specified document checks on prospective employees before employing them, to ensure that they have the right to work in the UK.

Tier 1 Investor visa applicants are now required to have opened an account with a UK regulated bank before submitting their investor visa application. The Immigration Rules require that the account must have been opened with a bank and for the purpose of investing not less than £2 million in the UK. The rules also require that the bank must be regulated by the FCA for the purpose of accepting deposits. However, a policy document published by the Home Office suggests that these ‘rules’ should not in fact be read as imposing mandatory requirements at all.

The Home Secretary has asked the Migration Advisory Committee to look at proposals to cut non-EEA work migration. The proposals reveal a tension between what business wants (the brightest and best staff, no matter their nationality) and what the Government wants (more jobs for British Citizens).

The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) has been asked by the Government to look at ways the country can reduce work migration from outside the EU, while making sure Britain remains open to the best talent.

Advocate General Kokott has recently given her Opinion in Case C-218/14, Singh, Njume and Aly, 7 May 2015, a case concerning retained rights of residence following divorce from an EEA national.

Factual Background

Messrs Singh, Njume and Aly were all married in Ireland to Union citizens exercising their Treaty rights in Ireland and who were granted permission to reside based on their relationship with their spouses. Each marriage broke down after at least four years living together in Ireland, following which the Union citizen left Ireland and filed for divorce in their home country and decrees absolute were issued.

An Advocate General of the Court of Justice of the European Union has given his opinion on the legality of excluding EU citizens from certain social benefits in another Member State.

The family members of UK nationals are not ordinarily able to benefit from EU free movement law as transposed by the EEA Regulations – there are some exceptions, but the general rule is that only non-UK EU nationals can rely upon the EEA Regulations as a source of residence rights for their family members.

What, then, is the effect on their non-EU family members’ rights of residence of a UK citizen acquiring an additional EU nationality, or of a Union citizen acquiring British nationality? Do UK citizens’ family members become eligible for EEA Residence Cards? Are the family members of the Union citizen who naturalised as British able to continue living in accordance with the EEA Regulations with EEA Residence Cards?

The Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) rules are very clear in stating that migrants in this category must invest all of their investment funds, whether this is £50,000 or £200,000, into the business before making an extension application at year three. While you can make an initial application on the basis of money which has already been invested in the business and is sitting in the business bank account, this will not be sufficient at the extension application stage. By year three, all the money must have been spent for the purpose of the business.

People from countries outwith the European Economic Area (EEA), who come to the United Kingdom for six months or longer, now need to pay a 'health surcharge'.

The legislation that introduced said surcharge, which needs to be paid when immigration applications are made, came into effect in April of this year.

London remains the single most important location for foreign direct investment (FDI) in the UK and in fact across the whole of Europe, according to EY’s latest UK Attractiveness Report.

The Immigration Rules, particularly the Points Based System, increasingly require migrants and potential migrants to provide Specified Evidence with their applications. Errors and omissions in the evidence provided with the application (whether inadvertent or otherwise) can lead to refusal irrespective of what many may consider to be the overall merits of the application. These errors cannot be remedied by applicants submitting additional evidence of their own volition, or on appeal. Harsh outcomes – whether loss of income, increased fees and legal costs, loss of immigration status, ultimately departure from the UK – inevitably follow.

If you are a business established in an EU country other than the UK, you may be able to send your employees to the UK on temporary assignments using EU free movement law, providing that the worker meets the following criteria:

  1. They are lawfully resident in the EU Member State in which the employer is established;
  2. They are lawfully and habitually employed by an employer who is temporarily providing a service in the UK;
  3. They do not intend to take any other employment; and
  4. They intend to leave the UK at the end of the period during which his employer is providing the service.

The latest statistics from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has revealed that net long-term migration to the UK (immigration less emigration) rose to 318,000 during 2014. This was apparently just below the previous peak (320,000 in the year ending June 2005) and a statistically significant increase from 209,000 in 2013.

A new report from London First and PwC has revealed that international students have a positive impact on the UK economy.

According to the research:

  • International students in London bring a net benefit of £2.3 billion to the UK economy.
  • They support nearly 70,000 jobs in London because of the money they spend here.
  • It is not true that international students are a burden to our public services, such as the NHS. They contribute a total of £2.8 billion through the spending they bring to the country, while only consuming £540 million in public spending.
  • 60% of international students including alumni said they are more likely to do business with the UK as a result of studying here.
  • London’s Higher Education system is an export success story, with 92% of students saying that they would recommend studying in the UK to their friends and family.

In a recently reported case on a renewed application for permission to proceed with a claim for judicial review, the Tribunal has flexed its muscle again and demonstrated its willingness to use even the most draconian of mechanisms in the Procedure Rules to remedy omissions or short-comings at the interim relief or permission stage. The President of the Upper Tribunal has given guidance on the power of strike out under rules 7 and 8 of The Tribunal Procedure (Upper Tribunal) Rules 2008: R (SN) v SSHD [2015] UKUT 00227 (IAC). By any reckoning the conduct of the Applicant's representatives was particularly egregious and the President expressed sadness at having been driven to the extremes of making orders to strike out the applicant’s case under r. 8(3) of the Procedure Rules 2008, to refuse to reinstate under r. 8(5) and to order wasted costs against the Applicant’s solicitor and counsel under r. 10(3)(d) of the same.

The European Commission has presented its European Agenda on Migration, which outlines the steps to be taken in the coming years to better manage migration in all its aspects, as well as immediate measures to be taken to respond to the crisis situation in the Mediterranean.

The collective EU migration policy has fallen short, says the Commission, and therefore the European Agenda on Migration contains a set of mutually coherent and reinforcing initiatives, based around four pillars, to manage migration better in all its aspects.

If an employer wants to employ a non EEA-national who does not already have the right to work for them, they must have a Tier 2 Sponsor Licence and assign a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) to the prospective employee. The employee will then use this CoS to apply for a Tier 2 (General) visa.

Although much of the Immigration Act 2014 (‘the 2014 Act’) deliberately makes the lives of people in the UK much more difficult (including those of British citizens, not “just” migrants and their families) there are some helpful provisions - in particular, new provisions enabling people born to unmarried British citizen fathers before 1 July 2006 to register as British citizens.

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