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INSIGHT Summer 10 Singles

INSIGHT Summer 10 Singles

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Published by Peng Wang

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Published by: Peng Wang on Jan 05, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Immigration News & Views from Smith Stone Walters
What changes willthe new coalitiongovernment bringto immigration law?
In thIs IssUe
With a coalition governmentnow in power, what changescan we expect to see in UKimmigration policy?
Tier 1 & Tier 2 revisions go liveUKBA launches £15,000 SuperPremium service!Visa Waiver Test results for theEastern Caribbean
Changes to the Knowledge-of-Language-and-Life requirementfor settlement
Identity cards
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The Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats published an initial document last month setting out theagreements that they had reached on a range of issues. It indicates that the new coalition intends topursue the Conservatives’ manifesto commitments in regard to immigration and that the Lib Demswill therefore be forced to ditch their flagship policy of earned citizenship for illegal migrants.The Conservative election manifesto said that immigration has “enriched our nation” and that theeconomy needs “the brightest and the best.” It also stated, however, that immigration is too high,and it promised to reduce net migration to “tens of thousands” a year. Since the latest official figuresshow that in 2008 net inward migration was 163,000, such a reduction in numbers is likely to affectemployers of migrant staff.
We expect the new government’s immigration policy to be based on four strands:
They will introduce an annual limit on the number of non-EU economic migrants allowed towork here, taking into consideration the effects that a rising population has on our public servicesand local communities. They intend for the limit to change each year to take into accountimmigration’s wider effects on society.They will work to prevent illegal immigration with a Border Police Force dedicated to suppressingit, and people trafficking, vigorously.They will introduce important new rules to tighten up the student visa system, which at themoment is the biggest hole in our border controls.They will promote integration into British society, including the introduction of an Englishlanguage test for anyone coming here from outside the EU to get married.The key change for employers is therefore the proposed annual limit to the number of non-EUeconomic migrants seeking to work here. Such quotas are common, with both the United States andAustralia having implemented similar policies. The key balancing act is to ensure that any such limitis set neither too low nor too high. If it’s too low UK Plc is likely to suffer because you as employerswill be unable to recruit from outside the EU, even if you are unable to source suitably qualifiedcandidates locally. If it’s too high the government’s efforts to limit immigration will be ineffective.Until the coalition announces its first annual limit it will be difficult to say how this may affect yourcompany’s ability to hire migrant staff, offer existing overseas staff the opportunity to undertake ashort-term secondment to the UK, or both. The devil will be in the detail and we will therefore have towait for the new government to determine its mechanism for implementing such a limit.
Watch this space!
INSiGHT from Smith Stone Walters
wIth the hIstorIC ConservatIve-lIberal demoCratCoalItIon now In government, what Changes Canwe exPeCt to see In UK ImmIgratIon PolICY?
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INSiGHT from Smith Stone Walters
tIer 1 & tIer 2 revIsIons go lIve
The last big change to Tiers 1 (highly skilled workers) and 2 (skilled workers with a job offer) of thePoints Based System took place on 6 April 2010.An updated points table for Tier 2 with higher salary bands. These adjustments ensure thatall applicants in non-shortage occupations now need to have prospective annual earnings of atleast £20,000. A further modification means that any intra-company transferees unable toobtain additional points due to holding formal qualifications will now need prospective UKearnings of at least £32,000 to qualify.The introduction of new sub-categories for intra-company transfers that enable multinationalcompanies to transfer staff to the UK to take short-term graduate placements or for short-termskills transfers.Since the introduction of these changes it has become apparent from speaking with both employersand migrant workers that the decision to
prevent intra-company transfers from seeking settlementin the UK
has had the most impact. Whilst most assignees do not necessarily see their future in theUK, many like to have their option to settle in this country left open. As such, some migrants arenow electing to seek entry to the UK via the Tier 1 highly skilled route rather than that of being Tier2 intra-company transfers in order to keep their path to residency open. We advise employers to takenote of this trend.In regard to these new restrictions, we have obtained further clarity from the UKBAPolicy Department about whether employers can offer
contracts for UKemployment to migrant workers seeking entry to the UK under the
Tier 2intra-company transfer route. They have confirmed that they see this as acceptable. However, weremind employers of the need to advise all those staff members seeking entry to the UK under thistemporary category of the residency constraint it places upon them and their accompanyingfamily members.
Remember: Smith Stone Walters staff are on hand to advise you in allmatters involving UK immigration law.
These changes included:
A new points table for Tier 1that now allows applicants withprevious annual incomes of £150,000 or more to come to theUK as Tier 1 migrants even if theyhave no formal higher-levelqualifications.A tightening of the qualifyingcriteria for intra-companytransferees, requiring them tohave 12 months of companyexperience before transferring.In order to reflect the temporarynature of intra-company transfers,this category will also no longerlead to settlement in the UK.

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