Further scrutiny is being placed on those businesses which hire non-EEA national workers and will require their staff to make a UK visa application, as the Home Office has announced increases in the number of unannounced UKVI Compliance Audits. This means that Tier 2 Sponsor Licence Holders will need to ensure that they are compliant with the terms of their Sponsor Licence at all times. Challenges exist also for companies that employ EEA nationals, as the status of those EEA nationals exercising their Treaty rights in the United Kingdom is still uncertain in the face of Brexit. The Prime Minister has proposed a new Settled Status Privilege for those EEA nationals currently in the United Kingdom, but this has come under fire from business leaders and EU ministers. For a full and comprehensive analysis, please see below.
In order to monitor the level of immigration to the United Kingdom, the Home Office has increased the number of unannounced UKVI Compliance Audits they carry out on Tier 2 Sponsor Licence holders. UKVI Compliance Audits involve complete disclosure of information regarding the immigration and employment status of their employees, as well as interviews with employees and disclosure of internal compliance and Human Resources systems. Tier 2 Sponsor Licence holders must also provide full access to the files of sponsored workers, payroll and salary records, and identification documents. They may also face other requests at the discretion of the UKVI Compliance Officers.
Failing to comply with a UKVI Compliance Audit can lead to a Tier 2 Sponsor Licence being suspended or, in the worst case, revoked. It is possible that a Tier 2 Sponsor Licence may also be downgraded, or that the Licence holder could face fines for not complying with requirements.
Many small businesses rely on EEA nationals to make up a significant proportion of their workforce. Many sectors that require low or unskilled workers, such as the retail or hospitality industries, are worried that any tightening of the immigration rules after Brexit will drive their EEA national employees away. Yet in sectors where there are reported shortages of skilled workers, such as the health sector, there are also concerns that Brexit will deter EEA nationals from applying for jobs, or will similarly push EEA nationals already employed in the United Kingdom back to their home countries.
Post-Brexit, there is a possibility that EEA nationals will be the subject of a Points-based System, similar to that currently in place for non-EEA nationals. Under this system, however, applicants must be classed as skilled workers, and the minimum salary requirement for a Tier 2 visa was increased to £30,000 from 6 April 2017. Small businesses may struggle to match this salary, and they may also be put off sponsoring Tier 2 visas by the £1,000 charge per migrant worker that the government now levies. This will make it more difficult for non-EEA nationals to make a successful UK visa application.
During recent Brexit negotiations, Prime Minister Theresa May suggested that the United Kingdom will continue to keep its borders open to the best and brightest talents from EU Member States. At present, EEA nationals are free of immigration restrictions, and workers of all levels can come to the United Kingdom to find employment under EU law.
The Prime Minister also proposed a Settled Status Privilege for EEA nationals exercising their Treaty Rights in the United Kingdom for a period of five years. Those EEA nationals granted Settled Status will be able to work, study and claim benefits, and could be eligible to apply for their family members to join them in the United Kingdom. However, this proposal was met with resistance from business leaders and EU ministers, who were concerned about the potential gap in the United Kingdom’s work force, and the rights of EEA nationals who may not be eligible to apply for Settled Status.
Using Legal Representation For a UK Visa Application in the United Kingdom
Legal representatives, such as our specialist immigration and visa law firm, are qualified to advise you on immigration law and your immigration status. It is possible to instruct an immigration and visa legal representative to make a UK visa application in the United Kingdom.
Caseworkers at the Home Office are trained to reject applications which are improperly prepared, for example by failing to provide the correct supporting evidence. In order to ensure your application succeeds, all necessary documents must be provided.
This can be a significant administrative task and you will need to submit the correct documentary evidence. The UK Immigration Rules are complex and a legal representative can help ensure that your application meets the Immigration Rules.
Successfully Make a UK Visa Application in the United Kingdom
Our team of solicitors and barristers are specialist immigration lawyers who act in your best interest. We offer a client-tailored approach from the outset. From the very first meeting, we will be able to advise you in respect of your immigration status and the merit of your visa and immigration application before your matter even reaches the Home Office UK Visa & Immigration department. We can assist you with the preparation of your immigration and visa application and ensure that you meet all the requirements of the relevant rules.
We are based in the legal epicentre of London, just across the road from the Royal Courts of Justice in order to ensure we get the best results for our clients. We are minutes away from the Immigration and Asylum Tribunal, the Royal Courts of Justice and other central London courts.
Preparation is the key to successful immigration applications. Our UK immigration and visa solicitors are here to guide you through the complex immigration rules and requirements. If you wish to meet one of our lawyers, please call our Immigration Team so we can assess your case and arrange your legal consultation.
Contact our London immigration solicitors on 02071830570 or complete our contact form.