Immigration Law Simplified – What you need to know

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Immigration Law Simplified – What you need to know

The Home Office has stated that it will continue the work that was begun last year to simplify the Immigration Rules. However, this entails an influx of “appendices”. The motivation behind the immigration reforms was to make them as “user-friendly and accessible” as possible. This is because the current immigration laws were built up over the course of many years in which the guidance and rules had become repetitive, long and complex. The Law Commission (LC) reviewed the rules and drafted proposals to make them simpler. This would be done through the introduction of a “points-based system” which would provide consistent, clearer rules and reduce duplication.

Immigration Reform Process

The Home Office stated that it had simplified over 500 pages of rules including visitor student and work routes, hinting that significant progress had been made. However, immigration lawyer Vanessa Ganguin said the changes have just repackaged existing categories and placed them into categorised appendices of immigration rules.  She further argued that there has been a failure to simplify as practitioners now have a whole raft of appendices to search through.

She also stated that this route for reform will see the addition of an international sportsperson route in place of the current T2 and T5 categories, as well as future plans for a Global Business Mobility route “which in large constitutes a hodgepodge of the existing Intra-Company Transfer, T5 contractual service providers, sole representatives (of overseas businesses) categories, and import and export related secondees” (currently in the Visitors Appendix). The Home Office’s post-Alvi policy of “porting prescription and detail” from one place to another, generates a more complicated version of the laws and this is continued by the usage of appendices for additional categories. Ganguin further remarked that The Home Office is walking a fine line between making the regulations accessible to the typical applicant and diluting them to the point where they lack the substantial protections that the immigration system needs.

The points-based system

Under the points-based system for immigration, anyone travelling to the UK to work must fulfil a series of criteria for which they will receive points. Those who earn enough points are subsequently awarded visas. This system offers flexible options for hiring talented individuals from all over the world via a variety of alternative immigration procedures by UK firms. A sponsor license will also be required to hire employees who reside outside of the UK. Some examples of approved employer sponsor roles are with skilled worker routes and seasonal, agricultural workers. Opposite to this, unsponsored roles include the likes of investors, business development and talent routes.

With the skilled worker route and an approved employer sponsor, the job offered is required at a skill level of RQF3 or above and this is equivalent to A level. The relevant persons will also need to be able to communicate in English and the relevant sponsor must pay the necessary wage threshold. Depending on which is higher, this will either be the overall wage threshold of £25,600 or the standard rate for your position. 

A total of 70 points is required to be eligible to work in the UK. Examples of how to attain points in further detail are listed below:

  • Approved sponsor job offers – 20 Points
  • Job at appropriate skill level – 20 Points
  • Speaks required level of English – 10 Points
  • Salary of £23,040 to £25,599 – 10 Points (Anything lower – 0 Points)
  • Salary of more than £25,600 – 20 Points
  • Work in a profession that the Migration Advisory Committee has identified as having a shortage of workers – 20 Points
  • Education qualification: PHD – 10 Points (PhD STEM subject – 20 Points)

UK Labour Market

Regarding the UK labour market, the point-based system supports a broader set of initiatives that make up our long-term approach to the labour market and our aim of rebuilding the economy, boosting a company’s expansion and assisting individuals in finding new employment. With the points-based system, you have access to individuals and talent from all over the world. Firms have been urged to start by looking into domestic hiring possibilities in the UK.

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