[co-author: Carrie-Ann Hosker]
From 6 April 2022, holders of a Biometric Residence Card (BRC), Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) and Frontier Worker Permit (FWP) in the UK will prove their right to work using the Home Office online service.
As a result, from April 6, employers will no longer be able to accept or verify a physical BRP, BRC or FWP as valid proof of entitlement to work, even if the document shows a later expiration date.
Employers will not need to retrospectively check the status of BRC or BRP holders who were employed up to and including April 5. Employers will maintain a legal excuse against any civil penalty if the initial checks were performed in accordance with the guidelines that applied at the time the check was performed.
What are right to work checks?
Before starting work, employers must check that all jobseekers have legal immigration status in the UK to avoid facing a civil penalty.
There are two types of right to work verification: a manual verification and an online verification. The type of check an employer is required to carry out depends on the status of the job seeker.
From 6 April, an online entitlement to work check is required for all BRC, BRP and FWP holders, as well as people who only hold digital proof of their UK immigration status .
To perform an online entitlement to work verification, employers will need the applicant’s date of birth and an online-generated share code, which the applicant will need to provide. Government advice, ‘Employer’s guide to monitoring the right to works: 17 January 2022′, provides further information for employers on the use of online services.
Government advice, ‘View a candidate’s right to work details‘, provides details on how to complete the online Right to Work Verification.
Home Office revamps immigration rules in state of changes
The Ministry of the Interior has published its latest report Statement of Changes to Immigration Rules (HC 1118). The changes, which include new immigration routes, as well as some changes and rebranding for existing routes, will be phased in over the coming months, beginning April 6, 2022.
UK immigration rules are often changed several times a year, via a Statement of Changes, which lists the changes that will be incorporated into updated immigration rules on specified implementation dates. The new routes announced in the Statement of Changes rely on the UK Government’New plan for immigration‘, published on 24 May 2021, in which the government announced its intention to introduce tailored immigration pathways which will ultimately help the UK’s economic growth.
Below is a summary of the most relevant details of the change status.
Global Enterprise Mobility Route
The Global Business Mobility route is a new category for overseas companies wishing to establish a presence or transfer staff to the UK for specific business purposes. The route consists of five sub-categories, which combine the existing layouts. No category within the Global Business Mobility route will lead to settlement; instead, the route focuses only on candidates coming to the UK for temporary assignments. Family members will be allowed to apply as dependents and there is no limit to the number of applications. This path will be open to new applicants on April 11, 2022.
- Superior worker or specialist
This route will replace the intra-company transfer visa, which will end on 11 April 2022 and is for senior managers or specialist employees who are posted to a UK company linked to their employer abroad.
There is still no English language requirement; however, the role must meet the skill level required. The minimum general annual salary threshold will increase from £41,500 GBP to £42,400 GBP and applicants must still have worked for the foreign entity for at least twelve months, unless a worker earns a lot. Applicants earning an annual salary of GBP£73,900 or more will not need to meet the twelve month previous employment requirement.
This route is a rebranding of the Intra-Company Graduate Trainee visa, which will end on April 11, 2022. It is intended for candidates who are currently pursuing graduate training that may eventually lead to a senior management position or a position specialist and who are required to complete a traineeship in the UK.
The general minimum wage threshold will increase from £23,000 to £23,100 per year.
This track will replace the Representing a Company Abroad track which will close on 11 April 2022. It is intended for senior managers or specialist employees who are posted to the UK to undertake work related to the expansion company in the UK. From April 11, it will no longer be possible to make a first request to the Agent for a Business Abroad. This route will also no longer lead to the establishment in the United Kingdom.
Permission will be granted for an initial stay of twelve months in the UK with the possibility of extending the visa for up to two years in total. Applicants will need sponsorship from a company in the UK that has a sponsorship license; however, the business must not yet have commenced operations. (The statement of changes states that if a company has commenced business operations, “workers should instead apply under the Global Business Mobility Schedule – Senior or Specialist Worker.”) The company must also be a subsidiary of a business abroad, which is growing in the United States. Kingdom.
The candidate’s salary must meet the market rate requirement or the general salary threshold of GBP 42,400 per annum (whichever is greater). The candidate must also have worked for the company overseas for at least twelve months, unless they have a high income or are a Japanese national coming to the UK in accordance with the requirements set out in the agreement of comprehensive economic partnership between the UK and Japan.
This route will replace the current Temporary Work Schedule – International Agreement route, which will close on 11 April 2022. It is for overseas workers on temporary work assignments in the UK. The worker must be either a contracted service provider employed by an overseas service provider, or an independent self-employed professional based overseas, and must be undertaking an assignment in the UK to provide services covered by one of the business commitments UK international.
The sponsor must be authorized by the Home Office to sponsor a service provider and must have a contract with an overseas service provider, where such contract has been registered with the Home Office, and on which a candidate as a service provider will work. The requirement under the existing rules is that the contract must be pre-approved, but the Statement of Amendments only confirms that the contract must be “registered”. Upcoming guidelines expected to be released soon should provide further details on the service provider’s route.
Under the current International Agreement route, applicants are allowed to stay in the UK for up to twelve months. However, under the new route, people on the service provider’s route will be able to come to the UK for up to five years over a six-year period. The candidate must either be sponsored for employment in an occupation code listed in the Skilled Occupations Schedule that is identified as eligible for Global Business Mobility routes, or the candidate must hold a university degree or qualification technique of equivalent level.
The Posted Workers route is a new addition which will allow individuals to undertake temporary work assignments where they are ‘posted to the UK under a high value contract or investment by their employer to the UK. ‘foreign”.
Applicants will need sponsorship from a company in the UK that already has a sponsor license and the applicant must have twelve months previous service with the overseas company. In addition, the contract between the UK company and the foreign company must be registered with the Home Office.
Under the current system, similar provisions are generally covered by the provisions relating to visitor visas. However, this category will remove any uncertainty about qualifying as a visitor and allow individuals to come to the UK for up to five years with their family members.
Further details regarding the definition of a high value contract or investment are expected in future guidance.
High Potential Individual Program (‘HPI’)
The HPI pathway will open on May 30, 2022 and is designed for recent international graduates from “Top Global Universities” (defined as an institution listed as “top 50” on at least two of the three ranking systems prescribed in the guidelines). Applicants must have successfully completed a qualifying course of study equivalent to a UK bachelor’s degree or above outside the UK within the last five years.
The route will allow applicants to come to the UK without the need for corporate sponsorship and there will also be no job offer requirement.
This route will not lead to settlement in the UK and permission will only be granted for two years for those with a bachelor’s or master’s degree. However, candidates holding a degree equivalent to a doctorate can benefit from a three-year leave. Applicants for the HPI route will be allowed to work in the UK and can take dependent family members with them.
This route will open on August 22, 2022 and is for people recruited by a UK Scale-up sponsor who “have a highly qualified job offer from a qualified Scale-up company at the required salary level”. Salary for the potential job “must be at or above” the prevailing rate for the individual’s specific role, £10.58 per hour and £33,000 per year. There will also be an English language requirement.
Unlike other sponsored routes, the Scale-up route will only require individuals to be sponsored for the first six months of the route; they will then be able to work for the following eighteen months without sponsorship. To extend and apply for settlement, applicants will need to meet the minimum wage requirement and demonstrate that they are in a college-level position. This route can lead to settlement after a minimum period of five years of continuous employment in the UK and dependent family members will be able to join.
An expedited verification process is available for scaling companies that can demonstrate an average annual revenue or employment growth rate over a three-year period of greater than 20%, and a minimum of ten employees at beginning of the three-year period.