The Migration Observatory at the University of Oxford have produced an updated briefing examining labour migration to the UK, finding that for the first time since 2006, the majority of people migrating to the UK for work in 2019 were non-EU citizens.
At the time of writing, all UK Visa Application Centres in the United States of America have been closed since 20 March 2020. These Visa Application Centres are necessary for any UK spouse visa application to be progressed. The closures have prevented US spouses of British citizens from moving to Scotland and the rest of the UK on a long-term basis.
In 2017, the Home Secretary introduced a concession to the Immigration Rules to allow the employment of non-European Economic Area (EEA) nationals who are joining vessels engaged in the construction and maintenance of offshore wind projects in UK territorial waters. This concession is time limited and leave to enter under the terms of the concession will not be granted beyond 31 December 2020.
The good weather in the UK this week also brings forth some good news. From Monday next week, 1 June, UK Visas and Immigration will be resuming some services in a number of Visa Application Centres across the world. The precise cities where the centres will open are: Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney (Australia); Beijing, Chongqing, Guangzhou, Shanghai (China); Suva (Fiji); Hong Kong; Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia); Taipei (Taiwan); Bangkok (Thailand).
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the UK immigration system, both in terms of restricting migrant movements to and from the UK and the impact on operational capacity. The Home Office have released a report giving an overview of the key trends affecting the UK immigration system, following the outbreak of COVID-19 in the UK in March and April 2020. This is a one-off release derived from Home Office management information.
On 9 April 2020 the Home Office published further guidance on the proposed immigration system that will regulate migrants who come to the UK to work. This system is expected to be rolled out towards the end of 2020, to take effect from 2021 as free movement from the EU ends.
Extensions until 31st July 2020
If you’re in the UK and your leave expires between 24 January 2020 and 31 July 2020
Your visa will be extended to 31 July 2020 if you cannot leave the UK because of travel restrictions or self-isolation related to coronavirus (COVID-19).
On Friday 15 May 2020 it became significantly harder for EU settled status holders to naturalise as British citizens.
The Home Office subtly updated its policy guidance for applications for naturalisation (British citizenship applications) to now require evidence of “exercising Treaty rights” from holders of settled status, up to the date they were granted their settled or pre-settled status. This change will affect all pending and future naturalisation applications.
As we looked at in our Blog of 20th April, Brexit means Brexit for the Westminster Government.
The EU withdrawal Bill which makes provision to end rights of free movement of persons under retained EU Law and to repeal other retained EU Law relating to immigration, is heading towards its second reading in the House of Commons on Monday 18th May 2020. The Second Reading is normally the first opportunity for a Bill to be debated and is the stage where the overall principles of the Bill are considered. If the Bill passes Second Reading it moves on to the Committee Stage.
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