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Offshore Wind Workers Immigration Rules Concession – Further Extension

06 July 2021 Grace McGill Blog

July 2021 update

In 2017, the Home Secretary introduced a concession to the Immigration Rules to allow the employment of foreign nationals who are joining vessels engaged in the construction and maintenance of offshore wind projects in UK territorial waters (UKTW) being the 12-mile zone that determines if a worker is subject to UK immigration laws.

We covered the previous concessions announced over the last year in earlier blog post articles.

It is perhaps unsurprising to many in the sector that the demand for offshore wind staff is expected to triple by the end of the decade, surging to 868,000 full-time jobs from an estimated 297,000 in 2020 as reported by Rystad Energy.

And with that is the welcome news that the UK Offshore wind workers concession has been extended until  1 July 2022.

The terms of the concession announced on the 2nd July,  are set out below.

  1. The Home Office has agreed to grant a concession, outside of the Immigration Rules, to workers essential to the construction and maintenance of wind farms within UK territorial waters.
  2. The concession will allow foreign national workers leave to enter the UK until 1 July 2022 for the purpose of joining a vessel engaged in the construction and maintenance of a wind farm within UK territorial waters.
  3. Leave to enter under the terms of the concession will not be granted beyond 1 July 2022. During this period, firms involved in the construction or maintenance of wind farms within territorial waters should look to regularise the position of their workers. Those who require leave to enter the UK should have the appropriate permission to do so under the Immigration Rules.
  4. In order to qualify for entry under this concession and maintain border security, a person seeking entry for this purpose should produce:
  • a valid passport
  • a visa issued for this purpose (if needed – see paragraph 5 below) or a seaman’s book compliant with ILO Convention 108 (and issued by a country which has ratified that Convention) or ILO Convention 185 (and issued by a country which has ratified that Convention having previously ratified ILO108) and
  • a letter from their employer stating that the worker is employed in the construction or maintenance of a wind farm project within territorial waters
  1. Foreign nationals seeking entry to the UK under the terms of this concession are subject to a visa requirement only if they:
  • are a visa national (see Appendix 2 to Appendix Vof the Immigration Rules for a list of visa nationals) and
  • do not hold a seaman’s book compliant with ILO Convention 108 (and issued by a country which has ratified that Convention) or ILO Convention 185 (and issued by a country which has ratified that Convention having previously ratified ILO108)

SOURCE :

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/offshore-wind-workers-immigration-rules-concession-2017/offshore-wind-workers-immigration-rules-concession-2017-july-2021-update

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