As the UK continues to adapt to life post-Brexit, the next important date from an immigration standpoint is 30 June 2021.

European Economic Area (EEA) and Swiss nationals who were resident in the UK on or before 31 December 2020 have until this date to submit their initial applications under the EU Settlement Scheme. If they do not, they will no longer have permission to remain in the UK and will have to make arrangements to leave.

Read the full Legal Update

On May 24, 2021, the US State Department announced that US citizens overseas with U.S. passports which expired on or after January 1, 2020, may be able to use these expired passports to return directly to the United States until December 31, 2021.  According to the US State Department, US citizens qualify for this exception if all of the following are true:

  • The traveler is a U.S. citizen.
  • The traveler is currently abroad seeking direct return to the United States.
  • The traveler is flying directly to the United States, a United States territory, or has only short-term connecting flights through a foreign country on a direct return to the United States or to a United States Territory.
  • The traveler’s expired passport was originally valid for 10 years. Or, if the traveler were 15 years of age or younger when the passport was issued, the traveler’s expired passport was valid for 5 years.
  • The expired passport is undamaged, unaltered, and in the traveler’s possession.

Continue Reading State Department Changes Policy on the Use of Expired US Passports for Travel to the US

Lockdown in the UK is easing at last.  We can meet up with friends, family and work colleagues who we have only seen virtually over the last few months.  Perhaps go for a meal……but will our favourite restaurants be able to re-open?

The UK hospitality industry has been hit hard by the Covid-19 crisis. Since March 2020, these businesses have been forced to close during the various periods of lockdown, often leading them to letting staff go unless they could retain them under the furlough scheme. According to the Office for National Statistics, 335,000 jobs were lost in the catering industry in the year to March 2021 alone. A number of these positions had previously been filled by overseas nationals, many of whom have left the UK.  It has now been reported that a number of restaurant owners are now having issues recruiting staff.

However, help is potentially at hand due to the changes made to the UK immigration system on 1 December 2020.

Continue Reading Empty Chairs At Empty Tables

In line with many countries around the world, in order to combat the spread of Covid-19, the EU placed restrictions on travelers entering from non-EU countries.  With increasing numbers of people now being vaccinated, some countries are slowly coming out of lockdown with restrictions on non-emergency travel easing.

Earlier this week, EU Member States came to an agreement regarding entry of visitors from outside of the EU.  The agreement is still pending final approval but it is anticipated that EU countries will soon allow entry to visitors who either have been fully vaccinated with an EU approved vaccine or are from a “safe list” of third countries that have met certain criteria.

Continue Reading EU Getting Ready to Re-Open Borders to Travellers

In a May 18, 2021 Press Statement, the US Department of State announced an updated interpretation of the provision of the Immigration & Nationality Act (INA) that recognizes birthright citizenship to children born abroad.  Under this interpretation, a child born abroad to parents, at least one of whom is a US citizen and who are married to each other at the time of birth, will be a US citizen from birth if the child has a genetic or gestational tie to at least one of the parents and meets the INA’s other requirements.  Under the prior interpretation, that genetic or gestational tie needed to be with the US citizen parent.  In the Press Statement, the State Department recognizes that such an interpretation “takes into account the realities of modern families.”  Further, “[t]his change will allow increased numbers of married couples to transmit US citizenship to their children born overseas.”

 

In response to the rise of COVID-19 cases in Taiwan, the country’s Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) announced the implementation of new entry restrictions for foreign visitors.  Specifically, foreign nationals without a valid Alien Resident Certificate (ARC card) will be temporarily barred from entry to Taiwan.  This means holders of visitor or residence visas with COVID-19 special permits, as well as transit travelers, will be banned from entry, including those travelers who plan to apply for ARC cards following arrival in Taiwan.  Exceptions will be considered on a case-by-case basis for emergencies and on humanitarian grounds.  This travel ban is in effect from May 19 to June 18, 2021.  Continue Reading In Response to Rising COVID-19 Cases, Taiwan Further Bans Foreign Visitors

In order to comply with illegal working rules, all employers must check that their employees have the legal right to work for them in the UK.  If it later transpires the employee does not possess the requisite immigration permission, failure to have carried out a right to work (“RTW”) check, may lead to an employer being charged with a civil or criminal penalty depending on the circumstances.

On 21 April, the Home Office announced that the Covid-19 adjustment to the RTW would come to an end on 17 May 2021.  The end of the adjustment means that employers would once again have to see an individual’s original documents to comply with the RTW requirements.  We discussed this change in our article:  UK Right to Work Checks: Sunset of the Covid-19 Concession and Brexit Impact | The Mobile Workforce

The Home Office have announced today that the Covid-19 adjustment will now continue to 20 June.  This will assist a number of employers with employees who are continuing to work from home in line with current government guidance.

Continue Reading Ending of Covid-19 Adjustment to UK Right to Work Checks Postponed

Earlier today, April 30, 2021, the White House press secretary Jen Psaki announced that the United States will restrict travel from India starting on Tuesday, May 4, in response to the surge of coronavirus cases and variants being observed in the country. “The policy will be implemented in light of extraordinarily high COVID-19 caseloads and multiple variants circulating in India,” said Psaki.  Continue Reading United States to Restrict Travel From India Amid Record Numbers of Coronavirus Infections and Fatalities

Further Changes to Right to Work Checks Effective 17 May 2021

Since 30 March 2020, due to Covid-19, the Home Office has allowed an adjustment to the normal right to work (“RTW”) check process which must be undertaken by employers if they wish to avoid any potential liability for employing an individual who does not have the appropriate immigration permission to undertake their employment in the UK.  Under this adjustment, employers can check an employee’s immigration status in the UK by using scans or copies of documents instead of having to see the original documents.  Alternatively, the employer can use the on-line RTW checking service if the employee has one of the following:

a.  Biometric Residence Permit; or,
b.  Biometric Residence Card; or,
c.   status under the EU Settlement Scheme or Points Based System.

As of 17 May, this adjustment will cease and employers will once again be required to check original documents, unless they are able to use the RTW checking service.  Since the on-line service can only be used to check the RTW status of migrant workers, this means that, from that date, in the majority of situations, employers will be required to physically inspect prospective employee’s original documents and carry out the check either in the presence of the employee or via a live video link.  Even if they are using the on-line service, employers will still need to meet the prospective employee in person or via a live video link.

Continue Reading UK Right to Work Checks: Sunset of the Covid-19 Concession and Brexit Impact

As we pass 100 days since the end of the Brexit transition period, it is time to reflect on what we have learned so far in relation to how the end of Free Movement rights has affected British citizens and UK companies operating within the European Economic Area (EEA) and EEA citizens and EEA companies operating in the UK. It is also an important time to highlight some key deadlines which are rapidly approaching.

Set out in this brochure are what we believe, from an immigration standpoint, are the top 10 lessons learned and the key things to consider as we continue to adapt to life post-Brexit.

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