The official 30 June deadline to submit an initial application under the EU Settlement Scheme (“EUSS”) has now passed.  There were a flurry of last minute applications and reports of people being unable to submit their applications due to technical difficulties caused by the number of people logging onto the on-line form.  There is a significant backlog of applications and some applications have yet to arrive with the Home Office as they had to be submitted by post.  Fortunately, whilst an application is pending, an applicant continues to have the right to live and work in the UK.

Whilst the deadline for applications has come and gone, there may still be hope for some who may not have managed to submit an application in time.


Continue Reading Closure Of The EU Settlement Scheme – Not Quite The End . . . Yet

The Home Office has finally published its revised Code of Practice on Preventing Illegal Working (the “draft Code”) covering the changes to the right to work check requirements for EEA citizens which come into effect on 1 July 2021.

In this article, we look at the changes that the draft Code introduces, how this will affect UK employers and the areas of continued uncertainty.


Continue Reading UK Government Publishes 1 July Right To Work Guidance

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

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

The UK Government unveiled its economic recovery plan in a policy proposal entitled, “Build Back Better: our plan for growth”, detailing specific courses of action and priorities essential to the rebuilding and uplifting of the British economy out from underneath Covid-19 and into the post-Brexit world.  In doing so, the proposal sets out a series

At times it felt like we would never cross the Brexit finish line, but we’ve done it.” – Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

The dramatic June 2016 referendum in which 51.9% voted to leave initiated a long and arduous journey with multiple elections, extensions, and cliff-hangers. Tomorrow, on 31 January 2020 at 11 p.m. GMT, the Brexit “finish line” will be crossed, concluding the process that was triggered when, in March 2017, the UK government invoked Article 50 and initiated the withdrawal procedure. Britain’s Parliament has now ratified a Withdrawal Agreement  with the EU via the European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Act 2020. The European Parliament, in turn, voted to approve the agreement yesterday. This means that all of the formal ratification procedures have now been completed.

But even with the divorce agreed, the UK and EU still face negotiation of the terms of their future relationship. A transition (implementation) phase will occur in the interim, lasting until 31 December 2020 (or longer, if the government exercises its one-time right in July 2020 to extend the transition for two years). Negotiations during the transition need to cover an enormous range of issues, including trade, customs, and regulatory alignment (or nonalignment). This includes a new legal framework for immigration control after January 2021, when the transition period is set to end.
Continue Reading Across the Brexit Finish Line – And Now What?

After almost a decade of coalition and minority governments in the United Kingdom (“UK”), Prime Minister Boris Johnson won an 80-seat majority in the December 2019 General Election with the simple slogan: “Get Brexit Done.” This mandate meant that, after years of wrangling and tortuous procedural battles in Parliament, the Withdrawal Agreement Bill was passed and, on 23 January 2020, received Royal Assent to become law as the European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Act 2020.  Just over three and a half years since the referendum, this means that the UK will formally leave the EU on 31 January 2020. But what happens next with respect to free movement?

Continue Reading European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Act 2020 To Usher In Brexit on 31 January 2020

Three days before the UK was due to exit the bloc, ambassadors from the other 27 countries of the EU agreed to delay Brexit for up to three months.  The agreement by the EU, made in Brussels on October 28, 2019, allows the UK to leave earlier if it and the EU both ratify the withdrawal deal that Prime Minister Johnson negotiated with the EU earlier this month (the “Withdrawal Agreement”).  European Council President Donald Tusk announced the decision on Twitter, stating that “The EU 27 has agreed to accept the UK’s request for a #Brexit flextension until 31 January 2020.”  The decision requires formal written procedures from the UK and the EU27, which are expected to be completed imminently.

Continue Reading EU Grants the UK an Extension of Brexit Until January 31, 2020

Members of Parliament narrowly passed an amendment during an emergency session on Saturday, October 19, 2019, to postpone the decision on whether to vote “yes” or “no” to Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal.  Parliament said it needed more time to review the deal, which Prime Minister Johnson concluded last week with European leaders.  The primary aim of the amendment is to ensure the UK cannot leave the EU on October 31, 2019, the current Brexit date, without enacting detailed legislation governing the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.

Saturday’s vote effectively required the Prime Minister to request a third extension of the withdrawal date, which would postpone Brexit until January 31, 2020.  Prime Minister Johnson, who had vowed never to seek an extension, sent an unsigned letter to the EU asking for the required three-month extension.  But he also sent a signed letter to European Council President Donald Tusk urging EU leaders to turn down the extension request, and has stated he will bring his proposal back before Parliament on Monday, October 21, 2019.


Continue Reading UK Parliament Passes Amendment to Postpone Brexit Vote in Emergency Session on Saturday, October 19, 2019