Home Office

EU Settlement Scheme

EU Settlement Scheme

On 21 June 2018 the UK Home Office published their EU Settlement Scheme Statement of Intent and draft Immigration Rules which set out further details about how EU citizens and their families can obtain settled status in the UK and continue living here permanently.

The statement of intent document is 60 pages long, so for those of you who don't have time to read through it, here are the main points:

UK: Immigration Fee Changes

The UK Home Office will implement updated fees for immigration and nationality applications from Thursday 6th April 2017.

Previous years have seen advance warning from the Home Office that changes would take place; this year, the fee increases were laid before Parliament just days ago with no official announcement.

There are to be increases to fees across a number of immigration categories, with the most significant increase to an application for Indefinite Leave to Remain, or Settlement, made from within the UK. The charge for an application of this type will increase by £422 to £2297.

UK: Tier 1 and Tier 2, other changes in effect

A number of important changes to the UK Immigration Rules came into effect on November 24, 2016.

These include the closure of the Tier 2 ICT Skills Transfer subcategory, changes to minimum salary levels in several categories, a new requirement for certain dependents to show continuous residence, and the abolishment of the 28-day grace period for in-country.

UK: Police registration changes

Changes have been made to the way migrants will be informed of the requirement to register with the police, UKVI has announced.

Nationals of certain countries are required to register with the police if they come to the UK for longer than six months, extend their current leave to remain or switch to a different visa.

The condition to register with the police will no longer appear on Biometric Residence Permits.

UK: Home Office announcement clarifies rights of EU nationals in the United Kingdom

A joint statement by the Cabinet Office, Home Office and Foreign and Commonwealth Office has revealed that the government “fully expect that the legal status of EU nationals living in the UK, and that of UK nationals in EU member states, will be properly protected”.  

Brexit – What will this mean for UK immigration?

Following the result of the UK’s EU referendum, which the Leave campaign won with 52% of the vote, there are many questions and uncertainty about the future UK immigration landscape.

The landmark result, which saw more than 30 million people vote, the highest turnout since 1992, has raised a number of concerns for EU nationals living and working in the UK.

Our UK immigration partner is confident that any outstanding or ongoing immigration applications presently with the Home Office for consideration will be unaffected.

UK: Response to Advisory Committee recommendations announced

The Home Office has approved several policy changes recommended by the Migration Advisory Committee with the aim of substantially reducing skilled foreign workers entering the United Kingdom.

UK: Skills Charge details announced

The Home Office has announced details regarding the Immigration Skills Charge that will likely apply as a tax to skilled non-EU foreign workers.  The skills charge will likely not become effective until October 2016 at the earliest.

UK: Proposed law would increase visa application fees

Parliament is considering a law that would increase immigration fees for applications submitted on or after March 18, 2016 (April 6, 2016 for Isle of Man).  The increase is meant to ensure that by 2020, the UK immigration system is self funded. A full list of the new fees can be found here.

UK: Tier 2 Certificates of Sponsorship to be staggered; Tier 2 minimum salary to be maintained

The Home Office has published new Immigration Rules that will impose the following changes:

  • The availability of Tier 2 Certificates of Sponsorship (CoS) will be staggered throughout the year, instead of split equally in twelve monthly allocations. Starting April 6, 2016, 2,200 CoS will be available in the first month, gradually falling to 1,000 after a year.  
  • Unlike in other years, the minimum salary for Tier 2 workers will not increase in line with wage inflation. The Home Office has nevertheless indicated that a policy change may be made at a later date based on advice from Migration Advisory Committee’s (MAC) proposal.  It is likely that an announcement on the MAC’s advice will be made in the coming weeks.

UK: Language assessment tool for some visa applicants to be retired

On or after April 6, 2016, the free Points-Based Calculator (PBC) tool – used by visa applicants whose university classes were conducted in English as the first step in proving their English language proficiency –  will be replaced by a new online service provided by the UK National Recognition Information Centre (UK NARIC). Related documentation suggests the service will require a fee, but costs are not yet known.

UK: Immigration fee changes For 2016

The Home Office has published the Immigration & Nationality Charges for 2016.

The new legislation will come into effect on 18th March 2016, which is two weeks earlier than the usual date of 6th April for fee changes.

But, as there are no changes to fees which are directly charged to business, the Home Office is not required to introduce fees on the regular date.

Right to Rent now live in England

As of 1st February 2016, landlords (and letting agents if acting on behalf of the landlord) must check that a tenant or lodger can legally rent a residential property in England.

Failure to comply with this legislation means a landlord can be fined up to £3,000 for renting a property to someone who isn’t allowed to rent property in England.

Before the start of a new tenancy, the landlord must make checks for tenants aged 18 and over even if:

  • They’re not named on the tenancy agreement
  • There’s no tenancy agreement
  • The tenancy agreement isn’t in writing

If the tenant is only allowed to stay in the UK for a limited time, the check needs to be carried out in the 28 days before the start of the tenancy.

UK: Registered Traveller service expanded

The Home Office has announced the expansion of the Registered Traveller service to eligible foreign nationals from Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan. Additionally, Registered Traveller members will be able to use ePassport Gates and EU/UK lanes at Bristol and Cardiff Airports in the coming months.  


The Registered Traveller service was introduced in April 2015 to travellers from Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, and the United States who hold a UK visa or have visited the United Kingdom at least four times in the previous two years.

Applications are submitted online and once accepted, travellers with biometric passports can use ePassport Gates and EU/UK lanes at Eurostar terminals at Paris, Brussels and Lille and the following airports

Surprise Home Office compliance audits to take place

In late 2015, the Home Office stated that the number of Compliance Audits will be increased in all industry sectors, and that many of these will be unannounced.

  • 1,792 sponsor licence applications were made in Q2 2015
  • Of these, 791 received a HO visit, some 44%
  • Of those receiving a visit, 57% were unannounced 

Approximately 4,000 sponsor licence applications were received in 2015; around 25% of those have been audited. The refusal rate is currently almost 1 in 3 (over 30%).

UK: Visa fees likely to increase

The Home Office presented a new law for approval by Parliament on January 11, 2016 that would raise visa fees over the next four years, in line with its goal to reduce taxpayer contributions toward the border, immigration and citizenship system and ensure the system is fully funded by foreign nationals who use it. Additionally, fee increases for some immigration services are expected to come into force in April 2016.

UK: Employers to retain documents covering sponsored workers’ skills, qualifications and experience

Sponsors of Tier 2, Tier 4 and Tier 5 migrants are now required to retain on file documents showing these workers’ skills, qualifications and experience for their roles, under recent Home Office amendments to the Immigration Rules. The new document retention requirements apply to any covered foreign worker who commenced work on or after November 19.

New UK passport design launched

The Home Office has unveiled the latest design for UK passports, the theme of which is ‘Creative United Kingdom’.

Passport designs are updated every five years, and this latest version features British cultural icons including Shakespeare, Charles Babbage, and Anish Kapoor as well as landmark structures like the Angel of the North and the Titanic Belfast.

The new passport contains new security features and uses advanced printing technology, making it the most secure passport ever produced in the UK.

Her Majesty’s Passport Office Director General, Mark Thomson, said: “Not only are we constantly striving to stay one step ahead of those who seek to undermine the passport, but we have created a document that marks just some of the greatest creative achievements in the UK.”

The new passport will be rolled out in a phased approach with the first due to be in circulation from December 2015.

UK: Higher Tier 2 minimum salary part of proposed changes to immigration rules

The Home Office is considering proposed changes to the Immigration Rules that would affect applications submitted on or after November 19, 2015, including a minimum salary of GPB 35,000 for Tier 2 applicants applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR), a new English language test for ILR and naturalization applicants and adding nurses and four digital technology jobs to the Tier 2 Shortage Occupation List.