Brexit deters some international staff from London tech firms - survey

One in three tech companies in London have seen talks with potential international hires fall through due to Britain’s decision to leave the European Union.

According to a survey from industry body Tech London Advocates, nearly two-thirds of London’s tech entrepreneurs believe Britain’s vote to leave the European Union has already damaged the international reputation of the city’s tech sector, although they still said it was the best place for start ups.

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: Allocation Of Certificates Of Sponsorship Open

UK Visas & Immigration (UKVI) have advised that sponsors are now able to apply to renew their allocation of Certificates of Sponsorship (CoS) in Tier 2 (General) .

The present allocations will expire on 5th April 2017.   

Some sponsors’ allocations will be "automatically renewed”, in which case nothing is required from the sponsor.  

However, UKVI will contact other sponsors via email three months before 5th April 2017, and monthly thereafter, by way of reminder

UK: Criminal Record Certificate Requirement for Entry Clearance Process to be Extended

Tier 2 visa applicants who are applying to work in certain occupations within the education, health and social care sectors on or after April 2017 will need to provide a criminal record certificate from any country in which they have lived for 12 months or more in the past 10 years as part of their entry clearance application. The requirement will also apply to their adult dependants. The new requirement may delay documentation gathering during the entry clearance process.

Panama: New Consular Visa Exemption Eliminates Exemption for EU and Schengen Visa Holders

A new decree replaces the current Consular Visa exemption with a new one only for those holding a valid Australian, Canadian, UK or U.S. multiple-entry visa valid for at least one year from the date of entry and used at least once, for stays up to 30 days initially, renewable twice for 30 days each stay through an in-country process. The previous exemption, allowing EU or Schengen country visa holders to qualify for the exemption as well, has been eliminated.

UK: Sponsors’ document retention rules relaxed

In an effort to ease the administrative burden on sponsors of foreign workers and align UK immigration obligations with document retention obligations imposed on UK employers, UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) has reduced the period of time for which sponsors must retain documents for their sponsored migrant workforce.

Specifically, sponsors must abide by the below new document retention rule, whichever is shorter:

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: Rent Smart Wales registration scheme to launch

As a result of the Housing Act (Wales) 2014, by 23 November all private landlords need to register and managing landlords and agents to become licensed with Rent Smart Wales.

Landlords and agents who are involved in letting and management activities will also have to undertake training to apply for their licence.

UK: Rent checker tool launched

Landbay, the property peer-to-peer lending platform, has launched a rent comparison tool that allows tenants and landlords to check how much they are paying and charging against other properties in their region.

The online application, called Rent Check, was created in collaboration with Zoopla Property Group and allows users to compare their rates against others in the same area.

UK: Mayor lobbies for separate London work permits

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has spoken of plans to create a separate work permit system for London after Britain leaves the EU.

Mr Khan told Sky News this week that a group of business representatives were looking to create “a model that will ensure we can carry on recruiting and attracting talent”.

UK: Immigration rule changes

In March this year, the government announced its response to two reviews of Tier 2 undertaken by the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) in 2015.

At the time of its response, the government said the changes would come into effect in two stages, in autumn 2016 and in April 2017.

Following recent discussions with the Home Office, we understand that the government is working to an implementation date of Thursday 6th October 2016 for the autumn changes.

India, UK: Applicants for Indian visas at High Commission of London must appear in person

Applicants for several categories of Indian visas in London will have to attend a mandatory biometrics appointment on or after August 19, 2016, with a few limited exceptions, according to an announcement by the High Commission of India. 

Applicants for the below categories will be subject to a personal appearance:

UK: New criminal penalties for foreign nationals working illegally and their employers

In an effort to further prevent illegal work in the United Kingdom, new provisions were introduced by the Immigration Act 2016 stating that foreign nationals found to be undertaking employment in the United Kingdom after disqualification from employment for immigration-related reasons are subject to a criminal offence.  Employers are also subject to new penalties if they know or have reasonable cause to believe that a foreign worker has no right to work in the United Kingdom. Both offences can lead to imprisonment or a fine.

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”.  

United Kingdom: Brexit vote likely to result in overhauled immigration system

As a result of the public vote for the United Kingdom to leave the European Union, free movement to the United Kingdom from the European Union and vice versa will likely end, although the separation and a related Withdrawal Agreement will likely take at least two years.

United Kingdom: Brexit vote likely to result in overhauled immigration system

As a result of the public vote for the United Kingdom to leave the European Union, free movement to the United Kingdom from the European Union and vice versa will likely end, although the separation and a related Withdrawal Agreement will likely take at least two years.

UK: Forthcoming law to exclude foreign nationals from National Health Service coverage

Foreign nationals will soon be more likely to be charged for most medical treatment received in the United Kingdom, according to a forthcoming law that is yet to be published.  Foreign nationals who have already paid the Immigration Health Surcharge will likely be exempt from the provisions of the new law, however this is subject to change. Foreign nationals who are exempt from the Immigration Health Surcharge will likely continue to be exempt from these new provisions. Those likely to be most impacted are short-term visitors to the UK.

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.