We detail below a short summary of the changes to the immigration laws commencing on 5 November 2018.
We recommend that you seek assistance from an organisation regulated to provide legal advice. RLegal’s immigration lawyers are regulated by the Solicitors Regulations Authority and based in central London.
Settled Status Scheme for EU nationals
A further roll out of the ‘Settled Status’ scheme, initially implemented on 28 August 2018 which enables EU nationals and their family members who are employees of the NHS to voluntarily apply for ‘settled’ status through a pilot scheme to further include:
employees of specified universities
employees of specified NHS trusts
employees of specified Tier 4 licence holders
a child being looked after under the Children Act 1989 by specified local authorities
a person receiving support from specified organisations
a wider roll out for employees with specified employers in the healthcare sector.
It also enables those who are rejected any status through this scheme to apply for an ‘Administrative Review’ of the decision by paying an application fee of £80 and enables them to supply further evidence not before the original decision maker. The fee of £80 will be refunded if the initial decision is overturned.
The Home Office will implement online application form procedures across all types of visa applications but retain paper applications form to continue where necessary.
The procedure for applying for a fee waiver will be changed, so that an application to waive a fee will be considered first. If the application for the fee waiver is granted, the date of the applicant’s initial fee waiver application will be treated as the date of the application – thereby protecting his/her immigration status, so long as the full application is made within 10 days of receiving the fee waiver application.
Given that most applicants who apply under this route for a fee waiver could broadly be described as ‘vulnerable’, the new process for making the fee waiver first and in-time, followed by the full application in our view, potentially throws up issues.
Applicant’s will not only have to be aware of the importance to apply for the fee waiver first, but ensure the full application is made within the time stipulated. This ‘double’ procedure means that they will need to ensure they complete specified forms, comply with deadlines and supply documentation twice within a relatively short period of time – a considerable challenge.
Requesting return of passports
Applicants can request a return of their passports in certain circumstances but will be deemed to have withdrawn their application should they leave the ‘common travel area’.
Changes to exemption of the Life in the UK test on medical grounds
Claimant’s for exemption to undergo the test will only be able to do so by using practitioners specified by the Home Office.
New form of leave for children granted entry from the Calais camp between 17 October 2016 and 13 July 2017, who are refused asylum or humanitarian protection for a period of five years with a route to settlement status after ten years.
Please note that the changes to allowing copy documents to be submitted with visa applications which can be read by following this link http://www.rlegal.com/news/home-office-to-accept-copy-documents-from-05112018/ form part of these changes.
We recommend that further legal advice is sort if you are affected by these changes.