UK: Key Changes to the Immigration Bill

On the 17th September 2015, the UK government published a new immigration bill aimed at cutting down on the net migration targets that it has consistently missed. For the most part the measures being proposed are designed to target specifically illegal migrants by broadening the scope of available repercussions. Illegal migrants will now “face jail” or an unlimited fine for driving whilst unlawfully in the UK. In addition, access to UK bank accounts and UK rented accommodation will also be tightened against those in the country illegally.

There are, however, two parts of the bill that private clients, employers and employees looking either to reside, work or settle in the UK may wish to keep an eye on.

Appeal:

Since the Immigration Act of 2014 there has been a steady effort to make appealing immigration decisions by the Secretary of State more difficult. Prior to the act there were 7 grounds of appeal set out in Section 84 of the immigration Act of 2002. In 2014 these were revised down to 3 routes all of which permit appeals only on a Human Rights or Refugee basis.

Whilst making the appeal, applicants were permitted to remain in the UK pending a final decision. As cases could often go through two tiers of recourse, migrants could remain in the country for several months before a definitive conclusion to their case was completed.

In the proposed act the government is now advocating operating on a “deport first, appeal later” system. This would be specifically for applications made on Human Rights, not asylum grounds. Unless an applicant can convincingly prove that they are liable to suffer “serious irreversible harm” upon deportation, then all appeals, including on family life grounds, will have to be made from outside the UK.

Immigration Skills Charge:

In an effort to encourage businesses to “source the skilled workers they need from the resident labour market”, the government has also introduced as part of the bill, an “Immigration Skills Charge”. The proposed charge, which will be applied to Sponsors of non-EEA nationals in the Tier 2 category, has not been as yet fleshed out but will be dependent on the findings of the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) and the needs identified by the Department of innovation and Skills (BIS) after consultation.

The results of this consultation will be finalised on 2nd October 2015 and we will be sure to advise on the outcome of these deliberations.

Needless to say Newland Chase has been active in representing the concerns and interests of its clients within these consultations. However, if you have any queries about this or any other immigration, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

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