Immigration News

Major changes to Immigration Salary and Sponsorship Rules from April 2024
December 2023

The Home Secretary has announced a series of changes to UK Immigration Rules which will radically alter the landscape for sponsored skilled workers, and for British citizens and UK residents with partners from overseas. In news largely overshadowed by the announcements on sponsored workers, British citizens and those permanently resident in the UK will now have to meet a much higher salary requirement if they want to bring their foreign partners and children to the UK.

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How to prepare for a Home Office sponsor licence compliance check
November 2023

We are seeing an increasing number of companies applying for a Home Office sponsor licence to sponsor and employ migrant workers from both EU and non-EU countries. At the end of 2023’s first quarter, the number of organisations on the UK’s register of work sponsors reached 61,153 compared with 41,621 at the end of the Q1 2022, a staggering increase of over 20,000 organisations registered as sponsors for migrant workers in just 12 months.

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Top Marks for the Court of Appeal in AAA? The Rwanda Judgment in Brief
July 2023

On 29 June 2023 the Court of Appeal issued its decision in the case of AAA v SSHD [2023] EWCA Civ 745. 10 appellants and Asylum Aid had been given permission to argue 22 grounds of appeal against a decision of the High Court. Ultimately, in a 161-page decision, the Court of Appeal found that the Government’s plans to remove asylum seekers to Rwanda where they will have their cases decided is unlawful as the Rwandan Government cannot safely administer this plan.

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Changes to Governing Body Endorsement (GBE) Criteria for the Women’s Game
June 2023

Prior to the commencement of the new 2023/2024 Women’s Super League (WSL) and the Women’s Championship seasons, the FA has made a few significant changes to the Governing Body Endorsement (GBE) criteria for the women’s game.

Changes to the GBE requirement
Increase of league bandings from two to three  

While the main GBE points criteria will remain in place for overseas players hoping to come and play in the WSL or the Women’s Championship, the FA have introduced a third domestic league banding. The introduction of a third domestic league banding could essentially help young overseas players who haven’t played in either of the top two banding leagues in obtaining the required 24 points to meet the GBE criteria.

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The UK’s Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) Scheme – Your Questions Answered
June 2023

2023 will see the introduction of the UK’s Electronic Authorisation (ETA) scheme. The scheme was announced in February 2022, when the UK government issued a policy paper confirming that:

‘As part of our transformation of the border and immigration system, we are introducing a universal ‘permission to travel’ requirement, which will require everyone wishing to travel to the UK (except British and Irish citizens) to seek permission in advance of travel.’

In order to request permission to travel, individuals will need to apply through the ETA scheme, which is similar to the systems already used by the USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. The government is hoping that the scheme will ‘give the UK more control of our borders’.

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Changes To Governing Body Endorsements for International Footballers
June 2023

Changes to the GBE requirement:  
While the main GBE points criteria will remain in place for the majority of overseas players hoping to come and play in the Premier League and the English Football Leagues (EFL), the FA has introduced a new solution which has been approved by the Home Office, allowing English clubs to sign players who fail to meet the required points for an GBE endorsement. A solution which I’m sure will be welcomed by English clubs.  

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Don’t Make Me Wait – UK Visa Processing Times
May 2023

Whether it’s backlog from the COVID-19 pandemic, lack of staffing or priority services taking precedence, delays seem to be an inevitable fact for most applications to UK Visa and Immigration (UKVI).  

To provide some clarity on how long a visa applicant can realistically be expected to wait for a decision, we’ve laid out the wait times provided by the Home Office and compared those with our actual experience. We conducted our research in May 2023, and obviously things can change, so check in with our team if you need updated advice.

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