Latitude Law
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Netflix and… SKILLS!


I recently had some time away from the office. My original plans involved a trip to New York, but we were forced to cancel when my health took a little decline, and I was admitted to hospital for a couple of days. I’m now on the mend, and I can’t thank the consultants, anaesthetists, nurses and assistants at the hospital who cared for me both pre- and post-op, and who ensured I was ready to return home to my husband who then turned into my temporary carer.

Everyone I encountered at the hospital was so knowledgeable and willing to help – it’s not surprising the Home Office recognises such individuals (including nursing assistants and auxiliaries) as Skilled Workers under our immigration system. The recent addition of care workers to the Shortage Occupation List has also been a welcome change, and I’m sure my husband will testify to the endless patience and skill a carer requires!

My time away from the office quickly turned into a Netflix binge:

It started with Cheer, a docu-series about competitive college cheerleading in the USA. The cheerleaders are so talented, but as the UK doesn’t have a cheerleading endorsing body, cheerleaders cannot actually be sponsored to relocate to the UK as sportspeople. Cheerleaders would, however, be able to visit the UK in order to give performances, take part in competitions or auditions, make personal appearances and take part in promotional activities. They could also perform at specified cultural events or festivals. Remember though that being paid from a UK source – other than just expenses – is not possible unless the individual concerned is a professional.

For those who have watched both seasons of Cheer, season 2 contains an upsetting revelation. Don’t worry, I won’t be including any spoilers in this article, but suitability issues of this nature would certainly prevent a visitor from entering the UK, potentially for an indefinite period of time.

 

With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, I then turned to Tinder Swindler, which involves a man who scams thousands of pounds off women, and who was in several relationships at the same time.

For anyone applying for a UK partner visa, evidence must accompany the application to prove that they are in a genuine and subsisting relationship with a British citizen (I know, Simon Leviev wasn’t British), and that the couple intends to live together in the UK on a permanent basis. Our Immigration Rules also contain a requirement that the parties to a relationship cannot be in a relationship with anyone else.

If Simon were British, the Tinder Swindler would have struggled to sponsor any of his lovers’ UK visa applications if they were hoping to secure a UK visa on the basis of their relationship.

 

I was very excited with the next one – Snowpiercer Season 3. In a nutshell, Snowpiercer is set after the world has become frozen. Snowpiercer is a gigantic train which constantly circles the world in order to save those onboard from the freezing cold weather.

There is the obvious immigration question about how those on the train and those on board can enter (and potentially get off the train) in any country they want, without first considering immigration requirements. However, in a frozen world where it is believed those on the train are the only survivors, perhaps all borders became frozen and non-existent too?!

The train industry is full of skilled workers who could potentially secure permission to remain on the basis their employment in the UK. These include train conductors, train managers, signal engineers, railway engineers and ticket inspectors. It should, however, be noted that (and this came as a surprise to me in light of the roles that are recognised to be skilled) train drivers and train operators are not sufficiently skilled.

 

OK, I know this isn’t Netflix, but I also got hooked on Wordle and it kept me busy for up to 30 minutes each day! For those who don’t know, Wordle was invented by a software engineer who built the game so he and his partner had something to do. It was later acquired by The New York Times.

It’s no surprise that software engineers are skilled workers under Occupation Code 2136, so could potentially qualify for permission to enter as sponsored skilled workers. In fact, such workers are also recognised as Shortage Occupation workers in the UK. I’ve been preparing several skilled worker applications relying on this Occupation Code recently, and I’ve just today received a successful decision on an application where biometric information was enrolled just 2 days ago! We did purchase the priority service, but this actually gave UKVI 5 working days to issue their decision, so I can’t complain with the service, although it would be good if UKVI was this efficient when considering other applications too!

 

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