Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Immigration Matters: Minimum £18,000 income for foreign spouses lawful ...

Immigration Matters: Minimum £18,000 income for foreign spouses lawful ...: The Supreme Court has ruled that controversial minimum income rules for non-EEA spouses set by the Home Office, which campaigners say have...

Minimum £18,600 income for foreign spouses lawful "in principle", Supreme Court rules

The Supreme Court has ruled that controversial minimum income rules for non-EEA spouses set by the Home Office, which campaigners say have split thousands of families apart preventing British citizens bringing their foreign spouse to the UK, are lawful "in principle".

Children's welfare, Judges said, must be protected in immigration decisions. In their judgement, the Judges conceded that the UK government's rules had the "legitimate" aim of ensuring "that the couple do not have recourse to benefits and have sufficient resources to play a full part in British life".

However, tossing a legal ‘spanner in the works’, they added the rules fail because they do not treat "the best interests of children as a primary consideration".



Prime Minister and former Home Secretary Theresa May

Since 2012, when Theresa May was Home Secretary, British citizens have been required to earn over £18,600 ($23,140) before a husband or wife from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) could be allowed to settle in the UK.

Seven Judges sitting at the highest court in the land rejected an appeal by families who argued that the rules breached their human right to a family life, stating that the minimum income requirement was "acceptable in principle". But said that the rules failed to take "proper account" of the duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of children when making decisions which affect them.

Judges want an amendment to the law, introduced to prevent foreign souses becoming dependent on taxpayer benefits, allowing alternative sources of funding, other than a salary or benefits, to be considered in a claim.

The minimum income rises to £22,400 ($27,870) where couples have a child who does not have British citizenship - and then by an additional £2,400 ($2,986) for each subsequent child.

Previously, applicants had to demonstrate to the Home Office that the incoming partner would not be a drain on public resources and that the couple or family could adequately support themselves.

The Immigration Rule on income, as well as English tests, has proved controversial throwing up many anomalies, such as a British citizen who marries a non-EEA person while working abroad for a period of time who then cannot take their spouse back to the UK because their work contract has ended and they have no job in Britain, let alone six month pay slips.

The threshold does not apply to spouses from within the EEA and some British citizens have taken advantage of earlier judgements, such as Surinder Singh to bring in souses via the EEA without the need to show the minimum income.

Other stories:



               

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Immigration Matters: Uber offering free English courses to migrant work...

Immigration Matters: Uber offering free English courses to migrant work...: Uber has said it will offer free courses for its drivers in response to a ruling by Transport for London (TfL), which has delayed its new ...

Uber offering free English courses to migrant worker drivers

Uber has said it will offer free courses for its drivers in response to a ruling by Transport for London (TfL), which has delayed its new English tests until September.

The Uber app will give drivers the option to cash their income at any time, as opposed to at the end of the week, as well as offer “earnings advice sessions” on improving revenue. The advice will be targeted at drivers earning less than the hourly average.



Uber driverless vehicles are already here

The multi-billion dollar company - which does not operate taxis or employ drivers - will also offer drivers free “skills” courses, so they can learn a language or improve their financial planning. Uber has brought in outside expertise from online investment firm Moneyfarm in a deal which will make available discounted products like ISAs to pensions to its drivers.

The charm offensive follows an intense period of damaging public scrutiny of the company and the treatment of drivers. Last October, Uber lost an important ruling at an employment tribunal in London that its drivers should be employed as workers, as opposed to self-employed contractors, and be entitled to workers’ rights including holiday or sick pay. Uber will appeal the decision, which threatens the company’s business model.
  
The government is not only concerned about workers rights, but also the loss of tax and employer National Insurance contributions from self employed workers (Uber, Hermes and Deliveroo) who legally pay less tax, which is estimated to cost the treasury £2 billion a year.

Whilst companies like Uber provide UK job opportunities for migrant workers, however, when you take into account the number of hours worked and the cost of running a vehicle, dealing with accounts and tax, many people are probably earning less than the minimum wage.

More worrying for Uber and other delivery drivers is the rise of robot technology, which will see driverless vehicles and drone deliveries not in a distant science fiction-based future, but within the next few years. The U.S. tech giant is already rolling out plans to allow users to hail self-driving cars, and put Volvo driverless cars on the road last year in a Pittsburgh based trial.

New technology will wipe out millions of jobs in the next few years. Not just driving jobs, but white collar and professional jobs too. How we adapt to this new era will be crucial to all our futures.

In a recent survey, it was revealed that millions of people in the UK have less than £100 in savings and are totally unprepared for retirement. Millions will have to work until they drop, especially the self-employed and ‘zero hour’ contract workers who have little or no pension provision.



Home-based business revolution

Some are turning to second jobs in the form of home-based businesses, e.g. making money online with using platforms to sell goods with Ebay or Amazon, while others are dipping their toes in the buy-to-let property market. Both are viable options provided you know what you are doing and have the right training.

I have attended a number of free courses and webinars with a company called Progressive Property Group. Their founders, Rob Moore and Mark Homer own over 700 properties. They are academics, but entrepreneurs who have ‘been there and done it’, which is why I listen to their advice.

A common myth is that you have to have loads of money to become a property investor, not true. I know many migrants who have come to the UK with pennies in their pockets who are financially free through property.

In a special report: -


Mark Homer explains the strategies that have helped thousands of people buy property with none of their own money.


You can obtain the report free, by clicking here...

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Immigration Matters: How many illegal migrants and visa overstayers liv...

Immigration Matters: How many illegal migrants and visa overstayers liv...: The short answer is that nobody knows, even the Home Office can only estimate the number of visa overstayers, illegal entrants or undocume...

How many illegal migrants and visa overstayers live in the UK?

The short answer is that nobody knows, even the Home Office can only estimate the number of visa overstayers, illegal entrants or undocumented migrants there are in the UK.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) estimated migration to the UK for just one year, ending June 2016, at over 650,000. Prior to the Brexit vote, immigration from the EU was the highest on record, while immigration from non-EU countries was similar to previous years, despite measures to curb it.

In another report, it has emerged that the number of EU nurses registering to work in the UK has dropped by 90% since the Brexit vote last June.

How do we work out the number of illegal immigrants?

Illegal immigrants in the UK exist largely as an unregistered collective, according to the New Statesman, because if the registered they would risk being deported and banned from returning to the UK for many years.

The ONS said that “by its very nature it is impossible to quantify accurately the number of people who are in the country illegally.” Population Surveys or the official Census figures are based on information provided voluntarily by householders.

The last official estimate was compiled in 2005 when the government assessed methods used by other countries to estimate their level of illegal immigration, and applied the finding to the UK. They predicted the number at 430,000, but the London School of Economics produced a report in 2007 estimating the number of ‘irregular’ migrants at 533,000. 

The Home Office collect “Immigration Enforcement Data”, such as number of enforcement raids based on tip-offs, number of people refused visa entry and number of overstayers deported from the UK.

In the second quarter of 2016 there were just 941 enforcement visit arrests. However, the Migration Observatory at the University of Oxford said that 40,896 immigrants were deported in 2015, which would include migrants refused visa extensions or overstaying students.

At 40,000 removals a year it would take almost 11 years to remove all illegal immigrants based on the government’s own estimates and assuming no increase in numbers.

The ippr estimated that it would take 20 years to remove 500,000 illegal migrants at a cost of £5 billion. It costs an average of £10,000 to remove someone from the UK, so those figures are not so far fetched.

Other organisations, such as Migration Watch, estimate much higher numbers of undocumented migrants and the number could be between 750,000 and 1,000,000 people living illegally in the UK. This has prompted calls for an amnesty, which even Boris Johnson supported when he was the London Mayor.

The 2016 Immigration Act will make life harder for illegal as well as legal migrants wishing to work in the UK on a working or student visa.

Private property owning landlords can be fined up to £3000 for letting to anyone who does not have the right to reside in the UK and can face criminal charges and jail for knowingly renting to illegal immigrants.





Saturday, February 11, 2017

Immigration Matters: EU nurses coming to UK drops by 90% since Brexit

Immigration Matters: EU nurses coming to UK drops by 90% since Brexit: The number of EU Nurses registering to work in Britain has fallen dramatically by 90% since the Brexit referendum according to new figures...

EU nurses coming to UK drops by 90% since Brexit

The number of EU Nurses registering to work in Britain has fallen dramatically by 90% since the Brexit referendum according to new figures by the UK nursing regulator and reports in The Telegraph and BBC.

Last July, just after the referendum where 52% of British people voted to leave the European Union, 1,304 nurses joined the nursing and midwifery register to work in the UK,  official figures show. Last month the number had plummeted to just 101 nurses.

Figures from the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) also report more EU nurses deciding to stop working in the UK at a time when every hospital in the country reporting a shortage of nurses and many European countries, such as Romania, Spain and Portugal have high unemployment and little opportunity for newly qualified nurses.

The NMC register shows that 318 decided to leave almost double the number who left in  June 2016 when the referendum took place.

European nurses, like their non-EU counterparts, are now required to take a language test, which may partly account for the drop in registrations. There is also a fall in of overseas nurses requesting an application pack to register to work in the UK, with only 453 enquiries in December compared with 697 in July.

In January 2016, just under 3,700 EU nurses and midwives applied for an NMC application pack, but following the introductions of English language test the following month, the number fell to 861. EU nurses do not need to carry out competence tests, as their qualifications are accepted by the NMC.

The health sector and NHS depends on overseas workers and in 2015/16, 9,388 overseas nurses and midwives registered to come work in the UK.

NMC chief executive Jackie Smith, said: “This is the first sign of a change following the EU referendum and it is our responsibility as the regulator to share these figures with the public.”

She said it was too early to “definitively” link the trends to Brexit.

Janet Davies, chief executive of the Royal College of Nursing, said: “If this is the beginning of a long-term drop in the number of nurses coming to the UK from other parts of the EU, that’s a serious concern at a time when we’re already facing a crisis in nurse staffing numbers.”

“With 24,000 nursing vacancies across the UK, the NHS could not cope without the contribution from EU nurses. Without a guarantee that EU nationals working in the NHS can remain, it will be much harder to retain and recruit staff from the EU, and patient care will suffer as a result.”

The 2016 Immigration Act has introduced tough new measures for illegal migrants and visa overstayers, but the new £30,000 minimum salary for a work permit and settlement rules may be deterring overseas nurses,

Based on my own previous experience on recruitment trips to Romania, Spain, Portugal and Bulgaria, the UK is not always the first choice for EU nurses.Many would choose Germany, France or Belgium, which offer excellent packages. Unlike non-EU nurses on work permits, EU nurses are more transient and prepared to return home after a period on working in the UK.





7 Steps to Making Money Online with Amazon

Sunday, February 05, 2017

Immigration Matters: Immigration Act 2016 - main highlights in a nutshe...

Immigration Matters: Immigration Act 2016 - main highlights in a nutshe...: After writing about some of the effects of the far reaching 2016 Immigration Act (or Law) on migrants wishing to work in the UK on a worki...

Immigration Act 2016 - main highlights in a nutshell

After writing about some of the effects of the far reaching 2016 Immigration Act (or Law) on migrants wishing to work in the UK on a working visa, I received many questions about other issues.

You can read the whole Act here at the legislation.gov website (you would be surprised at how many lawyer don’t even read the entire Act), but if the you prefer a brief summary, see below.

What are the main points of the Immigration Act 2016?

Companies or employers who employ illegal migrants face criminal charges and this could also apply to the worker.

Visa overstayers and migrants who do not have permission to be in the UK could have their bank accounts can be frozen and their driver’s license confiscated.

For the first time a landlord to knowingly renting a property to an illegal migrant will be committing a criminal offence and could go to jail for up to five years.

The Home Office ‘deport first, appeal later’ scheme will apply to all migrants, not just convicted criminals with no residency rights or to people the Secretary of State considered in the ‘public good’ to remove.

Even migrants lodging a human rights or asylum claim will soon be removed to their home country pending the outcome of their appeal against the decision to remove them, except where removal would cause them ‘serious, irreversible harm’.

The new Immigration Act will have serious consequences for visa overstayers, illegal immigrants and human right claimants. If in doubt, seek legal advice.




Meanwhile, Donald Trump’s (pictured above) temporary ban on migrants entering the U.S. from a number of Muslim countries and been overruled by a Judge. Trump said he will press ahead and press ahead with the executive order, which does not need approval by Congress.

The digital revolution is also having far reaching effects on work in the UK and America. Millions lack the right skills, but I am convinced that you can work from home and make money online provided you have the right internet training and support and real products of value to market.

See also:



Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Immigration Matters: Minimum Salary for Tier 2 Work Permits to Rise to ...

Immigration Matters: Minimum Salary for Tier 2 Work Permits to Rise to ...: If you think 2016 was a tough year for non-EU migrants, 2017 is about to get even harder, especially for anyone considering coming to the U...

Minimum Salary for Tier 2 Work Permits to Rise to £30,000 as UK Immigration gets Tougher for Non-EU Migrants

If you think 2016 was a tough year for non-EU migrants, 2017 is about to get even harder, especially for anyone considering coming to the UK on a Tier 2 (General) working visa, such as a nurse.

The Immigration Act 2016 will see the Home Office bring in sweeping changes from April to the Tier 2 General work permit rules, including increasing the minimum salary requirement to £30,000, with no transitional arrangement for those sponsored between 24 November 2016 and April 2017. 

Nursing will remain on the Shortage Occupation List, as there are still thousands of nurse jobs in the UK. But for the first time employers will be required to carry out a ‘Resident Labour Market Test’ before assigning a nurse a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS), even if the job is on the national shortage list.



The new minimum salary will automatically exclude many jobs and is above the UK average income, such as band 5 NHS nurses who start as around £26,000,

In addition, a new ‘Genuineness’ test will mean that Tier 2 applicants must satisfy the Home Office or entry clearance officer that they genuinely intend to undertake and are capable of undertaking the job for which the CoS is assigned.This could include attending an interview for entry clearance visas or further leave to remain.

Employers will be hit by a new tax or 'Immigration Skills Charge' of £1000 per year, per migrant to 'encourage' them to invest in training resident workers. There will be an exemption for PhD occupations, Tier 2 (ICT-Graduate Trainees) and Tier 4 students switching to Tier 2. The Home Office will also have more powers to search and seize documents from an employer, such as wage slips and time sheets, in order to build a case against them and an illegal worker.

Migrants will no longer have a 28-day ‘grace period’ in which to apply for further leave to remain, which means you could be branded a visa overstayer on your immigration record.

UK settlement rules are being tightened from April 2016, after which some Tier 2 visa holders will have to be earning a minimum of £35,000 per annum in order to apply for permanent residency or indefinite leave to remain. If you do not meet the salary requirement, you will not be able to stay in the UK for longer than six years and will not be able to reapply for another Tier 2 visa until you have completed a 12-month ‘cooling-off’ period outside the UK.

The Brexit, or leave EU vote, will do little to curb European immigration in the next few years as arguments rage over what type of exit Britain wants. This week the Supreme Court ruled that the Article 50 process, the mechanism required to trigger UK's exit from the European Union, must be put before MP's in Parliament. And with EU leaders insisting that free movement of labour is non-negotiable when it comes to thrashing out any trade deals, it looks like the only option for Home Secretary Amber Rudd to reduce immigration to the UK is to continue restricting non-EU migrants.

Across the pond in America today, Donald Trump has announced a halt on the U.S. refugee immigration programme for a temporary period. In his inauguration speech Trump spoke of 'America first' and wants to boost employment for resident workers. However, America still has a shortage of around one million nurses and the IT sector in the U.S and UK needs to attract the brightest and best for their growing digital economy.

The Immigration Act will have a number of consequences for Tier 2 employers and migrant workers. I will be giving you further guidance on the settlement (ILR) changes, as well as other changes, such as Tier 4 student visa switching rules, in future articles.

See also:

Uber offering free English courses to migrant worker drivers


Special Report


Mark Homer explains the strategies that have helped thousands of people buy property with none of their own money.


You can obtain the report free, by clicking here...