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Updates to the UK immigration system

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Update

As of 21st July 2021, the Home Office has provided updates on certain aspects of the UK immigration system. This article provides a summary of the updates.

Traffic light system for travel

From 4 am on Monday 19th July 2021, Cuba, Indonesia, Myanmar and Sierra Leone were moved to the red list for travel to England. At the same time, the government is no longer recommending against travel to amber list countries.

Amber list quarantine rules will continue to apply to those returning to England from amber list countries unless fully vaccinated with an NHS administered vaccine in the UK with an exception to arrivals from France.

On arrival into England, rules for the highest risk country or territory that you have been in or passed through in the previous 10 days must be observed. This includes transit stops where passengers can get on or off the same part of the transport in which you are travelling. It can apply to ships, trains or flights.

You can access more information in relation to the traffic light system for travel via the link below:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/red-amber-and-green-list-rules-for-entering-england

UKVCAS appointments in the UK

Although there remains good availability for in-country appointments, if you are unable to secure a preferred appointment straightaway, it is advised by the government that you should check your UKVCAS account regularly as additional new appointment slots continue to be added on a daily basis. New free appointments are released on the UKVCAS website each morning at 9 am, 28 days in advance.

Appointment availability at Overseas Visa Application Centres (VACs)

With the continued global impact of Covid-19, VACs in certain countries may be closed or have local restrictions in place, affecting appointment capacity.

Therefore, you are encouraged to regularly check the relevant web pages directly:

  • TLS contact if you’re in Europe, Africa and parts of the Middle East
  • VFS global for all other countries

Alternatively, you could check via the A-Z list of VAC locations available through the Find a visa application centre page for the most up-to-date information on appointment availability.

Biometrics Enrolment at the Post Office

From 31st July 2021, you will no longer be directed to use the Post Office to enrol biometrics as part of an immigration application or immigration application-related process.

Where biometric enrolment is required as part of an immigration process, you will be directed to one of the Service Support Centres (SSCs) or UK Visa and Citizenship Application Service (UKVCAS) across the UK. Most of you will be able to complete your visa or citizenship application at a UK Visa and Citizenship Application Service centre. However, for those who require more support and face-to-face interaction with UKVI staff, appointments can be made at a Service and Support Centre.

For those who may have higher needs or be in a position of vulnerability, there will be enhanced support to allow any appropriate safeguarding action to be taken through a range of travel assistance and mobile services.

Further information can be found via the link below:

https://www.gov.uk/visas-and-immigration-service-and-support-centres

Right to Rent – Factsheet for Landlords 

The factsheet contains information on how to conduct right to rent checks from 1st July 2021, how to use the online checking service, information on retrospective checks and FAQs for landlords on what to do if their tenant has a pending application or has made a late application to the EU Settlement Scheme.

You can access the factsheet via the link below:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/right-to-rent-checks-from-july-2021-important-information-for-landlords

Changes to right to work checks from 1 July

Following the deadline for applications to the EU Settlement Scheme, the process for completing right-to-work checks on EU, EEA, and Swiss citizens has now changed.

There may be situations in which you identify an EU citizen in your workforce who has not applied to the EU Settlement Scheme by the deadline and does not hold any other form of leave in the UK. Where an EU citizen has reasonable grounds for missing the application deadline, they will be given a further opportunity to apply.

If this situation arises, you should take the necessary steps as an employer. A guidance of the steps you should take can be accessed via the link below:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/right-to-rent-checks-from-july-2021-important-information-for-landlords

For more information, you can access our article via the link below:

https://bararassociates.com/right-to-work-check-for-uk-employers/

Should you have any questions relating to the above updates or UK immigration, please contact our expert team of London immigration lawyers at Barar and Associates at barar.london@bararassociates.co.uk or call us on 020 7487 8370. You can access more information about us via https://bararassociates.com/.

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