The Secretary of State has recently published a strategy statement outlining the future plans and reform of the UK immigration system in 2021/2022.
The priorities in the coming year will focus on streamlining the existing immigration services, enhancing the points-based system, and introducing new immigration categories to enable businesses and talented individuals to establish a presence in the UK.
Building on the success of the EU Settlement Scheme, the Home Office will aim to speed up the end-to-end processing by utilising its existing technology in the application process. According to their plan, they will be expanding the use of their secure ChipChecker service to allow applicants to scan their passport and capture their facial image on their mobile devices without the need to attend a physical biometric appointment.
This service has been piloted via the Skilled Worker route for EEA nationals and the newly introduced BN(O) route. The application process has been wholly digitalised and proven to be successful. As part of this scheme, the Home Office also plans to eliminate the existing use of Biometric Residence Permit. Instead, employers and landlords will be able to verify migrants’ right to work and right to rent online instead, making it easier for evidence to be retained and demonstrating the individuals’ rights in the UK.
The Home Office also aims to improve a sponsor’s experience by reducing the burden placed on them to maintain their licence by introducing automated checks with the HMRC and Companies House to identify sponsors and users to speed up the processing time.
Most licensed organisations would not that the existing Sponsor Management System is often challenging to navigate, especially for those who seek to manage a licence system without help from a professional. Therefore, we welcome the plan to reduce the sponsor’s burden on maintaining the licence and believe that simplifying the sponsor’s licence will attract more organisations to become licensed.
Notably, a new, unsponsored points-based route has been announced and is due to be introduced in Spring 2022. However, the Home Office has only released limited information on this new route and has confirmed that this particular route is to attract the brightest and best to the UK. Within this route, a ‘scale up’ stream will be introduced to allow the eligible individuals with a job offer to work in the UK without sponsorship.
Another new route that has been introduced is Global Business Mobility, which is due to be in place in Spring 2022. This route will incorporate the existing provisions for intra-company transferees, the sole representative of an overseas business, the UK’s current trade commitments for contractual service suppliers and independent professionals, as well as new provision to accommodate import and export related secondments.
The new immigration routes and streamlining of the existing services will undoubtedly create more opportunities for individuals to work, live and settle in the UK. A Y & J Solicitors strives to provide the most straightforward, easy to understand approach for your immigration matters.
We will provide further updates on the new routes once more details are released. If you require any assistance in your UK immigration matters, please do not hesitate to contact us.