Keep up to date with changes in visa regulations and processes, and Brexit.

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11 October 2018

The Home Office announced a new phase of the EU Settlement Scheme which, from 15 November 2018, will allow EU nationals who are employed in higher education to apply for pre-settled or settled status. To be eligible, you'll need a valid passport and an Android device to be able to download and use the Home Office app.

Non-EU national members of your family who work in higher education can also apply if they have a Biometric Residence Permit.  If they're not employed in HE, they'll need to wait to apply (the scheme will be open to all eligible applicants by 30 March 2019).

Full details are available on the Home Office website

26 September 2018

In July 2017 the Home Office requested a report from the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) on the current and likely future patterns of EEA migration. An interim update on this report was published in March 2018 and, on 18th September they published the 140 page final report.

Freeths Solicitors have produced two briefing notes on the contents of the final report, which you can download at the bottom of this page. 

28 August 2018

The Settled Status trial has begun in the North West of England and UKVI has issued guidance to its caseworkers for use during the trial period. 

Visit the Brexit news archive page for older news

UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI)

12 October 2018 - UKVI partnership with Sopra Steria: new services

UKVI is introducing a new streamlined online service for visa extensions, switches and applications for ILR and British Citizenship within the UK. The new service, the UK Visa and Citizenship Application Service (UK VCAS) will be run by their commercial partner, Sopra Steria, which aims to provide a modernised digital service which will be fast and convenient, and should allow you to keep your passport and other important evidence.  

Six major cities will have locations offering free appointments, with user-pay services available in 50 local libraries and a premium service point in central London.

UKVI will announce further details within the next few weeks.

31 August 2018 - using electronic payslips with Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) applications

The University recently announced the move to electronic payslips and this has caused some concern in particular for colleagues who plan to apply for ILR which asks for original documents. We've been in touch with the Home Office about this and they've responded as follows:

“Online payslips would be permitted and will be acceptable for the purposes of an ILR application. Obviously these are incredibly common nowadays, so aren’t something that would cause too much complication. I would however recommend that these are either stamped or printed on letterheaded paper to confirm their authenticity – although the sample you attached would be absolutely sufficient to this end [University of Leeds sample payslip]. If you[r staff] remain unsure and want some additional assurance, a covering letter confirming the authenticity of the payslips and highlighting the recent change cannot hurt; even if it’s just in the short term until you are more confident of approval using these payslips.”

If you plan to use payslips to prove residence for a future ILR application and you're still unsure about providing electronic copies, we'll be happy to provide a letter confirming your employment with the University for the relevant time period. Please contact your HR hub to ask for a letter.

Submitting biometric information and supporting documents for a visa application 

The Home Office has awarded Sopra Steria, a digital consultancy company, a contract to deliver a new service which is aimed at streamlining the visa application process. From October 2018, Sopra Steria will submit your biometric information, and copy/submit your supporting documents (eg your passport), in a single appointment, meaning that you won't have to post important documents to UKVI.

Sopra Steria will be working in partnership with the Society of Chief Librarians to offer the service in local communities, though UKVI Service Centres will still offer caseworker appointments for anyone who needs one. 

Visit the immigration news archive page for older news. 

Page last updated: 15 October 2018