Home Office

10
May

Tier 2 Sponsorship: Universal Jobmatch will be replaced by Find a job service on 14th May 2018

For Tier 2 Sponsors advertising in line with the Resident Labour Market Test (RLMT), please note that Universal Jobmatch website will be replaced by ‘Find a job’ service from 14th May 2018.

Should you already have an existing Universal Jobmatch account then you will be able to login to this until 17 June 2018 to access existing jobs and applicant information.

However, you’ll no longer be able to post jobs after 17th May 2018.

Your basic account information will be migrated to the new service and your company will receive an email with further information about this. Any existing job or applicant information will not be transferred, so you’ll need to start making local copies for future reference.

Please note that new employers will not be able to register on Universal Jobmatch as it will close on 10th May 2018. But they will be able to register on Find a job from 14th May 2018.

New jobs cannot be posted on Universal Jobmatch after 17th May 2018, but the website will not be closed until 18th June 2018 therefore employers and the resident workforce will be able to view the job advertisement for 28 days. There will be no need to re-advertise as the advert will still be available until that time.

After 18th June 2018, all adverts posted on Universal Jobmatch will be unavailable and it will not be transferred to the new platform.

The Home Office will update their guidance to reflect the changes in the next update but in the meantime, references to Universal Jobmatch should be interpreted to include ‘Find a Job’.

Employers are reminded to conduct and record their Resident Labour Market Test in line with the existing Home Office guidance by making sure that, where the advertisement was placed on Jobcentre Plus or Jobcentre Online, you must keep a screenshot of the advert on the day it is first advertised clearly showing all the required information in the Home Office Guidance.

Should you have any further queries on the above or unsure if your RLMT is fully compliant with the requirements under the Home Office guidance, please do not hesitate to contact us.

10
May

Windrush Scandal

There is growing discontent about the treatment of the Windrush generation, as the Home Office seek to settle the problem.

What is the Windrush scandal?

It is the generation of people from the Caribbean who arrived in the United Kingdom between 1948 and 1971. The main purpose of their settlement was to alleviate the labour shortage post-World War II.

Many of them were children who travelled with their parents. Consequently, the Home Office did not keep record of their leave to remain, so they did not have documents to certify their residence in the United Kingdom. Furthermore, the majority of the people never travelled outside the United Kingdom therefore they did not apply for any proof of residence or British passport.

The reason it has now come to light is due to changes in the law, which ensures everyone is able to evidence their immigration status to work, rent property or have access to benefits etc.

As a result, the Windrush generation, who now cannot evidence their residence in the UK, are facing and have faced the grim reality of being deported.

Moreover, recent news coverage of the victims of the Windrush generation brings to light many cases where victims have been deported or face deportation after living in the United Kingdom for decades. 

The Home Office have published guidance on 13th April 2018 on how the Windrush generation and their children can apply for permanent residency.

For those who arrived in the United Kingdom before 1973 and have not been away for a long period from the UK in the last 30 years, then they will have the right to live here.

For those who have arrived in the 1970s but after 1 January 1973, then they will not have the automatic right to live here, however, they may be eligible to live her permanently.

The guidance and contact helpline in relation to Windrush generation, can be found via this link: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/undocumented-commonwealth-citizens-resident-in-the-uk/undocumented-commonwealth-citizens-resident-in-the-uk

Furthermore, the Home Secretary Amber Rudd has announced that the government will put in place a list of measures to ensure that people can get the support they need to formalise their stay. This includes: establishing a new customer contact centre, setting up a compensation scheme for people who have suffered loss and waiving fees for naturalisation for the children of the Windrush generation etc.

The Home Secretary did not implement nor confirm a date for the above measures, therefore, we advise people affected by this policy to ascertain their right to reside in the United Kingdom.

If you would like to find out if you are eligible to apply for naturalisation as a British Citizen, please do not hesitate to contact us.

13
Mar

Data Protection Bill: Challenge of the “immigration control exemption”

The EU General Data Protection Regulation (‘the GDPR’) will enter into force on 25 May 2018. To give effect to the GDPR, the UK Government has introduced the Data Protection Bill 2017. This legislation will replace the Data Protection Act 1998.

 

Schedule 2, Part 1, Paragraph 4 of the Data Protection Bill 2017 states that there is an exemption to data subjects’ rights where personal data is being processed for the maintenance of effective immigration control, or for the investigation or detention of activities that would undermine it. This is the immigration control exemption.

 

This exemption will have an effect on the right of individuals to access their personal data through Subject Access Requests (SARs). That is of extreme concern to immigration solicitors.

 

Legal representatives make SARs to the Home Office for the release of their clients’ files as these files frequently provide crucial information about their clients’ immigration histories.

 

SARs are frequently essential to individuals and their legal representatives when preparing applications to the Home Office, appealing against negative decisions, and mounting legal challenges against removal, detention and deprivation of citizenship.

 

Under the exemption, “data controllers, including the Home Office, would not be obliged to respond to subject access requests from people wishing to know what data about them is retained, if the Home Office determines that responding would engage the exemption”. There is no definition of what immigration control exemption means in the Bill.

 

If the exemption is applied, individuals will not be able to access their personal data to identify any factual inaccuracies and it will mean that the system lacks transparency and is fundamentally unfair.

 

SARs have been vital to legal representatives’ work especially with vulnerable groups, including individuals with mental health issues, domestic violence victims, children, and persons in immigration detention. Curtailing the right of these individuals and their legal representatives to access this information therefore fundamentally undermines access to justice.

 

SARs are also the primary means through which legal representatives can identify mistakes, miscarriage of process and mismanagement on the part of the Home Office.

 

The immigration control exemption will reduce legal representatives’ ability to best represent their clients and remove an important tool in holding the Home Office to account when they ignore or misrepresent facts.

20
Jul

Home Office’s lack of clarity in asylum cases

Due to the recent changes in immigration laws, applicants are finding it increasingly more and more difficult to work out the Home Office’s criteria for approving visas. This is most apparent in asylum cases where applicants must go to desperate lengths to prove their suffering and destitution. As the tragic case of an asylum seeker and her baby who starved to death whilst waiting for their papers to be processed demonstrates, the constant rule changing can lead to dire consequences. It’s why at Barar and Associates we keep up to date of all rule changes in a number of different ways. We also strive to help our asylum seekers clients, who statistically are amongst the poorest members of British society, as much as we can to ensure that their case is approved.

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