Thousands of Eu citizens still yet to apply for settled status. People Management speaks to Jonathan Beech

Published 17 January 2020. Francis Churchill reported.

Migrate UK was asked for their comments after Guy Verhofstadt, Brexit coordinator for the European Parliament, spoke on Radio 4’s Today programme 17 January.

Verhofstadt said it had been agreed that, even after the transition period, there would be no automatic deportation of EU citizens who had not applied for settled status. “There will always be people who don’t fulfill the procedures because they don’t even know they exist,” he said. “There will be a grace period… Even after the grace period there will be no automatic deportation.” 

He added there would be the possibility after that period for EU citizens to apply for settled status if they submitted reasons why they missed the initial deadline.

Jonathan Beech, managing director at Migrate UK, said there was still uncertainty over the future of the UK’s immigration system, and urged businesses to start advising their European employees to register for settled status if they had not done so already. He said this would be particularly important in the case of a no-deal situation at the end of the month. 

“There may only be a short window for EEA citizens to enter the UK to be able to reside and work without being subject to future UK immigration rules [in a no-deal scenario],” he said.

Looking beyond the end of the month, Beech said regardless of what is in the next immigration whitepaper, businesses should have until the end of next year to prepare. “But businesses will face an increase in costs associated with sponsoring EEA citizens entering the UK for work and long-term stay from next January,” he added.

“Should the current points-based system work, sponsorship and licensing process still be in place; existing sponsors must be compliant with the rules to avoid having licenses removed for non-compliance,” Beech said, adding that suspension or revocation of a licence could mean losing out on both EU and non-EU employees.

Read the whole article here:

https://www.peoplemanagement.co.uk/news/articles/thousands-eu-citizens-still-yet-apply-settled-status?utm_source=mc&utm_medium=email&utm_content=pm_daily_17012020.Thousands+of+EU+citizens+still+yet+to+apply+for+settled+status&utm_campaign=7295441&utm_term=8357429

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Brexit: What will happen on 1 February 2020. Personnel Today speaks to Jonathan Beech

Published 17 January 2020

After much delay, the UK will leave the European Union at 11:00pm on 31 January. But with the arrangements for Brexit still unclear, how should employers be preparing for life outside the EU and will they see any immediate changes from February? Ashleigh Webber reports.

Migrate UK along with the AIRE centre, Faegre Baker Daniels and BDB Pitmans were all asked for their views.

Jonathan Beech, managing director at immigration law specialists Migrate UK told Personnel Today: “[the transition period] will be similar to the last couple of rounds of negotiating Brexit and the deal itself: should the UK leave the EU from 1 February 2020, then the immigration regime will only really change should there be a no-deal with any of the member states.”

“In this situation, those EU citizens entering the UK from a date (to be determined – but it could be 1 February 2020) will need to apply for Euro Temporary Leave to Remain which will provide three years of stay and allow work,” he says.

“Although there will be immigration rules changes expected through the year, as per normal, the new immigration system is expected to go live from January 2021. This coincides with a deal situation”.

Despite this, Beech warns it is still unclear whether all European citizens currently living in the UK are able to remain. “Employers need to encourage staff who haven’t yet done so to register under the EU Settlement Scheme by 31 December 2020 if the UK leaves the EU without a deal. This may be extended to 30 June 2021 if a deal is agreed.”

Jonathan Beech also warns employers to expect the cost of sponsoring overseas citizens to increase, both in the short term and for long-term stay beyond 31 December.

“Employers will need to think carefully about their annual Certificate of Sponsorship allocations from 6 April 2020 as this could overlap with EEA citizens requiring sponsorship from January 2021,” he explains.

Read the full article here:

Lawyer Monthly: General election results are in: What to expect for 2020

Published 2 January 2020

Lawyer Monthly spoke to a variety of experts in different industries and asked what was the main concern now the decision had been made what changes should we expect in 2020?

Migrate’s MD Jonathan Beech was asked for his thoughts.

“We do now need greater clarity from the newly elected Conservative Party on the UK’s immigration policy. Back in September, the Conservative home secretary asked the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) to review how an Australian-style points-based (PBS) immigration system could be introduced in Britain to strengthen the UK labour market. But we’re still no clearer on how this new system would work in practice in the UK, and how this fits with the MAC’s much anticipated white paper review into minimum salary thresholds.”

“There may be a manor of implications for many employers, especially in sectors employing a high portion of EU nationals and that if the migration restrictions are poorly implemented without due understanding of the needs of affected industries they could have a negative impact on the country’s economy.”

“The new Conservative Government should look to introduce a declaratory registration system through an Act of Parliament which would confer automatic rights to EU citizens currently residing in the UK to continue to live and work in the UK after Brexit. Hopefully this is something the Conservative Party will now consider so we don’t see scenarios similar to those with the Windrush scandal.

Read the complete article here:

Employment experts react to Conservative election win – Personnel Today speaks to Jonathan Beech

Published 13 December 2019

Personnel Today sought out the opinions from employment experts covering pensions, immigration and employment policy.

Migrate UK’s managing director was asked for his opinion in regard to immigration.

Immigration and skills concerns as Brexit draws nearer

“We do now need greater clarity from the newly elected Conservative Party on the UK’s immigration policy. Back in September, the Conservative home secretary asked the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) to review how an Australian-style points-based (PBS) immigration system could be introduced in Britain to strengthen the UK labour market. But we’re still no clearer on how this new system would work in practice in the UK, and how this fits with the MAC’s much anticipated white paper review into minimum salary thresholds.

The new immigration system is also meant to be ‘fairer and more compassionate’, although the Conservative’s election manifesto stated that the immigration health surcharge will increase to as much as £800 per person per year, implying further increases from the £625 previously announced.

EU nationals’ access to benefits and housing will also be limited in line with non-EU migrants, while there has been much criticism of the new EU Settlement Scheme which was ignored by the Conservative Party’s election manifesto. The settlement application system will turn legally residing EU citizens into ‘illegal immigrants’ if they do not apply successfully by the 31 December 2020 deadline.

The new Conservative government should look to introduce a declaratory registration system through an Act of Parliament that would confer automatic rights to EU citizens currently residing in the UK to continue to live and work in the UK after Brexit. Hopefully this is something the Conservative Party will now consider so we don’t see scenarios similar to those with the Windrush scandal”.

People Management asks Jonathan Beech ‘ should businesses be worried by drop in EU migration?’

The Office for National Statistics data found the number of EU citizens coming to the UK for work had fallen to 90,000: the lowest level since 2012 and down from 190,000 in 2016.

Jessica Brown, journalist for People Management, asked Jonathan Beech what he thought:

While the uncertainty continues, Jonathan Beech, managing director of Migrate UK, said there was little surprise employers were having difficulties attracting and retaining staff. “It’s looking quite worrisome for employers – they will have to be drumming up pretty good incentives to get EU migrants on board, as well as trying to plan for new immigration rules,” he said.’

Jessica Brown contacted a number of experts after official data suggested that net migration from Europe is at its lowest level since 2013. Read what they had to say:

https://www.peoplemanagement.co.uk/news/articles/businesses-should-be-worried-drop-eu-migration-experts

Charted Business Institute has queried how a post-Brexit immigration system will function

The CBI query came after the latest immigration figures were released by the Office for National Statistics revealing a decrease in immigration.

Personnel Today spoke to a number of business leaders for their opinions. Migrate UK’s managing director Jonathan Beech provided this advice:

Any EU citizens or workers wanting to remain in the UK after Brexit must apply for pre-settled and settled status or, should they qualify, British Nationality, and by 31 December 2020 latest in the case of a no-deal. Until we’re clearer on whether we’re leaving on 31 January 2020 and under what conditions, applying now means you’re prepared for a worse case scenario.

Statisticians have stated the decrease is mainly because of decrease in EU citizens coming to the UK looking for work.

The ONS did find that immigration from people from outside the EU has continued to grow.

Read the full article here:

Jonathan Beech writes for Oxford Times

EU citizens safeguarding your future in Oxfordshire and the UK – published 21 November 2019

On 12th December the UK will have elected a prime minister. But deal, no deal or referendum, until we’re clearer that we’re leaving on 31st January 2020 and under what conditions, if you have not already done so, EU citizens should prepare for a worst case ‘no deal’ scenario by applying for pre-settled and settled status or, should they qualify, British Nationality, and by 31st December 2020 latest. After December next year and should we leave with no deal, those yet to apply will need to go through the ‘Euro Leave to Remain’ process which is capped at three years maximum. Any further application will need to be satisfied under the UK immigration rules at the time. Employers should direct workers to the EU Settlement Scheme process early to allow for delays in approvals as the Home Office will be flooded with applications ahead of the deadline. https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/eu-settlement-scheme-statistics-september-2019

It will also give the workforce a sense of security, but the process does come with a number of obstacles. Firstly, each applicant must hold a valid passport, national ID card or for non-EEA dependants, a valid Biometric Residence Permit (BRP). Secondly, to start the application process the migrant must download the Home Office app (newer Apple devices from iPhone 7 onwards can now be used) or find a location where their identity document can be scanned. Thirdly, those holding EEA Permanent Residence (blue card) will still need to apply under the EU Settlement Scheme unless they have obtained British Nationality prior to 31st December 2020 (in a no deal scenario).

Under a no deal, applicants will have to be living in the UK before the country exits on 31 January 2020 to qualify under the EU settlement scheme.

And finally, National ID cards will also be phased out in the UK as a method of travel to the UK. So, EU citizens, ensure to check that your passports are valid.

Proposed immigration policies continue to pose problems for employers

HR magazine’s article ‘General Election: Immigration policies pose challenges for employers’ published 15 November. Interviewed by Rachel Muller-Heyndyk, Karen Kaur was asked what employers need to do if they want to retain a diverse workforce.

“Employers should prepare for an Australian-style points-based system.

The Conservative party continues to move ahead with their ‘points-based’ immigration system which focuses on an individual’s skills and English language proficiency.

As a result, planning is key. Where possible employers should obtain sponsorship for any future forecasting from non-EU countries, and secure their EU nationals in the UK before 1 January 2021.”

Karen added that Labour’s delay in outlining a coherent immigration policy is unhelpful to employers. “Labour has not announced its policy moving forward, which does not assist employers with future forecasting.”

Migrate UK’s advice remains the same, apply for pre-settled and settled status or, should an employee qualify, British Nationality, and by 31 December 2020 at the latest.

Read the whole article here: https://www.hrmagazine.co.uk/article-details/general-election-immigration-policies-pose-challenges-for-employers

EU Settlement Scheme – Apple now onboard

EU citizens living in the UK, who have the correct biometric document, can use the EU Exit: ID Document Check app to complete the identity stage of their application under the EU Settlement Scheme.

The app was initially launched on Android phones earlier this year and runs on Dutch firm InnoValor ReadID app.

Apple users, with a compatible device and the correct biometric documents, no longer need to gain access to an Android device in order to submit their application to the EU Settlement Scheme.

On the 18th of October the Home Office released a beta version of the app for iPhone models 8 and above. Due to the software update to IOS 13.2 the app is now available for iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus users. https://apps.apple.com/gb/app/eu-exit-id-document-check/id1478914184

Up to this point Apple devices have been unable to scan passports as Apple would not permit third-party developers to access the near-field communication (NFC) features needed to scan biometric passport chips. As this is a beta test by the United Kingdom Visas and Immigration (UKVI), the app may become available on other iPhone models in due course, although there is no immediate visibility on the timeline from the UKVI. https://www.theregister.co.uk/2019/09/02/eu_settled_status_app_to_be_available_on_iphones_from_october/

In order to use the ID Document Check beta app you will need IOS 13.02 or newer, at least 120MB of storage space to install the app and to be connected to 3G, 4G or WIFI. https://www.gov.uk/guidance/using-the-eu-exit-id-document-check-app

Applicants without a biometric passport and non-EEA family members of EEA nationals without a biometric document issued under the European regulations, will not be able to use this app. They will need to submit a postal application or attend an in-person appointment at one of the 80 locations across the UK, where they can have their passport scanned and verified. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/home-office-launches-1-million-advertising-campaign-for-eu-settlement-scheme