UK Student Visa and Occupation Shortage Changes

Two new changes to the United Kingdom’s visa systems.

Occupation Shortage List

The shortage of occupation list has recently been expanded to include a range of skilled occupations, following changes to the Immigration Rules.

The changes mean that occupations such as veterinarians, architects and web designers will be added to the shortage occupation list (SOL), giving people coming to the UK to work in these industries priority in securing a Tier 2 work visa, over occupations not on the list.

It also means that employers can advertise job vacancies for the occupations included to all nationalities as soon as it’s available, making it easier for them to access the international talent they need.

The Tier 2 shortage of occupation list (SOL) is a list of occupations recognized by the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) as being in national shortage, which they assess would be sensible to fill, in part, through non-EEA migration.

Reflecting recommendations by the independent Migration Advisory Committee in its review of the shortage occupation list in May 2019, today the Immigration Rules have been amended accordingly, putting the changes into law.

When reviewing the shortage of occupation list, the MAC considers a range of factors including whether the role is in national shortage and whether it is sensible to fill with migrant workers.

In addition to expanding the SOL, the Immigration Rules have been amended to further demonstrate the government’s commitment to transferring the 480 unaccompanied children under section 67 of the Immigration Act 2016 as soon as possible.

The updated rules will ensure that those children transferring under section 67 are granted with ‘section 67 leave’ upon arrival. This form of leave allows them to study, work, access public funds and healthcare, and is a route to settlement which they would not ordinarily have had. Currently, those who transfer to the UK under section 67 only receive ‘section 67 leave’ if their asylum application is unsuccessful.

It will provide the children, and the local authorities who will care for them, with additional reassurance and guarantee their status in the UK at the earliest opportunity.

The Home Office has also streamlined English language testing ensuring that doctors, dentists, nurses and midwives who have already passed an English language test accepted by the relevant professional body, do not have to sit another test before entry to the UK on a Tier 2 visa. This change will make sure that hospitals and medical practices across the country will be able to access the staff they need more quickly.

Student Visa Changes

The UK Government has announced that it has plans in the pipeline for overseas students in the UK. A new immigration route will enable overseas students in the UK to stay for two years after they graduate. The UK Government hopes that these plans will enable some of the best students to stay. They also hope to attract more talent to the UK. This will, of course, offer wonderful opportunities for graduating overseas students. The plans will however only be introduced sometime in 2020.

To qualify, the graduate must have studied at a so-called trusted UK university or higher education provider. This provider must have a proven track record at the Home Office. The good news is also that there will be no cap on the number of overseas students that will qualify under these new plans.

Overseas graduates in any subject will be able to stay in the UK for two years to find work. They will be allowed to apply for jobs regardless of their skills or the subject they studied. The UK Government is hoping that the two-year allowance will increase their chance of finding long-term employment in the UK.

During these two years, graduates can then find employment that will fulfill the criteria for immigration routes leading to permanent residence, and switch to these routes. It will, of course also be possible for them to switch to other routes during this time that leads to permanent residence in the UK. Permanent residence will then, of course, lead to British citizenship.

 

For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, Remuneration, and Expat Tax needs, email marketing@relocationafrica.com, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Sources: [1], [2]. Image sources: [1], [2].

The UK Has Agreed to a Post-Brexit Trade Deal with South Africa and Other Countries

Britain has agreed a deal with six southern African countries including South Africa, the continent’s most developed economy, that will ensure continuity of trade conditions after Brexit, the British High Commission in South Africa said on Wednesday.

Political turmoil in the United Kingdom has generated uncertainty over how, when and even if the country will withdraw from the European Union. Its current exit date is set for October 31.

But while the situation has left the future trade relationship between Britain and the EU in doubt, London has been working to minimise the impact of Brexit on other trading partners.

Britain initialled an Economic Partnership Agreement with the Southern African Customs Union (Sacu) – comprising South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, and eSwatini (formerly known as Swaziland) – and Mozambique on Tuesday.

“This trade agreement, once it is signed and takes effect, will allow businesses to keep trading after Brexit without any additional barriers,” Britain’s International Trade Secretary Liz Truss said in a statement.

The agreement is still subject to final checks. But once signed formally, it will mirror the trade conditions the southern African nations currently enjoy with the EU.

Trade between Britain and the six countries was worth 9.7 billion pounds ($12 billion) last year, with machinery and motor vehicles topping British exports to the region. The UK meanwhile imported some 547 million pounds worth of edible fruit and nuts.

Britain has already signed trade continuity agreements with countries accounting for 89 billion pounds of its external trade.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson says Britain must leave the EU on October 31, but parliament has passed a law compelling him to ask Brussels to delay Brexit until 2020 unless he can strike a divorce deal. Johnson says he will not request an extension.

 

For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, Remuneration, and Expat Tax needs, email marketing@relocationafrica.com, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Sources: [1], [2]. Image sources: Adrian Pingstone [1], [2].

How South Africans Can Bring Their Parents and Grandparents to the UK

Part of the process of deciding to move to the UK is weighing up the impact on your extended family.

While even simply the idea of leaving loved ones behind can be devasting, moving from South Africa to Britain will most likely mean a long-term physical separation from beloved family members, says Lisa Aspeling from immigration consultants Move Up.

Below she outlined the different ways that emigration South Africans can bring their elderly dependents with them when moving.

How to qualify for the Elderly Dependent Permit

Issued for five years, one major advantage of the Elderly Dependent Permit is that it leads to British citizenship.

However, the rules around being granted this particular visa are very strict and it’s common for many of these applications to get refused, said Aspeling.

“Unfortunately, if your parents do not qualify to move to the UK based on ancestral rights or the other more traditional routes to UK settlement and they don’t need round-the-clock care, they won’t be eligible for the Elderly Dependent Permit.

“Applicants must prove that they require long-term, hands-on care in order to handle everyday living. The kind of care your parent or grandparent will be required to prove they need includes daily tasks like washing, cleaning and cooking. Essentially, your parent or grandparent will have to prove that they are absolutely unable to live independently.”

Aspeling said that a comprehensive doctor’s report about your parent or grandparent’s state of health would be an important document to include in your application.

Full medical records, including specialist reports and hospitalisation records, as well as a letter from the applicant’s current carers – for example, their nursing home manager – is also essential, she said.

“The letter should state the healthcare professional’s full recommendations, whether that is being admitted into a frail care facility or receiving special medical attention.

“The only silver lining here is that the UK government will accept a broad range of reasons for this: the specific care your parent or grandparent requires might not be available locally, or no one can reasonably provide it, or it can come down to a lack of affordability.”

Requirements from the sponsor to qualify for the elderly dependent permit

“Not only do your parents (or grandparents) need to jump through some hoops to qualify for this rare visa, but you as the sponsor need to prove that you can provide adequate maintenance, accommodation, and care for your elderly dependant – and here’s the catch – without having to withdraw public funds,”said Aspeling.

“You as the sponsor will be required to sign a sponsorship undertaking form, confirming that you are entirely responsible for your dependant’s care, without relying on public funds, for at least five years.”

EU law and elderly dependents in the UK

While no one knows what will happen to the UK’s immigration laws after Brexit is completed, as things stand, if you have EU nationality, rather than British citizenship, it is easier to qualify to bring your parents or grandparents to the UK, said Aspeling.

This is largely because the rules for elderly dependants are much more lenient under EU immigration law, she said.

“Under EU law you will, among other things, need to show you are exercising treaty rights in the UK by studying, working, being self-employed or self-sufficient. The UK Home Office will also need proof that your parent(s) or grandparent(s) is dependent on you.

“Although being granted an Elderly Dependent Visa is admittedly a rare outcome, our experienced immigration consultants are available for a free consultation and assessment to help you determine if this is a viable route for moving your parents or grandparents to the UK with you.”

 

For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, Remuneration, and Expat Tax needs, email marketing@relocationafrica.com, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Sources: [1], [2]. Image sources: [1], [2].

New UK Fast-Track Visa for STEM Field Applicants Announced

The UK Government intends to create a fast-track visa for persons with skills in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).

According to immigration consultants Breytenbachs, the reasoning behind this move is to attract the world’s top scientists and researchers to the UK.

“The UK Government said in its announcement that it is hoping that by introducing this visa it enhance the intellectual and knowledge base of the UK,” the group said.

“The launching of this new immigration route is indeed very good news for scientist and researchers looking to work in the UK.”

Breytenbachs said that the route will be open to all nationalities, irrespective of whether they are EU or non-EU citizens.

Opportunities for South Africans

Breytenbachs said that this new immigration route will create many opportunities for professionals in STEM.

“The new fast-track visa will offer great opportunities for individuals who qualify under this immigration route,” it said.

“Persons who apply successfully will receive a three-year visa. During their stay in the UK they can come and go from the UK at will. They will also qualify for Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK, after only three years.

“Dependents of the main visa holder will be able to join the main holder in the UK. Adult dependents will be able to work in the UK without any restriction.”

Another major advantage of this new visa route, is that this new visas will have no minimum salary requirement or minimum salary threshold. There is also no need for applicants to secure a job before arriving in the UK.

Breytenbachs said that new fast-track visa will open during the later in 2019.

 

For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, Remuneration, and Expat Tax needs, email marketing@relocationafrica.com, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Sources: [1], [2]. Image sources: [1], [2].

Air Tanzania to Launch Flights to London

Air Tanzania has received landing slots for the launch of flights to London’s Gatwick Airport.

In preparations for the launch of flights to the United Kingdom later this year, next to resolve for the airline will be other related licences and the process is already underway.

The carrier is planning to operate three flights a week, using B787 Dreamliner, to fly from Dar es Salaam via Kilimanjaro to Gatwick, every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday.

At present, Air Tanzania has to meet European Union safety standards though, should BREXIT happen on October 31, it would be the British authorities to process the application.

Tanzania has not had nonstop flight connections to the UK for several years now since British Airways, inexplicably, withdrew from the route between London Heathrow and Dar es Salaam despite high load factors. The route closure was one of many in Africa at the time and robbed Tanzanians and visitors to the country of a direct airlink between the UK and East Africa’s largest country.

The flights, once operational, will put further pressure on some loss-making airlines in the region presently flying from their hub airports in East Africa to the UK as Air Tanzania is expected to gain market share at their expense.

Meanwhile, Air Tanzania also passed IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA), which is a mandatory requirement when foreign countries process various permits for landing rights. Air Tanzania is after Precision Air, the second airline in Tanzania to meet these requirements.

It is also a standard requirement to engage in negotiations with other IATA airlines for interline and codeshare agreements. Air Tanzania returned into the IATA fold after the government settled long outstanding debts with the IATA clearing house in preparations at the time for the relaunch of the airline.

 

For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, Remuneration, and Expat Tax needs, email marketing@relocationafrica.com, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Sources: [1], [2]. Image sources: [1], [2].