The Latest May 2021 UK Visa News and Guidance
“News is only the first rough draft of history.”
– Alan Barth, an editorial writer at The Washington Post and a number of books, including ‘The Loyalty of Free Men’
This month, I’ve chosen 5 pieces of news in the UK immigration world, which is likely to affect many readers.
If you would like to know more and get the links to the primary sources, feel free to visit THIS PAGE . The access is free and instantaneous.
Refugees (Family Reunion) Bill
What is a Bill?
Before discussing the Refugees (Family Reunion) Bill, let us consider what the Bill actually is. A Bill is a proposal for a new law or a recommendation to change an existing law presented for debate before Parliament.
The Government, individual MPs, Lords, private individuals or organisations introduce bills to the House of Commons or House of Lords. They can examine, discuss and amend these bills.
When both Houses have agreed on the content of a Bill, it is then presented to the reigning monarch for approval. This process called ‘Royal Assent.’
After Royal Assent, a Bill becomes an Act of Parliament and is the law.
The Refugees (Family Reunion) Bill was introduced to help the family members of refugees, and people granted humanitarian protection apply for leave to enter or remain in the UK.
Also, there are separate provisions for legal aid to be made available in such cases.
Who is a Family Member of a Refugee?
According to the Bill, “family members” include a person’s—
(a) parent, including adoptive parent;
(b) spouse, civil partner or unmarried partner;
(c) child, including an adopted child, who is either—
(i) under the age of 18, or
(ii) under the age of 25 but was either under the age of 18 or unmarried at the time the person granted asylum left their country of residence to seek asylum;
(d) sibling, including adoptive sibling, who is either—
(i) under the age of 18, or
(ii) under the age of 25, but was either under the age of 18 or unmarried at the time the person granted asylum left their country of residence to seek asylum; and
(e) such other persons as the Secretary of State may determine, having
- the importance of maintaining family unity,
- the best interests of a child,
- the physical, emotional, psychological or financial dependency between a person granted refugee status or humanitarian protection and another person,
- any risk to the physical, emotional or psychological wellbeing of a person who was granted refugee status or humanitarian protection, including from the circumstances in which the person is living in the United Kingdom, or
- such other matters as the Secretary of State considers appropriate.
Fast Track Immigration Route for Prestigious Award Winners
The Global Talent route is part of the UK’s new points-based immigration system. The purpose of this route is to attract the best and brightest to the country depending on the skills they can bring, rather than their nationality.
The Global Talent route is for people aged 18 or over. These people will need to show exceptional talent or exceptional promise in the field of science, engineering, humanities, medicine, digital technology or arts and culture.
You can get more information and plenty of free resources about this route HERE.
Until recently, all Global Talent applicants needed an Endorsing body to recognise their talents. This has changed now for Global Talent applicants, who are prestigious award winners.
Winners of awards, including Nobel Prizes, the Turing Award, Oscars and Golden Globes, will be able to live and work in the UK more easily under reforms being introduced by the Home Office.
From May 2021, individuals who have won prestigious awards from across the sciences, humanities, engineering, the arts and digital technology will be able to take advantage of the new fast track Global Talent route. It allows applicants who hold a qualifying prize to fast track the endorsement application and instead make a single visa application.
Work Visas Boost for Indian Nationals
This month UK and India signed an exciting new migration partnership agreement to benefit professionals from both countries.
The ‘Migration and Mobility Partnership’ will make it easier for British and Indian nationals to live and work in each other’s countries. It will also enhance cooperation between India and the UK on combatting immigration crime and fraud.
The agreement will allow applicants aged between 18-30-year-olds to work and live in each other’s country for up to two years. This professional and cultural exchange programme will be a younger sister of the current Youth Mobility Scheme.
This will be a capped route, allowing up to 3,000 young Indian professionals to come to the UK through this route each year.
According to the most recent statistics, more than 53,000 Indian students came to the UK to study last year, up 42% from the previous year. Nearly a quarter of all international students in the UK are from India.
The ‘Migration and Mobility Partnership route is the second route allowing talented young Indians to build careers and experience in the UK.
Illegal Immigration (Offences) Bill
The House of Commons just commenced the second reading of this Bill. The purpose of this Bill is to make provisions for criminal sanctions. These sanctions are against people who have entered the UK illegally or who have remained in the UK without authority.
Extracts from the Bill
Presence in the United Kingdom
- Any person who is present in the United Kingdom after 1 April 2021 without legal authority shall be guilty of an offence.
- Any person who after 1 April 2021 enters or attempts to enter the UK without legal authority shall be guilty of an offence.
(1) A person guilty of an offence under section 1 is liable on summary
(a) to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months;
(b) to a fine which in Scotland or Northern Ireland may not exceed £5,000;
(c) to both.
(2) Any person who is convicted of an offence under section 1 shall be subject to a deportation order unless the Secretary of State deems such a deportation order to be against the public interest.
(3) For the purposes of subsection (2) above, a deportation order shall be deemed to be in the public interest unless a certificate to the contrary has been submitted by the Secretary of State to the Court.
JCWI’s Report on Lives Of Undocumented Migrants In UK
Finally, I would like to finalise this article by letting you know that the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (JCWI) has published ‘We are here. Routes to regularisation for the UK’s undocumented population’ report.
The report is based on research undertaken to understand better the realities of life for undocumented migrants in the UK. It explores how people become undocumented and very vulnerable as a result.
Most importantly, Zoe Gardner and Chai Patel, the authors of the report, make eight recommendations. They clarify how sensible, measured and simple reforms could help break the cycle of insecure immigration status for people living and working in the UK.
I strongly encourage you to read these recommendations. The authors also invite us to send a copy of this report to our local MPs. You can do so easily by visiting this Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants page.
If you would like to know more about various UK Immigration routes, you’ll benefit greatly by visiting this page. This page has plenty of free resources, which will help you explore and understand various UK immigration routes.