Immigration round-up - October 2021


28 October 2021

HGV food haulage drivers and poultry workers, visa application processing delays and permission to delay employee work start dates are all covered in this immigration round-up.

HGV food haulage drivers and poultry workers

The UK Government has launched temporary visa schemes to tackle acute shortages in the UK supply chain.These are specifically advised to be temporary in nature until longer term measures can be implemented/take effect.

The temporary measures include permission for:

  • 4,700 food haulage drivers  - applications under the temporary visa scheme must be submitted by 1 December 2021 with the visas due to expire on 28 February 2022; and
  • 5,500 poultry workers - applications under the temporary visa scheme must be submitted by 15 November 2021, with the visas due to expire on 31 December 2021.

Scheme operators are working with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) to recruit the required number of people. UKVI will then process the applications.

For further details see ‘Recruit a poultry worker or HGV food driver with a temporary visa’. 

Visa application processing delays

The Home Office have published a statement re: their Service Standards stating that “UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) are experiencing very high global demand, meaning that some visa categories are taking longer than normal to be processed.” This will likely have a knock on impact of delaying recruitment and on-boarding of overseas workers. No timeframe has been published for resolution of this.

Permission to delay employee work start dates

The Immigration Rules have been updated in regards to delaying a work start date by 28 days. It was previously the case that the start date could only be delayed by up to 28 days from the start date stated on the CoS.

The guidance was updated on 13 October to state the following and promote more flexibility:

S3.9. You must normally stop sponsoring the worker and inform us via your SMS account if the start date is delayed by more than 28 days after whichever is the latest of:

  • the start date recorded on the worker’s CoS (including any amendment to that date you have told us about via SMS while the worker was awaiting a decision on their application)
  • the date the worker’s entry clearance (visa) becomes valid
  • the date the worker is granted permission to enter or permission to stay.

More details about this can be found on the Government website.

These articles are from the October 2021 issue of Employment and Immigration Law Update, our monthly newsletter for HR professionals. To download the latest issue, please visit the newsletter section of our website. For further information please contact a member of Birketts' Immigration Team.

The content of this article is for general information only. It is not, and should not be taken as, legal advice. If you require any further information in relation to this article please contact the author in the first instance. Law covered as at October 2021.

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