Essential Trustee - Spotlight on immigration

25 October 2018

This is where we tell you a bit more about us and the broad range of services we offer to our charity clients. In this edition, we put the spotlight on our immigration advice for charities.

Our Immigration Team is headed up by Clare Hedges, who is recommended by Legal 500 [UK 2017] for her work in the charities and not-for-profit sector, and is listed in the elite ‘Leading Individuals’ list of lawyers nationwide for immigration advice.

The team advises a number of our charity clients (including ecclesiastical bodies, research organisations and education institutions) on sponsorship and sector specific visas, such as Tier 5 Charity Worker, Tier 5 Government Authorised Exchange, Tier 2 Minister of Religion and Tier 5 Religious Worker, as well as on more common types of visa such as Tier 2 General, spouse visas and every day matters such as right to work checks.

Examples of our recent work include submitting a successful sponsor licence application for an ecclesiastical charity wishing to recruit a Minister of Religion from overseas and applying for his visa. We also obtained a Tier 2 General sponsor licence for a charity in the health sector wishing to recruit a graduate who required a visa. Clare is a level one user on the Sponsor Management System for several charities and has been supporting them with sponsor compliance matters, including assigning Certificates of Sponsorship, migrant reporting and annual allocation renewal requests. She has also advised on right to work check queries, including whether these are needed for volunteers.

As we approach Brexit, the team has been working with employers to help them retain their existing EU national workforce and plan for the future. We know that the charity and not-for-profit sector is particularly concerned about whether valued volunteers, who are EU nationals, will be able to stay in the UK. Historically this group has often struggled to obtain EU permanent residence cards, because of the requirement to demonstrate that they have been exercising EU treaty rights for at least five years. They will be delighted to hear that the government has confirmed that EU nationals who are already here will be able to stay in the UK after Brexit. A new settled status scheme is being introduced, but this is more generous than the permanent residence scheme. In particular, individuals will only need to prove UK residence, it does not matter what they have been doing whilst they are here. This will make it much easier for EU national volunteers to secure their status in the UK. For further details please see our FAQs.

If you would like advice on immigration, please get in touch with Clare Hedges or another member of the Immigration Team. Law covered as at October 2018.

This article is from the October 2018 issue of Essential Trustee, our newsletter for charity trustees and senior management. To download the latest issue, please visit the newsletter section of our website. Law covered as at October 2018.

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Clare Hedges

Senior Associate - Head of Immigration

+44 (0)1223 326605

+44 (0)7581 150137