Immigration – what is the round up for May 2021?
27 May 2021
Travellers stopped at British ports of entry, New ATAS registration requirements, the EU Settlement Scheme deadline and Birketts’ Webcast with Farmer’s Weekly are all covered in this Immigration round-up.
One month to go – EU Settlement Scheme deadline fast approaching
A further short reminder that your EEA national employees (and any individual whose residence in the UK is on the basis of their rights by virtue of their relationship with an EEA national) must register under the EU Settlement scheme before Wednesday 30 June 2021.
Travellers stopped at British ports of entry
There has been extensive press coverage this month regarding EU nationals being detained at UK airports and held in detention centres awaiting removal. As we ease out of COVID lockdowns and travel starts to resume, there has been a corresponding increase in the number of instances where Border Force officials have identified travellers seeking entry to the UK as visitors, but who in fact have been intending to come to the UK to undertake prohibited work activities.
This is a timely reminder for businesses that the Brexit transition period has concluded (on 31 December 2020) and new travel rules apply to all UK nationals travelling to Europe and also to European nationals travelling to the UK. Restrictions impact the duration of the visit and the activities that an individual is permitted to undertake as a ‘visitor’. It is timely to consider issuing reminders to your employees of these restrictions and revisiting your company travel policies. Even if the visit is short in duration a work visa/permit may still be required depending on the activities being undertaken and this should be assessed prior to travel to avoid difficulties at ports of entry.
New ATAS registration requirements
On 21 May the Home Office introduced a new requirement for specified visa applicants to register under the Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS).
If you are sponsoring a worker in a ‘relevant occupation code’ on the Skilled Worker, Intra-Company, GAE or Int’l Agreement route you must now check their Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) to confirm whether the worker needs an ATAS certificate. They will need one if they are not an ‘exempt national’ and their job includes research at PhD-level or above in a ‘relevant subject area’. If they need a certificate, you must ensure they apply for one and include it with their visa application. You must also keep a copy of the certificate as part of your sponsor record keeping duties.
EEA, Swiss, USA, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Republic of Korea, Japan and Singapore nationals are exempt from the ATAS requirement. Roles typically requiring ATAS certificates include scientists, researchers, and engineers/technicians.
Webcast with Farmer’s Weekly
Our unmissable webcast with Farmer’s Weekly on recruitment in a post-Brexit landscape takes place on Thursday 27 May. Held in association with Farmer’s Weekly, Birkett’s Senior Associate Sacha Wooldridge speaks alongside an esteemed panel, discussing recruitment of migrant workers in the farming/agriculture/horticulture and ornamental sectors post-Brexit and beyond. Hosted by Rhian Price, Livestock editor at Farmers Weekly, other panellists include:
- Tom Bradshaw, Vice President, NFU
- Nick Allen, British Meat Processors Association
- David Camp, Association of Labour Providers
- Mike King, Royal Association of British Dairy Farmers Council Member.
This article is from the May 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 Sacha Wooldridge or another 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 May 2021.