Biometric Residence Permits
The UKBA seeks to extend Biometric Residence Permits to more migrants from 29 February 2012
The UKBA is today laying regulations before Parliament which, if approved, will see more foreign nationals being issued with biometric residence permits (BRPs) from 29 February 2012. From this date, all applications for leave of more than six months made in the UK by foreign nationals from outside the non-European Economic Area (EEA) will require the applicant to enrol their biometrics (fingerprints and digital facial image). If successful in their application, the UK Border Agency will issue a BRP as evidence of immigration status and entitlements in the UK. This includes those granted settlement.
To provide greater support to migrants seeking to enrol their biometrics through the UKBA's already stretched Public Enquiry Offices, the Agency has contracted with Post Office Ltd to provide a further 100 locations around the UK at which they can do this. The expanded number of Post Offices will be in place in spring 2012.
From spring 2012 the Agency also plans to launch a new online checking service to provide quick and easy real time checks on the permit and the holder's identity and right to work.
6 December 2011
Minimum annual pay and the road to Settlement in the UK
Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) recommend that minimum annual pay is the best way to determine right to settlement for highly skilled workers
The MAC was commissioned by the government in June to identify the most suitable economic criteria for determining which Tier 2 migrant workers could settle permanently in the UK and what the economic effects of restricting or removing settlement rights would be.
The MAC has made the following recommendations:
- a simple pay threshold be used to decide eligibility for automatic settlement among Tier 2 (general) migrants;
- migrants entering through the Tier 1 (exceptional talent) route to proceed to settlement after 5 years subject to continuing to meet the criteria for that route;
- a pay threshold between £31,000 and £49,000 for Tier 2 (general), set at the time of entry and adjusted for inflation or changes to average pay, would be economically defensible;
- sportspeople should also be subject to the same pay criteria as other migrants under Tier 2 (general); and
- government and businesses should work together to upskill the UK labour market to mitigate the impact of restricting settlement rights.
The effects of any change will not be fully felt until 2016. This will allow time for employers and government to work together to upskill the UK workforce in those occupations most affected.
8 November 2011
Bulgarian and Romanian Employment Restrictions Remain
The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) have recommended against lifting existing restrictions on their eligibility to work in the UK.
The MAC was asked by the Government to look at the consequences of maintaining or lifting the current employment restrictions on workers from Bulgaria and Romania. The government has the option of lifting the transitional controls at the end of 2011 or keeping them in place for a further 2 years when they must be lifted under EU law.
After analysing the UK labour market the MAC has concluded that lifting of the restrictions could see more Bulgarian and Romanians come to the UK for work. There is a risk that this would have an adverse impact on the UK labour market and UK employment.
8 November 2011