The UK Introduces Legal Migration And Border Control Plan Part 2
Welcome back to our channel. This is Part 2 of our ‘UK Introduces Legal Migration And Border Control Plan’ Blog.
In recent developments, the Home Office has put in place automatic checks with HMRC to verify whether skilled workers are being paid in line with their certificate of sponsorship.
The timeframe for sponsorship reform has been modified due to resourcing limitations. This most probably alludes to the need for resources to be rerouted to handling Ukraine Scheme applications.
The planned review of service standards to lessen the time required to sponsor workers is now expected to be in place by Spring 2023. The new ‘Sponsor a Visa’ service is now expected to be live for a limited roll-out in early 2023. The ‘Manage a Licence’ service is due for restricted delivery by late 2023, and the ‘Become a Sponsor’ service by early 2024.
Travelling To The Uk
Permission to travel scheme will effective in 2023, under which all travellers will either require a British or Irish passport, eVisa, or Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA). This could have considerable cost and practical implications for people currently showing their long-term residence in the UK using physical documents, such as an Indefinite Leave Stamp or Certificate Of Entitlement To The Right Of Abode.
ETAs are anticipated to be implemented in three phases, firstly in the first quarter of 2023 for a private beta release, secondly in the second and third quarter of 2023 for nationals who are currently qualified for an electronic visa exemption, and thirdly in the third to the fourth quarter of 2023 for the rest of the world.
Holders will also be able to access single permission to travel confirmation message from the Home Office when they file for Advance Passenger Information (API) related to travellers who are due to board services to the UK. Preliminary testing of an interactive API system (IAPI) has already taken place in April 2022, and the addition of a messaging system for all holders is expected to be finalized by early 2024.
Crossing The Border
The Home Office is hopeful to improve and regularize border infrastructure and facilities by 2025. It will also focus on delivering greater levels of automation for processing arriving passengers and improved functionality and availability of eGates. There is a suggestion to extend the qualifying age for using an eGate from 12 to 10.
The duty of Border Force Officers will be dedicated to passengers of interest, e.g., those whose identity needs to be verified, who have a risk profile, where there is specific intelligence, agency-directed intervention, or safeguarding concern. Border Force may also be revamped as an organisation, according to the recommendations of the Independent review of Border Force, published on 20 July 2022.
Living In The UK
The primary planned change in this area will be to increase system-to-system communication of immigration status information between Government departments and public authorities.
Sharing information of this type is already in place with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), and NHS England and Wales. In 2022 and 2023, these will be extended to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA), Social Security Scotland, the Student Loans Company, and some local authorities.
This development might increase convenience for many people who currently need to go online to provide proof of their rights to third parties. But, there are also risks of ample drawbacks for individuals if the system data on immigration status is not authentic and any errors cannot be speedily and effectively addressed.
Communications And Engagement
The Home Office plans to run communication campaigns for system users as its programme of changes progresses. These will cover topics such as the oncoming applicable conditions for an ETA, as well as how to use eVisas, UKVI accounts, and online services.
The Home Office will also continue taking advice from advisory groups and main stakeholders, including those in business, academics, and the non-profit sector. Some engagement events will be delivered in person.
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