UK Announces New Immigration Plan
In today’s blog update, we’ll discuss part 2 of the latest UK immigration plans. If you missed part 1, click the link in the description box below.
The Home Office has placed a set of strategies that they’ll be taking to 2025 to achieve their vision for an efficient, digital system which responds to customer requirements and improves UK security.
This strategy announcement has set out their objective for transformational change for individuals utilising their systems and entering via the UK border.
In association with the delivery of a fully comprehensive digital customer experience, there are also initiatives for the following:
Contactless travel for British citizens and UK’s most trusted overseas partners
A flagship “permission to travel scheme” to be revealed in 2023, proclaimed as making it effortless for the ‘friends’ of the UK to travel and play a positive part in the UK, making it harder for individuals the government does not want to come into the country. This will demand all foreign travellers to ensure permission before travelling to the UK to avoid ‘turning away’ or detaining travellers at ports of entry;
The introduction of Electronic Travel Authorisations (ETA) in 2023 (Q1 Private Beta test; Q1-Q3 – Kuwait, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Oman, Saudi Arabia; Q3-Q4 rest of the world) is mandated by travellers to the United Kingdom to allow the Home Office to handle the issues “upstream” and accumulate intelligence on individuals desiring to come to the UK – to be given an ETA (not a visa but permission to travel – leave to enter will still be demanded at the port of entry), travellers will be instructed to supply biometric, biographic and contact details, and answer a brief set of suitability questions;
Processing time reductions for sponsor licence applications in the course of reforms to this process between now and 2024, with modifications to short-term issues in labour supply anticipated for delivery by Spring 2023 – it’s worth citing, however, that the August 2021 Sponsorship Roadmap suggested reforms were planned to be enforced by 2024, whereas this has been pushed back to 2025 (subject to user feedback and testing), as follows:
Beginning of 2023 – to facilitate the process for sponsors and applicants and allow more efficient case working, existing sponsors will hold the opportunity to invite a worker to submit their visa application as soon as role details have been approved with the role information pre-populated;
Late 2023 – to offer the Home Office a better understanding of a sponsor and their sponsored worker and permit for more rapid decision-making, the online management system for all sponsors to perform post licence activities will be enhanced, e.g. permitting sponsors to cause modifications such as adding users to their licence; and
Beginning of 2024 – automated data checks will be presented to make the process more straightforward for future sponsors to apply for a sponsor licence, – this will decrease the possibility of abuse, reduce and streamline the evidence conditions placed on future sponsors, and lessen casework processing times.
Investigation of current and new automation technologies for air, maritime and rail ports and trialling a pre-clearance model where border control prerequisites are fulfilled before the individual’s departure.
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