Business Immigration Changes – Summer 2022
READY OR NOT HERE IT COMES – BUSINESS IMMIGRATION CHANGES SUMMER 2022
As you are probably aware, there have been a myriad of Immigration proposals announced by
the UK Home Office, which are scheduled to come into effect as of 6 April 2022. So, here is a
brief outline of some of the key changes that are taking place.
A Digital Solution?
IDVT Right to Work Checks
The government has now introduced Identity Document Validation Technology
(IDVT), a new digital system available for employers to use to conduct Right to Work
Checks, and that can also be used as a statutory excuse. The service is currently
restricted solely to British and Irish citizens who hold valid passports (including
Irish passport cards) and is aimed to provide a faster and more secure way of
checking one’s right to work status.
When using IDVT employers must ensure the use of an Identity Service Provider
(IDSP) and that the provider is certified to do right to work checks. A list of certified
IDSPS is yet to be published but this does not excuse the latter.
The employer must ensure they use a trusted provider and that the right to work
check is carried out to the required standard as failure to do so renders the IDVT
check invalid and therefore it does not count as a statutory excuse. If the home
office finds you have employed someone who does not have the right to work in the
UK you could end up facing a civil penalty of up to £20,000. If you are an employer
who has a sponsorship license there is also the potential of this being taken away.
IDVT is therefore a great new service as it provides much greater security with right
to work checks. However to achieve greater security of course requires more
advanced technology and so employers will have to pay a fee in order to procure the
IDVT service. This may come as a concern if you are a small business, however it is
anticipated the cost will only be in the single pounds. Also where large volumes of
checks are carried out, it is said that this will provide a cost-saving, versus the costs
associated with having to check physical documents.
Currently, the use of IDVT is not mandated and temporary checks will extend until
30 September 2022. This is to give employers time to understand the process as
well as pursue procurement.
For now, all employers have the right to continue with physical identity checks and
do not have to use IDVT if it does not make commercial sense.
Non-British and Non-Irish Citizens
If you are not a British or Irish citizen but hold a Biometric Residence Card (BPC),
Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) or Frontier Work Permit (FWP), unfortunately,
Physical identity checks will no longer be permitted as of 6 April 2022. You must now
prove your right to work via the Home Office online service.
To conduct an online right to work check you must first view your right to work record
via the online service, after which you can then input this information with your employer
by providing them with a share code. This share code can then be used by the
employer along with your date of birth to access the employer section of the website.
Guidance for Employers
Once access is gained, employers must verify the details on the employee’s online profile to make sure that they have the right to work and that there are not any limitations. Employers must also ensure that the photograph on the profile is identical to the individual seeking employment which must be verified either by a live video call or face to face. Lastly, employers must obtain a copy of the employee’s profile page as this serves as verification of the employee’s right to work.
It is important to note that even if an employee’s BRP, BRC or FWP has not yet expired
any manual checks conducted as of the 6 April 2022 will not count as a statutory excuse
and therefore leaves you at risk of a civil penalty if the employee is found to not have
the right to work in the UK.
If the manual check was conducted prior to the 6th of April, as long as it was done in
line with the guidance at the time the employer will still be able to use the manual check
as a statutory excuse.
Will COVID-19 adjusted right to work checks still be valid?
Following the Covid-19 adjusted right to work checks were put in place which
allowed employers to check original documents remotely (via video call) helping to
maintain the social distancing and Covid-19 restrictions. This adjusted right to work
check has been extended up until 30 September 2022.
The New Scale-Up route
As the name itself suggests this new route has been put in place as ‘the biggest visa
improvement in a generation’ aimed to provide a faster visa service for what the
government has described as ‘top innovative talent’ to obtain job offers around the
UK. However with the government yet to provide a complete overview of the scale-
up route, does it truly live up to its name?
The Scale-up route has some major benefits, notably that it is expected to provide
eligibility for Indefinite Leave to Remain. The Scale-up visa route is also very
flexible, unlike other visa routes, it is open to all job sectors and allows employees to
upgrade to different job positions as well as different employers.
However, it is important to know that to obtain a Scale-up visa the job offer received
must be from a Scale-up company.
What is a Scale-up company?
To be regarded as a Scale-up company the following specifications must be met:
● Must have experienced more than a 20% annual growth rate in turnover or
employment over three years
● Must be registered with HMRC
● The company must have 10 or more employees
● The job offer must be for a highly skilled position
● The company must be offering a salary of at least £33,000
● Must be competent in the English language to at least CEFR Level B1
● Must be able to support yourself financially without the need for any public funds
● Must provide a valid TB certificate
Requirements may however differ depending on your individual circumstances.
For more help and advice contact us for a consultation.