UK Immigration Update – January 28th, 2021
The UK immigration world is constantly changing with new rules regularly coming into effect from the UK Home Office. It is therefore essential to stay up to date with the latest UK immigration news and announcements. Our legal team is always well-versed in the latest changes and can advise you with the most recent and relevant information so please do read our blog articles to uncover information about relevant and current legal topics.
UK citizens and residents are required to declare ‘valid reason’ for travel or face fines.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has confirmed that due to the current impact of the Coronavirus in the UK, UK residents and citizens are not permitted to take holidays abroad until further notice. He said that potential travellers would need to fill in a special form and answer questions at exit points by immigration officials. Those without “an essential reason to travel” could be sent home and/or fined.
Travellers from South America banned and travel corridors closed because of COVID-19 fears.
From January 15th, 2021, all travel from Central and South America and Portugal has been banned. This measure was taken to stop the potential spread of new variants of the CoronavirusCoronavirusCoronavirus in the UK. Please stay up to date for more news regarding these changes on our blog.
COVID-19 test for travellers coming to the UK
Currently, anyone entering the UK must show a negative COVID-19 test of up to 72 hours before their travel and self-isolate upon arrival for ten days. Those arriving from countries where a travel ban has been imposed will have to quarantine in hotels for ten days. Police checks are currently taking place at addresses to make sure that people are self-isolating.
Tier 2 Visa replaced by the Skilled Worker Visa.
The Tier 2 General Work Visa has been replaced by the Skilled Worker Visa category to attract “skilled workers” to the UK post-Brexit. Both EU and non-EU citizens who want to live and work in the Uk must apply under this new visa category. For an application to be successful, an applicant must make up a selection of 70 points from the UK’s new points-based system. Read more about the points structure under the new system here.
New student Visas
The Tier 4 Student Visa has now been replaced by the new Student Route that makes it easier than before for students to enter the UK to take up a course of studies. This new Route was rolled out in October 2020 and is already open for applications.
UK Visas for Hong Kong BNO status holders
Towards the middle of 2020, The British Home Secretary, Priti Patel recently stated details about UK visa procedures starting in January 2021 for nearly 3 million Hong Kong citizens who are entitled to hold the BNO (British nationals overseas) status. This immigration change came into effect following Chinas imposition of a new security law on Hong Kong. Those who apply for BNO status can enter the UK and live there for 1 year and extend to stay up to five years after which they can apply for indefinite leave to remain in the UK.
Brexit and the Implications on Security in the UK
Since leaving the EU, the UK has now terminated it’s membership of the SIS2 security database, the most widely used security system within the EU. The SIS2 helps provide real-time alerts to border control and the police force on terrorists, drug traffickers and also on missing persons. The UK’s access to the system was terminated on January 1st, 2021 and as a result around 40,000 profiles of known criminals had to be deleted on the UK side.