UK Immigration News Alert – September 2022 | Seyfarth Shaw LLP – JDSupra – JD Supra

Reinstating priority and super priority for overseas application
From 12 August UKVI is resuming Priority Visa (PV) and Super Priority Visa (SPV) services (in existing locations) for new study and most work visa applications including global talent. The SPV service is not available for customers using the UK Immigration: ID Check app, but the PV service is now available.
It is not possible to upgrade to the PV and SPV services if the application was submitted before 12 August 2022. It is possible to withdraw an existing pending ongoing application and re-submit using PV or SPV services where these are available.
It is important to note that not all VAC locations have availability of these expedited services and some countries still do not offer them. It is therefore important to check on the commercial partner website if the VAC you are going to attend offers PV and SPV services.
Updates to the UK visa processing times
The customer service standard on standard visa processing times for out of country applications is generally 3 weeks. Currently, these processing times are taking longer than usual and the UKVI reports the following timelines:
The processing times can change on a weekly basis, so please keep checking the Visa decision waiting times for updates.
Suspension of the Police registration requirement
On 4 August 2022, the UK Government announced the abolishment of the Police Registration Scheme. The scheme, which requires some migrants to register with the police, is suspended with immediate effect. In practice, the UK Immigration Rules need to be updated to reflect the change and we understand from UKVI that the necessary changes to abolish the scheme are taking place in the background. Although the legal requirement to register with the police is still valid in law, the general assumption is that the relevant law will be repealed in due course and will not be enforced in the meantime.
UKVI decided to abolish the requirement to register with the police as the police registration scheme in its current form is outdated and no longer provides any public protection benefit to either the Home Office or the police. The data an applicant provides to the police on registration is already captured by the Home Office at the visa application stage and is available to the police on request via Immigration Enforcement, so there is no need for it to be provided twice.
People who have been issued a UK visa with the requirement to register on it do not need to go to a police station to register. The Home Office itself says there is no need to retain a police registration certificate or present it as evidence in any future visa application. Any existing visas or Biometric Residence Permits that include the condition don’t need updating and the requirement won’t appear on any new visas or Biometric Residence Permits. Any booked and paid appointments will be cancelled and fees won’t be refunded. And anyone who failed to register before 4 August 2022, will no longer be expected to do so.
Scale-up visa launch
On 22 August 2022, a long-awaited Scale-up visa was launched and open for applications. First, the company employer must apply for a Scale-up sponsor licence.
In order to qualify as a Scale-up, an employer company will need to show annualised growth in either turnover or staffing of at least 20% for the previous three-year period and that they had a minimum of 10 employees at the start of the period. The Home Office intends to use PAYE data from HMRC to determine if the company meets these requirements. Potential sponsors should have a minimum of 37 months’ worth of unbroken history with HMRC. If the company does not meet the employment growth criteria, the Home Office will check whether you meet the turnover growth criteria. If there are gaps in the company’s HMRC records, the check is likely to fail.
Once the licence is approved, a relevant employee can be issued a Certificate of Sponsorship and apply for a UK Scale-up visa to work for them in the UK. The visa allows the employee to come to the UK for up to 2 years and it can be extended for further 3 years provided the person meets the extension criteria. The employee must work for their sponsor for at least 6 months after then they can leave the company. There is no need to notify the UKVI of the change or update your visa. The route leads to settlement after 5 years of residence in the UK subject to minimum salary requirements and other criteria.
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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.
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