Tag Archives: 12 months

WRS and Naturalisation

Aug 2017
Impact of failing to register under the Worker Registration Scheme on the naturalisation process.

Many of EU A8 nationals who came to the UK between 2004 to 2011 and failed to register under the Worker Registration Scheme, are now hesitant to apply for a document confirming their permanent residence and / or British nationality.

Whilst it is now clear that the lack of registration does not disqualify a worker from obtaining a document confirming their permanent residence, the impact of on the naturalisation process remains unclear.

A response to a FOI request in Jan 2017 appeared to indicate that if a document confirming permanent residence had been granted, the lack of registration would be unlikely to be considered as an element of good character consideration. The FOI read: ‘ Just not registering and not realizing you had to is unlikely to be a character issue’.

Since the Home Office have confirmed that they not in fact hold any policies, guidance or other related information, which relate to registering under the Worker Registration Scheme as part of the consideration of an application for British citizenship, we questioned the basis on which the response to the FOI in Jan 2017 was given.

Part of the Home Office response read as follows:

‘ it is unlikely, presumably on the basis that our good character guidance is quite extensive and, given that is it not mentioned there is an indication that it is not a significant factor. To clarify, in order to acquire permanent residence an EEA applicant has to show that they were lawfully residence and exercising Treaty rights for a continuous period of 5 years’

The assumption is that if you qualified for permanent residence, the absence of registering under the WRS would not be a factor considered under the good character requirement for obtaining British citizenship.

As the proposed new Brexit EU settlement process may require EU nationals who have already been granted an EEA PR document to have their rights to remain in the UK re-assessed, filing for naturalisation at the earliest remains the safest option at the point in time.

If you need Immigration legal assistance with your EEA PR or naturalisation application, please contact us.

Impact of Criminal Record Certificate requirement on Tier 2 applications

August 2015 – The new criminal record certificate (CRC) requirement which will become applicable in September to all Tier 1 (investors and entrepreneurs) migrants, is now likely to be rolled out to Tier 2 out of country applicants in early 2016.

Pursuant to this new requirement, all applicants will be asked to provide a CRC from any country in which they have lived for 12 months or more in the 10 years preceding the filing of their visa applications. Any dependants aged 18 or above will also have to comply.

The impact of the CRC requirement on Tier 2 applicants and their sponsors will be felt immediately in terms of time and cost.

TIMING

The processing time for obtaining a CRC varies from country to country and can take much longer when the applicant is no longer a resident of the country in question. For instance, it takes a non resident approximately 4 weeks to 7 months to obtain a certificate from Pakistan, 5 to 8 weeks from Poland, 6 to 9 weeks from Japan, 2 to 5 weeks from Taiwan, 4 to 5 weeks from Russia and approximately 12 weeks from the US.

In most cases it will therefore be imperative that the CRC be requested from the outset of the visa process to avoid long delays.

COSTING

The initial cost is not in itself prohibitive (from as little as £1 up to approximately £80). However we need to bear in mind that all certificates not issued in English must be officially translated. In some occasions they may also need to be legalised and authenticated. This is very likely to add hundreds of pounds to what is already a very costly administrative process.

POTENTIAL ISSUES:

– There are countries where there are no functioning criminal record regimes or where certificates are only issued to citizens. Fortunately the Home Office has made a concession for applicants where there are no available checks from a particular country. However in these circumstances applicants will be required to provide evidence that the checks were not available, which is not always going to be feasible. Relying on this concession is likely to make the outcome of the visa application even less predictable.

– Certificates must be submitted in support of a visa application within 6 months of being issued. This restriction may lead to a new certificate having to be requested. This will be the case when, for instance, the applicant is dealing with multiple certificates and a certificate is no longer valid by the time the rest of the certificates have been issued.

In preparation for this new requirement sponsors would be well advised to prepare a list of the countries they or their employees are likely to have to obtain certificates from so that to check the information provided by the Home Office and make sure that the entire process is mapped out in advance. Employers/sponsors will also need to consider who will bear the costs associated to getting the certificate(s).

For further information please contact us.

From 1st Sep 2015 – Overseas criminal record required for Tier 1.

In April 2015, the Home Office introduced a new rule, which requires applicants to provide an overseas criminal record certificate from any country they have lived in continuously for 12 months or more over the past 10 years.

This change is very likely to slow down the visa/ entry clearance process considerably as in some countries it can take months to obtain a criminal record. In addition the certificates issued in a foreign language will also have to be officially translated.

Those who have lived in various countries before applying for a UK visa, could be facing a very costly and protracted process.

As the certificates will only be valid for 6 months from issuance, some candidates who have lived in various countries where the process is very lengthy, may find themselves in a position whereby one of their certificate has expired by the time the other certificate has been issued. To add to an already painful administrative process, some countries do not accept postal applications and demand that requests be filed in person (or via a friend or family or someone with power of attorney), even if the applicant is no longer resident there.

This new requirement will be introduced in phases, which will start with Tier 1 (Investor and Entrepreneur) applicants, and their adult dependants.

The requirement does not currently apply to extensions or in-country switching applications.

Further information can be found in the updated policy guidance on Tier 1 (Investor) and Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) which have been published today by the UKVI.

For further information please contact us.