News

30/03/19 Latest News

UPDATE to Staff Immigration and Right to Work News Bulletin – March 2019

Further to our latest Staff Immigration & Right to Work News Bulletin (below), in response to lobbying from the Russell Group, the Universities & Colleges Employers Association (UCEA), and Universities UK (UUK), the Home Office has now confirmed that ASHE data was incorrectly applied to the SOC codes relevant to HEIs and that the thresholds for these codes should have been set based on HE data, as they had been previously.

The Home Office have confirmed that these new thresholds listed in Appendix J of the Immigration Rules will be corrected as soon as possible, but in the interim have published an Addendum to the Tier 2 Policy guidance confirming the correct salary thresholds for the SOC codes in question. The corrected rates are in line with the cost of living increases to the thresholds for other SOC codes and will apply to CoS issued after 30 March 2019.

The corrected salary thresholds relevant within the collegiate University are:

  (based on 40hrs/week) (37.5hrs/week equivalent) 
     SOC code 2119 (used for Research roles):
‘New Entrant’   up from £21,600 p.a. to £22,300 p.a.  £20,906.25 p.a.
‘Experienced Worker’  up from £28,000 p.a. to £29,000 p.a.  £27,187.50 p.a.
    SOC code 2311 (used for Lecturer roles):
‘New Entrant’  up from £25,700 p.a. to £26,500 p.a.  £24,843.75 p.a.
‘Experienced Worker’  up from £32,300 p.a. to £33,000 p.a.  £30.937.50 p.a.

 As the corrected new Research salary thresholds are now all below the £30,000 p.a. Tier 2 minimum salary threshold, and the Lecturer salary thresholds have only increased slightly, we do not envisage that these changes should adversely affect roles within the collegiate University. If you still have concerns or wish to discuss a current or upcoming recruitment, however, please contact SIT.

25/03/19 Latest News

Staff Immigration and Right to Work News Bulletin – March 2019

We have issued Staff Immigration Team (SIT) news bulletin SIT news bulletin 25 March 2019 (615kb) which contains news of important changes and some reminders.

The bulletin includes: 

  • Confirmation that the full EU Settlement Scheme for Europeans, and their family members, resident in the UK before Brexit will open on 30 March 2019;
  • News of increases in Tier 2 job specific salary thresholds which will affect some Tier 2 CoS issued from 30 March 2019;
  • News that Home Office visa application fees have not increased this year but the in-country 'Super Priority' service fee will increase from £610 to £800 (per applicant) on 29 March 2019;
  • An update on Home Office changes to the in-country visa application process and application centres;
  • News of two other (more positive) planned changes to the Tier 2 rules later in 2019;
  • Notice that SIT has updated the Tier 4 Student Employment Declaration;
  • Information on the new online Right to work checking service.

Places are available on upcoming immigration and right to work training sessions. Please see www.admin.ox.ac.uk/personnel/permits/sittrain/ for available dates and the booking form.

08/01/19 Latest News

Immigration Health (NHS) Surcharge has increased to £400 per year from 8 January 2019

The Immigration Health (NHS) surcharge increase (from £200 to £400 per year) takes effect from today, 8 January 2019. This will not be applied retrospectively to those who have applied for their visa before 8 January 2019, however, it will apply when they go to extend their visa, or apply under another category.

We have updated our website and forms to reflect the new NHS surcharge.

07/12/18 Latest News

Staff Immigration and Right to Work News Bulletin – December 2018

We have issued Staff Immigration Team (SIT) news bulletin SIT Bulletin 7 December 2018 (586kb) which contains news of important changes and some reminders.

 The bulletin includes:

  • Notice that due to the holiday closure the monthly deadline for submitting overseas Tier 2 CoS applications has been brought forward (from the 29th of the month) to Friday 14 December 2018.
  • An update on the Immigration Health (NHS) surcharge increase (from £200 to £400 per year) which may now come into effect in January rather than December as first thought.
  • Notice of a change in the Immigration Rules which clarifies that travel is not possible while an in-country visa application is being processed.
  • News of Home Office changes to the in-country visa application process and application centres.
  • A reminder to encourage sponsored visa holders who are University employees to use the HR Self-Service to regularly review and update their details.
  • A reminder about salary calculations for Marie Skłodowska Curie Fellows and Early Stage Researchers (ESRs).
  • News of the pilot of the EU Settlement Scheme which runs until 21 December 2018, with links to further information.
  • News of a government policy paper confirming that even in a 'No-deal' scenario EU citizens will have until December 2020 to apply for Pre-Settled or Settled Status, and the EEA/ Swiss citizens will be able to stay in the UK.
  • Guidance on the Home Office Employer Checking Service (ECS) which is used to verify right to work where original documents cannot be provided as an application or appeal is outstanding.
  • A reminder on completing Right to work information in CoreHR.

Places are available on upcoming immigration and right to work training sessions. Please see www.admin.ox.ac.uk/personnel/permits/sittrain/ for available dates and the booking form.

Staff Immigration Team – Staff news

James Galloway and Rose Boadu have settled into the team and have been assigned to ‘patches’ alongside Angelina and Solveig.

Applications and queries from departments within MPLS, Humanities, GLAM, & colleges beginning A-P should be sent to Angelina or James.

Applications and queries from departments within Medical Sciences, Social Sciences, UAS, & colleges beginning Q-W should be sent to Rose or Solveig.

November 2018 Latest News

New Brexit information page

Please see our new BREXIT information page for information about the new Settlement Scheme for EU nationals and their family members and the pilot of the new Scheme running in November & December 2018.

03/09/18 Latest News

Visa Loan Scheme launched – 3 September 2018

An interest free loan scheme has now been launched to assist current and prospective non EEA employees and their dependants with payment of UK visa fees, fees for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) applications and/or Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) costs. Details of the scheme can be found on the Reimbursement and Visa Loan Scheme page.

06/08/18 Latest News

Staff Immigration and Right to Work News Bulletin – August 2018

We have issued a Staff Immigration Team (SIT) news bulletin SIT Bulletin - 6 August 2018 (622kb) which contains news of important changes and some reminders.

The bulletin includes: 

Tier 2

  • News that Universal JobMatch (previously JobCentre Plus) has now been replaced by the GOV.UK ‘Find a job’ website. Care should be taken to clearly list the work location and closing date as these do not appear in the standard job details fields.
  • A reminder that ‘Input confirmation’ from Jobs.ac.uk, or other documents stating that adverts were placed, cannot be relied on in place of advert printouts.
  • Notice of a new SIT guide (attached) on describing qualification requirements when advertising roles where Tier 2 sponsorship may be required.
  • An update on the restrictions on overseas Tier 2 applications, with a reminder to discuss with SIT any roles which do not fall under the Researcher or Lecturer/ Professorial job codes as early as possible.
  • A reminder that children will normally only be granted visas by the Home Office if both parents are coming to the UK, or if the parent coming with the child has sole custody.
  • Notice that all four (Tier 2 & Tier 5, initial & extension) Excel-based CoS forms have now been released and the current version should always be downloaded from the SIT ‘Forms & guidance notes’ page at:  www.admin.ox.ac.uk/personnel/permits/forms/

ILR

  • An update on the way ‘continuous residence in the UK’ is calculated for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR).
  • Clarification that while Tier 1 Exceptional Talent visa holders can now apply for ILR after 3 years, their Dependants can only apply after 5 years.
  • News that the Home Office have released online versions of the ILR application forms for both the standard 5 year and the 10 year ‘Long residence’ routes.

EEA

  • Links to Home Office information on the proposed new ‘settles status’ scheme for EU citizens and their families which should be launched later this year.
  • News that restrictions no longer apply to Croatian nationals, they now have the same rights as any other EEA national, and so can now simply present their passport or a valid national identity card to evidence their right to work in the UK.

Visa loan scheme

  • Notice that SIT will soon be launching an interest free Visa Loan Scheme to cover UK visa fees, Immigration Health Surcharge costs and ILR.

Our website has been updated with the latest information.

Places are available on upcoming immigration and right to work training sessions. Please see www.admin.ox.ac.uk/personnel/permits/sittrain/ for available dates and the booking form.

Staff Immigration Team – Staff news

James Galloway and Rose Boadu have joined the team as two additional Immigration Advisers as a result of the increasing volume of applications. While James and Rose are settling into their roles new applications and enquiries should be sent to Solveig and Angelina. James can be contacted on (2)89927 or james.galloway@admin.ox.ac.uk , and Rose can be contacted on (2)89921 or rosemond.boadu@admin.ox.ac.uk

26/06/18 Latest News

New SIT Excel-based CoS application forms – June 2018

SIT released an Excel-based Tier 2 CoS extension application form in January, and has now published Excel-based versions of the other internal CoS application forms (Tier 2 initial CoS, Tier 5 initial CoS, and Tier 5 CoS extension) which replace the existing Word-based versions.

Please use the new forms for all new Tier 2 and Tier 5 CoS applications, however, if you are currently in the process of completing a Word-based CoS form this can be submitted.

All SIT forms can be found on the ‘Forms & guidance notes’ page.

Through the new Excel-based forms, SIT aims to reduce the occurrence of simple errors and omissions (and the correspondence required to explain and resolve these issues) by using dropdowns, notes, error messages, and fields for SIT feedback on specific issues.

The new CoS form have been piloted with members of the SIT User Group who offered useful feedback and comments which assisted the form’s development.

Any queries, comments, or feedback on the new Excel based forms should be sent to Tim Currie tim.currie@admin.ox.ac.uk

31/01/18 Latest News

Staff Immigration and Right to Work Update – January 2018

We have issued a SIT news bulletin SIT news bulletin 31 January 2018 (783kb) which contains news of important changes and some reminders.

As the Home Office has made many changes in the past few months the bulletin is rather long. This bulletin also includes news of improved processes to help departments and colleges with CoS applications.

The bulletin includes: 

Home Office Rule changes

  • Details of improvements to the Tier 1 Exceptional Talent visa route.
  • Notice that Tier 1 General visa holders have until 6 April 2018 to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR).
  • News of two new exceptions from the Tier 2 RLMT/ advertising requirements, although these may be rarely used.
  • News that the 4 week limit on delayed start dates for Tier 2 visa holders has been clarified.
  • News of a slight relaxation for non-PhD students switching from Tier 4 into Tier 2, and a reminder about consent letters from funding organisations.
  • For ILR, news of a significant change in the way ‘continuous residence in the UK’ is calculated.
  • News that the ‘continuous residence in the UK’ requirement will now apply to dependants applying for ILR, but only for periods on visas issued after 11 January 2018.
  • A reminder of potential ILR fees increases in April and that SIT can advise and assist with, but not check, ILR applications

Process changes/ reminders

  • Notice of new Excel-based SIT CoS application forms.
  • Notice that the SIT Recruitment Decision Summary form has been updated to make clear the level of information required.
  • A reminder of the importance of using the current versions of SIT forms & guidance, and of using 7-Zip to password protect documents sent to SIT.
  • News of Home Office changes to how Biometric Enrolment Letters are issued and supporting documents handled for in-country Tier 2 and Tier 5 visa applications.
  • News of a new Thames Valley Police online appointments system for police registration.
  • Notice that SIT can contact UK NARIC to look into cases where standard processing times have been exceeded.
  • A reminder that visitors normally do not have free access to NHS treatment (except emergency treatment) and may wish to consider obtaining medical insurance for their visit.
  • Notice of University recommendations on reimbursing visa costs

Right to Work news and updates

  • News of updated Core HR Right to Work categories.
  • Notice that casual payment requests with incomplete RTW data, or incorrect information for Tier 4 students, will result in payments being stopped. Requests will then need to be resubmitted in the following month when any issues have been resolved.
  • A reminder of the declaration which must be made stating explicitly the date on which a right to work check was carried out.
  • A reminder of the procedure for transferring right to work documents when employees transfer between departments.
  • A notice that a new part-time Tier 4 student visa does not permit the holder to undertake any work (paid or unpaid).

Our website has been updated with the latest information.

Places are available on upcoming immigration and right to work training sessions. Please see http://www.admin.ox.ac.uk/personnel/permits/sittrain/ for available dates and the booking form.

Staff Immigration Team – Staff news

Angelina has changed her surname to Pelova and her email is now angelina.pelova@admin.ox.ac.uk

If you/ members of your department do not currently receive immigration and right to work updates from the Staff Immigration Team and would like to please contact sit-administration@admin.ox.ac.uk