News Archive

2015

10/06/15 Latest News

Staff Immigration and Right to Work News Bulletin – June 2015

We have issued a SIT news bulletin 10 June 2015 (386kb) which contains information about changes to the non EEA Visitor rules and some additional news about immigration and right to work covering:

  • Changes in the Visitor rules with effect from 24 April 2015;
  • Delays encountered in booking Approved English Language Tests due to demand;
  • Police Registration requirement in some cases will now be issued in a letter rather than stated on the BRP;
  • Some EEA family member documents will now be issued in the form of a BRP;
  • Reminder in relation to certifying maintenance;
  • Reminder in relation to reporting changes for sponsored Tier 2 and Tier 5 visa holders;
  • Points to remember in relation to Right to Work.

The Staff Immigration and Right to Work web pages have been updated to reflect these changes.

Staff Immigration Team – Summer Staffing
After many years excellent service Angela Dolby is leaving the Staff Immigration Team. David Richardson will be will be taking up her role assisting with immigration applications and enquiries. David can be contacted on 89904 or david.richardson@admin.ox.ac.uk

Dr Suzanne Ii has joined the team temporarily to manage the centralised sponsored migrant data and the administration of the training programme. Enquiries in relation to centralisation and training should be directed to her on 89926 or sit-temp@admin.ox.ac.uk

We would be grateful if you could assist us through this period of change by submitting CoS applications as early as possible, ideally three months before the start/ expiry date. Please be aware that processing applications may take a little longer during this period of change. Many thanks for your understanding.

Training

If your job involves immigration and right to work we recommend you attend our regular training sessions on Tier 2, Tier 5, Right to Work and Visitors. Please see our training pages for further information.  There will be training sessions in Michaelmas Term & beyond, which will be announced once the dates are confirmed.

09/04/15 Latest News

Staff Immigration and Right to Work News Bulletin

We have issued a SIT news bulletin 9 April 2015 (378kb) highlighting important changes and reminders in immigration and right to work policy, including:

  • Introduction of the NHS Surcharge payable in advance by the applicant;
  • Phased introduction of Biometric Residence Permits for overseas applicants;
  • List of Approved English Language Tests reduced and tests must be taken at approved centres;
  • Move to online in-country Tier 2 visa applications;
  • Increased CoS and visa application fees;
  • Closure of the Tier 1 General route;
  • The requirement for ATAS clearance, if applicable, for those studying on a Tier 2 / Tier 5 visa.

The Staff Immigration and Right to Work web pages have been updated to reflect these changes.

Training

If your job involves immigration and right to work we recommend you attend our regular training sessions on Tier 2, Tier 5, Right to Work and Visitors. Please see our training pages for further information.  There will be training sessions in Michaelmas Term & beyond, which will be announced once the dates are confirmed.

22/01/15 Home Office Changes

Staff Immigration and Right to Work News Bulletin

We have issued a SIT news bulletin (296kb) highlighting important changes and reminders in immigration and right to work policy, including:

  • Advertising senior appointments where a case has been approved by SAP for market pay;
  • A reduction in the time records have to be kept for sponsored migrants;
  • A change to the way evidence of NI numbers can be provided;
  • News about how Tier 2 researchers  can take on supplementary paid teaching work;
  • The introduction of a “genuineness test” for Tier 2 sponsored migrants;
  • The new Registered Traveller Scheme for frequent travellers of certain nationalities;
  • A small change to the Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Scheme;
  • An introduction to the University’s Welcome Service  for staff relocating from overseas;
  • New guidance for TUPE transferees, remote workers and EEA family permit holders;
  • Changes to the Home Office’s Employer’s Checking Service;
  • A reminder of right to work check requirements for employing Tier 4 students.

The Staff Immigration and Right to Work web pages have been updated to reflect these changes.

Staff changes

We are pleased to announce that David Richardson joined the Staff Immigration Team at the start of January as Staff Immigration Admin Assistant.

Training

If your job involves immigration and right to work we recommend you attend our regular training sessions on Tier 2, Tier 5, Right to Work and Visitors. Please see our training pages for further information.  Further Hilary Term dates have been added on March 2 & March 16.  There will be training sessions in Trinity Term & beyond, which will be announced once the dates are confirmed.

2014

08/12/14 Staff Changes, Centralisation & Training

Staff changes

We are pleased to announce that Lisa Crook joined the Staff Immigration Team at the end of October as Staff Immigration Assistant. Lisa will be looking after departments within the Medical Sciences and Social Sciences Divisions and colleges beginning Q-W. 

Data centralisation

Thank you to all those departments and colleges who have submitted data for existing Tier 2 and Tier 5 sponsored migrants to be held centrally by the Staff Immigration Team.  We are still missing data from some departments and colleges. Those who are yet to submit their data are asked to do so urgently to sit-temp@admin.ox.ac.uk

Training

If your job involves immigration and right to work we recommend you attend our regular training sessions on Tier 2, Tier 5, Right to Work and Visitors. Please see our training pages for further information.

04/12/14 Hilary Term 2015 Training

The Staff Immigration Team is pleased to announce the training schedule for Hilary Term 2015.

This training is for all those who manage and administer immigration and right to work procedures in departments and colleges

To book a place please complete the Hilary 2015 Training Booking Form (1,783kb) , then email the form to: sit-temp@admin.ox.ac.uk

There are five training courses currently offered: Tier 2, Tier 5, Right to Work, Visitors, Right to Work (colleges).  For further details please visit our training page

The courses are being offered in back-to-back sessions on each training day.  You are welcome to sign up for both sessions, or either session individually.  If all courses fill up we will offer further courses.

If you wish to request further sessions, please email: sit-temp@admin.ox.ac.uk

27/11/14 Christmas closure & Dec/Jan application arrangements

The Staff Immigration Team, like the rest of the University Offices, will be closed from Wednesday 24 December 2014 until Friday 2 January 2015 inclusive. We will re-open on Monday 5 January 2015.

Given that the Staff Immigration Team will be closed on the usual deadline for submitting Tier 2 CoS applications for overseas applicants (the 29th of the month), departments and colleges are advised to submit any Tier 2 CoS applications for overseas applicants which they wish to be considered by the Home Office in January 2015 to the Staff Immigration Team by Friday 12 December 2014.

Departments and colleges are also advised that the Staff Immigration Team expects to receive increased levels of leave to remain (visa) applications in January 2015 due to migrants wanting to retain their passports for travel over the Christmas period. As a result, there may be some delays in processing applications during January 2015.

In order to assist us in managing the workload of urgent leave to remain applications which must be submitted before visa expiry dates in January 2015 we would be grateful if, where possible, such applications are submitted to our office for checking in December 2014. Hopefully this will enable us to identify and resolve any potential issues before the holiday period.  We would then simply await the submission of the applicant’s passport(s) to us in January, on their return from travel over the holidays, before submitting the application to the Home Office.

We would also be grateful if we could be advised of any migrants who do not intend to extend their stay in the UK beyond an expiry date in January 2015 so that we can discount such individuals from the list of potential leave to remain applications.

01/10/14 Michaelmas Term 2014 Training

The Staff Immigration Team is pleased to announce the training schedule for Michaelmas Term 2014.

This training is for all those who manage and administer immigration and right to work procedures in departments and colleges

To book a place please complete the Michaelmas 2014 Training Booking Form (45kb) , then email the form to: sit-temp@admin.ox.ac.uk

There are five training courses currently offered: Tier 2, Tier 5, Right to Work, Visitors, Right to Work (colleges).  For further details please visit our training page

The courses are being offered in back-to-back sessions on each training day.  You are welcome to sign up for both sessions, or either session individually.  If all courses fill up we will offer further courses.

If you wish to request further sessions, please email: sit-temp@admin.ox.ac.uk

01/08/14 New Procedures for Tier 2 and Tier 5 sponsorship

The new University procedures for centralising data for Tier 2 and Tier 5 migrants that were introduced in the Immigration Compliance and Right to Work training sessions in June and July 2014 have now taken effect.

You can find the new forms and checklists for existing sponsored migrants and new Tier 2 and Tier 5 applications on our application forms and guidance notes page and a copy of the training slides can be found here.

If you missed the training there is an additional session on 4 September. For further details please see our training page.

24/06/14 - Work Permits Desk is now Staff Immigration Team

The Work Permits Desk has been renamed as the Staff Immigration Team and from 1 August we will be implementing new procedures.

The new requirements and procedures will be explained in the training sessions we are running between 24 June and 30 July and you'll find details on our training pages.

The training sessions will also cover the data centralisation exercise and, once you have been trained, you will need to use this form Data Checklist for Existing Tier 2 & Tier 5 migrants (56kb) .

Please send data, and any questions about the data centralisation exercise to sit-temp@admin.ox.ac.uk

We will be changing areas of our website over time and will email updates to inform of these changes. Due to the number of references it will take some time before we amend all references to the Work Permits Desk, hence, in the interim please read Work Permits Desk to mean Staff Immigration Team.

16/05/14 - Right to work check changes

The Home Office has made the following changes to how Right to Work checks must be carried out with effect from 16 May 2014:

  • It is no longer necessary to carry out annual Right to Work checks for those with  limited permission to work in the UK. This includes all those on Tier 2 and Tier 5 sponsored visas plus other categories with limited right to work in the UK (List Bs). Please note, however, a repeat right to work check is still required for those with List B status when the person’s visa is due to expire.
  • When carrying out a right to work check for a student with limited right to work during term time evidence of their term and vacation dates must now be obtained and retained.
  • The list of acceptable documents to evidence Right to Work in the UK has been revised with some documents removed.

The revised list of acceptable documents which can be used to evidence right to work in the UK can be found in the Home Office's 'Right to work checklist' which also details how checks should be performed. Acceptable documents to evidence a students term and vacation dates are listed in our 'Right to work' and 'Employing overseas students' guidance.

The Work Permits Desk website has been updated to reflect these changes, and also in relation to the new up to 5 year Tier 2 visa to highlight that there is an increased visa application fee, and that where an application is being made for more than 3 (up to 5) years the 'Experienced Worker' salary threshold must be met regardless of whether the applicant would otherwise be considered a 'New Entrant'.

06/04/14 - Home Office policy changes

The Home Office has introduced some significant changes to the immigration regulations with effect from 6 April 2014. In particular, the Home Office’s Codes of Practice for skilled workers have been updated listing new salary thresholds, the minimum salary and maintenance funds thresholds have been increased, and visa application fees have increased.

The Home Office is also introducing a new Tier 2 visa which can be granted for a duration of up to 5 years instead of the current 3 year maximum. The new application forms and policy guidance have yet to be published, hence, we will provide guidance in relation to the same and any potential additional requirements as soon as practicable after they are published.

These changes have implications for the issue of ALL Certificates of Sponsorship from 6 April 2014. A guidance document has been circulated to departments with further information and the Work Permits Desk website has been updated.

04/02/14 - Restrictions on Bulgarian & Romanian nationals' right to work removed

As of 1 January 2014 restrictions on Bulgarian and Romanian nationals' rights to work in the UK no longer apply. As a result Bulgarian and Romanian nationals can now work in the UK without restrictions like other EEA Nationals and can similarly present their passport or national identity card to satisfy a right to work check. Guidance has been circulated to departments with further information and the Work Permits Desk website has been updated.

09/01/14 - Immigration Compliance Exercise

Presentations in relation to the Immigration Compliance Exercise are being held on 9 and 14 January. You can download the presentations here: Immigration Compliance presentation 9 and 14 January (297kb).

2013

01/10/13 - UKBA policy changes

The UK Border Agency has introduced a number of changes to the immigration regulations with effect from 1 October 2013. In particular: "genuineness" tests have been introduced for those applying under the Tier 5 (Temporary Worker) subcategories; Tier 4 student visa holders who have completed their studies can now switch into Tier 5 to undertake an internship; and family members of Tier 1, 2, or 5 migrants can apply to switch into Dependant status whilst remaining in the UK as long as they hold a valid visa.

Croatian nationals no longer require a visa to enter and reside legally in the UK for up to 3 months, however, they still need to obtain authorisation to work before starting employment and new regulations apply to Croatians applying to work in the UK.

Tuberculosis (TB) pre-screening is being introduced as a requirement for nationals of a growing list of countries when applying to come to the UK for more than six months. Country specific guidance from the UK Border Agency details whether TB screening is required and the screening process.

Guidance has been circulated to departments with further information on the above issues and the Work Permits Desk website has been updated.

06/04/13 - UKBA policy changes

The UK Border Agency has introduced a number of significant changes to the immigration regulations with effect from 6 April 2013. In particular, there are substantial changes to the UK Border Agency’s Codes of Practice for skilled workers which will have implications for the recruitment and retention of all Tier 2 migrants.

These changes have implications for ALL recruitment exercises from 6 April 2013 where a migrant worker is to be appointed, and for the issue of ALL Certificates of Sponsorship from this date. A guidance document has been circulated to departments with further information and the Work Permits Desk website has been updated.

2012

06/12/12 - Tier 2 Priority Postal Service

The UK Border Agency is piloting a Priority Postal Service which will consider in-country Tier 2 applications in a much shorter timeframe than the standard postal route. This service aims to provide a decision within ten working days of an application. A guidance document has been circulated to departments with further information and the Work Permits Desk website has been updated.

07/07/12 - UKBA policy changes

The UK Border Agency recently released information concerning a number of policy changes to the Points-Based System. Most of these changes came into effect on 14 June 2012. A guidance document has been circulated to departments with further information and the Work Permits Desk website has been updated.

29/03/12 - Easter Closure

The Work Permits Desk, like the rest of University Offices, will be closed for the Easter period from Thursday 5 April 2012 until Monday 9 April 2012 inclusive. It will re-open on Tuesday 10 April 2012.

21/03/12 - UKBA policy changes

The UK Border Agency released information on 15 March 2012 concerning a number of policy changes to Tier 1, Tier 2, Tier 5, settlement and visitors. Most of these changes come into effect on 6 April 2012. A guidance document has been circulated to departments with further information and the Work Permits Desk website will be updated after 6 April 2012.

2011

10/11/11 - Christmas closure and Dec/Jan application arrangements

The Work Permits Desk will be closed from Thursday 22nd December 2011 until Monday 2 January 2012 inclusive. It will re-open on Tuesday 3 January 2012.

Given that the Work Permits Desk will be closed on the usual deadline for submitting Tier 2 CoS applications for overseas applicants (the 29th of the month), departments and colleges are advised to submit any Tier 2 CoS applications for overseas applicants which they wish to be considered by the UK Border Agency in January 2012 to the Work Permits Desk by Wednesday 14 December 2011.

Departments and colleges are also advised that the Work Permits Desk expects to receive increased levels of leave to remain applications in January 2012 due to migrants wanting to retain their passports for travel over the Christmas period. As a result, there may be further delays in processing applications during January 2012.

01/10/2011 - Various updates to Tier 2 and Tier 5

The UK Border Agency has announced various updates to Tier 2 and Tier 5. The Work Permits Desk has circulated information to departments and colleges by email and the website has been updated accordingly.

01/10/2011 - Cheque payments for Certificates of Sponsorship

From 1 October 2011 the UKBA will no longer accept cheque payments for Certificates of Sponsorship. As far as we are aware, it will still be possible to pay for leave to remain applications by cheque. This change will only affect colleges, as any Certificates of Sponsorship applications from university departments are currently paid for on the Work Permits Desk credit card and cross-charged to departments.

From 1 October 2011, the Work Permits Desk will pay for Certificate of Sponsorships for colleges on the Work Permits Desk credit card, as we do for departments. However, as it is not possible for the Work Permits Desk to cross-charge to colleges, colleges will need to supply a cheque made payable to the University of Oxford for the appropriate amount and send this to the Work Permits Desk with their Certificate of Sponsorship application.

22/07/2011 - Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) route to open on 9 August 2011

The UK Border Agency has announced that the new Tier 1 Exceptional Talent route will open on 9 August 2011.

The Tier 1 Exceptional Talent route is designed for ‘exceptionally talented’ individuals in the fields of science, humanities, engineering and the performing arts. Those using this route must be internationally recognised at the highest level as world leaders in their particular field, or recognised as having already demonstrated exceptional promise and are likely to become world leaders in their field.  

Further information on application requirements can be found on the UK Border Agency website.

05/04/2011 - Updates to the Work Permits Desk website

The Work Permits Desk website has been updated to reflect the UK Border Agency's changes to the immigration rules which take effect from Wednesday 6 April 2011. These changes mainly affect Tier 2 of the points-based system.

05/04/2011 - Closure of Tier 1 (General) to in-country applicants

Following the closure of the Tier 1 (General) route for overseas applicants, the UK Border Agency will also close this route to in-country applicants with effect from Wednesday 6 April 2011.

2010

21/12/2010 - Closure of Tier 1 (General) to overseas applicants

The UK Border Agency has today announced that they will stop accepting Tier 1 (General) applications made overseas with effect from 00:01hrs (GMT) on Thursday 23 December 2010 since the interim limit for Tier 1 (General) applications made overseas for the period of the interim immigration cap (19 July 2010 to April 2011) will be reached imminently.

The UK Border Agency advise that Tier 1 (General) applications made overseas that are submitted and paid for by midnight (GMT) on Wednesday 22 December 2010 will be processed as normal. Applications made from within the UK are unaffected and will continue to be processed for the duration of the interim immigration cap period (i.e. until 5 April 2011).

14/12/2010 - New application forms

The UK Border Agency has released new versions of Tier 1 (General), Tier 1 (Post-Study Worker), Tier 2, Tier 5 and dependant leave to remain application forms.

The new Tier 1 (General) application form and guidance can be found at http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/workingintheuk/tier1/general/applying/

The new Tier 1 (Post-Study Worker) application form and guidance can be found at http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/workingintheuk/tier1/poststudy/applying/

The new Tier 2 (General) application form and guidance can be found at http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/workingintheuk/tier2/general/applying/

The new Tier 5 application form and guidance can be found at http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/workingintheuk/tier5/governmentauthorisedexchanged/applying/

The new dependant application form and guidance can be found at http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/workingintheuk/tier2/general/dependants/

Any leave to remain applications made on or after 14 December 2010 must be completed on the latest version of the forms.

22/11/2010 - New application fees and forms

The UK Border Agency has released details of new application fees that come into effect today.

In particular, new application fees have been introduced for Tier 1 and Tier 2 applications. New fees have also been introduced for dependants of Tier 1 and Tier 2 migrants.

The new application fees for Tier 1 can be found at http://www.admin.ox.ac.uk/ps/managers/appoint/permits/tier1hsw.shtml#_Toc224717546

The new application fees for Tier 2 can be found at http://www.admin.ox.ac.uk/ps/managers/appoint/permits/tier2cosa.shtml#_Toc224717546

As a result of the new application fees, the UK Border Agency has released new Tier 1 and Tier 2 leave to remain application forms and a new dependant leave to remain application form.

The new Tier 1 (General) application form and guidance can be found at http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/workingintheuk/tier1/general/applying/

The new Tier 1 (Post-Study Worker) application form and guidance can be found at http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/workingintheuk/tier1/poststudy/applying/

The new Tier 2 (General) application form and guidance can be found at http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/workingintheuk/tier2/general/applying/

The new dependant application form and guidance can be found at http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/workingintheuk/tier2/general/dependants/

Any leave to remain applications made on or after 22 November 2010 must be completed on the latest version of the forms.

21/10/2010 - Biometric enrolment for in-country Tier 1 and Tier 5 applications

The UK Border Agency has announced that from 14 December 2010 any migrants and their dependants making a Tier 1 or Tier 5 application from within the UK will be required to enrol their biometric details (fingerprints and photographs) as part of the application process. Migrants and their dependants will be issued with a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) which is a micro-chipped credit card style document which stores the biometric information, rather than a sticker or vignette in the passport.

Biometric Residence Permits have already been introduced for Tier 2 migrants and their dependants applying from within the UK.

01/10/2010 - New Tier 5 application fees and forms

The UK Border Agency has released details of new application fees that came into effect on 1 October 2010.

In particular, new application fees have been introduced for Tier 5 applications and Tier 5 dependant applications. We expect the UK Border Agency to introduce new application fees for Tier 2 and Tier 1 in November 2010.

The new application fees for Tier 5 can be found at http://www.admin.ox.ac.uk/ps/managers/appoint/permits/tier5temp.shtml#_Toc224717546

As a result of the new application fees, the UK Border Agency have released a new Tier 5 leave to remain application form and a new dependant leave to remain application form.

The new Tier 5 application form and guidance can be found at http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/workingintheuk/tier5/governmentauthorisedexchanged/applying/

The new dependant application form and guidance can be found at http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/workingintheuk/tier5/governmentauthorisedexchanged/dependants/

Any Tier 5 leave to remain applications made after 1 October 2010 must be completed on the latest version of the forms.

07/09/2010 - New application forms

The UK Border Agency has removed the option for people who apply for leave to remain in person at a Public Enquiry Office to pay in cash (only credit/debit cards, postal orders or cheques are acceptable), with effect from 6 September 2010.

As a result, updated Tier 1, Tier 2 and PBS dependant application forms have been released. A new version of the Tier 5 application form has not yet been released. The UK Border Agency will accept leave to remain applications made on the previous version of the Tier 1, Tier 2 and PBS dependant forms until 27 September 2010. Any leave to remain applications made after 27 September 2010 must be completed on the latest version of the forms.

The new Tier 1 application form and guidance can be found at http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/workingintheuk/tier1/general/applying/

The new Tier 2 application form and guidance can be found at http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/workingintheuk/tier2/general/applying/

The new dependant application form and guidance can be found at http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/workingintheuk/tier2/general/dependants/

19/07/2010 - Interim immigration cap

The interim immigration cap has come into effect from today, 19 July 2010.

The interim immigration cap currently only applies to Tier 1 (General) and Tier 2 (General) of the points-based immigration system. The cap does not currently apply to Tier 5 (Sponsored Researchers).

Details of the interim immigration cap have been circulated to departments and colleges by email.

02/07/2010 - Immigration cap

The Government has announced that it will impose a 'cap' on immigration to the UK.

Details of how the immigration cap will be implemented will be agreed by the UK Border Agency following a period of consultation with employers. The immigration cap is likely to be implemented in April 2011.

However, in the meantime, the UK Border Agency will implement an interim immigration cap with effect from 19 July 2010 . The interim immigration cap currently only applies to Tier 1 (General) and Tier 2 (General) of the points-based immigration system. The cap does not currently apply to Tier 5 (Sponsored Researchers).

Details of the proposed interim immigration cap have been circulated to departments and colleges by email, and further information will be circulated as it is received.

27/04/2010 - Transitional arrangements for sponsored researchers

The UK Border Agency has now put transitional arrangements in place for sponsored researchers on old-style work permits who wish to extend their current leave to remain in the UK. This change is effective immediately.

Sponsored researchers who hold an old-style sponsored researcher work permit and wish to extend their visit at the University doing the same research project within the same department can apply for a Tier 5 Government Authorised Exchange visa from within the UK under the transitional arrangements. The migrant will still be required to meet the points requirements for sponsorship and maintenance.

06/04/2010 - Changes to Tier 1 and Tier 2

The UK Border Agency has amended the points requirements for Tier 1 and Tier 2.

The new points requirements for Tier 1 can be found at http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/workingintheuk/tier1/general/eligibility/pointsassessment/ and the guidance on the Work Permits Desk website has been updated accordingly http://www.admin.ox.ac.uk/ps/managers/appoint/permits/tier1hsw.shtml

The new points requirements for Tier 2 can be found on the Work Permits Desk website at http://www.admin.ox.ac.uk/ps/managers/appoint/permits/tier2cosa.shtml#_Toc222563575

The UK Border Agency has also revised their guidance for Tier 2 migrants who wish to switch jobs with the same employer - a new CoS application will not be required for a migrant who is switching jobs within the University and who will continue to work in the same type of job, as long as the migrant will be paid at the same or higher salary than their original CoS was issued for. For example, a Postdoctoral Research Assistant may switch from one department to take up a new research post in another department without the need to obtain a new CoS and visa for the new post. Further details can be found on the Work Permits Desk website at http://www.admin.ox.ac.uk/ps/managers/appoint/permits/tier2cosa.shtml#_Toc222563580

08/03/2010 - New application fees and forms

The UK Border Agency has released details of new application fees that come into effect on Tuesday 6 April 2010. An email has been circulated regarding the changes to Tier 2 and Tier 5 application fees and the Work Permits Desk website will be updated accordingly. However, there will also be changes to other fees such as Tier 1 and Indefinite Leave to Remain applications. Details of all fee changes can be found at http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/sitecontent/documents/news/new-immigration-fees

New Tier 2, Tier 5 and dependant Leave to Remain application forms will also be released on Tuesday 6 April 2010. Any Leave to Remain applications made after this date must be completed on the new forms. The new forms will be available from Tuesday 6 April 2010 at the following links:

The new Tier 2 application form and guidance can be found at http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/workingintheuk/tier2/general/applying/

The new Tier 5 application form can be found at http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/workingintheuk/tier5/governmentauthorisedexchanged/applying/

The new Tier 2 and Tier 5 Dependant application form and guidance can be found at http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/workingintheuk/tier2/general/dependants/

05/03/2010 - Right to Work website now live

Comprehensive guidance on checking an individual's right to work in the UK has now been published in the recruitment section of the Personnel Services website at http://www.admin.ox.ac.uk/ps/managers/appoint/righttowork/index.shtml

22/02/2010 - Changes to the process of certifying the maintenance of Tier 2 migrants and their dependants

The UK Border Agency now requires sponsors to confirm whether or not they wish to certify the maintenance requirement of a Tier 2 migrant at the time the Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) is issued, not at the time the migrant makes their visa/leave to remain application. The CoS application forms have been updated to provide a box that departments must tick if they intend to certify the maintenance requirement for a Tier 2 migrant. Departments are no longer required to provide Tier 2 migrants with a letter confirming that they will certify their maintenance requirement for their visa application.

Where a department also wishes to certify the maintenance requirement of the dependant(s) of a Tier 2 migrant, they do not need to indicate this on the CoS application but must provide the dependant with a letter confirming that they will, should it become necessary, maintain and accommodate the dependant(s) until the end of the first month of the Tier 2 migrant's employment.

Revised versions of the CoS Initial Application and CoS extension application forms (dated 22/02/10) can be found on the Work Permits Desk website http://www.admin.ox.ac.uk/ps/managers/appoint/permits/tier2cosa.shtml

A revised version of the Application for a Grant of Leave under Tier 2 form and guidance (dated 22/02/10) can be found at http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/workingintheuk/tier2/general/applying/

Please ensure that the latest forms are used for all future Tier 2 CoS and Grant of Leave applications.

18/01/2010 - Revised Academic Visitor guidance available

Following representations from the Work Permits Desk, the UK Border Agency has provided a clearer and more flexible definition of the Academic Visitor route to allow Academic Visitors (who come to the UK to work on their own private research projects) to collaborate with University staff and to be permitted to exchange information on research techniques. Previously, Academic Visitors were not permitted to collaborate with University staff, resulting in many having to obtain Tier 5 (sponsored researcher) visas.

This change should allow more visiting researchers to enter the UK as Academic Visitors, rather than having to obtain a Tier 5 (sponsored researcher) visa. However, please note that visiting researchers coming to work on University-hosted formal research projects must still enter as sponsored researchers under Tier 5.

The Academic Visitor section of our website has been updated accordingly http://www.admin.ox.ac.uk/ps/managers/appoint/permits/acvisitors.shtml

12/01/2010 - Removal of the Premium Postal Service

The UK Border Agency has removed the Premium Postal Service option for Tier 2 migrants and old-style work permit holders with effect from 6 January 2010 because they feel that the service is no longer viable due to the introduction of the requirement for Tier 2 migrants to give their biometric details.

Departments are strongly advised to ensure that extension applications are made in plenty of time and to advise migrants not to make any travel arrangements before they receive approval of the application from the UK Border Agency. Whilst it is possible for migrants to book an appointment at one of the UK Border Agency's Public Enquiry Offices to make an application in person and have the visa granted the same day, it is extremely difficult (and often impossible) to obtain an appointment. Therefore, the majority of the University's Tier 2 leave to remain applications will need to be made via the standard postal service which we expect to take up to 10 weeks.

06/01/2010 - Updated Tier 2 'Grant of Leave' and dependant application forms

In light of the introduction of biometric enrolment for in-country Tier 2 Grant of Leave applicants, the UK Border Agency has released revised Grant of Leave application forms for Tier 2 applicants and their dependants.

The revised 'Application for a Grant of Leave and Biometric Immigration Document under Tier 2' form (version 01/10) for main applicants can be found at http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/workingintheuk/tier2/general/applying/

The revised 'Application for an extension of stay as a dependant of a points-based system migrant' form (version 01/10) can be found at http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/workingintheuk/tier2/general/dependants/

Any Tier 2 Grant of Leave and Tier 2 dependant applications made on or after 6 January 2010 must be completed on the latest version of the forms.

05/01/2010 - Change to the biometric enrolment process

The UK Border Agency has announced that migrants living within certain postcodes may now enrol their biometric details at a limited number of Crown Post Offices for a small fee of £8.00. Oxford's St Aldates branch is listed as one of the Post Offices available with biometric enrolment facilities. The service is only currently available to applicants who have received a letter from the UK Border Agency inviting them to use the service at Oxford's St Aldates Post Office. There is no need to book an appointment at the Post Office as it is a walk-in service. For information, Oxford's St Aldates Post Office is open from 09:00 - 17:30 Monday to Saturday.

2009

18/12/2009 - Change to Tier 2 in-country application process

The UK Border Agency has announced that there will be a significant change to the in-county grant of leave application process for Tier 2 (Skilled Worker) visa applicants. From 6 January 2010 migrant workers (and their dependants) applying for a grant of leave under Tier 2 will need to have their biometrics (finger prints and photographs) taken before a decision is made on their application. This is a major change and will significantly increase the amount of time required to obtain a Tier 2 visa. Further information on the application process has been circulated to departments via email. The Tier 2 section of this website will be updated in January.

24/11/2009 - Change to advertising rules

The UK Border Agency has announced today that there will be a further change to the advertising requirements for Tier 2. From 14 December 2009, the length of time that an advert must be placed, should it be used to support a Tier 2 Certificate of Sponsorship application, will increase from two weeks to four weeks.

01/10/2009 - Updated 'Grant of Leave' application forms and guidance available

The UK Border Agency has today released updated versions of the 'Grant of Leave' application forms and guidance notes for Tier 1, Tier 2 and Tier 5. Please ensure that these latest forms, dated 1 October 2009, are used for all future applications. Links to the latest versions of the forms and guidance notes can be found below:

Tier 1 (General) - http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/workingintheuk/tier1/general/applying/

Tier 1 (Post-Study Worker) - http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/workingintheuk/tier1/poststudy/applying/

Tier 2 - http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/workingintheuk/tier2/general/applying/

Tier 5 - http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/workingintheuk/tier5/governmentauthorisedexchanged/applying/

01/10/2009 - Old-style work permit extensions

There has been an update to the guidance for old-style work permit holders who have been working in the UK on a work visa for a continuous period of 5 years or more. Previously, we could not issue an extension under Tier 2 of the points-based system to such individuals unless the full points criteria for Tier 2 were met, including advertising the post. Therefore, our previous advice was that these individuals should apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain or Tier 1. The UK Border Agency has now removed the requirement to advertise the post in such cases. Therefore, we are now able to issue a Tier 2 Certificate of Sponsorship to old-style work permit holders who have been working in the UK on a work visa for a continuous period of 5 years or more. These individuals must still meet the full points criteria (qualifications, earnings, maintenance and English language), but the department will not need to show that they have advertised the post.

22/09/2009 - Urgent leave to remain applications

Migrants may now make an appointment online to apply for their leave to remain in person at one of the UK Border Agency's Public Enquiry Offices. This service is available for all applications made under the points-based system as well as settlement applications. Migrants can book an appointment online by registering at https://ukbabooking.homeoffice.gov.uk/ukba/index.start/

22/09/2009 - Advertising research fellow posts

We may now issue a Tier 2 CoS for "research fellow" posts within 12 months of the date of advertising, rather than 6 months as was previously the case. However, the UK Border Agency have not yet officially confirmed which posts will be defined as "research fellows". We have received verbal advice from the UK Border Agency that we may issue a Tier 2 CoS under the new 12 month advertising rule for any post that we can justify as having a significant research bias (University Lecturerships, for example). However, there is no guarantee that the caseworker dealing with the visa/leave to remain application will approve the application on this basis. It will be up to the individual caseworker to use their discretion in such circumstances. The UK Border Agency have indicated that they will provide a clearer definition of which posts will fall under the new 12 month advertising rule in due course. We will notify departments and colleges once this information has been received.

22/09/2009 - Advertising on the University website

The UK Border Agency will now accept the University's main website as a suitable medium for advertising posts that require a Tier 2 work visa. All posts must still be advertised on JobCentre Plus as well. As colleges are unable to advertise on the University's main website, they must refer to the UK Border Agency's Codes of Practice to determine other suitable places to advertise.

22/09/2009 - Tier 5 transitional arrangements

Currently, there are no transitional arrangements in place for those migrants already at the University on old-style sponsored researcher work permits and wishing to continue their period of research on the same project. Unfortunately, such individuals must return to their home country to make a Tier 5 application. Alternatively, they may remain in the UK and switch into Tier 1.

03/03/2009 - New points requirements for Tier 1

From 1 April 2009, the points requirements for Tier 1 will be tightened by raising the minimum qualification required to a Masters degree and minimum previous annual earnings to £20,000.

03/03/2009 - New advertising arrangements for Tier 2

All posts that may attract a migrant who requires a work visa will now need to be advertised on JobCentre Plus as well as at least one other medium deemed acceptable in the UK Border Agency's Codes of Practice.

2008

05/12/2008 - Bulgarian and Romanian Nationals

The old Work Permit arrangements will remain open for Bulgarian and Romanian nationals only. Please refer to our guidance on employing Romanian and Bulgarian nationals for further information.

05/12/2008 - Launch of Tier 2 of the new Points-Based System

Tier 2 of the new Points-Based System went live on 27 November 2008. This has resulted in significant changes to work permit processes. Old style work permits have now been replaced by Certificates of Sponsorship (this is not a certificate as such but a unique number issued by the Work Permits Desk to the migrant). Migrants can check their points eligibility by entering their details into the Points Calculator.