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Australia – skilled occupation lists

For those looking to migrate to Australia, the various skilled occupation lists can often be quite baffling in trying to comprehend what occupations are on what list. There are several different occupation lists such as;

Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL),
Short-term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL)
Regional Occupation List (ROL)

Each list relates to specific visa subclasses such as the Skilled Independent visa or the Skilled Regional (Provisional) visa. Now all relevant occupations have been collated and included in one list. This also provides the relevant visa subclasses and assessing authorities for each occupation.

The list can be viewed here;

https://www.homeaffairs.gov.au/trav/work/work/skills-assessment-and-assessing-authorities/skilled-occupations-lists/combined-stsol-mltssl

If you are interested in migrating to Australia please contact us for an eligibility assessment.

“Settled Status” for EU citizens

“Settled Status” for EU citizens

The government has published new details on the rollout of the new “Settled Status” for EU citizens.

This is the scheme which will allow EU citizens (including those from the EEA member states and Switzerland) and their families to secure their residence in the UK post Brexit.

The scheme is being launched on a pilot voluntary basis for EU students and staff at 3 Liverpool universities, and workers at 12 NHS Trusts in the North West of England. This is scheduled to commence on 28 August 2018.

Settled Status will involve showing residence in the UK for 5 years. This is a marked difference from the current EEA permanent residence process which involves showing the exercise of EU Treaty Rights (such as working, self-employment, studying, self-sufficiency) for 5 years.

Once introduced, Settled Status will be available to all EU citizens and their families who have lived in the UK for 5 years. Those who have lived in the UK for 5 years can apply for “Temporary Status” to give them further time to secure the 5 years for Settled Status.

More information on Settled Status can be found here;

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/status-of-eu-nationals-in-the-uk-what-you-need-to-know

new Home Office guidance on EEA permanent residence

The Home Office have today published updated guidance on applying for EEA permanent residence.

This clarifies the types of evidence that applicants should provide to support their application. The new guidance is much more detailed especially in relation to the documents to be provided.

Some key points that are noticeable include;

  • The guidance clarifies that permanent residence can be acquired through an earlier 5 year qualifying period (does not have to be the last 5 years)
  • Only requires the applicant to list absences in excess of 6 months in 12 months (changing the paper form in keeping with the online form)
  • Providing much more clarification on supporting evidence for employment, self-employment, proof of relationship and proof of residence.
  • Confirming that some residence documents are of higher value than others. Bank statements and council tax bills are marked as “High Value” while character references/testimonials from family and friends are marked as “No Value” and not recommended to be sent.
  • Clarification that evidence of complying with the Worker Registration Scheme (WRS) is needed for nationals of A8 countries that joined the EU in 2004, up until the end of the WRS in 2011.

 

This also confirms that permanent residence is lost if you have been outside the UK for 2 continuous years. This is especially important for those who have acquired permanent residence based on an earlier 5 years – e.g. 2008-2013. In such a scenario the applicant needs to demonstrate that they have not lost permanent residence by being out of the UK for more than 2 continuous years.

If you are an EEA national resident in the UK prior to 2006, the Home Office are now confirming that such prior residence can still be used to acquire permanent residence. In effect, this means the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2006, which came into force on 30 April 2006, would confirm an earlier right of permanent residence.

If you have any enquiries on applying for EEA permanent residence then please email us on info@commonwealthimmigration.com or complete the Online Assessment form on our website www.commonwealthimmigration.com

Article 50 – what EU citizens need to know

In response to many calls and emails from EU citizens worried about their status after Article 50 has been invoked today, we have put together a brief summary on what this means.

Article 50 has not changed the law. The rights of EU citizens to live and work in the UK are still the exact same. Only a change in the EU Treaties can amend the rights of EU citizens to live and work in the UK. This is likely to be a very lengthy process, which needs to be agreed by all EU member states.

EU citizens can still enter the UK to work, to study, to set up a business or to reside as self-sufficient persons. After 5 years in the UK they can look to apply for the right to permanent residence.

The right to reside also extends to family members of EU citizens (including non EU citizens).

Obviously the process of the UK withdrawing from the EU has now formally begun. This means the UK will leave by March 2019.

What shape the post-Brexit UK will take is anyone’s guess.

Perhaps, a transitional deal to continue to allow free movement will continue for a period of up to 5 years. However, EU citizens and their families should be prepared for a so called “hard Brexit” which would mean that after March 2019, the right to reside in the UK (and to work, study, run a business) would require some documentation.

At the moment, there are 2 types of documents open to EU citizens and their families.

Firstly, permanent residence can be applied for after five continuous years of possession of the right of residence. This means being a “Qualified Person” for 5 years such as a Worker, Self employed person, Jobseeker, Student, Self-sufficient person. Family Members of EU citizens can also apply for permanent residence.

Secondly, an EU citizen currently in the UK can look to apply for an EEA Registration Certificate to confirm that he / she is exercising an EU Treaty Right. This would include employment, self-employment, studying or self-sufficient persons.

This Registration Certificate confirms that the applicant is currently living in the UK and is lawfully exercising an EU Treaty Right. This is usually not a very complicated application – the applicant just needs to show they are currently exercising an EU Treaty Right and not that they have being do so for any set period of months or years.

Please note – it is not at all mandatory to apply for a Registration Certificate but if there is a future cut-off date where EU free movement to the UK is stopped, then this document could prove very useful to confirm the EU national is already resident in the UK under EU law.

If you have any enquiries on applying for EEA documents then please email us on info@commonwealthimmigration.com