Immigration News Weekly Roundup – 5 July 2024

Immigration News Weekly Roundup – 5 July 2024

UK Immigration lawyers, brace yourself for a major change to UK’s immigration policies yet again following the UK General election results which will unfold.

The latest polls suggest the Labour Party is poised for a landslide electoral victory, potentially spelling a dramatic shift in the UK’s immigration policies soon. While the party’s manifesto outlines some significant proposals, critical questions remain about the full scope and implementation of their immigration reforms.

At the heart of Labour’s plan is a commitment to “reducing net migration” and more closely aligning immigration with the nation’s skills needs. This signals a continuation of the broadly restrictive approach favoured by the outgoing Conservative government.

The manifesto does propose strengthening the Migration Advisory Committee and establishing new collaborative frameworks to better integrate overseas worker recruitment with skills strategies. This could inject more flexibility and responsiveness into the current system.

However, the party’s agenda to adequately enforce against employer abuses, with the pledge to “not tolerate” visa system misuse remains intact.  Furthermore, the persistent issue of worker exploitation in certain sectors demands a more holistic, preventative approach.

Under a potential Labour government, companies that fail to comply with the party’s plans for reinforcing domestic workforce training could face restrictions on their ability to sponsor visas for overseas employees. Labour has signalled its intent to reduce net migration by decreasing the need for foreign workers, particularly in sectors deemed insufficiently committed to upskilling British workers.

The party’s proposals suggest a two-pronged approach. Relevant government departments would be compelled to develop tailored “workforce plans” for specific industries, outlining how companies in those sectors could most effectively train local workers and reduce their reliance on overseas hires.

Additionally, Labour has indicated it would grant the Home Office power to “refuse” individual companies from sponsoring work visas if they are deemed inadequate in their efforts to engage with these sectoral training plans. This could have significant consequences for businesses holding sponsor licences, as jobs within non-compliant industries may be removed from the shortage occupation list, requiring companies to prioritise “local recruitment” over international hires.

The overall impact on the ability of businesses to access global talent pools remains uncertain, and employers will be closely monitoring how Labour’s proposed reforms take shape, should the party secure victory in the upcoming election.

However, the specifics of how they intend to reform the Points-Based Immigration System remain unclear yet.

Ultimately, Labour’s immigration vision, while promising some progressive shifts, appears to maintain a core tension between reducing numbers and meeting skills gaps. The true impact will hinge on the party’s ability to balance these priorities and implement reforms with rigour and foresight. Voters and businesses alike will be watching closely to see if a Labour government can deliver an immigration system fit for the country’s evolving needs.

The outcome of these proposed immigration reforms will be closely watched, as the country goes through a new political change under a potential Labour government. The success or shortcomings of their immigration policies will have significant implications for the UK’s future.

Regardless of the election outcome, HJT Training will be at the forefront in keeping UK immigration advisors fully abreast and updated on the rapidly evolving policies. Our flagship subscription service, Mastering Immigration Law, will be updated to provide comprehensive analysis of any new rules and regimes introduced by a potential Labour government.

A good news on this note… Pre-Orders are now open for the latest hardcopy 2024 edition of the Mastering Immigration Law manual, available for just £199! This not only secures you the hardcopy resource, but also unlocks immediate access to our suite of online materials including training videos, MCQs, Case law, CPD-eligible content, 15% discount on HJT’s live training courses and many more. Ensuring you and your firm stay ahead of the curve has never been easier.

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For the full list of updates on media news, reports and Home Office Policy and other document updates this week, SEE BELOW


UK election gives hope to first time immigrant voters – Reuters

Refugees and immigrants from Commonwealth countries, mainly former territories of the British Empire such as Nigeria, India, and Malaysia, are eligible to vote in British elections.

Immigration is an electoral battleground in Britain, with Sunak promising to cut net migration levels if the Conservatives win, amid concern from many British voters that it was too high and put excessive pressure on the state-run National Health Service, housing and education.

For full report, click here

General election manifestos: Where do the main parties stand on key areas from NHS to immigration – Independent

For a comprehensive insight to the Manifestos as shared by the Independent for each contesting parties, click here 

How the Tory war on immigration backfired – The Guardian

Public dissatisfaction with the government’s handling of immigration is at a record high, according to the thinktank British Future, which has been running surveys on this question since 2015. Among the 69% of people who say they are dissatisfied, Sunak’s failure to “stop the boats” is the most cited reason for their disapproval.

For full report, click here

UK Immigration Limits Threaten Financially Strapped Universities – Bloomberg

Tuition caps for domestic students and stubborn inflation have left UK universities financially struggling. Many have relied on recruiting higher-paying international students to fill budget gaps, but limits on immigration hamper that strategy. Schools are cutting services and closing entire departments, leaving students with overcrowded classrooms and fewer learning hours.

The impact of funding challenges goes beyond the school walls: These beloved local institutions are a critical engine of UK’s economic growth and a source of soft power in the global war for talent.  

For full report, click here

Rees-Mogg tells young Tories he wants to ‘build a wall in the English Channel’ – The Guardian

Jacob Rees-Mogg has said he wants to “build a wall in the English Channel” in a leaked recording, in which he heaped praise on Donald Trump and the hardline Republican response to immigration.

Speaking to young Conservative activists, Rees-Mogg doubled down on his backing for the former US president, saying he took the right approach by building a border wall.

For full report, click here

Migrant nurse wins legal boost in unfair dismissal claim against UK firm – The Guardian
A migrant nurse could be eligible for a significant payout from a British healthcare company after an employment judge ruled he was likely to win his case for unfair dismissal, in a judgment that could pave the way for dozens of other such cases.

Natasha Joffe, an employment judge, ruled that Clinical Private Healthcare, a London-based healthcare provider, may have to pay Kirankumar Rathod unpaid wages after it dismissed him in 2023. The ruling could leave him eligible for a payout of more than £13,000.

For full report, click here

Home secretary says Banksy’s Glastonbury migrant boat ‘celebrated loss of life’ – The Guardian

The home secretary, James Cleverly, has condemned a Banksy artwork of an inflatable boat holding dummies of migrants at the Glastonbury music festival as a “celebration of loss of life”.

The artist was confirmed to be behind the mock migrant boat being released into the crowd during a set by the Bristol punk band Idles. It was crowd-surfed above the audience during a song that began with the lyrics “My blood brother is an immigrant. A beautiful immigrant”.

For full report, click here

More than £320m spent on Rwanda policy will be lost if Tories lose election – The Guardian

More than £320m spent by the government on the controversial scheme to send asylum seekers to Rwanda is likely to be lost if the Conservatives are voted out of power at Thursday’s general election.

The sum has been spent on economic development money for Rwanda, along with set-up costs for the scheme, which cannot be recovered if it does not go ahead.

For full report, click here

‘Our voices are rarely in the conversation’: apathy rife among UK voters with immigrant roots – The Guardian

With less than a week to go before polling day, many voters with immigrant backgrounds feel apathy towards both Labour and the Conservatives.
Lara Parizotto, executive director of the Migrant Democracy Project, which campaigns to ensure migrants in the UK have equal access to voting, said they felt underrepresented and ignored by politicians.

For full report, click here

Hunger strikes and suicide attempts as asylum seekers claim Essex site is ‘like prison’ – The Guardian

Increasing numbers of asylum seekers housed in a former military base are attempting suicide, self-harming and refusing to eat as conditions worsen, a new report has warned.
Tensions have been rising at Wethersfield in Essex, where about 600 men have been left “with little to do and growing feelings of desperation”, claims the Helen Bamber Foundation, a human rights charity.

For full report, click here

‘Frightening and frustrating’ move to eVisas risks repeat of Windrush scandal, experts warn – The Guardian

The government is telling migrants who have lived in Britain for decades to provide proof for every year of their residency as part of the controversial transition to digital visas, immigration lawyers have warned.

Under a process that critics say risks a repeat of the Windrush scandal, the Home Office is changing how non-EU migrants prove their residency rights, switching from physical biometric residence permits (BRPs) to digital “eVisas” at the end of this year.

For full report, click here

Banksy launches inflatable migrant boat artwork during Idles’ Glastonbury set – The Guardian

It has been revealed that the street and performance artist Banksy was behind a stunt during Idles’ set at Glastonbury, when an inflatable life raft holding dummy migrants was launched across the crowd.

Many in the crowd believed it to be part of Idles’ show, dovetailing with the Bristol punk band’s lyrics about immigration, criticism of rightwing governance and calls for empathy. But a representative for the band announced on Saturday that the boat was created by Banksy, and the band weren’t aware of the stunt until after the set.

For full report, click here

Top scientists turning down UK jobs over ‘tax on talent’, says Wellcome boss – The Guardian

Top international researchers cannot afford to take jobs in the UK because of a “tax on talent” that makes it impossible for them to afford the upfront costs, the head of the Wellcome Trust has warned.

Dr John-Arne Røttingen, who has led the biomedical research charity since January, said some of the best researchers offered posts in the UK would have to turn them down because they faced having to pay “tens of thousands” in visa fees and surcharges.

For full report, click here

Immigration debate ‘a massive deal’ in melting pot town- BBC News UK

Throughout the general election campaign, politicians have argued about immigration.

For Tanya Tymofeienko, immigration is not a theoretical debate, but a question of survival. The Ukrainian mother-of-two had to leave her home town in a hurry in 2022, and came to Swindon.

For full report, click here


SM, R (On the Application Of) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2024] EWHC 1683 (Admin)

The court found that the decision by the Single Competent Authority (SCA) that there were no reasonable grounds to believe the claimant was a victim of trafficking was irrational. The SCA failed to consider all relevant facts and evidence and did not properly apply the guidance on identifying victims of trafficking, particularly regarding the “purpose” of the claimant’s transportation. The court found the SCA did not adequately consider factors such as the claimant’s genuine fear of exploitation, expert evidence on trafficking patterns, and the blurred line between smuggling and trafficking, especially for a child victim. As a result, the court quashed the SCA’s decision and remitted the case for reconsideration, applying the full legal framework and guidance.

For full decision, click here


Guidance: South Africa tuberculosis test clinics for a UK visa has been updated on 3rd July 2024. To view updated Guidance, click here

Guidance: Guyana tuberculosis test clinics for a UK visa has been updated on 3rd July 2024. To view updated Guidance, click here

Guidance: Register of licensed sponsors workers has been updated on 3rd July 2024. To view updated Guidance, click here

Guidance: Register of licensed sponsors students has been updated on 3rd July 2024. To view updated Guidance, click here

Guidance: Right to work checks an employer’s guide has been updated on 2nd July 2024. To view updated Guidance, click here


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