Immigration News Weekly Roundup – 21 July 2023


Illegal Migration Bill: Government sees off final Lords challenge – BBC News

The Illegal Migration Bill is set to become law after the government won a final series of votes in Lords. The legislation is central to the prime minister’s pledge to stop small boats crossing the English Channel.

Under the bill, the home secretary has a legal duty to detain and remove anyone entering the UK illegally. The bill will now go for royal assent and become law.

To read the full article, click here


UK’s illegal migration bill ‘sets a worrying precedent’, UN warns

The UN on Tuesday expressed concern that other countries would follow Britain after the government passed controversial legislation to block people claiming asylum in the UK and relocate them to Rwanda.

Volker Türk, UN high commissioner for human rights, said the bill “sets a worrying precedent for dismantling asylum-related obligations that other countries, including in Europe, may be tempted to follow”.

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‘Borderline racist’: critics slam Rishi Sunak’s plan to fund pay rise with higher migrant fees – The Guardian

Rishi Sunak announces his pay recommendations for public sector workers during a press conference in Downing Street on 13 July.

The government’s plan to fund a public sector pay rise by hiking the fees charged to migrants for visa applications and NHS access has been described as “deeply unfair” and “deliberately divisive” by charities, unions and politicians. Unison, which represents 1.3 million public service workers, warned that the increases would “push more people into poverty”, while the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants accused the government of a “blatant attempt to pit worker against worker and divide our communities”.

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Hotels occupied by resettled Afghans being cleared for small boat arrivals – The Guardian

Hotel rooms occupied by Afghan interpreters and soldiers who served with the British Army are being cleared to house people who came across the Channel in small boats, the Guardian has learned.

Suella Braverman has sent letters threatening to remove Afghans from hotels across the UK next month. But the Guardian has been told that many of those rooms will still be paid for by the UK taxpayer and are part of a 5,000 bed “buffer” for any surge in the number of people arriving by small boats this summer and autumn.

To read the full article, click here

Ports rebuff UK plan to house asylum seekers on cruise ships – The Guardian

Controversial plans to house asylum seekers on redundant cruise ships have been thrown into disarray after two vessels were unable to find somewhere to dock.

There had been tentative reported plans for cruise ships to be housed in the Wirral, just outside Edinburgh and in London, but the proposals were all rebuffed. Sky News reported that two ships have been returned to their prior owners after their acquisition by the government.

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New arrangement expands work opportunities for Canadian and British youth – Home Office

The governments of Canada and the United Kingdom are committed to providing Canadian and British youth with work opportunities that will empower them to achieve their full potential.

To read the full article, click here


EU Settlement Scheme enhancements confirmed – Home Office

From September 2023 people with pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme will automatically have their status extended by 2 years before it expires if they have not obtained settled status.

The process will be automated by the Home Office and reflected in the person’s digital status. They will be notified of the extension directly. This will ensure that nobody loses their immigration status if they do not apply to switch from pre-settled to settled status.

To read the full article, click here


UK relaxes immigration rules for construction workers as Brexit labour shortages bite  –  The Independent

The government has been forced to relax immigration rules for construction workers after it was warned that new Brexit red tape is causing labour shortages on building sites. Bricklayers, roofers, carpenters, and plasterers are among occupations who will again find it easier to come and work in Britain after the Home Office added the trades to its “shortage occupation list”.

To read the full news, click here


Visa rules eased for building and fishing industry – BBC News

The government is easing restrictions on the fishing industry as part of wider reforms on the fishing industry – which includes a £100m UK Seafood Fund. Those working in a shortage occupation pay lower visa fees and can be paid 80% of the job’s usual rate and still qualify for a visa. Applicants will still need a sponsored job offer from an employer and to meet English Language requirements. The shortage list is reviewed every six months, with another review is expected by the autumn.

To read the full news, click here


New travel authorization scheme is biggest UK immigration shake-up in decades, Home Office says – Arab News

The UK’s new Electronic Travel Authorisation scheme, which will be available to Qatari nationals in October and people in other Gulf Cooperation Council countries and Jordan in February, is at the vanguard of government plans to transform the country’s immigration services. The implementation of the new authorization service for GCC countries and Jordan, followed by a global rollout later in 2024, will help to ensure visitors to the UK benefit from “smooth and efficient travel,” the Home Office said previously.

To read the full news, click here

Poor quality university courses face limits on student numbers – BBC News

Universities could be restricted in recruiting students to poor quality courses, under new government plans.

Ministers will ask the independent regulator, the Office for Students (OfS), to limit numbers on courses that do not have “good outcomes”. Education Minister Robert Halfon said imposing restrictions would encourage universities to improve course quality. Labour said the move would “put up fresh barriers to opportunity in areas with fewer graduate jobs”.

To read the full article, click here


Scandal of refugee families separated by UK red tape – The Independent

Refugees waiting to be reunited with their families in Britain have been subjected to rape and are living in hiding under totalitarian regimes as they wait to be brought to safety, as a “life-threatening” backlog grows.

Figures obtained by The Independent show more than 11,000 people who are currently waiting for relocation are stranded abroad while being failed by one of the government’s only “safe and legal routes” to the UK.

The majority are women and children, in countries including Syria, Afghanistan and Iran. In all the cases, one of their close family members has already been granted protection in the UK and has the right to bring their partners and children to join them.

To read the full article, click here



The Economic and Social Impacts of Lifting Work Restrictions on People Seeking Asylum – National Institute of Economic and Social Research

The UK imposes some of the strongest set of restrictions on the right to work for people applying for asylum compared to other European nations. Our research considers the impacts of these restrictions on the UK economy, Government spending as well as the individuals seeking asylum in the UK.

To read the full report. click here


The Whole of the Moon: UK labour immigration policy in the round,  Report by Social Market Foundations (SMF)

With labour immigration to the UK scrambled by Brexit, the pandemic, and broader developments in the practical economy, this report focuses on the challenges of labour shortages for UK immigration policy in the context of the avowed political aim – of both the UK’s major parties – of a high-wage, high-skill economy.  

To read the full report, click here

Seasonal workers reviews and surveys – Home Office

In March 2019 the UK government launched a new Seasonal Workers Pilot (Pilot), which allowed 2 licensed operators (Concordia and Pro-Force) to recruit up to 2,500 temporary migrant workers between them from non-EU countries to work in the UK edible horticulture sector for up to 6 months.

This review uses both quantitative and qualitative data from government, operators, workers and industry, to assess whether the Pilot met its stated objectives, and if the delivery of the Pilot by the 2 labour providers was effective.

To view the full report, click here



  • Transparency data Migrants detected crossing the English Channel in small boats has been updated on 20th July 2023. To download the latest data, click here


  • Transparency data Ukraine Visa Schemes has been updated on 20th July 2023. To download the latest data, click here


  • Collection – Sponsorship: guidance for employers and educators has been updated on 22nd August 2022. To view the updated collection, click here


  • Guidance – Skilled Worker visa: shortage occupations have been updated on 15th To view the updated Guidance, click here


  • Policy paper Statement of changes to the immigration rules: HC 1496, has been published on 17 July 2023. To view the latest Statement, click here



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