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Immigration & Churches

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  1. Immigration & Churches Under the points-based system

  2. Modern Immigration Law • 1971 Immigration Act • 1993 Asylum and Immigration Appeals Act • 1996 Asylum and Immigration Act • 1998 Human Rights Act • 1999 Immigration and Asylum Act • 2002 Nationality, Immigration & Asylum Act • PTO

  3. Modern Immigration Law continued • 2004 Asylum & Immigration (Treatment of Claimants etc) Act • 2006 Immigration, Asylum & Nationality Act • 2007 UK Borders Act • 2009 Border, Citizenship & Immigration Act

  4. Statutory Instruments • Many clauses in each Act grant the power to make regulations. • Statutory Instruments bring parts of each Act into force • Others spell out the details • They are either accepted as a whole or “Prayed against in either House

  5. Immigration Rules • Details of how policy is to be implemented • Laid before Parliament. • Either approved or “prayed against”

  6. UKBA policy directives • Asylum Policy • Asylum Support Policy • Country Specific Policy • Immigration Policy • European Policy • Enforcement Policy • Nationality Instructions • Work Permits Policy

  7. Working in the UK before PBS • Work Permits • Origin in the Department of Employment • Permit Free employment • Origin in the Home Office [UKBA] • Said to be 80 different routes of employment

  8. Points-based Migration • Set in a framework of 5 Tiers • Tier 1 Highly skilled migrants programme • Tier 2 Work based, shortage occupations • Tier 3 Unskilled workers • Tier 4 Students • Tier 5 Youth mobility & temporary workers

  9. Programme for introduction • Tier 1 29th February 2008 • Tier 2 Registration of sponsors not yet for churches- August 2008 • Tier 2 end Nov 2008 sponsor required for new visas & renewals • Tier 3 suspended • Tier 4 Completed March 2010 • Tier 5 end Nov 2008 • ID cards for non-EU/EEA nationals late 2008

  10. Programme for Churches • 1/ Decide what you want to sponsor • 2/ Register as a sponsor –before next renewal due • 3/ All Ministers & other workers must be sponsored; • 4/ Youth exchanges after given date?

  11. What do you want to sponsor • Incoming non-EU/EEA ministers • Renewals of visa for non-EU/EEA ministers • Other workers –skilled • -non pastoral roles • Students • Youth exchanges [safeguarding ?] • Charity workers • “Religious visitors?”

  12. Requirement to become a sponsor • Validation of the organisation • Charity status • Plus endorsement by Religious/Faith body set up by UKBA • And three of the following

  13. Documentation required • Registration with HMRC Charities • Audited accounts • Employers liability of M£5 • Registration as employer with HMRC • Bank statement/letter from bank • Proof of premises & assets

  14. Information required • Total number of employees • Total number of non-EU/EEA nationals employed • To manage the process this number must be divided into those subject to immigration control and those with ILR • Number of certificates annually required to be estimated.

  15. Registration process 1 • To make an application on-line organisation must first register • To register the organisation must provide name and e-mail address on-line • UKBA will email a User ID & Password • User ID & Password can then be used to login to make an on-line application

  16. Registration process 2 • On-line applications only- no paper version • Applications must be made by the organisation themselves and not by a representative. • Form takes approx 25-30 minutes to complete • Separate page has to printed out, signed to confirm documents & fee to be sent • Documents & fee sent to UKBA <10days

  17. Registration process- approval • Approved applications given A or B rating • Prospective sponsor informed in writing • If licence granted, sponsor will be notified of maximum number of CoSs it is entitled to issue before reaching a review point

  18. Registration refused • If false documents submitted • Sponsor does not meet requirements of tier • Within previous 6mths has been fined maximum penalty of £10,000 • Sponsor been convicted of a serious offence which is a risk to immigration control • Supporting documents not submitted in 10days • No right of appeal

  19. Registering as a Sponsor • Register as a sponsor • Apply on-line by completing the form • Sponsor must make application- not a representative • State category Tier 2 Religious body & any others reqd • Identify • Authorising Officer • Key Contact Level 1 User Validating documents Accept terms & conditions

  20. Authorising Officer • Responsible for the licence application • For ensuring that sponsor meets obligations • Must be based in UK • Must be permanent staff • Cannot be undischarged bankrupt or have immigration problems • Can fill role as KC or L1U • Does not have automatic access to Sponsor management system

  21. Key Contact • Main point of contact with UKBA for account manager and compliance purposes • Must be based in UK • Does not have automatic access to sponsor management system • Can be the L1U

  22. Level 1 User [more than 1 may be appointed] In practice the key person • Operates the sponsors activities on a day to day basis- adds/subtracts from sponsor management system • Based in the UK • Report changes in circumstances or failures of migrants • Maybe an external person, if so he must be a solicitor or OISC regulated

  23. Sponsors duties • Keep records to demonstrate right to work • Photocopy or electronic copy • Migrant contact details, address, phone numbers, e-mail • Co-operate with UKBA to make documents available on request • Report failures within 10 working days • Report terrorism/criminal suspicions

  24. UKBA sanctions. • Withdraw licence • Downgrade from A to B status • 28 days to respond to notice of sanctions • Decision within 14 days • Suspension of current applications

  25. If licence is withdrawn • Lawful work ends • Leave may be curtailed or entry stopped • Immediately if migrant contributed to loss of licence • 60 days grace allowed if no involvement to allow switch to new sponsor • Migrant may face enforcement action

  26. Fees • To register as a sponsor as a faith group £300 • To register as a sponsor for T2 as a charity £400 • To register as a sponsor for T4 £400 • To register for T2; T4 & T5 £400 • Certificates of sponsorship • T2 £170 • T4 £10 • T5 £10 • Biometric ID cards £30

  27. Pre-PBS Criteria for Ministers of religion • Existing Immigration Rules HC395 • Main duties –leading a congregation • 1yr in last 5yrs working as a minister or ordained where ordination is means of entry • Full time & no other employment • No access to public funds • English language IELTS level 6* [B2 ]

  28. Criteria 2 • As above • Can transfer from legal status of 1yr, but not an asylum seeker • Imminently appointed or has been appointed • Problem. If not already a minister then a person must first be a student to train • Pastoral role = pastoral charge of church

  29. Points calculation 70pts req’d • Certificate of sponsorship 50pts • Maintenance 10pts • Competence in English 10pts • Suitability is responsibility of sponsor • Maintenance –sponsor guarantee now accepted • No EU/EEA national deprived of job

  30. Transfers • Tier 2 General • Tier 2 ICT • Tier 2 Sport • All Tier 1 • All Tier 4 • Removed any other legal status other than visitor and asylum seeker. Critical issue –transfer from dependent status. Other?

  31. Application for visa processfrom overseas • Certificate of sponsorship is a virtual document. • An online application is made [Visas4UK] • One application per person • Finger printing; later ID card and documents are all processed at reporting centre • Visa issued

  32. Application for visa process[from within the UK] • Certificate of sponsorship • Paper applications only- online in the future with each person applying • One application for family [excl children over 18 years old] • Postal applications cost £200 less than a personal application. • Keep a copy of all documents sent. • Send by recorded or special delivery.

  33. HR records must • Monitor immigration status & prevent illegal working • Maintain contact details of migrant workers • Record must be available to UKBA & show when next application is due • Notify UKBA of non-compliance or end • Record professional qualifications and recruitment process

  34. Non standard HR processes • Restricted access to immigration records • Immigration history rather than current status only • Whole family record, particularly important when a child will reach 18yrs old • Database must prompt required action • Immigration records should be on data protection register

  35. Immigration record. • Passport ID page. • All pages with stamps or vignettes sorted in date order. • If more than one passport used for time in the UK both should be entered in date order • Date of entry & of latest visa • Next application required

  36. Tier 4 Students • Statement of intent Summer 2008 • Completion Spring 2010 • Institution must be a registered provider • Church and/or institution must keep records • Church report cease to sponsor • Institution report failure to attend or sponsor

  37. Tier 5 40 pts required • Voluntary workers • Non-pastoral religious workers • Visiting religious workers. • Youth exchange? • Certificate of sponsorship 30pt • Maintenance 10pts, may be sponsors declaration of non dependence on public funds

  38. Information required to issue a certificate of sponsorship • Names; family, personal any previous names • dob, place of birth, nationality • Passport no, dates valid; place issued • Current home address, work address • Employment code “clergy” • Stipend • Resident market test: • Immigration Rules Appendix A para. 92 (a) For visa renewal 92(b) & (c) for new appointment

  39. Sponsorship Management system • When sponsorship is registered UKBA will write to the Authorising Officer with a user name • eg vksmFqk –that is fixed –keep a note • A password is sent to the level 1 user • eg ApPle5 • First job is change that password to your own with 5 letters and at least 1 number

  40. Issuing a certificate • Workers • Create & assign • Tier & Category – Tier 2 • Please select – minister of religion • Create a single certificate • Single certificate • Enter details from prepared list • Assign & pay [credit card recommended]

  41. Application forms • Main applicant –Minister of Religion form • Beware changes in the form, consult UKBA web pages • 59 pages; 1-5 & 53-59 are guidance • Full guidance is a separate document • Careful attention required to sort out which questions must be answered and which are to be ignored

  42. Dependant forms • One form for each dependant • Must be signed by the main applicant • £275 fee if made at the same time as main applicant • £550 if made separately or simultaneously for an over 18yrs old dependant • 50 pages 0-5 & 42-49 are notes; full guidance is separate

  43. Presented by • Stanley H Platt • Advisor on Immigration & Asylum • Methodist Church • OISC N200100129