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Amber Rudd’s proposals add to chaos of Home Office immigration policy

Yesterday Home Secretary Amber Rudd announced new curbs on foreign workers and students, by proposing two-tier visa rules affecting poorer quality universities to reduce the amount of students from outside of Europe, as well as a crackdown on work visas. The new proposals will also include options to force companies to publish the percentage of international staff that they employ, as well as to require companies recruiting staff from outside the EU to demonstrate what they have done to foster local candidates. 

These proposals add to the chaos of the Home Office’s policy on immigration which has caused fear for many foreign nationals living in the UK, and the net result will be more Commonwealth citizens losing their jobs. Back in 2014, the Government changed the law regarding right to work checks, which has overlooked those with Indefinite Leave to Remain. Dawn Butler MP has called on the Government to change this flawed policy which has caused some local residents to lose their jobs.

This law change has recently been enacted and as a result of this change, employers are conducting rigorous employee checks which are having damaging consequences that are severely impacting on the lives of many Jamaican and Commonwealth citizens, despite them having every right to work in the UK.

One such example is Tyrone, who was born in Jamaica and came to the UK in 1964. He has never left the UK. His Jamaican passport expired in 2010 which means that because of the Government’s new legislation, which favours Biometric Residency Permits (BRP) as proof of residency over other listed documents, he has now lost his job because his employers fear he will be classified as an illegal immigrant. 

Lisa Choong, a resident of Brent, has also been affected by the policy and has said:

I am disappointed that my employer initially suspended me without pay, and only gave me 48 hours to obtain a Biometric Residency Permit, it is impossible to get BRP within that timeframe.

Recent House of Commons data has revealed that there are 1.07 million adult nationals of Commonwealth countries who have lived in the UK for longer than 12 months. There is particular concern about how this new change to the law has affected them, as well as how the change has been communicated to long-term residents.

Dawn Butler said:

I am distraught at the number of similar cases coming into my surgery. The government has failed to inform the public of these changes which came into force on 12th July 2016.  People who have lived in the country for decades and who have worked for the same employer for many years are now losing their jobs. The government needs to urgently address this anomaly, it is possible that this has been an unintended consequence of their new biometric policy but either way it needs to be resolved urgently.  

Dawn will launch a campaign calling on the Government to implement a 5-point plan for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) passport holders;

1. Introduce concessionary fees for people who have their ILR stamp in their passport

2. Speed up the processing time for No Time Limit applications

3. Reduce the staggering cost of No Time Limit applications

4. Stop prosecuting employers for employing people with ILR

5. Provide a faster checking procedure for Employers

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commented 2018-02-21 12:45:59 +0000
It is shocking that a lot of company employer doesn’t read all the Home Office guide, most of them only got part understanding and behave like knowing everything. If you face such problem please ask them to read Employer guide August 2017 and full guide for employer illegal working from publish by home office. Employer guide August 2017 page 5 provide link to download the full guide for employer illegal working and it also written “published in October 2013 continue to apply.”
In the Full Employer Illegal Working page 15 written very clearly please read.
IMHO I don’t think home office want to put themselves into position of getting sue for breach of contract by the ILR holder.
commented 2018-01-18 00:47:18 +0000
I was made redundant in Sep 2017 from a 9 year employment. Having received a job offer, I was told by my prospective employer that they could not employ me based on the document that I have (letter from Home Office for the ILR and ILR vignette on an old passport) issued in 2003. I have lived, worked, in the UK since 1998 and I am a higher tax payer who complete tax returns every year for the last 15 years, and I am a contributing member of the society by volunteering in many different charities. No one from Home Office has contacted me. I contacted the Home Office having been told my employment could not start until I obtain BRP. They told me "Please note the onus is upon individual customers to ensure that they satisfy the requirements set out in the guidance material. “. The guidelines given in their reply was ”https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/acceptable-right-to-work-documents-an-employers-guide">https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/acceptable-right-to-work-documents-an-employers-guide
I could not find guidelines for people seeking for work mentioning about the necessity for people with ILR stamp on their old passport to have to apply for NTL. Why do employees have the onus to check a guideline for employers?

I have found texts on www.gov.uk that stipulates that BRP is optional in contrast to what I have been told.

On https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/564814/NTL_guidance_notes_11-16.pdf , on page 1 it says:
For which applications must you use form NTL? Form NTL must be used if you already have indefinite leave to enter or remain in the UK as confirmed in a passport or other document issued to you, and • you now want that status confirmed on a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP), or • you have changed your name, nationality, or your gender, or • your document does not show your correct date of birth.

On https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/application-to-transfer-indefinite-leave-to-remain-in-uk-form-ntl
Use this form if you already have indefinite leave to remain in the UK in your passport and you now wish to transfer it to a biometric residence permit.

On https://www.gov.uk/transfer-visa , it also only gives it as an optional route:
1. Overview
You can still use your visa even if your passport’s expired, but you can choose to replace it with a biometric residence permit (BRP) if you’re in the UK.
You must replace your visa with a BRP if your name or personal details change.
If your passport has expired
You can still use the valid visa in your expired passport, but you’ll need to show your expired passport and your new passport when you’re travelling to and from the UK.
If you’re in the UK, you can apply for a BRP instead.
If you’re outside the UK, you can transfer your visa to your new passport.
If your name or personal details change
Apply for a BRP if your overall stay in the UK is longer than 6 months and any of these details on your visa document change:
name
nationality
facial appearance
date of birth
gender

I haven’t found a single guideline on the government official website that enforces a BRP for someone who has obtained an indefinite leave to remain with no change of the mentioned categories. The wording used are “You now want”, “you now wish” and ""you can choose".

My friend who was in a similar situation said it took Home Office 6 months to issue her BRP. It is outrageous how we have been discriminated this way. What is my available course of actions as my right of work is there but employers cannot tick their boxes and therefore I am unemployable?

I am married to a British citizen, have a British citizen son, but never used this relation as I obtained my ILR permit long before the marriage and never had to rely on my spouse identity to be legally living and working here.
commented 2016-11-10 20:03:03 +0000
I resigned from my job on my suspended period because I simply cannot afford to pay the £308 by postal application or the even more outrageous £808 in person, for a Biometric Residency Permit card. Since 1989 I have spent my time legally living, working and contributing to the UK. Paying taxes, working full time, and my daughter who in full time education studying Physics at UCL has also been affected by this. We both are able to travel to and from the country with our Home Office Leave to Remain, with no restrictions within immigration. To my knowledge it became an EU Regulation to hold a BRP since 2014, it was after inquiring that I was astounded by the outrageous fees.
How is it, a resident of this country for over 20 years from the Commonwealth has to pay such extortionate fees or have to have one at all? And my daughter, a second year Physics student is left with her chance of gaining an internship in jeopardy, in a country I have called my home for so long? What confuses me further is that an old colleague has a Portuguese passport and was only charged £65 for his application. Is there no consistency?

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