Immigration Update: New reporting duty for sponsors where employee is on sabbatical

20 October 2011

New reporting duty for sponsors where employee is on sabbatical 

The UK Border Agency has added an additional reporting requirement in a situation where an employee goes on unpaid sabbatical for over one month.  This must be reported within 10 days via the Sponsor Management System.  Most significantly, the employee can no longer be sponsored during this period, unless an exception applies, and therefore a NEW application will need to be approved before the employee can resume their duties in the UK.  The exceptions are limited to a situation where there are company-wide reductions in working hours during to the economic climate or the employee is taking maternity, paternity, adoption, or sickness leave.

New shortage occupation list

There are a few additions to the list for Engineers working in the aerospace sector.  Furthermore, we are pleased to report that following our assistance to clients working in the nuclear industry, they were able to successfully lobby the Migration Advisory Committee for the inclusion of Directors and Managers working in the nuclear decommissioning and waste management areas. The new Shortage Occupation list can be accessed from the link below and will be valid from 14 November 2011:-

New visa restrictions introduced for migrants with unpaid NHS debts

Following a consultation carried out last year, new rules will shortly be implemented to force migrants to settle their NHS debts. Migrants who fail to settle outstanding bills of £1000 or more will not be allowed to remain in the UK until the debt has been cleared, nor will migrants be allowed to enter the UK.  Information sharing arrangements between the NHS and the UK Border Agency are being phased in over the next few months.  It will be vital for employers to ensure their sponsored migrants are fully aware of these new rules to avoid visas or in-country leave being invalidated. 

For more information please contact: Gillian Brownlee

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