The UK Home Office has announced plans to offer an optional premium service for requests made through the Sponsor Management System (SMS). This service will allow Sponsors to pay a fee of £200 for expedited processing of certain types of requests including Certificate of Sponsorship allocation and Level 1 user appointment.

This service is being offered in an attempt to address the long processing times that many Sponsors have experienced when making routine requests through the SMS. In some instances, the Home Office has estimated as long as 18 weeks for the processing of requests. Such long wait times can be extremely burdensome on Sponsors who hope to hire recruits from outside of the UK to meet immediate staffing needs.

The law creating this new premium service will go into effect next month. From there, the Home Office will work toward implementation, but a specific timeline for when the service will be available to SMS users has not yet been announced.  We will provide additional information when it becomes available.

Should you have any questions, please contact GlobalVisas@mintz.com.

The United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Island) went to the polls June 23rd and voted to leave the European Union. Some pro-leave “Brexit” campaigners argued for the ability to limit migration of EU workers as an important issue in the run-up to the referendum.  But what practical effect would a UK exit from the EU have on immigration to that country?  Continue Reading Brexit: Immigration consequences to the UK leaving the EU?

Kings Cross Station, London (Shutterfly)
Kings Cross Station, London (Shutterfly)

From: Ned Help

To: Carrie Counselor

Subject:  Lost laptop containing European customer information

Carrie,

A couple of weeks ago, you wrote me about an employee who will be engaging in a six-month temporary assignment around Europe to scope market opportunities. The employee was Abbie Absent-Minded.  Well, we hit a snag pretty quickly.  Abbie just e-mailed me to say that she left her laptop on a train in London last evening and it hasn’t turned up yet in the train company’s lost-and-found.  It was a brand-new laptop that we had given her for her European assignment, so fortunately it didn’t have a lot on it.  Abbie said that the laptop had contact information for her various marketing prospects, plus some sample customer data that she was given by one of her prospects to use in a demo of our web-based advertising product.  She thinks that the customer data included around 200 records with the customer’s name, age, gender, e-mail address and the history of purchases that the customer made from our prospective client’s retail stores.

I assume that we should tell our prospective client that the laptop with their customer data was lost.  What else do we need to think about?

Thanks,

Ned


Continue Reading Innocents Abroad: Lost laptop with customer data

US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Commissioner R. Gil Kerlikowske announced an expansion of the Global Entry program to include UK citizens at the World Travel Market in London.  UK citizens can register beginning December 3.

The opening of Global Entry to all qualified UK citizens follows a pilot program from May 2011 that saw over 1,400 UK citizens enrolled. According to the CBP, almost five million UK citizens visit the US each year and more than 125,000 of these traveled to the US four or more times per year.

Continue Reading CBP Announces the Expansion of Global Entry to UK Citizens

Many US employers are exploring opportunities to expand globally. Due to the English-speaking special relationship between the US and the UK, employers may first look to the UK to for international expansion. However, companies should keep in mind the current difficulty for employers to secure valid work visas.

In both June and July, the cap on Tier 2 visas in the United Kingdom was reached and over 1,300 visa application by companies were rejected. The cap was reached for the first time since it’s 2011 introduction in June.

Tier 2 Visas are available to skilled workers with an offer of employment from a government certified employer. This category includes workers falling under the UK’s skills “shortage occupation list” as well as intracompany transfers. Shortage occupations to date include engineers and scientists. The UK Migration Committee has opened a comment period for recommendations as to which additional occupations should be added to the skills shortage or which occupations require highly specialized experts.

To use a favo(u)rite British phrase being repeated about the situation, the arbitrary cap is “not fit for purpose.” We expect employers will find it increasingly difficult to bring the skilled workers they need to the United Kingdom from outside the European Economic Area.