Immigration update – extending temporary permissions to remain in the UK

Archive for July, 2020

Immigration update – extending temporary permissions to remain in the UK

Posted on: July 30th, 2020 by newfieldsEditor

The Home Office has announced that those with visas which expire before 31 July 2020 must now begin taking steps to either leave the UK or apply for an alternative route to stay in the country.  We have outlined each of the positions below.

I intend to leave the UK, but I cannot do so before 31 July

Many individuals currently in the country may not have time to leave before 31 July.

The Home Office is therefore giving a month’s grace period to accommodate arrangements to depart the UK. This means those who have visas that expire before 31 July 2020 can remain in the country until 31 August 2020.  Any ongoing rights to work, study and to rent accommodation will be protected up to and including 31 August.

I intend to leave the UK, but I cannot do so before 31 August. Can I extend my temporary stay for a little longer?

Those who intend to leave the country but are not able to so before 31 August must request permission for an extended temporary stay. If granted, that permission would simply allow the individual to stay in the UK without being penalised for overstaying. It would not amount to any new visa route.

Details of this process will be announced by the Home Office in due course. However, applicants should be prepared to provide reasons or evidence for not being able to leave the UK before 31 August, together with a confirmed flight ticket dated after 31 August or a confirmation of a positive coronavirus test result.

Is there anything I should do before 31 August?

A visa holder whose leave expires before 31 July must report their intention to stay in the UK until 31 August 2020 if they have not done so already. If a report has been made already, then there is no need to issue a new report.

What happens if I want to stay in the UK for a longer period beyond 31 August 2020?

The Home Office guidance currently permits those with visas that expire in August to make applications to remain in the UK long term. Unfortunately, the information is not clear, and we are awaiting further clarity. The process will require an application, and the requirements for that visa route must be met at the point of applying.

Please do contact us if you intend to stay in the UK for a longer period beyond August or if you have any queries about temporarily extending your time in the country.

Finalists in the Wales Legal Awards 2020

Posted on: July 27th, 2020 by newfieldsEditor


At Newfields, we are honoured to be nominated as a Finalist in the Boutique Law Firm of the Year category in the Welsh Legal Awards.

Newfields is a niche firm which prides itself in its regional roots and its commitment to provide a cost-sensible approach to practical immigration solutions for our sporting and business clients.

The Award recognises the work of the team who work tirelessly to accommodate the demands of our great clients, and particularly given the challenges presented by the past few months. It is this commitment that has resulted in the firm having never not lost a single client.

We wish the other firms nominated in the category all the very best, and a huge thanks to our clients for their support over the years for supporting small businesses.



Changes to the UK Immigration Rules

Posted on: July 23rd, 2020 by newfieldsEditor

On 1 January 2021, the existing working rights of EU citizens entering the UK will end. A modified version of the current ‘Points Based System’ that is now in place exclusively for non-EU workers will extend next year to anyone who is not British and Irish. Certain EU and non-EU nationals covered under the existing provisions will also be exempt. This article explains the proposed changes and what steps employers should take to minimise business disruption.


The existing Points-based system

The Rules provide several routes that enable non-EU citizens to work in the country. Most fall within the Tier 2 category which broadly covers those taking up permanent or temporary skilled positions either because the vacancy cannot be filled by a ‘settled’ person and/or to accommodate the transfer of workers employed by multi-national companies overseas to a UK-based branch of the organisation. A skilled job is generally deemed to be at graduate level or above and must be matched by a minimum salary depending on the role.

Employers wishing to employ a non-EU worker in this work category must first have in place a Sponsor Licence. A single licence can be used to sponsor any number of workers and at any UK site. The application is assessed by the Home Office and an approved licence can be renewed every four years. The applicant must demonstrate solvency; that the individual visa requirements (below) can be met; and that appropriate systems are in place to enable compliance with a suite of sponsorship duties.


The ‘new’ Points-based system

The number of sponsored workers generally entering the UK is now capped annually at 20,700 (a significant number of UK visa holders already in the UK are exempt from this limit). The overall cap will be suspended in 2021.

As of 1 January 2021, with the exception of intra-company transfers, employers will be able to recruit EU and non-EU workers alike in lower skilled roles. A skilled role will encompass positions that are deemed to be at the equivalent of A-level qualifications and above, rather than at degree level or above. This will not preclude a graduate from undertaking a role that is less skilled.

This adjustment will bring about a corresponding drop to the minimum salary requirements. The general threshold currently in place is £30,000, but this will fall to a level between £20,480 and £25,600 depending on the role, the sector and the ‘going rate’ for a particular role (these rates are calculated by Annual Surveys of Hours and Earnings or the appropriate national public sector pay scales). As under the existing system, the going rates for individual occupations can be pro-rated depending on the individual’s working pattern provided the total general salary threshold is met.

General exemptions will apply to the new standard thresholds (as they do now) including, for example, to less experienced workers who are at the start of their career. Experienced workers will be exempt from the higher general thresholds where their roles will appear in the Government’s Shortage Occupation List and/or where the role is deemed to be PhD level.

The burden of managing the current resident labour market test requirement – a compulsory step on the part of the employer to advertise its vacancy to assess whether a UK or settled worker can undertake the role before it is offered to a non-EU candidate – will be abolished. Exemptions to this test do exist now, but a wholesale removal of this time-intensive process will hopefully result in speedier recruitment processes.

A change of employer or role will require a new application. Existing sponsored workers will be protected and can continue to extend their stay in the UK.

For most routes, visa applicants will continue their need to demonstrate an English language requirement and that they do not fall foul of the criminality thresholds. Family members will be able to apply for dependant visas.


Other routes

The following schemes already in existence, will continue after 1 January 2021:

The UK will continue to rely on its visa provisions that are in place for non-EU visitors. From January 2021, EU citizens be permitted entry to the UK at the border for up to six months without having to obtain a visa beforehand, but they will not be allowed to undertake employment during this time.



A Sponsor Licence fee ranges from £536 to £1,476, depending on the size and type of the organisation. For certain categories of sponsored worker, the employer must continue to pay an Immigration Skills Surcharge per worker. The Surcharge, dependent on the size of the organisation, is a fund maintained by the Department of Education to address the skills gap in the workplace.

The individual worker and any family member dependant will need to pay a visa fee and an Immigration Health Surcharge, the latter being a cost that is paid towards the running of the NHS. The visa and IHS fees vary according to the length and type of visa.

Certain applicants entering the UK will be exempt from either Surcharge, depending on their visa route.



Immigration compliance will continue to be enforced by the Home Office, and specifically through audits undertaken prior to the assessment of a sponsor licence application (or its renewal) or at some point during its 4-year period of approval. Sponsor licence applications or licensees must comply with a series of recording and record-keeping duties, the failure of which can lead to a licence refusal, suspension, revocation, or downgrade. Each has a bearing on an employer’s ability to sponsor workers. EU and non-EU citizens who are entitled to work will be able to use an online service to demonstrate their right to work in the UK.



The Home Office proposals do not benefit all sectors, including those which have traditionally relied on EU workers for lower skilled roles matched by lower salaries. There is equally no immediate provision for the self-employed either and undoubtedly employers will need to allocate resource to the adapted system. More positively, the Home Office is committed to streamlining the visa process, which involves reducing the time it takes to obtain a visa. To benefit from these changes, we recommend employers take the following steps:

  1. Complete a staff audit to identify and, where possible, forecast any skills gaps and/or people requirements.
  2. Employers wishing to sponsor EU workers entering the UK after 1 January 2021 should apply for a sponsor licence now in readiness for the new system, including the prospect of graduate recruitment a year from now.
  3. Existing sponsors and/or new sponsors should ensure any European (plus any non-EU) sites that employ EU workers are registered with the Home Office to enable their transfer to a UK branch in line with the existing provisions.
  4. Employers who are employing EU workers before 31 December 2020 should encourage those individuals to register with the EU Settlement Scheme for pre-settled status (if they have resided in the UK for less than 5 years) for settled status (if they have resided for 5 years or more). There are provisions to upgrade from pre-settled status to settled status after reaching the residence requirement. Registration preserves ongoing rights to live and to work in the UK without the restrictions set out above. There is no application fee and the deadline for applications is 30 June 2021.


Newfields is a boutique law firm based in Cardiff, comprising specialist lawyers offering practical and cost-sensible immigration solutions. The firm is appointed by Welsh Government to deliver a national advisory service to support EU citizens and workers in Wales to register with the EU Settlement Scheme. We offer all organisations based in Wales, without cost, management and applicant training (virtually and in person), application clinics, and 1:1 applicant support on EU Settlement Scheme.


Eddie Jones


“Newfields did an exceptional job in helping us with our immigration requirements - very professional and personal with a minimum of fuss. I recommend their practice very highly”

Ayaka Suzuki

Professional and international rugby player

“Newfields has supported me in the challenge of playing rugby in England. Despite facing difficulties due to the pandemic, Glyn has handled the matter promptly and professionally. With that great support, I am looking forward to a great start in the UK”

Mike Ruddock OBE

Development Director, Ospreys

“Glyn and his team at Newfields have been Instrumental in advising on a range of immigration matters. As part of my talent ID role at the Ospreys I recruit on a global basis. Glyn is always on hand to advise and guide me through each step of the process with a great deal of calmness and professionalism. Glyn and his team are experts in their field and their knowledge on all immigration matters is incredibly impressive. Glyn and his team are hugely supportive, friendly, responsive and professional. I would have no hesitation in recommending Newfields. ”

John Mitchell


“We have had nothing short of exceptional service from Glyn and his team at Newfields. Their attention to detail for our visas was beyond anything that we had anticipated with every step of the process being made as simple as possible for us - even to the point where Glyn went out of his way after hours to meet me to receive my BRP. We couldn't have asked for a better service and have recommended Glyn to numerous other South Africans engaging in the visa process”

Jamie Roberts

International and professional rugby player

“Perhaps one of the most stressful things about moving abroad is all the admin around the visa application procedure. I was very fortunate that before and during my time in South Africa I had Glyn on hand to help with my application. He was extremely helpful and very professional, which certainly helped alleviate quite a lot of my stress! I would definitely recommend Glyn to anyone looking for assistance with their Visa application Abroad.”

Sean Maitland

International and professional rugby player

“Very professional and makes life a lot easier, amazing to work with”

Federico Fernández

Premier League football player

“Glyn was always available when needed and made our applications, which were time sensitive and very daunting at first, less stressful and more straightforward. Highly recommended.”

Matías Alemanno

Argentinian National Rugby Union Player

“They are really an excellent team of professionals, all the staff always willing and with good energy to help you and try to solve any problem. Highly recommended.”

Admiral Insurance

“With Admiral Insurance being a global brand with offices all over the world we have a lot of visa and immigration queries. We have used Newfields for a number of years now and I have found every interaction with them to be a very positive and helpful experience. The customer service they provide is second to none and I know I can always count on their fantastic service and advice.”

Tania Hoffman

Head Coach, Celtic Dragons

“Glyn and Newfields make the visa process seamless each season; from the moment we inform them of the signing of our import players to the day they arrive in the UK. Glyn has always given sound advice and I would recommend Newfields Law wholeheartedly”

Hadleigh Parkes

Welsh International Rugby Union player

“Newfields provided a seamless service – from preparing all the paperwork and personally attending the Home Office with me, through to returning all of my documents in person. Very approachable, reassuring and quick to answer queries – a great service for international athletes.”

Gareth Anscombe

Welsh National Rugby Union player

“With the help of Glyn, our visa applications that at first were a challenging and daunting prospect, were made straightforward and were done in a very efficient manner. I would definitely use Glyn and his team's services again.”

Francois Louw

English Premiership Rugby Union player

“Outstanding and efficient service for my family and I”

Martin Bakole

Professional Boxer

“Glyn and his team worked tirelessly with Billy Nelson, the Boxing Board of Control and Home Office Policy teams to secure a sponsorship arrangement and set of visas for myself and my family, whilst accommodating my overseas boxing commitments. 10/10 for service and getting the result we needed!”

Gia Abernethy


“Glyn and his team at Newfields have helped immensely through my visa application process. The ability Glyn has to explain procedures in terminology that makes the entire process less overwhelming and daunting was a huge help. I'll always be grateful for the assistance Glyn provided and the efficient communication he and his team provided.”

Bryan Habana

Rugby Union player

“The efficiency, professionalism and swiftness with which Glyn handled the situation I presented him with (at very short notice) was absolutely outstanding. I will definitely be using his services in future.”

Wilfried Bony

Professional Footballer

“The service provided by Newfields Law is very professional, they are responsive and friendly. I particularly appreciated how speedily Glyn and Chloe dealt with everything. Thank you again!”

Eloise Sohier


“My experience with Newfields and Glyn was second to none! All of our correspondence was via email in which Glyn would reply within hours if I had any questions or concerns. I was very impressed with Glyn and would have no hesitation in using his services again.”

Jo Trip

Netballer, Saracens Mavericks

“I have used Newfields for numerous visa applications, and I am so grateful to Glyn and his team for their commitment and hard work to make sure each application was seamless. Glyn personally went above and beyond; efficiently communicating what was required, and taking the time to walk me through the process, making sure I understood each step. He made a very overwhelming application process a lot easier and a lot less stress!”

Rugby Football Union

“Glyn has been instrumental in advising the England Rugby Football Union as well as many clubs on a wide range of immigration matters, and is always on hand to steer us in the right direction. He and his colleagues always respond promptly, efficiently and often with very little notice, which is essential in the fast moving environment within which we work.”

Don Armand

Professional and England International Rugby Player (Retired)

“We cannot describe how impressed we are with the work Glyn did for us. Countless emails back and forth to ensure that we had all the right documents in place. His detail was very thorough and knowledge of the goings on was very impressive. He was on call for any questions we may have had and this went a long way in stressful times when we needed just that extra bit of information. We are very pleased with the service we received and would highly recommend Glyn to anyone who needs his services”

Brad Barritt

English Premiership and England National Rugby Union player

“Glyn provided a fantastic service to my family and I, they were professional, extremely helpful and very efficient, and were always on hand for friendly advice.”

Rugby Football League

“The RFL have worked with Newfields on a wide range of immigration issues and have found that they have an excellent understanding of many immigration matters. Glyn is always available for both the governing body and the clubs to answer the most straightforward or complex query; his attitude and work ethic are outstanding.”

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