Newfields
24 November 2020

Tougher criminality rules for EU Citizens

The Home Office have announced tougher border controls for EU citizens entering the UK from the 1st January 2021.

The new criminality rules will be enforced when free movement ends, and the UK officially leaves the EU. The government has introduced new criminality rules which will purportedly make the country a safer environment and implement a firmer and fairer immigration system that treats everybody equally.

Current law

The UK currently follows EU regulations on criminality. It permits EU ex-offenders to reside in the UK even where they would have been rejected based on non-EU visa criminality requirements. Existing EU rules enable the Home Office to restrict a person’s free movement rights if it can be shown that they hold a genuine, present, and sufficiently serious threat which affects a fundamental interest of society.

Changes to the law

From 1st January 2021, foreign criminals will face tougher border controls. The Home Office have announced that those who have been sentenced to at least a year in prison will be barred from entering the UK.

The new firmer approach to the immigration system has been designed to treat all citizens equally, regardless of EU citizenship. All offences will be considered whether they have been committed in the UK or overseas. Other changes include the following:

  • The Home Office will review on a case-by-case basis foreign criminals who have been sentenced to less than a year in prison. The Home Office will consider the individual’s full criminal history and personal circumstances including, for example, family ties in the UK. As such, an individual could still be barred from entering the UK even if they have served a sentence for less than one year. This is part of the new immigration system which has given the Home Office discretion to decide who can enter the UK based on their personal history and circumstances.
  • Foreign criminals who may not have received a prison sentence yet, or who may not have served any time in prison, may also be barred from entering the UK if:
    • They are a persistent offender or cause serious harm, for example, sexual offences, or
    • It has been decided that their presence in the UK is not beneficial to the public good, or
    • If an individual has any type of criminal conviction from the past 12 months and are seeking to enter to the UK for the first time.

Who is not affected by the new changes?

EU citizens protected by the Withdrawal Agreement (for example, those who have either pre-settled or settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme) are not covered by the changes. However, if an individual protected by the Withdrawal Agreement commits a crime, for example a crime which results in a prison sentence of at least a year from the 1st January 2021, whether in the UK or overseas, their current status could be revoked.

The UK government is enforcing these changes so that the UK’s immigration system becomes more secure and safer for those living within the UK, which extends to the police having more powers to govern the changes and protect the public. The extended powers can be found under the Extradition Bill which is currently in the last stages of receiving Royal Assent.

Testimonials

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.”

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.”

Eloise Sohier

Presenter

“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.”

Sean Maitland

International and professional rugby player

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

John Mitchell

Coach

“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”

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.”

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”

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.”

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”

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”

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!”

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.”

Eddie Jones

Coach

“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”

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.”

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.”

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.”

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