News

29/06/21
The UK government released a new immigration scheme in March 2019, to ensure continuation of lawfully residing people under EU right to free movement, post Brexit. The EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) is a process to register for settled or pre-settled statuses for EU, EEA and Swiss nationals living in the UK. The deadline however for this aforementioned registration is set as 30th June 2020, attracting 5.61 million applications, literally flooding the Home Office near the end of May 2021. (EUSS statistics March 2021, table EUSS_RA_01).

Who can apply?

The scheme is eligible for;
The EU, EEA and Swiss citizens, living in the UK by 31st December, 2020.
Where your family members fall under the aforementioned categories or are an eligible person of Northern Ireland.
Children with separate applications.
Joining family members of relevant sponsors.
Persons with or who had a derivative or Zambrano right to reside.

People with indefinite leave to enter the UK, indefinite leave to remain in the UK, Irish citizens (including British and Irish dual citizenship), frontier workers or if exempted from immigration control, do not need to apply under the scheme.

How to apply?

The applications under the scheme are free of charge and can be remotely submitted via Home Office Website. For those who have not yet applied for the same and wish to stay in the UK post 30th June are strongly recommended to apply as soon as possible. Please contact info@ealaw-solicitors.com for any further assistance concerning the process.

Application Process

After submitting the application, its validity would be checked along with;
Required proof of arrival in UK before 31st December 2020
Continuous residence
Identity and nationality proof
Criminal records
Biometrics etc.

Post completion of all formalities, you would receive mail from the Home Office confirming your status via a digital certificate of validation.

The application can only be refused if the applicant is not a resident by 31st December 2020 or has any convictions or stands as a threat to national security.

Assessing family relationships

EU Settlement Scheme considers the following as family members eligible for application;
Spouse
Civil partner
Specified spouse of civil partner of a Swiss citizen
Durable Partner
Resident by 11 pm on 31st December 2020 in the UK
Joining on or after 1st January 2021
Dependent parent or relative
Child under or over the age of 21
Family members of people from Northern Ireland, persons exempt from immigration control or frontier workers.


Pre-settled and settled status

For EU citizens or family, who did not finish 5 year of residency in the UK on 31st December 2020 would be granted pre-settlement status which can be later changed post finishing 5 years of residency. People with pre-settled status can spend 2 years in a row outside uK

For EU citizens or family, who have lived in the UK for 5 years in a row, or the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man for at least 6 months in any 12 month period, on 31st December 2020, are eligible for settlement status. People with settled status can spend 5 years outside UK.

Right to appeal or administrative review

Anyone with a valid application under Appendix EU refused or granted pre-settlement status, will be able to challenge the decision of administrative review by appeal.

Employer actions

From 1st July 2021, the employers will start checking the legal stay approval on EUSS online portal, nullifying European passport or residence card issued on the basis of European Regulations. To ensure no harm on the employees, the employers can make conscious effort to request the existing staff to file applications without delay. Display electronically and in the office, the materials provided by government to remind filing of application. This is crucial in order to avoid future company interruptions and potential penalties for unauthorised workers.
21/06/21
'So far as reasonably possible, an intending claimant should try to resolve the claim without litigation. Starting litigation should be a last resort.'

That’s where a PreAction Protocol, or PAP, comes in.

A PAP is a way for the claimant to bring up a claim to the defendant without using civil litigation. It outlines and explains the significance of the claimant’s claim.

Why does this matter to our clients?

Because, after the Home Office takes an unreasonably long time to decide on a claim–usually three to six months–we send a PAP directly to them, to remind them to make a decision.

The claims they often fail to decide on in a reasonable amount of time usually relate to important, and somewhat straightforward, applications such as Leave to Remain, Asylum, Spouse Visa, and many more common claims.

We demand a response from them within 14 days from when the PAP is received by them. This is a great way to get your applications processed quickly.

For more information please contact info@ealaw-solicitors.com
20/10/20
A contractual confidentiality term which was intended to run indefinitely and covered confidential information about the employer’s “business, products, affairs and finances” as well as trade secrets was ruled too wide to be enforceable by a High Court Judge.

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR EMPLOYERS?

This case is a stark reminder for employers that “mere confidential information” will not be protected. To be capable of protection, information must amount to a trade secret or equivalent.

Information which is trivial or easily accessible from public sources of information will not be regarded as confidential, nor will information which, once learned, becomes part of an employee’s skill and knowledge.

Employers should ensure that confidentiality clauses are tightly drafted and, as much as possible, tailored to the specific needs of the business. This may require employers to give more thought to the drafting of these clauses than is often the case.

For specialised drafted confidentiality contracts, please contact us on info@ealaw-solicitors.com
19/10/20
To be deported from a country you have called home for many years, or perhaps your whole life is devastating, not only to you but also to family members and friends who became a significant part of your life whilst you were living in the UK.

As immigration lawyers, one common question we are asked is “can I return to the UK after being removed or deported because I want to visit my or live with partner/child/friends/relatives who still live there?”

If you enter the UK illegally, overstay, breach your visa conditions, or try to deceive the Home Office via the information provided to them on application forms, you can be subjected to a re-entry ban. The length of the ban depends on the circumstances of your case.

There are limited exceptions where the entry ban will not be applied, including:

If you were a victim of human trafficking
You were unaware the documents you submitted were fraudulent
You were illegally in the country after 17 March 2008 but voluntarily left before 1 October 2008
You were refused leave as a student after 1 September 2007 but only because you made an out of time application

Furthermore, those who apply under Appendix FM (family route), Appendix EU, or the EEA Regulations will not be prejudiced by entry bans. So if for example, you wish to re enter on a spouse visa the ban would not apply to you. There is also scope for caseworkers to consider not applying the ban on human rights grounds; however, the bar is set exceedingly high, and you may have more chance of success by applying under Appendix FM.

For further information, please contact us at info@ealaw-solicitors.com
Length of Ban Circumstances
No ban You overstayed for 30 days but left the country voluntarily at your own expense.
One-year ban You entered the UK illegally, overstay, breach your visa conditions, or used deception in the UK but left the country voluntarily at your own expense.
Two-year ban You entered the UK illegally, overstay, breach your visa conditions, or used deception in the UK but left the country either within six months of receiving a removal notice or within six months of exhausting your appeal/Judicial Review rights and at the Home Office’s expense.
Five-year ban You entered the UK illegally, overstay, breach your visa conditions, or used deception in the UK but left the country either within six months of receiving a removal notice or within six months of exhausting your appeal/Judicial Review at the Home Office’s expense or were removed as a condition of a caution issued in accordance with s.134 of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012
Ten-year ban You were deported or removed from the UK or used deception in your application form or to obtain documents.

28/07/20
The UK government has announced details on a new immigration route for holders of Hong Kong British National (Overseas) status. The system will open to applicants from January 2021.There will be no cap on the number of applicants.

Who is entitled to BN(O) status?
Essentially, British Dependent Territories Citizens with a connection to Hong Kong were entitled to register as British in the 10 years leading up to handover of Hong Kong. No person born after 30 June 1997 is a British National (Overseas), and the status cannot be passed by descent.

Eligibility
In order to be eligible for the new immigration route, applicants must meet the following requirements:

* Hold British National (Overseas) (BN(O)) status
* Normally live in Hong Kong
* Evidence they can accommodate and financially support themselves in the United Kingdom for at least six months
* Not have any serious criminal convictions
* Demonstrate a commitment to learn English (if applicable)
* Hold an approved TB certificate
* Pay the relevant fees (these are under review by the UK Home Office)

The spouse or partner and children under the age of 18 of BN(O) citizens may also be eligible to apply for the BN(O) visa.

How It Works
Applications do not have to be filed in Hong Kong and therefore can be made anywhere in the world. Successful applicants will receive a digital visa and will have the right to work and study in the United Kingdom.

The visa can be granted for an initial period of 30 months, which is then renewable for a further 30 months leading to a total of five years. Alternatively, the visa can be issued for a single period of five years up front.

After five years of continuous residence in the United Kingdom, applicants may be eligible for indefinite leave to remail (ILR) subject to satisfying the rules in place at that time. Those who obtain ILR can then apply for full British citizenship after a further 12 months.
Read the full policy guidance for more information about this new visa.

What’s Next
Full guidance for applicants will be published by the Home Office later this year.
The Hong Kong BN(O) visa will be open for applications starting January 2021. However, the UK government will be able to consider granting leave outside the rules for six months to BN(O) citizens and their accompanying dependents who wish to travel sooner.
BN(O) citizens who are currently in the United Kingdom will be able to apply and switch to the Hong Kong BN(O) visa from within the United Kingdom starting January 2021.

For assistance on preparing an application for January 2021, please email EA Law on info@ealaw-solicitors.com. Subject heading- 'BN(O) further information'
16/04/20
A new legislation called the Coronavirus Act 2020 (the‘Act’) has been put in place for the next two years. This Act gives workers a statutory right to take unpaid ‘emergency volunteering leave' in order to become a NHS Volunteer Responder to help vulnerable people stay safe and well at home.

What is emergency volunteering leave under the Act?
Emergency volunteering leave (EVL), is when a worker is entitled to take a period of leave of 2, 3 or 4 consecutive week ‘blocks’ taken in any 16-week period so that they can become a NHS Volunteer Responder and provide greater support to the NHS.

Who is entitled to take emergency volunteering leave?
In order to be eligible for EVL, the worker has to be certified by an ‘appropriate authority’ (a local authority, the NHS Commissioning Board or the Department of Health) to act as an emergency volunteer in health or social care.

What is the process?
If you wish to take EVL you must give your employer at least 3 working days’ notice and produce the certificate issued by the appropriate authority.

Will the worker be paid whilst on EVL?
There is no obligation for an employer to pay the worker their wages during such period. A claim to the government for compensation in respect of loss of earnings, travel costs and subsistence expenses can be made by the worker.

How will this affect employers?
Employers must not refuse the worker’s request to take EVL, unless the employer has less than 10 workers. The Employer must not treat the worker differently as a result of the person taking EVL. The worker undertaking EVL will remain employed by their employer and are entitled to the usual benefits of their employment (except pay). The worker will be entitled to return to the job in which the worker was employed prior to their absence. They have the right to return on no less favourable terms and conditions than was the case before the worker undertook a period of EVL.

An employee can bring a claim for automatic unfair dismissal if they are dismissed for taking EVL. .The employee does not need any qualifying service to bring a claim for automatic unfair dismissal and the statutory cap to the compensatory award does not apply.

To register as a NHS Volunteer Responder, please visit www.goodsamapp.org/NHS
23/05/19
There’s nothing more exciting than planning and booking a holiday, but equally, there’s nothing more irritating than delays and problems once you set off - particularly when these issues relate to the airlines and airports you’re using.

While it might not put you off a particular destination if you find that an airline has been underperforming, it’s always wise to arm yourself with the facts so you can give yourself as much time as possible to get to the airport and prepare yourself for something to go wrong.

New research from AirHelp has just revealed that three out of the ten most underperforming airlines in the world are based in the UK and Ireland. One of the world’s oldest carriers, Thomas Cook, was at the very bottom of the rundown in 72nd place. It’s main UK bases - Gatwick and Manchester Airport - were also at the bottom of the list for on-time performance.

Airline easyJet was named as the second worst-performing in the world, while Irish carrier Ryanair was named the fifth, let down by its claims processing score of 3.5 out of ten.

CEO and co-founder of AirHelp Henrik Zillmer said: “It is no surprise that the UK’s airlines are amongst the poorest performing in the world for compensation claims processing.

“Around one million Brits each year are eligible to claim compensation under European legislation (EC 261) following flight disruption, but over half (54 per cent) of claims made against UK & Ireland airlines made between 1st January 2016 and 31st December 2018, were turned away by airlines trying to shirk their responsibilities on wrongful grounds.”

Talking to flight delay solicitors can help if you experienced trouble on a recent trip. Claiming can be tricky, even if you have a valid case but the flight claim team at E A Law will do all the hard work for you. You could be entitled to anything between £215 and £520, depending on the circumstances, so it’s certainly worth pursuing.
01/05/19
Introduction

This article covers what issues you should consider and what the steps you will need to take to draw up a Shareholders’ Agreement.

First some definitions.

A “Shareholder” is any person, company or other institution that owns at least one Share of a company’s Shares.

“Shares” represent ownership of a company and each Share represents a vote in the company. Shares may also carry the right to be paid a dividend and allow the individual shareholder to benefit from the sale of the company.

A “Shareholders’ Agreement” is an arrangement among a company’s Shareholders describing how the company should be operated and the Shareholders' rights and obligations. It also includes information on the regulation of the Shareholders' relationship with each other, the management of the company, ownership of Shares and the obligations and protections of Shareholders.

A properly drafted Shareholders' Agreement should ensure that all Shareholders are treated fairly and that their rights are protected.

Why have a Shareholders’ Agreement?
When a new company is first incorporated, the initial Shareholders set rules about how the company is to be run by way of the “Memorandum and Articles of Association”, a legal statement signed by all initial Shareholders confirming that they agree to form the company and establishing some initial rules.

However, Memorandum and Articles of Association documents (hereafter called the “Articles”) are very generic in nature and are rarely altered or even discussed much by the initial Shareholders and whilst they do indeed offer some protection to the Shareholders, a Shareholders’ Agreement allows many more control mechanisms to be put in place, and any conditions put into a Shareholders’ Agreement will override anything contradictory in the Articles.

Below is a non-exhaustive list of some reasons why you should put in place a Shareholders’ Agreement rather than just rely on the standard Articles already in place:

Confidentiality: The Articles are a public document whereas a Shareholders’ Agreement is a private document and is therefore a much more suitable vehicle to address sensitive or internal company issues such as salaries and ownership structures.

Scope: The Articles provide only basic rights to Shareholders under the relevant company’s law in the respective jurisdiction whereas a Shareholders’ Agreement will be tailored to the needs of the Shareholders to address their unique situation.

Minority Interests: Minority interests, i.e. Shareholder(s) holding less than 50% of the company’s shares, are not well protected under the Articles but under a Shareholders’ Agreement they can receive proper protection and can still take an active role in the decision making process of that company. A Shareholders’ Agreement can also bolster the rights of minority Shareholders to offer them pre-emption rights on the transfer and issue of new shares so as to ensure their shareholding is not diluted.

Better Binding Effect: The Articles can only bind a Shareholder in his/her capacity as a Shareholder and they may also be amended by the passing of a Special Resolution which could disadvantage a minority Shareholder. By contrast, a Shareholders’ Agreement is subject to all the usual principals of contract law and cannot be amended unless agreed between all the Shareholders.

Finance: The Articles do not address how the company will be financed outside of the initial share capital that the Shareholders inject into the company when they subscribe for their initial shares. A Shareholders’ Agreement on the other hand provides for future financing such as loans from the Shareholders or Directors of the company, or from third party debt such as a bank loan, or from the issues of new sales to existing or new Shareholders.

Transfer of Shares: The transfer of shares can generally be vetoed by the Directors of the company, however terms can be added to a Shareholders’ Agreement to regulate when and how shares can be transferred and at a which price.

Tag-along and Drag-along rights: A Shareholders’ Agreement can provide for “tag along rights” meaning that if the majority Shareholder sells his/her shares in the company, the minority holders have the right to join the deal and sell their shares at the same terms and conditions as would apply to the majority Shareholder. Note also however that a Shareholders’ Agreement can also provide for “drag along rights” that enable a majority Shareholder to force a minority Shareholder to join in the sale of a company at the same price, terms, and conditions as the majority Shareholder.

Dividends: Under the Articles there is no need for a company to pay dividends unless the Board of Directors authorizes it whereas a Shareholders’ Agreement could record a dividend policy such as paying out of all profits of the company to the Shareholders in the proportion of their shareholdings subject to the company retaining enough cash to operate the business for six months.

Dispute Resolution: The Shareholders’ Agreement records the intentions and understanding of all the parties involved at the outset and even where a dispute does still arise, a Shareholders’ Agreement can set out certain steps to make sure it is resolved as quickly as possible and in the most cost efficient manner, for instance by way of binding arbitration.

Identify the interests of the Shareholders

Shareholders invest in companies for a variety reasons and you should identify the interests of each party before drafting the Shareholders’ Agreement. These might include:

To benefit financially from the value of the company increasing

To benefit financially from on-going employment as a Director by way of salary and bonus

To benefit financially from receiving dividends

To influence business strategy and direction and to have the challenge of owning and operating a business

Clearly an investor in the business whose involvement is limited to providing capital to the company, but who will have no day-to-day involvement (known as a “silent partner”) will have very different expectations than a Shareholder who is quitting their established job to set up the new company.

The purpose of the Shareholders’ Agreement is to therefore restrict the freedom of action of the Directors and the Shareholders in order to protect the rights of all so identifying the interests of all parties is crucial.

Identify Shareholder Value

Different Shareholders will bring different skills and attributes to the company.

One Shareholder could bring funding but not want to have any involvement with the day-to-day running of the company.

One Shareholder could bring little funding but could bring all the skills required to manage the day-to-day operations of the company.

One Shareholder could bring little funding but could have the ability to create some significant value in the company such as designing its website or its technology backbone.

One Shareholder could bring no funding but could bring a valuable patent or other intellectual property to the company.

There is also the concept of “sweat equity" which is where a Shareholder is given some or all of their shares for free or at a discount in return for their working for the company for free or at a discount to their usual salary. It is the preferred mode of building equity for cash-strapped entrepreneurs in their start-up ventures since they may be unable to contribute much financial capital to the company.

Clearly the more each Shareholder brings to the table, vis-à-vis each other, will denote the proportion of the company that they should be entitled and this is a discussion, often a difficult one, that all the Shareholders need to have with each other.

Identify who will make decisions - Shareholders or Directors?

Shareholders can be as active or passive in the running of the business as they like but they need to set clear boundaries with each other and the Directors as clarity of decision making is crucial.

Conflicts of interest can occur when a person who is both a Director and a Shareholder makes an operational decision that benefits him or her, but not all Shareholders. It is often difficult to ascertain whether he/she was acting as a Director (with a fiduciary duty of care to the company and to all Shareholders) or as a Shareholder (and therefore not accountable to his/her fellow Shareholders). A Shareholders’ Agreement should therefore set out the decisions that Directors and Shareholders may and may not make without agreement from other Directors and Shareholders.

Decide how the voting power of Shareholders should add up

Traditionally, one share "buys" one vote. The Shareholder who has more than 50% of the shares can make decisions and controls the company although for some decisions holders of more than 75% of the shares must agree. However, this isn't always what the Shareholders want, sometimes it can be beneficial for everyone to have an equal say and sometimes it can be beneficial to give a greater say proportionately to someone who has contributed more.

The Shareholders’ Agreement needs to set out what is a "majority" in the context of needing consent. Voting rights can be set in relation to the number of Shareholders irrespective of their actual Shareholdings (so for example 3 of 4 Shareholders need to agree) or can be set in relation to the shares the Shareholders hold proportionally to each other (so for example Shareholders holding at least 50% of the shares need to agree).

Decide on the issues that the Shareholders’ Agreement should cover

Below is a non-exhaustive list of some of issues that are commonly addressed in Shareholders’ Agreements:

How are the shares divided amongst the Shareholders?

How much capital did each Shareholder inject into the company?

Did any Shareholder inject “sweat equity” and if so how is that valued?

Is a "capitalization table" or "cap table" needed? This is a table providing an analysis of the founding Shareholders’ and initial investors' percentage of ownership, equity dilution, and value of equity in each round of future investment.

Are there vesting provisions, i.e. shares that may be subject to cancellation if a Shareholder or employee quits?

Are Shareholders allowed to pledge or hypothecate their shares, i.e. use their shares as a security for one of their financial obligation without transferring or delivering title or possession of the shares?

What is the nature of the company’s business and what are the commercial objectives of the company? Can these change and if so how?

Do the Shareholders agree that the company is the sole commercial vehicle for doing the company business?

Do the Shareholders agree not to work for other companies that compete with the company for so long as they are Shareholders?

What restrictive covenants should the Shareholders be subject to after ceasing to be Shareholders in the company such as engaging in a competing business, soliciting clients and employees etc.?

Does a Shareholder have to do anything else for the company such as perform any services, if so under what terms?

What are Shareholders' rights in respect of access to information, financial statements, reports, etc.?

How are disputes to be resolved among Shareholders? Will there be binding arbitration or some other mechanism?

How will the company be funded outside of the initial capitalization? Where will the working capital come from?

Are there any financial obligations on the Shareholders such as bank guarantees?

What, if any, are the terms regulating the raising of capital to avoid diluting existing shareholdings?

Who is on the Board of Directors of the company? A Board of Directors is a body of elected or appointed members who jointly oversee the activities of a company or organization.

Are outside Board Members allowed?

Who is appointed the Managing Director?

What are the rights to appoint and remove Directors?

Who are the officers and managers of the company?

How are compensation issues such as the remuneration of Directors and other staff managed?

What are the operating guidelines or restrictions form such matters as budget approvals, banking spending limits, borrowing lending limits etc.?

What rights does the Managing Director have to run the company? Will he/she be responsible for the overall management of the company or does it have to be following an agreed business plan, and if so agreed by who, all Shareholders, a majority of the Shareholders etc.?

Are there certain acts that require the agreement of the Shareholders before the company does them such as borrow any money from a third party, or commit to or incur capital expenditure in excess of a certain amount, or appoint a Director or increase the salary of a Director, or take any step to dissolve or liquidate the company, and if so agreed by who, all Shareholders, a majority of Shareholders etc., i.e. what types of decisions require unanimous Board of Directors approval and/or unanimous Shareholder approval?

Are other agreements required as well such as Employment Agreements, Confidentiality Agreements, and Intellectual Property Licensing Agreements etc.?

What constitutes a quorum for meetings of the Board of Directors, i.e. how many Directors are required to make a decision that will be considered binding on the company?

What is the company’s dividend policy?

What is the exit strategy of the company and how is that covered in the Shareholders’ Agreement? Options could include:

Sale of the company either in one lump sum or by way of an “earn-out” structure whereby the sellers must "earn" part of the purchase price based on the performance of the business following the acquisition. In an earn-out, part of the purchase price is paid based on the target company achieving certain financial goals over a specified period;

Management buyout whereby a company's existing managers acquire a large part or all of the company, often using money provided by a third party such as a private equity firm;

A sale of the business out of the company;

A sale whereby some Shareholders buy the others out;

A public placing of shares by way of an Initial Public Offering;

The assets are sold and the company wound up.


What are the restrictions on new equity issues, e.g. anti-dilution aspects and pre-emptive rights?
Are there drag-along and tag-along provisions?

How will the transfer of shares be handled?

Can Shareholders offer their shares to third parties?

Can Shareholders only offer their shares to each other and if so at which price and in which proportion, the same as their existing shareholding or something else?

If a share value cannot be agreed is there a formula to fall back upon to value the company and therefore the shares? Is there a mechanism to refer to a 3rd party such as the company auditor?

What are the circumstances in which shares will automatically be transferred, e.g. if a Shareholder leaves the business or joins a competitor?

If there are Shareholders’ loans, how would these be dealt with if the Shareholder leaves?

What happens to the shares of a deceased Shareholder?


What provisions are in place in case of deadlock between the Shareholders? One option is a so called “shotgun” clause where the Shareholder declaring the deadlock could be required to make an offer to buy out the shares of the other Shareholder and that Shareholder can either choose to accept the offer and sell, or alternatively must choose to buy out the first Shareholder at that same price thereby putting the onus on the initial Shareholder to make a sensible offer.

One further alternative is to allow that in case of deadlock, the Shareholders demand that the company is wound up or sold at any time which is a drastic measure but would form the backdrop to negotiations.

What is the liability exposure of the company and is there any corporate indemnification and/or insurance?

Some Do's & Don'ts

Don't confuse Shareholders’ issues with management issues.

Don't confuse return on capital with return on labor (i.e. cash investment vs founders' time commitment).

Don't assume that everyone will always be agreeable, you all are in it together now but things can change over time, especially when the company has some value, agree the exit strategy now!

Do make sure everyone's objectives and visions are compatible.

Do separate the roles of Shareholders, Directors and Managers.

Do use a qualified lawyer to draft the Shareholders’ Agreement.

Do take tax advice.

If you would like to speak to one of our commercial lawyers, please contact us for a complimentary chat-

+44 (0) 2023 786 1165
info@ealaw-solicitors.com
28/03/19
Model for Post Brexit: Our Wider Immigration Approach:

Our Immigration Practice has identified the gaps in proposed citizens’ rights deals, between the UK and EU, which affect both EU citizens and third country nationals and are pursuing a proactive and solution- based approach to the question of post-Brexit immigration. Further, our Brexit Contingency Clinic was subsequently incorporated to offer, all parties, a sense of certainty surrounding Brexit.

Our model for a post-Brexit is, for EEA national employees to confirm their status under EU law, that they have a right to reside and work, and are not subject to immigration control. In some cases, this will mean applying for 'Settled status' if they have lived and worked lawfully in the UK for a continuous period of 5 years, acquiring British citizenship through residence or, applying for 'Pre Settlement status' under the EU Settlement Scheme (comes into effect tomorrow).

Please see our EU Settlement Scheme page for further information.

Businesses must also be prepared to consider the possibility that some categories of person with EU free movement rights, and who have been resident in the UK, will be left without a right to reside and work in the UK after Brexit. A wider concern is that, EEA nationals will now be subject in whole or in part to the UK’s existing Points Based System, which is the same to that for non-EEA nationals who require Sponsorship.

Tier 2 is the most widely used type of Sponsorship. Worryingly, there are currently only 29,711* (*correct as of today’s date) registered Sponsors in the UK vs. 5 million + companies. Our advice is, to obtain a Sponsorship licence ( Allows a business to employ migrant workers) if not already. Failure to do so now, will increase Home Office, scrutiny, cost and processing times.

There is an important point to made re: Tier 2 Cost Burden. The following is a good example of what this means in real terms: There is an alternative for businesses.

Case Study Example:
Employee Name: XXXX
Dependent family members: Spouse (wife) and two Children
Tier 2 Salary Threshold: £30,000 (current minimum)
Government Fees:

Sponsor Licence Application fee: £536 or £1475
Certificate of Sponsorship fee: £199
Tier 2 General (up to 3 years) visa application fee: £610 per person
Immigration Health Surcharge: £400 per year per person, payable upfront. So, £1200 per migrant worker and each dependent
Immigration Skills Charge (ISC). £1000 per year per worker

Our solution based approach (cost saving strategies)
In some cases, it will be possible for a business to hire the graduate as an intern with a Tier 5 (Government Authorised Exchange) visa; and/or Implement a Reimbursement Policy, option. Most of the government fees are recoverable e.g. loan agreement, claw back clause etc.

For further information please see our Sponsor Licence page and contact us for a complimentary chat about your legal enquiry on -

+44 (0) 2023 786 1165
info@ealaw-solicitors.com
18/08/17

Current proposals

Theresa May has recently published a policy paper which proposes the way in which the government intends to protect the rights of EU nationals residing in the UK after Britain leaves the European Union. The paper confirms the following five proposals. Firstly, a new 'settled status' for EU citizens will be created, which will be granted to EU citizens who arrive before a cut-off date. This date is to be decided during the ongoing Brexit negotiations and will be confirmed at a later point. The benefits of this status are that citizens would be treated in a similar fashion to a UK national.

Secondly, those EU citizens who already have 5 years of continued residence in the UK will be immediately granted 'settled status'. Thirdly, citizens who arrived before the cut-off date who have yet to reside in the UK for 5 years can remain in the UK until this threshold is met, in order to be eligible for settled status. Fourthly, even those citizens who arrived after the cut-off date will be allowed a grace period of up to 2 years, during which they would be allowed to regularise their status to stay in the UK. Fifthly, provisions for family members will also be made. These stipulate that family dependents who join an eligible EU citizen before Brexit can apply for settled status after 5 years.

Next steps

Since the UK currently still remains in the EU, it is not necessary for EU nationals to take any action presently. However, when the UK does inevitably leave the EU, EU citizens would have to apply for the new settled status to protect their rights and residence in the UK. Whether you would like any assistance in applying now, or require advice as to whether you would be eligible under the government's new scheme, please do not hesitate to contact EA Law Solicitors by telephone or email and we will be happy to advise you on your situation immediately. Alternatively, if you would like to attend a webinar which will provide general guidance about the application process, completing the form and eligibility criteria, please register your interest by emailing info@ealaw-solicitors.com.