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Immigration news roundup week ending 5 September 2014

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Landlords and the Right to Rent: pilot confirmed

The Government has now confirmed that its scheme of civil penalties for landlords will be trialled in Birmingham, Walsall, Sandwell, Dudley and Wolverhampton from 1 December 2014.  A Code of Practice has appeared on the gov.uk website in 'working draft' form. 

Of interest to landlords and agents will be the sections dealing with the appointment of agents to take responsibility for checking tenants’ status.  Essentially, a landlord can pass responsibility in a written agreement with an agent to make checks on tenants, so that the agent becomes liable for any fine.

Agents should take care that any agreement specifies that a landlord must inform them if they have accepted responsibility for the status of any sub-tenants. Where there are sub-tenancies, the agreement should make it absolutely clear which landlord the agent has to report to.

The Code also deals with the kinds of documents that can be accepted to provide a statutory excuse against a fine, and the procedure for conducting initial and follow-up checks on tenants.

The Code of Practice is online here

An online 'right to rent tool' is also available.

Digital “Startup Manifesto” pleads for streamlined visa system

This week the Coalition for a Digital Economy (COADEC) issued its 'Startup Manifesto' for digital startup business.

The report finds that immigration and access to talent are two of the top concerns of businesses in the digital sector. COADEC recommends changes to immigration policy to address this, including:

  • Reintroduce the Tier 1 Post Study Work category for STEM graduates
  • Ease the Tier 2 sponsorship process by allowing trusted Venture Capital firms to act as sponsors for their digital startups
  • Expand the Graduate Entrepreneur scheme by increasing the number of sponsors, and focusing on potential
  • Allow additional sources for funding for startups under the Entrepreneur category, including crowdfunding and angel investors

 You can read the Manifesto here 

Children’s Commissioner inquiry into Family Migration rules

The rules for people joining or remaining with family members in the UK changed significantly in July 2012.  In particular, there is now a much higher financial requirement, which can only be satisfied based on extremely narrow criteria.

At the end of July the Children’s Commissioner in England launched a questionnaire, asking about the effect of the new Family Migration rules on children.

The deadline for submitting responses has now been extended to 15 September 2014. If you have children and have been affected by the Family Migration rules, do take this chance to make your experiences known.

You can find the questionnaire online here

Kitty Falls is an expert in the field of immigration law.  If you have any queries about anything you have read here, or need some advice, contact Kitty direct here