You are using an outdated browser. For a faster, safer browsing experience, upgrade for free today.

Loading...

Inspiration, Innovation and Discovery.

Any successful career starts with good education. Together with us you will have deeper knowledge of the subjects that will be especially useful for you when climbing the career ladder.

Investing in Knowledge.

At Jonathan Carroll University, you can succeed in lots of research areas and benefit from investing in your education and knowledge that will help you in becoming an experienced specialist.

Open Minds.
Creating Future.

Build your future with us! The educational programs of our University will give you necessary skills, training, and knowledge to make everything you learned here work for you in the future.

About Our University

One of the world's premier academic and research institutions, the Jonathan Carroll University has driven new ways of thinking since our 1876 founding. Today, JCU is an intellectual destination that draws inspired scholars to our Hyde Park and international campuses, keeping JCU at the nexus of ideas that challenge and change the world.

Our Lunaguages

Our Featured Programs are selected through a rigorous process and uniquely created for each semester.
ELLT

Our English Language Level Test (ELLT) is a skill test of our English language ability. It's fully online and designed to improve English language abilities. This test consists of four steps; reading, listening, writing, and speaking which determine the English language proficiency score on the Common European Framework of Reference for Language (CEFR) scale. This test is 100% online, and can greatly work as an alternative to IElTS. ELLT is the very best English Test for those students who are unable to travel to a test center in their own country.

AES gives more benefits to preparing your English Language Level Test (ELLT) to achieve your goal. We have highly trained staff who will be available 24/7 if you want to practice your ELLT test feel free to take your live ELLT.

How does it work?

We are available 24/7 to serve you on any device
we provide Instructions from our videos and ELLT seminars.
To practice English Language Level Test we have automated questions to answer section.
We provide a friendly environment where candidates who want to participate could join without any hesitation.

What does ELLT Assessment involve?

ELLT Online English Level test involves four steps in which students will complete both reading test and listening, which will be followed by a writing task and it will end with an oral test taken by a video call.


The first two skills reading and listening are automated with high security and protection level. The reading test consists of two texts and will take 40 minutes to complete whereas the listening test consists of two audio tracks to complete in 20 minutes.
 

The third test is writing will be assessed by a unique written task and will be submitted directly to the controller in 60 minutes in essay-style questions with opinion-based articles.

The speaking test section will be booked by the student at any suitable time for him, and it will be a live session of 15 minutes approximately with three separate stages.

PTE

The Person Test of English Academics (PTE Academic) is a computer-based English language test for a person for UK Visa & immigration. This is a kind of measure of English language skill of test-takers in different colleges, universities, immigration, and for work permits, who demand English standards of education for entry purposes. The main purpose of Person of English Academic is to appraise English language skills as the primary language of direction.

PTE Coaching 


if you want to enroll as a student of AES for PTE, we can help you with our best professional staff to get a high score. PTE is a doorway to Immigration/Study, for which we are providing online and face-to-face coaching classes for persons who want to immigrate or study abroad like the UK, USA, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand. We have highly qualified and professional trainers. If you also want to be a part of our coming session then please join this link to register. Here's our official website link for students registration

TOEFL

What is TOEFL?

What is TOEFL "Test of English as a foreign Language". This one is a standardized test to measure the English language capability of non-local speakers to register in English speaking universities. This test is taken up by over 190 countries and about 11,000 universities. TOEFL is one of major English language test in the world.  TOEFL is a sign of educational testing service (ETS) a non-profit private organization, which administer and configure these tests. This organization ETS sends scores reports to the independent institutions and valid for two years of following test.

TOFEL assesses your reading, listening, speaking and writing skills which are required for academic studies, immigration, scholarships and visa processing procedures. TOEFL is accepted and recognized by Canada, Australia, United Kingdom, New Zealand, France, German and United States.

TOEFL test format:

TOEFL is internet based test which will measure four academic English skills like reading, listening, speaking and writing. This internet test was replaced by computer based tests and paper based tests in 2005. In some areas paper based test is still used. But now it is consisted of

Reading:  3 to 4 passages containing 10 questions with in 54 to 72 minutes.

Listening: 5 to 7 passages each contain 5 to 6 questions with in 41 to 57 minutes.

Speaking: 4 tasks given to complete in 17 minutes

Writing:    2 tasks given to complete in 50 minutes.

TOEFL Scores

Most of organizations take TOEFL scores only one factor to admission process, the minimum scores range is from 64 to 110.

AES workshop

  • AES will provide the best environment for classroom activities to motivate students.
  • We will provide lessons plans full of learning objectives.
  • Will provide practice tools for test resources.
  • Will provide hand on learning and teaching strategies to promote the students success.
  • We will provide different titles which will describe the students’ scores and criteria.

 

 

Interpreting and translating services

 

AES believes that language shouldn't be a barrier to development and globalization. Our interpretation services can help in large conferences, either its live session or prerecorded media. Our team of experts ensures convenience and 100% accuracy in 40+ languages that you could reach your objective.
We also provide subject matter experts who are the best-experienced person in translating content in our industry. Professionalism is a demand of the industry and we add accuracy to it for professional interpretation to make our level the best.
Simultaneous Interpretation services require the translator to translate while the speaker is giving a speech, in this kind of speech, there are no pauses. This kind of interpretation happens when the speech of the speaker is pre-written and listeners haven't interested in the speech of the original speaker. This kind of situation happens at events where multiple languages are operated at the same time or for pre-scripted broadcasts.
Consecutive interpretation is a highly demanded than simultaneous interpretation services. in this kind of speech, the speaker takes pauses at regular intervals to let the interpreter translate what he said. This one is also hit for those events where listeners of the target language and original language are listening to the same speech and the speaker hasn't any pre-written material.

On-demand Interpretation Services
our on-demand interpretation service is perfect. If you want interpretation services on daily basis then we will try to make it best for you. You can choose your interpretation service by using our web to find the platform of your choice.

Remote Interpretation Service
to arrange events, remote interpretation is the very best source. Our interpreter will be available via the internet to any location globally. Our interpreter will figure out the tools used and the format of the event will adapt to ensure that there is no disruption to listeners and the language of the interpreter is smooth. Remote interpreter service is a very best and simple service and high in value regarding investment point of view.

Translation Services
Our World's best team of languages works consistently. They are highly professional translators with 40+ languages. You want any kind of translation we can deliver our best services with our professional experience within a given timeline and at an affordable amount. We ever try to meet the requirement of our customers, once you will place an order we will assign duties to our professionals who have experience in the field of your project and the language you choose.
We hire professional staff with a range of 40+ languages that we could easily meet your language needs.
When our two experts will work together they will really ensure that the wording they choose is smooth and natural, which will maintain the originality of content in meaning and style will touch the standards of the industry as well.

AES never signs off a project until you are 100% pleased. so you can be confident that the end result will be extraordinary.

Our IT Courses

Our Featured Programs are selected through a rigorous process and uniquely created for each semester.

Our Health Care

Our Featured Programs are selected through a rigorous process and uniquely created for each semester.

Our Features

Jonathan Carroll University was founded on the principle that by pursuing big ideas and sharing what we learn, we make the world a better place. For more than 135 years, we haven’t strayed from that vision.
15
Awards
30+
Certified Teachers
10
Featured Programs
6510
Students

Latest News

UK – a guide for employers
  • Sponsorship – a high-level overview

The Worker category of visa replaced the old “Tier 2” visa in December 2020 and requires that the individual non-British citizen has “sponsorship” from a UK-based employer, who, when properly licensed to do so, is empowered to issue the worker with a “certificate of sponsorship” (also described as a “Certificate of Sponsorship”), which is a virtual type of work permit, allowing the worker to apply for their visa to enter the UK.

Explaining the requirements of the sponsor organisation licensing process is the main aim of this guide, and it is the responsibility of the would-be sponsoring company to prove to the Home Office that they meet their requirements before the issue of their sponsorship license, and – very importantly – that they continue to meet the requirements for as long as they wish to employ non-British citizens. This will inevitably impose an ongoing administrative requirement on UK employers even after the complex application process is successfully completed, and this must be borne in mind by any would-be sponsoring organisation and the outset of their application process. When issued, the sponsorship license is valid for four years.

In brief, the Home Office requires that in order to receive a Worker sponsorship license, a UK-based firm must meet: (a) certain eligibility requirements, to establish the business has a lawful presence in the UK and is undertaking business activities appropriate to the workers they wish to sponsor, (b) the suitability criteria, which are oriented towards proving the business is honest, dependable and reliable enough to be trusted with issuing certificates of sponsorship, including being able to demonstrate that the business has resilient HR/recruitment processes in place and can withstand unannounced inspections of compliance AND the physical addresses where the sponsored employees will be working and (c) that the business has genuine need for the skills of the worker in the role for which sponsorship is going to be offered.

  • The Worker Sponsorship License application process – the basics
  • Fees

These vary depending upon the size of the business in question. Small businesses pay a fee of £536 for an initial application, whilst for large businesses, the fee is £1476. Broadly speaking, a business is regarded as “small” if two (or more) out of the following three criteria are met: (a) its annual turnover is £10.2 million or less (b) its total assets are worth £5.1 million or less and (c) it has 50 employees or fewer.

  • Time taken to make a decision on an application.

Whilst it is difficult to be precise in this regard, the Home Office state that a decision will be made on the majority of applications within 8 weeks. For an additional fee of £500, it may be possible to receive a decision within 10 working days, though not all applications will be eligible.

  • Application process

The application process is now fully online, this requires that, in most cases, all supporting documents are uploaded in PDF file format, although JPEG and PNG formats are also supported. The Home Office prefer files in the PDF format, and which have file titles that are appropriately descriptive BUT no more than 25 characters long. To minimise file sizes, The Home Office recommend scanning in black and white or greyscale, not colour. We recommend that wherever possible, scans are made using a flat-bed scanner rather than a mobile telephone (cell phone).

We now turn to the supporting documents requirements.

  • Supporting documents – the requirements

The most onerous requirement placed on Worker sponsorship license applicants is the provision of evidence – in the form of supporting documents – to prove to the Home Office that the business seeking a license meets the eligibility. suitability and genuineness provisions mentioned above.  Most businesses need to provide at least 4 documents, one from each of the types listed below and these should be ready in scanned PDF format before the on-line application is commenced. This is very important as the Home Office will refuse (without a refund) an application for which all the supporting documents are not uploaded within 5 days after the on-line application is completed.

The following guide seeks to provide an overview of the requirements that are usually needed by most private, limited companies, but the rules are complex, and it is not possible to cover all eventualities in a short guide such as this – for example, if your business is a large, public limited company, you may not need to submit any of these documents, so please contact us for further details.

A full list of the requirements may be found here:

www.gov.uk/government/publications/supporting-documents-for-sponsor-applications .

The document types most often required are listed below:

  • Evidence of Registration with HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) as an employer to pay PAYE & National Insurance. Applicant businesses must provide proof of their PAYE Reference Number & Accounts Office Reference Number, with original or certified copies of documentation issued by HMRC only.
  • The business’ VAT registration certificate, confirming VAT registration number and ‘effective date of registration’ if business’ VAT taxable turnover is more than the VAT ‘threshold’. Again, this must be provided in the form of an HMRC document.
  • Evidence that the applicant business has employer’s liability insurance cover for at least £5m from an authorised insurer. This will inevitably have to be provided in the form of an official certificate of insurance from the provider, which is valid at the date of application, and ideally for at least 3 to 6 months after the date of application.
  • If an applicant business is legally obliged to submit audited accounts, one of the 4 documents must its most recent set of audited accounts, with the name of the accountant clearly shown. The accountant should be a member of an accredited accounting body, such as the: Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA), Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA), Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) or the Association of Consulting Actuaries (ACA).
  • The applicant business’ most recent corporate/business bank statement and/or a letter from your bank setting out the dealings it has had with the business, including the nature and duration of its dealings. If both documents are submitted, this will only count as one document towards the minimum document total of 4.
  • The applicant business must provide evidence of proof of ownership of the business premises or their lease of their business premises. Copies of leases must be signed by all relevant parties.
  • Evidence that the applicant business has the appropriate planning permission to operate their type/class of business at their trading address where this is a Local Authority requirement.
  • Skilled Worker additional information

The following material/information also needs to be scanned and provided to the Home Office: –

  • The online form needs to contain full details of why the applicant business is applying for a sponsor licence, what sector it operates in and what are its daily opening/operating hours.
  • The application supporting documents must also contain an up-to-date hierarchy chart detailing any owner, director, and board members of the applicant business. If the business has 50 employees or fewer, the applicant company must list all employees and set out the names and titles of all staff.
  • The online application form should provide full details about the job(s) the applicant business needs to fill and for which they intend to assign a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) to the successful candidate, including the following information for each job:

(i) job title and occupation code(s),

(ii) their duties,

(iii) where the job sits on the hierarchy chart referred to above,

(iv) the minimum salary the business would guarantee if the job were vacant on the date of application, and

(v) the skill, experience and qualifications required of a successful candidate.

Note that the occupation codes can be found here: –

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/skilled-worker-visa-eligible-occupations/skilled-worker-visa-eligible-occupations-and-codes

and that, most importantly, that there is a minimum salary of £25,600 for skilled workers, although this varies depending on the occupation code, the variations are listed here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/skilled-worker-visa-going-rates-for-eligible-occupations/skilled-worker-visa-going-rates-for-eligible-occupation-codes

  • Nominating key personnel in the application process

A key part of the application process is the business nominating several employees to take on key responsibilities pertaining to the sponsorship license. The applicant business must nominate an authorising officer, key contact and level 1 user on the online application form. All the nominated person must be resident in the UK and a person will not be eligible if, for example, they have unspent criminal convictions for serious offences (including for immigration offences) or are legally unable to become a company director.

Briefly, the authorising officer should ideally be a senior member of the business with responsibility for recruitment and training. The Level 1 user will need to be an employee who will have access to the Home Office’s online Sponsorship Management system (“SMS”). The key contact is the organisation’s primary point of contact with the Home Office, and it is not uncommon for a named legal representative to take on this role.

  • Meeting the suitability criteria

As noted above, however, possession of a sponsorship license comes with a requirement to fulfil certain administrative requirements on an ongoing basis and at the initial application stage, the Home Office will need to be assured that the applicant business has adequate HR and recruitment staff, structures, and processes to ensure that these duties are met now and will be in the future.

The duties imposed are complex and a full list can be found here: –

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/946060/2020-12-17_Sponsor-guidance-Part-3-compliance-12-20_v1.0.pdf

In brief summary, however, they fall into several categories, namely; (a) keeping good records in respect of each sponsored worker, including copies of their passport,  National Insurance number, their rate of pay and material pertaining to the recruitment process which led to the employee’s appointment, (b) reporting duties to the Home Office via the SMS system, for example, significant changes to a sponsored employee’s work duties and (c) a general duty to ensure the business and employees comply with UK immigration law and other relevant law, e.g. the applicant business complies with Local Authority planning guidelines for their premises where relevant.


Applicant businesses should be aware that once COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, it will be entirely normal for the Home Office staff to make a visit to the applicant business’ premises to observe the working of the business and to speak, in detail, with the relevant directors and employees about e.g., their HR and recruitment processes, the nature of the proposed vacancies and indeed general information about the sector the business operates it BEFORE a decision is made to grant a license. These compliance visits also can and do occur after the grant of a successful application and it is very important that the applicant business has appropriate, robust processes in place to respond to such unannounced visits now and in the future.

By R. S. Hopkin

13-Nov-2021
Sponsoring a skilled worker to work in the UK – a guide for employers
  1. Introduction

Since December 2020, and the UK’s exit from the EU, new rules have come into force in relation to non-British citizens who wish to travel to, and live and work in, the UK. Similarly, new rules and guidance are now in place to enable businesses to sponsor Skilled Workers to live and work in the UK – and it is those rules and guidance towards which this simple guide is directed. It is hoped that the guide will provide UK employers, both large and small, with a concise, readable, and cogent summary of the requirements placed on them so that they are able to sponsor and employ skilled workers from abroad, to enable their businesses to grow and flourish.

It is fair, however, to state that the Home Office guidance, and the skilled worker scheme, is quite complex. There are several categories of Sponsored work visas available to individuals, depending on their particular profession, for example, sportsperson or minister of religion. This guidance focuses on the requirements of the sponsorship scheme for the “Skilled Worker” category which is the most common type of application within the UK Points-Based migration regime.

  • Sponsorship – a high-level overview

The Worker category of visa replaced the old “Tier 2” visa in December 2020 and requires that the individual non-British citizen has “sponsorship” from a UK-based employer, who, when properly licensed to do so, is empowered to issue the worker with a “certificate of sponsorship” (also described as a “Certificate of Sponsorship”), which is a virtual type of work permit, allowing the worker to apply for their visa to enter the UK.

Explaining the requirements of the sponsor organisation licensing process is the main aim of this guide, and it is the responsibility of the would-be sponsoring company to prove to the Home Office that they meet their requirements before the issue of their sponsorship license, and – very importantly – that they continue to meet the requirements for as long as they wish to employ non-British citizens. This will inevitably impose an ongoing administrative requirement on UK employers even after the complex application process is successfully completed, and this must be borne in mind by any would-be sponsoring organisation and the outset of their application process. When issued, the sponsorship license is valid for four years.

In brief, the Home Office requires that in order to receive a Worker sponsorship license, a UK-based firm must meet: (a) certain eligibility requirements, to establish the business has a lawful presence in the UK and is undertaking business activities appropriate to the workers they wish to sponsor, (b) the suitability criteria, which are oriented towards proving the business is honest, dependable and reliable enough to be trusted with issuing certificates of sponsorship, including being able to demonstrate that the business has resilient HR/recruitment processes in place and can withstand unannounced inspections of compliance AND the physical addresses where the sponsored employees will be working and (c) that the business has genuine need for the skills of the worker in the role for which sponsorship is going to be offered.

  • The Worker Sponsorship License application process – the basics
  • Fees

These vary depending upon the size of the business in question. Small businesses pay a fee of £536 for an initial application, whilst for large businesses, the fee is £1476. Broadly speaking, a business is regarded as “small” if two (or more) out of the following three criteria are met: (a) its annual turnover is £10.2 million or less (b) its total assets are worth £5.1 million or less and (c) it has 50 employees or fewer.

  • Time taken to make a decision on an application.

Whilst it is difficult to be precise in this regard, the Home Office state that a decision will be made on the majority of applications within 8 weeks. For an additional fee of £500, it may be possible to receive a decision within 10 working days, though not all applications will be eligible.

  • Application process

The application process is now fully online, this requires that, in most cases, all supporting documents are uploaded in PDF file format, although JPEG and PNG formats are also supported. The Home Office prefer files in the PDF format, and which have file titles that are appropriately descriptive BUT no more than 25 characters long. To minimise file sizes, The Home Office recommend scanning in black and white or greyscale, not colour. We recommend that wherever possible, scans are made using a flat-bed scanner rather than a mobile telephone (cell phone).

We now turn to the supporting documents requirements.

  • Supporting documents – the requirements

The most onerous requirement placed on Worker sponsorship license applicants is the provision of evidence – in the form of supporting documents – to prove to the Home Office that the business seeking a license meets the eligibility. suitability and genuineness provisions mentioned above.  Most businesses need to provide at least 4 documents, one from each of the types listed below and these should be ready in scanned PDF format before the on-line application is commenced. This is very important as the Home Office will refuse (without a refund) an application for which all the supporting documents are not uploaded within 5 days after the on-line application is completed.

The following guide seeks to provide an overview of the requirements that are usually needed by most private, limited companies, but the rules are complex, and it is not possible to cover all eventualities in a short guide such as this – for example, if your business is a large, public limited company, you may not need to submit any of these documents, so please contact us for further details.

A full list of the requirements may be found here:

www.gov.uk/government/publications/supporting-documents-for-sponsor-applications .

The document types most often required are listed below:

  • Evidence of Registration with HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) as an employer to pay PAYE & National Insurance. Applicant businesses must provide proof of their PAYE Reference Number & Accounts Office Reference Number, with original or certified copies of documentation issued by HMRC only.
  • The business’ VAT registration certificate, confirming VAT registration number and ‘effective date of registration’ if business’ VAT taxable turnover is more than the VAT ‘threshold’. Again, this must be provided in the form of an HMRC document.
  • Evidence that the applicant business has employer’s liability insurance cover for at least £5m from an authorised insurer. This will inevitably have to be provided in the form of an official certificate of insurance from the provider, which is valid at the date of application, and ideally for at least 3 to 6 months after the date of application.
  • If an applicant business is legally obliged to submit audited accounts, one of the 4 documents must its most recent set of audited accounts, with the name of the accountant clearly shown. The accountant should be a member of an accredited accounting body, such as the: Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA), Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA), Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) or the Association of Consulting Actuaries (ACA).
  • The applicant business’ most recent corporate/business bank statement and/or a letter from your bank setting out the dealings it has had with the business, including the nature and duration of its dealings. If both documents are submitted, this will only count as one document towards the minimum document total of 4.
  • The applicant business must provide evidence of proof of ownership of the business premises or their lease of their business premises. Copies of leases must be signed by all relevant parties.
  • Evidence that the applicant business has the appropriate planning permission to operate their type/class of business at their trading address where this is a Local Authority requirement.
  • Skilled Worker additional information

The following material/information also needs to be scanned and provided to the Home Office: –

  • The online form needs to contain full details of why the applicant business is applying for a sponsor licence, what sector it operates in and what are its daily opening/operating hours.
  • The application supporting documents must also contain an up-to-date hierarchy chart detailing any owner, director, and board members of the applicant business. If the business has 50 employees or fewer, the applicant company must list all employees and set out the names and titles of all staff.
  • The online application form should provide full details about the job(s) the applicant business needs to fill and for which they intend to assign a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) to the successful candidate, including the following information for each job:

(i) job title and occupation code(s),

(ii) their duties,

(iii) where the job sits on the hierarchy chart referred to above,

(iv) the minimum salary the business would guarantee if the job were vacant on the date of application, and

(v) the skill, experience and qualifications required of a successful candidate.

Note that the occupation codes can be found here: –

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/skilled-worker-visa-eligible-occupations/skilled-worker-visa-eligible-occupations-and-codes

and that, most importantly, that there is a minimum salary of £25,600 for skilled workers, although this varies depending on the occupation code, the variations are listed here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/skilled-worker-visa-going-rates-for-eligible-occupations/skilled-worker-visa-going-rates-for-eligible-occupation-codes

  • Nominating key personnel in the application process

A key part of the application process is the business nominating several employees to take on key responsibilities pertaining to the sponsorship license. The applicant business must nominate an authorising officer, key contact and level 1 user on the online application form. All the nominated person must be resident in the UK and a person will not be eligible if, for example, they have unspent criminal convictions for serious offences (including for immigration offences) or are legally unable to become a company director.

Briefly, the authorising officer should ideally be a senior member of the business with responsibility for recruitment and training. The Level 1 user will need to be an employee who will have access to the Home Office’s online Sponsorship Management system (“SMS”). The key contact is the organisation’s primary point of contact with the Home Office, and it is not uncommon for a named legal representative to take on this role.

  • Meeting the suitability criteria

As noted above, however, possession of a sponsorship license comes with a requirement to fulfil certain administrative requirements on an ongoing basis and at the initial application stage, the Home Office will need to be assured that the applicant business has adequate HR and recruitment staff, structures, and processes to ensure that these duties are met now and will be in the future.

The duties imposed are complex and a full list can be found here: –

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/946060/2020-12-17_Sponsor-guidance-Part-3-compliance-12-20_v1.0.pdf

In brief summary, however, they fall into several categories, namely; (a) keeping good records in respect of each sponsored worker, including copies of their passport,  National Insurance number, their rate of pay and material pertaining to the recruitment process which led to the employee’s appointment, (b) reporting duties to the Home Office via the SMS system, for example, significant changes to a sponsored employee’s work duties and (c) a general duty to ensure the business and employees comply with UK immigration law and other relevant law, e.g. the applicant business complies with Local Authority planning guidelines for their premises where relevant.


Applicant businesses should be aware that once COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, it will be entirely normal for the Home Office staff to make a visit to the applicant business’ premises to observe the working of the business and to speak, in detail, with the relevant directors and employees about e.g., their HR and recruitment processes, the nature of the proposed vacancies and indeed general information about the sector the business operates it BEFORE a decision is made to grant a license. These compliance visits also can and do occur after the grant of a successful application and it is very important that the applicant business has appropriate, robust processes in place to respond to such unannounced visits now and in the future.

By R. S. Hopkin

17-Jun-2021
British citizenship for minor children – the case of Child O and the Bill of Rights 1689

It’s probably fair to say that for UK residents, as British immigration law becomes more complicated, having or getting British citizenship becomes increasingly valuable. After all, it’s a lot easier (and cheaper) to renew your passport when compared to renewing your leave to remain in the UK – to say nothing of the benefit of consular protection abroad and state benefits at home which are available to British citizens but denied to those holding time-limited leave to remain. That said, however, it is still the case that getting British citizenship can be an expensive business, and that’s at the heart of this case review, which investigates a recent Court of Appeal decision, R (Project for the Registration of Children as British Citizens and O) v SSHD [2021] EWCA Civ. 193.

In particular, it can be very expensive if your child is entitled to British citizenship but needs to register to receive it, which is a very distinct and separate concept to naturalising as British when already an adult. Let’s investigate that difference before we discuss the detail of the Court of Appeal’s decision in Child O’s case and her challenge to the prohibitively expensive fees the Home Office are nowadays (over)charging for children who wish to register by entitlement to British citizenship.

For the record now though, and at the date of writing, registration alone – the child still must apply for a passport afterwards in a completely separate application for £49 extra – is an eye-watering £1012. It’s only fair to point out now that the Home Office’s ability to charge a fee for applications is constrained by delegated legislation, but, rather surprisingly, this allows the fee to be set above the simple costs of administrating the machinery to process and approve the applications, the surplus to be set against the costs of running other parts of the Home Office’s nationality and immigration functions.

Child O’s application, made in 2017 (when the fee was £973) would, it was said, have only cost £386 to process. Since 1983, the fee has risen from £35 to £1012.

But – back to the difference between naturalisation and registration, for short while.

Though British nationality law is famously complex in some ways – a legacy of Empire in part – naturalisation is a straightforward concept to many, and indeed most (though not all) countries in the world provide the acquisition of citizenship by foreign residents, assuming good behaviour and a fairly long period of lawful residence before application.

The UK is no exception, and for most foreign citizens who come to the UK as adults – for example, as the spouse of a British citizen – there is well trodden path of 5-10 years’ residence with time-limited leave, followed by a period of residence with so-called indefinite leave to remain (“ILR” which is not time limited at all and often referred to as being settled in the UK) before an application for British citizenship can be made.

For some people, however, the acquisition of indefinite leave to remain – often called “settlement” – is as far as they want to take things, perhaps because their country of birth doesn’t permit or look favourably on dual citizenship. But what about their children?

It’s widely accepted that when a child is growing up, being a citizen of the country in which they are being raised in is an important part of a stable and secure environment, and a critical part of the development of the child’s social identity. It’s certainly true that the UK courts have agreed with this broad thesis, and they have often emphasised citizenship as being of considerable significance to children and adults alike – see, for example, the speeches of Hale PSC in R (Johnson) v SSHD[1] and ZH (Tanzania)[2].

It should therefore come as no surprise to the reader that UK law, in the form of the British Nationality Act 1981, provides for children born in the UK to be registered as British even if their parents are not – though of course in most cases, being born to a British citizen parent in the UK is the route by which a child ends up as a British citizen.

There are 4 routes within the British Nationality Act 1981 which entitle a child born in the UK to be entitled to be registered as a British citizen, despite the fact their parents were not British (or settled) in the date on which they were born:

  1. After the child’s birth, one parent gets ILR (becomes settled).
  2. After the child’s birth, if one parent joins the British Armed Forces.
  3. After the child’s birth, the child resides in the UK for 10 years, irrespective of either parents’ immigration status in the UK.
  4. If the child is (and always has been) stateless and is less than 22 years old on application and has 5 years’ residence in the UK.

Child O fell into number 3 – she was born in the UK in 2007, attended school here, has never left the UK since her birth, and acquired the necessary 10 years residence in 2017, when she made her application. Her mother is a single parent of 2 other children, and she simply couldn’t afford the full fee, though she was able to raise £386, representing the actual cost her child’s application. Nevertheless, O’s application was rejected as the full fee was not provided, and thereafter she challenged the lawfulness of the fee charged by way of judicial review, with the assistance of the legal charity the Project for the Registration of Children as British Citizens.

O argued two points, First, that the fee set by the Home Office was simply beyond the power given to them by the statutory scheme, as it was set so high as to nullify the child’s entitlement to register as British entirely, and second, it was said that in setting the fee so high, the Home Office has failed to have any regard to their duty to take into account the best interests of the child, as required under s. 55 Borders. Citizenship and Immigration Act 2009.

The s. 55 duty point was found in O’s favour in the Administrative Court, and the Court of Appeal agreed, dismissed the Home Office’s cross-appeal and confirming that the High Court judge was entitled to find the Home Office[3] breached their duty under s. 55 when setting the fee level.

This was hardly surprising given the fact that the Home Office’s own witness evidence on this point was so poor that they ignored it in argument before the Court of Appeal and were driven into wholly impermissible reliance on various Parliamentary material to prove they had properly considered the s. 55 duty. In fact, so much Parliamentary material was used that the Court of Appeal eventually found that its use was prohibited by Article 9 of the Bill of Rights 1689 [4], which is not something regularly found by the courts and is a measure of the disarray the Home Office found itself in attempting to demonstrate their illusory consideration of the s. 55 duty.  

However, the arguments for and against the unlawfulness of the fees themselves were more complex and might end up being litigated in the Supreme Court, as the Court of Appeal dismissed O’s own cross-appeal against the High Court’s decision that fee scheme itself, and the level of the fee set, when applied to this type of citizenship application, was not unlawful.

In so doing, the Court of Appeal relied upon an earlier decision on immigration application fees, Williams [5], and did not seek to apply the reasoning that the Supreme Court used in Unison, a now-famous case where the new imposition of a prohibitively expensive appeal fee in the Employment Tribunal (which had verifiably and dramatically reduced the number of appeals) was unlawful as it touched upon the fundamental right of access to the courts.

Further, the Court of Appeal made it clear that the application fee regime in nationality applications was a creature of primary legislation and therefore even if the fee was set at entirely unaffordable level, it is not unlawful, since the bestowing of British citizenship in these circumstances (under the British Nationality Act 1981) requires an application, which in turn requires a fee, however high that fee may be. Indeed, it was made clear that as enacted, the British Nationality Act 1981 was explicit that where required, a fee must be paid for a person to be registered, and it was therefore always the case that the payment of a fee was part of the scheme of very act of granting of British citizenship by registration itself [6]

However, and despite the s. 55 success noted above, it’s hard to escape the feeling that the job has been only half-done here– the Court of Appeal’s adherence to the Williams reasoning does beg the question, could the Home Office lawfully charge £1m per application, bearing in mind the fee scheme does allow – inter alia –  for:  (a) the promotion of economic growth and (b) the benefits the Secretary of State for the Home Department thinks (sic) are likely to accrue to a person in connection with the registration of citizenship to be considered when setting the fee?[7] This matter is sure to feature in the Supreme Court soon, since O’s case itself was sent down to the Court of Appeal from a “leap-frog” appeal to the Supreme Court (as ordered by the Administrative Court judge) with a specific injunction to consider the effect of Unison on the Williams reasoning. It’s therefore hard to escape the feeling the Supreme Court might form the view that Court of Appeal got the lawfulness of the level of the fee set just plain wrong.

By R. S. Hopkin

28 February 2021


[1] R (Johnson) v SSHD [2016] UKSC 56

[2] ZH (Tanzania) v SSHD [2011] UKSC 4

[3] Strictly, the Secretary of State for the Home Department

[4] Freedom of Speech. That the Freedome of Speech and Debates or Proceedings in Parlyament ought not to be impeached or questioned in any Court or Place out of Parlyament.

[5] R (Williams) v SSHD [2017] EWCA Civ. 98

[6] S.42 BNA 1981

[7] S. 68 (9) Immigration Act 2014

17-Jun-2021
Naturalisation and criminality

Naturalisation and criminality

The troubling case of R (ex parte Howard) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2021] EWHC 1023 (Admin).

Mr Justice Swift handed down his decision in this case on Friday 23 April 2021 and taken as a whole, the case can only be described as a somewhat troubling, though well worth a read for those interested in British nationality law. Despite the complexities of the matter, particularly the evolution of the Claimant’s grounds for review, former First Treasury Counsel Jonathan Swift QC has done a good job of wading through issues and what emerges is a well written and concise judgment.

The facts of the case are the first troubling issue and get ready because what follows must make for a fairly grim reading for the Defendant Secretary of State for the Home Department. The now-deceased Claimant, Mr Hubert Howard, was born in Jamaica back in 1956, when it was still a part of the UK and Colonies for the purposes of the British Nationality Act 1948, and therefore at birth, he was a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies (“CUKC”). At the time of his birth, that status granted Mr Howard exactly the same category of British nationality as he would have received if he had been born in the UK itself. 

Like plenty of other young West Indians at this time, he emigrated to the UK at a young age, arriving in November 1960 aged less than 4, where he remained – working, paying his taxes and in time, having children of his own – until his death from leukaemia, on 12 November 2019, aged 63. Given his age on entry, it is unlikely that he remembered anything of his short residence in Jamaica and further, as the young Mr Howard entered the UK as a CUKC prior to the Immigration Act 1962 coming into force, he was not subject to any immigration control whatsoever on entry. At the date of his death, he had been a UK resident for 59 years.

Now, during Mr Howard’s residence in the UK, and probably unbeknownst to him at the material times, significant changes to both the British Empire and UK immigration law conspired in a most unfortunate manner to eventually render him a Jamaican citizen resident in the UK who did not have any documentary evidence of his right to live here – leading to, as we discover in the judgment, him losing his job with the Peabody Trust in 2012 as he could not prove his right to live and work here, despite a glowing reference from their HR Director. The sequence of his applications for documentary evidence of his right to live in the UK, in the form of applications for recognition of his settled status and thereafter for British citizenship, is somewhat complex and will be explained in more detail below, but the subject of this judicial review was a refusal to naturalise the Claimant as a British citizen after an application made in 2018, pursued by Mr Howard’s daughter after his death.

Mr Howard’s experience is an all-too-familiar tale, sad to relate, as a member of the  “Windrush generation” (named after HMT Empire Windrush, the ship that brought about 800 Caribbean immigrants from Kingston, Jamaica in 1948) – the manifest injustice done to Mr Howard and many still-living migrants, caught unfairly in the recent hostile immigration environment imposed by 21st Century Home Secretaries, has been the subject of much rightly anguished debate in the UK in the last few years, in addition to an independent review into Home Office practices – see this URL for more details:

www.gov.uk/government/publications/windrush-lessons-learned-review.

The reasons for his unfortunate situation of being without status documentation can be very briefly summarised – he lost his status as a CUKC when Jamaica became an independent Commonwealth country in 1962, becoming in its place a citizen of Jamaica (a status he retained until his death), but he neither applied to re-establish his CUKC status under the Immigration Act 1971 nor did he apply to become a British citizen before 1 January 1988, as provided for by the British Nationality Act 1981.

Given his age on arrival, and UK practice on status documentation before the Home Office crack-down in the early 21st Century – the UK is still one of the few countries in the world where there are no national ID cards – these omissions are hardly surprising, and it cannot be sensibly said Mr Howard was at fault for it. Indeed, the tragedy of the imposition of the hostile environment on Mr Howard and others like him lies in the dissonance between his nationality on entry to the UK and his subsequent treatment by the Home Secretary – and also, in the abrupt, and doubtless bewildering, need for him to prove his right to be here (which he most assuredly had) after he had not been required to do so for more than 40 years.

Rather poignantly, Mr Howard seems to have made 2 applications for British passports in the first decade of this century, which were turned down for the unimpeachable reason that he was not actually a British citizen. However, he was then told, in 2012, that he would also need to apply for indefinite leave to remain (ILR), which was plainly not correct, as given his circumstances – that it to say, as he was settled in the UK on 1 January 1973 – s. 1 (2) Immigration Act 1971 caused him to be treated as if ILR had been given on that date (the coming into force of the 1971 Act).

Only belatedly, in May 2018, was this elementary issue accepted by the Home Office and the fact that he had actually had ILR for 45 years thereby recognised by the very government department responsible for administrating immigration control! It is also worth noting at this point that during the Secretary of State’s inept handling of his application for an ILR Biometric residence permit in 2014. Mr Howard was asked to provide at least one piece of evidence for each of the years 1965 – 2014 to prove his residence here, a clearly inane request in the circumstances, bearing in mind he was 5 in 1965. Keep in mind this 2014 application – it’s unfortunate that the firm of solicitors he engaged to make it seem not to have followed up on its refusal for want to evidence, because had he been recognised as having ILR in 2014 or 2015, the naturalisation problem which arose subsequently might not have happened at all.

Nevertheless, and despite being unwell – his leukaemia was diagnosed in 2014 but Mr Howard was clearly not a man to give up without a fight – once he was recognised as having had ILR since 1973 in 2018, he applied for naturalisation as a British citizen under s. 6 British Nationality Act 1981, which as noted above is the subject of this judicial review.

There isn’t space here to go into much detail about naturalisation, save to note that there is a “good character” requirement which requires the Secretary of State to assess the applicant’s past actions and if they fail the test, refuse to naturalise the applicant. The courts have famously described this test as “..rather nebulous..” but having committed criminal offences prior to application often causes problems for applicants as they are more likely to thereby be considered as “..not having shown respect for, or is not prepared to abide by, the law…” and therefore are less likely to be regarded as of good character, naturally depending on the nature of the offences committed. This, unfortunately, was the position that Mr Howard then found himself in.

That was because Mr Howard had a criminal record. It’s difficult to reconstruct his antecedents precisely from the judgment, but it seems that in 2018, his offending was divided into three groups, none of which ever resulted in a sentence of immediate imprisonment. As a young man aged between about 18 and 21 he was convicted on three occasions of burglary and theft, then in his early to mid-thirties, he was convicted on three occasions of the possession of Class B controlled drug, and in 2000 and 2018 he was convicted of a breach of s. 4A Public Order Act 1986 (using threatening, abusive, and insulting language) and common assault, respectively.

With the sole exception of his conviction for common assault in 2018, all the offences were dealt with either by fines or the form community-based sentence then in use. The common assault resulted in a suspended sentence of 12 months imprisonment. In view of the maximum sentences for a single offence of theft and burglary being 7- and 14-years’ imprisonment respectively, this is a very modest record of offending.

Nevertheless, and after some deliberation, the Secretary of State applied her published “Nationality; good character requirement” policy to Mr Howard’s 2018 naturalisation application and refused it because he was not of good character, primarily because he had received a suspended sentence within the three-year period prior to his application.

Now, before 2012, only convictions for which the sentences were not “spent” under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 counted against an applicant’s good character, but even had Mr Howard applied for naturalisation in 2014 or 2015, the new policy of requiring a three-year gap would not have disadvantaged him, as at that time his last conviction with a community sentence was back in 2000. Unfortunately, he didn’t, and the conviction in 2018 did end up counting against him, arguably, in part, because of the Defendant’s incompetence in 2012 and 2014, but more of that later.

The 2018 naturalisation refusal was challenged on 2 grounds. First, that by applying the usual good character requirement in respect of criminality his application, in view of his status as a member of the Windrush Generation, was discrimination contrary to Article 14 of the European Convention of Human Rights in respect of his Article 8 right to a family and private life. Second, that the policy itself, which did not make specific allowance in the good character requirement for the Windrush Generation was unlawful as it was irrational. Here, a little further explanation is required.

The April 2018 statement mentioned above was fairly convincing mea culpa by the then Secretary of State for the Home Department Amber Rudd on her department’s mishandling of the Windrush Generation status documentation problems, including a commitment to ensure that those such as Mr Howard (who was, technically, the child of a Windrush Generation emigrant) would now able to acquire British citizenship by naturalisation should they wish to do so, quickly, without payment of a fee, without needing to pass a Life in the UK test and with proactive assistance by Home Office officials. However, by the time the department came to finally review its good character criminality policy as applied to the Windrush Generation, the revolving door at Marsham Street had turned and the new Home Secretary (Sajid Javid) declined to follow his predecessor’s recommendation to also lower the criminality threshold for pre-1973 settled applicants for naturalisation.

Mr Justice Swift dealt with the Human Rights ground in relatively short order by finding that the statutorily imposed “good character requirement” could not (in effect) be read out of existence by using the interpretive section of the Human Rights Act, section 3, nor does the Defendant’s published policy which guides the assessment of character fail to pursue a legitimate objective, nor does it pursue a legitimate objective in an unreasonable way – the good character requirement is an unexceptional one, and the policy the Secretary of State uses to implement it is a reasonable and proportionate way to do so.

However – and this is the second troubling issue – he also found that failure of Sajid Javid to lower the good character criminality requirement for Windrush Generation members seeking naturalisation, despite his predecessor’s April 2018 commitments, was irrational.

The judgment describes this ground of challenge as a “common law” one, but it is arguable that the Court has followed the classic Convention Right “super-Wednesbury” approach to assessing the lawfulness of maintaining the criminality policy unchanged for the Windrush applicants in spite of the mea culpa statement and its commitments, in as much as the phrase in paragraph 35 which states “…there is no sufficient reason to explain why, when it came to the good character requirement, no significance was attached at all to the long-residence and integration of [the Windrush Generation]…” is redolent of a need for the Secretary of State to identify a competing public interest which might justify its retention, and it’s proportionality if so identified.

This is somewhat problematic as it’s unclear which Convention right or rights are or might be being infringed by failing to naturalise a settled foreign citizen, and even if the rationality review carried out by the High Court is in fact a traditional irrationality analysis, can it really be said that no reasonable Home Secretary would retain the existing criminality threshold when the April 2018 speech did not specifically allude to such circumstances and the affected applicants were not being treated worse than any other applicant for naturalisation with a criminal record? Was that decision not to lower the criminality threshold for Windrush applicants “..so outrageous in its defiance of logic or accepted moral standards that no sensible person who had applied his mind to the question to be decided could have arrived at it…”?[i]

I rather think not and would confidently predict a challenge to this decision in the Court of Appeal were I not mindful of political sensitivity around Windrush. 

That’s not to say the refusal was lawful, of course –  but surely a more appropriate ground of review would have been the fact that the refusal of Mr Howard’s application for naturalisation in 2018 seemingly took no real account at all of the Secretary of State’s appalling mishandling of his application for an ILR BRP in 2014, which had it been properly considered would have confirmed his ILR status at that time and then in all probability led to an immediate, successful naturalisation application well before his 2018 conviction? This is a classic failure to take into account a relevant, highly material matter in his application and it is eminently arguable that the refusal decision in question also failed to engage with the entire litany of problems he experienced as a result of the Secretary of State’s mishandling of his status applications, going back to the 2012 statement that he needs to apply for ILR first when he had already had it for 39 years.

In any event, and pleasing to relate, the Home Secretary belated granted Mr Howard British citizenship “on an exceptional basis” in October 2019, albeit only a few weeks before his death. It is to be earnestly hoped that the Secretary of State scrutinizes the judgment in his case most carefully, in order to spare others from the unnecessary difficulties which Mr Howard so steadfastly bore, and against which he eventually and entirely deservedly triumphed.

Update – 26 April 2021

The claimant’s current solicitors – Deighton Glynn Pierce – has said that the Defendant is seeking permission to appeal.

By R. S. Hopkin

17-Jun-2021