Mar 12, 2014 - New Statement of Changes to the Immigration Rules

This week the minister for Immigration and Security, James Brokenshire, announced a new Statement of Changes to the Immigration Rules. Minister James Brokenshire explained the reason for the new changes as ‘the government is making a package of changes to Points-Based System work routes to improve flexibility for applicants and help to boost economic growth.’ Please find below a brief summary of the changes:

  • Tier 2 migrants can be granted leave for up to five years, rather than three years at present;
  • Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) route will be made simpler, the restriction of some p...

Feb 25, 2014 - Former UKBA Executive Director in Crown Court accused of criminal activity whilst in public office

A former UKBA executive director is in court this week accused of illegally accessing sensitive information about vulnerable immigrants during her time at the UKBA and passing this confidential data to her boyfriend, who is alleged to  have used this information to defraud immigrants and posing as a solicitor.

This case at the crown court comes just two weeks after Immigration Minister Mark Harper resigned, as he had employed a cleaner who did not have permission to work in the UK.

The former UKBA executive director who worked in the Case Resolution and Criminal Casework Directorate at the Hom...

Feb 23, 2014 - Tier 1 (Investor) - update

The Migration Advisory Committee has today published their long awaited report on the Tier 1 (Investor) route investment thresholds and economic benefits.

In their report they have made a number of recommendations to changing the current Tier 1 (Investor) requirements. At present they are only recommendations and will need to be considered by Government. However, it is highly likely that the Tier 1 (Investor) route rules will be changed in the coming months.

The recommendations are as follows:

Minimum investment threshold

  • That the minimum £1 million threshold be increased to £2 million;
  • That ...

Feb 12, 2014 - Concession for Syrian nationals

On the 13 February 2014 the Government has prolonged the immigration concession for Syrian nationals for another year, until 28 February 2015.

This concession offers to Syrian nationals who are in the UK on a visa more ways to extend their stay in the UK.

For those Syrian nationals who are in the UK on a visa for a limited period it can be extended for the same length of time. Also under this concession the Syrian nationals may apply to switch from inside the UK. They cannot switch into any settlement routes.

You can contact us regarding the details of the concession and exceptions.

Feb 09, 2014 - UK Government Embarrassment – Immigration Minister resigns over cleaner’s visa

Immigration Minister Mark Harper, who is a strong advocate for the Immigration Bill that is going through parliament, has resigned from the UK Government. The reason why: in 2007 he employed a cleaner who did not have permission to work in the UK.

As we have mentioned in previous articles the Immigration Bill proposes, amongst many other proposals, that all private landlords will have to check the immigration status of proposed tenants and will be at risk of a financial penalty for not doing so. The Bill also proposes the penalty for failing to check an employee’s immigration status to rise to...

Feb 05, 2014 - Tier 1 (Investor) – update

In the next few days the Migration Advisory Committee will be delivering their report to the government about the Investor route and whether in its current form, investing £1 million into UK government bonds/business, is of benefit to the UK economy.

Depending on its recommendations the government could amend the Immigration Rules regarding the Tier 1 (Investor) category. Until the report is published it is not known what the recommendations will be, however the committee could recommend that the amount of investment be increased or decreased, or they could even recommend that the investment b...

Feb 02, 2014 - New Government proposals – immigration fees and premium services

The UK government has announced proposals to change the fees it charges for its visas, immigration and nationality applications as well as introducing new premium services for applicants. If the proposals are approved by Parliament then the new fees will apply from 6th April 2014. Some fees for their premium services will be applicable from 31st March 2014.

The new premium services, and their fees, include the following:

  • a 3-5 day priority visa service costing £100;
  • a priority settlement application service for a fee of £300;
  • a super priority visa service for £600, which will expedite the app...

Jan 02, 2014 - Visit the UK for Chinese New Year

The UK has just welcomed the New Year, 2014, and we are now looking forward to the Chinese New Year and the year of the Horse. London has planned the largest Chinese New Year celebration outside of Asia (there were 500,000 spectators in London last year celebrating the year of the Snake), and as such the Home Office anticipate that there will be many who wish to visit the UK for this spectacular occasion and have given an update on all who wish to visit the UK for the Chinese New Year. 

To summarise, their update is as follows:

  • Visa applications are made online where you will also pay and boo...

Dec 17, 2013 - Electronic visas

From 1 January 2014, passport holders of Oman, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates will be able to visit the UK for up to 6 months using an electronic visa waiver (EVW).

The EVW, which can be created online, offers a free, fast and simple alternative to a visit visa. EVW will be available for visits of up to 6 months.

However, those coming to the UK to work or study will still need to apply for visas in the normal way.

It is likely that in the future the electronic visas will be available for the residents of other countries. 

Dec 16, 2013 - Amendments to the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2006

The UK Government has recently amended the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2006 (by adopting the Immigration (European Economic Area) (Amendment) (No. 2) Regulations 2013). One of the most important changes is to Regulation 9 family members of British citizens that will come into effect on 1st January 2014, and how this will affect the ‘Surinder Singh’ route. 

‘Surinder Singh’

The ‘Surinder Singh’ route is a way for British citizens to bring their non-EEA dependant family members to the UK using the EEA Regulations as opposed to the strict UK Immigration Rules. The British cit...