News

Mar 21, 2022 - Intended parents can bring Ukrainian surrogate mothers to the UK

The Home Office has promised to give UK visas to Ukrainian surrogate mothers and their families, casting a lifeline to intended parents.

Provision will also be made for babies born outside the UK to Ukrainian surrogate mothers, according to Home Secretary Priti Patel, in a letter to leading surrogacy lawyers. 

So far no public announcement has been made and the letter provides only the broadest of details. 

Visas will be granted “outside the Immigration Rules”, meaning the scheme will be a discretionary one. While this sounds alarmingly vague, much of the UK’s immigration and nationality law o...

Mar 18, 2022 - Visa under the Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme (Homes for Ukraine)

A. General overview

The Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme allows Ukrainian nationals and their family members to come to the UK if they have a named sponsor under the Homes for Ukraine Scheme.

It is free to apply.

You will be able to live, work and study in the UK and access public funds.

If you’re Ukrainian and need any assistance, please call the 24/7 free helpline +44 808 164 8810 (0808 164 8810 if you’re in the UK).

If you cannot contact UK 0808 numbers, please use +44 (0)175 390 7510.

B. Eligibility requirements

To apply to the Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme you must be Ukrainian, or the immediate f...

Mar 17, 2022 - Bank of England raises interest rates again to curb inflation

Interest rates have increased for the third time in four months as the Bank of England tries to calm the rise in the cost of living.

The rise to 0.75% from 0.5% means rates are now at their highest level since March 2020, when the pandemic began.

Energy bills and food costs are increasing and there is concern the war in Ukraine will push prices up further.

The Bank has warned inflation, the rate at which prices rise, may reach 8% and possibly higher, in the coming months.

Prices rose by 5.5% in the year to January, the fastest rate for 30 years and well above the Bank's 2% inflation target.

Th...

Mar 17, 2022 - Important information regarding 'Priority' and 'Super Priority" visa services

Home Office announced today that it is prioritising Ukraine Family Scheme applications in response to the humanitarian crisis caused by the invasion of Ukraine, as a result, applications for study, work and family visas may take longer to process.

Standard visitor visas are currently taking an average of 6 weeks to process.

Home Office apologise for any inconvenience caused.

Mar 16, 2022 - UK wrongly insisted on Comprehensive Sickness Insurance for years - EU court finds

Eligibility for NHS treatment does count as Comprehensive Sickness Insurance, the Court of Justice of the European Union has ruled. The case is C‑247/20 VI v Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs.

The key pivotal question was not directly asked – so we should be glad that the judges nevertheless took it upon themselves to address it. The preliminary reference asked three questions:

  1. Whether children with permanent residence are also required to have CSI (answer: no, they are not).
  2. Whether the family members of students and self-sufficient persons who did not yet have permanent residence ar...

Mar 15, 2022 - New statement of changes to the Immigration Rules: HC 1118 – PART 1

The government has published 205 pages worth of changes to the Immigration Rules. The changes are being phased in over the next few months, starting on 6 April 2022.

This is the first in a series of (at least) three articles on this statement of changes. 

No recourse to public funds

In May 2021, the High Court ruled that government policy on denying benefits to migrants was in breach of the statutory duty to promote the welfare of children. The Home Office is now graciously making changes to reflect that judgment. 

This currently stipulates that immigration permission as a partner, child or pa...

Mar 15, 2022 - Statement of changes HC 1118: new family and private life rules - PART 3

On 9 July 2022, the first people granted permission to stay under the ten-year private and family life routes will start to qualify for indefinite leave to remain.

Now, just in time for that anniversary, the Home Office has introduced what it describes as a “simplified” approach to such cases. 

This article is intended to be a non-exhaustive overview of the most significant changes to family/private life in statement of changes HC 1118. All the new rules discussed below apply to applications made on or after 20 June 2022.

Private life

The new Appendix Private Life retains the four grounds on w...

Mar 15, 2022 - Statement of changes HC 1118: new and improved UK work visas – PART 2

New High Potential Individual route

A new visa for people to come and work in the UK without a job offer was advertised by the Home Office last summer, although the final product differs slightly from what we were promised.

The main requirements of Appendix High Potential Individual are:

The applicant must, in the 5 years immediately before the date of the application, have been awarded an overseas degree level academic qualification which Ecctis confirms meets, or exceeds, the recognised standard of a UK bachelor’s or UK postgraduate degree.

The institution at which the applicant was awarded ...

Mar 14, 2022 - Homes for Ukraine program – full details

The UK is one of the most generous nations in the world and the British public are now being asked to go one step further and open their homes to those fleeing the war in Ukraine.

We have a long history of helping others in their hour of need and the Homes for Ukraine Scheme offers a lifeline to those forced to flee their homes.

How this works

This bespoke scheme will offer a route to those who want to come to the UK who have someone here willing to provide them with a home. It will enable individuals, charities, community groups and businesses to volunteer accommodation and provide a route to...

Mar 14, 2022 - Home for Ukraine program for Ukrainian refugees in the UK

People in the UK can offer to sponsor and house people fleeing the conflict in Ukraine who have obtained a visa through a new government scheme.

From 19 February 2024, the following changes are introduced:

  • New applicants under this scheme receive a visa for a period of 18 months, instead of 36 months as it was before.
  • The sponsor must be either a British or Irish citizen, or ‘have permanent residence in the UK' (which means having the right to permanently reside in the UK). Previously, a sponsor could have been a person of any nationality who had a British visa valid for more than s...