Aug 03, 2023 - Interest rate in the UK rises to 5.25%

The UK's interest rate has been raised to 5.25% by the Bank of England, as it continues trying to control soaring prices.

This means the Bank has increased the rate by 0.25% from 5% - the 14th hike in a row.

The last time the base rate was this high was in April 2008.

The Bank's base rate influences the cost of borrowing - meaning an increase can lead to more expensive mortgages. But it can be good news for savers, as banks may offer greater returns on savings accounts.

Higher interest rates are designed to cut inflation, by reducing borrowers' spending power.

While the UK inflation rate is fa...

Jul 31, 2023 - Home Office changes immigration rules on receiving citizenship in case of long-term prison sentence

Serious criminals will be barred from claiming British citizenship under tough new rules that came into force on Monday (31 July).

Changes to the so-called ‘good character’ requirement of citizenship applications will see “stricter and more specific rules” applied to anyone who has received a 12-month prison sentence.

The changes remove the previous rules where some criminals could be granted British citizenship after a certain number of years had passed since the end of their sentence – regardless of the type of crime or where it was committed.

Home Secretary Suella Braverman said: “British c...

Jul 28, 2023 - ‘Minded to cancel’ process applies to dishonesty allegations at the UK border

Following our previous news article dated 14 July 2023 please see it available by the following link, we would like to expand on this topic and provide you with an extended immigration news which is intertwined with the previous one but in a more broad context.

A student whose leave was cancelled on arrival was wrongly denied the opportunity to comment on an allegation of falsified English language qualifications. So held the High Court in R (on the application of Tazeem) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2023] EWHC 1828 (Admin), a case addressing the need for procedural fairness a...

Jul 24, 2023 - Smoother travel for families through the UK border this summer

From Monday 24 July, children aged 10 or over will be able to enter the UK using eGates across 15 air and rail ports, helping families travel more easily.

Following successful trials across major ports including Gatwick, Stansted and Heathrow Airports this spring, from Monday 24 July 2023, more families returning and eligible visitors to the UK over the school summer holiday will now benefit from the use of eGates as a faster way to travel through the UK border, with a recent YouGov poll showing that 42% of the UK public plan to jet abroad over the summer.

With passenger volumes expected to re...

Jul 20, 2023 - New rules to force banks to explain account closures

Ministers will make it harder for banks to close accounts after the dispute between ex-UKIP leader Nigel Farage and Coutts.

Banks will be forced to explain and delay any decision to close an account under the new rules, the Treasury said.

Customers will also be able to challenge account closures more easily, it added.

Before the new rules are fully introduced, let us look at what rights banks and consumers currently have, and what is next for the sector.

– Are banks allowed to close your account with no explanation?

Banks have the right to close a customer’s account in the same way that a pers...

Jul 19, 2023 - Visa regime imposed on Dominica, Honduras, Namibia, Timor-Leste and Vanuatu

Dominica, Honduras, Namibia, Timor-Leste and Vanuatu to the list of countries whose nationals require a visa to travel to the UK as a visitor.

The change has been introduced with immediate effect, from 3pm 19 July 2023.

Jul 18, 2023 - First British passports issued with King's name

The first British passports issued in King Charles's name are being released this week, the Home Office has said.

Passports will now use the wording "His Majesty", with the era finally ending for passports using "Her Majesty", for the late Queen Elizabeth II.

The last time "His Majesty" appeared on a passport was in the reign of King George VI, which ended in 1952.

Five million passports have been issued already this year under the name of the late Queen.

The one person who will not need a passport is the King himself. By convention the monarch does not have to carry a passport to travel, beca...

Jul 17, 2023 - Enhancements to the EU Settlement Scheme confirmed

New immigration rules, laid in Parliament 17 July, confirm that from September 2023 people with pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) will automatically have their status extended by 2 years before it expires if they have not obtained settled status.

The process will be automated by the Home Office and reflected in the person’s digital status. They will be notified of the extension directly. This will ensure that nobody loses their immigration status if they do not apply to switch from pre-settled to settled status.

The Home Office also intends to take steps to automatically...

Jul 17, 2023 - Visa rules eased for building and fishing industry

Visa rules are being eased for overseas builders, carpenters and people working in the fishing industry, the Home Office has confirmed.

Roofers and plasterers have also been added to the Shortage Occupation List, which temporarily eases visa restrictions in areas where employers are struggling to fill vacancies.

The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) advised adding builders to the list.

Advisors on MAC recommended five jobs for inclusion on the shortage occupations list:

  • Bricklayers and masons
  • Roofers, roof tilers and slaters
  • Carpenters and joiners
  • Plasterers

The Home Office ...

Jul 17, 2023 - Statement of changes of the immigration rules HC 1496

On 17 July 2023, a new statement of changes to the Immigration Rules was published. As usual, it is accompanied by an Explanatory Memorandum. Also as usual, it is largely concerned with cracking down on those perceived as abusing immigration law. There are, though, one or two positive changes.

EU Settlement Scheme

There are two significant changes to the validity requirements of the EU Settlement Scheme. Firstly, the obligation to demonstrate reasonable grounds for applying after the deadline (30 June 2021). This means that where the Secretary of State considers there are no reasonable grounds...