Sep 10, 2020 - New Immigration rules for students

The changes relate to students: what have so far been known as the Tier 4 (General) and Tier 4 (children) routes will now be Student Visa (for adult applicants) and Child Student Visa (for applicants aged below 16 years old).

In terms of timeline, the changes will take effect on 5 October 2020 at 09 am. Applicants made before then will be considered in line with the Rules in force at the time.

What is new for students?

  • Brexit did happen, and we are coming to the end of the transition period. This means that the rules will apply to EEA nationals. EEA nationals applying in-country will only...

Sep 08, 2020 - The Government of the UK may break international law over Brexit negotiations

Boris Johnson has urged MPs to support a bill which modifies the Brexit deal he signed with the EU in January. The PM said that the Bill would ensure the integrity of the UK internal market and hand power to Scotland and Wales, as well as it would protect the Northern Ireland peace process.

Concerns had been raised about legislation being brought forward which could change parts of the withdrawal agreement, negotiated last year.

Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis conceded it would go against the treaty in a "specific and limited way". Senior Conservatives have warned it risks undermining...

Sep 07, 2020 - Coronavirus: Up to £3.5bn furlough scheme claims may have been wrongly paid out

The government believes it may have paid out up to £3.5bn in wrong or fraudulent claims for the furlough scheme.

Jim Harra, the top civil servant at HM Revenue & Customs, said that his staff had calculated for the possibility that from 5% to 10% of the money might have gone to the wrong places.

The government has so far made £35.4bn in furlough payments, according to the latest figures. It means that somewhere between £1.75bn and £3.5bn could have been paid out wrongly.

Mr Harra said HMRC would not be seeking to root out employers who have made legitimate mistakes but will instead be focusing ...

Sep 06, 2020 - New Brexit law will not ‘tear up’ EU trade plans

The government will introduce a new law that could change post-Brexit customs plans with the EU – but No 10 denied it would “tear up” the existing treaty.

The two sides agreed in 2019 on the terms of the UK’s exit, including on future trade in Northern Ireland.

Reports suggested a new law could “override” the legal force of that deal – the withdrawal agreement, but the government said it would only make “minor clarifications in extremely specific areas” and confirmed the new UK Internal Market Bill will be published on Wednesday.

The EU said the “full implementation” of the withdrawal agreemen...

Sep 06, 2020 - UK visa updates for international students: Here’s what you should know

The UK will implement a points-based immigration system from 2021 onwards, as announced earlier this year by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI), the division of the Home Office responsible for the country’s visa system. Following this announcement are a host of UK visa updates for visa applicants and temporary residents. Here’s what you should know as an international student.

You can apply for Tier 4 visa six months ahead

Under the latest UKVI guidelines, students can apply for a study visa as soon as they gain admission into the university and confirm their UK travel. This is a welcome change t...

Sep 02, 2020 - UK Immigration and Citizenship launch biometric identity verification app to speed up applications

UK Visa and Immigration (UKVI) has been working with UK Visa and Citizenship Application Services (UKVCAS) to develop a new biometric identify verification (IDV) application that allows users to register facial images and travel documents.

“In some cases, UKVI is allowing biometrics (fingerprints and photographs) to be reused, if they have already been recorded in a previous application. UKVI and UKVCAS have been working together to create a way of submitting facial images using a new Identity Verification (IDV) app,” the legal practice Herrington Carmichael notes.

The initiative comes as resp...

Sep 01, 2020 - Plans for independence vote for Scotland to be published in draft bill

The Scottish government is to set out its plans for a second independence referendum in a draft bill at Holyrood.

Ministers have accepted that there is "clearly" not time to hold a fresh vote before the Scottish Parliament elections in May 2021.

However, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said a draft bill would be published setting out the timescale and potential question for a new referendum.

The SNP will then "make the case" for this plan in the election campaign.

Opposition parties hit out at the move, with Scottish Conservatives accusing Ms Sturgeon of putting independence "front and centre" ...

Sep 01, 2020 - Government launches £2 billion kickstart scheme to get young people back to work

A £2 billion scheme to help young people into work has been launched by the UK Government today (2nd September).

Businesses are now able to sign up to be part of the Kickstart scheme, giving unemployed young people a future of opportunity by creating high-quality, government-subsidised jobs across the UK.

Under the scheme, announced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak as part of his Plan for Jobs, employers can offer young people aged 16-24 who are claiming Universal Credit a six-month work placement.

The new KickStart jobs initiative will see the Government pay 100% of each person's National Minimum Wa...

Aug 31, 2020 - Coronavirus: Rishi Sunak is considering a set of tax increases to pay for Covid crisis

The UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak is considering plans for a £30bn tax raid increases to help fix the huge hole in the nation’s finances caused by the coronavirus crisis, some British newspapers said.

Under proposals that are due to form the centrepiece of the budget in November, the Rishi Sunak is also considering a proposal to increase corporation tax from 19% to 24%, a move that would raise £12bn next year, rising to £17bn in 2023-24, but would put the government on a collision course with businesses hit by the pandemic.

The potential increase to corporation tax would come after years of corpor...

Aug 26, 2020 - EU Settlement Scheme rejects majority of Zambrano carers

The Home Office has so far rejected the majority of EU Settlement Scheme applications that rely on Zambrano rights. New figures show that 770 of the 1,260 Zambrano carers applying for leave to remain under the scheme have been rejected (61%).

A non-EU citizen who is the primary carer of a British citizen may have a right to reside in the UK under EU law, relying on the judgment in case C-34/09 Zambrano.

Zambrano carers did not have a route to settlement in the UK before the EU Settlement Scheme, so immigration lawyers initially welcomed the fact that they were able to use it. But the Home Offi...