Jun 30, 2020 - UK to extend residence rights for British Nationals (Overseas) citizens in Hong Kong

British national (overseas) is someone who was a British overseas territories citizen by connection with Hong Kong was able to register as a British national (overseas) before 1 July 1997. British overseas territories citizens from Hong Kong who did not register as British nationals (overseas) and had no other nationality or citizenship on 30 June 1997 became British overseas citizens on 1 July 1997.

Under the current immigration rules, British nationals (overseas) are allowed to come to the UK as tourists for the period of up to six months only. They are not allowed to work or study in the UK...

Jun 30, 2020 - Flexible furlough scheme starts today (1 July)

From 1 July 2020, furloughed workers can return to work on a flexible, part time basis. Employees will still be entitled to receive at least 80 percent of their reference pay (subject to a cap of £2,500 per month) for non-working time (pro-rated against any working hours).

The government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) has so far helped protect more than 9.3 million jobs through the pandemic, with employers claiming more than £25.5bn to support wages.

From 1 July, employers can bring furloughed employees back to work for any amount of time and any work pattern, while still being able...

Jun 29, 2020 - UK mortgage approvals fall 90% to record low in May as coronavirus hits housing market

New mortgage approvals collapsed by 90% compared to pre-pandemic levels and represent just a third of the lowest level seen during the 2008 financial crisis.

Lenders approved just 9,300 mortgages for home purchases in May, down 90 per cent on February’s total and just a third of the trough experienced after the financial crash in 2008.This is the lowest level since comparable records began (in 1997), according to data from the Bank of England.

Approvals for remortgage have also fallen, to 30,400, over 40% lower than in February.

Analysts warned that a “two-tier” mortgage market has emerged, wi...

Jun 29, 2020 - Coronavirus: PM Boris Johnson sets out 'ambitious' economic recovery plan

Boris Johnson says now is the time to be "ambitious" about the UK's future, as he set out a post-coronavirus recovery plan.

He said the UK "cannot continue to be prisoners of this crisis" and the government was "preparing now, slowly, cautiously to come out of hibernation".

Delivering a major speech in Dudley College of Technology, the prime minister claimed his government would tackle the long-term problems in the UK economy revealed by the “lightning flash” of the pandemic.

Acknowledging the scale of the oncoming downturn, he said: “We must work fast, because we’ve already seen the vertigino...

Jun 28, 2020 - Coronavirus and the UK immigration system (as of 29 June 2020)

If you are in the UK and your leave expires between 24 January 2020 and 31 July 2020

If you are applying to stay in the UK long-term

You can apply from the UK to switch to a long-term UK visa until 31 July 2020 if your leave expires between 24 January 2020 and 31 July 2020. This includes applications where you would usually need to apply for a visa from your home country.

You can also apply from the UK if your leave expires after 31 July 2020 but you urgently need to make a new application, for example to start a new job or course of study, and cannot leave the UK to make an application from o...

Jun 25, 2020 - Coronavirus: delays to overseas VAT claims

In its latest Revenue and Customs Brief, HMRC informs businesses established outside the EU of delays in processing and refunding VAT claims submitted under the Overseas Refund Scheme for the year 1 July 2018 to 30 June 2019. Such claims have been submitted on or before 31 December 2019.

HMRC confirms that the impact of coronavirus and changes HMRC has made to its operations, mean it is unable to meet its deadline of 30 June 2020 for some of these 2018–19 claims. It does, however, expect to make repayments by 30 September 2020.

HMRC also acknowledged that some overseas businesses or their advi...

Jun 23, 2020 - Coronavirus: New advice for businesses in England on how to reopen safely.

Today (24 June) updated guidance has been published on how hairdressers, hotels, pubs and other businesses in England can reopen safely from 4 July.

It includes some general advice for all businesses as well as guidance for specific sectors, including advice to reconfigure seating, minimise self-service, cancel live acts and stagger arrivals.

It comes after Boris Johnson announced sweeping changes to England's lockdown, including a relaxing of the 2m rule.

This means people should stay at least 2m (6ft) apart where possible, but otherwise should remain at least 1m apart while taking steps to r...

Jun 22, 2020 - CJEU: permanent residence card exempts family member from visa requirements

In the case of C‑754/18 Ryanair the Court of Justice of the European Union has concluded that a non-EU national who holds a permanent residence card from one EU state, is under EU law, exempt from any domestic law requirement to hold a visa to enter another EU state. The judgment effectively overrules the Court of Appeal judgment in Ryanair v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2018] EWCA Civ 899.

The CJEU reaches this conclusion despite there being no express provision to this effect in Directive 2004/38: only a residence card is specifically mentioned. This was no barrier to the CJEU...

Jun 22, 2020 - Coronavirus and the UK immigration system (as of 23 June 2020)

Student Visas

For short-term students:

  • In-country switching: into Tier 4 from short-term routes “will be allowed on an exceptional basis” until at least 31 July 2020.
  • Permitted study: “Short-term students who have been given an exceptional extension of leave in this category as a result of Covid-19 will be permitted to study on a further course other than that which they originally entered the UK to undertake”.
  • Extending short-term study leave: not catered for, would need to be an application for leave outside the Rules.

Visa centres overseas

All UK visa application centres overs...

Jun 21, 2020 - HMRC again decided not to share tax data with Russia

Russia has been excluded again from the list of jurisdictions with which the UK tax authorities (HMRC) exchanges the tax information about assets of Russian citizens, automatically for 2019 year.

At the same time, Brunei Darussalam, Ecuador, Kazakhstan and Kuwait were added to the list of countries for mutual automatic exchange of information with the UK, and Albania, Oman and Peru were excluded from the list.

In response, Russian tax authorities also decided not to share CRS (Common Reporting Standard) tax data with the UK in automatic mode in 2020.

At the same time, Panama, Israel, Dominica,...