Dec 08, 2017 - Brexit breakthrough

British Prime Minister Theresa May and the European Commission President, Jean-Claude Juncker announced main points of agreement between UK and EU in Brexit deal. There will be no “hard border” between Northern Ireland and the Republic. EU citizens living in the UK and vice versa will have their rights to stay, live, work and study. They will also keep the right to bring their relatives such as spouses, partners and children to settle with them in Britain.  UK also agreed to pay into the EU budget in 2019 and 2020 as normal and pay its liabilities. Though there is no certain figure of how much...

Nov 28, 2017 - Royal Engagement & the Immigration Rules

We wish to congratulate Prince Harry and Miss Meghan Markle on their engagement! As Miss Markle is a non-EEA national, she is subject to the very strict UK Immigration Rules, in particular Appendix FM, fiancée and spouse visa rules.

It is believed that Miss Markle is currently on a six month fiancée visa, this means that she must be married within this time and then switch into the spouse visa. The requirements are very similar for both applications, they must be in a genuine and subsisting relationship, intend to live together in the UK, have adequate accommodation and meet the very strict fi...

Nov 23, 2017 - Autumn Statement 2017

Autumn Statement 2017. Main points

Yesterday the Chancellor unveiled his budget, the first since the election and the penultimate one prior to Brexit, while Brexit was obviously in his thoughts and in one announcement the thin majority of the Conservative party led to the budget being fairly bland with no big surprises and no controversial measures in the headlines.

From a UK income tax perspective, the allowances and rate bands were increased as expected with the personal allowance rising from £11,500 in the current year to £11,850 next year.  The level at which higher rate tax starts has ris...

Nov 22, 2017 - Changes to the Stamp Duty

According to new Budget-2017, the first time buyers will not pay stamp duty when buying the property up to £300 000 starting from 22 November 2017. For properties above £500 000, no stamp duty will be paid on the first £300 000. This change will take place in England, Northern Ireland and Wales but it will not apply in Scotland as it has its own system of land tax. New Stamp Duty would affect 95% of first-time buyers with 80% not paying any stamp duty. The policy will cost the Treasury £3.2bn over the next five years and it is expected that house prices will rise by 0.3% within a year because ...

Nov 22, 2017 - Autumn Statement 2017. Main points

On the 22 of November 2017 the Chancellor unveiled his budget, the first since the election and the penultimate one prior to Brexit.

Nov 16, 2017 - Government increases the number of Tier 1 Exceptional Talent visas

Government increases the number of Tier 1 Exceptional Talent visas from 1000 to 2000 a year. This will enable to attract more highly skilled workers to come and work in the UK. The perspective areas are digital technology, science, arts and creative sectors. This change is a part of the ongoing reforms which would be carried out by the government related to UK leaving EU. The independent Migration Advisory Committee was tasked by the Home Office to advise on the impact of Brexit on the labour market.

Nov 15, 2017 - Good news for EU citizens

The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has found that EU citizens who move to the UK, and then go on to naturalise as British citizens will retain their free movement rights under EU law. This means that British nationals who naturalised as an EU citizen can rely on the EEA Regulations to bring family members to the UK, as opposed to the increasingly stricter UK Immigration Rules. The findings in the case of C-165/16 Lounes also means that the UK has wrongly been refusing to recognise free movement rights for those EU citizens since 2012. If you have been affected by this then you s...

Nov 08, 2017 - Brexit: Updated information from the Government for EU citizens and their family members

The Department for Exiting the EU has published a technical document specifying new details on how “settled status” scheme will operate for EU citizens and their family members. The government promised that the application process will be streamlined, low-cost and user friendly, expecting the majority of cases to be granted and giving a statutory right to appeal if their application is denied. EU citizens will be given a two-year “grace period” to obtain the settled status after Brexit. The document also confirms that EU citizens will not be required to have comprehensive sickness insurance or...

Nov 02, 2017 - Bank of England base rate increased

On Thursday 2 November 2017, the Bank of England base rate increased from 0.25% to 0.50%.

Oct 31, 2017 - Immigration status and bank accounts

According to the Immigration Act 2014  banks and building societies are required to check the immigration status of the persons who want to open current accounts. The banks and building societies must refuse the applications for a new current account (or an application to add the person as a signatory or identified beneficiary to a new or existing current account) if the applicant has no legal rights to stay in the UK. This applies if the applicant:

  • Entered the UK illegally, i.e. never had leave to enter
  • had leave but stayed after it expired or was revoked
  • are an EEA national subj...