24-03-15 – Biometrics will become mandatory for all applicants

From 06 April 2015 anyone applying for registration or naturalization as a British Citizen will need to provide their biometrics as part of their application.  Non-EEA nationals applying for a residence card, derivative residence card or permanent residence card will also need to submit their biometrics.  An applicant who is applying in the UK will need to attend a Post Office so their biometrics can be taken. Those people applying from overseas to become British Citizens will be required to enrol their biometrics at a biometric enrolment centre, such as a Visa Application Centre.&...

18-03-15 – New ‘Health Surcharge’ to be paid by migrants from 6 April 2015

From 6th of April 2015 nationals from outside the EEA coming to the UK for longer than six months will be required to pay a ‘health surcharge’ when they apply for visas. It will also be paid by non-EEA nationals already in the UK who apply to extend their stay. Migrants coming to work, study or join family members currently receive free NHS treatment in the same way as a permanent resident. The health surcharge will be £200 per year and £150 per year for students, payable upfront and for the total period of time for which migrants are given permission to stay in the UK...

17-03-15 – Budget Points

Today the Chancellor announced his final budget before the election.   It was a mix of tax simplification and measures to help tax payers feel belter.  The main points are listed below and more detailed information will be provided as matters unfold and details are released 

15-03-15 – Biometric Residence Permit – International Rollout Schedule

On the 2nd of February 2015 we informed you that from March 2015 new requirements for non-EEA nationals applying from overseas to enter the UK for more than six months will be introduced. The applicants will need to apply for Biometric Residence Permits (BRP). Below is the information about the dates of introducing the new BRP requirements for all countries: 18 March 2015  Pakistan  Mid April 2015 (estimated, subject to the exact date legislation comes into force)  Armenia, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Burma, Cambodia, China, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Gibraltar, Ic...

15-03-15 – Points Based System - Court of Appeal criticizes the lack of clarity and complexity with the rules

As you will be aware the Immigration Rules are consistently changing and are also spread across many different appendices to the Immigration Rules which leads to an increasingly complex immigration system, particularly with regards to the Points Based System. In a recent case in the Court of Appeal (Civil Division), Hossain & Ors v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2015] EWCA Civ 207,  Lord Justice Beatson stated the following: ‘The detail, the number of documents that have to be consulted, the number of changes in rules and policy guidance, and the difficulty advisers f...

10-03-15 – Election 2015 - Policy on Education

Conservatives  Protect England's schools budget - from reception entry at age four or five to the end of GCSEs at 16 - in cash terms although funding per pupil will not keep pace with inflation.  Convert up to 3,500 more schools judged by Ofsted to "require improvement" into academies. State primary schools in England that repeatedly failed to have a proportion of year-six pupil pass times tables and writing tests be forced to become academies, or have sponsorship replaced if already an academy.  Opposed to giving votes to 16 and 17-year-olds for UK-wide general electio...

08-03-15 – Election 2015 - Policy on Tax

Below are a few pointers to party policy with the election due on 9th May.   All these points may be subject to change as the party manifestos won’t be released until March; once they are a firmer picture of each parties position will be available. CONSERVATIVES – PARTY POLICY ON TAX Increase the personal allowance to £12,500 Increase the basic rate band to £50,000 Time limits on retrospective capital allowances claims. More investment in tackling tax avoidance and evasion Changes to employment law to allow some employees to be self employed LIBERAL DEM...

03-03-15 – New English tests from 6th of April 2015

From 6th April 2015 there will be a new list of approved Secure English Language Tests (SELT) and Test Centres. Anyone taking a test on or after 6 th April 2015 must take one of the new listed tests at one of the approved centres if they wish to use it in a UK Immigration application. The new providers are Trinity College London (UK only) and IELTS SELT Consortia (UK and rest of world).  The number of tests in the new list of approved tests will be shortened from 21 to 3. The very popular Cambridge tests, City & Guilds, and Pearson PTE Academic will be removed from the list. Applicants w...

25-02-15 – Statement of Changes in the Immigration Rules:

A new Statement of Changes in the Immigration Rules has been presented to parliament today. There are significant changes to many of the rules. Please find below a breakdown of the main changes: The New Visit Visas From 24/04/2015 the current 15 different visitor visa routes will be replaced by four visit visa categories: Visitor (standard) This consolidates the following existing routes: general, business, child, sport, entertainer, visitors for private medical treatment, visitors under the Approved Destination Status (ADS) Agreement with China, prospective entrepreneur, and visitors un...

24-02-15 – General Election 2015 – Immigration

As you will be aware the general election will be held on Thursday 7th May 2015. It is anticipated to be one of the closest since 1945 with opinion polls and commentators at odds as to which party will win or whether there will be another coalition government. Given the importance of immigration and the ever changing immigration rules, we thought that it would be important to highlight the key immigration policies of the main political parties, which may give an insight into the new immigration changes that could take place after the general election depending on the party/parties elected: L...