05-08-14 – HMRC change of policy on UK debt secured by foreign income and gains

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) have announced fundamental changes affecting all UK resident but non-UK domiciled individuals (and some trustees and other relevant persons) who were planning to (or have already used) untaxed foreign income or gains as security for loans used in the UK. Previously HMRCs’ widely published approach was that, in commercial circumstances, such income or gains would not be treated as remitted. In an unexpected change, with no advanced warning, HMRC have withdrawn this ‘concessionary’ treatment. From 4th August 2014 HMRC take the view that it is not p...

28-07-14 – David Cameron: ‘We’re building an immigration system that puts Britain first’

British Prime Minister David Cameron, published an article in The Telegraph outlining new action that the government will take in UK immigration. Some of them have been already introduced, however, some of them are new, for example those related to EEA nationals. To summarise, the following was announced: Tier 4 Sponsor License – if 10% of those they issue CAS’s (Certificate of Sponsorship) to are refused, the college will lose their sponsor license; From this month, those who are here illegally cannot be issued with driving licenses, 3,150 have already been withdrawn; From N...

24-07-14 – Home Affairs Committee Report - 'Sham marriage ‘industry’ increasing at an alarming rate'

Today the Commons Home Affairs Committee published its report on the work of the Immigration Directorates (October-December 2013). The report found that the sham marriages industry is increasing at an alarming rate, and that they believe that the Home Office does not have a true understanding of the scale of the problem. The report is also concerned as sham marriages can lead to rights of residence not only to one person but to many other family members. The report made the following recommendations: The Home Office should provide training on how to identify  potential sham marriages...

22-07-14 – Russian property owners with a home or property in London have made record returns on their investment

Russian property owners with a home or property in London have made record returns on their investment, owing to a combination of the capital’s recent housing market boom and a weakening rouble. The value of a luxury property in London has appreciated by 102.7pc over the last five years for Russian homeowners as at the same time as property prices rising the number of roubles to the pound continues to increase. Russian investors have capitalised on a 71pc rise in prime central London house prices, the strong pound and the rouble’s fall, the rouble has weakened by a third over the...

10-07-14 – New Statement of Changes in Immigration Rules

Last night the Home Office published a new statement of changes to the Immigration Rules that are effective from today. The most significant change is that those with leave as a Tier 4 (General) migrant will no longer be able to switch into the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) route in-country, any application would have to be for entry clearance from outside of the UK. The statement of changes to the Immigration Rules also removes all tests provided by Cambridge International Examinations (CIE), and specific tests provided by Cambridge English and Trinity College London from the list of approved Engli...

10-07-14 – MM Case Judgement – Appendix FM Partner Financial Requirement

The long awaited case regarding the financial requirement for partner’s under Appendix FM of the Immigration Rules judgement was finally given today. The three judges ruled that ‘all immigration law is inherently discriminatory’, but in this case they found the financial requirements to be justified. This means that the financial requirements contained in Appendix FM still remain. To summarise if there are no dependent children the requirements are as follows: Salary: at least £18,600 for six months Savings: at least £62,500 held for six months Or a combinatio...

09-07-14 – Launch of JCWI and BritCits report on the Adult Dependant Relative Rule and its impact on families – House of Commons

On 09/07/2014, Law Firm Ltd had the privilege of attending the House of Commons for the launch of JCWI and BritCits report on the Adult Dependant Relative Rule (ADR) and its impact on families. Among others, the launch was attended by shadow immigration minister, David Hanson MP, who pledged to review the ADR and also the family rules in Appendix FM of the Immigration Rules should his party, Labour, be elected in the general election next year. The report concluded that the ADR rule is harsh, unjust and unnecessary, that as a result of the ADR there is no burden on the tax payer and that it...

15-06-14 – Gilts and the interest rate rise

Following recent announcement by the Governor of the Bank of England stating interest rates may rise this year, anyone holding a large number of Gilts should contact their financial advisor and consider their position in the market, as when interest rates go up the value of Gilts falls. Gilts are bonds issued by the UK (or other) governments to fund its debt. Gilts are normally redeemed at face value between specified dates, which may be 5, 10, or even more years away. They are called gilts because in the old days, loans to the government would be secured with the government's real gold,...

09-06-14 – New Statement of Changes in Immigration Rules – English language test provider, ETS, removed

Today the Home Office published a new statement of changes to the Immigration Rules. The changes are to Appendix O where they have now removed the Educational Testing Service (ETS) as an approved English language test provider from 01/07/2014. There are transitional provisions, applications for leave to remain (submitted inside of the UK) before 01/07/2014 will still be able to use any qualification from ETS. Applications for entry clearance (submitted outside of the UK) before 22/07/2014, will still be able to use any qualification from ETS.

03-06-14 – Queen’s Speech 2014

Today in the House of Lords the Queen delivered her Queen’s Speech at the State Opening of Parliament outlining the government’s agenda for the coming parliamentary year. It had been expected that the government would outline further changes and restrictions in immigration to the UK, however this was not raised in the Queen’s Speech or listed in the bills to be introduced in the forthcoming parliamentary year. Although it should be noted when concluding her speech, the Queen stated ‘other measures will be laid before you’, thus leaving the government to introduc...