21-05-18 – “Moscow’s Gold: Russian Corruption in the UK”

A report published on 21st of May 2018, by Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee “Moscow’s Gold: Russian Corruption in the UK” accused the UK of failing to stand up against the Kremlin after poisoning of ex-Russian spy Mr Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury in March this year. The report says that despite strong rhetoric over recent actions of Russian government, Russian businessmen are still able to continue “business as usual” in the UK by “hiding and laundering their corrupt assets in London”. MPs warned that the UK government is putting national security at risk allowing the corru...

18-05-18 – Immigration checks on UK bank accounts have been suspended

Newly elected Home Secretary Sajid Javid has suspended controversial immigration checks on UK bank accounts in the light of the Windrush scandal. In January 2018, under the Immigration Act 2016, Theresa May gave power to the UK banks to conduct quarterly checks of the identity of every account holder against Home Office database in order to create “hostile environment” for illegal immigrants. The data of the suspicious accounts were shared with the Home Office for review.  The Home Office was able to instruct bank to take further actions including closing the accounts if in doubt. Home Office...

16-05-18 – More than 1600 IT workers and engineers denied UK visas

More than 1,600 visa applications for IT specialists and engineers who were offered jobs in the UK were refused between December 2017 and March 2018. The statistics shows that in December, January and February the refusal rate was 50% with this figure growing in March 2018. The reason for such high rate of refusal was because the number of people applying for Tier 2 visa exceeded the limit, which is 20 700 visas per year with a monthly limit of 1 600. The cause of such an increase in the number of the applications made under Tier 2 is unclear. It could be linked to the fact that many EU citize...

14-05-18 – Norwegian government has proposed the UK to join EEA

The Norwegian government has proposed the UK to join the European Economic Area and adopt so called “Norway option”. Thus, the UK will stay inside the single market but outside the European Union.  Norway is one of the UK’s biggest trading partners mostly in gas sales. Mrs May believes that the main problem with the UK joining the EEA is that the long-term agreement on the free movement of EU citizens is "politically unacceptable" for Britain. Also, being the part of a single market means that the UK must comply with the laws and regulations of Brussels, in line with all the other members of t...

11-05-18 – Asylum applications statistics

The backlog of people waiting for an asylum decision or for an appeal to be heard is reported to be in the tens of thousands More than half of "non-straightforward" applicants had been waiting more than a year for a decision, as of March 2017, according to a report by chief inspector of borders and immigration David Bolt 26,350 people applied for asylum in the UK in 2017, according to Gov.uk - a decrease of 14% from 2016 14,767 people were granted asylum or alternative forms of protection and resettlement in 2017, including 5,866 children Additionally, 5,218 family reunion vis...

10-05-18 – New EEA(PR) form and kind reminder of latest SET (O) and SET(M)

Home Office published new application form for Permanent Residence for European citizens (EEA(PR).  This form is to be used for all applications made on or after 10th of May.  It is not shorter than previous version, but the fee is still the same £65. Also, the Home Office sent out kind reminder to use the most recent versions of SET(M) – partner or parent of a child, present and settled in the UK and SET (O) – ILR – other categories (Tier 1, 2, representatives of overseas business, dependants). Please note that both types of application include new, higher fees, as updated in April this year.

10-05-18 – Lauch of Windrush compensation scheme

On the 10th of May 2018 Home Office launched “call for evidence” programme as a part of Windrush compensation scheme. Those individuals and communities, who were financially affected while proving their immigration status, will share their experience with Home Office. This programme will run until 8th of June 2018. Newly elected Home Secretary Sajid Javid said that their aim is to understand more about what happened and to understand the personal stories. Martin Forde, son of the Windrush parents, will independently oversee the running of the scheme.  

01-05-18 – Register of the beneficiaries of offshore companies

By the end of 2020, 14 British offshore territories, including British Virgin Islands and the Cayman Islands, will have to publish information about individuals with significant control of all companies registered there. Supporters of this move, Dame Margaret Hodge and Andrew Mitchell, believe that this will help with the investigation of cases of money laundering, corruption and tax evasion. Parliament discussed the proposal to introduce such a register  back in 2014, but representatives of offshore territories managed to defend their rights to non-disclosure of information. At the moment, fo...

01-05-18 – Magnitsky amendment

On May 1, government has approved “Magnitsky amendment” as a part of new Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Bill. This means that the UK government can impose sanctions, as well as deny entry visas to people who are accused of violations of human rights and corruption. This amendment passed without  a vote, as it was supported by both parties, Labor and Conservative. The government also stressed that the amendment is not specifically aimed at Russian citizens, though it comes at the time when relations between Britain and Russia remain very tense.

30-04-18 – Amber Rudd has resigned from the post of the Home Secretary

On 30th of April 2018 Amber Rudd has resigned from the post of the Home Secretary  saying she "inadvertently misled" MPs over targets for removing illegal immigrants and “Windrush” scandal. The "Windrush" generation comes from Africa and the Caribbean. After the end of World War II, they were actively invited to the UK, as the country required extra work force. Recently it appeared that from late 1940s up to 1970s the government treated relatives of these immigrants as illegal. Thus, some of them were expelled from the country, and some were deprived of the right to work, benefits and medical...