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...

19-02-15 – With effect from April 2015 the annual change of Home office fees is expected

Basically, the fees will increase by an average 5 to 10 per cent. However, some prices will change significantly, and not only upwards. For example, the charge for a Representative of an overseas business (in-country extension application) will decrease from £1,093 to £651. Also there is good news for applicants under Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) – The Home Office fee will decrease from £1,093 to £562. For applicants under this category applying from abroad the fees will decrease not so significantly, but still considerably: from £874 to £56...

12-02-15 – Home Office Minister admits that spouse migration rules are ‘unfair’ to UK citizens

It is well known how strict and unfair the financial requirements are under Appendix FM of the Immigration Rules (earnings of at least £18,600/savings of at least £62,500 for at least a six month period) if a person who is British or holds permanent residence wishes to bring their non-EEA partner to the UK. Unfortunately, an appeal challenging this decision was unsuccessful in July of last year. It is also well known that EEA nationals have far more rights and far less stringent Regulations to meet in order to bring their family to the UK, indeed the Surinder Singh route, whereby...

11-02-15 – Exchange of information and voluntary disclosure

We are now at the start of an era where unprecedented levels of information will be supplied to HMRC in respect of UK residents who have overseas interests.   This will have a major impact on UK tax resident non domiciled individuals 

09-02-15 – New Visit Visa System Announced

Home Secretary, Theresa May, has just announced an overhaul of the visit visa system that will be introduced in April 2015. At present the full Immigration Rule changes have yet to be announced, however the changes can be summarised as follows: The current system of the 15 types of visit visa will be scrapped and will be replaced by 4 types of visit visa; The first type of new visit visa will cover tourists; The second type of new visit visa will cover those wishing to undertake paid engagements, such as appearing in concerts and the theatre; The third type of new visit visa will cover t...

01-02-15 – Biometric Residence Permits for entry the UK

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).  The visa application procedure will not change significantly. The only change is that instead of having a visa vignette affixed to the passport showing the full leave period granted, there will be a short validity "travel" vignette. With such vignette the applicant will be able to travel to the UK and collect their BRP. The applicants will receive a letter informing them of the...

29-01-15 – Immigration Act 2014: marriage and civil partnership

We would like to remind you that from 02 March 2015 the marriage and civil partnership notice period will be extended from 15 days to 28 days. All proposed marriages and civil partnerships involving a non-EEA national with limited or no immigration status in the UK, will be referred to the Home Office. If the Home Office has reasonable grounds to suspect a sham marriage or civil partnership, they will be able to extend the notice period in these referred cases to 70 days in order to investigate and take appropriate enforcement or casework action. 

20-01-15 – FOI release: Applications for British Citizenship

In accordance with Freedom of Information Act 2000 the British Government, has published recent  statistics on the number of applications for naturalisation as a British citizens received in the last 5, 10 and 15 years. The following figures are stated: from January 2010 to June 2014 – 899’045 applications from January 2005 to June 2014 г – 1’781’201 applications from January 2000 to June 2014 г – 2’177’440 applications The largest groups of applications by citizenship were from India, Pakistan, Nigeria, the Philippines, South Africa...