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...

08-01-15 – Devolution to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland

As most clients will have seen in the financial news the Chancellor recently announced that the Government has agreed to the devolution of more powers, including the setting of tax legislation, to parts of the UK. Draft clauses are expected to be published soon; however the types of changes are already known: Scotland will have the control of Income Tax rates and thresholds for income other than dividends to all Scottish taxpayers. The Personal Allowance for UK residents, however, will not be affected. Wales will gain the full devolution of non-domestic (“business”) tax rates wit...

02-12-14 – Autumn Statement: Reform of structure Stamp duty land tax and Non-domiciled individuals

In his Autumn Statement today George Osborne made the following announcements: - He has scrapped the single flat rate system on stamp duty for residential property and moved to a simple progressive system. From midnight tonight each rate will only apply to the part of the property price that falls within that band. The new bands will be: no tax on first £125k 2% on portion up to £250k 5% up to £925K 10% up to 1.5m 12% on everything over that The Chancellor says the changes will benefit 98% of homebuyers. However anybody about to purchase a high value property in ex...

26-11-14 – New requirements for transit visas

A national from certain countries (including, for example, Belarus, China and India) from 1 December 2014 will need to have a transit visa to travel via the UK by air. This relates to those travellers who will not need to cross the border of the UK so as to carry out their further travel to their final destination. The following requirements are thus compulsory for citizens of the provided countries: have the option of either applying for a transit visa for making an airside or landside transit, or using one of an extended list of ‘exemption’ documents for example an EEA or Swis...

17-11-14 – Important Changes to TAX on Your Properties

In a little over 5 months time (April 2015) the UK Government are to charge 28% tax on Gains in the value of UK property held by offshore owners. Previously this was exempt from tax. This will directly affect you and there are important decisions that must be made before then as to how you own the property to escape these new charges. We give below the impact of the changes on different types of ownership and the costs of making a change to a new ownership vehicle that will prevent the charges form applying. COMPANY OWNERSHIP If your property is in a company and currently valued at £...

13-11-14 – 24 hour Super Priority Visa Service to be extended

Downing Street has announced plans to extend its 24 hour visa service (currently only available in China and India) to seven further countries. The Super Priority Visa Service is aimed at business travellers and those needing to travel urgently, where a decision will be provided within 24 hours.  The service will be extended to cover applicants in the United Arab Emirates, Turkey, South Africa, Thailand, the Philippines and visa processing centres in New York and Paris. As the service has been a success it is likely that the service will be extended to further countries in the future....

04-11-14 – Report finds economic benefits to the UK from immigration

A report produced by University College London and published today in the Economic Journal (‘The Fiscal Effects of Immigration to the UK’, Christian Dustmann and Tommaso Frattini) has found many financial benefits to the UK from EEA and non-EEA migration. The main findings are as follows: • EEA immigrants made a fiscal contribution of £4.4bn between 1995 and 2011 (compared to British nationals who made a negative net contribution of £591bn for the same period); • Between 2001 and 2011 EEA migrant arrivals contributed £20bn; • Between 2001 and 20...