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...

29-05-14 – State Opening of Parliament 2014

The State Opening of Parliament will take place next week on Wednesday 4th June 2014. As is customary the Queen’s Speech will outline the government’s agenda for the coming parliamentary year, setting out the proposed policies and legislation. Given the current political climate, with the anti-immigration party Ukip winning the European elections, it is likely that the government will outline further changes and restrictions in immigration to the UK. We will of course keep you updated after the Queen’s Speech next Wednesday.

28-05-14 – New Immigration Act 2014 was published

The Immigration Act 2014 (hereafter “the 2014 Act”) now makes it even more difficult for people without leave to remain in the UK (illegal immigrants) to access a wide range of services in the UK and also affects all British citizens, EEA nationals, foreign nationals with legal status in the UK and all U.K. Employers.  The Home Office have stated that the key points of the 2014 Act are:  It introduces changes to the removals and appeals system, making it easier and quicker to remove those with no right to be here; It ends the abuse of Article 8 of the European Conven...

22-05-14 – Tier 1 (Investor) - update

At present the Tier 1 (Investor) route still requires an investment of £1 million. It had been expected that following the Migration Advisory Committee’s (MAC’s) report on the Tier 1 (Investor) route investment thresholds and economic benefits, that was published this February that their recommendations would be implemented into the Immigration Rules in April of this year. The government have yet to amend the rules regarding Tier 1 (Investors). This may be because they have been preoccupied with the Immigration Act 2014 and the recent local elections.  To remind you th...

13-05-14 – The Immigration Act 2014

The Immigration Act 2014 (hereafter “the 2014 Act”) now makes it even more difficult for people without leave to remain in the UK (illegal immigrants) to access a wide range of services in the UK and also affects all British citizens, EEA nationals, foreign nationals with legal status in the UK and all U.K. Employers.  The Home Office have stated that the key points of the 2014 Act are:  It introduces changes to the removals and appeals system, making it easier and quicker to remove those with no right to be here; It ends the abuse of Article 8 of the European Conven...

05-05-14 – Passport and Biometric Residence Permit returns

From 6 May 2014 the applicants for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) applying by post under the Tier 2 will receive their passports, and their Biometric Residence Permits (BRP), back before a decision has been made on their application. The Tier 2 (ILR) applicants will have their passport and BRP returned within 7 - 10 days of their application being created by the Home Office. Passports and BRPs will be returned automatically without special request.

23-04-14 – New Home Office Guidance: Minimum income threshold: information for family visa applications

The Home Office have issued new guidance relating to the ongoing Court of Appeal case where the controversial financial requirements are being challenged.  The guidance states that the Home Office are continuing to put on hold decisions in spouse/partner/child applications for settlement where the only requirement they do not meet is the financial one. They further state that they will consider the applications once the legal challenge is finally determined by the courts. The guidance also states that applicants who have applied for Entry Clearance from outside of the UK and whose cases...

14-04-14 – New European Case that changes the ‘Surinder Singh’ route

As you will be aware from our post on 17/12/2013, the UK Government amended the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2006. One of the most important changes is to Regulation 9 family members of British citizens that came into effect on 1st January 2014, and how this will affect the ‘Surinder Singh’ route. There is now however a new case from the Grand Chamber of the Court of the European Union that changes the ‘Surinder Singh’ route and sets important binding new guidance. Before we explain the new case and it’s guidance it would to best to explain th...

07-04-14 – Capital gains tax charge for non-residents on property in the UK

Recently a consultation document was issued by HMRC on proposals to charge Non-resident individuals capital gains tax on residential property situated in the UK.  The consultation is open until 20 June and the results will be known shortly after. There are lots of questions still to answered, such as at what rate will the tax be charged? Will exemptions and reliefs which are available to UK residents be available to non-residents?  No action can be taken until the document is released and the legislation is put in place but it is proposed to instigate the tax charge with effect for...