02-04-14 – Annual Chargeable Amounts

Further to introduction of ATED on "enveloped dwellings" which worth more than £ 2 mln, we would like to bring you latest update on this matter and advise that the annual chargeable amounts for ATED are increased each year in line with the Consumer Prices Index (CPI). You must ensure that you calculate your liability based on the correct charges before filing your return as they are subject to change. Budget 2014 announced a reduction in the threshold from £2 million to £500,000 to be introduced over 2 years. From 1 April 2015 a new band will come into effect for properties...

30-03-14 – Home Affairs Committee recommends that the Home Office suspend Tier 1 (Investor) visa

Following on from the Migration Advisory Committee’s (MAC) report on the Tier 1 (Investor) route that was published in February 2014, the Home Affairs Committee, a Committee of the House of Commons in Parliament, whose role includes to examine the policy of the Home Office, has recommended that the Home Office should suspend the Tier 1 (Investor) visa route until the Government has considered the options contained within the MAC report. At present this is only a recommendation and it is unlikely that the Home Office would suspend the route as there is no suggestion in the report that th...

24-03-14 – Changes to visa centres

The UK Government is in the process of changing their visa and passport service provider, VFS.GLOBAL, to a new provider, Teleperformance, for certain countries. During this process there will be a change of websites and addresses for the Visa Application Centre’s, however there should be no delay to any applications during this changeover process and all is working. 

18-03-14 – New provider of visa services/VAC's in Russia

VFS.GLOBAL, the UK government’s provider of visa and passport services in Russia and who also service the Russian Visa Application Centres , will no longer provide their services from the end of this month. The Visa Application Centres and the visa and passport services will then instead be provided by a different provider, Teleperformance. Visa applications will be submitted online as usual during the change of providers, as will the booking of visa appointments online.   Moscow Address UK Visa Application Centre  Delta Plaza, Bldg 1 2nd Syromyatnichesky Lane Moscow,...

18-03-14 – Budget 2014

On 19th of March 2014 the chancellor George Osborne delivered a new 2014 Budget and we would like to provide you with quick overview of key changes which were set up in this budget.  The key changes • Level at which people start paying income tax to be increased to £10,500. • Cash and shares Isas to be merged into single New Isa with £15,000 annual limit. • All restrictions on access to pension pots to be removed, ending the requirement to buy an annuity. • New Pensioner Bond available from January. • Beer duty cut by 1p a pint while duty on spir...

12-03-14 – New Statement of Changes to the Immigration Rules

This week the minister for Immigration and Security, James Brokenshire, announced a new Statement of Changes to the Immigration Rules. Minister James Brokenshire explained the reason for the new changes as ‘the government is making a package of changes to Points-Based System work routes to improve flexibility for applicants and help to boost economic growth.’ Please find below a brief summary of the changes: Tier 2 migrants can be granted leave for up to five years, rather than three years at present; Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) route will be made more simpler, the restricti...

25-02-14 – Former UKBA Executive Director in Crown Court accused of criminal activity whilst in public office

A former UKBA executive director is in court this week accused of illegally accessing sensitive information about vulnerable immigrants during her time at the UKBA and passing this confidential data to her boyfriend, who is alleged to  have used this information to defraud immigrants and posing as a solicitor. This case at the crown court comes just two weeks after Immigration Minister Mark Harper resigned, as he had employed a cleaner who did not have permission to work in the UK. The former UKBA executive director who worked in the Case Resolution and Criminal Casework Directorate at...

23-02-14 – Tier 1 (Investor) - update

The Migration Advisory Committee has today published their long awaited report on the Tier 1 (Investor) route investment thresholds and economic benefits. In their report they have made a number of recommendations to changing the current Tier 1 (Investor) requirements. At present they are only recommendations and will need to be considered by Government. However, it is highly likely that the Tier 1 (Investor) route rules will be changed in the coming months. The recommendations are as follows: Minimum investment threshold That the minimum £1 million threshold be increased to £...

12-02-14 – Concession for Syrian nationals

On the 13 February 2014 the Government has prolonged the immigration concession for Syrian nationals for another year, until 28 February 2015. This concession offers to Syrian nationals who are in the UK on a visa more ways to extend their stay in the UK. For those Syrian nationals who are in the UK on a visa for a limited period it can be extended for the same length of time. Also under this concession the Syrian nationals may apply to switch from inside the UK. They cannot switch into any settlement routes. You can contact us regarding the details of the concession and exceptions.

09-02-14 – UK Government Embarrassment – Immigration Minister resigns over cleaner’s visa

Immigration Minister Mark Harper, who is a strong advocate for the Immigration Bill that is going through parliament, has resigned from the UK Government. The reason why: in 2007 he employed a cleaner who did not have permission to work in the UK. As we have mentioned in previous articles the Immigration Bill proposes, amongst many other proposals, that all private landlords will have to check the immigration status of proposed tenants and will be at risk of a financial penalty for not doing so. The Bill also proposes the penalty for failing to check an employee’s immigration status to...