04-11-12 – New English requirement for all applicants for indefinite leave to remain

As we previously announced in our news article of 11.06.2012, from 1st October 2013, all applicants for indefinite leave to remain (settlement) will be required to show an English language ability to level B1 CEFR in addition to passing the Life the UK Test, unless they are exempt.  Applicants over the age of 65, as well as those with a mental or physical impairment which prevents them from being able to pass the test, will be exempt, as they are now. 

05-09-12 – Changes to Immigration Rules

The government has made more changes to the Immigration Rules, many of a minor nature.  In response to the Supreme Court judgment of Alvi the government has placed more guidance into the Immigration Rules so that it does not fall foul of the constitutional requirement that it must be laid before parliament before any substantive immigration requirements become lawfully binding.  Existing errors have also been corrected and clarification has been provided in respect of the particularly poorly drafted recent family migration requirements and new Long Residence and Private Life Rules....

18-07-12 – Supreme Court Rules

Two new Supreme Court judgments (Munir and Alvi), promulgated on 18th July, 2012,  have effectively ruled that all proposed Immigration Rules and  substantive immigration requirements have to be laid before Parliament for approval before they can be lawfully enacted.  This meant that substantive immigration requirements which have not been laid before Parliament for approval - like much of the Policy Guidance behind the Points-Based System and the Codes of Practice - were unlawful. However, the government has already responded to these judgments by publishing new Statements of...

15-07-12 – Changes to the Immigration European Economic Area Regulations 2006

On 16th July, 2012, the government announced changes to the EEA Regulations 2006 which govern the rights of EEA nationals and their family members in UK law.  These changes have been brought for the most part to incorporate developments in European case law. Many of these changes are of a minor technical nature and we set out only the major changes of general interest here:- 1. There are new ‘derivative rights’ of residence for: those caring for self-sufficient EEA children; the children of former EEA national workers where the child is in education; carers of the child...

10-06-12 – Family migration changes announced

The government has today announced sweeping changes to family immigration rules which will come into force on 9th July, 2012:- There will be a minimum earnings requirement of £18,600 in order to sponsor spouses, fiancées, partners and civil partners for settlement in the UK.  If a child is also sponsored the minimum earnings requirement will be £22,400 and £2,400 for each further child. The probationary period for spouses and partners will be extended from two years to five years. A five-year probationary period for settlement for partners of Points based Sys...

10-05-12 – Removing full right of appeal for family visitors

The government has announced today that it will be removing the full right of appeal for family visitors.  The change is expected to come into force in 2014 when family visitors will be able to appeal only on human rights or race discrimination grounds. From July 2012 the definition of family visitor will be limited so that those coming to visit a cousin, uncle, aunt, niece or nephew will have only a limited right of appeal on human rights or race discrimination grounds.  Furthermore, from July 2012, any family visitor will need to be visiting a settled family member in the UK (or o...

09-05-12 – Overview of the budget 2012

As expected, the Budget announced by the Chancellor, George Osborne, on 21st March stirred much debate, not just in Parliament, but across the country. Arguments for and against its impact on businesses, individuals and the economy in general, have raged on for the last week and, much like every budget through history, everyone’s stance is dictated by how it affects them personally.  In such circumstances it is difficult to find a view that is not tarnished by a subjective outlook, but now that the dust has settled on the budget, we will try to pick through the measures and provide...

09-04-12 – Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur

This route is for graduates who have been identified by participating Higher Education Institutions as having developed world-class entrepreneurial ideas or skills to extend their stay in the UK after graduation in order to set up a business in the UK. The business can be as a sole trader, a partnership or a company registered in the UK.  There can be more than one business. Graduate Entrepreneurs can switch into the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) category and need only show £50,000 of investment funds (but will be required to show the normal maintenance funds). For detailed information p...

27-03-12 – Osborne Attempts to Stamp Out Tax Avoidance – Amendments to Stamp Duty in the Budget

In an effort close off tax avoidance loopholes, the Chancellor, George Osborne, has turned his attention to the property market in the Budget. This highly lucrative business sector is seen as an area where investors can legitimately avoid tax at present and hold onto their cash by careful manipulation of figures and terminology. For example, those in the know very often have chattels (fixtures & fittings) itemised and paid for separately, thereby reducing the price of the property. As the value of the property decreases, so too does the stamp duty payable on it and, in some instances, the pro...

21-03-12 – Britain is Open for Business – The 2012 Budget

In his annual budget yesterday, Chancellor George Osborne summed up his financial plan by saying that it “unashamedly backs business”. He claims his general aim is to “reward work” and sees the measures he plans on introducing as the right way to kick start the economy. So, is it a Ronseal budget in that it does exactly what it says on the tin? Or is it, as the opposition suggests, a “Downton Abbey” budget, aimed at out of touch millionaires who think they are born to rule?  The first item on the list is corporation tax, which has been falling year o...