15-06-11 – Next set of changes to student visa rules is announced

Next set of changes to student visa rules to come into force in 4th July, 2011 Work entitlements for students From the 4th July, only those students at studying at higher education institutions (HEIs) and publicly funded further education colleges will be allowed to work. What is a higher education institution (HEI)? An HEI is a recognised body, or a body in receipt of public funding as an HEI from the Department for Employment and Learning in Northern Ireland, the Higher Education Funding Council for England, the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales or the Scottish Funding Council....

06-06-11 – Legacy Casework and Citizenship

The UK Border Agency has come under criticism in its handling of the backlog of asylum cases known as the Legacy Casework.  The Home Affairs Committee has stated that 40% of cases dealt with under the Casework resulted in a grant of leave to remain and it “amounts to an amnesty”. In 2006, the then Home Secretary, John Reid, notoriously declared the Home Office immigration sytem as “not fit for purpose” after a backlog of an estimated 400,000-450,000 unresolved asylum cases came to light.   These cases were termed “legacy” cases.  As a re...

19-05-11 – PBS applicants will not be able to provide new evidence for appeal

From Monday 23 May, 2011, Immigration Judges, in most circumstances, will not be able to consider evidence submitted after an application has been made, in appeals relating to applications made in the UK under the points-based system. The Tribunal may consider evidence adduced by the appellant only if it was submitted in support of, and at the time of making, the application to which the immigration decision related. This restriction of evidence will relate only to points-based system appeals brought on the following grounds: that the decision is not in accordance with immigration rules; that...

05-05-11 – News for EEA nationals

Limited appointments will become available later in May 2011 for a premium service in respect of EEA 2, 3 and 4 applications only at the Liverpool Public Enquiry Office. There is no charge for EEA applications in respect of the postal service but there will be a charge for this premium service, although the UK Border Agency has not yet stated what the charge will be. This premium service will be in addition to the existing postal service. EEA 1 applications, free of charge, can also be dealt with at the Liverpool Public Enquiry Office but only if submitted with an associated EEA 2 or 4 charge...

07-04-11 – Certificate of Approval Scheme to be abolished from 9 May 2011

The amendments made in the Certificate of Approval Scheme due to the higher courts` decisions, has made the whole scheme weak and ineffective, UKBA confirmed. It has therefore been decided to abolish the scheme. The scheme will end on 9 May 2011. Till that time, the COA scheme will run as normal and migrants who are subject to immigration control and who wish to get married or form a civil partnership still require applying for approval from the UKBA by completing COA form except for those who are getting married within the Anglican Church.

23-03-11 – News for non-domiciled individuals

Mixed news for non-domiciled individuals were presented in the Budget report 2011/2012, though overall there seems to be an acceptance by the Government of the positive impact their inward investment brings to the UK. The bad news is that for non-doms who have been resident in the UK for 12 years or more the existing annual remittance basis charge will increase from £30,000 to £50,000 although not until 6 April 2012. The good news is that the Government also proposes: not to tax foreign income or capital remitted to the UK for the purposes of 'commercial investment in UK b...

23-03-11 – Budget 2011/12

The budget was announced on 23 March 2011 and four of the key areas are given below: Income tax and national insurance tax rates and thresholds Corporation tax and capital allowance rates Foreign Branches Taxation Other Areas of changes Income tax rates and national insurance and thresholds These were likely to change as per the expectation. Personal allowance is increased by £1,000 as well as there is an increase in National Insurance of 1% for employers as well as for employees. So, now the personal allowance (under 65 age) is £7,475 and the National Insurance for the...

15-03-11 – New immigration rules - Government rewards those who contribute to economic growth

New Rules were introduced today by the Government. Tier 1 Investors At present Investors who invest £1 million in the UK economy become eligible to apply for permanent settlement upon completion of five years` residence in the UK, provided they have not remained outside the UK for more than 90 days in any calendar year. The UKBA has now given more incentives to these high net worth individuals who are able to invest more than £1 million in the UK economy which are as under: -    Those who invest £5 million in the UK for three years will be able to apply for...

15-02-11 – Government outlines visa reforms for workers

Today, 16 February 2011 the Government issued details of some of the reforms it intends to bring to the visa system from 6 April 2011. The changes will impact non-EU migration into the United Kingdom. Parliament is yet to approve the proposals. Employers wishing to bring workers from outside of the EU will need to apply to the UK Border Agency for a certificate of sponsorship detailing the specific post they want to fill. This is a change from the current system where businesses are given a numerical annual allocation which they can fill. The jobs an employer wants to fill will also need to b...

07-02-11 – New rules for calculating continuous period in the UK for ILR

On 26 January 2011 the UK Border Agency issued new revised guidelines to applicants in the United Kingdom here in a working category.  The changes in question relate to how the continuous period in the UK is calculated when applying for indefinite leave to remain (ILR). The Immigration Rules have always required an applicant to have remained in the UK for a continuous or unbroken period of time before they are allowed to submit an application for ILR. Part of the reasoning behind the rule includes the idea that the applicant has made the UK their home and is not merely trying to acquire a...