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...

12-01-11 – Same day applications for ЕЕА nationals and family members

The UK Border Agency is considering the possibility to use Premium Service for EEA2, EEA3 and EEA4 applications. It is considered to make such service available for those who apply for permanent residence, a residence card or a family member residence stamp under European law. The UKBA has launched a consultation on this matter that will end on 20 January 2011. At present the UKBA is taking upto 12-15 months to process such applications and it will be very helpful if same day service is launched. In case this proposal goes ahead, Law Firm Ltd. will be happy to provide advice and representat...

21-12-10 – Certificate of Approval Scheme to be abolished

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 which will come to an end in spring 2011 subject of parliamentary scrutiny. 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. The exact...

20-12-10 – Interim CAP – High Court Decision

The UKBA has lost a judicial review on the interim limit for Tier 1 (General) and Tier 2 (General) of the point based system that has made the interim cap, illegal. The High Court has ruled that “It shows that the Home Secretary cannot simply sideline parliament and the requirements it has imposed to check her powers. It also has important implications for migrants in the UK who were affected by the imposition of an unlawful limit.” The Immigration Minister Damian Green has however confirmed that the decision of the High Court would not budge the government from its stance of red...

20-12-10 – No more Tier 1 (G) from Overseas

Tomorrow (22nd of Dec. 2010) will be the last day when overseas applicants will be able to make their applications under Tier 1 (G) as from 23rd of Dec. 2010, it has been decided to close Tier 1 (G) for applicants applying from outside the UK. The reason of making this decision in such haste is because the overseas diplomatic posts have already received a large number of applications, which if approved would exhaust the quota i.e. 600 for each month till March 2011. This has effectively closed the Tier 1 (G) route for all overseas applicants. There will not be any changes to those applicants...

13-12-10 – Student Visitor Visas – English Language Courses

From 10 January 2011 the students who wish to study English Language courses for longer than 6 months, will be able to get a Student Visitor visa for up to 11 months (at present the maximum length of Student Visitor visas are 6 months).  The fee for extended visa will be the same as for the 6-month Student Visitor visa and conditions will remain the same as well i.e. no work permissions and no dependants allowed to accompany / join the main applicant.  This concession has been made just for English language students as for other courses, the applicants would be required to comply wit...

12-12-10 – VAT Changes

Current VAT rate is increasing from 17.5% to 20% on 4th January 2011. All the sales of standard rated goods and services must charge 20% VAT from or after 4th January 2011. These changes are valid only for standard VAT rate because there is no changing in the zero rated or reduced rated VAT sales as well as there is no change to the VAT exemptions.