12-10-16 – UK & China – increase in flights announced to boost tourism and trade opportunities for the UK

Following successful negotiations in London today, the UK and China have agreed to more than double the number of flights allowed to operate between the 2 countries. This will lead to an increase from the current maximum of 40 flights per week to up to 100. The plan is to boost tourism and trade opportunities for the UK. There will also be no limit on the number of all-cargo services in order to create new opportunities for UK trade and business. Aviation Minister Lord Ahmad said: ‘I am delighted that talks between the UK and China have concluded successfully as a result of which flight limits...

10-10-16 – Immigration Tribunal – Appeal Fees Increased

From today the Immigration and Asylum Chamber of the First-Tier Tribunal have significantly increased their appeal fees. This means that if you receive a decision from the Home Office and if your decision letter is dated on or after 10 October 2016 it now costs for your appeal to be heard: £490 without a hearing (previously £80) £800 with a hearing (previously £140) These fees apply to refusals for all immigration applications, including those under the EEA Regulations, and all asylum claims. There are very limited exemptions to these fees, for instance you may not have to pay a fee if yo...

05-10-16 – Conservative Party Conference: Immigration Proposals

The Conservative Party Conference took place this week in Birmingham, where the party gathered to debate on policies and to hear their leaders speak. As expected there was much discussion on immigration and proposals to reduce this. This can be summarised as follows: Home Secretary Amber Rudd: Forcing businesses to disclose what percentage of their workforce is non-British as a way to encourage businesses to hire more local British nationals; Making the current Resident Labour Market Test, used when employing non-EEA nationals under the Tier 2 work scheme, tougher, by businesses having to...

21-09-16 – European passport return service

From 01 October 2016 the European passport return service is available for EEA and Swiss nationals applying using the EEA(QP) or EEA(PR) forms. An authorised local agency can photocopy a passport and send the photocopy to the Home Office. The service is available by appointment only and should be used within 5 working days of submitting the form. Using this service does not guarantee that the form has been correctly completed and correct supporting documents submitted, as well as a success of the application.  

05-09-16 – EEA Nationals – Home Office testing new fast track online application

The Home Office is currently testing a new fast track online application system for a two week trial period. The fast track application is for EEA nationals who apply for permanent residence after five years of continuously exercising treaty rights in the UK. At present the trial period is not publicly available and is to test the system, and present a faster and easier alternative to making applications other than the current lengthy six-month postal application. It is also thought to be the Home Office’s response to the surge in EEA applications after the UK voted to leave the EU in the refe...

04-08-16 – UK interest rate cut

The Bank of England has taken radical action to prevent the UK from falling into recession, cutting interest rates to 0.25% - the lowest level in the institution’s 322-year history - and pumping billions of pounds of newly created money into the economy. The Bank cut its forecasts for the growth of the UK economy by the biggest single amount since it starting producing regular forecasts in 1993, slashing its GDP projection next year from 2.2% to 0.8% and predicting a rise in unemployment from 5% to 5.4%. Not only did the Bank's Monetary Policy Committee cut interest rates by a quarter-percenta...

20-07-16 – Record £150 m for flat in London

A luxury home in Admiralty Arch (near Charing Cross) went on the market with a record price of £150 million. The 15,000 sq ft  property in Grade 1 listed landmark overlooking The Mall has 12 bedrooms, 12 bathrooms, and is set to become one of the world’s most expensive apartments. Buyers have opportunity to own a home where Winston Churchill once lived, and Ian Fleming worked while creating James Bond. The Spanish developer who bought a building from the Government in 2012 is offering a chance to own a huge serviced apartment, or will split it into up to four flats ranging from 1,700 to 7,100...

11-07-16 – Government statement on the rights and status of EU nationals in the UK

Today, the Cabinet Office, the Home Office and the Foreign & Commonwealth Office issued a statement to confirm that there has been no change to the rights and status of EU nationals in the UK, and UK nationals in the EU as a result of the referendum. They stated: ‘When we do leave the EU, we fully expect that the legal status of EU nationals living in the UK – and that of UK nationals in EU member states – will be properly protected. The government recognises and values the important contribution made by EU and other non-UK citizens who work, study and live in the UK.’ We will continue to keep...

01-07-16 – National Transfer Scheme – unaccompanied asylum-seeking children

The Home Office has today launched a new voluntary transfer arrangement between local authorities for the care of unaccompanied asylum-seeking children. Under the National Transfer Scheme, a child arriving in one local authority area already under strain caring for unaccompanied asylum seeking children may be transferred to another council with capacity. The Scheme is intended to ensure that there is a more even distribution of caring responsibilities across the country. Launching the Scheme today, Immigration Minister James Brokenshire said: ‘The UK has a proud tradition of offering sanctuary...

27-06-16 – Brexit – Information for EEA Nationals

In light of the EU Referendum result we have decided to remind EEA nationals regarding their rights to be in the UK and the documentation they can apply for in order to confirm their rights. Also it would be important to inform the EEA nationals who wish to apply for British passport about the rules for naturalisation.  At present the UK is still a member of the EU and bound by the relevant laws that protect EEA nationals in the UK. It is likely that the UK will remain a member of the EU for at least two years, however given that this is a very uncertain time EEA nationals can take steps now t...