27-01-16 – The Home Office has launched a new “Registered Traveller” to allow a faster entry to the UK

This service will benefit passport holders from the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Taiwan, Singapore, South Korea and Hong Kong.  With a small fee of £70, a Registered Traveller will be able to: Gain access through ePassport gates at airports across the UK Access the UK/EU queue at Gatwick, Heathrow, Birmingham, Manchester, East Midlands,Edinburgh, Glasgow, London City, Luton, Stansted, as well as Paris, Brussels and Lille for rail terminals Registered Traveller will not be required to complete UK Landing Card when entering the UK border

20-01-16 – New English language test

Further to our article of 18/01/2016. The Home Office have now published official news confirming the new English language requirement for spouse visa extensions that David Cameron announced on 18/01/2016. The Home Office have confirmed that for non-EEA national partners and parents on the family route (under Appendix FM of the Immigration Rules), they will need to pass a speaking and listening test at level A2 in order to qualify, after two-and-a half-years in the UK, for further leave to remain on the five-year partner or parent route to settlement. This new requirement will not be implem...

19-01-16 – Super Premium appointments now available on Saturday’s

Due to increasing demand and also to benefit our clients’, the Super Premium Service in Croydon is now offering appointments on each Saturday, apart from the last Saturday of each month. If this new weekend service will be of benefit to you then we would be delighted to arrange this for you at either our comfortable office in central London or at a location more convenient for you.

18-01-16 – Migration Advisory Committe Tier 2 Review

The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) has now published its long awaited review of Tier 2 of the points-based system. In June 2015, the government commissioned the MAC to review the route and to address concerns the government has with the rising number of migrants in the Tier 2 route. Unsurprisingly, given the government’s commitment to reduce net migration, the MAC has recommended radical changes to the Tier 2 route that can be found summarised below: The minimum salary threshold should be raised from the current £20,800 to £30,000; For public sector migrant workers t...

17-01-16 – David Cameron announces plans to introduce a further English langauge requirment for spouse visa extensions

At present for spouse visas applicants must meet an English language requirment by passing an approved English language test with at least CEFR level A1 in speaking and listening, by having an academic qualification that was taught in English and is recognised by UK NARIC as being equivalent to a UK bachelor’s degree or by being a national of a majority English-speaking country. However, David Cameron has now announced that he will change the rules and make an additional requirement that your English must have improved, most likely by requiring at least CEFR level B1 at the two and half...

14-01-16 – Reminder, right to rent checks for private landlords start on 1st February 2016

Further to our article of 20/10/2015 This is a reminer that the right to rent check for all private landlords in England starts on 01/02/2016 for all tenancies that start on or after this date. Within 28 days before the start of a new tenancy, private landlords in England must make checks for: people aged 18 and over living in their property, whether they’re named in the tenancy agreement or not; all types of tenancy agreements, written or oral. There are four stages to the right to rent check: 1. Check which adults will live at your property as their only or main home; 2. See...

10-01-16 – The Home Office have announced new fees

The Home Office have announced new fees that will be implemented in April of this year. As is common practice the Home Office have raised their fees. The increase is intended to reduce taxpayer contributions towards the border, immigration and citizenship system and ensure that by 2019–2020 the system is self-funded by those who use it. The increases include: 2% for visit, study and work visas; fees for settlement, residence and nationality will increase by 25% in 2016–17; targeted increases have been applied to premium services, such as the priority visa service. &nb...

06-12-15 – Stamp duty rise for buy to let properties and second homes and tax changes for landlords

Over the past years the popularity of buy-to-let properties remained high. Raising property prices, constantly increasing demand for rented properties, and low interest rates all contributed to the popularity of the scheme, allowing more and more landlords to receive profit from their buy-to-let portfolios. However, the upcoming changes might significantly change this situation. The landlords will have to plan in great details their future buy-to-let purchases to increase profit, and avoid likely potential losses. Recently announced changes will see 3 % charge being added on purchases of addi...

26-11-15 – Significant changes to visit visas for Chinese Nationals

As a show of the UK’s strong ties with China, the Prime Minister has announced that from January 2016, new visitor visas for tourist’s from China will be valid for two years, 4 times the usual 6-month limit for standard visit visas. The UK will also increase the mobile fingerprinting service that they have in China to collect the biometrics needed for visa applications from 9 Chinese cities to 50, in order to make it easier to apply for a UK visa in China.  The UK and Chinese governments are also in discussions to increase the 12 UK Visa Application Centres in China, already...

25-11-15 – Migration Statistics Quarterly Report

The Office for National Statistics has published its quarterly report on migration statistics. The report makes a number of points, most significantly that net migration to the UK reached a record 336,000 in the year to June. There are a number of reasons for this, incuding a reduction in emigration.  Since the end of 2012, net migration has continuously increased despite the governments aim to bring it down to below 100,000 by 2020 and the significant changes they have made to the Immigration Rules. The report made the following points: Net long-term international migration = +336,0...