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...

24-11-15 – Autumn Statement 2015: key announcements

Chancellor George Osborne has delivered the Autumn Statement. Here’s a summary of what was announced. The Spending Review sets out how £4 trillion of government money will be allocated over the next five years, so the government can invest in priorities like the NHS, defence and housing. On average, departmental spending will fall at less than half the rate of the previous five years. 1. A £10 billion surplus by 2019-20. Last year, the deficit was halved compared to its 2009 to 2010 level. Next year, it will be down by three quarters. Over the next four years, the deficit...

16-11-15 – Migration Advisory Committee: Tier 1 Entrepreneurs – Review of the Tier 1 Entrepreneur and Graduate Entrepreneur routes

Some time ago the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) published its report into the Tier 1 Entrepreneur and Graduate Entrepreneur routes. Given our participation with the MAC’s consultation we consider it necessary to inform our readers, subscribers, and prospective clients on the major provisions of the report, as the recommendations may be incorporated into the Immigration Rules shortly. The MAC has been commissioned by the Government to review the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) route with a view to ensuring that the potential economic benefit of the route is maximised and that the route is att...

11-11-15 – Changes regarding Tier 4 category

Following our previous announcement, from the 12th of November 2015 there are some significant changes in the Immigration Rules regarding Tier 4 category. Briefly, the most important of them are the following. 1) Students are allowed to spend no more than 2 years in the UK studying at below UK bachelor’s degree level from the age of 18 2) All students must show the following amount of money to meet basic living costs or also known as maintenance requirements (not including fees): £1265 per month if you are living in London £1015 per month if you are living outside Londo...

08-11-15 – EU nationals must apply for permanent residence card for British nationality applications

From 12 November 2015, an EEA nationals wishing to apply for British citizenship must provide a valid permanent residence card or document certifying permanent residence or a residence permit or residence document together with their application. These cards must be issued under the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2000 which is endorsed under the immigration rules to show permission to remain in the United Kingdom.  EEA national can apply for permanent residence card after 5 years of exercising treaty rights in the UK. He or she will be able to apply for naturalisatio...

28-10-15 – Statement of Changes in the Immigration Rules

A new Statement of Changes in the Immigration Rules has been presented to parliament today affecting many different immigration categories. Please find below a breakdown of the main changes: Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) ·          Amending the ‘genuine entrepreneur’ test for initial applications so that the Home Office can make an assessment of any previous investment made by an applicant into a UK business, in order to be satisfied that the investment was genuine; ·          Clarify...

19-10-15 – Right to rent checks introduced for landlords

The government has announced that from 1 February 2016, all private landlords in England will have to check new tenants have the right to be in the UK before renting out their property. Landlords who fail to check a potential tenant’s status will face penalties of up to £3,000 per tenant. Landlords should check identity documents for all new tenants and take copies.   If a potential tenant has an outstanding immigration application or appeal with the Home Office, landlords can conduct a check via the Landlords Checking Service.