07-05-15 – Election comment

As the Conservative close in on a majority government it can only be good news for our clients already in the UK and planning to come to the UK.   The threat of Non Domiciled status being abolished has gone as least for now, although we would not rule out increases in the cost of retaining such status. The good news is reflected in the markets with the pound increasing in strength against both the Euro and the Dollar by the largest single gain in many years, and the FTSE up by a significant margin on the mornings trading.  These factors reflect that the economy in in safer hands tha...

29-04-15 – Migration Advisory Committee: The economic impact of the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) route

The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC), who most recently published a report recommending changes for the Tier 1 (Investor) route, which was subsequently incorporated into the Immigration Rules (most notably increasing the level of investment from £1million to £2million), 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 attractive to genuine entrepreneurs. As part of their ongoing review Law Firm Limited attended a MAC consultation at the Hom...

23-04-15 – New arrangements for visitor visas

Today different visitor visa routes are replaced by four visit visa categories: Visit Standard Marriage/Civil Partnership Visit  Permitted Paid Engagement Visa Transit Visa The parent of a child at school route and student visit visa route are being removed from the visit visa subcategories as they are not visit visa. Applicants who want to come to the UK under these two categories must take a TB test and pay Immigration Health Surcharge. 

09-04-15 – The Labour Party and Non Dom Status - Should you be worried?

This is not come as a complete surprise. Governments of both hues have been trying to extract more and more tax from non-doms, and some sort of attack was expected from the labour party, but abolition is probably a step too far in reality and the most likely scenario is a tightening of the laws in this area. The non-dom regime is indeed an anomaly compared to other countries which tax their residents on their worldwide income and capital gains. However, the regime has undoubtedly contributed to the UK’s large financial sector and it has made our country attractive as a destination for i...

07-04-15 – Exit Checks

From today, 8 April 2015, the government will now be conducting “exit checks” for all passengers leaving the UK in line with the new rules introduced in the Immigration Act 2014.  Passengers will have their details checked when exiting the country as they would do upon entry to the UK. All ports of entry will be covered, including commercial air travel, sea travel and rail transport. The government has stated that for the first month – April 2015 to May 2015, all passports will be scanned but only 25% of them will have their details verified to ensure that they are genu...

01-04-15 – Home Office changes to take place from 6th April 2015

There are number of changes that will take place with the Home Office procedure for many applicants from 6th April 2015. They can be summarised as follows: Tier 2 applications made from inside of the UK will need to be made using the new online application system; Tier 5 applications made from inside of the UK will no longer be able to apply online, applications must be made using paper forms; The Immigration Health Surcharge will have to be paid by non-EEA nationals who apply to come to the UK to work, study or join family for a period of more than 6 months. It will also be paid by non-E...

29-03-15 – From 8 April 2015, exit checks will take place at all airports and ports in the UK

From 8th April 2015 the UK will reintroduce exit checks at all airports and ports in the UK. The checks will predominantly be an immigration and data tool, checking to see if migrants are keeping to the terms of their visa, however the checks will also improve security by helping the police and security services track the movements of known or suspected criminals and terrorists. At present, the majority of airlines provide the Home Office with Advance Passenger Information (API), information that customers provide when booking their flights. This will continue and for these passengers nothing...

24-03-15 – Biometrics will become mandatory for all applicants

From 06 April 2015 anyone applying for registration or naturalization as a British Citizen will need to provide their biometrics as part of their application.  Non-EEA nationals applying for a residence card, derivative residence card or permanent residence card will also need to submit their biometrics.  An applicant who is applying in the UK will need to attend a Post Office so their biometrics can be taken. Those people applying from overseas to become British Citizens will be required to enrol their biometrics at a biometric enrolment centre, such as a Visa Application Centre.&...

18-03-15 – New ‘Health Surcharge’ to be paid by migrants from 6 April 2015

From 6th of April 2015 nationals from outside the EEA coming to the UK for longer than six months will be required to pay a ‘health surcharge’ when they apply for visas. It will also be paid by non-EEA nationals already in the UK who apply to extend their stay. Migrants coming to work, study or join family members currently receive free NHS treatment in the same way as a permanent resident. The health surcharge will be £200 per year and £150 per year for students, payable upfront and for the total period of time for which migrants are given permission to stay in the UK...

17-03-15 – Budget Points

Today the Chancellor announced his final budget before the election.   It was a mix of tax simplification and measures to help tax payers feel belter.  The main points are listed below and more detailed information will be provided as matters unfold and details are released