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 

15-03-15 – Biometric Residence Permit – International Rollout Schedule

On the 2nd of February 2015 we informed you that from March 2015 new requirements for non-EEA nationals applying from overseas to enter the UK for more than six months will be introduced. The applicants will need to apply for Biometric Residence Permits (BRP). Below is the information about the dates of introducing the new BRP requirements for all countries: 18 March 2015  Pakistan  Mid April 2015 (estimated, subject to the exact date legislation comes into force)  Armenia, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Burma, Cambodia, China, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Gibraltar, Ic...

15-03-15 – Points Based System - Court of Appeal criticizes the lack of clarity and complexity with the rules

As you will be aware the Immigration Rules are consistently changing and are also spread across many different appendices to the Immigration Rules which leads to an increasingly complex immigration system, particularly with regards to the Points Based System. In a recent case in the Court of Appeal (Civil Division), Hossain & Ors v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2015] EWCA Civ 207,  Lord Justice Beatson stated the following: ‘The detail, the number of documents that have to be consulted, the number of changes in rules and policy guidance, and the difficulty advisers f...

10-03-15 – Election 2015 - Policy on Education

Conservatives  Protect England's schools budget - from reception entry at age four or five to the end of GCSEs at 16 - in cash terms although funding per pupil will not keep pace with inflation.  Convert up to 3,500 more schools judged by Ofsted to "require improvement" into academies. State primary schools in England that repeatedly failed to have a proportion of year-six pupil pass times tables and writing tests be forced to become academies, or have sponsorship replaced if already an academy.  Opposed to giving votes to 16 and 17-year-olds for UK-wide general electio...

08-03-15 – Election 2015 - Policy on Tax

Below are a few pointers to party policy with the election due on 9th May.   All these points may be subject to change as the party manifestos won’t be released until March; once they are a firmer picture of each parties position will be available. CONSERVATIVES – PARTY POLICY ON TAX Increase the personal allowance to £12,500 Increase the basic rate band to £50,000 Time limits on retrospective capital allowances claims. More investment in tackling tax avoidance and evasion Changes to employment law to allow some employees to be self employed LIBERAL DEM...