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...

03-03-15 – New English tests from 6th of April 2015

From 6th April 2015 there will be a new list of approved Secure English Language Tests (SELT) and Test Centres. Anyone taking a test on or after 6 th April 2015 must take one of the new listed tests at one of the approved centres if they wish to use it in a UK Immigration application. The new providers are Trinity College London (UK only) and IELTS SELT Consortia (UK and rest of world).  The number of tests in the new list of approved tests will be shortened from 21 to 3. The very popular Cambridge tests, City & Guilds, and Pearson PTE Academic will be removed from the list. Applicants w...

25-02-15 – Statement of Changes in the Immigration Rules:

A new Statement of Changes in the Immigration Rules has been presented to parliament today. There are significant changes to many of the rules. Please find below a breakdown of the main changes: The New Visit Visas From 24/04/2015 the current 15 different visitor visa routes will be replaced by four visit visa categories: Visitor (standard) This consolidates the following existing routes: general, business, child, sport, entertainer, visitors for private medical treatment, visitors under the Approved Destination Status (ADS) Agreement with China, prospective entrepreneur, and visitors un...

24-02-15 – General Election 2015 – Immigration

As you will be aware the general election will be held on Thursday 7th May 2015. It is anticipated to be one of the closest since 1945 with opinion polls and commentators at odds as to which party will win or whether there will be another coalition government. Given the importance of immigration and the ever changing immigration rules, we thought that it would be important to highlight the key immigration policies of the main political parties, which may give an insight into the new immigration changes that could take place after the general election depending on the party/parties elected: L...

19-02-15 – With effect from April 2015 the annual change of Home office fees is expected

Basically, the fees will increase by an average 5 to 10 per cent. However, some prices will change significantly, and not only upwards. For example, the charge for a Representative of an overseas business (in-country extension application) will decrease from £1,093 to £651. Also there is good news for applicants under Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) – The Home Office fee will decrease from £1,093 to £562. For applicants under this category applying from abroad the fees will decrease not so significantly, but still considerably: from £874 to £56...

12-02-15 – Home Office Minister admits that spouse migration rules are ‘unfair’ to UK citizens

It is well known how strict and unfair the financial requirements are under Appendix FM of the Immigration Rules (earnings of at least £18,600/savings of at least £62,500 for at least a six month period) if a person who is British or holds permanent residence wishes to bring their non-EEA partner to the UK. Unfortunately, an appeal challenging this decision was unsuccessful in July of last year. It is also well known that EEA nationals have far more rights and far less stringent Regulations to meet in order to bring their family to the UK, indeed the Surinder Singh route, whereby...

11-02-15 – Exchange of information and voluntary disclosure

We are now at the start of an era where unprecedented levels of information will be supplied to HMRC in respect of UK residents who have overseas interests.   This will have a major impact on UK tax resident non domiciled individuals