15-11-18 – Home Office will no longer receive immigrants’ personal data from the NHS

In November 2018, the government decided to change the terms of cooperation under the Memorandum of Understanding between the Home Office and the NHS, where the NHS provided the Home Office with patients’ personal data, which was used to track illegal immigrants. The NHS only shared non-medical information, such as full name, date of birth, gender, residential address, personal contacts. Such measures were used to track illegal immigrants and created “hostile environment” for them. Medical personnel, human rights activists, representatives from charitable organizations and MPs have repeatedly...

13-11-18 – New in-country visa application system for UK residents

On 2 November 2018, the Home Office has launched a new in-country visa application system, where applicants will have to submit online applications and visit one of the visa centres managed by the outsourcing company Sopra Steria. Existing premium service centres will be closed on 29 November 2018, although some applicants of particular visa categories will still have a chance to book appointments until 9 January 2019. Up until now any in-country visa applications could be submitted either: 1) By post: the applicant filled out the paper application and sent it together with all supporting docu...

05-11-18 – Employers are not required to check the status of EU citizens during the transition period

The UK government has confirmed that in the event of no-deal Brexit, employers during the transition period will not be required to carry out immigration checks to hire Europeans. Home Office secretary Sajid Javid said that the transitional period should be “sensible” and “practical” for all EU citizens. At the same time, it should allow local employers extra time to adapt to the new immigration rules. During the transition period, employers will still have to carry out standard checks when hiring EU citizens. For example, future employees need to present a valid passport or identity card. How...

31-10-18 – New grant to support vulnerable EU citizens

On 25 October 2018, the UK government announced the new £ 9 million grant to support vulnerable EU citizens living in the United Kingdom, who might need additional assistance with processing and submitting applications to obtain immigration status through new settlement scheme. UK based voluntary and community organizations, who represent the interests of potentially vulnerable EU citizens, can submit their applications for additional funding starting from the end of November. They will make vulnerable residents aware of their need to apply for settled status and assist them on all stages of i...

31-10-18 – Autumn Statement 2018

Chancellor Philip Hammond on 29 October 2018 presented at the House of Commons new Autumn Budget, which will be the last before the UK leaves the European Union. Let’s have a closer look on the most important points of chancellor’s speech. Economic growth The economic growth in 2019 will reach 1.6%. This number is higher compared to the spring statement, which showed 1.3%. The expected annual forecast has also raised to 1.4% in 2020, 1.5% in 2021 and 1.6% in 2023. Income tax From a UK income tax perspective, the allowances and rate bands were increased as expected with the personal allowance r...

30-10-18 – Visitors from certain countries will have fast-track lines through British border control

The British government announced that citizens from the United States of America, Canada, New Zealand, Australia and Japan will be able to use E-gates at the border control, when travelling to the UK starting from next year. At the moment only UK, European Union, European Economic Area or Swiss citizens with biometric passports were able to use the E-gates in British airports, while citizens from other countries had to use normal immigration lines for a face-to-face contact with a border officer. Such lines are exceptionally busy and waiting time in Heathrow airport could often reach 2.5 hours...

29-10-18 – New career opportunities for 41 immigration judges with a salary of £ 100,000 per annum

The Judicial Appointments Commission has announced its plans to hire 41 judges to fill available positions in the Immigration and Asylum Chamber of the First Tier Tribunal. The Commission offers potential applicants an attractive salary of £ 108,171 per annum. There were 152 salaried judges working in the Immigration and Asylum Chamber of the First Tier Tribunal in 2005. By 2017 their number fell to only 57. In the light of the obvious staff shortage, there is a significant demand to employ judges. There were 11 people appointed to this position in January 2018, while few more positions were f...

24-10-18 – Important update on «Super Premium Service»

According to the Home Office officials, «Super Premium Service» will be operating until 21 November 2018 and then it will be managed by a third party, a private Spanish company, working on behalf of the Home Office. This will be a completely different online platform with the possibility to book the service only online. In is unclear whether the new service will start working immediately after 21 November 2018. There is a possibility that it will be launched only in 2019, so it is likely that for some time «Super Premium Service» will not exist at all. According to the Home Office officials, a...

22-10-18 – Applying for “Parent of a child” visa can be complex and not as straightforward as one might think

When applying for a visa as “Parent of a child living in the UK”, it is necessary to take a comprehensive approach to the whole application and preparation process and consider a number of factors, which we have outline below. If the future of a child is connected to the UK, then he/she should live together with parents or one of them. However, in reality Home office has to consider other factors while making the decision. First of all, the child should have a stable immigration status in the UK. For example, to be eligible to live with his overseas parents in Britain, he/she should be either...

22-10-18 – New settlement scheme for obtaining permanent resident status for EU citizens after Brexit: proof of residence in the UK

On 22 October 2018, the Home Office on its official website gov.uk published additional information about supporting documents required to obtain permanent resident status and confirming that an EU citizen has lived in the UK for consecutive five years. In the new online platform applicant should enter his/her National Insurance Number (NINo), and the system will automatically check for how long the applicant has paid taxes in the UK or if he/she received any benefits. In order to obtain permanent resident status, the applicant should live in the UK for at least 6 months in a year for five con...