Saturday, 23 December 2017

News roundup December 2017. Merry Christmas and Happy New 2018 Year!


We start our festive news roundup from the serious news and Brexit. The latest statement was released earlier in December 2017 from Prime Minister, Theresa May, reassuring the European citizens on their rights after Brexit. Not just immigration rights but also healthcare, pension etc. The Daily Mail published an open letter in their article ‘Dear EU citizens, I want you to STAY’ (quite rightly, we add): http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5168239/Theresa-tells-EU-nationals-want-stay.html An official statement is here  https://www.gov.uk/guidance/status-of-eu-nationals-in-the-uk-what-you-need-to-know
Next is a feel-good story about a British passport going “back to blue” after 2019. Or, as BBC put it. 'Iconic' blue British passport to return after Brexit: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-42443253 Looks like we will be saying goodbye to the current burgundy UK passports, although we quite like the colour!   
Technology news: UK Visas and Immigration, at least their family visas department, are planning to go paperless in 2018. How do we know? We were chosen by them (amongst approx. 50 firms) to take part in a survey to provide a feedback on the upcoming system. We are very honoured! It was a nice change to be on the other side and to have the Home Officials listening to us! We have a separate post on this here: http://1st4immigration-visas.blogspot.co.uk/2017/12/uk-visas-and-immigration-plans-to-go.html
We have completed our popular series 10 Weeks of Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa tips, if you missed it, you can start here: http://1st4immigration-visas.blogspot.co.uk/2017/10/10-weeks-of-tier-1-entrepreneur-visa.html
Remember, Tier 2 minimum salary for ILR is going up to £35500 from 6 April 2018. The current level of £35000 will apply if you apply for ILR before that date. You can apply within 28 days before “your” 5 years. 
Just as well, if you apply early enough (for any visa) you could save on Home Office fees. We don’t know when it the annual increase is coming (and how much) but it happens every year by 6 April. In 2016 the Home Office gave only a 2 weeks’ notice and increased from mid-March. In 2017 they beat that “record”, increasing their fees from 6 April with a notice of just a few days!
If you are not concerned about the fees and considering the investment visas, such as Tier 1 Investor, perhaps you should hurry, as we had this interesting news on how ‘European Commission could get tougher on golden visas’: http://www.expatforum.com/european-union/european-commission-could-get-tougher-on-golden-visas.html
We started the new series of UK Spouse visa posts, “advising” Meghan Markle and Prince Harry. It’s fun to read and legally accurate!  Start reading here and it will keep you up-to-date until the May royal wedding: http://1st4immigration-visas.blogspot.co.uk/2017/11/uk-marriage-visa-advice-for-meghan.html (Fingers crossed, Meghan may hire us for her visa application. We would have never advised to spend £56000 on THAT couture dress, it is almost the amount of Savings that could have met the Spouse visa Financial Requirement!)
We wish you all Merry Christmas and Happy 2018 New Year! May you sparkle like Markle, become as rich as Prince Harry and be as happy as the royal couple!
1st 4Immigration Ltd, an immigration law firm, based in the City of London and authorised by the OISC, ref F200800152. Website: www.1st4immigration.com