Sunday, 17 January 2021

 






#1 What’s going on in the lockdown?
#2 My visa expires soon but I need to do an English or Life in the UK test, is anything open? 
#3 My visa expires soon but I haven’t met the income requirement or was on furlough. 
#4 I had to stay abroad longer than planned, will this affect my next application or settlement? What if my visa expired while abroad?
#5 Is the new ‘Brexit’ Points Based System operating? 


The answers: 

#1 What’s going on in the lockdown?

The immigration work continues, the UK authorities consider applications and issue visas. This work is done remotely, without facing a Government official, although this has been the case for over 2 years now. What did change due to Covid were the processing times: many applications take longer (but not all, we had some cases approved within days), plus there is no Priority services. Visa application centres in the UK are classed as essential services and remain open in the lockdown. Visa centres outside the UK remain open in most countries (but not everywhere), this depends on the Covid policies in each country. 

#2 My visa expires soon but I need to do English or Life in the UK test, is anything open? 

At this moment, inside the UK, both test centres remain open in the lockdown (unless changes later). If you are applying outside the UK and need an English test, you need to contact a local provider as it depends on the Covid regulations in your country. It is also possible to submit your application without a test and add it later, when you have the results. The most important thing is to submit your application on time, before your current visa expires, which is not the same as having all documents ready. 

#3 My visa expires soon but I haven’t met the income requirement or was on furlough. 

Again, the important thing is to submit your visa application on time, even if it means asking for a concession or to put it on hold while you are gathering the evidence (or taking a test). If you are on a Spouse/Partner visa, you should still try and qualify under the 5-year route, to keep a shorter path to settlement (unlike the 10-year route, which should be a Plan B). We had a more detailed post on furlough pay and it can be found on our Blog here.

In short, if your income suffered between 1 March 2020 and 1 January 2021 due to Coronavirus, this period can be disregarded when assessing your earnings, for both employees and the self-employed. The furlough pay (minimum 80%) can be counted as 100% of your normal employment income for a Spouse/Partner visa, Tier 2 and others (Ancestral etc). It can be used by Tier 1 Entrepreneurs for the purpose of Job Creation. Self-employed people can use Self-Employment Income Support Scheme grants as income, too. This is a very simplified summary, for details please contact us or book online consultation here.
 

#4 I had to stay abroad longer than planned, will it affect my next application or settlement? What if my visa expired while abroad? 

The short answer is No, short breaks in residency (i.e. based on Covid travel restrictions and related circumstances) won't affect your immigration status. You would need some reasonable supporting evidence and generally, each case would have to be approached individually. Again, this is a simplified summary, please contact us for a more detailed advice. 

If your visa expired while abroad and you intended to apply for a subsequent one, such as extension or Settlement: currently, there's a concession for those who left the UK before 17 March 2020. There is a process to secure a visa to return to the UK and continue with your residency. This concession exists until 31 March 2021 unless extended. 

#5 Is the new 'Brexit’ Points Based System operating ? 

Absolutely! British businesses can now sponsor skilled workers from all over the world, not just Europe, in the faster manner than before Brexit. There are more jobs (occupations) that can be sponsored, lower salary levels (yet still market rates), no need to advertise jobs locally and no annual limit. Instead of waiting for months for a restricted certificate, it now takes 1 working day to secure a defined one (i.e. the new equivalent of a restricted COS). There are quite complex ‘mathematical' rules on calculating the appropriate salary in each case because there are several thresholds plus exceptions, plus some transitional rules. There are specified documents for Sponsors (employers), too. However, with our advice and more than 10 years of experience (including our own as a Tier 2 Sponsor), we can successfully guide you and your business on these matters! 

 

For an individual advice or to make an application, please contact us on this email: info@1st4immigration.com or book an online consultation with an immigration lawyer here


1st 4Immigration is one of the most experienced UK immigration law companies, OISC - accredited at the highest Level 3. We have been in business for over 10 years, our OISC reference is 200800152, in which 2008 stands for the year accreditation. Office: Tower 42, 25 Old Broad Street, London, EC2N 1HN.  www.1st4immigration.com

Property Management in London from our sister company, MTV Properties, www.mtv-properties.com

Tuesday, 12 January 2021

πŸŽ“ Livestream OISC Level 1 training 26-27 January 2021

 





We have moved all our training online! 
 
We now offer OISC Level 1 course livestream on Zoom and Skype 26-27 January 2021.
 
It is a 2-day course, 10.00 - 16.00 with breaks. CPD 10 hours. Price £250+VAT. It is live training (livestream), where you can interact with the tutor and ask your questions. You can check the date and book here: https://www.1st4immigration.com/training/
 
 
Extracts from Description:
 
THE BASICS – CRUCIAL TO YOUR WORK!
Covid-19 concessionary policies and links
2 systems of immigration law: UK law, European law and Brexit
Types of visas: Entry Clearance, Visitor visa, Leave to Remain, Leave to Enter, Residence Permit, Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR), Indefinite Leave is not  indefinite’
‘Settlement’ and 2 confusing meanings of this term
Common question: Passport has expired, do I have to transfer my visa to a new passport? The answer is both Yes and No
What is Switching? Common examples when switching is not allowed
What is the Date of Application and why it is so important? When is the Date of
Application? In-time and Out-of-time applications...
 
 
 
We also continue to run our best-selling Self-study OISC Level 1 course, based on an electronic textbook. You can study in your own time, at your own pace, from any device at any place. CPD 16 hours. Price £199+VAT. You can find it here. 
  
Our courses are CPD-accredited by The CPD Standards Office, reference 80001. 
 

1st 4Immigration is one of the most experienced UK immigration law companies, OISC - accredited at the highest Level 3. We have been in business for over 10 years, our OISC reference is 200800152, in which 2008 stands for the year accreditation. Office: Tower 42, 25 Old Broad Street, London, EC2N 1HN. www.1st4immigration.com.
Property Management in London from our sister company, MTV Properties, www.mtv-properties.com

Tuesday, 5 January 2021

New five-star testimonial in the New Year!

 




 
New five-star Google review of our immigration services!

Abraham:

I suppose we weren't the "easiest" of clients, as our nerves were shot for most part of the Visa process due to Covid restrictions.

Jules helped us through all of this, and we got a  positive result in the end.

Hats off to Jules


 
We are here to help if you wish to talk to an Immigration Lawyer or to start the process of preparing your visa application. We work with customers worldwide via What's App, Skype, Facebook, email as well as in person at our office in the City of London. 

The best start is to book an online consultation on our website here. As always, a consultation fee counts towards our full service! 
 
1st 4Immigration is one of the most experienced UK immigration law companies, OISC - accredited at the highest Level 3. We have been in business for over 10 years, our OISC reference is 200800152, in which 2008 stands for the year accreditation. Office: Tower 42, 25 Old Broad Street, London, EC2N 1HN. www.1st4immigration.com.
Property Management in London from our sister company, MTV Properties, www.mtv-properties.com

Thursday, 31 December 2020

HappiER New Year! πŸΎπŸŽ‡

 




The New 2021 Year is almost here. 2020 has been unusual but rather than indulge in clichΓ©, we’d like to highlight the positive things.

#1 As always, you, our customers, kept us busy. 
And for that, we are saying a Big Thank You! The immigration work doesn't stop in the pandemic, visas still expire and need to be renewed or changed from one to another. We have adapted by offering more online consultations and appointments (face-to-face meetings are still available, subject to the London restrictions); using Dropbox for the documents and generally, working in the "new normal”.  

#2 UK Visas & Immigration was still processing applications and issuing visas. 
Yes, the process wasn't anywhere near as fast as normal, and Priority services were paused (still mostly the case now), but the Government officials did adapt, in their own ‘Government’ way. When visa centres shut their doors in the spring (when we all thought it would be over by the summer), we were asked to email your supporting documents to the caseworkers, so they could consider the case in the meantime. Yes, the app (for reusing the biometrics) was being introduced slowly and eventually stopped altogether (except for students), but, hopefully, it paved the way for the future. After a decade of the Governments being keen on collecting the biometrics (fingerprints and a digital photo) every time you apply for a visa, in the past few years this trend has been reversing. For example, Schengen countries were already reusing biometrics before the pandemic. Let's hope the UKVI will revive its app sooner rather than later. Until then, the visa centres remain open and are designated as essential services. 

#3 The visa rules were adapted not to penalise those affected. 
Again, it wasn't always perfect or fast enough, but it was there in the end. Under the current rules, no one affected by the pandemic will be penalised for overstaying a UK visa or having to breach its conditions. For example, in most cases you can count the furlough pay in your next visa application. 

#4 The new Points-Based Immigration System started on 1 December 2020.  
We have already mentioned how much better it was than the old, tired and overstrict Tier 2 category. The work visas are now open to all citizens (not just Europeans) who have the right skills to meet the demand of the post-Brexit labour market.  

That’s our final message for 2020, it simply remains to wish you and your families a safe, healthy and HappiER New Year!  

1st 4Immigration team

OISC ref F200800152

Tower 42, 25 Old Broad Street, London, EC2N 1HN

www.1st4immigration.com

Property Management in London from our sister company, MTV Properties, www.mtv-properties.com

Wednesday, 30 December 2020

🧐 Furlough leave and UK visas


girl_questions

If you have been furloughed, how does it affect your UK immigration status? Here at 1st 4Immigration it has been a common question during 2020.
 

Spouses/Partners of British citizens - Financial Requirement £18,600.
The time you spent on furlough can be considered as ‘normal' employment on a full pay. For example, if you normally earn a salary of £18,600 pa, and were paid 80% of that while on furlough, your salary will be treated as being £18,600 for the purpose of the visa application.

Tier 2 (General) workers - appropriate salary.
The short answer is Yes, it's OK to be furloughed under the Government scheme, ie Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, with the salary reduced accordingly. It wouldn't be a problem in the next visa application (extension or Indefinite Leave). The migrant workers are eligible for these schemes in the same way as resident workers. However, such reductions in salary must be temporary and a part of a company-wide policy to avoid redundancies and in which all workers are treated the same.

 

Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) migrants - pay of your employees.
Time when your employees were furloughed will count towards the 12 months of “2 jobs for settled workers" if they have been paid at least 80% of their normal salary. Until as late as 1 December 2020, the rules were still saying “cannot be counted” but then this welcome change occurred!

 

For an individual advice or to make an application, please contact us on this email: info@1st4immigration.com or book an online consultation with an immigration lawyer here.

 

1st 4Immigration is one of the most experienced and prominent UK immigration law companies, accredited by the OISC at the highest Level 3. We have been in business for over 10 years, our OISC reference is 200800152, in which 2008 stands for the year accreditation. 

Address: Tower 42 (NatWest Tower), 25 Old Broad Street, City of London, London, EC2N 1HN.

www.1st4immigration.com

Property Management in London from our sister company, MTV Properties, www.mtv-properties.com

 

Wednesday, 23 December 2020

πŸ’· Refer a friend, share £100 - with Amazon voucher!

  




Our business grows through referrals. If your friend or colleague needs a visa or UK immigration advice please spread the word and we will be delighted to help!
 
Even better, you could share £100 credit:
  • Your friend receives a £50 credit towards our legal fees when they sign up for a UK visa or Citizenship application with us.
  • You receive a £50 Amazon voucher! AND the satisfaction of recommending your friend a reliable immigration service. 
There is no limit on how many people you can refer, so keep them coming! 
Just remember to tell us about your friend. 
 
 
1st 4Immigration  OISC ref F200800152
www.1st4immigration.com 
info@1st4immigration.com - we reply on the same working day! 
What’s app worldwide +447795471483 

Monday, 21 December 2020

New five-star Google review of our immigration services!

 





 
New five-star Google review of our immigration services!

Syed:
I would like to thank everyone at 1st4immigration for their excellent work, professionalism, kindness and understanding, especially on those occasions when I must have asked what could have been construed as pretty 'silly' questions. At a time when things were very stressful and anxious, I always felt that however busy Joules  was, I was always lent a sympathetic ear which was very much appreciated. I hoped for total support from 1st4immigration when I instructed them, I got so much more. I would highly recommend 1st4immigration (Joules )would definitely use them again in the future. Many many thanks again for Joules, you were brilliant”

 
1st 4Immigration team 
 
We are here to help if you wish to talk to an Immigration Lawyer or to start the process of preparing your visa application. We work with customers worldwide via What's App, Skype, Facebook, email as well as in person at our office in the City of London. 

The best start is to book an online consultation on our website here. As always, a consultation fee counts towards our full service! 
 
1st 4Immigration is one of the most experienced UK immigration law companies, OISC - accredited at the highest Level 3. We have been in business for over 10 years, our OISC reference is 200800152, in which 2008 stands for the year accreditation. Office: Tower 42, 25 Old Broad Street, London, EC2N 1HN. www.1st4immigration.com.
Property Management in London from our sister company, MTV Properties, www.mtv-properties.com

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ UK PR options through studying and working

 




Study - Work - Settle 
 
Student visa (formerly called Tier 4) is to come and study in the UK. If you study at a degree level at a UK university, you can work part-time 20 hours a week during the term, full-time on vacation and full-time for 4 months after completion of the course. 
 
You can switch to the new Skilled Worker visa after completion of a degree course, or even within 3 months before that! There are benefits for employers to hire Student graduates – they can offer a New Entrant salary, which makes it more affordable for the employers and makes sponsorship more likely for the migrants. After 5 years on this visa you can qualify for settlement.
 
If you are a business, looking to hire and sponsor migrant workers, including graduates, please visit our page for UK Employers here
 
 
Study – Post Study Work – Work – Settlement   
 
There is an exciting development coming soon – a revival of a Post-Study Work visa! It existed before 2012 and was a visa for 2 years, allowing graduates to remain in the UK for 2 years – to look for work, to work as an employee or to set up a business in the UK. While we are still awaiting the details, it is expected to be available for those graduating in the summer 2021. In in that case, you could come to study for a UK degree, get a 2-year visa to look for work, then switch to the above – mentioned Skilled Worker visa. After 5 years – settlement. Post-Study Work visa won’t count towards settlement, so if you are able to find Sponsorship for a Skilled Worker visa sooner, you could start ‘your’ 5 years sooner too. 
 
 
What’s next after Tier 4 or Student visa?
 
Options are a Skilled Worker visa (as above), revival of Post-Study Work visa for students graduating in the summer 2021 onwards (no details yet on whether it will apply to all graduates in all subjects). A Hong Kong BNO visa is available if you are a British National (Overseas) status holder. Also, a Talent visa for which you need a professional endorsement, which is in turn very limited as well as innovative business visas which are also based on endorsement. However, if you have a partner in the UK, you can switch to a Spouse/Partner visa and start your path to settlement in that route (instead of a work route).
 
 
Study – Stay with Partner – Settle
 
If you are about to complete your degree at a UK university and wish to remain with your British partner here, you can apply for a visa based on your relationship. As a Spouse or an Unmarried Partner, for the latter you need to have lived together for 2 years. If you cannot meet this rule now, you may consider getting a Post-Study Work visa first, which is for 2 years and allows to work, and then apply for a Partner visa. A new PSW visa is expected to start from summer 2021.  
 
 
10 years continuous residence in the UK

If you have spent 10 years, continuously and legally, in the UK on any visas, you can qualify for settlement. Common paths include study at school, study at university, working, settlement after 10 years. It can even be just 10 years of studying because studies at a school level aren’t included in the cap. There are further requirements to meet, such as very strict limit on absences from the UK during this time, which can be (and often is) a dealbreaker, but even then, there may be a point where, with more extension, you can reach it soon!
 
 
1st 4Immigration team 
 
We are here to help if you wish to talk to an Immigration Lawyer or to start the process of preparing your visa application. We work with customers worldwide via What's App, Skype, Facebook, email as well as in person at our office in the City of London. 

The best start is to book an online consultation on our website here. As always, a consultation fee counts towards our full service! 
 
1st 4Immigration is one of the most experienced UK immigration law companies, OISC - accredited at the highest Level 3. We have been in business for over 10 years, our OISC reference is 200800152, in which 2008 stands for the year accreditation. Office: Tower 42, 25 Old Broad Street, London, EC2N 1HN. www.1st4immigration.com.
Property Management in London from our sister company, MTV Properties, www.mtv-properties.com


Saturday, 19 December 2020

πŸ‘‰ Online OISC LEVEL 1 Course. CPD 16 Hours. Only £199 + VAT. πŸ‘ˆ




Our OISC Level 1 training is a bestseller! With the online version, you can download it on your computer and study in your own time.


The course is great for you if:

- you are preparing to take a Level 1 OISC exam and become an immigration adviser.

- you are a practicing adviser or solicitor and wish to broaden your knowledge about other visa categories, such as to learn in detail about the Points-Based System. You will earn 16 CPD hours!

- you work in HR; you are a business owner or a landlord and need to learn about how your employees or tenants can stay legally in the UK so that you don't face penalties.


With over 10 years of experience, we designed this course to be of practical help! It's full of useful advice, explanation of how to understand Immigration Rules, where to find the information during a case and many case studies.

Unlike most training other there, this is not boring coverage of the Immigration Rules, we tried to keep it as entertaining as possible!

 

Read detailed description and buy Online OISC Level 1 course now (£199+VAT).



1st4Immigration is one of the most experienced UK immigration law companies, OISC - accredited at the highest Level 3. We have been in business for over 10 years, our OISC reference is 200800152, in which 2008 stands for the year accreditation. Office: Tower 42, 25 Old Broad Street, London, EC2N 1HN. www.1st4immigration.com 

 

✈️ Brexit travel rules for British citizens




Dear customers of 1st 4Immigration and Multi Travel Visas,
 
 
Normally, we explain the UK rules for foreign citizens. Today, however, we explain the opposite - rules for British citizens to travel to Europe after Brexit. At the moment, the new rules are still expected to start from 1 January 2021 unless something changes. 

If you happen to have a residency document in an EU country, your rights remain the same as before Brexit. You may need to register online under the national scheme in your country, similar to our EU Settlement Scheme.

For all other British citizens, the same rules will apply as, say, for Americans visiting Europe for holidays and short business trips: maximum 90 days stay in every 6 months. You won’t need a visa (a visa stamp or online authorisation) prior to travel, unless this arrangement changes, and if it does, it is likely to change for many non-EU citizens, not just for the Brits. 

You also need to have a passport that is 1) valid for 6 months on the day you travel and 2) valid for maximum 10 years in total. For example, if you renewed your passport while it still had 3 months on it, you would now have a passport for 10 years and 3 months. It is more than 10 years in total and you have to get a new one , which will be exactly for 10 years. These rules existed for non-EU citizens for a long time and only new for Britons. 

You can check whether your current passport will be acceptable here: https://www.gov.uk/check-a-passport-travel-europe-1-january-2021

If you are looking to work, study or live permanently in Europe, you would probably need a national visa (such as a German work visa, Spanish retired independent person visa etc) , same as EU/EEA nationals will need the same for the UK after Brexit. You should check the requirements of a particular EU country for this, they may well be encouraging the Brits to relocate and bring their money with them! 

Travel or working in Ireland is not affected by Brexit. 

 

1st 4Immigration team 

OISC ref F200800152
Tower 42, 25 Old Broad Street, London, EC2N 1HN
London Property's Management from our sister company, MTV Properties, www.mtv-properties.com