Monday, 25 March 2019

(Updated March 2019) English language for spouses of UK citizens: A1, A2 or B1?

When you are applying for your 1st Spouse visa, you need the most basic A1 level. This is true whether you are applying outside the UK or switching from another category inside the UK. 
After the 1st Spouse visa you will need an extension. At this stage, after 2.5 years in the UK, you will need A2 level. 

After that you could normally apply for a permanent visa, known as Indefinite Leave to Remain. This is where an even higher B1 level would be needed. 

If you chose to have a Fiancée visa first, you need A1 level for this and then again A1 level when you get married and apply for your 1stSpouse visa. In this case you meet the A1 rule automatically. Then you need A2 at extension and B1 at the permanent visa stage.

The rules for Unmarried Partners are the same as for spouses. 

We also have a very good post earlier on the confusion between A1 and B1 level when applying for “settlement”, as many spouses applying outside the UK are told – incorrectly – that they need a B1 level. You can read here about 2 meanings of the legal term “settlement” there and why there is a confusion: http://1st4immigration-visas.blogspot.co.uk/2013/09/english-for-spousepartnerfiancee-visa.htmlThis is a post from 2013 and still applicable on the date of publishing of this. 

1st4Immigration is a practicing immigration law company, accredited by the OISC at the highest Level 3, reference 200800152. Office address: 68 King William Street, City of London, London, EC4M 7DZ. For individual advice or to make your application as successful please contact us: info@1st4immigration.com or visit our website: https://www.1st4immigration.com/

We also provide immigration training and CPD for lawyers and those preparing for OISC exam. We have classroom/livestream courses and online self-study courses, accredited by CPD Standards Office, ref 80001, and accepted by The OISC. Visit our 
OISC training courses.

1st 4Immigration and Multi Travel Visas
Authorised by The OISC at the highest Level 3, ref F200800152
Office address: 68 King William Street, City of London, London, EC4M 7DZ.

Tuesday, 19 March 2019

Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa – apply by 28 March 2019 to make it before the new rules!

New rules for UK business visas will come in force on 29 March 2019 and apply if you are planning to apply for Entrepreneur visa for the first time.   
If you prefer the current Tier 1 Entrepreneur rules, you need to submit the online form and pay UK Government fees by 28 March 2019. You can submit the actual documents after that!



Summary of changes from 29 March 2019: 

#1 New categories:  Start-up and Innovator visas replace Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur and Tier 1 Entrepreneur respectively. Start-up is for those starting a business in the UK for the 1st time. Open to all, not just graduates on Tier 4 visas. 
Innovator visa is for experienced business people, and it will lead to settlement after minimum 3 years (or any time later when you have met the criteria). 

#2 Endorsement: is required for all applications, from initial visa to extension and ILR. The biggest change is your business plan won’t be assessed by the Government officials (who never run a business themselves) but by endorsing bodies, ‘business experts’. Who exactly - remains to be confirmed but they will be organisations like seed funding competitions. It is a logical development, although for the applicants it means working harder to ‘sell’ their business ideas. 
#3 Money: £50,000 for Innovators (down from £200,000 as was for Entrepreneurs) but cannot share within entrepreneurial team, i.e. need £50,000 per person. No minimum amount for Start-ups and potentially when switching from Start-up to Innovator. Of course, you still need enough funds to support your business plan. 

#4 English: up to B2 level.

#5 Business idea: the 3 criteria are as follows (they are not very specific, though): 
Innovation: genuine, original business plan that meets new or existing market needs and/or creates a competitive advantage. 
Viability: necessary skills, knowledge, experience and market awareness. 
Scalability: structured planning and potential for job creation and growth into national markets (‘and international markets’, in case of Innovator visa).   

If you think your business idea isn’t likely to fit – apply before 29 March 2019 under the current rules! 

More details on our blog:

1st4Immigration team
1st4Immigration 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. Office address: 68 King William Street, City of London, London, EC4M 7DZ.

To book an individual consultation with our lawyers, face-to-face, over Skype, phone or email, visit https://www.1st4immigration.com
                                                                           
We also provide immigration training and CPD for lawyers and those preparing for OISC exam. We have classroom/livestream courses and online self-study courses, accredited by CPD Standards Office, ref 80001, and accepted by The OISC. Visit our OISC training page here. 

Monday, 18 March 2019

Faster Schengen visa for Easter – often without biometrics!



Dear customers of 1st 4Immigration and Multi Travel Visas,

Sooner appointments- officially accredited agency with French Consulate!
We offer fast processing of Schengen visas for your travels, using special appointments reserved exclusively for only 10 accredited agencies in the whole of the UK (ours being one of the oldest covering last 10 years). In most cases, we can provide an appointment in next few working days and it takes maximum 1 week from then for most nationals.
Biometrics aren’t always needed!
If your previous Schengen visa shows "VIS", you wouldn’t need to submit biometrics again for the next 5 years! It means you can simply apply through us without travelling to London for biometrics. Just bring or send your documents to us and we’ll do the rest - quickly and efficiently. Saving you time, hassle and most importantly, money!
Schengen visas to Europe:
We can assist with Schengen visa through France or Germany that allow travelling to all of the Schengen area. French Consulate issues longer, multiple-entry visas, especially to spouses and families of UK/EU citizens.
Contact us now:
We are based in in the City of London (Bank/Monument), office open 9am – 6pm Monday to Friday, no appointment needed.
Phone 0871 472 1468 or 07795471483 or text.
Email info@multitravelvisas.co.uk , we reply on the same business day!
Website: www.multitravelvisas.co.uk and group website www.1st4immigration.com


1st 4Immigration and Multi Travel Visas

Authorised by The OISC at the highest Level 3, ref F200800152
Office address: 68 King William Street, City of London, London, EC4M 7DZ.

Monday, 11 March 2019

New business visa rules from 29 March 2019: end of Tier 1 (Entrepreneur)



The UK Government has published the new rules for UK business visas, in force from 29 March 2019. These changes only apply if you are planning to apply for Entrepreneur visa for the first time. If you already have a Tier 1 Entrepreneur or Graduate Entrepreneur visas, you will be able to continue to settlement under the current ‘old’ rules. 

If you are planning to apply under the current Tier 1 Entrepreneur rules, you need to submit the online form and pay UK Government fees by 28 March 2019. 

Summary of changes from 29 March 2019: 

#1 New categories: Start-up and Innovator visas replace Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur and Tier 1 Entrepreneur respectively. Start-up is for those starting a   business in the UK for the 1sttime. Open to all, not just graduates on Tier 4 visas. 
Innovator visa is for experienced business people, and it will lead to settlement after minimum 3 years (or any time later when you have met the criteria). 

#2 Endorsement:is required for all applications, from initial visa to extension, to ILR and even to change a business activity. The biggest change is your business plan won’t be assessed by the Government officials (who never run a business themselves) but by endorsing bodies, ‘business experts’. Who exactly - remains to be confirmed but they will be organisations like seed funding competitions. It is a logical development, although for the applicants it means working harder to ‘sell’ their business ideas. 

#3 Money:£50,000 for Innovators (down from £200,000 as was for Entrepreneurs) but cannot share within entrepreneurial team anymore. If you have a team, you need £50,000 per person. No minimum amount for Start-ups and potentially when switching from Start-up to Innovator. Of course, you still need enough funds to support your business plan. 

#4 English:up to B2 level.

#5 Business idea:the 3 criteria are as follows (they are not very specific, though): 

Innovation:you have a genuine, original business plan that meets new or existing market needs and/or creates a competitive advantage. 

Viability:you have the necessary skills, knowledge, experience and market awareness to successfully run the business. In case of Strat-up, can be ‘actively developing’ such skills. 

Scalability:there is evidence of structured planning and of potential for job creation and growth into national markets (‘and international markets’, in case of Innovator visa).   

If you think your business idea isn’t likely to fit – apply before 29 March 2019 under the current rules! 

More posts on this:

To book an individual consultation with our lawyers, face-to-face, over Skype, phone or email, visit https://www.1st4immigration.com

1st4Immigration 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. Office address: 68 King William Street, City of London, London, EC4M 7DZ.
                                                                           
We also provide immigration training and CPD for lawyers and those preparing for OISC exam. We have classroom/livestream courses and online self-study courses, accredited by CPD Standards Office, ref 80001, and accepted by The OISC. Visit our OISC training page here. 

Sunday, 10 March 2019

Celebrating our 100th Google review!!!

We have recently reached 100 positive Google reviews about our Schengen & Worldwide visa services. To celebrate and give something back we would like to offer a 10% discount on our UK visa services during the month of March!




Hongni Wu applied for German Schengen Visa:
Highly recommended for anyone who needs an urgent Schengen visa! I had a business trip coming up in 15 days, tried to get a German Schengen visa by myself but couldn't even find any available date for an appointment on the official website. Found Multi Travel Visas Ltd on Google and called them on Monday, they got me an appointment confirmed straight away on Friday!! Sebastian helped me gathered and triple checked all the required documents the day before the appointment and Andre handled everything for me on the day at the appointment. My visa was granted and my passport was back on the third business day after submitting the application. The whole process only took one week, from getting in touch with them till I get my visa. This is the most efficient service I've ever had! Definitely will use them again next time!

Here is a copy of Google review, which can also be found here: https://goo.gl/maps/ckjB4G8X5Hn


Our sister company Multi Travel Visas Ltd assists with Schengen visas to France, Germany and Portugal plus with Russian visas and invitations as well as visas to China, India, Saudi Arabia, Kazakhstan and other countries.

Multi Travel Visas Ltd has been accredited by French and Portuguese Embassies in London as well as by the official visa centres to assist with Schengen visas.

- FRENCH SCHENGEN VISA takes 4 working days for most nationals (from the date of appointment). Our appointments are for accredited agencies only and can be much sooner than the public appointments.
- PORTUGUESE SCHENGEN VISA takes 1 week from submission on Wednesdays.
- GERMAN SCHENGEN VISA takes 5 working days for most nationals (from the date of appointment).
- RUSSIAN VISAS and INVITATIONS: work, business and tourism.
- CHINESE VISAS: we are accredited with the visa centre and do not require appointments to submit your application.
- INDIAN VISAS including same-day business visas.
- Various other visas: Saudi Arabia, Sri-Lanka, Kazakhstan, Ghana, Azerbaijan and many other countries.

Multi Travel Visas can also assist with a fast renewal of a British passport using same-day Premium service or 1 week Fast-Track service.


Contact us now: 
We are based in the City of London(Bank/Monument), office open 9am –6pm Monday to Friday, no appointment needed. 
Phone: 0871 472 1468 or 07795471483 or text.
Email: info@multitravelvisas.co.uk, we reply on the same business day!
Website: www.multitravelvisas.co.uk and group website www.1st4immigration.com 

Saturday, 9 March 2019

TIER 1 (EXCEPTIONAL TALENT)


Tier 1 (Exceptional talent) is for people who are high-achievers in the fields of science, arts, engineering, architecture, digital technology and others. It also covers those who aren’t experienced yet but show exceptional promise. This visa allows to work in the UK  or set up a business, It also leads to settlement after 3 or 5 years. 
This category can be an answer to a pressing question of Tier 2 Intra-Company Transfer migrants on how they could achieve a permanent residency status in the UK. 


Annual limit:

Every initial application must be endorsed by a ‘designated competent body’. There is a limit of 2,000 endorsements per UK financial year. It is usually divided in 2 parts, some are given in the 1st half of UK tax year and the other half in the next half.   

Endorsements can be from the following designated bodies: Royal Society,  Arts Council England, British Academy and Royal Academy of Engineering, Tech Nation.   


Initial application – Stage 1 – Talent:

Initial applications have 2 stages: endorsement by a Designated Competent Body as above and then a visa application based on that endorsement. 

Each designated body has its own criteria for endorsement and evidence they require. They are the ones you need to ’impress’ with your talent or promise. UK Government visa officers cannot judge whether a migrant is distinguished in the field of, say, engineering or film, or fashion design. They rely on a designated body to do so. 

If endorsement is granted (based on the talent but also within the allocated limit), it will be either Exceptional Talent or Exceptional Promise. 

Initial application – Stage 2 – Visa:

Once you have an endorsement, you have to apply for a visa within 3 months. You can apply from outside the UK or can switch inside the UK from permitted categories, such as Tier 2. This can be useful if you are keen to change from Tier 2 ICT (which doesn’t lead to ILR), especially IT workers who may secure endorsement from Tech Nation. Those on Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) can also switch if they obtain a relevant endorsement. 

The visa can be granted from 1 to 5 years, as requested by the applicant. 


Extension application:

Extensions have only 1 stage: applying for a visa. You have to show some work or business experience in your field, as per the initial endorsement. You don’t need another endorsement. Duration of extension can be again from 1 to 5 years, as requested by the applicant. You may not need an extension, though, if you requested a visa for 3 – 5 years from the beginning. 


ILR application – 3 years:

If you were granted this visa based on endorsement of the Exceptional Talent type, you can qualify for ILR after 3 years in the UK. The 3 years can be in this category or can even be combined with some other categories, such as Tier 2 General (but not ICT).   


ILR application – 5 years:

If you were granted this visa based on endorsement of the Exceptional Promise type, you can qualify for ILR after 5 years in the UK. ‘Your’ 5 years can be in this category or can be combined with some other categories, such as Tier 2 General (but not ICT). If you happened to have lived in the UK legally for 10 years - on any visas – you could qualify for ILR 10 years residence, we have a section on it here.   

To book an individual consultation with our lawyers, face-to-face, over Skype, phone or email, visit our website: https://www.1st4immigration.com

1st4Immigration 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. Office address: 68 King William Street, City of London, London, EC4M 7DZ.
                                                                           
We also provide immigration training and CPD for lawyers and those preparing for OISC exam. We have classroom/livestream courses and online self-study courses, accredited by CPD Standards Office, ref 80001, and accepted by The OISC. Visit our OISC training page here. 

New UK business visas from 29 March 2019: old v new rules comparison table




Before 29 March 2019
From 29 March 2019
Categories

Tier 1 (Entrepreneur), open to   all migrants.

Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) for graduates from UK universities, who completed a degree on Tier 4 visa and obtained an endorsement from their university to support their business idea  
Start-up and Innovator, both open to everyone.  

Start-up – your 1stbusiness in the UK (but not first ever – you can have had a business outside the UK).

Innovator - for experienced business people.  

Endorsement is needed for all.
Visa duration

Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) – 1 year, extension for another year.  

Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) – initially 3 years, extension – 2 years. ILR can be after 3 years (accelerated route) or after 5 years.
Start-up visa - 2 years. After that can switch to Innovator (or to another category, such as Tier 2 or Spouse visa).

Innovator – 3 years, then extension for another 3 years. No limit on how many extensions, every time for 3 years. ILR can be after 3 years on Innovator visa (if ILR rules are met), or later as soon as ILR rules are met. If not met – continue with extensions but every time need a new endorsement.


Settlement

Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) doesn’t lead or count towards ILR. Need to switch to a visa that does, such as Entrepreneur or Tier 2, or Spouse.

Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) – initially 3 years, extension – 2 years. ILR can be after 3 years (accelerated route) or after 5 years.


Start-up visa doesn’t lead to settlement. Need to switch to another category that does, such as Innovator or Tier 2 General or Spouse visa.  

Innovator –  ILR can be after 3 years on Innovator visa (if ILR rules are met), or later as soon as ILR rules are met, ie can be 3.5 or 4 years etc. If not met – continue with extensions, ie can also be, say, 7 years. 


Endorsement
Was only needed for Graduate Entrepreneurs. 

Needed for all and for every stage: initial, extension, ILR.
Business plan
Needed for initial application only.

Needed for all stages (for endorsement) as well as to change a business idea.

Monitoring of progress when holding a visa
Was not required, only assessed at the time of next visa application.
Required to keep in touch with the endorsing body after 6, 12 and 24 months. To monitor the business is genuinely trading and progressing according to the business plan.

Change of business idea/activity
Was allowed, no additional actions were needed.
Have to obtain a new endorsement.

Can I come initially as a visitor?
Can I switch from visitor while I the UK?

Visiting – yes, under Prospective Entrepreneur category.

Switching from visitor – No.  
Visiting – Yes.
Even switching – Yes!

Money needed  
Entrepreneurs: £200,000; in very few cases - £50,000.

Graduate Entrepreneurs: no minimum; when later switching to Entrepreneur the minimum was only £50,000.
Applying straight as an Innovator: minimum   £50,000.

Start-Up:  no minimum (but enough for the business idea). 

Switching from Start-Up to Innovator: no minimum.
Entrepreneurial teams
2 people could share £200,000
Teams are still allowed but funds (or job creation) cannot be shared. If 2 migrants are a team, they need £50,000 per person.  
English – level goes up

B1
B2
Absences from the UK
180 days per year
180 days per year

Extension criteria

Entrepreneurs: mainly, invested £200,000 and created 2 jobs.

Innovators: need a new endorsement to confirm you have made significant achievements against your business plans, and whether the business(es) are trading. 
At this stage, there is no rule on minimum investment or job creation.

Settlement / ILR criteria

Entrepreneurs: maintained 2 jobs.

Innovators: you are given a choice of 7 criteria (some on investment, some on turnover, some on jobs), and you can apply when you have met any 2 of them (but minimum 3 years on this visa). Hence, you may need, say, 3.5 years or 5.5 yeas or even more. Every time you need ‘more’ – extension for 3 years, based on the new endorsement.

Start-up v Innovator: pros and cons  

Start-up pros:  no minimum funds or experience; can switch to Innovator without £50,000. (You still need enough money for your business idea, it just doesn’t need to be at some specific amount). 
Cons: doesn’t lead or count to ILR. 

Innovator pros: leads to ILR after 3 years or more. 
Cons: minimum funds of £50,000, proven business experience. 

Old rules v new rules, pros and cons
Investment down from £200,000 to £50,000. But entrepreneurial teams can’t share. 

No rules on investing or creating jobs within 3 years (can be later). 

ILR accelerated rules are broader and offer more choice. 

English is up to B2. 

Endorsement is needed for all and at every stage up to ILR. 


More posts on new business visa rules 29 March 2019:

To book an individual consultation with our lawyers, face-to-face, over Skype, phone or email, visit https://www.1st4immigration.com

1st4Immigration 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. Office address: 68 King William Street, City of London, London, EC4M 7DZ.
                                                                           
We also provide immigration training and CPD for lawyers and those preparing for OISC exam. We have classroom/livestream courses and online self-study courses, accredited by CPD Standards Office, ref 80001, and accepted by The OISC. Visit our OISC training page here.