Saturday, 28 April 2012

What's next after Post-Study Work visa?

This page is for those who have a Tier 1 Post-Study Work visa now and wonder what to do after these 2 years.

It is no longer possible to apply for a Tier 1 General (commonly known as HSMP), which use to be the natural next step in the past.

Available options:

Please note: below is a simplified summary only, for an advice for your individual circumstances we advise to book our advice session (over email or at our office at Tower Hill in Central London).

1) Tier 1 (Entrepreneur):
for those with entrepreneurial spirit and access to £50,000 in funds, which will be available to start a new business. Such new business has to be registered only within 3 months before switching from a PSW to an Entrepreneur visa (not earlier, ie previous entrepreneurial activities won't count, or rather count but the standard £200,000 if funds).

The outcome is a visa for 3 years, which then can be extended for another 2 years and after this you could apply for permanent residency.

Entrepreneur applications are only postal (no same-day service) and take 3-4 months, may even be 6 months.

2) Tier 2 (General): for those who are lucky to have a job offer from a licensed Sponsor (employer) and a Certificate of Sponsorship. In this case, when switching from Post-Study Work to Tier 2 General inside the UK, there is no annual limit and there is no need for employer to advertise the job first (ie no need for a Resident Labour Market Test). The job still has to be at a relatively high skill level (NQF6) and pay appropriate salary as on the Code of Practice (but minimum £20,000).

The outcome is a visa for up to 3 years, which then can be extended for up to another 3 years and after 5 years (and a salary of £35,000) you could apply for permanent residency. If you don't settle and 'your' 6 years have run out then you would have to leave the UK, wait for 12 months outside the UK, and only then re-enter Tier 2 category, effectively starting from the beginning.

Switching from PSW to Tier 2 inside the UK can be done on Premium same-day service and we can help with appointments as well as, naturally, with the checking documents and completing the application form.

3) Spouse/Partner Visa on the basis of a relationship with a British citizen or with a person who has a permanent residency in the UK.

Spouse by definition have to be married and can switch from PSW to a Spouse visa after the marriage. This also covers civil partners (same-sex partners who registered their relationship at a Register Office).

It does not matter if your visa expires soon and/or you only recently got married.

More commonly in such cases, we are asked about the above scenario but for Unmarried Partners (partners who are together but not married). In this case you can apply if you have lived together (lived, not just dating) for 2 years AND can prove it with the documents, such as bills or bank statements showing you lived at the same address. This (living together) can be in the UK or abroad or a combination of countries - as long as you have lived together, at any location.

The outcome is a visa for 2 years, with the right to work for any employer or to be self-employed. After 2 years you could apply for permanent residency.

Switching from PSW to a Spouse/Partner visa can also be done on Premium same-day service and we can help with appointments as well as, naturally, with the checking documents and completing the application form.

4) Spouse/Partner visa on the basis of a relationship with a European (non-UK)citizen.

Same rules apply as above (married; or if not married- lived together for 2 years) but the outcome is a visa for 5 years, after which you can apply for permanent residency.

This is a very good category. To start with, such applications are free of the official government fees, plus this visa allows to work for any employer or be self-employed. The only downside is such applications are only postal (no same-day service available) and may take up to 6 months.

5) If you happened to live in the UK for 10 years, legally, on any visas continuously, then you could apply for permanent residency on that basis. Such applications are also only postal and take 4-6 months.

Contact us now or read our Testimonials page.

Monday, 23 April 2012

Do I need to wait for 12 months after an ILR to apply for British Citizenship?

This is one of the most frequently asked questions. Here are the answers:

1) Spouses of British citizens do NOT need to wait for 12 months after receiving an Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR). They (spouses of Brits) do need to have 3 years of residency in the UK, and need an ILR (whenver it was issued), comply with the absences limit and be free of unspent criminal convictions. However, there is no rule of waiting for 12 months after an ILR. This also covers civil partners (spouses of the same sex) but does NOT apply to unmarried partners and does not apply to spouses of people who are not British but have an ILR. This paragraph only applies to spouses (married) of the British citizens.

2) Everyone else (ie all except spouses of British citizens) DO need to wait for 12 months after they have received an ILR. Plus all other requirements (5 years of residency, absences within the limit etc) and also, on top of all that the one needs to wait 12 months after the date when an ILR was issued, regardless of how many years the one has spent in the UK. This paragraph also covers unmarried partners of the British citizens and also spouses/partners of the European (non-UK) citizens including spouses of UK citizens who had an EEA Residence Card achieved via Surinder Singh route.

For more advice or to make an application please contact us on info@1st4immigration.com or visit our website: www.1st4immigration.com

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Fast Schengen visa

If you cannot get an appointment we can help, we have worked with the French Consulate in London for years! We submit applications using separate system of appointments for representatives. It takes 4 working days from the appointment date for most nationals (S.African, Indian, Russian, Thai, Chinese, Turkish etc), takes 2-3 weeks for some nationals. We can also apply via Portuguese Embassy. Contact us: www.multitravelvisas.co.uk

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Another successful application to bring a spouse and a step-son to the UK! Both Kenyan nationals

"Thank you so much for all your efforts and skill in assisting my wife and me with her visa application. We heard just yesterday that it was successful (2 years) and we've now purchased the tickets for my wife and her son to fly over. We both really appreciate all the help, advice, and guidance you gave us and we're very glad that we engaged your services to make this application." This was from Tim, applying for a visa for his wife and his step-son to come over from Kenya.