Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Part 1 - How to calculate £18,600 income threshold for Spouses and Partners under the New Rules?

As Family visas is one of our main specialities, we had noticed straight away that the 'New Rules', introduced on 9 July 2012, were not clear on how to calculate the income of £18,600. We had contacted the UK Border Agency and have had a clarification in early November. We were also told these clarifications would be added to the next update of the Rules.

Now the UK Border Agency announced on 22 November about some additions (or rather clarification) into the 'new Rules', which come in force on 13 December 2012.  We'd like to think we played a part in it (but in reality the wise people at the UKBA probably spotted it themselves!)

Part 1 -  Workers who have worked for the same employer for at least 6 months. 

Old rule: have to take last 6 months payslips, find a 'lowest payslip' and then multiply that 'lowest month' by 12, thus getting an assumed annual amount. Result must be minimum £18,600. Same applies to weekly payslips (lowest payslip in 6 months multiplied by 52). 

Problem: those whose earnings have been fluctuating and changing every month/week. Then one payslip 'spoils' the whole picture. 

Clarification from 13 December 2012: 
Those who have been with the same employer for at least last 6 months can now choose between so called categories A and B. 

In they don't meet the income requirement based on the 'lowest payslip' rule then they can count their total ACTUAL earnings in the last 12 months. In other words, adding the total of the last 12 months payslips (including 'lowest' and 'highest') and if total comes to £18,600 then requirement is met. 

Even easier for those who earn more than £18,600 and who could meet the requirement by showing payslips for less than 12 months. 

Next posting will be about Self-employed people and the one after that will be about a growing number of 'Contractors'. 

Contact us for immigration advice or application, including same-day Premium service in the UKBA: www.1st4immigration.com 

Sunday, 25 November 2012

What's after Post-Study Work visa?

What's after Post-Study Work visa?

One of the most common questions at the moment! We have created this information material (and a training course for other advisers). For the price of our standard advice session you can download and instantly read it here, in your own time from any computer, and then refer anytime you need. Download now.

Or visit www.1st4immigration.comwww.1st4immigration.com

Saturday, 3 November 2012

When I get an ILR, can I go and work abroad and then apply for British Citizenship?

We are asked this question all the time, especially by Australian citizens. Perhaps it has something to do with the state of economy but more and more people take an opportunity to work abroad, such as in Australia, Singapore, USA, the Middle East, Russia, Brazil, China and many other countries. Most people know not to leave the UK for too long during their 5 years qualifying period on visas like Tier 1 General, HSMP, Tier 2, Work Permit, Ancestral.

However, what happens once you have an ILR? Can you go and work abroad, do you have to come back and when? Can you go and work, say, in Australia for a year, then come back and apply for British Citizenship?

Firstly, an ILR is supposed to be a permanent visa but in fact it's not that 'permanent'. You can lose an ILR if you leave the UK for more than 2 years in a row. Such as leave for 2 years without coming back. An ILR will be lost and you'd have to start residency from the beginning.

So, as long as you don't leave for more than 2 years you would be OK.

However, many do that and then are hoping to apply for British Citizenship, ie to get the best of both worlds: to get a well-paid job abroad and then come back and get a British passport. Most cannot apply for British Citizenship until 12 months after they get an ILR.

So, the trick here is to keep the absences within the limit. British Citizenship (Naturalisation) rules allow no more than 100 days outside the UK in the 12 months before making an application. Plus no more than 480 days within the whole 5 years before applying for Citizenship (this is not the same 5 years as for an ILR). So, the best tactic is either to wait, get Citizenship (or at least apply for one) and then take a job abroad. Once British s British, there is no rule to come back within 2 years, you can leave and work abroad for as long as you like. Unlike an ILR, British Citizenship cannot be lost if you leave for 2 years, or even 20 years (cannot be lost because of absences at all).

If you happen to have to many absences, then you'd need to spend more time in the UK, such as 7 or 8 years instead of usual 6 (5 for an ILR plus 1 year). And any such application will be up to a UKBA caseworker, ie totally at their discretion. If you don't meet the requirements you can apply, take a risk and hope for the best. Decision will be entirely up to the UK Border Agency. The risk may pay off but it is an unknown and each case will be judged on an individual merit.

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