Monday, 27 January 2014

New successful case and testimonial on Retaining a right of residence under the EU law (EEA4)

Thanks so much for all your help during this relatively stressful period. My partner and I both appreciate everything you’ve done. Feel free to tell everyone we think you are all awesome. This is based on the extreme care you all took by making sure everything we had was in order and staying patient when we weren’t at all with all out emails etc! And I will certainly recommend you to all my friends.” 


This came from Adre, a South African national who applied to retain a right of residence under the European law following a dissolution of a civil partnership. We helped to apply on an EEA4 form and the applicant received permanent residency under the EU law after 4 months.


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


If you are an Immigration Adviser or a Solicitor please visit our immigration Training and CDP website: www.1st4immigration.com/training
 








2 definitions of a term ‘Self-employed’ and which one to use for UK visas.


We often hear from the clients: “I am employed but by my own company” or “My accountant says I am not self-employed, I have a limited company”. There are 2 definitions of a word ‘self-employed’, one for HMRC (the taxman) and accountants, another for UK Home Office and UK Border Agency, which is also used as a common sense definition.

 

UK Immigration Rules refer to self-employed people when it comes to meeting the points for Earnings in the Tier 1 General, Entrepreneur categories as well as when applying for an ILR based on them. Furthermore, rules on meeting the Financial Requirement under Appendix FM and FM-SE when it comes to applying for a Spouse/Partner/Fiancee visa.

 

For Home Office (UKBA) ‘self-employed’ means a person who works for him/herself, rather than working for someone else. This includes running a company or a shop as well as being a one-man-business. It also includes ‘contractors’ – workers who are employees in practice but who are self-employed ‘on paper’. So, here a term ‘self-employed’ includes both sole traders and limited company owners as well as partners in a partnership or an LLP. For the purpose of the UK visas you need to use categories for self-employed for a Spouse/Partner/Fiancee visas (categories F and G) and you need to calculate your earnings as self-employed for a tier 1 General extension or an ILR based on that. Likewise, for an Entrepreneur visa you can register either a company or become a sole trader. Even employed by your own limited company, and paying yourself a Director’s salary, will count as self-employment for the visa purpose (unless you are a Director of a large or public company and applying for a Spouse/Partner/Fiancee visa, there are some concessions).

 

For the UK taxman, HM Revenue & Customs, and for the accountants who help self-employed people, self-employed’ means a sole trader. Sole trader is when a person is running a business as ‘himself’, ie without setting up a company or a partnership. Actually, a partnership is a group of self-employed people (ie a group of sole traders), this is why partners are usually mentioned together with the sole traders on the rules. So, when someone wants to become ‘self-employed’, accountants would probably think he/she needs to become a sole trader and register as such with HMRC and get a Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR). A good accountant would also offer a choice, to become a sole trader or to register a limited company but many accountants tend to just do as asked – register as ‘self-employed’, ie a sole trader.

 

This is why there is a bit of confusion when it comes to applying UK visa rules for people who work for themselves. We often hear “My accountant says I am not self-employed because I have a limited company”. This is true for the 2nd definition for the taxman but not for the 1st one for HMRC.

 

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

 

If you are an Immigration Adviser or a Solicitor please visit our immigration Training and CDP website: www.1st4immigration.com/training
 

 

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Do I need English in Speaking and Listening only when the test covers all 4 components including Reading and Writing? For an ILR (for all) and for a Spouse/Partner visa.


This posting is for those who need to prove English language for an ILR (everybody from 28.10.2013 unless exempt) and for a Spouse/Partner/Fiancee visa.

 

Spouses, partners and fiancees of British citizens and ILR holders: need A1 level in Speaking and Listening.

 

Everyone applying for an ILR: need a B1 level unless exempt because of age or illness and unless already prove it in the previous application, such as Tier 1.

 

The Immigration Rules say only Speaking and Listening need to be demonstrated at the required level, however, many approved tests cover all 4 components including Reading and Writing. What to do?

 

In such tests you need to look at an overall score at the required level, such as A1 for spouses/partners and B1 for and ILR.

 

IELTS would be a good example, it  provides an overall score and this is the one you’d need for a visa.

 

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

If you are an Immigration Adviser or a Solicitor please visit our immigration Training and CDP website: www.1st4immigration.com/training

 

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Online CPD course 4.5 hours What's Next after Post-Study Work and Tier 4 Visas?

 For our colleagues Immigration Advisers and Solicitors: Our online training course is accepted by The OISC and SRA, CPD ref number EJE/14IM. 


What’s Next after Post-Study Work and Tier 4 Visas? 4.5 hours CPD credit.
 
Download from our website, study in your own time on any computer, iPad or iPhone, complete the test and we will award your CPD hours and send you a certificate.
 
 
The course is offered by our company, 1st 4Immigration Ltd, which is a practising immigration company, registered by The OISC at a highly respectable Level 2, based in the City of London.
 
We are also accredited by the UK Border Agency in Croydon and submit applications using Premium service for accredited representatives. We provide biometric appointments every week (ILR, Tier 1, Spouse/Partner etc) and we have permanent slots to submit Settlement (ILR) applications every week without appointments. We’ve had almost 100% success rate in 2013!

1st 4Immigration Ltd, OISC no F200800152, SRA ref EJE/14IM.
 
68 King William Street, City of London, London, EC4N 7DZ.
 
 

Saturday, 18 January 2014

Indefinite Leave to Remain – common myths


Myth 1: “I can apply for an ILR (permanent residency) after 5 years of living in the UK”. Reality: you can apply for an ILR after 5 years on specified visas only, such as 5 years on Work Permit and Tier 1 General. Or 5 years on an Entrepreneur visa only (not combined with Tier 2 etc). This is because some categories are not even counted for an ILR, such as Student/Tier 4, Post-Study Work, most Tier 5 visas. The only way to qualify for an ILR based on residing in the UK alone is 10 years on any visas (or 20 years if illegal stay is involved).

Myth 2: “I have a Tier 1 (or Tier 2) visa but I married a British citizen since then. Since we have been married for 2 years I can apply for an ILR on SET(M) form”. Reality: This is a very common misconception and such application will surely be refused by the Home Office. As above, an ILR is based on a number of years on specific visas. In case of spouses of UK citizens it is 2 years on Spouse visa only (under the old Rules) and 5 years on Spouse visa only (under the current Rules). This 2 or 5 year qualifying period cannot be combined with time spent on visas not connected to a marriage, such as Tier 1 visas. It is however possible to carry on in Tier 1 or 2 route, as applicable, and apply for an ILR in your own right, as if you were not married.

Myth 3: “I spent 2 years on Tier 1 Post-Study Work visa and 3 years on a Tier 1 Dependant Partner visa. I can now apply for an ILR with my spouse (who spent 5 years on Tier 1 General) because I have spent total of 5 years in the UK, all 5 years in Tier 1 category”. Reality: a main visa, like Tier 1, is a very different thing from a Dependant visa, even if it is the same ‘Tier’ but Dependant. Dependant is dependant, main is main, they cannot be combined (expect in the 10 years of residency route). Under the old Rules PBS Dependant needed 2 years of residency in the UK and under the current Rules – 5 years. In our example, the Dependant only spent 3 years on a Dependent visa, so needs another 2 years as Dependant, even though the main visa holder can apply for an ILR before that.

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

 

If you are an Immigration Adviser or a Solicitor please visit our immigration Training and CDP website: www.1st4immigration.com/training

Thursday, 9 January 2014

English language for and ILR: can the previously submitted evidence be used?


This posting is for those who now need to demonstrate English language ability at a B1 level when applying for permanent residency in the UK (Indefinite Leave to Remain) and who already had to prove English in the previous applications.

 

If your previous visa had a condition of proving English at a B1 level or higher then you don’t need to prove it again. Example would be a Tier 1 General visa (including extensions).

 

If your previous visa had a condition of English at a lower level, but you achieved a B1 or higher level anyway, then you only need to provide that evidence, ie document(s) you used in that previous application. This is especially important for spouses/partners of UK citizens: for an initial spouse/partner visa only a basic A1 level was required, however many spouses achieved a minimum B1 level at that stage. Now for an ILR a spouse needs a B1 level, so to avoid taking another English test tehre is a concession – to provide evidence (such as a test certificate) which was used in the previous application. This concession only works if you provide the original evidence again (a test certificate or a degree certificate etc), even if a test has now ‘expired’ (many test results have a 2 year validity). If you don’t have an original document anymore then you’d have to meet a B1 level from the beginning, such as to take another test.

 

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

 

If you are an Immigration Adviser or a Solicitor please visit our immigration Training and CDP website: www.1st4immigration.com/training