Sunday, 30 March 2014

New Tier 2 salary thresholds from 6 April 2014. And what to do with a COS assigned before 06.04.2014.

The main Tier 2 minimum salary £20,300 goes up to £20,500. Worth reminding that the offered salary still has to be as on the Code of Practice, the £20,500 is just the minimum under Tier 2, so if the chosen SOC code requires more then the sponsored worker has to be offered more, or his/her hours have to be reduced (but not reduced too much for the annual salary to fall below £20,500).

Salaries under Tier 2 Intra-Company Transfer (ITC) are also being updated, with the salary under Tier 2 ICT Long Term going up to £41,000.

COS assigned before 6 April 2014 but when application is submitted on or after 6 April 2014: if you have been assigned a COS, then you can still submit a Tier 2 application based on that COS, in which case the old salary thresholds will apply (but Maintenance rules will apply as on the date of application).

Maintenance rules change from 1 July 2014, such as the main ‘£900 held for 90 days’ rule changing to ‘£945 held for 90 days’ under Tier 2. Maintenance rules under other PBS categories are changing  also.

Finally, please remember that  COS can be used only within 3 months from the date when it was assigned (and no earlier than 3 months before the job start date).

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, 20 March 2014

New Tier 1 General Rules from 6 April 2014 - no more endless extensions and ILR applications in April 2018.

New Rules come in force on 6 April 2014. There will be no more endless extensions in Tier 1 General category. Last extension will be on 5 April 2015 and last ILR application (permanent residency) on 5 April 2018.

If you don’t qualify by 5 April 2018 you won’t be able to settle in the UK!
The main problem tends to be absences from the UK, mainly because of working abroad. At the point of qualifying for an ILR the main Tier 1 General applicant must have maximum 180 days outside the UK in each of his/her 5 years which led to an ILR.
If your visa expires in 2014 but you’d like to have extension for as long as possible then it may be worth to extend again in April 2015. You may lose some time on your current visa, and you’ll pay the money again for an extension, but it will give you the maximum time allowed on Tier 1 General and more flexibility to qualify for an ILR.
Other reasons preventing from applying for an ILR are not passing a Life in the UK Test or having a criminal conviction, most commonly a driving offence. Or a spouse not meeting the residential requirements, which should not stop the main applicant because there are rules for dependants in such cases.
If you’d like to have an advice and plan your dates now - book our advice session, over email or at our office, which is now in the City of London, near Monument station. We charge £70 for an advice and count it towards application in the future if you apply through us. In case of email advices we respond by next working day.
We would advise to plan at least 3 months in advance if you’d like to use same-day service. Like with any new rules, there will be a last-minute rush for appointments.
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

New Maintenance Rules for Tier categories under Points-Based System. And new salary thresholds under Tier 2.

These rules come in force from 6 April 2014 but will affect applications from July 2014, to give the applicants time to prepare. In many PBS categories instead of the current £900 held for 90 days more funds will be required - £945 held for 90 days. This is why there is time until July, to allow time for more savings to be held longer, so start saving now!

Funds for dependants under PBS categories, if applying inside the UK, go up from £600 to £630.
Tier 4 Students will need £1,020 per month in inner London and £820 per month elsewhere. Dependants £615 and £460 respectively.

These are the main Maintenance thresholds, there are further changes in other categories, such as in the amount of funds for Entry Clearance.
Salary thresholds are also getting updated from 6 April 2014. The main £20,300 amount goes up to £20,500. Worth reminding that the offered salary still has to be as on the Code of Practice, the £20,500 is just the minimum under Tier 2, so if the chosen SOC code requires more then the sponsored worker has to be offered more, or his/her hours have to be reduced (but not reduced too much for the annual salary to fall below £20,500). Salaries under other categories, such as Tier 2 ITC, are also being updated.

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

Monday, 10 March 2014

New successful case and testimonial on an Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR)

“Thank you so much for all your help and advice (and patience with our endless questions), and for preparing our application so well. It all went smoothly (during same-day service appointment) and we were all done in 2 hours with minimal questions. “  Ms S and family, South African nationals, applying for an Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR).  

In this case the main applicant had an Ancestral visa and was approaching the point of living in the UK for 5 years.  The spouse used to be on his own visa in the past (not Dependant), which has now expired and the spouse was staying outside the UK. The couple’s child had a Dependant visa on the main applicant.  

It was now time for the main applicant to apply for an ILR and the plan was to include the daughter. However, we advised that from 9 July 2012 children of Part 5 migrants could be included into an ILR application only if both parents were applying for an ILR, or were lawfully in the UK. But not if one parent was here and the other did not have a valid UK visa.

Our advice was for the spouse to rush and apply for  a Dependant visa in South Africa, which would be valid for as long as the main Ancestral visa. In this case that Dependant visa was only valid for about 3 weeks (because the main applicant’s Ancestral visa was about to expire in 3 weeks). Then the spouse returned to the UK on that visa, passed a Life in the UK test, and then the whole family applied for an ILR together.

This worked, even though the spouse has only spent 3 weeks on a Dependant visa, because there is still no minimum number of years to qualify for an ILR for dependants of Part 5 migrants, such as those who hold Ancestral visa, old Work Permit etc. Partners of Points-Based System migrants, such as Tier 1 Dependant Partner, have to spend a minimum 2 years in the UK on Dependant visas (if the 1st Dependant visa was issued before 9 July 2012) or a minimum of 5 years (if the 1st Dependant visa was issued on or after 9 July 2012). In this case the main applicant held an Ancestral visa, so there was no (and still no) a minimum number of years for the partner.

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 CPD website: www.1st4immigration.com/training

New testimonial on same-day UK passport renewal from a client residing in Dubai

"Dear team at Multi Travel Visas (especially Harpreet!). Thank you for your extraordinary efforts in helping to process my new passport in record time! From the moment I sent through the application documents from Dubai to the UK and back again, it took 5 days! I really was not expecting delivery so quickly, and was already preparing to cancel a trip to New Zealand I had planned a long time before.  I informed your team of my dilemma, and from that moment they moved heaven and earth to get my passport processed and sent back, providing me with total peace of mind and free to focus on looking forward to my dream trip! Thank you for being so incredible and supportive during the many phone calls I made.  At no point did you let me down.

I would recommend you in a heartbeat, and have already shared my experience to colleagues here in  Dubai, all of who are shocked at the speed the passport was processed and delivered back."


This came from Johanna, a British citizen working in Dubai. We renewed Johanna's UK passport on same-day service, we were able to submit on the same day when application was ready and then couriered it back to Dubai by DHL.
 
To renew your UK passport as quickly please contact us info@multitravelvisas.co.uk   or visit our website www.multitravelvisas.co.uk
 
You can also have a 2nd valid passport if you have to travel on work to various countries, we can advise on what documents are needed (ie to have 2 UK valid passports at the same time).
 
Multi Travel Visas Ltd (sister company of 1st 4Immigration Ltd), 68 King William Street, City of London, London, EC4N 7DZ.

Friday, 7 March 2014

Home Office Immigration fees go up in April 2014. If you're eligible - apply now for a visa or Citizenship!

As usual, in the beginning of a new financial year the UK government is increasing the immigration fees. If you are eligible for a visa or British Citizenship - apply before April to save the money!

For example, Citizenship fee goes up from £874 to £906.

Tier 1 General extension fee for same-day service, goes up from £1,920 to £2,007. However, a fee for each dependant goes up from £1,534 to the same fee as for the main applicant's - £2,007!

ILR fees on same-day service go up from £1,426 to £1,493 for the main applicant. Again, a Dependant visa goes up from £1,163 to the same fee as for the main applicant's - £1,493! For a family of 4 it would be an increase of whopping £1,057!

1st 4Immigration service fees are NOT going up.

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

New testimonial on a French Schengen visa.

"I'd like to say a huge thanks for getting my French visa sorted out. It is very much appreciated." Greg, a South African national who we helped with a French Schengen visa.
 
Multi Travel Visas Ltd has been accredited for years with various Embassies in London. FRENCH SCHENGEN VISA takes 4 working days from the date of the biometric appointment for most nationals. We use separate appointments for agencies and can provide one much sooner than in the public system, at the moment appointments are available as soon as in the next day or few days.

If you need a Schengen visa soon - beat the Easter rush and apply now!

www.multitravelvisas.co.uk , email info@multitravelvisas.co.uk or phone 0871 472 1468




Thursday, 6 March 2014

Online OISC Level 1 course special offer £299+VAT. CPD 16 core hours. Beat the deadline for a CPD year before 31 March!

Online OISC LEVEL 1 Course. CPD 16 Hours. Including a mock Level 1 Assessment and real case studies from a practicing OISC-accredited immigration company.
This is a most requested training course and you can now download our OISC Level 1 training course to your computer and study in your own time - to prepare for your OISC accreditation and Level 1 Assessment. No need to travel to a classroom, no need to wait for the next date. You can start your immigration training right now!
As we are a practicing OISC-accredited immigration company, we have designed this basic level course to be of practical help for those who are preparing for OISC accreditation at Level 1 and for compulsory Level 1 Assessment. Or perhaps to those who are planning to open a UK immigration consultancy based overseas. It would also be of interest for practicing advisers and immigration lawyers as well as for community group advisers, council or Citizens Advice Bureau workers, volunteers etc.
 
This is not a boring coverage of the Immigration Rules! We tried to keep the language as simple and entertaining as possible. See the Contents and Extracts on our website!
 
Please note: we are not the OISC and our courses are designed for training. Taking our course does not guarantee OISC accreditation, you'd have to apply to take an OISC exam for that or submit your CPD record to them if you are already accredited.

1)    You can download the course now: http://www.1st4immigration.com/training/online-oisc-level-1-course.php

 2)    You can read here about the benefits and why our course is different: http://www.1st4immigration.com/training/online-oisc-level-1-course-differences.php
3) You can find a detailed Table of Contents on the link above, here are 2 examples (of 20):

PART 1: CRUCIAL TO GET THE BASICS!
2 systems of immigration law: UK law and European law | Types of visas under the UK law | Entry Clearance | Visitor visa | Leave to Remain (also called Residence Permit or Limited Leave to Remain) | Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) | It is possible to lose an ILR, however Indefinite it is | Indefinite Leave to Enter | There is also a Leave to Enter
Settlement’ and 2 confusing meanings of this word | Common question:  Passport has expired, do I have to transfer my visa to a new passport | What is Switching? | Common examples when switching is not allowed even though the migrants are desperate to do so | 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

PART 2: IMMIGRATION RULES AND HOW TO USE THEM
Each category rules consist of 3 parts | My ‘Other way around’ principle | How to determine if switching is possible?| How to determine if a visa allows to work? | Registration with the police | Tuberculosis test | UKBA Staff Guidance

4)    You can find Extracts on the link above too, here are 2 of them:

Extract from the “IMMIGRATION RULES AND HOW TO USE THEM” section:
No one knows everything and remembers all the rules! The trick is to know how to use the Immigration Rules and where to find  the specific information. The Rules may change anytime, and they do change a lot, but if you know how to use the Rules you could check the requirements or check the changes at any time. For example, things like whether a migrant can switch a visa category while in the UK or whether a migrant can work or whether a particular English test is acceptable are all a matter of the Rules, not a matter of guessing.

My ‘Other way around’ principle:
I call it ‘other way around’ because many people tend to think this way: “I am on a Tier 5 visa and want to know if I can apply for a Spouse visa inside the UK”, then they go on the Immigration Rules webpage for the Tier 5 category and try to read the rules there. Understandably, they only find the rules about how to get a Tier 5 visa, which they already have, and not a Spouse visa.

What you need to do is to act the ‘other way around’, ie to check the rules of the category your client is looking to apply for, not the rules of the category in which he/she already has a visa. In our example of switching from a Tier 5 to a Spouse visa it is the Spouse visa rules that one needs to read – to determine if he/she can qualify.

Extracts from the “CRUCIAL TO GET THE BASICS!” section:

What is Switching?
Switchingis not an official term. Switching simply means changing a visa category while inside the UK, ie switching from one to another, such as from a Tier 4 Student to a Tier 2 General; or from Tier 4 to a Spouse visa. Officially it is called ‘applying for a leave to remain in a Tier 2 General category’ or ‘applying for a leave to remain as a Spouse of a UK citizen’. So, we can simply say ‘Switching from a Student visa to a Spouse visa’.

The significance of switching is this: switching means applying inside the UK and it is only allowed if the Rules specifically allow so. If switching is not allowed then the applicant has to return to their country and apply for a visa from there, which means he/she would be applying for an Entry Clearance.

What is the Date of Application and why it is so important?

Imagine this: you are making an application today but tomorrow the Rules are changing, which rules would apply? Or you have made an application a month ago, your visa expires in 2 weeks time and your application is not going to be decided before then, are you going to become an overstayer through no fault of your own?

A Date of Application idea deals with such issues. If the date of your application is before the Rules changed then your application is going to be considered under the Rules in place before the changes. For example, Spouse/Partner visas rules were significantly changed on 9 July 2012, yet those who applied before that, even on 8 July 2012, had their applications considered under the old rules, even if the decision was made a few months after the rules changed.

If the date of your application is before your last visa expired then your status remains the same as it was on the date of application for as long as it takes for a new application to be considered. However long it takes, even if the last visa expired by then. Officially it is extended by virtue of section 3C of the Immigration Act 1971, which automatically extends the ‘last visa’ for as long as it is going to take for a decision on the new application. This means migrants do not become overstayers through no fault of their own?

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Fast Schengen visa and appointments. Same-day UK passport renewal, appointments next working day.

Multi Travel Visas Ltd has been accredited for years with various Embassies in London. FRENCH SCHENGEN VISA takes 4 working days from the date of the biometric appointment for most nationals. We use separate appointments for agencies and can provide one much sooner than in the public system, at the moment appointments are available as soon as in the next day or few days.

PORTUGUESE SCHENGEN VISA takes 1 week from the nearest available Wednesday. No biometrics, no personal attendance needed.


GERMAN SCHENGEN VISA takes 5 working days from the date of appointment, usually in the next few days. No biometrics, no personal attendance needed.

SAME-DAY UK PASSPORT RENEWAL: We can assist with renewing a UK passport using same-day or 1 week service at the Passport Office in London. We submit applications on next working day after receiving your documents, there is no need to wait for an appointment. Our service fee £152 plus official Passport Office fees. For a higher fee we may be able to submit on the same day if we receive your documents before 12pm (Midday) and they are in order. 

FAST CHINESE, RUSSIAN VISAS and INVITATIONS, SAUDI ARABIAN and INDIAN VISAS.
 
Contact us now: 0871 472 1468. Email info@multitravelvisas.co.uk , we reply on the same day! Web-site: www.multitravelvisas.co.uk  with the visa requirements and clients' feedbacks. Calls to 0871 number cost £0.10 per minute, emails are free.

Our office is based in the City of London, near Monument station. Also close Bank, Liverpool Street and London Bridge. Within easy reach by DLR from Canary Wharf. 














 

Sunday, 2 March 2014

Accredited Continuing Professional Development - for immigration advisers and solicitors

1st 4Immigration is an accredited CPD distance learning provider, our online training courses are accepted by the OISC and SRA, CPD provider ref number EJE/14IM.
Current online courses:
 
 
 
 
 
 
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.

Or visit website our training and CPD website: http://www.1st4immigration.com/training

The courses are offered by our company, 1st 4Immigration Ltd, which is a practising immigration company, registered by The OISC at a highly respectable Level 2 and based ain the City of London. 

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

www.1st4immigration.com/training

New successful case and testimonial on a Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa, switching from a Post-Study Work visa

“That's great news, thank you! I guess I will be your first Nigerian client who doesn't get invited for a face to face interview!” This came from Obi, a Nigerian national, who switched from a Post-Study Work Visa to an Entrepreneur category. His previous application was refused, before coming to us, because he did not provide an advert for his company. Even though many applicants genuinely don’t need to advertise their businesses, such as they are already working as contractors, the Entrepreneur rules do require to produce one of the specified ways of advertising, ie because ‘it is a rule’ (rather than common business sense). In this case we used a free advert on a Gumtree website.

As for the interviews, we already wrote in the earlier posts how the UKBA, or rather now UK Visas & Immigration (UKVI) are inviting many applicants for a face-to-face interview in Sheffield. All our Nigerian clients before Obi were invited for one. Obi was also interviewed but what was unusual in this case is that Obi was phoned by the UKVI and asked for a phone interview at that very moment, on a Saturday morning. He did not have any chance to prepare and had to answers the questions about his business and plans for the future. We had already submitted extra documents when we submitted this application, as per the Genuine Entrepreneur Test – evidence of having an accountant, business insurance, business plan, a CV and evidence of a business account. All that was provided from the start, even though it is not compulsory and not ‘specified evidence’. (Specified evidence are the documents which you must provide and without which your application is refused, even if you have provided lots of other alternative evidence. Like the applicant’s previous application was refused because of absence of an advert, which was part of the specified evidence).

In the end all went OK and our client did not have to go for face-to-face interview while a visa was granted in a couple of weeks after that along with a Dependant visa for the spouse.

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