Thursday, 31 July 2014

New successful case and testimonial on switching to a Partner visa from Tier 5 YMS (working holiday) visa

"1st 4 Immigration helped us from start to finish. We requested the premium (same-day) service because we were under some time pressure and all our needs were met quickly and efficiently. When we went for an initial information session, Russell made us feel relaxed about the process and did not at any point push us towards using their services further. We were so impressed at this initial stage that we decided to use 1st 4 Immigration to complete our Spousal visa application. There was constant communication throughout the process and nothing was too much trouble. We received a stress free application and a successful outcome and I cannot rate them highly enough. Thank you so much! "


This came from Alex, whose a Canadian civil partner applied to switch from a Tier 5 YMS visa to a spouse/partner visa inside the UK.


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

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Popular English language tests TOEIC and TOEFL are no longer accepted for UK visas

From 1 July 2014 these 2 popular English language tests have been struck off the list of approved tests. The list is used by the UK Home Office to meet the requirements of the Immigration Rules for visa categories like Spouse/Partner/Fiancée visas as well as Tiers under the Points-Based System (PBS). It is also used to meet the new English language requirement when applying for permanent residency (Indefinite Leave to Remain) and later for British Citizenship.
 
There are some problems with the way the tests were administered by the provider, Educational Testing Services (ETS), one of the biggest English language testing companies in the world. Some of those were featured in BBC Panorama.  
 
 
If you need to apply for a UK visa, which requires to demonstrate English language ability then you have a choice of providing a degree which was taught in English, being a national of a majority English-speaking country (there is an exhaustive list, so do not make any assumptions!) or passing an approved English language test. An updated list of the tests can be found in Appendix O of the Immigration Rules.
 
 
Those who passed either a TOEIC or a TOEFL test can still make an application outside the UK before 22 July 2014 and for some Tier 4 applications until 1 October 2014. Those applying inside the UK cannot use them anymore, as from 1 July 2014.
 
 
Those who are already in the UK with visas which were issued on the basis of using one of these tests are not affected in terms of further extensions, such as a Tier 1 Entrepreneur extension or a Spouse visa extension.
 
 
However, those who achieved a higher grade than needed back then and later need that higher level to qualify for an Indefinite Leave to Remain (permanent residency) may be affected - it is not clear at the moment. For example, an applicant for a Spouse visa only needs a most basic A1 level of English, however, many achieve a higher level anyway, such as a B1. When such a spouse is later applying for an ILR he/she needs a B1 level. Under the current Rules an old test can be used again, even if it has expired, as long as a B1 level was achieved back then (because the Home Office has its record in their system). It's not clear what to do for those spouses/partners with a TOEIC/TOEFL test on a B1 level when applying for an ILR in the future but a safe and logical assumption would be they'd need to demonstrate English in a different way, such as take a different test (ESOL, IELTS etc) from a list applicable on the date of application.
 
 
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

Friday, 18 July 2014

New Tier 1 ( Entrepreneur ) visa rules from 11 July 2014: our summary.

There are 3 types in this posting: general, for those who are switching from Post-Study Work visas and some clarifications which are  not new but tend to be confusing.
Please note: this is a simplified summary. For a detailed advice please book our advice session, which can be either over email or at our office in the City: info@1st4immigration.com
GENERAL (applicable to all):
1)     No more contract work for Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa holders.  Until 11 July 2014 the Immigration Rules were not preventing the migrants from working as contractors. For example, getting an Entrepreneur visa, setting up a ‘business’ while in reality working for a company (‘employer’)  in all but name. This has been changed in the current Rules. The Tier 1 Entrepreneur category was designed for those who want to be a ‘real entrepreneur’ and to run a genuine business. For more on this please read our earlier posting “No more contract work for Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa holders”.
2)     English language: popular tests TOEIC and TOEFL are no longer accepted (for applications from outside the UK they won’t be accepted from 22 July 2014).
3)     We were asked whether it is still allowed to be a sole trader or whether it is compulsory to register a limited company. This has not changed, either way is OK as well as switching between them.
(The Guidance refers to ‘your business’ having to be a limited company when the applicant provides evidence of the funds available to his/her business and not to him/her personally.)
SWITCHING FROM POST-STUDY WORK VISAS:
There are not many migrants left with a valid Tier 1 (Post-Study Work) visa, which was closed in April 2012 and which was issued for 2 years. So, at this point in time (July 2014) a limited number of PSW visa holders left because those who applied by post in 2012 had to wait for months to have a decision.

1)      The main change is that on 11 July 2014 you have to have already registered your business in the UK and actively trading in an occupation at NQF Level 4 or above. This has to be proved with evidence of registration from HMRC or Companies House, plus with a contract for service (other than contracting work) dated before 11 July 2014 and with an advert also dated before 11 July 2014. You may use some other specified evidence for a proof but the logical remains the same: the Home Office wants to see you were already in business before 11 July 2014. If you don’t meet this requirement you can only apply for an Entrepreneur visa outside the UK and with £200,000. Or you can switch inside the UK with £50,000 from a UK Government Department or a listed seed funding competition (but not from a Venture Capital firm).

2)      One of the specified evidence if a contract for service, to prove the core services of the business is at NQF Level 4 minimum. Here is an addition of a requirement to have the duration of the period of provision of the services mentioned in the contract.

NOT NEW BUT WORTH CLARIFYING:
1)     Investment of £200,000 or £50,000 does NOT include paying yourself, such as drawing a director’s salary, or investment in property, including buying property, property development and property management (but it’s OK to invest in a construction company). Instead it has to be a fresh investment for the growing of the business, so if you need to pay yourself you have to budget for extra money in addition to these funds.

2)     Money which is owned by a spouse or a partner (for a definition of a ‘partner’ please contact us,  it is about a life partner, not a business partner), can be used for an initial Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa but will be considered as evidence from the third party. Therefore, you’d need a declaration from him/her and the other documents listed in the Rules. In short, even a spouse/partner is considered as a third party. The only exception where you can use the money without a declaration is if you have a joint account and therefore, you have as much access to that money as your spouse/partner does.

3)     Money owned by other family members (other than by a spouse or a life partner), such as parents or adult children, is always considered as money from the third party.

4)     The main applicant, once he/she has an Entrepreneur visa, can only work for him/her business (and can’t do the contracting work). However, dependants, such as a spouse, can work for any company as long as the main visa holder complies with the Entrepreneur visa rules.

5)     Creating jobs: at the extension stage after 3 years, an Entrepreneur visa holder has to show his/her business has created 2 new jobs which lasted for 1 year. These have to be for settled workers and not for the fellow migrants or family members on dependent visas.  
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

No more contract work for Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa holders.

Until 11 July 2014 the Immigration Rules were not preventing the migrants from working as contractors. For example, getting an Entrepreneur visa, setting up a ‘business’ while in reality working for a company (‘employer’)  in all but name, so the migrant and the company consider it as employment in reality: going to ‘employer’s premises to work, usually Monday to Friday as if it was employment, having a desk, being paid monthly and most importantly, following the orders of the ‘employer’ with the company deciding on what the contractor is doing from day to day.

Imagine a ‘real’ entrepreneur being told what to do? Besides agreeing with the customer on what has to be achieved, a ‘real’ entrepreneur decides him/herself how to work, when to work, which desk to use or work in a café etc. Furthermore, a ‘real’ entrepreneur from the HMRC point of view has more than one ‘customer’ and is certainly not paid every month in what looks like a salary but not called so (it would be called ‘paying an invoice’ but the real meaning remains the same – it is ‘like a salary' in all but  name).

So, a contractor is a person who is self-employed ‘on paper’ but is really like an employee in reality. A good indicator of contract work is a contract between your business and a recruitment agency, which places you to physically work at the premises of, say, Barclays or Jaguar Lang Rover or even the NHS.

This has been changed in the current Rules. The Tier 1 Entrepreneur category was designed for those who want to be a ‘real entrepreneur’ and to run a genuine business. A business which has customers (not those who behave as ‘employers’), which advertises its work and which creates jobs. There is nothing wrong in having several large organisations as customers, such as providing them marketing services (or in case of our company, it is visa services). However, having one ‘customer’ who you have to work for Monday-Friday (or similar) for a year won’t be acceptable.

A contract for service as opposed to a contract of service.

If you are genuinely self-employed, either as a sole trader or by having your own limited company, you would have a contract for service between you and your customer. For example, our company provides a contract (a letter of engagement) for a service of assisting with obtaining a Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa for a migrant or a service of assisting with securing a Tier 2 Sponsor Licence for a company who wants to sponsor the foreign workers.

A contract of service is the one where you are a ‘contractor’ and provide service of yourself (ie of your work and time) to a company. This includes when your ‘business’ are hired via an employment agency on a self-employed basis. This is no longer acceptable for this visa.

When do the changes apply?

In 2 cases:

1)     Once you have secured an Entrepreneur visa, you have to establish a business in the UK within 6 months and have to continue to be involved in business at the point of extension and then an Indefinite leave. A definition of a business does not include doing contract work. At the moment it's not quite clear what to do with those who have already secured a visa using such contracts (those who were switching from Tier 1 Post-Study Work visas, namely).

2)     Those remaining migrants on Tier 1 Post-Study Work visas. Not many of them left now in July 2014 but those who do can only switch to a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa with £50,000 if they already registered a business which was already trading before 11 July 2014. here ‘trading’ also does not include contract work.

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

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Appeal Court’s ruling: no change to Spouse visa £18,600 income threshold

After almost a year, on 11 July 2014 the Court of Appeal has ruled that the income threshold for a Spouse/Partner visa was lawful and remained as it was from 9 July 2012. It was and now remains at £18,600 for a partner, going up to £22,400 if one child is added and more if more children are also in need of a visa.
Bad news for some, unfortunately, especially for those whose cases were on hold for almost a year and those who were hoping they could apply with a lower income if the Court ruled otherwise. Those whose cases were put on hold will now be refused.
So, at the moment the £18,600 minimum remains in place. If you are thinking of using savings it remains at £62,500 and must be held for 6 months.
Plus the permitted combinations, such as income from employment and savings. For example, if one earns £15,000 he/she is short of £3,600 (£18,600 - £15,000). So, it means the couple needs the following amount in savings and it is not just £3,600: £3,600 x 2.5 +£16,000 = £25,000. In other words, with the earnings of £15,000 pa the couple needs another £25,000 in savings, held for 6 months.
Worth adding that £18,600 can be from more than one job,  so one solution would be getting a 2nd job, even a part-time job, to reach the threshold, then to apply for a visa and quit that job (if it's that bad). It is only at the Entry Clearance stage (application from outside the UK) that only Sponsor’s earnings can be used, once a foreign partner is in the UK he/she can work on a Spouse/Partner visa and therefore, the couple can have a combined income of £18,600, which is more achievable. Those who are switching inside the UK can use both partners' income too, as long as their UK visa allows to work. Those on a Fiance(e) visa aren’t allowed to work for 6 months (so the Sponsor should hold on to the jobs he/she used to gain a Fiance(e) visa). Once a foreign partner has a Spouse visa after the marriage, that visa will allow to work.
 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

Saturday, 5 July 2014

SUMMER SALE! Up to £100 off on our online immigration training courses, Online OISC Level 1 course and online CPD courses.


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.

We are offering up to £100 off on all current online courses :
British Citizenship - a Dream for Many! CPD 7 core hours.


British Citizenship for European/EEA nationals and their Family Members. CPD 5 core hours.
 
Online OISC LEVEL 1 course. CPD 16 core hours.


Self-employment Income in Visa Applications (by a Self-employed Immigration Adviser). CPD 6 core hours

Spouse/Partner Visas - Case Studies and FAQs. CPD 6 core hours.


What's next after Post-Study Work and Tier 4 visas? CPD 4.5 core hours.

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 practicing immigration company, registered by The OISC and based in the City of London. 

If you prefer classroom OISC Level 1 training please visit our sister website for dates, fees and booking process. This is a 2-day weekend course on Saturday and Sunday in our office in the City: www.mtv-training.co.uk

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

Classroom OISC Level 1 course on weekends from a practicing OISC-accredited immigration company in the City

This is a 2-day weekend course at our office in the City of London. Multi Travel Visas Ltd and a sister company, 1st 4Immigration Ltd, are both accredited by The OISC, ref F201100418 and F200800152 respectively. After many years of experience – and hundreds of successful cases – we are offering to share our experience with you to help you prepare for your OISC Level 1 assessment and accreditation. You can read Testimonials on our immigration cases here.

Our tutors are our very own OISC-accredited practicing immigration advisers who handle the real cases during the week and teach on weekends. You can read about them on the Tutors page.

Unlike most traditional courses, ours is conducted using plain language and does not simply contain quotes from the Immigration Rules. We include cases studies from our practice, answers to most common questions, a Questions&Answers session and a mock Level 1 assessment, which is given to the candidates at the end to complete in their own time and send to us. Generally, we try to keep it as entertaining as possible. We will also provide a printed version of the course (150 pages) for you to take home, which is very detailed, contains more cases studies and you can take it with you to the 'real' OISC exam.

For dates and fees click here:  http://www.mtv-training.co.uk/


Course Agenda


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 | The ‘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

 

PART 3: VISITING THE UK

Visitors can stay for maximum 6 months in each 12 months | How to count ‘6 months in 12 months’? | Visitor rules are the same for all. Visitor visa rules aren’t | A visa stamp itself does not guarantee entry to the UK | Main categories of visitors (and visitor visas) | Visitor visas can be from 6 months to 10 years | Can a visitor apply for a visa to work, study or reside as a Spouse of a UK citizen? | Most common reason for a refusal 

 

PART 4: POINTS-BASED SYSTEM - ABOUT THE TIERS

As ‘Points-Based’ as it sounds? | PBS Tiers

 

PART 5: POINTS-BASED SYSTEM - WORKING IN THE UK

TIER 1 - HIGH-VALUE MIGRANTS:

TIER 1 (GENERAL)

Why was this visa so popular? | New applicants cannot join it but existing applicants can ‘carry on’ until permanent residency... | ...But last extensions will be in April 2015 | ... And last ILR in April 2018

SCORING THE POINTS

The main thing to remember here is 3 dates and how the points differ | Age is ‘frozen’ in time and points are given accordingly | Qualifications | Points for English language | Points for Maintenance | Tier 1 General summary in Questions and Answers (table)

HSMP JUDICIAL REVIEW

TIER 1 (POST-STUDY WORK)  - now closed.

TIER 1 (ENTREPRENEUR)

Tier 1 Entrepreneur summary in Questions and Answers

TIER 1 (GRADUATE ENTREPRENEUR)

Annual limit | Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) in Questions and Answers

TIER 1 (INVESTOR)

Tier 1 (Investor) in Questions and Answers

TIER 1 (EXCEPTIONAL TALENT)

Annual limit | Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) in questions and answers

 

TIER 2 – SKILLED WORKERS:

STEP 1: SPONSOR LICENCE

STEP 2: CERTIFICATE OF SPONSORSHIP (COS)

If Tier 2 application was refused, does the applicant need a new COS or can he/she use the same one?

STEP 3: TIER 2 VISA APPLICATION

Main requirements for a visa application

TIER 2 (GENERAL) CATEGORY – SPECIFIC GUIDANCE

Restricted/Unrestricted certificates and Annual limit | Type of job offered | Does applicant need to have experience or qualification for job sponsored under Tier 2? | Does an applicant need to work for this employer before he/she can be sponsored for Tier 2? If yes, how long for? | Salary offered | New Entrant salary category | Experienced salary category | What if employer cannot offer minimum £20,500? | Advertising the job – Resident Labour Market Test | Examples of exception (when employers don’t need to advertise the job) | Resident Labour Market Test and annual limit are not the same thing and not connected | Special arrangements for Post-Study Work visa holders switching to Tier 2 General inside the UK | Special arrangements for Tier 4 Student visa holders switching to Tier 2 General inside the UK | What if a Student wants to apply before he/she has graduated? | Why is it different applying from outside the UK? | Tier 2 General in questions and answers | Commonly asked question: What’s the minimum salary for Tier 2 General visa? £20,000 or £20,500 or as on Code of Practice? 

TIER 2 INTRA-COMPANY TRANSFER – SPECIFIC GUIDANCE

Important date: 6 April 2010 | Tier 2 Intra-Company Transfer in questions and answers

TIER 2 MINISTER OF RELIGION – SPECIFIC GUIDANCE

Tier 2 Minister of Religion in questions and answers

TIER 2 (SPORTSPERSON) – SPECIFIC GUIDANCE

Tier 2 (Sportsperson) in questions and answers

 


Tier 5 (Temporary worker - creative and sporting) | Tier 5 (Temporary worker - charity workers) | Tier 5 (Temporary worker - religious workers) | Tier 5 (Temporary worker - government authorised exchange) | Tier 5 (Temporary worker - international agreement) | Tier 5 (Youth mobility scheme)

 

PART 6: NOTES ON ENGLISH FOR ALL TIERS UNDER PBS

Meeting automatically: Based on the previous visa(s) | Tier 1 (Investor) applicants are exempt from this requirement | Nationals of majority English-speaking countries (and common countries which should be on the list but they aren’t)

Degree taught in English | English language test | Table: English language required in each category

 

PART 7: NOTES ON MAINTENANCE FOR ALL TIERS UNDER PBS

Meeting automatically | Certified by the Sponsor – Tier 2 | Savings: 90 days for Tiers 1, 2, 5 or 28 days for Tier 4

Table – summary of Maintenance requirement for each category

Funds held for 90 days (Tiers 1, 2 and 5): How to count 90 days and when should this period end, a day before applying or when? | What if the applicant does not have the funds ‘held for 90 days’? | Foreign currencies and foreign banks | Black list of foreign banks | Dependants and Funds | Whose name should be on the bank account?

 

PART 8: PBS – SPECIFIED EVIDENCE AND EVIDENTIAL FLEXIBILITY

It goes further: specified details on the documents, not just specified documents | Evidential (in)Flexibility | The Immigration Rules provide 4 examples when Evidential Flexibility applies

 

PART 9: DEPENDANTS of PBS MIGRANTS

Common question: child born in the UK, do we need to apply for a Dependant visa?

 

PART 10: WORKING OUTSIDE THE POINTS-BASED SYSTEM: UK ANCESTRY, DOMESTIC WORKERS, REPRESENTATIVE OF OVERSEAS BUSINESS

UK ANCESTRY | DOMESTIC WORKERS IN A PRIVATE HOUSEHOLD: Before 6 April 2012 | From 6 April 2012 | REPRESENTATIVE OF OVERSEAS BUSINESS

 

PART 11: INDEFINITE LEAVE TO REMAIN (PERMANENT RESIDENCY) IN PBS ROUTES AND OTHER WORK ROUTES

How to check whether a category leads to an ILR | Examples of categories which do not lead to an ILR

COMMON ROUTES TO AN ILR:

Ancestral | Tier 1 General and last ILR applications in April 2018 | Tier 1 Entrepreneur | Tier 1 Investor | Tier 2 General, Minister of Religion or Sportsperson visas | Counting Tier 2 Intra-Company Transfer visa |  “6 years – and you are out” (overall limit in Tier 2 category) | Intra-Company Transfer - "out" after 5 years

COMMON ILR REQUIREMENTS AND ISSUES:

Absences from the UK: From 13 December 2012 | Purposes of absences | Before 13 December 2012

Criminality: Before 13 December 2012 - Spent and Unspent criminal convictions | From 13 December 2012 – Sentence-based thresholds | Table of offences and impact on applications | Driving offences: drink-driving, driving without insurance, driving whilst using a mobile phone and similar | Fixed Penalty Notices | Fines

Life in the UK Test and changes from 28 Oct 2013: Life in the UK Test | Before 28 October 2013 | From 28 October 2013 | Examples of applicants who will be affected

 

PART 12: SPOUSES AND PARTNERS OF PBS MIGRANTS AND OTHER WORKERS

If the main applicant holds an Ancestral, Domestic Worker or a pre-PBS visa | If the main applicant holds a Tier 1 or a Tier 2 visa | What to do if the main Tier applicant qualifies for an ILR but his/her spouse/partner has not spent enough time in the UK? From PBS Dependant to an ILR? | All changed on 9 July 2012! | There is one exception | Absences for dependants | Criminal convictions for dependants | Life in the UK Test and English language

 

PART 13: CHILDREN OF PBS AND OTHER WORK MIGRANTS

If the main applicant holds an Ancestral, Domestic Worker or a pre-PBS visa | If the main applicant holds a Tier 1 or a Tier 2 visa | Child born in the UK, do the parents need to apply for a Dependant visa? | Children who turned 18 years old

 

PART 14: STUDYING IN THE UK – TIER 4

2 TYPES UNDER TIER 4: GENERAL AND CHILD STUDENTS 

Is switching possible?

TIER 4 SPONSORS | CONFIRMATION OF ACCEPTANCE FOR STUDIES (CAS) | ACCEPTABLE TYPES OF COURSES

ACADEMIC PROGRESS | HOW MANY YEARS CAN ONE STUDY IN THE UK? Current limits | What’s not counted?

ENGLISH | MAINTENANCE (FUNDS): Low-risk nationals | How much money does a Student need? | Reduced maintenance levels for established students | How many days does the money need to be on account? | Whose name can be on account (and a common cause for refusal)? | If the money is on the parents’ accounts

HOW LONG IS A VISA VALID FOR? CAN STUDENTS WORK IN THE UK? 

WHAT ABOUT CHANGES: change a course, change a sponsor, drop out of the course?

DEPENDANTS

DOCTORATE EXTENSION SCHEME

 

PART 15: SPOUSE, PARTNER AND FIANCEE VISAS

GENERAL:  Which partners are covered? Or whose partners (of who) are covered? | ‘Present and Settled in the UK’ | What is the difference between civil partners, unmarried partners and same-sex partners? | Which partners aren’t covered?

TYPES OF VISAS (Fiancée, Spouse and Unmarried Partner):  SPOUSE VISA | FIANCE(E) VISA | UNMARRIED PARTNER VISA

The main thing about Spouse/Partner visas is that there are Old Rules and New Rules, like 'before and after': All changed on 9 July 2012 | How to distinguish? | Transitional arrangements | Spouse/Partner KOL required - what do such visas mean?

SPECIFIED EVIDENCE – new from 9 July 2012 yet extremely important: It goes further: specified details on the documents, not just specified documents

FINANCIAL REQUIREMENT: Thresholds | Thresholds are reasonable, the catch is how to calculate them | Categories A and B – employment | Whose earnings can be counted?

CATEGORY A – with current employer for 6 months or more in the UK

CATEGORY A – with current employer for 6 months or more overseas – Sponsor returning to the UK

CATEGORY B –  Less than 6 months with current employer or variable income in the UK  CATEGORY B –  Less than 6 months with current employer or variable income overseas – Sponsor returning to the UK | Can employment earnings be combined with other income?

CATEGORY C: specified non-employment income | Can ‘property’ be used? | Other sources of specified non-employment income

CATEGORY D: Savings

CATEGORY E: PENSION

CATEGORIES F and G: SELF-EMPLOYMENT: What’s meant by a ‘full financial year’? | Does one have to be self-employed for a ‘full’ financial year? | What is considered as income for self-employed people? | Sole traders | Directors of limited companies | A company director is not the same as a company owner | TIP – Deadline for submitting a tax return is the last day, not the only day! | TIP – Director’s Salary | TIP – Once and for all: what is a ‘contractor’?

And here is what CANNOT be used to meet the Financial Requirement

EXEMPTION AND EXCEPTION FROM THE FINANCIAL REQUIREMENT: Exemption | Exception (EX.1) – not covered in details as it should be at OISC Level 2

OLD MAINTENANCE REQUIREMENT - for Transitional arrangements and for those Exempt from the new Financial Requirement

ENGLISH LANGUAGE REQUIREMENT | EVIDENCE OF GENUINE RELATIONSHIP

 

PART 16: ILR FOR SPOUSES AND PARTNERS

BEFORE 9 JULY 2012 | FROM 9 JULY 2012 | TRANSITIONAL ARRANGEMENTS 

ILR REQUIREMENTS: Finances | Evidence of living together | Criminality threshold | Knowledge of Life and English language

 

PART 17: VISAS FOR CHILDREN AND STEP-CHILDREN

SOLE RESPONSIBILITY RULE | What if the child turned 18 years old between visas?

 

PART 18: VISAS FOR OTHER DEPENDENT RELATIVES

Before 9 July 2012 | From 9 July 2012 | A word of warning!

 

PART 19: EU/EEA REGULATIONS (EUROPEAN LAW)

LEGISLATION AND TERMSEU/EEA term | Who are EEA nationals? | TIP - EEA is not the same as Schengen area

EUROPEAN INSTITUTIONS: European Commission | European Parliament | European Council | European Court of Justice | European Ombudsman

PRINCIPLES OF EU/EEA CASEWORK:

1ST PRINCIPLE: exercising EU Treaty rights: Examples of a qualified person (examples if exercising Treaty rights)

2ND PRINCIPLE: ‘visa stamps’ are voluntary

3RD PRINCIPLE: restrictions on some nationals

May 2004 - May 2011

1 January 2007 - 31 December 2013: Blue Registration Certificate | Purple Registration Certificate | Yellow Registration Certificate.

1 July 2013 - for up to 7 years: Blue Registration Certificate | Purple Registration Certificate | Yellow Registration Certificate.

Post-restrictions rules

4TH PRINCIPLE: direct and extended family members and a very important difference:

Direct family members | The crucial difference - automatic rights from the law and not from a ‘visa stamp’ | Practical reasons for decision to make an application | Extended family members

TYPES OF APPLICATIONS:

If coming from outside the UK: EEA Family Permit | If applying inside the UK: EEA Residence Card | Family members of Bulgarian/Romanian (EU2) nationals | Family members of Croatian nationals

5th PRINCIPLE: family members of British citizens, why they are excluded and a Surinder Singh route

6th PRINCIPLE: Permanent residency (not based just on living in the UK): Same rules for all EEA nationals | Absences from the UK | Knowledge of Life and English

7th PRINCIPLE: dual nationals: Dual EEA and non-EEA nationals | Dual British and EEA nationals

 

PART 20: BRITISH CITIZENSHIP

Nationality: citizenship, naturalisation, what does it all mean and what are the differences? | British nationality | British Citizenship | Naturalisation | Registration

CITIZENSHIP – NATURALISATION: 4 SETS OF NATURALISATION RULES (spouses and civil partners of UK citizens, EEA nationals, family members of EEA nationals and 'everybody else')

THE MOST COMMON GROUP - ‘EVERYBODY ELSE’

Condition 1: No ILR – No Citizenship! | Condition 2: Having an ILR for at least 12 months | Condition 3: Five years of residency in the UK and being present in the UK on a day 5 years before receipt of application by the UKBA | Condition 4: Good character (criminal history) | Before and after 13 December 2012 | Table of offences and impact on applications | Condition 5: English language and Knowledge of Life in the UK and changes from 28 Oct 2013 | Condition 6: Absences from the UK (not the same as for an ILR!) | Unique ‘Date of Application’ meaning | Basic rules on absences

‘BRITISH BY DESCENT’ AND ‘BRITISH OTHERWISE THAN BY DESCENT’ – the difference

British ‘otherwise than by descent’ | ‘British by descent’ | Example of a British by descent

SPOUSES AND CIVIL PARTNERS OF BRITISH CITIZENS:

Conditions, which are the same as 'everybody else' generally but some details are different

Conditions, which are unique to spouses and civil partners of British citizens:  Condition 4: Three years of residency in the UK | Anomaly in this requirement | Condition 5: waiting 12 months after an ILR (not actually applicable) | Condition 6: Absences from the UK

EUROPEAN (EEA) NATIONALS:

Rules are the same as for ‘everybody else’ but applied differently | EEA nationals who are married/civil partners of British citizens | CASE STUDY – dual Dutch/Brazilian national who is a civil partner of a UK national

FAMILY MEMBERS OF EUROPEAN (EEA) NATIONALS:

European family members of European nationals, such as ‘Polish married Polish’ | Non-EEA family members of EEA nationals, such as ‘American married to German’ | Direct family members | CASE STUDY – Russian national married to a Belgian | Extended non-EEA family members

CITIZENSHIP - REGISTRATION OF CHILDREN UNDER 18 y.o

IMPORTANT DATES AND ACTS TO REMEMBER: British Nationality Act 1981 | From 1 July 2006

CHILDREN BORN IN THE UK:

If child's mother is British | If child’s father is British | If child's parent (one or both) is not British but has permanent residency in the UK | If the child's parents hold a limited leave to remain. | If the child's parents are European citizens | Children who spent the first 10 years of their life in the UK | Difference between 'British by birth' and 'not British but can be registered as British'?

CHILD BORN OUTSIDE THE UK WHOSE PARENTS IMMIGRATED TO THE UK

Example 1: Indian family who came to the UK together | Example 2: Indian national came to work while his family joined much later | Example 3: Russian step-child of a UK citizen

CASE STUDIES FROM OUR PRACTICE

QUESTIONS & ANSWERS

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