Monday, 23 March 2015

Online OISC-accepted CPD for the immigration advisers. 2014 - 15 CPD year.

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

We also have a classroom OISC Level 1 course and a classroom Points-Based System course at our office in the City , a 2-day weekend course on Saturdays and Sundays, for dates and fees visit 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.

Places still available! Points-Based System training course 28-29 March 2015: Tiers, Points, Dependants, qualifying for ILR. CPD 12 hours 2014-15 OISC CPD year.

We offer a 2-day weekend course at our office in the City of London. Multi Travel Visas Ltd and its sister company, 1st 4Immigration Ltd, are both accredited by The OISC, ref F201100418 and F200800152 respectively. 

This course has a particular emphasis on Tier 2 General and Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa categories, applying for a Sponsor Licence and using Tier 2 Code of Practice as well as qualifying for an Indefinite Leave in these routes. It also covers (often forgotten in training) rules for family members of PBS migrants. You can earn 12 core CPD hours credit, subject to the successful completion of the test after the course.

You can book PBS training courses here: http://www.mtv-training.co.uk/index-pbs.php

As a practicing company, we are offering to share our experience to help you deal with the applications of Points-Based System migrants, their family members and ILR applications based on PBS categories. 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. You can read Testimonials on our immigration cases here.

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, a Questions& Answers session and a test to test your knowledge, 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!

TRAINING DATES:

Weekend 28 - 29 March 2015 (in the 2014-15 CPD year for The OISC!) and just in time for the OISC exam on 23 April.

Weekend 23 - 24 May 2015, just before the OISC exam on 28 May!


Detailed Course Agenda can be found here and is designed in our own unique way.

Multi Travel Visas Ltd: 68 King William Street, City of London, London, EC4N 7DZ. Near Monument underground station. Email: info@mtv-training.co.uk , Phone: 0871 472 1468 (£0.10 per minute, emails are free).

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Course Agenda:

DAY 1:

PART 1: IMMIGRATION RULES AND POINTS-BASED SYSTEM

Immigration Rules, Part 6A | Appendices | UKVI Operation Guidance | Multitasking - Why do you need to use all 3 in your practice | How to determine if switching is possible?| How to determine if a visa allows to work?

PART 2: POINTS-BASED SYSTEM - ABOUT THE TIERS

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

PART 3: TIER 2 (GENERAL) – MAIN WORK VISA

Step 1: Sponsor Licence

UKVI Guidance for Sponsors | Appendix A – Supporting documents | UKVI policy of refusing, not asking to correct the documents | Application process | Authorising Officer, Key, Contact, Level 1 User, Level 2 User | Decision: A and B-rated Sponsors | Sponsor Management System (SMS)
 
Step 2: Tier 2 Code of Practice  

What is the Code of Practice | SOC codes and types of jobs | Jobs eligible for Sponsorship | Go by the duties, not a job title | Salary: New Entrant v Experienced   

Step 3: Shortage Occupation List

What is Shortage Occupation List and why it is important    

Step 4: Resident Labour Market Test (advertising a job)

Why and when a job has to be advertised? | Exceptions from advertising: Shortage Occupation List, salary min £153,200 pa, extending to work for the same employer | Special arrangements for those switching from a Tier 4 Student visa | Where to advertise | How long to advertise for | Records to keep (table of candidates, why they are suitable or not, who was invited for an interview)

Step 5: Certificate of Sponsorship (COS)

APPLICANT’S JOB:

Type of jobs which can be 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? | 

APPLICANT'S SALARY:

Minimum salary | New Entrant salary category | Experienced salary category | How can a number of weekly hours be determined | What if employer cannot offer minimum £20,500? | Salaries pro-rate, based on the full-time salary on the Code of Practice

RESTRICTED AND UNRESTRICTED CERTIFICATES:

Annual limit and when it applies | Resident Labour Market Test and annual limit are not the same thing and not connected | Assigning an unrestricted COS v requesting a restricted COS | Useful tip – request allocation of unrestricted certificate at the time of applying for a Sponsor Licence, if possible

COMMON QUESTIONS:

What’s the minimum salary for Tier 2 General visa? £20,500 or as on the Code of Practice? If Tier 2 application was refused, does the applicant need a new COS or can he/she use the same one? | Where to find a confirmation that Sponsors employing Tier 4 migrants don’t need to advertise the jobs

CASE STUDIES:

A manufacturing company: we helped with the licence, requested allocation of certificates at the same time to speed it up and the company had an unannounced UKVI inspection a year after | A company whose Sponsor Licence application took record 3 days! | When and how to request urgent consideration | “Don’t try this at home”: how we applied for a Tier 2 visa by post, explained we will be submitting a Sponsor Licence application shortly and asked to hold the case, then sent a COS later. It worked but you should use it only in truly exceptional cases

Step 6: Tier 2 visa application including for Tier 4 Students switching to Tier 2

Main requirements for a visa application | Employing Tier 4 Students who are switching to Tier 2 category | Example of application refused because of the salary (and approved when re-submitted by us) | Example of application refused because of the wrong SOC code (the 2 were similar job titles but very different salaries) | TABLE: Tier 2 General in questions and answers

Step 7: While holding a Tier 2 General visa

3 and 5 year visas and extensions | 6 year limit and 12 months cooling-off period | Is work restricted to working for the Sponsor? | Can a Tier 2 migrant change a Sponsor? | What if the job is finished early?

PART 4: TIER 2 (INTRA-COMPANY TRANSFER)  

Important date: 6 April 2010 – who can and who can’t qualify for an ILR | Important date: 6 April 2011 – who falls and who doesn’t fall under the ICT 5 year limit | 12 months cooling-off period | Can an ICT migrant switch to Tier 2 General? TABLE: Tier 2 Intra-Company Transfer in questions and answers
 
PART 5: 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 tests | TABLE: English language required in each category
 
PART 6: 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 7: 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 8: TIER 1 (INVESTOR)

Tier 1 (Investor) in Questions and Answers

DAY 2:

PART 9: TIER 1 (ENTREPRENEUR)  

Initial applications – General:

Summary of the Rules: Part 6A, Appendices | UKVI Guidance |  Purpose of this visa category | Funds £200,000 / £50,000

Who can apply with £50,000?

Examples from the Rules | Common question – can I apply with £50,000 from my family?

Tier 4 Students wishing to have an Entrepreneur visa:

Rules - and restrictions - for Tier 4 Students

Funds available to invest:

Where the funds can be held | Regulated institutions |Funds transferrable to the UK | Common question from the applicants from China where strict currency controls exist  | Useful tips from our practice

Entrepreneurial Teams:

Conditions of 2 people sharing the funds | Sharing does not mean sharing 50 / 50 | What if one team member is eligible to apply with £50,000 and the other – with £200,000

Funds from the third party:

Who is considered as third party | Funds held on the name of a spouse or parents | Funds held on the name of a company  

Evidential Flexibility:

Why it is very important | Why we call it Evidential (in)Flexibility | Case from our practice which was refused but an appeal was allowed (should have been under Evidential Flexibility but the UKBA chose to refuse) | Case from our practice which was refused because one detail on the document was missing (that’s a detail on the document, not a document)

Genuine Entrepreneur Test:

Business plan | previous experience and qualifications | Other extras: business insurance, bank account, evidence of having clients, advertising

UK Visas and Immigration interviews and questions asked:

Examples of cases where applicants were invited for an interview (including a phone interview on a Saturday) and questions they were asked  

Useful case studies:

Entry Clearance from Ukraine – 2 applicants applying as an Entrepreneurial Team, one of them also being a third party for the other (exciting case to study!) |  Switching inside the UK – case which took only 3 weeks without interview and before contractors’ rules were changed

What to do once a visa has been issued (and requirements for an extension):

REGISTERING A BUSINESS:
Setting up a business within 6 months | Taking over or buying an existing business | Joining an existing business | Types of businesses in the UK (limited company, sole trader etc)


INVESTING THE FUNDS:

What is considered as making investment – transferring the money to your business account? (The answer is No) |  What is not counted as investment including paying yourself | What evidence will the migrant need to prove investment (director’s loan agreement etc)  

CREATING JOBS:

Creating 2 jobs for settled workers | Definition of a “settled worker” for this purpose (which is different from the definition for the purpose of the Immigration Rules | What if the applicant had to employ more than 2 workers

Why working as a “contractor” is not considered a business:

Who is a contractor | Changes in the Rules in July 2014

Entrepreneur visa in Questions& Answers:

Does it allow to work in the UK? | Can the migrant switch to a different business from the one he/she initially invested? | Can the migrant combine time spent on Entrepreneur visa with the time spent on Tier 2 or other categories? | Can the migrant switch to a Tier 2 General visa from this category?

Accelerated route to ILR:

3 years instead of 5 | business turnover | creating 10 jobs

PART 10: INDEFINITE LEAVE TO REMAIN (PERMANENT RESIDENCY) IN PBS ROUTES   

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

Common routes to an ILR:

Tier 2 General | Counting Tier 2 Intra-Company Transfer visa | Tier 1 Entrepreneur | Tier 1 Investor

Tier 1 (General) – remaining ILR applications in this route

Why was this visa so popular? | New applicants cannot join it but existing applicants can still apply for permanent residency until 6 April 2018 | Last extensions in April 2015

SCORING THE POINTS FOR AN ILR:

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 | Earnings from employment | Earnings from a limited company | Earnings from being a Sole Trader

Common ILR requirements and issues:

ABSENCES:

Do we count 5 years from the date of visa issue or date of entry to the UK? | 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

KNOWLEDGE OF LANGUAGE AND LIFE (KOLL):

Before 28 October 2013 | From 28 October 2013 | Examples of applicants who are affected by these changes

PART 11: SPOUSES AND PARTNERS OF PBS MIGRANTS

Part 8 of the Immigration Rules - still applies! | If the main applicant holds a Tier 1 or 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 – 10 years Long Residence | Absences for dependants | Criminal convictions for dependants | Life in the UK Test and English language
 
PART 12: CHILDREN OF PBS  MIGRANTS

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 born in the UK – no need to include them into ILR as they can be registered as British | Children who turned 18 years old | When can a child qualify for an ILR | What if one parent qualifies for an ILR and the other one doesn't

PART 13: STUDYING IN THE UK – TIER 4

2 types under tier 4: General and Child students  | Tier 4 Sponsors | Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) | Acceptable types of courses | Academic progress | How many years can one study in the UK?3 and 5 year limits | English language courses

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

WHILE HOLDING A TIER 4 VISA:

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 | WHAT’S NEXT AFTER TIER 4 VISA? | DOCTORATE EXTENSION SCHEME

PART 14: QUESTIONS & ANSWERS

To book please visit the page Booking or contact us: info@mtv-training.co.uk

Saturday, 21 March 2015

NHS surcharge from 6 April 2015: when it starts and how it will work.

On 19 March 2015 the Home Office announced that the Immigration Health Surcharge would be introduced on 6 April 2015. Such changes are traditionally introduced at a short notice to avoid the sudden increase in the volume of visa applications. The health surcharge, which does provide a very good value for money comparing to the other countries, will apply to non-EEA nationals who are applying for a student, work and a family visa (such as a Spouse visa) inside or outside the UK. It will apply to those making an application from 6 April 2015.

Will it apply to those extending their stay in the same category? Yes, it will. For example, if you are on a Spouse visa now and need to extend it, you will be asked to pay the Health Surcharge at the point of applying for a visa. If you are on a Tier 2 or Tier 1 visa and applying for an extension (even in the same category), you will be asked to pay it. You won’t have to pay if you’re applying for an Indefinite Leave.

How to determine whether you have to pay when applying inside the UK? If you are planning to use same-day service, the date of booking an appointment (and paying a UKVI fee) will determine whether you have to pay the surcharge or not, not the date when your appointment is booked for. For example, if you are booking an appointment on 1 April 2015 to attend on 1 May 2015 you won’t have to pay the surcharge.

How to determine whether you have to pay when applying outside the UK? As you may know, applying outside the UK starts from completing an online visa application form. It is the date of submission of that form, and paying a UKVI fee (which happens at the same time), which will determine whether you have to pay the surcharge or not. For example, if you are submitting the form and paying before 6 April 2015 you won’t need to pay the health surcharge, even if your appointment at the visa centre is later, depending on when the slots are available (it can be a month later, for example). If you’re submitting the form on or after 6 April 2015 you’d have to pay the surcharge.

How much is the surcharge? £150 per year for students, £200 per year for others. The surcharge will have to cover the whole duration of the visa. For example, if you are applying for a 3 year visa then you will have to pay the total of £600 at the point of application (£450 for students).

Will dependants have to pay? Yes, the surcharge is per person, including each child.

Examples of those who won’t have to pay:
·         Those applying for Indefinite Leave or British Citizenship.
·         Australian and New Zealand nationals applying for any type of visa.
·         Those applying/extending a Tier 2 Intra-Company Transfer visa.
·         Visitors (but visitors are already obliged to pay for the NHS services).

For an individual advice or to make an application (whether you’re applying inside or outside the UK) 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  

Thursday, 19 March 2015

New successful case and testimonial on British Citizenship application for a non-EEA spouse of an EEA national.

“I've just got my British Citizen Certificate today (certificate of Naturalisation)  and I would like give a big thank you to Ms Lucy and her colleagues for all your dedication with my application. My process wasn't simple, nevertheless Lucy analysed, requested, reviewed and organised all my documentation very carefully in order to make my application successful. She was very quick replying to any of my enquiries and I do believe her work was essential to make my application successful regardless of my odd situation. I highly recommend Ms Lucy Crompton and her colleagues in 1st 4Immigration, they are very responsive, competent, professional and have a lot of experience.”

This came from Guilherme, a Brazilian national who is married to a Portuguese national. We made an application for British Citizenship without applying for permanent residency first. This worked because non-EEA spouses of EEA nationals gain their permanent residency automatically from the law, based on the EEA spouse’s 5 years of working in the UK. Once submitted to the UK Visas and Immigration at the Home Office, the process took only 1 month!

For an individual advice or to make your application as successful 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

 

Monday, 16 March 2015

Places still available! OISC Level 1 course, Sat-Sun 21 - 22 March 2015, City of London (Monument), from a practicing immigration company.

We still have places for this very informative and practical 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.

TRAINING DATES (we have a class every month) - all available to be booked now.

Weekend 21 - 22 March 2015


Weekend 28 - 29 March 2015 (Points-Based System training)

Weekend 11 - 12 April 2015

Weekend 9 - 10 May 2015 (Points-Based System training)

Weekend 16 - 17 May 2015

Weekend 27 - 28 June 2015

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.


To book visit our training website: http://www.mtv-training.co.uk/
Detailed Course Agenda can be found here and is designed in our own unique way.

Multi Travel Visas Ltd: 68 King William Street, City of London, London, EC4N 7DZ. Near Monument underground station. Email: info@mtv-training.co.uk , Phone: 0871 472 1468 (£0.10 per minute, emails are free).

 
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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

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?