Tuesday, 29 September 2015

New testimonial on our OISC Level 1 training course.

"I want to thank Joanne Wilson for the OISC Level 1 training she provided me with, it exceeded my expectations and could not have been any better considering I had a limited amount of knowledge in this subject area, the way in which she presented the course with real life case studies made the training easy to understand, Joanne's training was very thorough and professional she was very approachable and answered all of my questions, not only did she provide me with training she also provided me with timely and helpful advice.

For anyone considering the OISC Level 1 training in the future I would definitely recommend 1st 4immigration. Thank you"

This came from Tanya, who attended our OISC Level 1 training course in September 2015.  
As a practicing OISC-accredited immigration firm, we at 1st 4Immigration work on various applications on a daily basis and with great deal of success.  OISC Level 1 course is our most popular course, both online and at a classroom. This course can be of use to those preparing to become an OISC-accredited immigration adviser and to take an OISC Level 1 exam as well as to the solicitors who are about to start working for an OISC-accredited firm. We also often have practicing SRA-accredited solicitors who would like to expand their area of knowledge to cover immigration law.  

The course an intensive  2 day weekend course at our office in the City of London and we have it almost every month.

You can earn 10 core CPD hours on this course, awarded by 1st 4Immigration Ltd, who is on the OISC list of acceptable CPD providers. 

For a full table of the training dates, a detailed agenda and other information please visit our website.  

 OISC Level 1 course in the classroom, CPD 10 hours: http://www.1st4immigration.com/training/classroom-oisc-level-1-course.php

To read about our OISC-accredited adviser Joanne Wilson and other tutors (our own advisers) please visit: http://www.1st4immigration.com/training/classroom-oisc-level-1-course-tutors.php


Points-Based System training, CPD 7 hours: http://www.1st4immigration.com/training/pbs-course.php

Other training courses, on British Citizenship for EEA nationals or on Spouse visas: http://www.1st4immigration.com/immigration-training-courses.php

 
Contact us: info@1st4immigration.com or phone 0871 472 1468.
 

 

New successful case and testimonial on switching to a UK Spouse visa from a Family Life visa, ie from 10 year route to 5 year route, for a Namibian spouse of a UK citizen.

Hi Lucy, I just wanted to say a ...... BIG THANK YOU.....to you for helping me succeed in switching my current visa in to a spouse visa. I can't believe how quick the whole process was. Also want to say thank you to Harpreet who accompanied me to Home Office, he made me feel at ease. I will definitely use 1st 4Immigration in the future and I will recommend them to others. Thank you.”

This came from Nalaaluke, a Namibian national whose husband was British. In this case our client already had a partner visa for 2.5 years (30 months) but it was in the 10 year route. We submitted a ‘normal’ FLR(M) application to switch to the 5 year route. Although it means meeting the strict Financial Requirement and English language requirement, it allows to qualify for Indefinite Leave to remain 9ILR, permanent residency), after 5 years instead of 10 years. 5 years have to be on the ‘normal’ spouse visas only. Can’t be combined with the 2.5 visa from the 10 year route, even though both visas are for 2.5 years at a time and both are from the ‘Partner’ category.
We made an application on same-day service in Croydon and all went well on the day.

The next step will be to extend a Spouse visa for further 2.5 years and apply for permanent residency after 5 years. 
For an individual advice or to make your application as successful please contact us: info@1st4immigration.com or visit   http://www.1st4immigration.com/spouse-partner-visas-after-9-july-2012.php 
To read about our OISC-accredited adviser Lucy Crompton, who handled the case on the day-to-day basis, please visit http://www.1st4immigration.com/about.php#advisers
To read about the difference between the 5 and 10 year routes please look at this earlier post: http://1st4immigration-visas.blogspot.co.uk/2015/08/what-is-difference-between-5-year-route.html
If you are an Immigration Adviser or a Solicitor please visit our immigration Training and CPD website: www.1st4immigration.com/training We have a weekend OISC Level 1 course every month, a Saturday Points-Based System course every month and we also have online training courses, including Online OISC Level 1 course and courses focusing on the British Citizenship and Spouse/Partner visas. All our training courses are CPD-accredited with CPD credit accepted by  OISC. 

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Join us this weekend for OISC Level 1 course, Saturday -Sunday 26 - 27 September (just in time for the OISC exam on 28 September), City of London, from a practicing immigration company. CPD 10 hours accepted by the OISC.

UK Immigration Rules, visas, switching, visas for spouses and partners, what a great idea for a weekend! Or perhaps you would enjoy learning about British Citizenship or Points-Based System or maybe even EU/EEA applications and European law? What can be more exciting?

This is a very informative and practical 2-day weekend course at our office in the City of London!  1st 4Immigration Ltd is a practicing OISC-accredited immigration company, OISC ref F200800152. After many years of experience – and hundreds of successful cases – we are sharing our experience to help you to prepare for your OISC Level 1 assessment and accreditation or, if you are already practicing, to increase your knowledge. You can read Testimonials on our immigration cases here.

TRAINING DATES:
  
Weekend 26 - 27 September 2015 (in time for OISC exam on 28 September).

Weekend 24 - 25 October 2015 (in time for OISC exam on 29 October).

Weekend 14 - 15 November 2015 (in time for OISC exam on 23 November).

Weekend 12 - 13 December 2015 (in time for OISC exam on 17 December).


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.1st4immigration.com/training/classroom-oisc-level-1-course.php

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

1st 4Immigration Ltd: 68 King William Street, City of London, London, EC4N 7DZ. Near Monument underground station. Email: training@1st4immigration.com, Phone: 0871 472 1468 (£0.13 per minute plus your provider's access charge, emails are free).
_____________________________________________________

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?

New successful case and testimonial on switching to a UK Spouse visa from a Tier 4 student visa inside the UK for a Haitian husband of a UK national.

“Hi Lucy, I wanted to email you to say a hugeeeeeeeeeeeeeee (we left the original spelling!) thank you for all your support during the visa application process. You were confident we would be successful, and I am so happy that you were correct! Thank You.”

This came from Lazenya, a British national whose husband was from Haiti. In this application the British spouse was meeting the Financial Requirement using income from employment under the Category B. It was a combination of employment in Haiti, employment in the UK and then a current job in the UK. Such a combination is allowed by the Immigration Rules.  

We made an application on same-day service in Croydon and all went well on the day.

The next step will be to extend a Spouse visa for further 2.5 years and apply for permanent residency after 5 years.  

For an individual advice or to make your application as successful please contact us: info@1st4immigration.com or visit   http://www.1st4immigration.com/spouse-partner-visas-after-9-july-2012.php  

To read about our OISC-accredited adviser Lucy Crompton, who handled the case on the day-to-day basis, please visit http://www.1st4immigration.com/about.php#advisers


If you are an Immigration Adviser or a Solicitor please visit our immigration Training and CPD website: www.1st4immigration.com/training We have a weekend OISC Level 1 course every month, a Saturday Points-Based System course every month and we also have online training courses, including Online OISC Level 1 course and courses focusing on the British Citizenship and Spouse/Partner visas. All our training courses are CPD-accredited with CPD credit accepted by  OISC. 

New successful case and testimonial on switching to a UK Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa from a Tier 2 work visa inside the UK. Plus a business plan from us!

“1st 4Immigration were very helpful during my Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa application process and the turnaround time from Home Office was beyond my expectations at under 2 weeks! I tried submitting the application myself based on my understanding of the guidance, but after consulting Joanne and 1st 4Immigration's strong track record with Tier 1 visas, I felt more confident with my application to use their services, and was not disappointed! 

Joanne was responsive every day and organised. She was very patient with my numerous questions. I didn't have any concerns in the documentation process and she reassured me with the documents required for a successful application.

For anyone looking to start their own business with a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur), I highly recommend you to opt for their Visa Application and Business Plan services as they have a thorough know-how of Home Office's requirements with a 100% track record (which we indeed had in the last few years).” 

This came from Andrew, a Canadian national, who had a Tier 2 (General) visa, ie a sponsored work permit, allowing to work only for his employer. However, Andrew wanted to run his own business, as one of the co-founders together with his 2 friends from university. Since Tier 2 visa allows switching inside the UK, we were able to submit an in-country application.

Amazingly, it only took just 2 weeks!

We have also assisted with a business plan, which was made a compulsory requirement in April 2015. Andrew had already set up a limited company in the UK, he was one of the directors, so we used the details in the business plan to explain how it would be turned into a successful technology business.

The next step, after 3 years of hard work in running a business, will be extension for further 2 years. 

For an individual advice or to make your application as successful please contact us: info@1st4immigration.com  or visit http://www.1st4immigration.com/tier-1-entrepeneur-visa.php

To read about our business plan writing service – by the immigration entrepreneurs – please visit http://www.1st4immigration.com/business-plan-writing.php

To read about our compliance service for the Entrepreneur and Investor visa holders, where for an annual fee we guide on what has to be done before the extension is due, please visit http://www.1st4immigration.com/compliance-services-for-entrepreneurs-investors.php

To read about our OISC-accredited adviser Joanne Wilson please visit:  http://www.1st4immigration.com/about.php#advisers 

If you are an Immigration Adviser or a Solicitor please visit our immigration Training and CPD website: www.1st4immigration.com/training . We have a 1-day Points-Based System training course at our office on Saturdays every month and also provide compliance service. We also have weekend OISC Level 1 training courses every month and an Online OISC Level 1 course, which includes the Points-Based System.

Thursday, 17 September 2015

Join us this Saturday for a PBS course! 19 September, City of London. CPD 7 hours.

Visas for entrepreneurs, investors, workers, what can be more exciting? Points-Based System categories can be great fun – if you know how to play by the rules (how to use the Immigration Rules).

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 7 core CPD hours credit, subject to the successful completion of the test after the course.

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. 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, 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!

You can book PBS training courses here (we have training almost every month):  http://www.1st4immigration.com/training/pbs-course.php

Upcoming training dates:

Saturday 19 September 2015. In time for OISC exam on 28 September.

Saturday 17 October 2015. In time for OISC exam on 29 October.

Saturday 21 November 2015. In time for OISC exam on 23 November.

Saturday 5 December 2015. In time for OISC exam on 17 December.

Alternatively, for OISC Level 1 training dates please visit http://www.1st4immigration.com/training/classroom-oisc-level-1-course.php

1st 4Immigration Ltd,
OISC no F200800152, CPD ref 80001 from the CPD Standards Office.
68 King William Street, City of London, London, EC4N 7DZ.



Phone: 0871 472 1468

Main is main, dependent is dependent: these are 2 different visa types! You can switch from a main visa to a dependent visa inside the UK but can’t switch from ‘dependent’ to ‘main’.

One of the common mistakes migrants do, from our experience, is confusing the main visa with a dependent visa. For example, one spouse is on a Tier 2 (General) visa (that’s the main one) and the other spouse is on a Tier 2 Dependant visa (that’s a dependent visa). The visa ‘depends’ on someone else’s visa, so a Tier 2 Partner visa depends on the main Tier 2 visa.

These are 2 totally separate categories: main is main, dependent is dependent. They can’t be combined when calculating qualifying period for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR, permanent residency) except for  10 years Long Residence which can be based on any type of visa.

Most importantly, this matters to switching rules, ie applying to change your status inside the UK, rather than having to apply from outside the UK.

You can switch from a main visa to a dependent visa inside the UK, such as from the main Tier 2 General to a Tier 2 Partner, from the main Tier 1 visa to a Tier 1 Partner. Actually, it would be the same ‘partner’ visa in both cases, called PBS Dependant, whether it ‘depends’ on a Tier 1 or 2 main visa.

You cannot switch other way around, ie can’t switch from a dependent visa to a main one. The only exception is if you are switching from a Tier 4 Dependant visa (ie ‘depends’ on a Tier 4 student migrant) and even then with some condition. The only way to ‘switch’ is to return to your country and apply from there, ie apply for entry clearance.

We are often asked to point to the rules, which would say the above. The Immigration Rules don’t say it in that way, this is our explanation of the Rules, an explanation in plain language. the Rules say it in the legal language. So, if you’re trying to switch to a Tier 2 (General) category, the Tier 2 rules will say which visa types allow such a switch, so anyone with a visa from that list can switch.

The Rules for dependants are different, they say who can’t switch, so anyone not on the list can switch. Sounds confusing? Book our advise session now and we will help!

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

If you are an Immigration Adviser or a Solicitor please visit our immigration Training and CPD website: www.1st4immigration.com/training We have a weekend OISC Level 1 course every month, a Saturday Points-Based System course every month and we also have online training courses, including Online OISC Level 1 course and courses focusing on the British Citizenship and Spouse/Partner visas. All our training courses are CPD-accredited with CPD credit accepted by  OISC. 

New successful case and testimonial on a business plan for a successful Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) entry clearance for a Libyan national.

Finally,  Good news we did it !!!!! I got my (Entrepreneur) visa  yesterday (14-09-2015), I applied on 17-08-2015. This email to thank you for your hard and excellent work, the Business plan was great!!!!!!

This came from Sulan, a national of Libya, who approached us for help with a business plan, which is now compulsory for a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa when making an initial application. Sulan was considering opening a business to offer  a range of auto service and repair. It was a business activity related to the client’s work in the past, so we used that as another ‘selling point’ to the visa officers. A business plan is a part of the Genuine Entrepreneur Test, so we usually explain the applicant’s previous work or business experience as well as what products they are going to offer, how they are going to compete the UK market.

As we are both entrepreneurs and immigration advisers, ie immigration entrepreneurs, we also insist on including the information on how the funds (£200,000) are going to be invested and what type of jobs are going to be created. These are important because the visa rules require to prove both points, such as creating at least 2 jobs for the settled workers, each job lasting for at least 12 months. We also add the notes on registering a limited company, registering for VAT and Corporation Tax as well as with HMRC as an employer and obtaining a PAYE ref number (as an employer). Although most traditional business plans do not include such information, often focusing on the financials instead, we have adapted the traditional structure to address the requirements of the Immigration Rules. Remember, the visa officers are not accountants! they need to see you have familiarised yourself with the visa rules and your business plan is aware of them.

The next step will be coming to the UK and making that business work! Even though applying for a visa can be stressful, the real work begins after it has been granted. A migrant has to register a business within 6 months, invest £200,000 and create those all important jobs for the settled workers. There will be no time to rest!  
 
The next step in the visa process will be to apply for an Entrepreneur extension, for further 2 years. This is when the UKVI will be asking for evidence of the above, ie how the requirements were being met during the 3 years of the initial visa.

If your business happened to have created 10 jobs for the settlers workers or produced income of £5 million during the first 3 years then you could potentially qualify for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR, permanent residency) after just 3 years.

To read about business plan service from us, the immigration entrepreneurs, please visit: http://www.1st4immigration.com/business-plan-writing.php


For an individual advice or to make your application as successful please contact us: info@1st4immigration.com or visit   http://www.1st4immigration.com/settlement-indefinite-leave-visas.php

If you are an Immigration Adviser or a Solicitor please visit our immigration Training and CPD website: www.1st4immigration.com/training We have a weekend OISC Level 1 course every month and a Saturday Points-Based System course every month, both include a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa with the PBS course having a particular focus on the Tier 2 and Entrepreneur categories.

 

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Student issue! Who has to meet the Financial Requirement for a UK Spouse visa? The British Sponsor, the Applicant or both? And how can a couple, both students, meet the £18,600 threshold?

This post was a result of an online article we came across, saying how British-foreign couples, who both happened to be students, are struggling to meet the Financial Requirement for a UK Spouse/Partner visa, which requires income of £18,600. Understandably, many ask how the students were expected to qualify for this visa whilst university years are often when people meet their future spouse.

We already published a post on this earlier, which addressed a common myth that the Home Office could only take into account the income of the British spouse and not of the applicant (the foreign spouse). That post was focusing on various scenarios of employment:  http://1st4immigration-visas.blogspot.co.uk/2015/04/who-has-to-meet-financial-requirement.html  

Here we are focusing on students.

Example 1: both are PhD students, or one partner is a PhD student and the other is studying for a lower level degree. Although a PhD may sound like something only a few people do, in our practice it is very common. It was also common in the articles on the internet on the subject . In this case a PhD student often receives a bursary/stipend from the university, which is free of tax. Very often this bursary alone is sufficient to meet the Financial Requirement. It doesn’t even have to be £18,600, the minimum for a tax-free bursary is £15,800. If you’d like to know why you can find the answer in this post: http://1st4immigration-visas.blogspot.co.uk/2015/09/uk-spouse-visa-18600-income-before-or.html

Furthermore, a bursary of both spouses can be combined to make a total of £18,600. It does not have to be just the British partner’s. In fact, it can be just the foreign partner’s on its own if the amount is sufficient.

Tip: Visa for PhD graduates. There is a 1-year visa for PhD graduates and it allows to seek employment in the UK, so after 1 year a foreign partner, or both partners, could meet the Financial Requirement on the basis of employment in the UK and then switch to a Spouse visa, inside the UK and even on same-day service, if the speed matters. Again, working on a salary of £18,600 can be for the last 6 months, no need to wait for the whole year if you meet the requirements earlier, you can switch anytime.

Example 2: employment while studying. A British partner can obviously work in the UK while studying, usually part –time. A foreign partner can also work part-time, most student visas allow working for 20 hours per week during the term and full-time during vacations. So, if both partners are working part-time, their combined income may well reach £18,600 and in many cases (but not all) working is only required for the last 6 months. Employment income can also be combined with a bursary.

Example 3: a most common solution for all couples. A British spouse can find a job after their course is finished, any job paying £18,600 pa (does not have to be a ‘career job’), work for 6 months and then for a foreign spouse to apply for a visa, even if it means being apart for 6 months (but if you are not a visa national you could come to the UK as a visitor during that time). There is no need to stay on that job, once a foreign spouse has secured a Spouse visa allows working in the UK, so at the next application – visa extension – the Financial Requirement can be met with a combination of both partners’ income or just from the foreign spouse’s employment income on its own, if the salary is sufficient. It is a myth that foreign spouse’s income can never be relied upon! It does apply to some couples but not to all.

The above may not be a solution for all couples but it can certainly increase the number of couples finally being able to make a visa application.

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

If you are an Immigration Adviser or a Solicitor please visit our immigration Training and CPD website: www.1st4immigration.com/training We have a weekend OISC Level 1 course every month, a Saturday Points-Based System course every month and we also have online training courses, including Online OISC Level 1 course and courses focusing on the British Citizenship and Spouse/Partner visas. All our training courses are CPD-accredited with CPD credit accepted by  OISC.