Wednesday, 25 November 2015

New testimonial on our German Schengen visa service for a spouse of a UK citizen.

“Dear Sebastian, I just wanted to say how much I appreciated the speed and efficiency with which you handled my visa application. It was a pleasure to deal with you. Thank you very much indeed.”
 
 
These lovely words came from Elizabeth, a South African citizen who applied for a German Schengen visa through us in London. It is possible to obtain a German Schengen visa within 4 working days from the date of appointment for most nationals, such as South African, Thai, Filipino, Russian, Indian, Chinese and most others. We can also assist with a French and Portuguese Schengen visas.
 
 
The good thing about applying through German Embassy is that spouses of UK/EU citizens still do not need to submit tickets and hotel/accommodation booking (unlike when applying to French or Portuguese Embassies). Although biometrics (fingerprints) are required from 20 November 2015, but they will be stored in the system for 5 years (without having to submit them again).
 
 
For example, if an application was made at VFS Global for a Spanish visa after 20th November 2015, then the applicant will not to have give biometrics again when applying for a German visa at VFS within the next 5 years.
 
 
Contact us at Multi Travel Visas:

Same-day UK passport renewal without waiting for an appointment (next-day or same-day submission to the Passport Office in London): http://www.multitravelvisas.co.uk/same-day-british-passport-renewal.php

Website homepage with all services: http://www.multitravelvisas.co.uk

Phone 0871 472 1468 or 07795471483
Email:
info@multitravelvisas.co.uk  We reply on the same working day!


Or come to our office from 9am to 6pm (you don’t need an appointment): 68 King William Street, City of London, London, EC4N 7DZ. We’re near Monument tube station, close to Bank and Liverpool Street, over the bridge from London Bridge station and within easy reach by DLR from Canary Wharf.
 

Schengen Visa Germany: biometrics required from 20 November 2015 but once submitted, last for 5 years.

Multi Travel Visas Ltd is a specialist visa company. We assist customers with German, French and other Schengen visas and have vast experience over the past 10 years.

All applicants will be required to provide biometrics at the German visa centre in London from 20th of November 2015 as part of the visa process. Once the biometrics have been taken, your information will be stored in their system for the next 5 years.

For example, if an application was made at VFS Global for a Spanish visa after 20th November 2015, then the applicant will not to have give biometrics again when applying for a German visa at VFS within the next 5 years.

Processing time: from the date of appointment German visas take 5 working days for most nationals: S. African, Indian, Chinese, Russian, Thai, Turkish etc.

Furthermore, spouses and family members of UK/EU citizens don't have to book tickets/accommodation before applying for this visa. This is the best Embassy to apply for a Schengen visa for spouses and family members of UK/EU citizens.

Visit our website: http://www.multitravelvisas.co.uk/schengen-visa-germany.php

Email: info@multitravelvisas.co.uk and we reply on the same working day.

Phone: 0871 472 1468 (£0.10 per minute plus your provider charge) or 07795471483 or text.

Come to our office in the City of London (Monument), you don’t have to book an appointment: 68 King William Street, City of London, London, EC4N 7DZ.
 

Accredited Continuing Professional Development (CPD) for immigration advisers, online and classroom. CPD credit accepted by the OISC.

1st 4Immigration Ltd is an accredited CPD provider and can be found on the OISC list of CPD providers. 

Current CPD courses:

Online OISC LEVEL 1 course. CPD 16 core hours.
 
 

Self-Employment Income in Visa Applications (by a Self-employed immigration adviser). CPD 6 hours.

British Citizenship for European/EEA nationals and their Family Members. CPD 5 core hours.

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

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. CPD credit is awarded upon successful pass of the assessment, which will be provided after the course. Our courses are accredited by the CPD Standards Office and are therefore accepted by the OISC towards your annual CPD credit.

1st 4Immigration Ltd, OISC no F200800152, 68 King William Street, City of London, London, EC4N 7DZ.

Places still available! Points - Based System training Saturday 5 December: innovative, fun and practical course covering Tiers, Points, Dependants, qualifying for ILR. City of London. CPD 7 hours.

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 5 December 2015. 
Saturday 16 January 2016. 

 Alternatively, for OISC Level 1 training dates please visit http://www.1st4immigration.com/training/classroom-oisc-level-1-course.php or visit our online CPD training courses here: http://www.1st4immigration.com/immigration-training-courses.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.

Email: info@1st4immigration.com
Phone: 0871 472 1468

Your most common question answered! When I get a UK Spouse visa, do I have to stay in the UK all the time?

We are asked this question almost every day! The purpose of a Spouse/Partner visa is for the foreign partner to reside in the UK with their British/settled spouse/partner. So, are there limits on how many days you (or your British spouse) can spend outside the UK while on this visa? Some think it is 90 days, others – 180 days per year. Both are wrong. The former is the old limit for work visas and the latter is the current limit for the visas under the Points-Based System. Neither applies to spouses and partners.

The answer is: there is no specified limit on absences. In other words, there is no minimum number of days, such as “180 per year”. The only rule is that the UK remains your main home and each case has to be assessed on its merit.

How does it work in practice? In our immigration practice we have to assess each case individually. For example, a case where a British spouse was sent, by their UK employer, to work in Hong Kong for 6 months, while remaining an employee for a UK company (and getting a salary in the UK and paying UK taxes). Yet it is a different thing when a British spouse was offered a job in Singapore for 1.5 years, for a Singapore-based employer and getting paid in Singapore.

Generally, you should maintain the UK as your home as much as possible. This can be achieved by keeping the bills and bank statements arriving to your UK address (including address of the parents if you didn’t keep your own place or had to stop renting while abroad). Another thing is the Financial Requirement. If you’re meeting it by using some or all earnings from your job outside the UK – it will be obvious you weren’t residing here. If you were working abroad for a few months while being paid a salary in the UK (to a UK bank account) then there is no problem with using a Category A or B (employment). Some other categories do not indicate where you were at all: savings or property rental income (other than the property where you are or will be living in the UK) can be in any country whether you’re residing there or not.

Other than the above, the more time you spend abroad the weaker your case will be, particularly if you spent more than 50% of the time outside the UK. On the other hand, this is a problem for Indefinite Leave applications (ILR, permanent residency), rather than for an extension because ILR is based on the residing for 5 years in the UK while extension isn’t based on any period of residency.

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, 24 November 2015

Updated Online OISC LEVEL 1 Course! Including a mock Level 1 Assessment and real case studies from a practicing OISC-accredited immigration company. CPD 16 hours , accepted by the OISC.

We have just updated our very popular Online OISC Level 1 course! You can download it to your computer and study in your own time. No need to travel to a classroom, no need to wait for the next date. You can start your immigration training right now!

We are a practicing OISC-accredited immigration company, we have designed this training material to be of practical help for those who are preparing for OISC accreditation at Level 1 and for compulsory Level 1 Assessment. Or perhaps to those who are planning to open a UK immigration consultancy based overseas. It would also be of interest for practicing advisers and immigration lawyers as well as for community group advisers, council or Citizens Advice Bureau workers, volunteers etc.


This is not a boring coverage of the Immigration Rules! We tried to keep the language as simple and entertaining as possible. See the Contents and Extracts on our website!

 
Download the course now: http://www.1st4immigration.com/training/online-oisc-level-1-course.php

Or if you prefer classroom training please visit: http://www.1st4immigration.com/training/classroom-oisc-level-1-course.php

Read here about the benefits and why our course is different: http://www.1st4immigration.com/training/online-oisc-level-1-course-differences.php

 

Here are 2 examples:

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

Read Extracts: http://www.1st4immigration.com/training/oisc-level-1-course-extracts.php


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.

The ‘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?

 
 

Monday, 16 November 2015

New rules from 12 November 2015: EEA nationals and their family member members now must apply for Permanent Residency if they want to apply for British Citizenship (before that it was voluntary).

From the point of view of immigration law practice this is a very big change and for many EEA nationals, and their family members, it means an additional visa application (extra fee, extra pack of documents etc).
 
The change is in the British nationality legislation, not in the EEA law, so it only affects those who are planning to apply for British Citizenship. On the other hand, many EEA nationals and especially their non-EEA family members plan to do exactly that.
 
 
EEA nationals and their direct family members (spouses, civil partners, children under 21 yo, dependent parents) gain automatic rights to reside in the UK, the right deriving from the European law. Subject to some conditions, such as exercising Treaty rights in the UK, but not subject to having to apply for a ‘visa stamp’. Visa stamp or not, they get their rights. It includes non-EEA direct family members, even though most still apply for a Residence Card.
 
After 5 years they qualify for permanent residency, EEA equivalent of Indefinite Leave, again automatically, without having to apply for a document confirming it (those who applied did so voluntarily). With ILR or without, it was possible to apply for British Citizenship as long as the conditions of qualifying for ILR were met. So it was about qualifying for permanent residency but not necessarily applying for it.
 
The above rules have not changed, ie the European Regulations have not changed. The change was made in the nationality law. From 12 November 2015 EEA citizens and their family members have to apply for a formal document to confirm their right of permanent residency in the UK – if they want to apply for British Citizenship. Those who apply for British Citizenship are now expected to have this document first. Those who aren’t applying for British Citizenship still don’t have to apply for permanent residency.
 
It looks like the burden of proving this right was shifted from the Nationality department at the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) to the EEA department. All Nationality department now has to do to judge permanent residency status is to simply look at the document issued by the EEA department (prior to that the Nationality department had to do all that work themselves).
 
For an individual advice or to make your application as successful please contact us: info@1st4immigration.com , we reply on the same working day. Or visit www.1st4immigration.com
 
If you are an Immigration Adviser or a Solicitor, and also need advice on the Rules, please email info@1st4immigration.com or visit our immigration Training and CDP website: www.1st4immigration.com/training   

Job Vacancy: OISC - accredited Immigration Consultant.

We are looking for an experienced Immigration Adviser with the current OISC accreditation. Level 1 would be sufficient but a higher level is welcome. Having a valid accreditation is compulsory (or recent one if you left your previous employment 2-3 months ago, so it can be transferred).

We have a small team, so it is important to be well-organised and capable to work without supervision. Good written and spoken English is required as well as good customer service and computer skills (Excel, Outlook).  

Main categories we deal with: spouse/partner visas and related issues, Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) and Tier 2, ILR, EEA law, British Citizenship. We are looking for an adviser with a proven casework experience and will be testing the knowledge of the Immigration Rules (particularly ability to find the answers on the Rules, such as who can switch to a visa, how to qualify for ILR etc).

Competitive salary is available for the right and hard-working candidate.  We are based in the City (Monument), office works Monday to Friday 9am-6pm, some travelling will be required, such as to Croydon for same-day UKVI service.

Please respond by email to info@1st4immigration.com  with your CV, current/expected salary, details of your OISC accreditation and when you can start working.

Company website: www.1st4immigration.com

 

Friday, 13 November 2015

Change, change, change! If you are an EEA national, or a family member of one, read this now!

The change is in the British nationality legislation regarding EEA nationals and their family members. It came in force on 12 November 2015 and has completely overhauled the way we used to work when helping EEA nationals and their family members to apply for British Citizenship.

EEA nationals and their direct family members (spouses, civil partners, children under 21 yo, dependant parents) gain automatic rights to reside in the UK, the right deriving from the European law. Subject to some conditions, such as exercising Treaty rights in the UK, but not subject to having to apply for a ‘visa stamp’. Visa stamp or not, they get their rights. It includes non-EEA direct family members, even though most still apply for a Residence Card.
After 5 years they qualify for permanent residency, EEA equivalent of Indefinite Leave, again automatically, without having to apply for a document confirming it (those who applied did so voluntarily). With ILR or without, it was possible to apply for British Citizenship as long as the conditions of qualifying for ILR were met. So it was about qualifying for permanent residency but not necessarily applying for it.

The above rules have not changed, ie the European Regulations have not changed.
The change was made in the nationality law. From 12 November 2015 EEA citizens and their family members have to apply for a formal document to confirm their right of permanent residency in the UK – if they want to apply for British Citizenship. Those who apply for British Citizenship are now expected to have this document first. Those who aren’t applying for British Citizenship still don’t have to apply for permanent residency.

It looks like the burden of proving this right was shifted from the Nationality department at the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) to the EEA department. All Nationality department now has to do to judge permanent residency status is to simply look at the document issued by the EEA department (prior to that the Nationality department had to do all that work themselves).

For an individual advice or to make your application as successful please contact us: info@1st4immigration.com , we reply on the same working day. Or visit www.1st4immigration.com

If you are an Immigration Adviser or a Solicitor, and also need advice on the Rules, please email info@1st4immigration.com or visit our immigration Training and CDP website: www.1st4immigration.com/training   

Advice session by email - immigration questions answered by the next working day!

As part of our services we offer advice session, which can be at our office (Monument area in The City of London) or over email. This is available to the migrants as well as to fellow immigrations advisers and solicitors, based in the UK or abroad.

Email advice has become very popular because it is available to anyone anywhere in the world, plus answers are written and you can refer to them later without a fear of forgetting or misunderstanding the advice given. You can also show it to your partner or to your employer.


We promise to provide answers to your queries by the end of the next working day after receipt of advice fee, which is at the average market price of £150 and is counted towards our service fee if you proceed with an application through us later. Advice fee can be paid online on our website or to our bank account.

Examples on the issues we can advise during the session: 

  • How you and your British spouse/partner can meet the Financial Requirement, particularly if you are both returning to the UK, having lived abroad.
  • We have extensive experience in working with various sources of income, including combinations of income: employment and savings, pension and savings, cash savings and investments, property rental income including from several properties or combined with another sources of income.
  • Combinations of income from both partners (or advising that only one partner's income may be sufficient, as the case may be).
  • When you have a Spouse/Partner visa, do you have to spend all your time in the UK?
  • Can a family member of a UK citizen apply under the Surinder Singh route under the European law? This route is very attractive and popular (and much cheaper than under the UK law), however, there are very specific requirements to meet.
  • How can an EU/EEA citizen, or a family member, apply for British Citizenship without applying for permanent residency first?
  • Do you pass the points test?
  • In case of a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa, what is a Genuine Entrepreneur Test and what questions are asked at the visa interviews? We are immigration entrepreneurs with 10 years of experience in this business, so we know both immigration law and entrepreneurship.
  • We have successfully dealt with the Entrepreneur applications for years and have experience of case scenarios, such as when the funds of £200,000 are provided by the third party sponsor (including a family member), when the funds are held abroad or when a client has a combination of such factors. We can answer specific questions on the rules about these very important points, which are the main reasons for refusals in this category (this category has a very high rate of refusals when the applicants apply without a representative and we would strongly recommend to use our professional services to get it right, as we deal with such applications on the day-to-day basis).
  • What if you changed your name, do you need to change your visa?
  • How can you qualify for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR, permanent residency), which visas can be combined and which can't be?
  • Can you leave the UK after you get an ILR and when it can become invalid?
  • What your employer has to do if they want to sponsor you under the Tier 2 category.
  • What if you want to change your employer?
  • Planning ILR applications for Tier 1 General migrants before April 2018.
  • Absences from the UK for ILR, are they within the limit?
  • What to do if you have a criminal conviction or a driving offence? How does it affect your ILR and Citizenship application (there are different requirements).
  • Which English tests are accepted and can you use a certificate from the test which has been disallowed since your last visa?
  • And many other issues!

To use this service please get in touch info@1st4immigration.com  or visit our website: http://www.1st4immigration.com/immigration-advice-sessions.php

If you are an Immigration Adviser or a Solicitor, and also need advice on the Rules, please email info@1st4immigration.com or visit our immigration Training and CDP website: www.1st4immigration.com/training   

Places still available! Points - Based System training Saturday 21 November: innovative, fun and practical course covering Tiers, Points, Dependants, qualifying for ILR. City of London. CPD 7 hours.

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 21 November 2015.   


Saturday 5 December 2015. 
Saturday 16 January 2016. 

 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.


Email: info@1st4immigration.com
Phone: 0871 472 1468