Saturday, 30 April 2016

English language test for spouses of British citizens: what is going on? Part 3: permanent residency (Indefinite Leave).

The current requirement of B1 level at the permanent residency stage remains unchanged, at least for now.
 
 
The question is what to do if you used a disapproved English test when applying for your 1st Spouse / Partner visa, then didn’t need to use anything for your extension, and are going to apply for Indefinite Leave, say, in 2017-2018?
 
 
Again, the devil is in detail, detail of the wording of the Immigration Rules. Currently, the wording implies that you’d need to have one of the currently approved tests (IELTS or one from Trinity College) and that test must have been taken no earlier than 2 years ago. For most it does mean taking another test or taking the same test again.  
 
 
 
 
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

English language test for spouses of British citizens: what is going on? Part 2: visa extension from October 2016 onwards.

If you are going to apply for your extension from October 2016 onwards you would need to demonstrate level A2  and not level A1. 
 
The rules for a Spouse / Partner extension, in terms of English language, are going to change in October 2016. For now, the level is A1 (most basic one) for both initial visa and for extension. However, the government thought it would be a good idea to demand a higher, A2 level, when it comes to extensions. The current requirement of B1 level at the permanent residency stage remains unchanged.   
 
So, A1 when you apply for the 1st visa, then A2 for extension and B1 for permanent residency. A1 is the most basic one, B1 is higher of these three and C2 is the highest altogether (fortunately, not required for now!)
 
What to do if you used a disapproved test when you applied for the 1st visa and are due for extension in October or later? It depends on the wording of the new rules and it is possible you’d need to take a test again, this time either IELTS or Trinity College one. We shall see.
 
 
Now read the Part 3 to find out about the rules (re English language) when applying for permanent residency after 5 years in the UK, particularly if you used a disapproved English test when applying for your 1st Spouse / Partner visa: http://1st4immigration-visas.blogspot.co.uk/2016/04/english-language-test-for-spouses-of_31.html
 
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 

 

 

English language test for spouses of British citizens: what is going on? Part 1: initial visa and extension before October 2016.

When it comes to the English language requirement for a spouse, partner or fiancé(e) of a UK citizen, it feels like it changes all the time –and it does! We also have to mention here that these rules do not apply to spouses of European (non-UK) citizens at all, only to spouses and partners of UK citizens applying for a settlement visa under the UK law.
 
Out of the old list of about 10 acceptable English tests only 2 continue to be “approved” from 15 November 2015. To make it more complicated, this short list of 2 tests was actually introduced from April 2015 but the old tests were still accepted until 15 November 2015.

The only 2 remaining tests are IELTS and one by Trinity College. These are the only tests which are no acceptable if you are applying for a Spouse / Partner / Fiance(e) visa for the first time, in the UK or outside the UK, even if you had used a different test for a different visa before that (such as if you used a different test for a Tier 2 visa and are now switching to a spouse visa inside the UK). Examples of the most popular test which are not acceptable anymore: TOEFL, TOEIC, Pearson.
 
It is a different story if you had already met the English language requirement, at A1 level, when you applied for your 1st Spouse / Partner  or a Fiancé(e) visa in the past and are now extending it after the initial 2.5 years.
 
Here the rules say: “If the applicant has not met the requirement in a previous application for leave as a partner or parent, the applicant must provide specified evidence that they ... have passed an English language test in speaking and listening at a minimum of level A1.” The link can be found here:  https://www.gov.uk/guidance/immigration-rules/immigration-rules-appendix-fm-family-members
 
So, if you are applying for an extension, ie for your 2nd spouse/partner visa (or switching from fiance(e) to spouse) then you don’t need to meet this requirement again, at all, even if you previously used one of the tests which is no longer on the approved list. You just ignore this requirement for now altogether unless ...
 
Now read our next post about the upcoming changes for spouses and partner of Brits applying for an extension from October 2016 onwards: http://1st4immigration-visas.blogspot.co.uk/2016/04/english-language-test-for-spouses-of_30.html
 
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

Thursday, 28 April 2016

New successful case and testimonial on a UK Spouse visa application in the UK using Premium same-day service.

“I just wanted to thank you for the excellent work done by your team. Our application went through easily and we got our decision. I was really impressed with the way you handled us from the beginning till the end. Thanks once again, I’ll definitely be recommending you guys to friends and family.”

This came from Temabor, a British citizen whose spouse is from Nigeria. We submitted a Spouse application using same-day service in Croydon and it all went well on the day! The result is a Spouse visa for 2.5 years. Same-day service may be more expensive but it has a benefit of getting a decision on the day, without having to spend weeks or even months worrying how your application is going and whether there are any problems. Furthermore, since the decision is made on the day, the original  passports are also returned on the day.

Here we used income from employment to meet the Financial Requirement (£18,600). If you would like to read about the rules on employment, it is under Appendix FM, Family Life with a Partner, Entry Clearance, Financial Requirement, Category A or B: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/immigration-rules/immigration-rules-appendix-fm-family-members

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 

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 as well as a Points-Based System course and we also have online training courses, including Online OISC Level 1 course and courses focusing on Spouse/Partner visas. All our training courses are CPD-accredited with CPD credit accepted by  OISC.  

Thursday, 21 April 2016

New successful case and testimonial on a UK Spouse visa from Brazil for a Brazilian spouse of a UK citizen.

“Hi,  my name is Ana Paula, I am from Brazil. Have been married to a British citizen for nearly 10 years but went to Brazil in 2011 because of my family.  We ended up staying there until 2013. In April 2013 my husband and I were planning to return to UK for good and suddenly the immigration law in the UK was changed. I was not allowed to continue to stay in the UK as my old spouse visa expired years before. I had to stay as a tourist for 6 months and I ended up leaving the country and  my lovely husband ! Was so sad and no idea what to do! I left my husband in the UK and was back alone to Brazil, so we were looking for a lawyer in UK who can help us to sort my case, so we found 1st 4Immigration company in London! They started the process with my case and thank god 1st 4Immigration company helped with my case. I now have my visa! They very good and professional lawyers. If anybody needs help to get a Spouse visa or other visa please contact them ! They are such a good company to sort an immigration problem! Thanks so much for all your help with my visa!!”  

This came from Ana, a Brazilian national married to her British husband Peter. The change in the law she is referring to above is the change on 9 July 2012, meaning she no longer qualified under the old rules because her pervious Spouse visa had expired several years ago and she had to ‘start again’ under the new rules, which are still valid on this date.

Ana did have to wait for a long while to finally make an application in January 2016 due to the Immigration Rules on the Financial Requirement. As part of it was met through savings, Ana had to wait for 6 months while maintaining the required balance on her account in Brazil.  

If you would like to read about the rules on savings, it is under Appendix FM, Family Life with a Partner, Entry Clearance, Financial Requirement: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/immigration-rules/immigration-rules-appendix-fm-family-members

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 

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 as well as a Points-Based System course and we also have online training courses, including Online OISC Level 1 course and courses focusing on Spouse/Partner visas. All our training courses are CPD-accredited with CPD credit accepted by  OISC.  

 

Monday, 18 April 2016

New successful case and testimonial on Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR, permanent residency visa) for an Indian national who spent 5 years in the UK on a combination of Tier 2 and Tier 1 (General) visas.

“Thank you all for all your help with this process. Good work!! That's one thing off the mind now!! I dealt with different team members of 1ST 4Immigration during my ILR process (different from the team during the previous visa application), everyone was very helpful and quick with their responses. The answers were very clear, precise and were in line with the latest immigration rules and regulations. I did not have to worry too much about the process. I was guided and helped at each step of the application. If I need 1St 4 immigration for any of the services in future that they provide, I will not hesitate. Thanks to the entire team to help me with my ILR.” 

 
This came from Vish, an Indian citizen, who spent 5 years on Tier 2 and later Tier 1 (General) visas in the UK and it was time to apply for  Indefinite Leave. The “one thing” off the mind Vish is referring to is a very big thing of obtaining permanent residency – ILR. This is indeed a big box to tick! Vish was using earnings from his own limited company in the UK to meet the points for Previous Earnings.  

The next step will be to apply for British Citizenship, which can usually be done after 12 months.   However, there are also other requirements, such as on absences from the UK, which have to be observed. The good thing about applications for Citizenship is that we don’t submit the original passports, so our clients can travel abroad while their applications are being considered.
 
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 OISC Level 1 training, both online and in the classroom, a Points-Based System course and we also have online training courses. All our training courses are CPD-accredited with CPD credit accepted by  OISC.

UK Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa: more on interview questions.

Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa rules are almost like a living organism, which changes and evolves all the time, hence we have to keep up and constantly remain up-to-date. It is indeed the case of “blinking” and missing a small but important nuance in the Rules, which may in turn ruin the whole application.

In our experience more and more visa applicants are invited for an interview, so this post sheds more light on the subject of the questions that may be asked at an Entrepreneur interview.

Most importantly, it is crucial that you remain consistent in your answers, consistent with what is written in your business plan. If your answers differ from what is written in your business plan, it is likely to be stated in a refusal letter.

Previous experience and qualifications

You may be asked some questions to examine whether you possess the necessary experience and skills that required for your business idea, as mentioned in your business plan.  

Examples:

Can you provide more details on your work for Company A?

When did you complete your  degree?

Looking at your CV, can you explain how your previous experience will help you with your business venture?

How is your educational background linked to the business?

If your experience or degree is not linked to your business, what transferrable skills will you employ in your business?

Why do you only want to do this business?

Why you want to do business in UK?

During your last period of leave, what genuine credible steps have you taken to prepare, plan, develop and launch your business in the UK?

Are there any team members in your business plan?

How did you become a team?

What will be the role for each team member in the business?

How will each team member contribute to the business?

Business plan

The interviewer will check that you genuinely propose to operate a business in the UK as you have discussed in your business plan. These questions might be quite detailed and can include questions on the legalities of running a business in the UK.

You must study the business plan in depth as you are expected to have clear understanding of the business.

Typical questions:

Do you have business insurance? 

Can you provide more details on your outline agreement with Company A or Company B

What is the minimum wage in the UK?  

Who wrote the Business Plan?

What is your business plan?  

What sort of Insurance and how much coverage do you require for your business?

As you are providing services to the public, have you already gained your employers liability insurance?  

What kind of premises would you acquire/let and what are their dimensions?   

How many employees do you intend to recruit at the start of business and what annual salaries and wages do you intend to pay them

What is your marketing strategy and what means of marketing you will use?

Your future plans for business?

Have you registered your business with the appropriate UK bodies? If so, who?  

Business success


Typical questions:

In your business plan, why do sales revenues increase substantially in Year 3?

How much profit will you make per sale?

How many competitors to your company are there in the UK? 

Why the profit increase

In your business plan, how will profits change from year 1 to year 2 and why?  

How much profit will you make per sale?

How many competitors to your company are there in the UK?

What market research have you undertaken in relation to the area in which your business will be located?

What part of UK do you intend to establish this business and why specifically this area why not somewhere else?

How will you cover unexpected additional running cost for your business?

Would you then sell its shares to public and for how much?

How confident are you that the business will generate profits in first year?  

What advantage or edge would you have over them and where do you see yourself or your Business in three years’ time?

There is serious competition in the specified business area, there are people doing business brilliantly. What makes you think you will survive or thrive?

IMMIGRATION HISTORY

These questions will usually focus on where you have lived/worked and whether you have visited the UK before.

Typical questions:

Why is there a different surname on your US visa?

Why did you stay in the UK in 2013 after your leave had expired?  

How many times have you visited the UK and for what reasons?

Why did you stay in the UK in previous years? How many times have you visited the UK and for what reasons?

Did you ever contemplate extending your existing visa?

What have you done since you moved away from the UK?

What was the last time you travelled to UK?

What was the purpose of stay?

Do you have any relatives in the UK?  

Who helped you put in the application?  

Can you give me a brief history of your immigration status in the UK?

What are your long-term aims of remaining in the UK?

Do you intend to apply for settlement or do you plan on returning to your country of origin?

For an individual advice or to make an application 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

If you are an Immigration Adviser or a Solicitor please visit our immigration Training and CPD website: www.1st4immigration.com/training . We provide online and classroom training which awards CPD hours and accepted by the OISC towards your annual CPD credit.  

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

New successful case and testimonial on Tier 1 (Investor) visa extension.

“I know “1st 4Immigration Ltd” from early 2014 when I needed to receive expert advice on my immigration case which was quite specific and challenging. My friend highly recommended me the services of Mrs Natalia Andrews of “1st 4Immigration Ltd” as she was very impressed with the professionalism of Mrs Andrews and her colleagues. Initially, I needed just a one-off advice but having recognised the quality of “1st 4Immigration Ltd” and their emphasis on individualized attention I switched to annual counselling scheme.

Mrs Natalia Andrews and Mr Neil White did an excellent job providing me with the confidence that my immigration matters are monitored and managed very well. In my opinion, the three most important factors in an immigration case are knowledge of the subject, accuracy and meeting the deadlines. My expectations with “1st 4Immigration Ltd” were delivered: the deadlines scheduled and met; news and regulations updated and communicated; everybody in the team was aware of my case; and as the result my desired immigration status was obtained. Moreover, understanding my time-critical situation, Mr Neil White made himself available even after working hours and during the weekends.  

I have built an excellent relationship with Nataliya and Neil, not only they are top professionals but also kind and friendly persons and I have a great impression of them and will be happy to extend our cooperation further.”

This came from Mr N, national of Turkmenistan. The client’s family had initial Tier 1 (Investor) visas, main and dependent visas, entry clearance issued in Turkmenistan, for 3 years. There are certain conditions which Investor migrants have to comply with during that time, this is why Mr N chose our compliance service where for an annual fee we are providing counseling and support to ensure that all the requirements have been adhered to. The family subsequently applied for a Tier 1 Investor extension which was granted for 2 years and which took approx 3 weeks to be considered. Since the initial application was made before the rules changed in November 2014, the application was considered under the ‘old rules’, ie with investment of £1 million. The nest step will be applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR).

If you are interested in our Compliance Service for Investors and Entrepreneurs please visit our website: http://www.1st4immigration.com/compliance-services-for-entrepreneurs-investors.php  

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

If you are an Immigration Adviser or a Solicitor please visit our immigration Training and CPD website: www.1st4immigration.com/training We have OISC Level 1 course, a Points-Based System course 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.  
 

Friday, 8 April 2016

Places still available! OISC Level 1 course, Friday - Saturday 22-23rd April 2016, City of London, from a practising OISC-accredited immigration company. CPD 10 hours accepted by the OISC.

Join us for this very informative and practical 2-day course at our office in the City of London!  UK Immigration Rules, visas, switching, visas for spouses and partners, what a great idea! Or perhaps you would enjoy learning about British Citizenship or Points-Based System, EU/EEA applications and European law?  

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:
  

22-23 April 2016


Our tutors are our very own OISC-accredited practicing immigration advisers who handle the real cases during the week.
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 aprinted 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.comPhone: 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?

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

New successful case and testimonial on a UK Fiancée visa for a Ukrainian national

"A great service from 1st 4Immigration. Held our hand the entire way through this emotional & complex process. From first meeting to the very end we were given professional reassurance. Always there at the end of a frustrated email to calm our nerves by providing guidance and reassurance. I have no hesitation in recommending anyone needing a visa take up the services of this great team. Finally, we were so very happy when my fiancée collected her successful visa, and the value was only a little tainted by the two poor souls before her at the collection office that hadn’t received visa’s. Needless to say they’d not had the benefit of 1st 4Immigration's wonderful help and had tried to do it alone." 

This came from Iain, a British citizen whose partner is originally from Ukraine. 

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 

 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.