Saturday, 23 May 2020

UK visa work continues and visa centres reopen - latest update


UK immigration authorities continue to process visa applications, albeit still at a slower pace and without Priority services. However, the visa centres are beginning to reopen in the UK and abroad from 1 June 2020 for submission of biometrics (fingerprints). To start with, they are re-booking appointments for the applicants who had booked a slot prior to the lockdown and had them cancelled.

Regardless of that, it is still possible to submit your application online. If your visa expires soon, you can apply for your next visa online and "on-time", i.e. before your current visa expires, and then waiting for further steps. This keeps you within the Rules and does not make you an overstayer. 

Even better, the actual documents (supporting evidence) can be submitted later, thus giving you even more time to prepare them. Usually, within 45 days after the online "submission". It may be extended due to the Covid situation (but no dates confirmed yet). There is an 'informal confirmation' of 8 months (240 days) but it's not an official policy. It will, however, be extended for as long as needed to clear up the backlog. 

If you can, it is a good idea to make your application now. When we are back to normal, it will have its place in the Government queue! And in the queue for biometric appointments. No one knows at the moment how long it would take for a decision, but the sooner it is submitted, the sooner it will be looked at.

We at 1st 4Immigration continue to work from remotely, but as normal nonetheless: via email, WhatsApp, Skype, phone, Dropbox and similar. Visa applications are prepared, analysed and submitted electronically. Our advice sessions are also running as normal via Whats App, Skype and email. You can book a consultation here.

If you need any help from us, or any questions, please do get in touch!

1st 4Immigration OISC ref F200800152 - we reply on the same working day!
What’s app worldwide +447795471483 

Wednesday, 20 May 2020

🎓 Online OISC Level 1 training

We have moved all our training online! 

We now offer OISC Level 1 course livestream on Zoom and Skype 13-14 June, 1-2 July and 4-5 August 2020.

It is a 2-day course, 10.00 - 16.00 with breaks. CPD 10 hours. Price £250+VAT. It is live training (livestream), where you can interact with the tutor and ask your questions. You can check the dates and book here.

We also continue to run our best-selling Self-study OISC Level 1 course, based on an electronic textbook. 

You can study in your own time, at your own pace, from any device at any place. CPD 16 hours. Price £199+VAT. You can find it here.  

Our courses are CPD-accredited by The CPD Standards Office, reference 80001.

Extracts from How To Use the Immigration Rules:

The ‘Other way around principle’: when trying to find out whether a migrant can switch from one visa category to another, most people would go to the section of the Rules that covers their current visa. Then looking for what they can switch or extend to. For example, a Tier 4 student would go to the Tier 4 rules and try to understand whether they can switch to a work or Spouse visa. It works ‘Other way around’: you have to go to the section about the visa you are switching to, find Requirements for a Leave to Remain, and see whether your current category is listed there as one of those ‘the applicant must have one of the following’. In our example, a Tier 4 student, trying to find out if they can switch to a Tier 2 (General) visa, you have to go to Part 6A, find Tier 2 (General) Requirements for a Leave to Remain, then ‘the applicant must have been granted one of the following’ and here is Tier 4 on the list. If not on the list - can’t switch. For example, Tier 2 won’t have a visitor or Tier 5 YMS on the list.

Extracts from Spouse/Partner visa - Financial Requirement £18,600:

What is a full financial year for a self-employed person? A self-employed person is what HMRC calls a sole trader , ie self-employed without a company. It is not what we envisage under the common sense definition of ‘working for yourself’, with can be as a sole trader, a company director and other forms, like a partnership. For a ’self-employed’ person, a full financial year is a tax year, ie a year ending 5 April. So, you have to submit your tax return, even if it means earlier than HMRC deadline of 31 January next year, generate HMRC Tax Calculation and go by the line Profit From Self-Employment, which must be minimum £18,600 for a spouse visa. 

1st 4Immigration is one of the most experienced UK immigration law companies, OISC - accredited at the highest Level 3. We have been in business for over 10 years, our OISC reference is 200800152, in which 2008 stands for the year accreditation. Office: Tower 42, 25 Old Broad Street, London, EC2N 1HN. 

Tuesday, 19 May 2020

Health Surcharge will increase to £624 - apply now if eligible!

Whilst we are pre-occupied with Coronavirus, there are other changes happening in the UK immigration field. Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) is expected to soar from the £400 to £624 per year from October 2020! The Government is known for confirming such changes at a short notice, sometimes earlier than expected - to prevent the rush of applications before the change.

If you are eligible - apply now to save money! 
For a typical 2.5-year Spouse visa, IHS would increase from £1,000 (£400 x 2.5) to £1,560! For a 3-year Tier 2 work visa, from £1,200 to £1,872! That’s in addition to the 'application fee' and it is per person, i.e. the same for a spouse and each child. 

If you are planning your UK entry visa, such as a Spouse/Partner visa or Tier 2 work visa, you can apply ’now’, pay the current IHS amount, and wait for the next steps. When visa centres re-open in your country, you will be able to submit biometrics (fingerprints) and provide supporting documents. It doesn't matter how long it will take - your date of payment will be fixed as ’now’ at the lower amount. 

If you need to extend your UK visa, such as after initial 2.5 years on a Spouse visa, you can apply within 28 days before your current visa expires. We can start working on your case now and submit online as soon as you are eligible, pay the current (lower) IHS amount if it's before the change, and wait for the visa centres to open. During the wait, your status remains the same as on the current visa for as long as it takes for a decision.

You can also apply without English or Life in the UK test, then wait for the test centres to re-open, sit the test and continue accordingly. 

IHS does not apply to applications for Indefinite Leave, British Citizenship and EU Settlement Scheme. 

To start your application, please get in touch by Replying to this email.  
To book a consultation to discuss your case, please follow this link.
We continue to work as normal, providing online/email/WhatsApp consultations and considering documents over Dropbox and similar. 

1st 4Immigration team, OISC ref F200800152 - we reply on the same working day! 
What’s app worldwide +447795471483