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Legal Developments in the The Legal 500 UK 2020

Court of Justice rules on source of income for Derivative Residence applications

October 2019 - Immigration. Legal Developments by Richmond Chambers.

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On 2 October 2019, the Court of Justice delivered its judgment in Bajratari v Secretary of State for the Home Department (Directive 2004/38/EC) Case C-93/18 which concerns Chen applications and the source of funds for self-sufficiency. 

End of the ‘centre of life test’ in Surinder Singh cases?

October 2019 - Immigration. Legal Developments by Richmond Chambers.

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In the recent case of ZA (Reg 9. EEA Regs; abuse of rights) Afghanistan [2019] UKUT 281 (IAC), the Upper Tribunal found that there is no basis in EU law for the centre of life test, as set out in Regulation 9(3)(a) of the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2016 (the “Regulations”). It further found that it is not to be applied when Judges assess Surinder Singh cases that appear before them.

Terms of employment as a sole representative

October 2019 - Immigration. Legal Developments by Richmond Chambers.

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In this article we examine the working arrangements of sole representatives, looking at the terms and conditions of employment that the Home Office will expect a sole representative to have in order to qualify as a representative of an overseas business.  

Can Sole Representatives Be Shareholders?

October 2019 - Immigration. Legal Developments by Richmond Chambers.

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The Immigration Rules require that an applicant for a sole representative visa is not “a majority shareholder in the overseas business”.

Immigration Skills Charge - A Guide for Employers

October 2019 - Immigration. Legal Developments by Richmond Chambers.

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As a Sponsor, you may be required to pay the Immigration Skills Charge (ISC) each time you sponsor a migrant in the Tier 2 General or Intra-Company Transfer (ICT) Long-term Staff subcategory.

5 FAQS about paragraph 320(11)

October 2019 - Immigration. Legal Developments by Richmond Chambers.

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In applications for entry clearance where the applicant has a negative immigration history in the UK, the application may be refused under the general grounds for refusal, which are found in part 9 of the Immigration Rules. Where an applicant has  ‘previously contrived in a significant way to frustrate the intentions of the Immigration Rules’,  the application could be refused under paragraph 320(11). In this post we look at five frequently asked questions about paragraph 320(11). 

Multiple nationality and multiple citizenship (including dual nationality and dual citizenship)

October 2019 - Immigration. Legal Developments by Richmond Chambers.

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British nationality law permits multiple nationality and multiple citizenship, including dual nationality and dual citizenship.

Applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain in the Exceptional Talent or Promise Category

October 2019 - Immigration. Legal Developments by Richmond Chambers.

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The Exceptional Talent and Exceptional Promise categories are for individuals who are recognised leaders or emerging leaders in their field of expertise. There are a number of endorsing bodies for lots of different fields of work, including artists and musiciansarchitectsdigital expertsscientists and academics. While there isn’t an endorsing body for every expert, the growing list means that many individuals could enjoy the flexibility that this category has to offer. 

Rights of appeal after the Immigration Act 2014

September 2019 - Immigration. Legal Developments by Richmond Chambers.

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The Immigration Act 2014 (“the 2014 Act”) reduced the circumstances in which the refusal of an immigration application will give rise to a right of appeal. The explanatory notes to the 2014 Act state that the Act was intended to restructure rights of appeal to the Immigration Tribunal. Previously, a right of appeal to the Immigration Tribunal existed against any of the 14 different immigration decisions listed in s.82 of the  Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 (“the 2002 Act”). As explained below, whether or not the refusal of an immigration application currently generates a right of appeal depends on the subject matter of the application rather than its categorisation.

New Graduate Visa route for international students announced by Home Office

September 2019 - Immigration. Legal Developments by Richmond Chambers.

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Today the Government announced plans for a new Graduate Visa which will enable international students to work in the UK for two years following their graduation, a significant increase from the current permitted duration of four months. The decision to introduce a Graduate Visa has been welcomed by numerous politicians and universities, and will no doubt be welcomed by students too. 

Changes to the Business, Investment & Talent Categories

September 2019 - Immigration. Legal Developments by Richmond Chambers.

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On 9 September 2019, the Home Office presented its latest Statement of Changes to the Immigration Rules (HC 2631). A number of minor amendments are being introduced to the business, investment and talent immigration categories. 

The Status of Hong Kong British National (Overseas) Citizens

September 2019 - Immigration. Legal Developments by Richmond Chambers.

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British nationality is somewhat unique as there are various different forms of nationality, with fewer rights attached to them than being a ‘British Citizen’. These are a consequence of the UK’s close historical connection with many foreign states and territories during the time of the British Empire. This blog post discusses Hong Kong and the status of British National (Overseas) Citizens, including their eligibility for settlement in the UK and British citizenship.

Home Office recognise deficiency in EEA Regulations

September 2019 - Immigration. Legal Developments by Richmond Chambers.

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Correspondence published by the Upper Tribunal on 3rd September 2019 has revealed that the Home Office is unsure when the Immigration (EEA) Regulations 2016 will be amended to fully recognise appeal rights for extended family members of EEA nationals, but that appeals should still be heard by Tribunals.

What is the Tier 2 Minimum Salary Requirement?

September 2019 - Immigration. Legal Developments by Richmond Chambers.

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The Tier 2 visa is for those who have received an offer of a skilled job from a licensed sponsor in the UK. Among other eligibility requirements, you must meet the minimum salary requirement. The minimum salary requirement is highly dependent on the specific Tier 2 visa the migrant is applying for. The rules regarding the minimum salary requirements are summarised below.

Immigration Rules designed to keep families together cause families to be separated

September 2019 - Immigration. Legal Developments by Richmond Chambers.

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Individuals coming to the UK for work or investment purposes, such as Entrepreneurs, InnovatorsInvestorsSponsored Workers and Sole Representatives, are usually able to bring family members with them, including a Spouse or Partner and children who are under the age of 18. However, there are specific rules in place which can make it difficult for some families to bring their children. In this article we will look at what the Immigration Rules require, why they are not fit for purpose and what applicants can do about it. 

The new European Temporary Leave to Remain Scheme

September 2019 - Immigration. Legal Developments by Gulbenkian Andonian Solicitors.

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The best immigration solicitors London confirm that the British government plans on implementing a transitional period for EU/EEA citizens who would like to move to the UK after October 31st 2019 until December 31st 2020.

Tier 4 Student Visa Changes as of September 2019

September 2019 - Immigration. Legal Developments by Gulbenkian Andonian Solicitors.

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Our team of top immigration solicitors London confirm that the Tier 4 Student Visa rules have changed once again where applicants who are keen to study in the UK will be allowed to stay in the country for 2 years (as opposed to 4 months) to look for a job after their studies. The new rules will take effect from 2020 and will only be relevant to applicants who come to the UK to study next year.

The latest changes to UK Immigration rules explained by Dr Bernard Andonian

September 2019 - Immigration. Legal Developments by Gulbenkian Andonian Solicitors.

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In his latest article Dr Bernard Andonian, founder of our firm and one of the best immigration lawyers London explains the latest changes that have come in to effect in the UK’s immigration legal system from September 2019.

Home Office Profited £500m from Immigration Fees in 2018

September 2019 - Immigration. Legal Developments by Gulbenkian Andonian Solicitors.

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Top immigration lawyers were shocked to hear that a recent investigation carried out by The Times newspaper found that the Home Office made a profit of £500 million in 2018 from the increase in fees of many UK immigration applications. We were also shocked to hear that the Home Office has actually doubled its profits over the last 4 years wherein 2014 it made £260 million which is almost half of what was gained in 2018 i.e £500 million.

The Creation of the New Global Talent Visa

September 2019 - Immigration. Legal Developments by Gulbenkian Andonian Solicitors.

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Immigration solicitors London confirm that on the August 8th 2019, UK PM Boris Johnson announced that in the light of Brexit, his government will create a new Global Talent Visa to make a fast track system that will encourage the migration of leading individuals who have an expertise in the fields of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM’s) into the UK.

Latest Immigration Figures of the New Innovator and Start-up Visa

September 2019 - Immigration. Legal Developments by Gulbenkian Andonian Solicitors.

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Our team of immigration lawyers analysed a set of statistics from the Home Office that measured UK immigration entries and it showed that the new Tier 1 Innovator Visa and Tier 1 Start-Up Visa routes have not been very successful since their inauguration on 29th March 2019.

BREXIT UPDATE: UK Immigration Rules for EU Citizens set to Change Again

September 2019 - Immigration. Legal Developments by Gulbenkian Andonian Solicitors.

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Our team of immigration solicitors confirm that after the most recent political developments on Brexit in Westminister the UK Government, will, once again, change its position on EU immigration in the UK and will be liberalising the rules for them after a possible no-deal Brexit.

Fragmentation of the EU on the raw issue of economic migration

Nearly all EU leaders, save for Angela Merkel the German Chancellor, agree that the unending tide of # illegal migration into Europe can't continue unabated.

The creation of an Australian Points Based Immigration System in the UK

The top immigration Lawyers London state that since the election of the new UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, a big change has occurred in political rhetoric of the country regarding the future of the UK’s immigration policies where the words “Australian Points Based System” been showcased in the mainstream media.

The Home Office spent £250K+ on deportation flights in a 3 month period that were never used

Immigration solicitors London who work at our firm wrote a new opinion piec discussing the very disturbing article published by the Guardian newspaper in London on July 30th 2019. The article claimed that around 12,000 immigrants are removed by force each year in the UK and a further 20,000 are removed under the voluntary returns route. Furthermore, when making such removals the UK government uses charter flights that have removed people to numerous different countries including Ghana, Pakistan, India, Nigeria, Albania and Jamaica amongst others.

Brexit and British Passport Renewals

We are being told again and again by the current UK government that the United Kingdom will leave the EU on October 31, 2019, with or without a deal. Immigration lawyers London state that if we do leave the EU with a deal then with regards to immigration rules, travel for British passport holders to the EU should remain the same. However, if the UK leaves the EU without a deal then this could cause major problems for people who will travel one of which being the six month validity rule which will be applied to British passport holders.

We Explain The Move from Postal to Online In-Country Visa Applications

Dr Bernard Andonian co-founder and consultant Solicitor at Gulbenkian Andonian Solicitors discusses the new move from postal to online in-country visa applications. As a member of our team of top immigration solicitors London, Dr Andonian has a wide array of expertise on all issues related to UK immigration and human rights law.

Limited Leave To Remain Application Costs Have Become Unaffordable

After reading an article on poltiics.co.uk dated August 6th 2019, our immigration lawyers London agree that there is a big problem with those who find themselves on the “limited leave to remain status” who claim that no matter even if you spend the majority of your life in the UK this means nothing. 

If you are a Tier 2 or Tier 5 Visa Sponsor, You must follow the rules!

The best immigration solicitors London state that if you are an employer who has a sponsor licence for Tier 2 visa or Tier 5 visa applicants you must comply with Home Office investigation requests otherwise this could lead you into serious problems where you can be blacklisted as being uncooperative or your license can even be taken away or downgraded.

Forced Marriages in the UK and their Distinction from Arranged Marriages

Dr Bernard Andonian, co-founder and consultant solicitor at Gulbenkian Andonian Solicitors discusses problems in the UK surrounding forced marriages and distinguishes them from customary arranged marriages.

Can you Bring your Partner & Children to the UK if you are on the Tier 4 Student Visa?

Immigration Solicitors London confirm that those of you who are on the Tier 4 Student Visa route and have managed to secure a place at a UK university could be eligible to bring your non-EEA family members to the UK during the time of your studies. The current rules in place permit partners and children under the age of 18  to gain entry clearance and join Tier 4 Student Visa holders if some specific criteria are met.

What are Public Funds & Can You Receive Them?

Learn about Public Funds in the UK and we will happily explain to you how this system works if you are residing there as a migrant.

The new Prime Minister of the UK Boris Johnson and EU Immigration

The word Brexit has been in the British mainstream media since the 2016 referendum and Immigration solicitors UK agree that it is no doubt causing much stress and uncertainty for those EU nationals living in the UK and also for all the  UK nationals living in Europe. Furthermore, the recent election of Boris Johnson as the new Prime Minister, who does not oppose the outcome of a No Deal Brexit, will not, as far as we can tell until now change the policies that were put in place by the former Prime Minister Theresa May to accommodate EU nationals in the lead up to the U.K.’s departure from the EU with regards to applying through the EU Settlement Scheme.

We Explain Indefinite Leave to Remain, Indefinite Leave to Enter, Permanent Residence & Settlement

Numerous words in UK immigration terminology can make it all quite tricky and confusing to understand and a classic example of this is when discussing the status of Indefinite Leave to Remain which can also be referred to as Permanent Residence, Indefinite Leave to Enter and Settlement. These all essentially mean the same thing, i.e. when an individual has an unlimited time limit to stay in the UK.

UK Court orders the return of deported Ugandan Lesbian found in bed with a man

Dr Bernard Andonian, co-founder and one of our consultant immigration lawyers London at Gulbenkian Andonian Solicitors, discusses the technicalities of judicial independence in the UK in the case that involved a Ugandan lesbian national who was deported after found sharing a bed with a man. This lady must now be returned to the UK by the order of the High Court.

Click here to read the full article on our website

Can you come to the UK as a Partner/Spouse without Enough Money

Leading immigration solicitors London at Gulbenkian Andonian discuss whether it is allowed for a foreign husband or wife or partner still come to the UK on a Spouse Visa (under the 5-year route) if he/she does not meet the minimum £18,600 maintenance requirement which is stated in the UK immigration rules.

Click here to read the full article on our website.

Top 10 Spouse Visa Extension FAQs

August 2019 - Immigration. Legal Developments by Richmond Chambers.

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There comes a time in every UK spouse visa holder’s life when their thoughts naturally turn to …. applying for an extension of stay.  That time normally comes a few months before they have been living in the UK as a spouse of a British citizen or settled person for 2.5 years.  In this post we look at ten of the most common questions asked by spouse visa holders when considering applying for a spouse visa extension.

ILR after 5 years residence in the UK

August 2019 - Immigration. Legal Developments by Richmond Chambers.

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There are a number of immigration categories where it is possible to qualify for indefinite leave to remain ILR after 5 years.  Some of these categories include a requirement to spend not more than 180 days outside the UK in any 12 month period during the 5 years.  In this post we look at the immigration routes which permit ILR after 5 years and the continuous residence requirement.

Tier 2 Sponsor Licence Application - A Guide For Employers

August 2019 - Immigration. Legal Developments by Richmond Chambers.

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In order to employ skilled workers with a long-term job offer from outside the EU, UK employers must first submit a Tier 2 Sponsor Licence application.  Non-EEA nationals must have a job offer from an employer that has made a successful Tier 2 Sponsor Licence application before they can apply to come to, or remain in, the UK for work.  In this post we provide a short guide for employers about making a Tier 2 Sponsor Licence application.

Indefinite Leave to Remain ILR: A Complete Guide

August 2019 - Immigration. Legal Developments by Richmond Chambers.

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Not quite citizenship, and yet more than just a visa … the status of Indefinite Leave to Remain or ILR has its own specific characteristics. In this post, we take a look at some of the most frequently asked questions from those who have been granted Indefinite Leave to Remain status, including how to prove it, the rights that it gives you, and how it can be lost or maintained. 

10 Years Long Residence ILR Application Guide

August 2019 - Immigration. Legal Developments by Richmond Chambers.

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The 10 years long residence route to indefinite leave to remain (ILR) provides a route to settlement based on continuous lawful residence in the UK for a period of 10 years.  In this post, we look at the requirements for a successful application for ILR on the basis of 10 years long residence.

Entrepreneur visa extension: Required documents

August 2019 - Immigration. Legal Developments by Richmond Chambers.

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The Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa route closed to new applicants on 29 March 2019. However, if you entered the category prior to this date, a Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa extension application may well be within your sights. In this post we look at two recent decisions of the Court of Appeal and Administrative Court which emphasise the importance of ensuring that a Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa extension application is supported by the right documents, in the right format.

Unreasonable Costs in Immigration Appeals

August 2019 - Immigration. Legal Developments by Richmond Chambers.

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Prior to 2014, it was not possible to get an award for unreasonable costs in immigration appeals. However, Rule 9(2) of the Tribunal Procedure (First-tier Tribunal) (Immigration and Asylum Chambers) Rules 2014 changed this, stating that the Tribunal may make an order in respect of costs if a person has acted unreasonably in bringing, defending or conducting proceedings. 

If you are a UK business can you hire a student who has Tier 4 study Visa?

Gulbenkian Andonian employs some of the top immigration lawyers in London and can be of valuable assistance if you are a company wanting to explore your options in hiring Tier 4 student visa holders.

Paper Applications for the EU Settlement Scheme

The UK will leave the EU later this year at the end of October and preparations have started to take place on behalf of EU and EEA citizens to secure their immigration status in the UK before this happens.

How Much Does It Cost To Sponsor A Tier 2 Migrant?

If you are thinking about sponsoring a Tier 2 Visa migrant it is important to stay informed on the fees involved when you make this application.

Our Expert UK Immigration Services

Gulbenkian Andonian is one of the leading immigration law firms in London & the UK and is listed in the Legal 500 hall of Fame. Our immigration law firm in London is the only UK member of the European Immigration Lawyers Group, which specialises in various immigration fields including employees moving from one EU member state to another and assisting non-EU nationals needing immigration assistance. We have acted for many company and commercial clients , including investors , innovators , business persons , sole representatives and individual applicants . We also have decades of experience in filing and obtaining all types of UK visas and work permits for our corporate and individual clients including Tier 1, Tier 2, Tier 4, Tier 5 Visa Applications, British Passport Applications , Indefinite Leave to Remain Applications, Spouse Visa Applications and more.

We can Help You With The NEW Tier 1 Start-up Visa

The new Tier 1 Start-up Visa category is an expanded version of the Graduate Entrepreneur visa route. The start-up visa will be available to anyone who is going to, for the first time, start a business in the UK. If you are an approved applicant, you will be given a visa for two years and will be able to switch to the new Tier 1 Innovator Visa which will allow you to continue to work and have your business in the UK.

Gulbenkian Andonian Solicitors can help with your Tier 1 Investor Visa

Over the years the team at Gulbenkian Andonian Solicitors have dealt with a very large number of Tier 1 investor visa cases amongst cases in ALL other UK Visa categories. This article will briefly discuss the Tier 1 Investor Visa and what the requirements are.

Applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK Based on Residence

Dr Bernard Andonian, consultant solicitor at Gulbenkian Andonian solicitors gives guidance on applying for settlement in the UK based on residence

Ireland: the new gateway to Europe for international investors

July 2019 - Immigration. Legal Developments by DavidsonMorris.

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Brexit has left non-EEA investors looking for alternatives to the UK to gain European residence and access to the European single market.

Through the Irish Investor Programme, the Irish government offers residency in Ireland in exchange for approved investment in the country’s economy with the potential to lead to Irish citizenship.

UK Skilled Worker Visas: Tier 2 (General) versus Tier 2 ICT

July 2019 - Immigration. Legal Developments by DavidsonMorris.

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Tier 2 of the points based system is the primary immigration route for skilled foreign workers from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland seeking permission to work in the UK.

There are various sub-categories under Tier 2 of the points based system, including the Tier 2 (General) visa and the Tier 2 Intra Company Transfer (ICT) visa.

A Brief Synopsis of the 5 & 10 Year Spouse Visa Routes

Dr Bernard Andonian consultant solicitor, gives a brief synopsis of how to apply to extend your stay in the UK on the basis of family life as a partner, parent or dependent child, or on the basis of private life in the UK both within the immigration rules and outside the rules.

Tier 4 Student Visa

A Tier 4 visa is issued to study in the UK. The sponsor for Tier 4 Visas must be the educational institution where the student will study. The visa is issued for a particular course at the institution. Read the requirements below.

You can Gain Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK with the Tier 1 Investor Visa

The top immigration lawyers UK confirm that The Tier 1 Investor Visa is a way that high net worth individuals who want to make an investment of a minimum of £2 million within the UK can gain a long lasting immigration status in the country. This is because, the UK really does its best to encourage investment and is fairly open to accepting people who apply for Tier 1 Investor Visas if all the relevant criteria are met.

Message from Dr Bernard Andonian, Legal 500 Hall of Fame

It is a privilege to be inducted in the Legal 500 Hall of Fame as a leading individual.

English Language Tests and UK Immigration Deportations

Students who are considered as having intentionally cheated many years ago the passing of their TOEIC English language test, (now scrapped because of the scandal it created), or been a party to the non-disclosure of their tax affairs by producing fraudulent figures to the HMRC and Home Office, risk curtailment of the visas, denied settlement and removal from the UK on the grounds of bad character and conduct.

Gulbenkian Andonian is the Top Immigration Lawyer and Solicitor Service in London, UK

nationality lawnationality law,Gulbenkian Andonian is recognised as one of the leading immigration law firms in London & the UK. It has a team of specialist immigration lawyers and support staff of great ability and experience. The firm has always looked beyond the shores of the UK, serving clients with UK interests worldwide.

UK Visa Fees are increasing as of March 29th 2019

The United Kingdom has one of the highest visa fee rates in the world and it is no secret that applications can cost an ample amount often leaving families in economic hardship due to staggering visa fee costs. Additionally, as a result of a complicated visa application process many also lose their visa fee due to mistakes in their applications.

Gulbenkian Andonain discuss NEW Tier 1 Start-Up Visa and the NEW Tier 1 Innovator Visa

The document entitled "Statement of Changes to Immigration Rules" which was released by the House of Commons on the 7th March 2019, outlined and advised us on a number of changes that will come into place that will affect the Tier 1 Investor Visa amongst other visa programmes and schemes. The latest article on our website discusses both of these new UK business visa routes. Our immigration lawyers London are already up to date on all of the required information for both the NEW Tier 1 Start-Up Visa and the NEW Tier 1 Innovator Visa.

Upcoming Changes to the UK Tier 1 Investor Visa

According to the new document from the House of Commons on March 7th 2019 titled “Statement of Changes to Immigration Rules”, a number of changes will come into place that affecting the Tier 1 UK Investor Visa programme amongst other visa programmes and schemes. Read about them in our latest article

Brexit and non-EU Immigration

There is no doubt that the UK has to date benefited immensely from visa-free EU immigration to the extent that visa conditions and caps on non-EU migrant have undermined and overshadowed the ability of this group to play a prominent role in British industry and commerce and in its expanding and overburdened NHS service. It is the view of Gulbenkian Andonian however, that after Brexit, there should be a noticeable change in those skilled non-EU migrants contributing to British society in a meaningful way. 

Our latest article, written by Judge and legal expert Dr Bernard Andonian discusses this issue in more detail stating that the UK will have to rely much more on non-EU immigration than ever before to stay competitive. Read it on our website. Click here.

Applying for A Sole Representative Visa

January 2019 - Immigration. Legal Developments by A Y & J Solicitors.

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Regardless of the Brexit outcome, the United Kingdom will remain one of the world most powerful economies. With a market of 65 million people and close ties with Europe, many overseas-based organisations look to establishing a subsidiary or branch office in Britain.

To achieve such a commercial ambition,companies often send a sole representative to the UK to establish contacts,investigate the market, and start building a sales pipeline. One of the most effective visas for this purpose is the Representative of an Overseas Business Visa.

Have Changes to The Spouse/Civil Partnership Minimum Income Threshold Made A Difference?

November 2018 - Immigration. Legal Developments by A Y & J Solicitors.

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The plight of those denied a UK Spouse/CivilPartnership Visa or a Spouse/Civil Partnership Visa extension continues to feature in the headlines. In August 2018, the Guardian reported on one young woman, driven to attempt suicide after her fiancé, an Albanian national, was not permitted to enter the country.  The Home Office ruled Paige Smith, a British Citizen, did not meet the £18,600 income threshold.  It later transpired the Home Office lost a crucial payslip proving that Ms Smith met the criteria, a document the department had been sent four times by a Solicitor and Ms Smith’s MP.  The appeal Judge took ten minutes to rule the Visa should have been approved; however, the couple still had to wait two months for the Home Office to declare it would not appeal the decision.

Three Reasons Why Your Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa May Be Refused

November 2018 - Immigration. Legal Developments by A Y & J Solicitors.

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A Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa provides a gateway to entry and settlement in the UK for non-EEA individuals who wish to launch a start-up or invest in and become a director of a UK company running the business. There are advantages to entering Britain on the entrepreneur visa route; an applicant can bring their dependent family members with them, and there is also an opportunity to fast-track settlement applications if certain criteria are met.

However, the refusal rate for a Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa is high. According to immigration statistics, in the last quarter of 2017, 48% of entrepreneur visa applications were declined. The toughening up of rules surrounding the Tier 1 Entrepreneur route resulted from a spate of bogus applications in recent years. Now those wishing to enter the UK on an entrepreneur visa must have a first-rate application, demonstrating they can meet the visa requirements and add value to the economy.

How to Deal with A Tier 2 Sponsor Licence Suspension

October 2018 - Immigration. Legal Developments by A Y & J Solicitors.

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The UK leaves the European Union in less than six months. With the number of EU nationals coming to the UK for work reducing, having a valid Tier2 Sponsor Licence is more crucial than ever for organisations whorely on foreign talent to meet customer demands.

Sponsor Licenceholders who do not have the advantage of large HR departments to monitorcompliance need to be mindful of Home Office actions while observing the non-compliance,including licence suspensions.

Increase in Tier 1 Investor Visa applications driven by changes to US immigration

September 2018 - Immigration. Legal Developments by OTS Solicitors.

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London business immigration lawyers have noticed an increase in applications for Tier 1 Investor Visas by ultra-high net worth individuals, fuelled in part by political instability in nations such as Russia and China, and also by changes to US ImmigrationBritish Citizenship lawyers are often approached about this visa route as it is seen as a ‘fast track’ route to settlement in the UK.

Application Tips: How to Avoid a Refused UK Entrepreneur Visa

August 2018 - Immigration. Legal Developments by DavidsonMorris.

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Under the UK Tier 1 scheme for high value migrants, the Entrepreneur visa was designed to entice foreign entrepreneurial talent and investment to Britain.

Minister Unveil How ‘Settled Status’ Applications Will Work

February 2018 - Immigration. Legal Developments by OTS Solicitors.

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immigration Minister, Brandon Lewis has set out how the government plans to register three million EEA nationals living in the UK who will be invited to apply for Settled Status.

The Guardian reports that Mr Lewis informed peers that the online the application process for Settled Status would go live in the second half of 2018.

The immigration minister also stated that the increasing number of EU nationals being deported from the UK since the EU referendum in June 2016 was “…good news for the British public because we should be doing everything to remove foreign national offenders”.

He added that a court case this week would clarify the legality of deportation of rough sleepers who are EU nationals. We will keep you up to date with this as news breaks.

How to Carry Out a Resident Labour Market Test

February 2018 - Immigration. Legal Developments by OTS Solicitors.

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If you have successfully acquired a UK Sponsor Licence and are looking to recruit workers from overseas in 2018, you need to understand that the Resident Labour Market Test (RLMT) is an imperative part of UK Sponsor Licence holder’s duties. When recruiting talent from outside the EEA, ensuring that every RLMT is correctly undertaken is a crucial step in the hiring process. Fortunately, by engaging one of London’s best immigration solicitors, you can ensure that you conduct a fully compliant RLMT. In fact, an immigration solicitor can manage the entire process on your behalf, leaving you or your HR team free to concentrate on other parts of the business.

The RLMT procedure is relatively straightforward; however, HR directors and/or employers can risk making costly mistakes if the process is not run correctly. And in the current political climate in which Theresa May’s government is dedicated to making it tougher to recruit from outside the UK, the Home Office is alive to any deviation by businesses from the RLMT rules. Failure to conduct a correct RLMT can result in immigration officials refusing to grant a Certificate of Sponsorship.

Hiring in expert consultants can help you avoid the pitfalls associated with conducting an RLMT. At OTS Solicitors, our experienced immigration lawyers can manage the entire process for you, ensuring you are compliant at every stage.

International Families – Can You Relocate After a Divorce?

February 2018 - Immigration. Legal Developments by OTS Solicitors.

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If you want to move countries with your children after a divorce, it is not as simple as just jumping on a plane and waving goodbye to your old life. Regardless of your reasons for wanting to relocate with your children after a divorce, your ex-spouse may be able to prevent you from moving.

Custody battles involving relocation after divorce can be emotionally and financially catastrophic, which is why you must instruct the best family solicitors in London. Just ask former Gossip Girl star, Kelly Rutherford, who declared bankruptcy following a six-year custody battle with her German ex-husband, Daniel Giersch. In a widely reported decision in 2012, a Californian judge ruled that Rutherford and Giersch should retain their 50/50 arrangement over their two children, but because Giersch was forbidden to enter the United States, the children must remain living in Monaco and attend school there. Rutherford launched a series of legal appeals; each one was denied.

Oscar-winner Halle Berry also fought a bitter battle of relocation with her ex-partner, Gabriel Aubry, with whom she has a daughter. After the couple separated, Berry met her new (and subsequently ex) husband, French actor Olivier Martinez. She wished to move to France with her daughter, a move that was fought by Aubry on the grounds it would interfere with their joint-custody arrangement. In 2012, a judge denied Berry’s request to relocate.

We deal with many cases involving international families, where one party wishes to move back to their home country following a relationship breakdown. And fortunately, most cases are dealt with calmly and respectfully, with the best interests of the children at the forefront of any decisions made.

Government Doubles the Number of Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) Visas

February 2018 - Immigration. Legal Developments by OTS Solicitors.

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The UK government has announced that “as part of its ongoing commitment to welcome talented people from across the globe, and in recognition of the importance of these innovative industries to the UK”, it is doubling the amount of Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) Visas it offers.


OTS Solicitors Succeed In Helping An EEA National And Her Daughter Obtain Permanent Residence Cards

February 2018 - Immigration. Legal Developments by OTS Solicitors.

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By Oshin Shahiean, of OTS Solicitors

Oshin Shahiean is a founding partner at OTS Solicitors. He has years of experience in Immigration law and has handled hundreds of applications from EEA nationals for permanent residence Cards. Oshin is also regularly called on to provide expert opinion on television and print media, both in the UK and internationally.

OTS Solicitors is a Legal 500 recommended law firm, and we have won numerous other awards for our immigration services (including a Global Excellence Award for the Most Trusted in Immigration law). My team and I regularly advise and represent EEA nationals who are facing difficulties obtaining an EU permanent residence Card.

The decision by the UK to leave the European Union has left many EEA nationals who live and work in the UK feeling incredibly vulnerable. Eight months after Article 50 was triggered, a move that officially notified the EU that the UK would exit, the rights of EEA citizens residing in the UK is still yet to be formalised.

The Home Office has also admitted it is struggling to recruit the staff required to process the surge in applications received over the past eighteen months from EEA nationals for EU permanent residenceCards.

Domestic Violence Victims Can Appeal An Immigration Decision

February 2018 - Immigration. Legal Developments by OTS Solicitors.

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The High Court has held that victims of domestic violence can appeal on human rights grounds if their application for Indefinite Leave to Remain is refused.

This decision is incredibly empowering for victims of domestic violence who are fighting to remain in the UK after divorcing the perpetrator of the abuse, and that person is the sponsor of their UK spouse visa. London immigration Solicitors have expressed their relief that the courts have not shut down the options for domestic violence victims, many of whom would fact ostracism and further abuse if they were made to return to their home country.

Extension for Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa Swiftly Granted Thanks To OTS Solicitors

February 2018 - Immigration. Legal Developments by OTS Solicitors.

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Our team has an intrinsic understanding of the aspirations of those who come to the UK via the Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa route. This is because we have dealt with so many extensive applications and have taken the time to listen to our clients’ stories. For most applicants, the ability to settle in the UK is of utmost importance.

OTS Solicitors is a Legal 500 recommended law firm based in London. We have won numerous other awards for our immigration service, including a Global Excellence Award for the Most Trusted in Immigration Law. My team and I regularly support Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa applicants to obtain their visa, an extension and ultimately, Indefinite Leave to Remain.

Record Number of Tier 1 Investor Visas Granted In the Third Quarter of 2017

February 2018 - Immigration. Legal Developments by OTS Solicitors.

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According to figures released by the Office of National Statistics, 114 UK Tier 1 Investor Visas were granted in the third quarter of this year, up from 85 in Q2; an increase of 34% on the quarter and up 247% since the same period last year.

Our international Immigration consultants were involved in a significant number of these successful applications.

This indicates that despite initial fears of Brexit hurting the UK economy, investors from Russia and China continue to see Britain as a prime country to relocate to.

Overseas investor confidence in the UK has been further confirmed with news a US-based life sciences investment fund is planning to invest up to $1 billion to create a large biotech company in the UK. In addition, Facebook has announced it is planning to create 800 jobs in London over the next year, showing it is confident in the long-term growth prospects of the UK. Finally, two large pharmaceutical companies have stated they plan to invest more than £1 billion into research hubs in London and Manchester, creating over 1,000 new positions.

What If Meghan Markle Cannot Get ILR or British Citizenship?

February 2018 - Immigration. Legal Developments by OTS Solicitors.

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Like everyone across the country, the London-based immigration lawyers OTS Solicitors are delighted at the news that Price Harry is engaged to American actress Meghan Markle, best known for her role in Suits and her humanitarian work. Ms Markle has announced she will become a British Citizen, and just to assure us that the same rules apply to the Royal Family as to ‘normal folk’, she will be “working towards obtaining citizenship” over the next months/years.

As she is from America, Ms Markle would not have required a visa to spend time with Prince Harry while they were dating. This is because citizens from Canada, Australia, New Zealand, parts of the Caribbean, the United States and large parts of South America can come to the UK for up to six months without a visa.

Now that Ms Markle has made moved to the UK permanently it is likely Ms Markle is in the UK on a Fiancée Visa. Once she is married, it is likely she will switch to a UK spouse visa. And, as has been pointed out in many UK papers, fortunately, Ms Markle will not need to worry about Prince Harry not being about to meet the Minimum Income Requirement of £18,600 (he is estimated to be worth around £25 million). The adequate accommodation requirement will also be unproblematic – the couple plan to reside in Nottingham Cottage, located in the grounds of Kensington Palace.

What happens next, the application for Indefinite Leave to Remain and British Citizenship can be tricky; although probably not for Ms Markle. It is likely that palace staff have looked into the bride-to-be’s background, making sure no embarrassing skeletons appear from her closet that could prevent her obtaining British Citizenship. Examples could include having a criminal record or having broken British immigration rules in the past.

However, just for argument’s sake, let’s imagine what would happen if Ms Markel was turned down for Indefinite Leave to Remain or British Citizenship.

Changes To The Immigration Rules Coming Into Effect From 11th January 2018

February 2018 - Immigration. Legal Developments by OTS Solicitors.

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The UK government has recently announced significant changes to the immigration rules, which will start coming into effect from 11th January 2018.

OTS Solicitors is highly recommended in the Legal 500 for immigration and human rights law. We have also been selected by the 2017 Global Excellence Awards as the Most Trusted in Immigration Law: UK. We provide the best legal advice to businesses and individuals throughout the UK, South East Asia, Russia and the Middle East.

In an explanatory note, the Home Office states the purpose of the imminent changes includes:

  • clarifying rules for Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa applicants
  • allowing for electronic entry clearance issuing
  • allowing standard and marriage/civil partnership visit visa holders to transit using the same visa
  • eliminating inconsistencies relating to Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) for applicants and their dependents in work visa categories such as Tier 2
  • increasing the number of Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa issued to 2,000 per annum and provide for accelerated settlement for certain applicants
  • developing new Tier 2 provisions for research positions and for students switching from a Tier 4 Visa

Brexit Negotiations Update – EU Citizen’s Rights Almost Finalised

February 2018 - Immigration. Legal Developments by OTS Solicitors.

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“Roy Moore’s stunning defeat reveals red line for Trump-style politics.” This headline and others like it in today’s papers show that thankfully common decency often prevails over hate. What a contrast to 2016 when Brexit and Donald Trump rode to power on the back of xenophobia.

This year, we have seen far-right politicians soundly defeated in France and the Netherlands; however, their gains in the German and Austrian elections show that the world is not out of the woods yet when it comes to far-right populism gaining ground politically.

And last week saw Brexit negotiations finally show some semblance of logic (although Brexit Minister, David Davis, managed to screw things up this week spectacularly, but more on that later).

Applying for a Certificate of Sponsorship

February 2018 - Immigration. Legal Developments by OTS Solicitors.

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As the New Year looms, many business owners will be thinking about their staffing levels and how to ensure they have the talent needed to meet their 2018 business objectives. If you already have a Tier 2 or 5 Sponsor Licence, this article will tell you all you need to know about applying for and issuing Certificates of Sponsorship (CoS).

Given the responsibilities entailed with having a Sponsor Licence, it should come as no surprise that applying for and issuing a CoS requires adherence to several compliance policies and procedures. At OTS Solicitors, our London-based immigration solicitors can manage the process of obtaining CoS on your behalf, giving you confidence that your organisation is fully compliant with Home Office rules, and your Sponsor Licence will maintain its A-rating.

OTS Solicitors' Managing Partner Oshin Shahiean Obtains Bail For Client Pending Judicial Review

January 2018 - Immigration. Legal Developments by OTS Solicitors.

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OTS Solicitors is a Legal 500 recommended law firm and has won numerous other awards for our immigration service (including a Global Excellence Award for the Most Trusted in Immigration law). My team and I regularly advise and represent EEA and non-EEA migrants who are in detention or facing deporatation.

immigration bail is a vital lifeline for migrants being held in detention. The UK government has repeatedly been criticised for detaining migrants too frequently and for too long.

According to a report by the BBC in March, four men were found to be held for two years at Brook House Immigratio Detention Centre. Prison inspectors discovered the average period of stay at the facility near Gatwick Airport had risen from 28 to 48 days.

Twenty-three people were held for more than a year.

The increasing length of immigration detentions has been blamed on delays in decision-making.

Woman Who Has Lived In UK For 50 Years Facing Deportation

January 2018 - Immigration. Legal Developments by OTS Solicitors.

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Paulette Wilson has lived in the UK since she was ten.  Now 61 years old, the UK Home Office is threatening to deport her back to Jamaica, where she has nothing and knows no one. 

In October, Ms Wilson spent a week in Yarl’s Wood detention centre before being sent to the immigration removal centre at Heathrow, the last stop before detainees are flown out of the country.  The only thing that saved her from this fate is the last-minute intervention by her local MP and a charity.  She has now been allowed to go back home but must report to the Home Office in early December, still faces removal and her benefits have not been reinstated.

How could this happen?  Has the Secretary of State lost all sense of perspective and, quite frankly, common decency?  And what steps can a person in Ms Wilson’s position take to fight deportation?

The Silent Plight of Female Migrants

January 2018 - Immigration. Legal Developments by OTS Solicitors.

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Women have dominated the news in the last few weeks, unfortunately for all the wrong reasons.  From the Harvey Weinstein scandal to Dustin Hoffman and the shock resignation of Defence Secretary, Michael Fallon, the sexual abuse and harassment of women has once again been brought to the forefront of our consciences.  Undoubtedly, as the weeks go on, and more women gain the courage to come forward, the inappropriate behaviour of many more high-profile executives and politicians on both sides of the Atlantic will be exposed.

But there is another group of women who will never get the chance to tell their story.  Female migrants.  Most have endured years of abuse, forced prostitution and rape in their home country.  Many risk it all, fleeing into the grasp of unscrupulous human traffickers, who abuse them even further.  And when they finally reach the UK, hoping to gain safety and the prospect of a normal life, many are treated as criminals, locked in detention centres, frightened, bereft of hope and often suicidal.

Why do we criminalise migrant woman?  Following our Legal 500 recommendation for Human Rights law, we believe this issue needs to be talked about.  Although migrant women do not have fame, fortune or connections, their plight and courage are just as worthy of being heard as any actress or political journalist.

Arrests in Saudi Arabia are “Just The Start” Of An Anti-Corruption Drive

January 2018 - Immigration. Legal Developments by OTS Solicitors.

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The recent arrest of dozens of Saudi royal figures, ministers and businessmen is just the start of an anti-corruption drive, the Attorney General says.

OTS Solicitors Help Client Gain Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa Without Having To Attend A Home Office Inte

January 2018 - Immigration. Legal Developments by OTS Solicitors.

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A Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa is one of the most difficult to obtain. Not only do applicants have to have access to the required funds of £50,000 or £200,000, but they also need to pass the Genuine Entrepreneur Test.

In 2015, the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) released a report that stated the Tier 1Entrepreneur visa needed to be reviewed. One of the main reasons cited was that some migrants were using the Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa route to avoid the £2 million required to obtain a Tier 1Investor Visa, which could lead to an accelerated settlement. They achieved this by investing in a small equity stake of an established company but did not actively participate in running the organisation.

Help is at Hand – Domestic Violence and Immigration

January 2018 - Immigration. Legal Developments by OTS Solicitors.

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Imagine you are a young woman coming to the UK to live with your new husband. You met in your home country, fell in love and decided to marry. He is a British citizen, wealthy enough to afford to meet the UK spouse visa minimum income requirement so as to sponsor you to come to Britain. He also has a large, extended family who you hope will offer you stability and a warm welcome.

However, shortly upon entering the country, your dream of a safe, prosperous marriage turns into a nightmare. Not only do you suffer beatings and abuse from your husband, but you are also abused by your extended family, with whom you may live with.

You want to leave, but where do you go? You have no money of your own. People on a UK spouse visa cannot access public funds. Your partner has taken your passport, and you are effectively destitute. To add to your stress and anxiety, you have just found out you are pregnant and now fear for the safety of your child.

This type of situation is the sad, frightening reality for hundreds of women from all different faiths, cultures and socio-economic backgrounds who are in the UK on a spouse visa. Fortunately, domestic violence rules allow men and women who are in the UK on a spouse visa to break free from their abusive relationship and still retain Indefinite Leave to Remain.

Imagine you are a young woman coming to the UK to live with your new husband. You met in your home country, fell in love and decided to marry. He is a British citizen, wealthy enough to afford to meet the UK spouse visa minimum income requirement so as to sponsor you to come to Britain. He also has a large, extended family who you hope will offer you stability and a warm welcome.

 

However, shortly upon entering the country, your dream of a safe, prosperous marriage turns into a nightmare. Not only do you suffer beatings and abuse from your husband, but you are also abused by your extended family, with whom you may live with.

You want to leave, but where do you go? You have no money of your own. People on a UK spouse visa cannot access public funds. Your partner has taken your passport, and you are effectively destitute. To add to your stress and anxiety, you have just found out you are pregnant and now fear for the safety of your child.

This type of situation is the sad, frightening reality for hundreds of women from all different faiths, cultures and socio-economic backgrounds who are in the UK on a spouse visa. Fortunately, domestic violence rules allow men and women who are in the UK on a spouse visa to break free from their abusive relationship and still retain Indefinite Leave to Remain.

Home Office Provides New Guidance on Surinder Singh Route

January 2018 - Immigration. Legal Developments by OTS Solicitors.

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The Surinder Singh route has long offered hope to married couples who cannot meet the draconian UK Spousal Visa requirements. It has also caused no end of frustration to the Home Office, who have tried to make it more difficult for those settled in the UK to bring over spouses from abroad.

On 27th October 2017, the Government released new guidance on the decision-making steps caseworkers need to consider when processing Surinder Singh applications. As one of the best immigration lawyers in London, we have examined these carefully.

We shall go through the details of the new guidance in due course, but first, it is useful to reiterate what the Surinder Singh route is and how it works.

Crisis in Zimbabwe – Options for Coming to the UK

January 2018 - Immigration. Legal Developments by OTS Solicitors.

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In the early hours of Wednesday morning, the military took control in Zimbabwe.  In a statement, Major General Sibusiso Moyo insisted that there was no military coup, however the opposition leader Tendai Biti told Sky News:

"If it flaps like a duck, waggles like a duck, then it's a duck. This is a coup, there's no question about that.”

What Are The Main US Business Visas?

January 2018 - Immigration. Legal Developments by DavidsonMorris.

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If you are planning to spend time in the US on business, there are many different types of US visa you will need to consider. 

How Large Companies Can Manage Right To Work Compliance Risks

January 2018 - Immigration. Legal Developments by DavidsonMorris.

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All UK employers are required by law to complete adequate Right to Work document checks for every employee - meaning every UK employer is at risk of Home Office civil penalty for illegal employment, should they be found to have failed in their duties.

Sponsor Licence Lifecycle - What UK Employers Need to Know

January 2018 - Immigration. Legal Developments by DavidsonMorris.

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Hiring skilled talent from overseas has become business-critical in many UK sectors, where the domestic and - until Brexit at least - EU labour market is unable to satisfy recruitment needs.

New Immigration Bill, October 2013: cause for concern or appeasing public sentiment?

December 2013 - Immigration. Legal Developments by Magrath LLP.

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The year 2013 has seen a string of reforms to the immigration system by the current coalition government. On 10 October, the government published a Bill aimed at continuing its drive to reduce net migration figures. 


Immigration minister Mark Harper MP stated, ‘The government is determined to build a fairer system and address public concern about immigration'. However, the government's attitude towards immigration and this latest Bill raises deep concerns with regards to how ‘fair' our immigration system currently is and will become in the future. 


The main provisions of the October Bill will affect migrants' access to public services, facilities and employment, removal and other powers, appeals and marriages and civil partnerships. 


New Schengen EU Regulations: impact on short-stay visa visitors

December 2013 - Immigration. Legal Developments by Magrath LLP.

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The publication on 26 June 2013 of the European Union Regulation EU 610/2013 modified the incumbent Regulation EU 562/2006 in relation to third country nationals (ie non-EU citizens) and those travelling on a short-stay visitor visa, as well as those who do not require a visa to enter the Schengen area, Romania, Croatia and Bulgaria. Exceptions include EU and EEA nationals travelling to other EU/EEA states within the Schengen area together with foreign nationals holding either long-stay or residence permits for their destination Schengen countries.


Coming into force on 18 October 2013, the updated regulation, EU 610/2013, seeks to establish ‘clear, simple and harmonised rules' with regard to the ‘calculation of the authorised length of short-term stays in the Union' and defined the travel document requirements for such short-stay travellers for tourism, business or family visit purposes.


Employing Croatian nationals following the country’s entry into the EEA

November 2013 - Immigration. Legal Developments by Magrath LLP.

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On 1 July 2013, Croatia joined the European Economic Area (EEA) and, as such, Croatian citizens are now able to enter and reside in the UK without needing to acquire a visa - provided they are not an unreasonable burden on public funds. 


Controlling immigration: an Asian perspective

October 2013 - Immigration. Legal Developments by Magrath LLP.

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In August 2013, UK Home Office officials, with British police officers in tow, conducted a series of checks, mainly at railway stations, as they sought to find immigrants illegally living in the UK. As well as the spot checks at transport hubs there were raids on workplaces, targeting employers who offer work to illegal immigrants. The Home Office officials' actions followed the rollout of a number of vans displaying signs encouraging illegal immigrants to ‘go home' in a Home Office pilot scheme, which was deemed ‘stupid and offensive' by Vince Cable, the Liberal Democrat business secretary, although conversely a 10 Downing Street spokesperson stated that the posters 
and leaflets were attracting a ‘great deal 
of interest'. 


UK government tightens stance on illegal working

September 2013 - Immigration. Legal Developments by Magrath LLP.

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The UK government launched a consultation on the prevention of illegal working on 9 July 2013. The proposed changes to the civil penalty regime signal a tougher approach to dealing with businesses that employ illegal workers and those who have overstayed their visas.


The government tightened its stance on illegal working in February 2008 by imposing fines on employers of up to £10,000 per illegal worker, along with a requirement for businesses to carry out annual employment verification checks on all non-EEA nationals subject to immigration control. In December 2012, our article on this subject reported that the Home Office had issued over 
300 civil penalties across the UK between 1 January 2012 and 31 March 2012, at a total value of over £3m. A recent report from the Home Office confirms that nearly 250 civil penalties were issued between 
1 October 2012 and 31 December 2012, at a total gross value of over £2m. While in many cases fines have been reduced on appeal, the civil penalty regime still provides the government with a large revenue stream. The government's recent proposal to increase the maximum civil penalty from £10,000 to £20,000 is likely to result in an increase in the value of fines issued across the UK.


The legal minefield of employing foreign workers

July 2009 - Immigration. Legal Developments by Magrath & Co.

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Immigration has always been a topic that has generated a great deal of interest and debate due to the impact it has on the populace and on the economy as a whole. Recent examples of these have been the French-owned Lindsey Oil Refinery dispute that was settled when Total agreed to hire more local employees, and Ghurkhas who retired before 1997 are now being allowed to settle in the UK.

Raising the bar

May 2009 - Immigration. Legal Developments by Magrath & Co.

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The Home Secretary, Jacqui Smith, announced measures on 22 February 2009 to raise the bar for foreign workers wishing to enter the UK. She said that the new rules are a reflection of the current economic situation and the Home Office is taking advantage of its new points-based system (PBS) for immigration, which allows greater flexibility to adapt to market conditions, helping British workers through the hard times of the recession.

The work permit is dead. Long live the work permit

March 2009 - Immigration. Legal Developments by Magrath & Co.

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2008 saw the biggest change to the immigration system in the past 45 years.

UKBA policy guidance for Tier 2 (skilled workers)

January 2009 - Immigration. Legal Developments by Magrath & Co.

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THE POLICY GUIDANCE FOR TIER 2 (SKILLED WORKERS) was published on 5 November 2008 by the UK Border Agency (UKBA). This tier of the points-based system covers the following categories:

Immigration options for highly skilled migrants

November 2008 - Immigration. Legal Developments by Magrath & Co.

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One of the most pressing political issues for many migrant-receiving countries has often been controlling and managing migration. 


Sponsorship: duties and responsibilities under the points-based system

October 2008 - Immigration. Legal Developments by Magrath & Co.

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IN NOVEMBER 2008 THE RULES COVERING TIER 2 (skilled workers) and Tier 5 (youth mobility and temporary workers) under the points-based system (PBS) are due to begin, with Tier 4 (students) following in Spring 2009. Under these tiers sponsorship is required, and sponsors (employers and educational establishments) will be required to undertake certain duties. This article will review the key elements sponsors should be aware of.

The changing face of immigration: new post-study work rules for graduates

September 2008 - Immigration. Legal Developments by Magrath & Co.

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OVER THE PAST FEW MONTHS UK IMMIGRATION laws have been subject to continual change and development. This article will highlight some of the most recent changes and others due to take effect in the near future.

US introduces new travel authorisation system for visa-waiver travellers

July 2008 - Immigration. Legal Developments by Magrath & Co.

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IN 2007 PRESIDENT GEORGE BUSH SIGNED INTO LAW the Implementing Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act 2007. Among other things, this Act mandated the establishment of a system for obtaining advance electronic travel authorisations from travellers from visa-waiver countries seeking to enter the US without visas under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP). On 3 June the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that the new system, known as the Electronic System Travel Authorisation (ESTA), will begin accepting voluntary online applications on 1 August 2008, with registration becoming mandatory on 12 January 2009.

Statement of intent: Tier 2 skilled workers

June 2008 - Immigration. Legal Developments by Magrath & Co.

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THE HOME OFFICE HAS NOW PUBLISHED ITS statement of intent for Tier 2 of the new points-based system, which deals with skilled workers. It is due to be implemented in autumn 2008. Tier 2 is designed to allow UK employers to recruit individuals from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) where the particular job cannot be filled by a British or EEA worker. The requisite skill level has been set at the equivalent of NVQ3 or above to qualify for the tier.

Employers will be required to apply for and obtain a sponsorship licence before they can use Tier 2. The licence application process allows the UK Border Agency to check that the applicant is a genuine employer. Once licensed, employers will be able to sponsor skilled workers in three categories:

British citizenship: a privilege to be earned

May 2008 - Immigration. Legal Developments by Magrath & Co.

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The Home Secretary, Jacqui Smith, published a Green Paper – ‘The path to citizenship: next steps in reforming the immigration system’ – (the Paper) in February 2008, announcing measures that will radically alter the way in which foreign nationals become eligible for British citizenship. Although the Paper is only at the consultation stage, it provides a clear indication of how the government proposes to change the law. There is widespread acceptance among communities that migration is a key factor in the UK’s economic growth but there is also concern about the impact on public services. The clear message in the Paper is that citizenship must be earned and that an individual who wants to stay long-term in the UK must speak English, obey the law and contribute to their community.

Implementation of the first phase of the new points-based system

May 2008 - Immigration. Legal Developments by Magrath & Co.

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A statement of changes to the immigration rules (HC321) was laid before Parliament on 6 February 2008, implementing the first phase of the government’s new points-based system (PBS) for UK immigration. In particular, HC321 amended the immigration rules to launch the new ‘Tier 1 (general)’ category for highly skilled migrants, which was rolled out on 29 February 2008. The route initially only applies to highly skilled workers already in the country who want to extend their stay in the UK as a highly skilled migrant or switch into this category. This briefing explores the new Tier 1 (general) category and also highlights other changes made by HC321, in particular a significant change to the general grounds for refusal of immigration applications for leave to enter or remain in the UK.

Checking employees’ documents: new penalties for employing illegal workers

March 2008 - Immigration. Legal Developments by Magrath & Co.

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The Government has strengthened the law on the prevention of illegal migrant working and introduced a new penalty regime for employers who are found to be in breach. The Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006 (IANA) was passed on 30 March 2006 as part of the government’s five-year strategy for asylum and immigration. The IANA introduces new measures that employers must take to establish whether a worker has a legal right to work in the UK. It replaces the controls and sanctions previously set out in s8 of the Asylum and Immigration Act 1996. The new penalty regime came in to force on 29 February 2008.

UK immigration set to transform as the new points system comes into force

February 2008 - Immigration. Legal Developments by Magrath & Co.

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In December 2007 the Home Secretary heralded the start of the biggest change to the UK immigration system since 1971. In a statement of intent also released in December (‘Highly skilled migrants under the points based system’), the Home Office set out how it plans to implement the first phase of a simpler, more transparent immigration system intended to boost the UK’s economy.

Increased UK border patrols

January 2008 - Immigration. Legal Developments by Magrath & Co.

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Sweeping changes are set to take place within UK immigration. The Home Secretary, Jacqui Smith, has announced that immigration, customs and visa checks will be united and performed by the new UK Border Agency. The new Agency is held out to be ‘tougher, smarter and more flexible’. By merging the work of Customs, the Border and Immigration Agency and UK Visas, the UK Border Agency is hoping to strengthen the UK’s security through tougher border control.

Working in the UK: schemes for recent graduates

November 2007 - Immigration. Legal Developments by Magrath & Co.

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The launch of the International Graduates Scheme (IGS) and recent changes to the Fresh Talent: Working in Scotland (FTWS) scheme are aimed at encouraging graduates to pursue a career in the UK.

US immigration reform: watch this space

October 2007 - Immigration. Legal Developments by Magrath & Co.

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Despite strong White House support, what appeared to be equally solid bipartisan support from the Senate leadership, and a general consensus in the nation that the immigration status quo was simply not sustainable, the most serious attempt to reform US immigration law in years collapsed in the Senate earlier this summer. With everyone in agreement that something must be done to re-establish control of US borders and rationalise current immigration policy, it is hard to find a compelling explanation for the legislative debacle.

Immigration Review – the latest developments in procedure

September 2007 - Immigration. Legal Developments by Magrath & Co.

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UK Immigration is subject to continuous change and development. This article is a review of the developments of some changes already introduced and those to come in the near future.

US immigration reform derailed in Senate

August 2007 - Immigration. Legal Developments by Magrath & Co.

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The struggle to enact the most wide-ranging reform of US immigration law in a generation was dealt a stunning setback on 7 June 2007, when a cloture1 vote to end debate in the Senate on the proposed reform bill failed on a vote of 45 for to 50 against. Senate majority leader Harry Reid had pressed for the vote to force an end to increasingly rancorous debate over amending the complex proposal, and to bring it to an ‘up or down vote'2 by the end of that week. When the necessary 60 votes to impose cloture failed to materialise, Reid announced that he would pull the reform package from the Senate's agenda and move on to other legislative agenda items.

Attracting and retaining international students: benefits for the UK

June 2007 - Immigration. Legal Developments by Magrath & Co.

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Education has traditionally been an important element in the wider cultural, political, trade and economic relationships between countries. By taking all or part of their degree abroad, students can help to break down barriers, build friendships between nations and create a close global community. In recent years, education has come to be seen as a highly marketable export commodity.

Constraints on the movement of third-country national family members of EEA migrants

May 2007 - Immigration. Legal Developments by Magrath & Co.

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The right of freedom of movement for persons is fundamental to European integration, which is itself the underpinning of the success of the EU. The right is cemented by Articles 2 and 3(1)(c) of the EC Treaty which provide that for the purpose of establishing a common market and the promotion of harmonious development of economic activities between member states, obstacles to the free movement of persons between member states shall be abolished.

Biometrics and identity - what happens next?

April 2007 - Immigration. Legal Developments by Magrath & Co.

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In December 2006 the Home Office published its Borders, Immigration and Identity Action Plan. The Plan forms part of the government's programme of 'radical change' to the immigration system, which has the stated aims of:

Changes to the Highly Skilled Migrant Programme

March 2007 - Immigration. Legal Developments by Magrath & Co.

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On 7 November 2006 Liam Byrne, Minister for Immigration, Nationality and Citizenship, announced changes to the rules for the Highly Skilled Migrant Programme (HSMP). These changes were effective from 8 November 2006. The HSMP was also suspended for 27 days until 5 December 2006, when applications under the new scheme could be made.

Employing a Bulgarian or Romanian national in the UK

February 2007 - Immigration. Legal Developments by Magrath & Co.

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On 1 January 2007 Bulgaria and Romania joined the European Union. As EEA nationals, Bulgarians and Romanians will now be able to move and reside freely in any EU member state. They will not require leave to enter or remain to reside legally in the UK.

Fit for purpose? IND at the crossroads of reform

January 2007 - Immigration. Legal Developments by Magrath & Co.

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This summer the Home Office announced a number of measures designed to rebuild confidence in the immigration system. These initiatives followed a period of bad press for the Immigration and Nationality Directorate (IND) that culminated in the foreign prisoner debacle and the appointment of a new Home Secretary, Dr John Reid. Reid has famously questioned whether IND is ‘fit for purpose'.

Age discrimination laws: impact on recruitment ads for work permit applications

November 2006 - Immigration. Legal Developments by Magrath & Co.

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The Employment Equality (Age) Regulations 2006 came into force on 1 October 2006. The Regulations apply to all businesses, irrespective of size, and protect employees across the age spectrum. The Regulations afford protection from direct discrimination, and also prohibit indirect discrimination, instructing someone to discriminate and aiding unlawful acts. The Regulations also protect those falling with an ‘age group' and prohibit discrimination on the grounds of perceived age.

Preventing illegal working in the UK: new criminal offence and civil penalty

November 2006 - Immigration. Legal Developments by Magrath & Co.

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The law setting out employers' responsibilities for preventing illegal working in the UK has been amended. The Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006, passed on 30 March 2006, replaces the previous employment provisions in the Asylum and Immigration Act 1996 (s8 and 8A). So far, only certain parts of the new legislation have been made effective (s62 onwards and the administrative provisions). Other provisions will come into force in the future by way of Commencement Orders.

Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2006: an overview

November 2006 - Immigration. Legal Developments by Magrath & Co.

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Free movement of persons has existed since the foundation of the European Community in 1957. It was initially linked to a person's status as a salaried worker, but was progressively extended to encompass all categories of citizens except those who would rely on public funds. The Citizens' Directive was implemented through the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2006 and merges into a single instrument all the legislation on the rights of entry and residence for EU citizens.

Immigration: enabling scientists and engineers to work in the UK

October 2006 - Immigration. Legal Developments by Magrath & Co.

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The science and engineering sectors contribute significantly to the UK economy. Scientists and engineers also play a valuable role in society by carrying out innovative research, for example, in stem cells, nanotubes, renewable energy, and grid and wireless technologies. In recent years, there has been an increasing demand by the government and employers in the UK for individuals with science and engineering skills. The government has emphasised the need for ‘Britain to be the most attractive location in the world for science and innovation' (HM Treasury, Department of Trade and Industry, and Department for Education and Skills, ‘Science and Innovation Investment Framework', 2004).

Recent changes to the requirements for British permanent residence and citizenship

July 2006 - Immigration. Legal Developments by Magrath & Co.

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The Home Office has recently tightened THE requirements that overseas nationals must meet to qualify for indefinite leave to remain (also known as permanent residency or settlement) and British citizenship. The purpose of these changes is to enforce the government’s view, as stated in its February 2005 paper ‘Controlling our Borders: the Five Year Strategy for Asylum and Immigration’, that permanent migration should be a journey towards being as socially integrated as possible.

Freedom to provide services – a step in the right direction

June 2006 - Immigration. Legal Developments by Magrath & Co.

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Article 49 of the EC Treaty (Article 49) establishes the principle that member states should ensure the freedom to provide services within the European Union (EU). This fundamental freedom includes the right of a service provider established in a member state to temporarily post workers to other member states in order to provide a service.

Points-based immigration system: government response to consultation

May 2006 - Immigration. Legal Developments by Magrath & Co.

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In February 2005 the Home Secretary announced details of the government's proposed five-year strategy for asylum and immigration. It was stated that the driving force of this strategy was to achieve greater public confidence in the immigration system. After a period of consultation with immigration practitioners and people representing a range of sectors across the UK and overseas, the government has now published its response to this consultation within the Home Office paper ‘A Points-Based System: Making Migration Work for Britain' (the paper).

Illegal immigration in the US: bills before the Senate aim to address the problem

April 2006 - Immigration. Legal Developments by Magrath & Co.

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US illegal immigration is at an all-time high. Close to 11 million undocumented individuals are living in the US today and the number is growing by at least 750,000 each year. Most undocumented workers have been in the US for long time - 70% for more than five years. It has been estimated that it would cost $41.2bn annually for five years to deport the undocumented population. Uprooting these workers would cause severe economic and social disruption, as they make a great contribution to the US economy, working in agriculture, hospitality, construction and other industries.

US business immigration: dealing with the H-1B cap in fiscal year 2006

April 2006 - Immigration. Legal Developments by Magrath & Co.

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It is widely acknowledged that highly educated ‘H-1B' foreign professionals, many of whom were educated in the US, bolster the US workforce and propel the economy forward. These professionals fill shortages and provide US companies with unique skill sets and knowledge in specific areas. But the annual cap on H-1B visas means that employers will be unable to access these highly educated professionals until the start of fiscal year 2007, which commences on 1 October this year.

Civil partnerships: amendments to the Immigration Rules

March 2006 - Immigration. Legal Developments by Magrath & Co.

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The Civil Partnership Act 2004 (?the Act?) came into force on 5 December 2005. The Act creates a new legal relationship (civil partnership) that two people of the same sex can form by signing a registration document. The first civil partnership (under the standard procedure) in England and Wales was registered on 21 December 2005. The first registrations in Northern Ireland and Scotland took place on 19 December and 20 December respectively. One of the more high-profile ceremonies was, of course, that of Elton John and David Furnish at the Guildhall in Windsor. Businesses have been quick to respond to the new law, with party-planners, ringmakers and card companies all offering their services to couples.

British citizenship ? knowledge of language and life in the UK

November 2005 - Immigration. Legal Developments by Magrath & Co.

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FROM 1 November 2005 all new naturalisation applicants must demonstrate knowledge of the English language and life in the UK to have their application considered. Applications made before this date will not be affected by this change.

The future of the Highly Skilled Migrant Programme

November 2005 - Immigration. Legal Developments by Magrath & Co.

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The Home Office has amended the Highly Skilled Migrant Programme to allow MBA graduates from the top 50 business schools in the world to automatically qualify without meeting any further criteria.

Getting married in the UK ? new rules

November 2005 - Immigration. Legal Developments by Magrath & Co.

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New rules introduced in 2005 (the Immigration (Procedure for Marriage) Regulations 2005) require overseas nationals wishing to marry in the UK to obtain a Certificate of Approval before being able to give notice to marry at a registry office. Aimed at preventing bogus marriages solely for the purpose of gaining permission to stay in the UK, the new rules are very wide-ranging and affect large numbers of overseas nationals already living here in the UK.

Civil partnerships and immigration

November 2005 - Immigration. Legal Developments by Magrath & Co.

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In November 2004 the UK joined an exclusive club of a handful of countries prepared to recognise civil partnerships between same-sex couples on a par with marriage. This article looks at the effects of the new policy on immigration law.

Business immigration and non-immigrant visas in the US: current rules and recent problems

October 2005 - Immigration. Legal Developments by Magrath & Co.

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The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is the largest immigration service in the world. It receives between six and eight million applications and petitions every year, and employs a staff of 15,000 in its 250 offices worldwide.

Procedural changes: a review of work permits and working holidaymakers

September 2005 - Immigration. Legal Developments by Magrath & Co.

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Against a background of tightening immigration controls, the Home Office has implemented policies to reduce the options for overseas nationals wishing to extend their stay within the UK.

Employing overseas nationals

July 2005 - Immigration. Legal Developments by Magrath & Co.

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In today's litigious climate employees are more aware of their employment rights than ever before. They are particularly conscious of their prerogative to pursue claims before employment tribunals and civil courts for infringement of those rights. Consequently, employees have a higher expectation of the level of treatment they receive at work, and employers are required to take ever greater care, through the introduction of appropriate policies, procedures and contractual terms, to protect themselves from potential claims.

Coming soon to an airport near you: the introduction of biometrics

June 2005 - Immigration. Legal Developments by Magrath & Co.

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Despite many years of research and several attempts at widespread introduction, it is only now that security systems based on biometrics - human characteristics such as faces, hand shapes and fingerprints - are finally being implemented.

Business-led immigration in the EEA

May 2005 - Immigration. Legal Developments by Magrath & Co.

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In today's business climate, to remain competitive companies must ensure that they address and eliminate immigration issues which could affect the mobility of their workforce. Moving employees to and within Europe can sometimes be problematical.

Managed migration

April 2005 - Immigration. Legal Developments by Magrath & Co.

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Immigration has always been a controversial and politically sensitive topic in the UK. As we are now approaching another election, immigration is again one of the main political issues for all parties. Managed migration policies seek to address any labour shortages in the UK, but are also inextricably linked with the asylum policy, in particular the reduction of asylum claims. The government is trying on the one hand to limit access to the UK by asylum and illegal immigration, but on the other hand to promote the important contribution made by legal migrants. This term 'managed migration' is based on a concept that has emerged in the UK in the last five years, specifically from the 2002 white paper on immigration and asylum.

Nationality law

March 2005 - Immigration. Legal Developments by Magrath & Co.

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British nationality law is more complex than the equivalent laws of many other countries. It recognises a variety of British nationalities, each conferring different rights. This is mainly due to the history of the British Empire, and the rights that citizens of its colonies and territories have acquired as a result of colonial expansion.

Highly Skilled Migrant Programme - a review

February 2005 - Immigration. Legal Developments by Magrath & Co.

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If the UK economy is to attract and retain talented and experienced workers from overseas, there has never been a more urgent time to act. Current Home Office processing delays and predicted changes to the Immigration Rules mean that the government is closing the door on overseas nationals with skills valued by UK businesses.