Migration Advisory Committee found little evidence of undercutting of UK resident workers by Tier 2 migrants

The MAC (Migration Advisory Committee) has published its interim report looking only at the salary threshold idea last week. The report comes after Prime Minister David Cameron asked the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) to look at options to reduce the number of people entering the country through the Tier 2 visa system.

The MAC was asked to consider the impact of increasing the Tier 2 (General) minimum salary threshold of £20,800 and the Tier 2 (ICT) minimum salary thresholds of £24,800 (Read more about how how the Immigration Changes could affect Asians). Over 35.000 of 60,000 ICT visa employees in December 2014 were from India.

Non-EU Tier 2 Migrants, including those from India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh will have to earn £35,000 and above from next year April 2016.

While it’s early analysis found that increasing the minimum salary would ‘likely contribute to the Government’s aim of reducing skilled immigration in the UK’, MAC’s initial analysis has found little evidence to suggest there is widespread undercutting of UK resident workers by Tier 2 migrants occurring under the current salary thresholds.

In addition, the MAC report warned the Government against going ahead with changes to the minimum salary thresholds without considering the wider implications and a wider study into them in December.

They argued that ‘the salary thresholds should not be considered in isolation as they interact with the other proposals within the commission, not least the proposed skills levy.’

Currently, for somebody to apply for a Tier 2 visa, they must earn at least £20,800 per year and meet the minimum skill level of NQF6.

Increasing the salary threshold immediately would be ‘strongly opposed by many employers and would cause serious problems in particular sectors, including theeducation and health sectors

The report looked at various options for a new minimum salary threshold: updating it to the tenth percentile would see it rise to £23,000 and would affect 7% of all Tier 2 applications; increasing it to the median earnings for the minimum skill level would see it rise to £39,000 and affect 44% of all Tier 2 applications.

The MAC identified other drawbacks to the plan, including potential ‘bottlenecks constraining the growth of individual firms’ if they are unable to afford higher salaries for skilled non-EU migrants and unable to find appropriate replacements within the UK or EU.

source: migeat.com

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City Legal now offering a flexible payment plan to pay legal fees

We are delighted to announce that we will now be offering a flexible finance scheme for our clients to pay the legal fees.

Our business strategy is underpinned by the drive to provide our customers with bespoke solutions, supported by more than 20 years of innovation in the legal service market by LCF, our finance facilitator. Our tailored ‘payment plan’ solutions are primarily aimed at easing the burden of paying large amounts in legal fees in advance.

The Legal Cost Finance solution enables repayment of legal costs by affordable installments, stands out in the marketplace as the first solution of its kind.

The scheme is administered by LCF in collaboration with City Legal and aligns the interests of clients and our organisation to achieve ‘cost-neutral’ financing solutions that offer greater access to justice (through payment affordability and convenience) while improving business efficiency for our organisation.

Whether you qualify for legal aid or not, you can now benefit from using ‘payment plan’ solutions in all types of immigration cases.The scheme is currently operated only in Europe.

For more information on how to set up a ‘payment plan’, please contact us now on 020 3695 4626 or visit our website.

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New requirement for visa customers wishing to stay in the UK for more than 6 months

New requirement for visa customers wishing to stay in the UK for more than 6 months, to get a biometric residence permit (BRP) on arrival.

If your visa application is successful, you will receive a 30 day travel visa in your passport.

You should be aware that:

  • you must travel within this 30 day period or your visa will expire
  • if your 30 day travel visa expires before you travel, you will need to apply for a replacement and pay another fee in order to travel to the UK
  • once you arrive in the UK you must collect your BRP from the Post Office you chose when you applied for your visa within 10 days
  • you will receive a letter with your visa decision providing instructions on what you need to do once in the UK

BRP is an important document. It provides proof of your permission to be in the UK, for how long and the conditions attached to your stay, and can also be used as identification.

If you have any questions, you can contact us on 020 3695 4626.

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James Brokenshire pledges crackdown on ‘rogue employers’

Businesses that employ illegal workers will be hit with “the full force of government machinery”, immigration minister James Brokenshire has warned.

He said “rogue employers” who give work to illegal migrants were denying UK citizens jobs, driving down wages and gaining an “unfair advantage”.

How many people work here illegally?

A 2009 London School of Economics study estimated the UK had 618,000 “irregular” residents, but in 2010 campaign group Migration Watch said the figures was closer to 1.1 million. The studies are the most recent estimates.

What is the government doing?

Immigration Enforcement teams will carry out more raids, along with bodies such as HM Revenue & Customs, the Gangmasters’ Licensing Authority and Health and Safety Executive taking part.

What happens to employers of illegal workers?

Employers can be fined up to £20,000 per person for employing illegal workers. Employers who knowingly employ an illegal worker can be jailed for up to two years.

Mr Brokenshire said: “Experience tells us that employers who are prepared to cheat employment rules are also likely to breach health and safety rules and pay insufficient tax.

“That’s why our new approach will be to use the full force of government machinery to hit them from all angles and take away the unfair advantage enjoyed by those who employ illegal migrants.”

Shadow home secretary, Ms Cooper said the government should extend the Gangmasters’ Licensing Authority – a public body that works to stop worker exploitation – and to “make exploitation a crime”.

“Exploitation hurts everyone – those who are working hard and being exploited, other workers whose pay and jobs are undercut, and responsible employers who are undermined,” she added.

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Same sex unmarried partner visa granted for our client

This week have been particularly good for clients namely today when we had a same sex unmarried partner visa granted for our client. The case was increasingly tough as the partners were not registered under a civil ceremony and have been only living together. The income threshold based on salary wasn’t met and was fully relied on cash savings. The application was successful on a same day service in Sheffield today morning.

We have carefully worked with our client on this application during all the stages and a good preparation with strong representations have finally paid off.

Please call us to discuss your visa needs – 020 3695 4626.

Eligibility Requirements

To qualify for the Unmarried Partner visa you must satisfy the following criteria:

  • You and your sponsoring partner must both be 18 years of age or over.
  • You and your partner must intend to live together on a permanent basis.
  • You must show that any previous relationship that you or your partner were involved in (whether it be as a married or an unmarried couple) has ended.
  • You need to show that you have been living with your partner for at least two years in a relationship similar to marriage. You will need to provide documentary evidence confirming this.
  • You and your partner must have sufficient funds to support yourselves (and any dependants) without claiming public funds.
  • Your unmarried GBR or settled partner must be earning at least £18,600 per annum or savings to be able to sponsor you. If also sponsoring children as dependents then the financial requirement will increase.
  • You must have suitable accommodation available for you, your partner and any dependants.
  • You must also satisfy the English language requirements

Duration of the stay

The unmarried partner visa will be initially issued for a period of 33 months (if applying from overseas) or 30 months if applying from within the UK. A further extension must be sought for an additional 30 months to take you to five years. Once you have spent a period of five years on a spouse probationary visa, you will be eligible to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK provided that you are still living with your partner in the UK and can continue to meet the maintenance requirement as mentioned above.

Entry Clearance

If you are seeking to enter the UK on the basis of your relationship with a ‘settled person’ you must apply for entry clearance before you enter the UK.

It is possible to switch to an Unmarried Partner visa while you are in the UK provided that you have leave to remain here on a visa that was granted for a period exceeding 6 months. Please note that you cannot switch into the Unmarried Partner visa category if you are already in the UK and were initially admitted to the UK for a period of less than six months – for example, as a visitor or a short-term student.

English language requirements for partners

All partners, spouses, civil partners, fiancés and prospective civil partners are required prove that they can speak and understand English. Therefore you will need to provide evidence with your visa application to show that you have passed an English language test with an approved test provider.

If necessary we can arrange relevant tests for most countries around the world – please contact us for more information regarding the English language requirements for UK immigration.


If you and your spouse have children who are under 18 years of age they are allowed to enter the UK as your dependants. You should make an application for your dependants at the same time that you make your UK spouse visa application. However, you must demonstrate income of a particular amount in order to enable sponsorship. This amount varies depending on the number of children being sponsored.

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Unsuccessful asylum seekers will have 28 days to leave Britain under new plan

Failed asylum seekers are to be re-branded “illegal migrants” and given 28 days to leave Britain under plans unveiled by the Government.

A major consultation document – part of an action plan published amid continuing migrant crisis at Calais – said new moves would crack down on hand-outs which currently cost the taxpayer £140 million a year.

In a marked shift of tone, the official paper said: “Failed asylum seekersare illegal migrants and are no more deserving of welfare support that any other migrant in the UK unlawfully.

“We propose to legislate to curtail the scope for support for failed asylum seekers and other illegal migrants.”

Asylum seekers with dependent children will be given at least 28 days “grace period” to leave Britain, although the consultation paper asked for organisations to give their views on whether it should be longer.

However, the new document also disclosed that failed asylum seekers who are already in Britain will continue to receive benefits.

The new law will only apply to those who reach the end of the asylum appeals process from July next year.

The taxpayer will continue to pay support costs for 15,000 immigrants whose asylum claims have already been rejected by the courts.

The paper said it would be “impracticable” to “abruptly cease” their hand-outs.

In total, the proposals are expected to save £490 million over 10 years, but could save as much as £770 million.

The 28 days grace period could be extended if the families can prove they have a genuine obstacle to leaving, such as health problems, or if they lodge a new claim under the European Convention on Human Rights that they will be subjected to “inhuman or degrading treatment” in their country of origin.


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Landlords ‘must evict’ failed asylum seekers – Home Office

Landlords will be expected to evict tenants who lose the right to live in England under new measures to clamp down on illegal immigration.

They will be able to end tenancies, sometimes without a court order, when asylum requests fail, ministers say.

Landlords will also be required to check a migrant’s status in advance of agreeing a lease. Repeat offenders could face up to five years in prison.

Financial support for failed asylum seekers will also end under the plans.

Some 10,000 currently continue to receive a taxpayer-funded allowance of £36 a week, despite their applications having been rejected, because they are living in the UK with their families.

Measures will also be introduced to crack down on landlords who exploit vulnerable migrants by renting out unfit flats and houses.

Communities Secretary Greg Clark said the government would crack down on “rogue landlords who make money out of illegal immigration”.

‘Right to rent’

The proposals – to be be included in the upcoming Immigration Bill – come as the British and French governments struggle to deal with a migrant crisis in Calais, where large numbers of people are making nightly bids to cross the Channel to reach the UK.

Under the proposals for landlords in England, the Home Office would issue a notice when an asylum application fails that confirms the tenant no longer has the right to rent property.

This will trigger a power for landlords to end the tenancy, without a court order in some circumstances. Landlords will also be required to carry out “right to rent” checks on each tenant’s immigration status before allowing them to move in.

Repeatedly failing to do either would be a new offence carrying maximum penalties of five years’ imprisonment or a fine.

A blacklist of “rogue” landlords and letting agents will allow councils to keep track of those who have been convicted of housing offences and ban them from renting out properties if they are repeat offenders.

Mr Clark said the government was targeting people who made money by “exploiting vulnerable people and undermining our immigration system”.

“We will also require them to meet their basic responsibilities as landlords, cracking down on those who rent out dangerous, dirty and overcrowded properties.”

Richard Lambert, chief executive of the National Landlords Association, said the proposals were a “welcome step forward”.

‘Tough on migration’

He told Radio 4’s Today programme: “I am slightly concerned that we are breaking the 40-year-old principle that it has to be a court that ends a tenancy… but we do need something that will work in practice.”

He told the programme the possible five-year prison penalty was “quite surprising” and had come “almost out of the blue”.

“You do wonder how much it relates to the government wanting to be seen to be tough on migration given what’s going on in Calais,” he said.

And he raised concerns about those being evicted “doing very desperate things” such as barricading themselves inside a property.

“I think that we need to think through the consequences of the kind of systems we are putting into place,” he said.

Souce: BBC news

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Tier 5 Internship Visas – Stay & Work in the UK

Tier 5 Government Authorised Exchange category is for individuals coming to the UK through approved programmes that aim to share knowledge, best practice, and to experience the social & cultural life in the UK.

The Programme provides UK employers an opportunity to hire the best and the brightest talent from overseas on key initiatives and to learn key skills they can take back to their home country.

We work directly with the employers & sponsors to support them by providing sponsorship for non-EEA nationals they have identified for their internship programmes in the UK.

The sponsor hold an A rated Sponsor License which allows them to act as an “over-arching body” and to issue Certificates of Sponsorship for individuals who meet the eligibility criteria and wish to apply for a Tier 5 Visa to come and experience working, social & cultural life in the UK.

This programme is endorsed by Department For Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS) & Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC).

Call us on 020 3695 4626 for more details.

VISIT : citylegalservices.co.uk/tier5gae for more details.


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Canada’s pilot ‘millionaires’ immigration program only receives 6 applicants

Canada has received just six applications for its pilot immigration program for millionaires, far fewer than for its investor class visa that was scrapped last year amid criticism it was allowing rich Chinese to buy their way into Canada.

The Programme was launched in December looking for 50 wealthy Millionaire foreigners to join pilot run of the Immigrant Investor Venture Capital Plan, under which applicants must be far richer than those who entered under the previous program.

Under the new program, would-be immigrants must invest a minimum of C$2m ($1.5m) in Canada for a 15-year period and must have a net worth of at least C$10m. Among other criteria, they must also meet a new requirement that they speak English or French.

The federal government started accepting applicants in January and had received the six applications as of 8 June, the documents show.

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Tier 4 Changes – July, August and November 2015 changes in details

Following the election of a small majority Conservative government, immigration and reducing the net migration figures remains at the forefront of the government’s agenda with the Prime Minister chairing the immigration taskforce himself. While the government continues the rhetoric that there is no cap on student numbers, the impact of the proposed changes will undoubtedly reduce the number of international students wanting to study at UK institutions with the further education sector particularly affected.

In their latest Statement of Changes, which were put before Parliament on Monday 13 July the following amendments to the Immigration Rules have been announced:

FROM 14 JULY 2015

  • Changes have been made to allow a Tier 4 visa to be issued in line with a student’s intended date of travel. This change to the date from which entry clearance can commence was introduced to help ensure a smooth roll-out of Biometric Residence Permits for overseas Tier 4 applicants.


  • The rules around academic progression for Tier 4 (General) students will be tightened so that only those sponsored by a UK recognised body or a body in receipt of public funding as a university will be permitted to start a new course at the same academic level as their previous course. This is also only possible if the course they wish to study is linked to their previous course or the sponsor confirms that the course supports the student’s career aspirations. Students may be interviewed and sanctions will be imposed on sponsors who get this wrong.
  • Further education providers will no longer be able to sponsor students who wish to study a course at the same level as their previous course.
  • The time limit for calculating time spent in the UK whether above or below degree level will now include the full length of the leave the student has previously been granted (as opposed to the course duration). For example, students are currently able to exclude the four months’ extra time they are granted at the end of their degree course but this will no longer be possible.
  • In respect of the Tier 4 Child category, those who wish to study a foundation course to prepare for entry to higher education will be prevented from doing so under this route. In addition, Tier 4 Child students will no longer be able to undertake a further course at a lower level. The rules will be clarified to specify that only independent schools can sponsor students under this route.
  • Tier 4 migrants’ conditions of study are being changed to prevent them from studying at academies or schools maintained by a local authority.
  • An administrative review application will be treated as withdrawn if migrants lodge a fresh entry clearance/leave to remain application.
  • Work rights for Tier 4 students at publicly funded colleges will be removed.


  • Tier 4 (General) students at further education colleges will be unable to extend their stay from within the UK unless they will be studying at an embedded college which has been recognised by UKVI as having a direct link to a UK recognised body or a body in receipt of public funding as a university.
  • Tier 4 (General) students at further education colleges will be unable to switch into any economic route such as Tier 2 from within the UK unless they are studying at an embedded college which has been recognised by UKVI as having a direct link to a UK recognised body or a body in receipt of public funding as a university. However, those studying at such an embedded college will not be able to switch into Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur or Tier 5 (Temporary Worker) category.
  • The time limit on study below degree level will be reduced from three to two years.
  • The maintenance requirement for Tier 4 students will increase, along with the maximum amount paid for accommodation which can be offset against the maintenance requirement, to bring them in line with 2015 rates. The geographic area in which Tier 4 students have to demonstrate a higher level of funds will also be expanded.
  • The rule around established presence which allows students applying to extend their leave within the UK to show only two months’ maintenance will be removed. All students will therefore need to show that they have sufficient funds to support themselves throughout the duration of their remaining study or for up to nine months.

Other proposed changes for autumn:

  • Tier 4 dependants will only be able to undertake work at skilled level.

In summary, the UK government is expecting international students to either:

  • Enter the UK as a Tier 4 Child studying at an independent school and progress onto a university or a UKVI recognised embedded college; or
  • Enter the UK as a Tier 4 (General) student to study either at a UKVI recognised embedded college or a University.

International students who opt to study at a further education college can do so but will not be able to extend or switch their stay while in the UK.

There is no clear evidence indicating why the government felt it necessary to introduce such damaging changes. UKVI issues sponsor licenses and it is UKVI’s role to monitor licence holders and take action when necessary. The changes cut off a whole sector of further education whose students progress onto universities. This is seen by the sector as causing long-term harm to the UK as an international student destination.

These changes coupled with the maintenance changes means the UK’s international education system will only be available to the brightest, the best and the richest.

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