Category: Uncategorized


Immigration rules to be eased to allow NHS to recruit more staff

The removal of medical staff from the cap will create more space for other skilled migrants to work in the UK, such as engineers and teachers.Immigration rules capping the number of foreign doctors and nurses working in the UK are set to be relaxed to allow the NHS to recruit more staff, Downing Street has confirmed.

Sajid Javid, the home secretary, has set out plans to remove overseas medical staff from the annual cap on skilled workers coming to the UK from Friday, currently limited to 20,700 “tier 2” visas per year. The removal of medical staff from the cap will create more space for other skilled migrants to work in the UK, such as engineers and teachers.The move adds to growing pressure on Theresa May to ditch her party’s goal of limiting annual net migration to the “tens of thousands”. It also shows the gap between Mr Javid and the prime minister, who was known for her tough stance on immigration when she headed up the Home Office. The Home Office will lay the regulations before parliament soon, which will come into force immediately.

More than 1,500 doctors from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) had visa applications refused between December 2017 and March 2018, according to the British Medical Journal. Earlier this month, Mr Javid signalled there could be a softer approach to immigration policy under his leadership at the Home Office, including looking again at the cap on “tier 2 visas”.

Share this:
United Kingdom

Experts Reveal What Needs To Be Done To Help Migrants Integrate Into British Life

With immigration one of the public’s top concerns, how migrants integrate into society is becoming an ever more important issue.

Two leading migration experts have their says –

Jill Rutter, British Future – Broadcast English lessons on television

Rutter said: “Those less likely to speak and write fluent English including EU migrants in lower-skilled jobs working long hours, refugees, mothers who do not work, and those who live among large numbers of people from their own linguistic communities, she believes more funding is needed to expand the help to all who need it to learn the English language. In parts of London, it is possible to live and work without speaking much English if you are from Poland, Turkey or Bangladesh. But those who don’t learn English find themselves more vulnerable to exploitation, by family members and employers.”

Robert McNeil, The Migration Observatory – Labour and Lib Dems need an immigration policy to rival the Tories’ ‘tens of thousands’ pledge 

Robert McNeil believes the policy faces “three major stumbling blocks”:

The first is that current polices are not adequate to deliver it and there are no significant new policies announced to overcome that. Net migration is currently nearly three times the target, and we would not expect the same polices that have led to that to suddenly deliver major cuts.

The second is that, as a part of the EU, at the moment the Government does not have control over the number of EU citizens coming and going. There is some expectation that Brexit will change that, but even if the UK was able to cut net migration from the EU to effectively zero, non-EU migration alone currently stands at 165,000, so the target would still be missed.

The third is that migration happens for some reasons – and of those reasons is that there is demand in the UK for migrants. We have historically low levels of unemployment, and lots of demand in the UK labour market. The NHS and the social care sector rely on migrant workers and the higher education sector is increasingly dependent on fees from foreign students.

“So while it seems logical to call for promises on migration that may actually be delivered in the short term, perhaps aspirations mean more to the electorate than actions.”

These experts believes that migrants needs to be truly integrated into communities, those already living in the UK need to make more of an effort to gain citizenship and engage themselves more socially.

Improving on English language is important as it frees migrants from reliance on relatives and bosses who exploits them.

Share this:

Tier 4 pilot

A new student visa pilot is being implemented at four universities in England. The scheme will allow students to submit fewer documents for their application as well as stay six months after their studies.Participating in the pilot means that less documents will be required in submitting the application. The Tier 4 Pilot is open to students from all over the world applying for a master’s degrees at four elite universities: Imperial College London, University of Cambridge, University of Oxford and University of Bath.

It is tailored to master’s students who are applying for 2016/17 or 2017/18 intakes, with the duration of the course lasting 13 months or less.Participating in the pilot means that less documental evidence will be required when students send their application.

“You will not be required to submit certificates or documents showing your previous qualifications or transcript of results and documents showing you meet the maintenance requirements,” the guidance says.

While students aren’t required to submit these alongside the initial application, UKVI may request these additional forms later on in the process.The pilot also allows the master’s students to stay for six months after their course ends.The scheme will be in place for visa applications submitted on or after July 25, and is open to those applying from inside the UK as well as from overseas.Dependents of the main applicants who apply at the same time, are also eligible for this pilot scheme.With just four universities and only certain postgraduate courses, the impact of the current scheme is limited. It might even add one more layer of confusion (to students, parents, agents and employers) around which students can do what, where, when and how.

President of Imperial College London, Alice Gast, said that international students are a priority for the university, and called the move an “encouraging step forward”.

“The ability to stay on for six months will bring benefits to the students and to the country as our talented graduates will be able to pursue their entrepreneurial ideas, further study or add to the UK’s talent pool,” she said.The programme has also been met with some criticism from Scottish institutions.Universities Scotland said it was pleased the government is trialling new ways to retain international talent in the UK, but expressed disappointment that “the opportunity of the pilot has been framed so narrowly to only four universities – none of which are in Scotland”.

The pilot is expected to continue for two years.

Share this:

Court of Appeal gives guidance on deportation cases

The Court of Appeal has given further guidance on the convoluted and badly drafted statutory presumptions on human rights in UK law. Trying to make sense of interlocking provisions in the UK Borders Act 2007, the Immigration Rules as amended and the Immigration Act 2014, the court concludes that the latter is so badly drafted that it must considered to be a drafting error. Specifically, the court finds that as drafted the Act gives greater protection to more serious criminals than less serious ones, which must be a mistake.

The whole section reads as follows:

117C Article 8: additional considerations in cases involving foreign criminals

(1) The deportation of foreign criminals is in the public interest.

(2) The more serious the offence committed by a foreign criminal, the greater is the public interest in deportation of the criminal.

(3) In the case of a foreign criminal (“C”) who has not been sentenced to a period of imprisonment of four years or more, the public interest requires C’s deportation unless Exception 1 or Exception 2 applies.

(4) Exception 1 applies where—

(a) C has been lawfully resident in the United Kingdom for most of C’s life,

(b) C is socially and culturally integrated in the United Kingdom, and

(c) there would be very significant obstacles to C’s integration into the country to which C is proposed to be deported.

(5) Exception 2 applies where C has a genuine and subsisting relationship with a qualifying partner, or a genuine and subsisting parental relationship with a qualifying child, and the effect of C’s deportation on the partner or child would be unduly harsh.

(6) In the case of a foreign criminal who has been sentenced to a period of imprisonment of at least four years, the public interest requires deportation unless there are very compelling circumstances, over and above those described in Exceptions 1 and 2.

(7)The considerations in subsections (1) to (6) are to be taken into account where a court or tribunal is considering a decision to deport a foreign criminal only to the extent that the reason for the decision was the offence or offences for which the criminal has been convicted.

Section 117D defines “foreign criminal”:

2) In this Part, “foreign criminal” means a person—

(a) who is not a British citizen,

(b) who has been convicted in the United Kingdom of an offence, and

(c) who—

(i) has been sentenced to a period of imprisonment of at least 12 months,

(ii) has been convicted of an offence that has caused serious harm, or

(iii) is a persistent offender.

It can be seen that foreign criminals are divided into three levels of despicableness:

  1. Convictions of less than 12 months
  2. Convictions of between 12 months and 4 years
  3. Convictions of greater than 4 years.

The exceptions at section 117C(3) are available only to those with category 3 convictions, not to those with category 2 convictions.  Or, more learnedly:

Something has obviously gone amiss with the drafting of section 117C(3). In Inco Europe Ltd v First Choice Distribution [2000] 1 WLR 586, HL, at 592-593, Lord Nicholls (with whom the other members of the Appellate Committee agreed) explained the circumstances in which the courts in interpreting statutes can correct obvious drafting errors. In our view the lacuna in section 117C(3) is an obvious drafting error. Parliament must have intended medium offenders to have the same fall back protection as serious offenders. Mr Tam invited us so to rule.

While the judgment is a long and learned one — which not necessarily tautological — it is hard to take it all that seriously knowing that the Supreme Court is still to give judgment on the deportation rules. Whether what the Court of Appeal says here has relevance once the Supreme Court has had its say is open to doubt, although the Supreme Court is not supposed to be looking directly at the Immigration Act 2014 itself.


Share this:

Home Office targeting genuine couples wanting to get married

The reading of the banns of marriage on three consecutive Sundays has been a longstanding feature of English church life. A visiting couple sits nervously at the back of the church, waiting to hear their names. “If any of you know cause or just impediment why these persons should not be joined together in holy matrimony, ye are to declare it.” Since the Middle Ages, banns have been the traditional legal preliminary to marriage in the English church. All this changed after the Immigration Act 2014. Since then, if one of the couple is a non-European – specifically not an EEA national – church banns cannot be used as the required legal preliminary to marriage. These couples have to inform the local register office. And they then inform the Home Office.

Recently we have heard about several cases where Home Office would come early in the morning to people’s houses, searched the premises, question them or even take one of them for questioning. All the couples where engaged to be marry and one of the partners was a non-EEA citizen. No one has to suggest their is any sort of sham marriage. It obviously isn’t.  Nonetheless, because the administration of marriage has been taken out of the hands of the church for non-Europeans through the 2014 Immigration Act (yes, of course, it’s racist), perfectly legitimate marriages have become bureaucratic honey traps for those whose immigration status is unclear. Article 16 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights insists that: “Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family.” Yes, argues the slippery Home Office.

Of course you have a right to marry. But we can still make sure you don’t make it to the church on time. Because we will deport you before you make it up the aisle. So much for our rights.

Share this:

May and Rudd distance themselves from Cameron pledge to cut immigration

A question mark has been placed over the future of David Cameron’s target of reducing net migration to “tens of thousands” by the next election, with the new prime minister, Theresa May, set to head to Germany for talks about Britain leaving the EU. Doubts about the target arose after the new home secretary, Amber Rudd, would only say her goal was to bring it down to “sustainable levels”.

Her refusal to endorse the specific target provides a hint that it may at some point be dropped by May, a former home secretary, despite a promise in the Conservative manifesto to reduce net migration to below 100,000 before 2020. May sparked speculation during the EU referendum campaign that she wanted to distance herself from the target set by Cameron when she failed to mention it in her only campaign speech. She also questioned in a television interview whether it was possible to set a particular time period for the target.

The first time Rudd was asked if she could give “a commitment that you are going to get mass migration down to the tens of thousands in the future?” she replied: “Well, what the prime minister has said is that we must bring migration down to sustainable levels. So that is what is going to be my aim at the moment.” Pressed as to whether the target still existed, she said: “I am going to stick to my comment which is about bringing it down to sustainable levels. That has to be the most important thing for the country.”

When the foreign secretary, Boris Johnson, was later asked whether Rudd’s comments indicated the target was about to be dropped, he said his colleague was “entirely right to be careful about committing to numbers” because the government “does not want to be in a position where we are disappointing people again”. However, Downing Street played down speculation that the target is about to be ditched, saying: “The prime minister does see sustainable levels as down to the tens of thousands. Sustainable levels is an approach and a language that has been used repeatedly by the Home Office in the past. The prime minister has used it herself. There isn’t a change.”

“The emphasis on ‘sustainable’ reflects the fact that this is about looking at what is the right level for our country, what communities across the country can cope with, pressure on public services, looking at all these issues,” she added.

May has inherited both the target and firm expectations from the voting public that leaving the EU will be able to bring down net migration.
The terms for ending freedom of movement are expected to be a central issue in negotiating Britain’s exit from the EU as Brussels is likely to argue it goes hand in hand with favorable access to the single market.

Share this:

Are you eligible for an Unmarried Partner Visa?!

It has been possible since 1997 for unmarried partners both in a heterosexual and same sex relationship to gain entry to the UK using an unmarried partners visa. Applications for unmarried partner visas tend to be more difficult than those based on marriage as you need to show that you have been together for two years and that it is a permanent relationship. The requirements since April 2003 are as follows:

  • You have to show that any previous relationship whether in marriage or as an unmarried couple has ended.
  • You should have been living together for at least two years in a relationship similar to marriage. You will need to provide documentary evidence confirming that you have been living together for this time.
  • If you have been together for less than four years you are granted a visa for a probationary period of two years. If you are still living together at the end of two years in the UK permanent residence (properly known as indefinite leave to remain) will usually be granted.
  • If you have been together for four years or more outside the UK you will be granted indefinite leave to remain (permanent residence) in the UK without having to live in the UK for two years. Again, you will need to provide documentary evidence proving this.
  • You must intend to live together permanently with your partner.
  • You must possess sufficient funds to pay you and your partner’s living expenses and those of any dependants without claiming public funds. Public funds cover various benefits paid by the Government if you are currently looking for work, if you are on a low income and if you are in various other situations.
  • Accommodation for the unmarried partners, and any dependants, must be suitable and available.
  • It is a requirement that the overseas unmarried partner has to be 16 years old or over, and the sponsor in the UK has to be at least 18 years old.
  • Children of the unmarried partners who are under 18 years old are allowed entry to the UK as dependants, and can make their application at the same time as the main applicant.
  • After a total period of five years in the UK if you meet the residence requirements you may then apply for UK Citizenship.

If you have any further questions or would like us to assist you in the above matter, please call us on

020 3695 4626

Share this:

You want your relative to join you in the United Kingdom?

If you are one of the relatives listed below (and can prove it) you can apply to join your family if present and settled in the UK. If your application is successful you will be granted an indefinite leave to enter. This route can be used by:

  • A parent or grandparent who is either divorced, widowed, single or separated and is 65 years old or more;
  • Parents or grandparents travelling together where at least one is 65 years or more;
  • A parent or grandparent who is 65 years or more and who has entered into a second marriage (or civil partnership) but cannot rely on the spouse, civil partner or children of that second marriage (or civil partnership) for financial support and where the person they are seeking to join in the UK is able and happy to support the parent or grandparent and any spouse or civil partner or child of the second relationship who would qualify as a dependant;
  • Parent(s) or grandparent(s) (whether one or both who are travelling together) under the age of 65 who is(are) living alone outside the UK in the most exceptional compassionate circumstances; or
  • The son, daughter, sister, brother, uncle or aunt over the age of 18 if living alone outside the United Kingdom in the most exceptional compassionate circumstances.

In addition you must also prove that you:

  • Are joining or coming with a person who is present and settled in the United Kingdom or who is coming to settle with you in the UK at the same time;
  • Rely wholly or mainly on the relative present and settled in the United Kingdom for financial support;
  • Your relative (sponsor) can show that he or she is able to provide adequate maintenance, accommodation and care for you without having to rely on public funds. Your relative will need to sign a sponsorship undertaking form to confirm that they will be responsible for your care without relying on public funds for a period of at least 5 years;
  • Have no other close relatives in your own country who could financially support you; and
  • Do not fall under the general grounds for refusal.
Share this:

Proposed £35,000 threshold will be debated in the Parliament

On March 7th the new proposed £35,000 threshold  will be debated in the Parliament for the first time.

Skilled migrants in the future will only qualify for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR), also known as settlement, in the future if they are earning a minimum salary. The Home Secretary has announced the plan as a move towards creating a temporary migrant workforce in the UK.

The new rules will mean that any skilled worker who has been in the UK for five years will now need to earn at least £35,000 per annum in order to qualify for ILR. It is expected that there will be some exceptions to the limit, including a lower earnings threshold for jobs in shortage or at PhD level. Temporary permission to enter and remain in the UK will also be capped at 6 years, to reduce access to ILR through the long-residence channel (after 10 years in the UK).

The changes in settlement rights will also include a new rule removing the rights of overseas nannies, cooks and other domestic workers to settle in Britain after five years. In 2010, 15,700 visas were issued to foreign domestic workers from outside Europe. The new rules mean that in future they will only be able to work for foreign visitors and their period in Britain will be restricted to six months.

A petition was launched in January 2016 to fight the changes has now received over 100,000 signatures and it has been confirmed that a debate has been scheduled for Westminster Hall on Monday 7 March. This will be the first time that the proposal has been properly scrutinized by Parliament.

Theresa May is facing calls to rethink the “discriminatory” new earnings threshold of £35,000 for non-EU migrants that could starve Britain of vital talent in the teaching, charity and entrepreneur sectors when the changes take effect in April.

Share this:

Home Office launches new visa waiver system in Kuwait

The electronic visa waiver (EVW) will allow Kuwaiti passport holders to travel to the UK for a visit of up to six months by filling in an online form at least 48 hours before they travel to the UK.

The scheme removes the need to give biometrics, attend a visa application center or hand in passports in advance of travel. To cover the costs of the new system, a fee of £15 will be introduced later this year.

An improved EVW system has been in development since last year and, after a successful pilot scheme in Kuwait, the system has now been formally introduced.

Immigration Minister James Brokenshire said: The introduction of the electronic visa waiver scheme in Kuwait follows an increase in the demand for visas from Kuwaiti nationals over a number of years.

Last year, more than 100,000 Kuwaiti nationals traveled to the UK and the EVW reflects the growing importance of our relationship with Kuwait and the region as a whole.

We look forward to welcoming more genuine visitors and tourists coming to the UK. Further details on the EVW and for the latest information on the UK’s visa service, go to the our website.

Share this: