Visa and immigration to the United Kingdom
Feod Group is able to offer consultations on all aspects of UK immigration issues and has developed strong links and partnerships with British firms of solicitors, accredited by OISC and the Law Society (U.K.) Since 2005 Feod Group has taken aboard an in house British solicitor affording advise on British immigration for Ukrainians in the territory of Ukraine. Feod Group also cooperates with an American Immigration consultant who was a former Executive Associate Commissioner of U.S. Department of Justice and Immigration & Naturalization Service.
POINTS BASED SYSTEM
- The points-based system only covers migrants from outside the EU
- Under the points-based system, migrants must pass a points assessment before they can get permission to enter or remain in the UK.
- Each of the system’s five tiers has different points requirements – the number of points the migrant needs and the way the points are awarded will depend on the tier. Points are awarded to reflect the migrant’s ability, experience and age – and, when appropriate, the level of need in the migrant’s chosen industry.
- The points-based system consists of five tiers. These are:
- Tier 1 – for highly skilled workers, such as investors and entrepreneurs
- Tier 2 – for skilled workers with a job offer, such as teachers and nurses
- Tier 3 – for low-skilled workers filling specific temporary labour shortages, such as construction workers for a particular project
- Tier 4 – for students
- Tier 5 – for temporary workers, such as musicians coming to play in a concert, and participants in the youth mobility scheme.
- Tiers 1, 2, 4 and 5 are now open.
- Tier 3 is currently suspended.
- Migrants in any tier except Tier 1 must be sponsored before they can apply to us.
- Flexibility of the Tier 1…ability to settle a lot sooner….see below for examples.
Tier 1 Entreprenuer
- Depending on your level of investment and business activity in the UK, you must complete a continuous residence period of 3 or 5 years in an eligible immigration category before you can apply for settlement.
- The continuous residence period is 3 years if:
- your business has created at least 10 new full-time jobs for settled people; or
- you have established a new UK business that has had an income from business activity of at least £5 million during a 3-year period while you have been in the UK under Tier 1 (Entrepreneur); or
- you have taken over or invested in an existing UK business, and your services or investment have resulted in a net increase of £5 million in that business’s income from business activity during a 3-year period while you have been in the UK under Tier 1 (Entrepreneur), compared to the immediately preceding 3-year period.
- The continuous residence period is 5 years in all other cases
Tier 1 Investor
- Depending on your level of investment in the UK, you must complete a continuous residence period of 2, 3 or 5 years here before you can apply for settlement.
- During the continuous residence period, you cannot be outside the UK for more than 180 days in any 12 calendar months.
- The continuous residence period is 2 years if:
- you have money of your own under your control in the UK amounting to at least £10 million; or
- you own personal assets with a value (once any liabilities are taken into account) of at least £20 million, and you have at least £10 million under your control and disposable in the UK which has been loaned to you by a UK regulated financial institution.
- The continuous residence period is 3 years if:
- you have money of your own under your control in the UK amounting to at least £5 million; or
- you own personal assets with a value (once any liabilities are taken into account) of at least £10 million, and you have at least £5 million under your control and disposable in the UK which has been loaned to you by a UK regulated financial institution.
- The continuous residence period is 5 years if:
- you have money of your own under your control in the UK amounting to at least £1 million; or
- you own personal assets with a value (once any liabilities are taken into account) of at least £2 million, and you have at least £1 million under your control and disposable in the UK which has been loaned to you by a UK regulated financial institution.
RECENT SIGNIFICANT CHANGES TO THE UK IMMIGRATION RULES
- In March 2011, the Home Secretary announced major changes to the student rules, after a Home Office review revealed wide spread abuse (students main aim was to enter the UK labour market as oppose to studying)
- In July 2011, the UK Government brought about significant changes to the Tier 4 student route to tackle Immigration abuse:
- restrict work entitlements, by only allowing students sponsored by higher education institutions (HEIs) and publicly funded further education colleges to work part-time during term time and full-time during vacations;
- restrict sponsorship of dependants to those of students sponsored by HEIs on postgraduate courses lasting 12 months or longer, and of government-sponsored students on courses lasting longer than 6 months;
- require institutions to confirm that courses represent genuine academic progression from any previous courses studied by the student in the UK; and
- create a streamlined application process for low-risk nationals sponsored by Highly Trusted sponsors.
- In February 2012, the UK Government announced the creation of a sustainable selective immigration system that encourages the brightest and best to come to the UK. There was an announcement that the Government will end automatic settlement for skilled workers (under Tier 2), bringing a minimum salary to £35,000.00 for those that wish to settle in the UK.
- On 6th April 2012, the following changes were made to the Immigration Rules:
Tier 1 – high-value migrants
- Closing the Tier 1 (Post-study work) route.
- Introducing the new Tier 1 (Graduate entrepreneur) route.
- Introducing new provisions for switching from Tier 1 (Graduate entrepreneur) or Tier 1 (Post-study work) into Tier 1 (Entrepreneur).
- Renewing the 1000 place limit for Tier 1 (Exceptional talent) for each of the next 2 years.
Tier 2 – skilled workers
- Limiting the total amount of temporary leave that may be granted to a Tier 2 migrant to 6 years (which applies to those who entered after 6 April 2011).
- Introducing a new minimum pay requirement of £35,000 or the appropriate rate for the job, for Tier 2 general and sportsperson migrants who wish to settle here from April 2016 (with exemptions for those in PhD level and shortage occupation categories).
- Introducing a ‘cooling-off period’ across all the Tier 2 routes. Tier 2 migrants will need to wait for 12 months from the expiry of their previous visa before they may apply for a further Tier 2 visa.
- Introducing new post-study arrangements for graduates switching into Tier 2.
Tier 4 — students
- Extending the interim limit for sponsors that have applied for educational oversight and Highly Trusted Sponsor status and have not yet been assessed.
- Introducing limits on the time that can be spent studying at degree level (to 5 years).
- Tightening work placement restrictions.
- On 11 June 2012 the Government announced changes to the Immigration Rules for non-European Economic Area (non-EEA) nationals applying to enter or remain in the UK on the family migration route. The new Immigration Rules will also unify consideration under the rules and Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights, by defining the basis on which a person can enter or remain in the UK on the basis of their family or private life. Most of these changes applied to new applicants from 9 July 2012.
- The changes are part of the Government’s programme of reform of the immigration routes and follow wide consultation and expert advice from the Migration Advisory Committee. The changes include:
- introducing a new minimum income threshold of £18,600 for sponsoring the settlement in the UK of a spouse or partner, or fiancé(e) or proposed civil partner of non-European Economic Area (EEA) nationality, with a higher threshold for any children also sponsored; £22,400 for one child and an additional £2,400 for each further child;
- publishing, in casework guidance, a list of factors associated with genuine and non-genuine relationships, to help UK Border Agency caseworkers to focus on these issues;
- extending the minimum probationary period for settlement for non-EEA spouses andpartners from two years to five years, to test the genuineness of the relationship;
- abolishing immediate settlement for the migrant spouses and partner where a couple have been living together overseas for at least 4 years, and requiring them to complete a 5 year probationary period;
- from October 2013, requiring all applicants for settlement to pass the Life in the UK Test and present an English language speaking and listening qualification at B1 level or above of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages unless they are exempt;
- allowing adult and elderly dependants to settle in the UK only where they can demonstrate that, as a result of age, illness or disability, they require a level of long-term personal care that can only be provided by a relative in the UK, and requiring them to apply from overseas rather than switch in the UK from another category, for example as a visitor; and
- restricting family visit visa appeals. As of 9th July 2012, for those applying to the UK to visit a non-settled relative will not be afforded a full right of appeal if refused. As previously announced on 11 May 2012, the Crime and Courts Bill will, subject to Parliamentary approval, remove the full right of appeal against all family visit visa refusals. It is expected to come into force by 2014.
The UK Governments’ changes in the rules are part of a radical overhaul of the visa system, which will:
- encourage growth
- boost the economy
- ensure that students can support themselves
- tackle abuse
This will promote the wealthy and the brightest people to the UK, in particular Investors and Entrepreneurs.
Immigration Minister, Damian Green said:
‘It is vital that we continue to attract the wealthy, brightest and the best migrants in the UK, but we have to be more selective about who can come here and how long they can stay.
‘We need to know not just that the right number of people are coming here, but that the right people are coming here. People that will benefit Britain – not just those who will benefit by Britain.
The answer is that we are building, as fast as we can, an immigration system which is smarter, more selective and more responsive. An immigration system that delivers what Britain needs rather than what special interest groups demand. The change from the unregulated chaos of immigration policy in the past to this new vision will take some time to be fully visible.
‘We have laid the foundations for a sustainable system where we get numbers down and keep them down. Now we shall make it work for Britain”.