IMMIGRATION UPDATE : July 2012
Volume 1 Number 6 : July
2012 : Welcome to the latest issue of this update, keeping you
informed and giving a detailed opinion of new developments in
The 'new look' newsletter is now available to download as a PDF with pictures and extras. click here to download the newsletter.
Immigration Services Training Seminar
migration – important changes
Immigration Services joins Skype
London 2012 Olympics – potential impacts
IMMIGRATION SERVICES – TRAINING SEMINAR
On 14 June 2012 we held a Tier 2 training session
featuring useful and informative presentations from UKBA and MAC
representatives. The seminar was well-attended; we are planning to offer more
The presenters clarified overall government policy
and the way in which changes may be implemented in the coming months. Client
comments were positive:
session was constructive and informative’
keep Definitive Immigration Services appraised of any changes to sponsored
very effective in meeting my learning objectives’
seminar was very useful as I had no prior knowledge of this area’
MIGRATION – IMPORTANT CHANGES
9 July 2012 will see a number of sweeping changes
to family migration to the UK. The changes will primarily affect non-EEA family
members of British nationals seeking permission to bring family members into
The most critical of these changes include the
The British partner who wishes to sponsor their
non-EEA family member to the UK must demonstrate that they earn at least
£18,600 per annum. It has been deemed that, following consultations, this the
correct level to demonstrate financial stability on the part of the British
national. How this will affect applications to the UK will be determined over
the next few months.
Should any dependent children be included, higher
requirements would apply. Should a partner and child be accompanying a British
national to the UK, the British national will need to demonstrate that they
earn at least £22,400. Should more than one child accompany, an additional
£2,400 would apply.
The UKBA have introduced such changes to ensure
that any non-EEA family members will not become a burden on the taxpayer. This
is also an attempt to ensure integration into modern British life by the UKBA.
The UKBA have introduced complex mechanisms by
which the financial support can be demonstrated. This includes different
evidentiary requirements for those in employment for less than 6 months with
their current employer and details on what savings can be used.
At present, when a non-EEA partner of a British
national they are given a two-year probationary period in the UK. At the end
this period, the partner may then apply for settlement in the UK provided they
meet the requirements of the rules.
However, from 9 July the probationary period will
be extended from two to five years.
This is in an effort to demonstrate that the
couple’s relationship is genuine and still subsisting after five years.
Entry clearance applications will be granted for an
initial period of 33 months (currently this is for 27 months) after which the
applicant will need to extend their stay in the UK. The extension will be given
for 30 months. At the time of extension, the financial requirement must be
demonstrated once more.
If the partner is already in the UK and eligible to
switch their status into that of a partner of a British national, they will be
granted two periods of 30 months of stay in that category.
PBS: Points Based Migrants
will also need to show that they have been living together with their partner
for at least five years. When the partner of a Points Based System migrant
applies for settlement in line with their partner, they too must have spent
five years in the UK on a route that leads to settlement. This applies to
persons applying as PBS dependents from 9 July 2012 onwards.
leave to enter
It was possible for a non-EEA partner of a British
national to apply for indefinite leave to enter the UK, provided that the
couple was living together for four years outside of the UK.
This route is being completely removed.
The reason given by the UKBA for the removal of
this route is that immediate settlement, and thus access to the welfare system,
is unfair. Those who wish to access the welfare system must demonstrate
compliance with immigration rules and the changes are also designed to promote
integration into UK life.
Dependents of British nationals who themselves are
over 18 years old will not be able to settle in the UK unless they can prove
that, as a result of an illness or a disability, they require a level of
personal care that can only be provided by their British relative in the UK.
English language requirements
From October 2013, persons applying for settlement
in the UK must have taken and passed the Life in the UK test AND an English
language test, in speaking and listening, to qualify.
At present, settlement applications only require
the applicant to have taken and passed the Life in the UK test.
PBS: partners of Points
Based Migrants will also need to take and pass the Life in the UK test AND an
English language test, in speaking and listening, to qualify for settlement.
This comes inro effect from October 2013.
Further guidance has been issued to determine
whether a relationship is genuine where the basis of the relationship is
required for the applicant’s immigration permission.
The UKBA are aware of a number of sham and false
relationships and marriages; therefore, they have introduced new criteria to
determine whether a relationship is authentic. These include the following:
- If the marriage took
place in the UK
- Where a couple cannot
provide any information about their intended living arrangements in the UK
- Few guests at a wedding
and a lack of close family members
- Evidence of money being
exchanged for the marriage to be contracted
- The applicant has
applied for leave to remain in another category and has been refused
These wide-ranging changes are likely to have a
significant impact on those who wish to bring their partners into the UK.
Please consult with us should you have any employees affected by the above
The UKBA have started to send out reminders to
Authorising Officers and Key Contacts where a company’s sponsor licence is
coming up for renewal.
When companies initially received approval from the
UKBA for a sponsor licence, they were advised that their licences were valid
for a period of 4 years. For example, if you were granted a sponsor licence on
04 January 2009, your sponsor licence would be valid until 04 January 2013.
The UKBA are writing to sponsors and advising them
that their licence is up for renewal. The UKBA are writing to sponsors
approximately 4 months in advance of the expiry date of the sponsor licence.
Sponsors can apply for a renewal of their sponsor
licence online via the sponsorship management system. A new application will
need to be completed online and submitted along with payment for the application.
The UKBA will charge a new application fee to apply for a licence renewal. The
fee will vary depending on the size of the company.
It is likely that the UKBA will write to request
original documentation to establish that the company is active and trading in
As experts in the field of sponsor licence
applications, we would be pleased to work with you on your sponsor licence
renewal. Our network of immigration professionals and links with the UKBA will
ensure that we provide you with a smooth service and to ensure that the
application stands the best chance of success.
Please note: if your organisation has not yet been
audited by the UKBA it is highly likely that you will receive a visit prior to
the sponsor licence renewal being granted.
Our team has assisted in numerous UKBA audits of
sponsors and are leading experts in the field of compliance. Therefore, if you
have any queries about an audit, or general compliance matters you are welcome
to contact us.
IMMIGRATION SERVICES JOINS SKYPE
In line with growing business demands and
international clientele, Definitive Immigration Services is now available on
To find your Consultant, simply search for: ‘definitive_first name of your
Consultant’ and add us as a Contact.
For example: ‘definitive_dhanjaye’.
We look forward to speaking and conferencing with
you via Skype!
2012 OLYMPICS – POTENTIAL IMPACT
As we are sure you know, London will be hosting the
2012 Olympics from 27 July to 12 August 2012 and the 2012 Paralympic Games from
29 August to 09 September 2012.
We have already seen a slight increase in
processing times from visa application centres overseas as UKBA staff are
giving priority to visa applications from athletes, spectators, Games family
members and media professionals.
We anticipate that, as the opening of the 2012
Olympics approaches, the impact on visa processing times overseas will
increase. Please therefore consult with us if you anticipate submitting a visa
application overseas that is non-Olympics related.
The impact on visa processing is likely to last
until just after the end of the 2012 Paralympic Games on 09 September 2012, so
the summer months will be incredibly busy for visa application centres and
planning ahead is critical.
We would also take the chance to remind you that,
during this summer, London is expected to be busier than ever. Accommodation,
transport and travel will be severely affected so we are happy to consult with
you about probable effects on the management your business over this period.
Definitive Immigration Services have worked with
key stakeholders in large businesses and provided a number of training seminars
on how to manage the impact of the 2012 Olympics. If you are interested in
arranging a training session on this matter, please contact us. We would be
pleased to arrange it.