As of December 1, 2014, South Africans, Swaziland and Lesotho nationals who hold a valid visa for Australia, Canada, New Zealand or the United States of America will no longer be required to have a transit visa to travel through the UK.
The Indefinite Leave to Remain or ILR visa is visa which grants its holder permanent residency in the UK. If you currently hold an ILR you must be cautioned that it can be lost if you aren’t aware of the conditions it holds. The biggest mistake most ILR visa holders make is to assume that your stay in the UK is now permanent once your visa is granted. Many people get this visa and then leave the UK to pursue other things with the reasoning that they can always come back if things don’t work out elsewhere.
A new British-Irish Visa scheme between Ireland and the United Kingdom has been officially announced by British Ambassador to China Sir Sebastian Wood and Irish Ambassador Paul Kavanagh on October 28, 2014. Accordingly, visitors from China are permitted to visit both the UK and Republic of Ireland on a single travel visa.
On 11 July 2014 the Home Office published a Statement of Changes to the Immigration Rules to implement restrictions on the ability of those already present in the UK as a Tier 4 (Student) or Tier 1 (Post Study Work) to make an in-country application for an extension of stay as a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur).
However in a recent statement from the Immigration Minister some changes were made to the Immigration Rules with some positive changes for those wishing to apply for a Tier 1 (General).
The UK Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, has stated changes to tourist visas which will refund the cost of around 25,000 visas for tourists from China in an attempt to attract more Chinese visitors to the UK.
Since the court ruled in favour of the Home Office's new minimum income threshold for UK Family Visa's, it has become a mammoth task for many UK citizens to sponsor their non-EU partners or children to stay or join them permanently in the UK.
However, there is an alternative option available; The Surinder Singh route. The Surinder Singh Route is a method that can be used to bring your family members into the UK using your rights as an EU member as opposed to a UK Citizen.
In order to prevent the UK Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa stream from fraudsters, an announcement of changes to this visa type has been made on July 10, 2014 by the UK's immigration minister James Brokenshire.
The UK’s Home Office has added a new 12 month “mathematics teacher exchange” scheme to the Tier 5 (Government Authorised Exchange) route. This plan is to bring around 60 maths teachers from Shanghai to work in the UK in March.
The UK Home Office on early August announced a new improvement to the visa system in China, including 24-hour visa service, the expansion of mobile biometrics, and applying for both UK and Schengen visas with a single form.
The result of a recent UK Court of Appeal judgment upholds the recently revised income threshold requirements imposed under the new family migration rules.
In July 2012, the UK government introduced a revised minimum income threshold for British citizens to sponsor a non-EEA spouse or partner or child to come and live in the UK. Its purpose was to ensure that family migrants do not become reliant on local taxpayers for support and are encouraged to integrate effectively.
Through The Immigration Bill which received Royal Assent on May 14, 2014, a series of reforms have been introduced which aim to ensure that the UK immigration system is: fairer to British citizens and legitimate migrants and tougher on those with no right to be in the UK.
A record 30.43 million people are currently employed in the UK, a testament to the government’s ongoing initiatives to support business development and job creation. According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the UK labor market saw a record rise in employment of 283,000 in the last quarter.
According to a recent announcement of ETS, the organization has made the decision not to extend the Secure English-language Testing (SELT) license with the UK Home Office. As a result, TOEIC and TOELF test will no longer be used to apply for UK student visa.
The UK Home Office has recently announced that starting May 5th 2014, Venezuelan nationals will be required to apply for and obtain a Visitor Visa for short stays of up to 6 months. Current rules in place for Venezuelan nationals seeking to obtain other visas such as to work or study in the UK will remain unchanged.
As part of new figures recently revealed by the Home Office, the latest immigration figures show that net migration from outside the EU continues to fall, and is now at its lowest levels since 1998. This is seen as a direct result from the government’s efforts in effecting immigration reforms; one which is reducing abuse of the various programs.
A number of changes on UK immigration rules have been published by the Home Office and UK Visas and Immigration on March 13, 2014. Under these changes, UK businesses will be allowed to employ skilled international workers as well as supporting the government's long term economic plan to build a stronger, more competitive economy.
In order to facilitate exceptionally talented programmers and IT professionals to apply for the Tier 1 Exceptional Talent visa, the UK government will introduce a new 'tech visa' in April 2014, according to a recent announcement by the UK's Prime Minister David Cameron.
The UK government has recently published customers' responses to the consultation on fees and charging, immigration and visas, noting that they would welcome enhanced premium services and simplified fees.
It will be easier for Lao residents to make a UK visa application as the UK government will re-open the mobile UK visa application service to Laos at the British Embassy in Vientiane from 07 February 2014, UK Border Agency announced on 14 January.
People wishing to visit the UK for the annual Chinese New Year celebrations should make their visa application as soon as possible since it is expected that there will be a surge in applications from people in China in January, UK Border Agency (UKBA) has recently announced.
UK Border Agency (UKBA) on 20 November announced some amendments to the list of approved English language tests for applications made under Tiers 1, 2 and 4 of the points-based system and for spouse or partner applications.
Recently, the UK Border Agency brought in a number of changes to immigration rules that will provide business visitors with more freedom to carry out their operations, while giving international students who have UK degrees the opportunity to gain valuable work experience.
UK Border Agency on 18 October announced the updated list of approved English language tests for applications made under Tiers 1, 2 and 4 of the points-based system and for spouse or partner applications.
From 31 October 2013, Bolivian residents wishing to come to the UK for more than 6 months will be required to take a tuberculosis test before applying for a visa, UK Border Agency (UKBA) has announced.
From 30 October 2013, residents of Cameroon wishing to come to the UK for more than 6 months will be required to take a tuberculosis test before applying for a visa, UK Border Agency (UKBA) has announced.
UK Border Agency (UKBA) has announced the extension of its priority visa service in Indonesia to include all applicants under business visitor, Tier 1, Tier 2, Tier 4 (child and general) and Tier 5 visa category.
The UK Border Agency (UKBA) has published updated versions of application forms for visa applications across all tiers of the points-based system that will be in use from the beginning of this October.
Beginning October 28th, 2013, there will be two parts to the Knowledge of Language and Life in the UK (KoLL) requirement, both of which must be met by all applicants for settlement and naturalisation unless the individual is exempted (exemption details below).
The UK Border Agency recently announced that the priority visa service is now available to settlement visa applicants from Australia and New Zealand. This service is optional, and is available, for an additional fee, from 12 August 2013. Priority service is available for all settlement visa categories; it is not currently available for other visa categories.
A mobile visa clinic is going to be opened in Lao capital, Vientiane on September 26, allowing Lao nationals to obtain a UK visa without visiting the UK visa application center in Bangkok, according to Thailand Deputy Head of Mission for the British Embassy in Vientiane, Alexandra Needham.
Croatian citizens are now members of the European Union after a decade-long negotiation process.
This effectively means that Croatian nationals are now able to move around and live freely in any other of the 27 member states, including the UK. Croatian nationals no longer need permission under the immigration rules to live legally in the UK.
The UK Border Agency on July 22 announced the launch of a new pilot service that allows applicants for Tier 2 Intra company transfer (ICT) visas to have their passport returned before a decision has been made on their application.
Recent changes to the law means that family visitors such as grandparents, aunts, uncles, nephews and first cousins, as well as immediate family who are refused a visa for a short visit to see family members living in the UK will lose the full right to appeal.
Under the UK immigration rules, Croatian nationals can now enter and live in the UK without permission because this country has become the 28th nation to join the European Union since Monday 1 July, 2013.
A mobile biometric clinic will be set up on 25 July 2013, allowing residents in Krygzstan to supply biometric information when applying for a UK visa, without having to travel to the UK visa application centre in Almaty, according to a recent announcement of the UK Border Agency.
It is now required that all Chinese applicants for UK visas, even those who submit an urgent application, have to book an appointment to attend UK visa application centres (VAC) in China to lodge their application, UK Border Agency (UKBA) announced.
Individuals who are taking the 'Life in the UK' test will have to answer questions based on a newly published handbook 'Life in the UK - A Guide for New Residents', the UK Border Agency has recently announced.
The UK Immigration Minister Mark Harper on February 25 laid a written ministerial statement on proposals to change the fees for immigration and nationality applications made to the UK Border Agency (UKBA).
The Prime Minister David Cameron has recently announced the first "same-day" UK visa service, which will allow frequent Indian travelers to be able to apply for a visa in the morning and pick it up that afternoon, instead of waiting up to three days.
UK immigration inspectors have discovered backlogs of cases and a lack of consideration of the best interests of children in an inspection of applications to enter, remain and settle in the UK on the basis of marriage and civil partnerships.
According to UK Foreign Secretary William Hague, there are still many UK visa options available to Australian nationals wanting to live and work in the UK although the Post Study Work route (Tier 1) was closed last year.
The South Korean ministry of foreign affairs and trade has recently announced that nationals from South Korea can apply for 2013 Youth Mobility Scheme Certificates of Sponsorship ballot between 12 February and 15 February 2013 to live and work in the UK under Working Holiday Visa.
A new visa service has been launched to fast track visa processing for Kenyan applicants wishing to urgently travel to the UK, especially on business purposes, the UK Border Agency (UKBA) has recently announced.
According to a UK Border Agency announcement on 8 November 2012, the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2006 were amended to set out the rights of EEA nationals and their family members to enter and reside in the UK as well as confirm the criteria for rights to permanent residence.
UK immigration officials recently revoked London Metropolitan University's (LMU's) Highly Trusted Sponsor (HTS) status, or the ability of a learning institution to give sponsorship to international students. Having a sponsor school is one of the requirements in obtaining a Tier 4 student visa, and LMU's new status would also change the visa status for many students.
According to an announcement by the UK Embassy in Kathmandu, Nepal, Nepalese who want to apply for a UK visa as a visitor or under the points-based system are required from October 15, 2012 to apply and seek an appointment at the visa application centre online.
Following the UK government's announcement in May 2012 that 67 countries would be subject to a UK pre-entry tuberculosis (TB) screening programme, the timetable and arrangements for the rollout of the programme in India have been announced.
A new UK visa application service has been launched in Kuching and Kota Kinabalu for UK visa applicants in East Malaysia to lodge their visa application and provide their biometric information (fingerprints and digital photograph) this summer.
The UK Government on June 10, 2012 announced changes to the UK Immigration law, allowing only British nationals or residents with an annual income of at least Rs 16 lakhs to bring spouses from the Indian sub-continent and other countries outside the European Union.
To tackle tuberculosis in the UK, a new pre-entry tuberculosis (TB) screening program was announced by Immigration Minister Damian Green on May 21, 2012. The new program will help save lives and save taxpayers more than £40 million over the next 10 years.
Citizens from outside the European Union accused of serious human rights abuses would not be allowed to enter Britain after British immigration rules are changed, according to a report released by Foreign Secretary William Hague on April 30, 2012.
To provide a more effective and flexible visa service, all UK visa applications submitted in Valletta, Malta will be decided at the UK Border Agency's regional processing centre in London from 30 April 2012.
Changes to the UK Immigration Rules affecting Tier 2 of the points based system (the route for non-EEA workers with an offer of a skilled job in the UK), were laid before Parliament on 4 April 2012 and will come into force on 6 April 2012 and 14 June 2012, the UK Border Agency (UKBA) announced.
The UK Embassy in Bangkok made an announcement on April 03, 2012 about the introduction of two new premium visa services offered by the UK Border Agency (UKBA) and its commercial partner for visitors wishing to enter the UK in 2012 – the year of the London Olympics.
A new UK visa rule which will require all Libyan, Egyptian and Syrian nationals transiting at a UK airport to apply for a Direct Airside Transit Visa (DATV) from April 3, 2012 has been introduced by Home Secretary Theresa May.
Athletes, coaches and officials visiting the UK for the Olympics have been issued six-month visas that ban them from marrying while staying in the country due to concerns of illegal immigration and terrorists.
UK immigration visa rules under points-based system have been loosened for non-EU artists who are temporarily visiting the UK. Overseas artists will not be classified as migrants and be allowed to stay in the UK for up to a month if officially invited, the UK Border Agency announced.
The Visa application centre at the British Embassy in Copenhagen will be closed and replaced with a visa service provided in partnership with WorldBridge Service, the UK Border Agency (UKBA) announced on Wednesday.
According to data obtained by McGrigors, a UK based commercial law firm, there has been a significant increase in the number of wealthy foreign investors being issued visas to stay in the UK over the last three years.
Immigration Minister Damian Green has announced new visa rules that are aimed at reducing abuse of the student visa route and ensuring that only the best and brightest students can stay and work in the UK.
International students who have shown entrepreneurial flair while studying in UK universities will be able to gain a visa to remain in the country to develop their ideas, according to an announcement by Immigration Minister, Damian Green.
The UK Border Agency (UKBA) have released a new list of approved English language test providers for visa applications made under Tiers 1, 2 and 4 of the points-based system and for partner visa applications.
Tier 1 (Exceptional talent) visa applicants who want their applications endorsed by the Arts Council England (ACE) are required to follow a new procedure, according to an announcement from the UK Border Agency (UKBA) earlier this month.
From 16 January 2012, the UK Border Agency in Ukraine will offer a priority visa service which is available to applicants who meet specific criteria and who pay an additional fee to have their visa application processed ahead of others.
From 16 January 2012 the UK Border Agency (UKBA) in Thailand will offer a priority UK visa service to certain categories of applicants who meet specific criteria and pay an additional fee to have their visa application processed ahead of others.
The UK Border Agency (UKBA) has reminded all Tier 4 (Student) visa sponsors of the requirement for an inspection or review in 2012 by an appropriate educational oversight body to continue to be able to sponsor international students.
Indian students seeking to study in the UK will likely not be afffected by recent changes to the student visa rules, said Peter Beckingham, British deputy high commissioner, at an event on November 28, 2011.
It is now easier for top international equestrian trainers to come and work in the UK as the UK Border Agency (UKBA) has allowed the British Horse Society (BHS) to issue endorsements for employers to sponsor these trainers.
According to an announcement released by UK Immigration Minister Damian Green on November 23, 2011, Romanian and Bulgarian nationals seeking to work in the UK will continue to be required to obtain permission from the UK Border Agency until the end of 2013.
The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) has recommended that UK residents who want to sponsor a partner or dependent under the family migration route should have a minimum salary of between £18,600 and £25,700.
According to the UK Border Agency (UKBA), the new Shortage Occupation List, which is designed to ensure only migrant workers that the country needs are accepted, came into effect from November 14, 2011.
Additional details about the administration of the Certificates of Sponsorship for eligible Taiwanese who wish to apply for a Tier 5 (Youth mobility scheme) visa has been announced by Taiwan's National Youth Commission on November 1, 2011.
The UK Border Agency (UKBA) has announced new arrangements for Tier 4 sponsors who were granted their sponsor licence between 16 December 2010 and 28 February 2011 and were allocated zero confirmations of acceptance for studies (CAS) under the Tier 4 interim limit.
The UKBA has published a list of financial institutions from which they will no longer accept documentation for the purpose of meeting the maintenance (financial funds) requirement for Tier 4 visa applications.
The UK Home Office will consider proposals from the Scottish Affairs Committee to allow different periods of stay for international students studying in Scotland and England under new immigration rules that will be implemented next year.
The importance of holding families for short periods at UK ports and airports in small numbers of cases to protect the border and interest of vulnerable children has been reiterated by the UK Border Agency on October 17, 2011.
Recruitment firm ReThink Recruitment stated on Oct 10, 2011 that UK visa rules have been relaxed to deal with a shortage of actuaries triggered by the insurance industry's preparations for new European capital rules.
According to the latest news from the Taiwan Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), a bilateral program signed between the UK and Taiwan will allow young Taiwanese to participate in a working holiday program in the UK from next year.
September 12, 2011, the United Kingdom's Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) submits its recommendations for revising the Shortage Occupation List which includes covering fewer employees and changinig some occupations.
UK Border Agency (UKBA) will introduce changes to the sponsorship management system (SMS) on 1 October 2011, which will change how people apply for Restricted Certificates of Sponsorship (RCoS) under Tier 2 General visa category.
The UK Border Agency (UKBA) made an announcement on 21 June, 2011 stating that it is preparing for new arrangements that allow skilled migrants who entered the UK under closed work routes to extend their stay in this country up to a total period of 5 years.
A written ministerial statement of changes in the Immigration Rules has been laid in Parliament on 13 June. It announces the second set of changes to the student visa system which will take effect on 4 July.
The proposals on breaking the link between temporary and permanent migration has been announced by UK Immigration Minister Damian Green yesterday- June 9, 2011. Under the proposals, migrants going to the UK to work on temporary visas will no longer be eligible to apply for settlement.
The Home Secretary Theresa May on her first visit to the border controls in Calais recently has pointed out the importance of practical co-operation in stopping illegal immigrants from entering the UK.
On June 1, 2011, the opening of Morton Hall removal centre in Lincolnshire was officially announced by the UK Immigration Minister Damian Green, increasing capacity in the detention estate as the government intensifies enforcement activity across the country.
A new list of English language test providers for Tiers 1 and 2, and partner applications has been recently published by the UK Border Agency. And from 18 May 2011, only tests taken from providers in the new list will be accepted.
The number of UK work visa applications has dropped sharply after new immigration rules came into effect early last month. About seventy five percent of the initial allowance from UK Border Agency for UK work permits for skilled workers has been left unused.
According to the Home Office, UK visa fees will be increased for foreign nationals applying to visit, study, work or immigrate to the UK, and UK employers as well as education providers applying for a sponsor license.
Home Secretary Theresa May has recently announced the changes to the student visa system. The changes include tougher entrance criteria, limits on work entitlements and the closure of the post-study work route.
The UK Worker Registration Scheme will close on 30 April 2011, according to a recent announcement of Immigration Minister Damian Green. This will help overseas workers from countries included in the scheme work and reside in the UK more easily.
As part of a shake up of the immigration system, on the 23rd November 2011, the Home Secretary announced significant changes that would be enforced as part of the government’s pledge to cut migrant numbers.
The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC), the independent body which reports to the government on migration and labour issues, has recommended a new shorter list of occupations eligible under UK Tier 2 of the points-based. According to the recommendation, 71 shortage occupations are set to be removed from UK Tier 2 Visa.
The public consultation on the UK student visa system closed and responses are being considered carefully before final decision, according to UK Immigration Minister Damian Green in his speech to the think tank Reform last week.
According to a UK Border Agency announcement, onshore applications for the Tier 1 (General) Visa in the UK will remain open until the end of March 2011, which means that there are only three months left for UK immigrants wishing to apply for Tier 1 Visa from within the UK.
While waiting for an annual limit on applications for Tier 2 (General) of the points-based system to be set, an interim limit of Tier 2 (General) was announced by UK Border Agency and will apply until 5 April, 2011. According to the interim limit, there will be maximum of 10,382 certificates for both initial and extension applications that can be issued.
Home Secretary Theresa May has announced the changes that are to take place in Tiers 1 and 2 of the points-based system. This will help the Government’s pledge to cut the number of non-EU migrants that are allowed in to the UK each year.
Vince Cable has won the fight to have 'intra-company transfers' exempt from the annual immigration quota. As the immigration cap poses a threat to tens of thousands of foreign workers, having the 'intra-company transfers' excluded from the cap has been a major victory for Vince Cable.
The Government may be facing further backlash if certain sectors are permitted to avoid the imposed cap that is due to become permanent. Mark Prisk, Minister for Business and Enterprise, suggested that the cap could be overturned and exemptions made for "technical staff".
Tory MP Nick Boles has said that 'We need to make sure people who come here make a financial commitment to the country which they’ll get back in a few years time.' He also said that immigration has been 'too high in recent years.' Therefore, this would be a method for the Government to make sure immigrants are contributing to society and there is no potential for social unrest.
After talks with the Home Office, the same results were found that cutting the number of visas per category, and shortening the processing time, is not reflecting positively with the necessary projects that need completing.
The UK Boarder Agency (UKBA) has announced that there will be an increase to immigration and nationality application fees coming the fall of 2010. The increase will affect all those who are looking to visit, study, work or migrate to the UK.
The UK Government has cut the number of Certificates of Sponsorship (COS) by 5%. This cut has recently been creating difficulties for acute care hospitals that rely on foreign nurses to meet health care demands within the UK.
One of the top Government advisors, Professor David Metcalf has warned that ministers will need to stop workers from bringing their families with them to meet the immigration cap for tens of thousands within the UK.
The government Immigration Minister, Damian Green has recently spoken to the Royal Commonwealth Society in relation to the upcoming policy changes and the proposed cap which will eventually limit the number of non-EU migrants that will be allowed in to the UK every year.
The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) has released data suggesting that the net immigration figure within the UK has actually risen by 20% last year. The increase in net immigration is attributed to the growing number of foreign students and a drop in the amount of UK nationals emigrating out of the country.
The UK Immigration Minister Damian Green has embarked on a visit to India in the hope to further discuss the proposed UK immigration cap. The purpose of the meeting will be to consult Indian Government officials and business leaders regarding the UK immigration policies and their impact on the two countries.
One of the big manifesto pledges by PM David Cameron was to place an annual cap on the number of migrants (who are non-EU nationals) that can enter the UK. His promise was (and still is) to bring the levels of net migration in to the tens of thousands, rather than the hundreds of thousands.
Starting January 2011, individuals with Hungarian ties will be able to claim EU passports which would allow these individuals to automatically live and work anywhere in the European continent, including the UK.
Starting January 2011, individuals from Hungarian ties will be able to claim EU passports which would allow these individuals to automatically live and work anywhere in the European continent, including the UK.
Following the decision made in the Judicial Review case brought by English UK, the UK Border Agency (UKBA) has made a series of amendments to the Immigration rules under Tier 4 of the Points Based System (PBS).
According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the population has grown by 394,000 people in the span of one year. It seems that growing birth rates within the UK have been pushing the population numbers up due to a larger amount of migrant mothers are of a child bearing age and are already established enough to start a family. At the same time births to UK born mothers continues to fall, this time by 1.1 percent from last year.
The UK government is currently working on setting a quota to cap annual immigration to the UK from April 2011 onwards. The cap would affect those skilled workers coming from outside the European Union. In the interim, a temporary, smaller cap is proposed to come in to effect on July 19, 2010.
In recent months David Cameron has made it no secret that he thinks the level of migrants in the UK is too high and should he become Prime Minister he would put an annual cap on non-EU migration. What he doesn't tell us is what this cap would be.
London Mayor Boris Johnson is set to hold a conference on Migration in the capital in the forthcoming weeks. The conference will invite 150 leaders and mayors from across Europe to talk about migration integration in to British Society.
A proposal from the Liberal Democrats at Brent Council aims to convert illegal immigrants into fully fledged citizens - giving them full rights and responsibilities. The council is the sixth in the UK to support the cause.
The Home Office has released new figures for the fees for its immigration and nationality services. The new figures, which will come in to effect as of April this year, are set above the normal administrative costs of the service. Whilst most services will see a rise of up to £100; one particular service will treble in cost - the dependent relative visa.
David Cameron, leader of the UK Conservative party has proposed a cap on UK immigration. If the elected PM at the next election, Cameron is proposing an annual cap on UK immigration to stop the population reaching the predicted 70 million. The cap could see net migration to the UK limited to the tens of thousands.
The UK Border Agency has today released recent statistics on immigration and asylum cases. The figures show that overall net migration to the UK has fallen - however half a million migrants still come to the UK looking for jobs and to study.
With a promise to cull migrant workers coming to the UK and stamp down on Students who come here with the sole intention to work illegally, the Prime Minister has given a major speech on UK Immigration for the first time Since February 2008.
Business leaders and immigration lawyers have accused the UK government of harming business with their Tier 2 Skilled Worker points-based immigration system (PBS) – the replacement for the former work permit scheme.
The UK government has for the time-being abandoned plans requiring UK and Irish nationals to show passports when travelling between the two countries (Common Travel Area – CTA). There are currently no passport controls for nationals of either country travelling within the CTA.
In a ground-breaking meeting prior to this week's G8 summit, the UK Prime Minster, Gordon Brown and French President, Nicolas Sarkozy agreed on tough new measures to combat the wave of illegal migration from continental Europe to the UK, in particular the migrant squatter camps springing up around the French port of Calais.
The UK Border Agency (UKBA) today announced that a £20 fee will be introduced from 29th June 2009 for the acceptance of technical changes of employment notifications for work permit holders. The new charge was introduced as part of the UKBA’s ongoing cost recovery measures.
A report published by the London School of Economics (‘LSE’) has claimed that an immigration amnesty for the UK’s long term illegal migrants could net up to £3bn for the UK economy. There are currently an estimated 618,000 illegal migrants in the UK, of whom up to 442,000 reside in London.
In welcome news for students intending on completing their secondary school education in the UK, the UK Border Agency ('UKBA') has agreed to extend their existing concessional arrangements for prospective A-level students, to include those completing other A-level equivalent courses, such as Higher Diplomas.
Stricter visa rules designed to stamp out sham colleges and qualifications are causing problems for legitimate private schools seeking foreign students according to the Independent Schools Council ('ISC').
A report published last week by the European Commission showed that Europe's working age population would peak next year and start declining afterwards, which would have huge budgetary and economic impacts for all European countries.
The UK Hospitality sector has seen the largest number of employers who have breached illegal working legislation since the UK Border Agency (UKBA) started to implement rigorous checks last year in order to prevent illegal working.
A person's application for Indefinite Leave to Remain (permanent residence) on the basis of 14 years residence cannot be refused because he/she has lived in the UK 'unlawfully' or 'worked unlawfully', according to a recent decision by the Court of Appeal.
Prior to 3 April 2006, those under the HSMP who wished to apply for ILR were required to show that they had spent 4 years' continuous residence in the UK. On 3 April 2006, the 4 year qualifying period was increased to 5 years' qualifying residence. Due to this change, a large number of HSMP holders did not qualify for ILR.
Stricter Immigration Rules for skilled and highly skilled migrant workers will take effect on 31 March 2009, raising the academic and financial requirements of two categories in Tier 1 of the points-based system.
Malcolm Clay, of the Association of Circus Proprietors of Great Britain, told the committee that they needed to bring performers from Eastern Europe and China. However they feared that although the new points-based system is a 'vast improvement' on the previous work permit system, Embassy staff have not been properly trained for the new system.
The UK Border Agency has announced a call for tender for the European Integration Fund 2007-2008. The European Integration Fund is aimed at legally newly arrived migrants within the last five years who are not asylum seekers or refugees.
The US Embassy in Ghana has made the renewal procedure of certain US visas much easier for eligible applicants. It is hopeful that these procedures will be followed in other US embassies and consulates located in other countries.
Foreign workers have taken almost all the new jobs created in the UK in the past 7 years. The research into the UK labour market since 2001, published by the think-tank Migrationwatch, shows that 1.08 million out of the 1.34 million new jobs created since 2001 have gone to non-UK citizens.
The issue of identity cards for UK citizens has been a controversial topic in the UK since 2003 when David Blunkett announced proposals to introduce them. Whilst they are still the subject of much debate stemming from concerns about identity fraud and loss of privacy, identity cards will now initially be issued to foreign nationals from November 2008.
The UK Border Agency have announced that from 25 November 2008 they would begin to issue identity cards to foreign nationals applying for further leave to remain in the United Kingdom under certain categories.
The UK Government are introducing laws which will make it more difficult for Ministers of Religion from outside the EU to enter the UK to address their congregations and lead UK people in prayer. It could hinder freedom of worship in the UK.
The Office for National Statistics shows the total population of Britain has reached record levels and immigration has been the biggest contributor. The trend indentifies that Britain will become the most populous country in Europe by 2060.
The House of Lords have ruled that forcing a migrant to prove a relationship is genuine is 'arbitrary and unjust', even if they were getting married only weeks before their permission to stay in Britain ran out.
UK's new points based immigration system, referred to as “Tier 1 (General)”, will go into effect on June 30, 2008 for all individuals looking to immigrate to the UK as a general highly skilled migrant.
Increasing numbers of British citizens are opting to make a new life in countries such as Australia, New Zealand, Spain & USA, creating gaps in the UK workforce & community for skilled migrants to move in.
After two long years of hectic lobbying and long courtroom hours the House of Lords finally allowed Indian doctors on HSMP visas to train and work in the UK under the same conditions given to applicants from Britain and the European Union.
The UK's new points-based immigration system is finally seeing the light of day, as the UK Government has just published its details. The big day will be on the 29th of February when it will come into effect.
If you would like to live and work in the United Kingdom, now is the best time to apply for a working visa, as from the 1st of March 2008, the current Highly Skilled Migrant Programme (HSMP) and UK Work Permit scheme will be replaced by a brand new points-based system.
The British Pound has risen to a quarter-century high against the US dollar. The rise comes as a result of speculation that the Bank of England will keep its interest rates at their current high. £1 pound sterling currently buys $2.0657 USD. The last time that the pound traded at this level was in mid-1981.
The UK is continuing its implementation of Biometric visa systems at entry clearance posts abroad. The latest order for almost 1,400 high-tech biometric scanners will go to visa processing units in other countries. The UK plans to collect biometric data about every visa applicant, in an attempt to tighten its borders and crack down on illegal immigration.
Over the last year, the United Kingdom has absorbed the most newcomers since 2001. The primary driving force has been migration from the countries that recently joined the European Union. Most newcomers have been quickly absorbed by the UK economy as workers.
The UK has introduced a new fast and secure method of clearing immigration method called IRIS Recognition Immigration System). IRIS recognises someone by the pattern of his or her iris which is also the most personally distinct external physical characteristic.
From 5 February 2007, visa applicants in Ghana and Kenya applying for UK visas valid for stays longer than six months will need to provide with their visa application a certificate confirming that they are free from infectious tuberculosis (TB).
On 7 November 2006, Liam Byrne, Minister for Immigration, Nationality and Citizenship announced major changes to the Highly Skilled Migrant Programme (HSMP). Applicants under this scheme will be judged against new enhanced points criteria designed to attract and better reflect the likelihood of migrants' labour market success.
Although the number of unemployed in the UK is about to hit 1 million, at the same time the number of full-time jobs on offer is also increasing thanks to the number of newcomers finding employment in the UK.