The 180-day absence rule doesn’t apply to people with a spouse or partner visa​

Many UK immigration categories impose a requirement that the visa holder must not be outside the UK for more than 180 days in any 12-month period — that is, if the person wants to apply for indefinite leave to remain. and have explored the 180-day absence rule, and exceptions to it, before.  The good news is that this rule doesn’t apply to spouse and partner visa holders. But based on the volume of enquiries my firm receives from people worried they may have spent too much time outside the UK, many seem to be unaware of this. Full article here: For help and advice contact John Now.​

Immigration appeals are much more likely to succeed if there’s an oral hearing​

A person whose immigration application to the Home Office has been refused sometimes has a right of appeal. Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, people essentially had a choice. Their appeal could be heard in person, at court, in front of a judge who would listen to their evidence live (referred to as an “oral hearing”). Or they could opt for a judge to decide the outcome without a hearing, by only reading the documents in the case to reach a conclusion (a “paper disposal”).  The immigration tribunals want to decide a substantial number of appeals on the papers during the pandemic, as set out in a recent . Many practitioners fear this may be indicative of a change of approach even after the lockdown has ended. Whilst some may be suitable for paper disposal, in immigration cases the truthfulness of witnesses is often the central factor in dispute. It has been of concern that even in such cases, judges are canvassing whether representatives will give consent for matters to go ahead by paper consideration alone. Other areas of law are with issues of fairness in cases affected by the pandemic (in the family context, for example, see Re A (Children) (Remote Hearing: Care and Placement Orders) ). Case law the value and weight of oral argument in court. Statistical data obtained through a Freedom of Information request lend support to these observations. The figures cover 264,000 orals hearings and 17,000 paper disposals decided between 2014 and 2019. They show a marked disparity in outcome between the two forms of appeal.​Full Article here:

The Immigration Health Surcharge​

Published Tuesday, February 4, 2020 Most non-EEA nationals applying for temporary leave to remain in the UK must pay an 'Immigration Health Surcharge' (IHS) to the Home Office, in addition to the immigration application fee. The Government has a manifesto commitment to increase the charge and extend it to EEA nationals after the Brexit transition period. The charge is intended to “ensure that migrants make a proper financial contribution to the cost of their NHS care.” It was doubled in January 2019. The Government intends to increase it again, so that it reflects the full costs incurred by migrants using the NHS (calculated to be £625 per person). It has also signalled that EEA nationals moving to the UK after the Brexit transition period will be required to pay the charge.  

New immigration system: what you need to know​

The UK is introducing a points-based immigration system from 2021. ​On 28 January 2020 the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) published its report to the Home Secretary on a points-based immigration system. The government is currently considering the report’s recommendations before setting out further details on the UK’s future immigration system. There will be no change to the rights and status of EU citizens currently living in the UK until 30 June 2021. EU citizens and their families can apply to the EU Settlement Scheme to continue living in the UK. Published 28 January 2020. Source Contact John for assistance now.

EU Settlement Scheme: current estimated processing times for applications​

Home Office Guidance: Updated 8 January 2020. Source: Here These processing times are an indication of how long it will take to receive your decision on an application to the EU Settlement Scheme based on current performance.  Expected processing times You do not need to contact us once you have applied. We will contact you if we need any further information. There’s no change to your status in the UK while your application is processed. It usually takes around 5 working days for complete applications to be processed if no further information is required, but it can take up to a month. Your application is likely to take longer than a month to process if: we need to request more information from youyou’re applying as a minor and your application is not linked to an adultyou submit a paper application - for example if your application is based on a derivative right to reside in the UKyou have a relevant criminal recordyou’re a non-EEA or non-Swiss citizen and are applying based on a relationship you haven’t relied on in a previous application to the Home Office For advice and assistance contact John now.

Global Britain to attract more top scientists with fast tracked entry​

More top scientists and researchers are to be given fast tracked entry to the UK. ​The Home Secretary has announced that the number of eligible fellowships which can offer accelerated endorsement for visas for scientists wanting to conduct research in the UK will double from 62 to over 120.This builds on the announcement made by the Prime Minister in August 2019, which outlined how a wider pool of world leading scientists and researchers will be able to benefit from a fast-track process to obtain entry into the UK.In line with the current process, individuals who receive these fellowships will only need to provide a letter from the relevant funding organisation, which will see them fast-tracked to the Home Office / UKVI visa application stage where immigration checks will be carried out. Full Story here.

EU Settlement Scheme: ID document scanner locations​

Locations where you can go to get your biometric ID document scanned if you do not have an Android device with near field communication (NFC). Last Updated: 20 December 2019 Source: Gov.UK Contact John now for help and assistance.​

Update on Terms and conditions for booking and taking the Life in the UK Test​

These full terms and conditions explain the applicant’s obligations and what they can expect when booking and taking the Life in the UK Test. ​Read these terms and conditions to find out what you need to do and what to expect when booking and taking the Life in the UK Test. A list of identification requirements are also included. Updated 17.12.2019. Full details here.

Visa decision waiting times: applications outside the UK​

Check how quickly you’ll receive a decision on your UK visa application if you are applying from outside the UK. If you want to visit the UK - You should get a decision on your visa within 3 weeks of attending your appointment at the visa application centre, where 1 week is 5 working days, if you are applying for a visa to visit the UK: for a holiday or to see family or friendsfor a business trip or meetingto get married Published 10 December 2019 - ​Source: UK Visa & Immigration Contact John for help and advice

Applying for a UK visa: approved English language tests​

The list of tests and test centres approved by UK Visas and Immigration to show that applicants have the required level of English for their visa has been updated today (06.12.2019). If the visa you’re applying for asks you to prove your English language ability you should use the list of approved secure English language tests and test centres that meet the Home Office’s requirements. Full details here.  For all advice and assistance contact John now. 

Top reasons permanent residence applications are rejected or refused​

Your permanent residence application might be rejected or refused by UK Visas and Immigration if you don’t submit all the required evidence or prove that you meet the requirements. These are the most common reasons that applications are rejected or refused: You haven’t submitted a valid passport or national identity card to prove your nationality and identity.You haven’t submitted evidence to prove you’re a job seeker, worker, self-employed person, self-sufficient person, or student.You haven’t explained any long absences from the UK which break continuity of residence.You haven’t signed application form.You haven’t paid the correct application fee.Source:​

Rising proportion of EU citizens in UK given temporary 'pre-settled status'​

More people given temporary status as backlog of unresolved cases reaches half a million The proportion of EU citizens being granted a temporary, more precarious “pre-settled status” in the UK has continued to rise, the latest Home Office statistics show, and the backlog of unresolved cases has grown to more than half a million, causing unease among campaign groups that support EU nationals living in Britain. Most of the estimated 3.4 million EU citizens resident in the UK must apply for settled status if they want to continue living here legally after Brexit . The latest EU settlement scheme statistics show that 590,300 people applied for settled status in October, bringing the total number of applications to 2,450,000. Just over 1.9 million people have been granted some form of status in the UK. However, the proportion of people being allocated the more precarious, temporary pre-settled status continues to rise, jumping from 32% in the testing phase of the scheme to 34% in the month after the national launch in March, and up to 44% of all applications processed in October. Read the full story here.

UK decision to deny EU citizens access to data challenged in court​

Lawyers say blocking right to records could lead to Home Office errors going unchecked.​The government has been taken to court over its decision to deny European citizens the right to access data the Home Office holds on individuals in immigration cases.In a high court judicial review, campaigners for EU citizens allege that a clause in the Data Protection Act 2018 unlawfully excludes them from rights they would otherwise hold to access private data held by third parties. Courtesy of Guardian News & Media Ltd 

Windrush scheme and information​

Information on the Windrush scheme for Commonwealth citizens and others who have been in the UK for a long time and are worried about their immigration status.​

Windrush scheme and information​

Information on the Windrush scheme for Commonwealth citizens and others who have been in the UK for a long time and are worried about their immigration status.​

EU Settlement Scheme Guidance

A guide to applying to the EU Settlement Scheme for EU citizens and their families.​

New team to help Commonwealth citizens confirm their status in the UK

A new team to help Commonwealth citizens confirm their status in the UK has been announced by the Home Secretary today.​The new dedicated team will work across government to help individuals identify and gather evidence to confirm their existing right to be in the UK. The team will include a dedicated contact point and aim to resolve cases within 2 weeks once the evidence has been put together. In addition, no one affected will be charged for the documentation which proves their right to be here.

Immigration minister visits Heathrow Airport

EU citizens' rights in the UK​

Details of the UK government's agreement with the European Union on EU citizens' rights in the UK.​

Immigration minister visits Heathrow Airport

Immigration minister visits Heathrow Airport​

The minister, who was appointed to her new post on Monday 8 January, was met and briefed by Border Force Heathrow Director Mike Stepney on the important role officers have in protecting the UK border. She saw roving officers with responsibility for safeguarding and modern slavery, and was given an overview of arrivals controls including ePassport gates. The minister also witnessed detection activity in the customs channels, including x-ray scanning equipment for drug swallowers, and detector dogs at work. The visit concluded with a demonstration of Border Force’s work on the tarmac and freight areas of the airport. This included a search of freight goods by detector dogs and an aircraft which had recently landed.  

News story: Over 10,000 refugees resettled in the UK flagship scheme​

The latest quarterly Home Office immigration statistics today (22 February) show that 10,538 refugees have been resettled on the VPRS, one of the largest global resettlement programmes, since it began. The VPRS is just one of the routes by which the UK is helping to resettle refugees. In 2017, a total of 6,212 people were resettled in the UK - a 19% increase on 2016 - with 4,832 of these people coming through the VPRS. 539 people arrived under the Vulnerable Children’s Resettlement Scheme (VCRS) which will resettle up to 3,000 at-risk children and their families from the Middle East and North Africa region by 2020.  


John Atkins | Exclusively Immigration


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John Atkins | Exclusively Immigration

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