EEA Workers in the UK

Who are EEA Nationals? Well, Nationals of following countries are called EEA nationals. Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and UK. EEA Nationals have some rights. One of them is the free movement of the EEA National and their family members and right of residing within the territory of the EEA member states.

 

So what rights EEA nationals have to live and work in UK? EEA Nationals can enter UK subject to their passport or identity card check. EEA Nationals have the right to reside in the UK, initially for 3 months when they don’t need to exercise their treaty right. If an EEA national lives in UK for more than 3 months then he/she will have the right of residence till the time he/she remain a qualified person. A qualified person is one who is either seeking employment in the UK or is a worker as full time or part time in UK. If you are a job seeker then you need to show the evidence that you are seeking job in the UK and you have a fair chance of getting job. To prove this you need to show evidence of job interviews, evidence of your qualification, and evidence of registration with Job centers or recruitment agencies in UK. If you are working in UK then you must be able to show evidence that you are in full time or part time employment, so you can show copy of contract and pay slips.

EEA nationals get access to social benefits. Your right of access social benefits in UK depends on your work record in UK and it may differ which depends on whether you are currently working, currently working but for low hours or for low pay, you have retired after working, you worked but currently unemployed or sick or you have never worked in UK but you came here looking for work. You may sometime keep your worker status in UK if you have worked in UK and lost your job or became unable to work for some specific reasons. If you came to UK looking for a job, as an EEA national you have the right to reside in UK but you cannot claim income based jobseeker’s allowance during the first 3 months in UK. If you worked in UK but lost your job for reasons that are not your fault then you are involuntarily unemployed. As involuntarily unemployed EEA national if you have registered as jobseeker then you have the right to reside in UK.

To prove that you are an EEA worker you simply need to show the evidence of your nationality and an evidence of your employment in UK. If you are self-employed you need to show the evidence that you are self-employed. If you need any help on proving that you are an EEA worker in UK and how to get access to all your rights primarily right to reside in UK then you should contact us.

Recent Changes to Tier 2 Immigration Rules

There are various types of visa which allows nationals of other countries to come to UK for several reasons. One of the reasons why people of other nations want to come to the UK is when they get a job in UK. For such individuals UK tier 2 visa category is there. UK tier 2 visa categories allow skilled professionals who are from outside European Economic Area to
come to UK to work in the UK. If an individual gets a job offer from a UK employer then he/she can apply for UK tier 2 visas. The UK employer who is offering job in this case must also have Tier 2 Sponsor License which enables the employer to legally employ migrants in the UK. This is the general background of Tier 2 immigration.

Now there has been series of changes under immigration act 2016. Last year only there has been announcement made for changes made in Tier 2 immigration rules which are applicable after April 6, 2017. So what are the changes that have been made in Tier 2 immigration rules? Well, below are the main changes outlined:

1. The minimum salary threshold for experienced workers who are applying under Tier 2 General route has been increased to £ 30,000.

2. The Tier 2 Intra Company Transfer salary threshold for short term staff has been increased to £ 30,000 and so applicants must be paid minimum £ 30,000 for their application to be considered by Home Office.

3. Tier 2 Intra Company Transfer salary threshold for graduate trainee has been reduced to £ 23,000 while the number of places available for graduate trainee to per company per year has been increased to 20.

4. The Tier 2 Intra Company Transfer for the sub category Skills Transfer has been closed to the new applications. Earlier under this category overseas employees were transferred to UK for a maximum period of six months for acquiring new skills or knowledge for their job role overseas.

5. As announced in March 2016, an Immigration Skills Charge of £364 to £5000 per skilled worker per year is being introduced for employers in the Tier 2 (General) and Tier 2 (Intra-company Transfer) routes depending on the length of employ, sponsor’s profile as a large or small sponsor

6. Applicants applying for a Tier 2 Intra Company Transfer will have to pay a surcharge of £ 200 per person per year including the dependents.

All these changes will substantially increase the cost of applications for Tier 2 visas by overseas employees and UK employers. These efforts have been made to reduce UK reliance on non EU workers. Increase in salary threshold will make the cost of sponsoring overseas employees more expensive. Particularly in the Intra Company Route with the new changes employees will find it tough to find routes in the UK for short term assignments or more junior positions and also will need to decide whether to increase the salary levels to meet the long term Intra Company Transfer category or depend on the very restrictive visitor visa category.

However these changes should not create panic as there are ways in which the potential impact on the recruiters and employees can be minimized. You may contact us for advice and support for your UK immigration strategy to reduce the impact of recent changes made to UK tier 2 immigration rules.

Tier 2 Applications from Outside the UK

If you have a sponsor in the UK, they can assign you a Restricted Certificate of Sponsorship (RCoS) after the employer has conducted the necessary Resident Labour Market Test.

Once you have the RCoS assigned to you, you must leave the UK and make the entry clearance application.

Please note as the rules have changed recently your employer will be required to pay for immigration skill charge which currently stands from £364 to £5000 depending on the length of employment and your sponsor’s profile as a large or small sponsor.

You will also need to obtain a criminal record certificate if you work in:

  • education, for example, teachers, education advisers, and school inspectors
  •  healthcare, for example, nurses, doctors, managers, pharmacists, dentists, ophthalmic opticians
  •  therapy, for example, psychologists, speech and language therapists
  • social services, for example, social workers, managers, probation officersOnce you make an application from outside the UK the same will be considered by the Entry Clearance Officer under paragraph 245 HA on the Immigration Rules. The requirements for entry clearance as follows –

    You need to score 50 points which are – 30 Points for Certificate of Sponsorship and 20 points for a required salary which must be in accordance with the codes of practice for skilled work at NQF level 6.

    In addition, you will need to score 10 points for the English language knowledge that is at to level B1 or above of the Council of Europe’s Common European Framework for Language Learning.

    You also need to score 10 points for maintenance, which can either to sponsored by your employer or you can provide evidence for maintenance of £945.00 for a period of 90 days and must be dated no earlier than 31 days before the date of the application.

    Tier 2 visa can lead to settlement after 5 years in the United Kingdom provided you are able to fulfil the requirement of relevant Immigration rules at the time of application.

ILR after 6 years of Discretionary Leave to Remain

If you have been given discretionary leave to remain in the UK before 9 July 2012 then this will consists of leave to remain for two tranches of 3 years each.

Failed Asylum Seekers were also given discretionary leave to remain in the same manner with two sets of 3 years discretionary leave to remain.

People who have completed 6 years on their discretionary leave to remain can apply for Indefinite Leave to remain in the United Kingdom.

If you want to extend your discretionary leave to remain in the United Kingdom you will do so by now completing FLR (HRO) form. If you are a failed Asylum seeker you will need to complete form FLR (DL). You will generally be granted 3 years of leave to remain in the UK.

In the case you want to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK, you will need to complete form SET (O) and form FLR (DL) if you are failed asylum seeker.

You are not required to complete requirements under Appendix KOLL if you are applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain on the basis of discretionary leave to remain in the United Kingdom.

It is important to note that the circumstances on the basis of which you were granted discretionary leave still exist and evidence in support of same should be provided to support your case beyond balance of
probability.

You can obtain fast track service for extension or indefinite leave to remain if you hold discretionary leave to remain in the UK. However, if you were granted discretionary leave as a failed Asylum seeker then you
generally cannot opt for same day service unless there are extenuating circumstances or human rights arguments.

Should you wish to apply for extension of discretionary leave to remain or indefinite leave to remain, please contact visa and migration on 02034111261.

Judicial review process against visa refusal

When you apply for UK visa, in the process you submit your application form, supporting documents and attend the interview. After that you wait for your visa approval. But sometimes your visa may be refused. You should not panic in such situation. You have the option to reapply and the Embassy also gives you the option of appeal against the refusal. The appeal is usually heard at a court of law in UK by a judge. When you are refused for your visa then embassy sends you a notice of refusal which lists the reasons of refusal and explains your right to appeal. The notice also informs you about where you can send your appeal. One important thing to note here is that when your visa is refused under point based system then you are entitled for administrative review only and not for an appeal. With the refusal notice you get administrative review request notice and the guidelines with the notice. Only when your visa has been refused not under point based system then the embassy sends you a letter that informs you about the rejection which is called ‘Notice of Immigration Decision’ which also explains your appeal rights.

 

For certain visa applications applicants get no right appeals while some visa application applicants get full rights of appeal in case their visa is refused. So those who have full rights of appeal are:

 

  1. Partners, children and other dependent relatives of a UK citizen or of a person settled in UK who are applying for visa to come to UK with a view to settlement.
  2. Family visitors who wish to come to UK to visit their family member in UK.

When embassy gives you right to appeal it sends you an IAFT-2 appeal form with the notice of your immigration decision and an information document which explains how to complete the appeal form.

 

Now if the Home office, UKBA (UK Border Agency) has refused your application for entry clearance or leave to remain and you are not granted right of appeal against your application refusal then you can challenge such refusal by way of judicial review against the Home Office, UKBA. You can challenge and apply for judicial review within 3 months from the date of refusal letter. So, judicial review applicant should follow Pre Action Control. As per civil procedure rules the Pre Action Control notice must be sent by the applicant to the Home Office, UKBA allowing them minimum 14 days to review their decision and change their decision. The pre action control letter should explain why you think the decision to refuse your application is wrong and give your reasons also where you provide information/documentary evidence in the letter. After the Pre control letter Home office, UKBA may or may not change their decision after a review and you may be granted the visa or your status of refusal may be maintained by the Home office, UKBA.

 

When Home Office, UKBA decides to maintain the refusal or it does not respond within 14 days after the Pre Action Control letter you can make an application for permission to apply for judicial review to the Upper Tribunal. Usually the form to apply to make application to Upper tribunal is T480. You should fill this form correctly. You need to pay the fee required for judicial review in Upper tribunal. Such application is made on papers and the court decides whether to grant or refuse the permission on papers and with or without a court hearing. Generally the applications for permission for judicial review are resolved by consent at this stage which takes place after negotiations between the Treasury solicitor which represents Home Office, UKBA and the solicitor of applicant.

If you are refused for permission by Upper Tribunal then you can make an application for renewal of permission for judicial review which you need t make within 7 working days. The permission application will be decided here after a court hearing. In this process the court will list the matters for hearing and after the court hearing it will grant or refuse you permission. If you are granted the permission by the Upper Tribunal either at the stage of application on papers or after the hearing in the court, the judicial review will take place. Judicial review will be listed for hearing and then Upper Tribunal will decide whether decision taken by Home Office, UKBA is in accordance with the relevant laws or not. This means that if your judicial review application is successful then then the decision under challenge will normally be quashed and sometimes mandatory order to issue the visa will be made. If your application of review is dismissed then you have a right of appeal to the court of appeal. Again you need to seek permission for this.

So at any stage of your visa refusal and after refusal application, if you are looking for legal or advisory help you can contact us at 44 (0)20 3411 1261 or visit www.visaandmigration.com

Immigration Health Surcharge

If you are going to live in the UK for more than 6 months and you need to pay a health surcharge as a part of your immigration. This health surcharge is called IHS or Immigration Health Surcharge and it is for your benefit during your stay in the UK. This payment of Immigration Health Surcharge is in addition to your visa application fee. Once you have paid immigration health surcharge and you are granted a visa to live in the UK then you will be entitled to use NHS (National Health Service) in the UK in the case of emergency or other medical treatment situations. You don’t need to pay for hospital treatment or other medical treatments. However, you still have to pay for few health services which include prescriptions, dental treatments, and eye tests.

You are not required to pay for IHS if you are applying for short term visas like applying from the outside UK for a visitor visa or any other visa which lasts for 6 months or less. In this case, you will have to pay for any healthcare you receive through NHS at the time you use it in the UK.

You can apply for a visa online or through the premium service center or you can also apply by post. So in case you apply for a visa online or through the premium service center, you will make IHS payment as part of your application or at the time when you book the appointment. In case you are applying for a visa by post then before you send your application you will pay IHS online and you will need to include IHS reference number on your visa application form. Your information after you have paid your IHS or if you are exempt from paying it and after your visa or immigration application has been granted will be shared with National Health Service in the UK. Now you can avail NHS hospital treatment from the date your visa is granted till the date it expires. However for any reason, if your visa is curtailed or is ended prior to the planned date by the Home office then you will have to pay charges for any further NHS treatment from that date onwards even if you had paid IHS. If you apply for an extension of your visa then you again need to pay a further surcharge but if you apply for indefinite leave to remain and you are granted the same then you will not have to pay any surcharge further.

So how much you have to pay for Immigration Health Surcharge? So, if you are a student then you have to pay £150 per year. For all other visa applications or immigration applications, you need to pay £200 per year. In case you have any dependent then the dependent usually need to pay the same amount as you. The exact amount that you have to pay as IHS, depends on how much leave you are granted against your visa or immigration application. If your application includes part of a year which is less than 6 months then you will need to pay half of the yearly amount of IHS and if your application includes part of the year which is more than 6 months then you will have to pay for a whole year.

If you don’t pay IHS amount within 10 working days if you are inside the UK and within 7 working days if you are outside the UK then your visa or immigration application will be considered invalid. Also, your application will be delayed if you don’t pay the right amount and if you paid for a period which is more than you were granted leave for then you will automatically get a partial refund.

So if you have any query or concern regarding Immigration Health Surcharge you can contact us. Call +44 (0)20 3411 1261 or visit www.visaandmigration.com

 

 

EEA Permanent Residence Refused?

EEA stands for European Economic Area. In this entire EEA the agreement provides for free movement of people, goods, services and capital within the region. The agreement also allows freedom for persons to choose residency in any country within EEA. EEA was established in January 1994. Last year when in 2016 people of UK voted for Brexit which meant UK exiting from EU has caused unrest among lot of EEA nationals. As there has been lot of uncertainties around Brexit so EEA nationals are still not sure of consequences and so they are worried about their status in UK. So in order to avoid uncertainty EEA nationals are seeking to safeguard their position by applying for permanent residence now. Here you need to know that an EEA national who has resided in UK for a continuous period of five years automatically acquires Permanent residence. Permanent residence allows them to permanently reside in UK after 5 years. However you must apply for confirmation that legally you have acquired this right of permanent residence in UK also known as ILR (Indefinite leave to remain). So how do you qualify to apply for Permanent resident confirmation?

1.              You must be able to show that you have lived in UK for a continuous period of years before you submit your application.

2.              You must have exercised your treaty rights during this period of five years by participating in a qualified activity.

These qualified activities include Studying, working, being self-employed or economically self-sufficient while you reside in UK. These qualifying activities can be combined also. During these 5 years that you reside in UK there is no strict rules on how many days you spend outside UK however you must not spend more than 6 months outside UK at one time. You need to submit application to the Home office along with documents that proves that you qualify for permanent residence in UK. You must submit an original copy of your identification document which can be your EEA passport or your national ID card. If you want to make future travels then you should submit your national ID card and not your EEA passport.

Why your application can be refused?

1.     If you filled the application wrongly then your application will be refused.

2.     If you fail to provide required evidence in the form of documents of you participating in qualifying activities you may be refused permanent residence. So any qualifying activities that you participate in you need to provide evidence for that.

3.     If you lived for more than 6 months at a time outside UK during your 5 years continuous living in UK then your application may be rejected.

The Home office of UK has published guidelines for all EEA national applicants which gives them the direction as to the documents which EEA national applying for permanent residence must provide as part of their application.

In case your application for permanent residence is refused you will be given the option to appeal or you can also make a new application. After the Brexit the EEA nationals are doubtful about their future status in UK. It will take some time before the situation on EEA nationals is absolutely clear when UK formally leaves EU. For now all EEA nationals can continue their exercise of free movement rights of living and working in UK until the withdrawal process of UK from EU is complete.

If you need help for EEA permanent residence application and appeals in case you application is refused then you should contact us as we have team of immigration specialists. You can ask any question about permanent residence application by getting in touch with us.  Call +44 (0)20 3411 1261 or visit http://www.visaandmigration.com/service/eea-family-and-residence-permit/17.html

 

UK Standard Visitor Visa For Business-related Activity

You may be looking to visit UK for various reasons for a short period of time. These are some common reasons for anyone to go to UK. So if such is the case you can apply for UK standard visa. UK standard visitor visa is quite popular route for those who wish to visit UK for tourism, family visits and for business activities. So if your reason to visit UK is one of the followings then you can apply for UK standard visa:

1. For leisure like on a holiday tour, sightseeing or visiting your family and friends.

2. For business related activities.

3. For participating in sports or creative events.

4. For other reasons like to get private medical treatment.

So you can apply for UK standard visitor if you wish to come to UK for not more than 6 months. Earlier there was Visitor visa in different categories and you had to apply for that particular category for which you were looking to come to UK. Now UK standard visa has replaced those categories. Below are the categories which have been now replaced by UK standard visa:

1. General visitor visa.

2. Family visitor visa.

3. Child visitor visa.

4. Sports visitor visa.

5. Business visitor visa

6. Entertainer visitor visa.

7. Private medical treatment visitor visa.

8. Prospect entrepreneur visa.

9. Visitors under the UK/China Approved Destination Status (ADS) Agreement.

So as mentioned you can apply for UK standard visitor visa if you are looking to come to UK for business related activities for short period of time. Again you need to know what all business related activities are there for which you can apply for UK standard visitor visa. These business related activities are as follows:

1. To attend interviews or conference, to attend meeting or training conduct site visits, arrange deals or to sign contracts.

2. To deliver international goods and/or passengers from abroad.

3. To visit for academic purpose like doing research or coming with students on a study abroad programme.

4. To take part in sports related event.

5. To perform in UK as an artist, entertainer or musician.

6. You are a doctor or a dentist and you wish to come to UK to take clinical attachments or on an observer post.

7. If you are looking to take PLAB (Professional and linguistic assessment board) test or sit for OSCE (Objective structured clinical examination).

8. If you are looking to come to UK with a film crew on a location shoot.

9. If you are interpreter and translator accompanying business visitors as long as you are employed by an overseas company.

10. You are looking to get funding to start your business in UK or to take over, join or run a business in UK.

So if you are coming to UK for any business related activities as mentioned above then you need to apply for UK standard visitor visa. Now when you are on a UK standard visitor visa for business related activities then there are few things you can do and there are few things you cannot do. You should know them prior to applying for UK standard visitor visa for business related activities.

What you can do are as follows:

1. You can participate in any business related activities.

2. You can study for up to 30 days but study should not be the main reason for your visit.

3. If you are under 18 years then you can participate in an exchange programme or an educational visit.

4. You can also convert your civil partnership into marriage.

 

What you can’t do are as follows:

1. You cannot do any type of work be it paid or unpaid.

2. You cannot live in UK for long time by making frequent visits.

3. You cannot get access to public funds.

4. You cannot marry or register a civil partnership. You also cannot give notice for both civil partnership and marriage.

When you want to go to UK on UK standard visitor visa for business related activities then you need to apply for it. Earliest you can apply for it is 3 months before you travel to UK. And after you apply you will get the decision on your visa application within 3 weeks of time. On this visa you can stay for maximum 6 months in UK except in few cases.

So right from planning stage to application stage wherever you need technical or legal advise you can contact us for the help as we are experienced professionals who provide advise and legal help at each stages of your visa application.

Should you wish to seek advice in connection to UK Visitor Visa, please do not hesitate to contact us on 0203 4111 261 or visit http://www.visaandmigration.com/service/uk-visitor-or-tourist-visa/36.html

Meeting Financial Requirement for UK Spouse visa if on benefits (Disability Living Allowance)

If you are looking to join your spouse or partner who is a UK citizen then you can do so by applying for UK Spouse visa or if you as a UK citizen is looking to bring your partner or spouse in UK then you can sponsor your partner. In normal circumstance the sponsor has to meet financial requirement for his/her partner when he/she joins him/her in UK after successful application of Spouse visa. But what if the sponsor who is a UK citizen has a disability which means he/she cannot work or is restricted in his ability to work then as an applicant you may be bothered about how to meet financial requirement. Here it is important for you to know that the citizen of UK who is disabled receives Disability Living Allowance and they will be exempt from meeting the strict financial income threshold provisions in UK which is required for a UK spouse or partner visa. The same also applies to the receivers of other allowances as mentioned below:

  1. Carer’s Allowance.
  2. Severe Disablement Allowances.
  3. Industrial injuries disablement benefits.
  4. Attendance allowance.
  5. Armed forces independence payment.
  6. Guaranteed Income Payment.
  7. Constant Attendance Allowance, Mobility Supplement or War Disablement Pension.

Where there is a UK citizen in receipt of any of above mentioned allowance or benefit, the applicant will meet the financial requirement, providing they provide the evidence of ‘adequate maintenance’ as opposed to meeting financial threshold in general UK spouse visa.

So when your spouse or partner in in receipt of any of these allowance then you must provide the proof of receipt of the allowance. For this you need to provide Official documentation from the Department for Work and Pensions or the Veterans Agency that confirms current entitlement and also the amount being received. You also need to provide a bank statement which has been issued in the last 12-months prior to the time of application demonstrating payment of the benefit or allowance into the account of the sponsor. It is mandatory for you to provide the evidence of the fact that both of you can maintain adequately and accommodate yourselves without any access to public funds or any other additional benefits. Also if the applicant is being extended visa from within UK then the applicant will be exempt from meeting any minimum income requirement only if your partner in UK is still entitled to receive Disability Living Allowance or other similar benefits. This means that if your partner in UK ceases to receive Disability Living Allowance then you must provide the evidence to meet minimum income requirement.

So if you are looking to join your partner in UK who is disabled and is receiving Disability Living Allowance then you can join your partner by applying for UK spouse visa. But whether you are applicant who is willing to join his partner in UK or you are sponsor who is willing to bring his partner in UK, you should seek specialist immigration advice to make a successful UK spouse visa in this case. Here we play an important role as the law and procedure for this demands specialist’s advice at each step.

You can take our advice and service as we have highly experienced team on all aspects of UK immigration law. Call +44 20 3411 1261 or visit www.visaandmigration.com to know more

 

 

UK Adult Dependent Visa

Are you a dependent of someone living in UK? Well if yes then you can come to UK and live here on UK dependent visa. If you are a dependent of a person who is permanent resident of UK or is a citizen of UK then Dependent Visa category allows you to come to UK and join your family member. This means this visa typically applies to family and children. The person here who is a permanent resident of UK and upon whom the applicant is dependent is referred to as the sponsor. So who is a dependent? Well dependent is any of the following as mentioned below:

  1. A dependent can be your husband, your wife or your partner.
  2. A dependent can be your child who is under 18 years of age.
  3. A dependent can be your child above 18 years of age if they are current in UK and living as a dependent.

If you are applying as a dependent then you will have no access to public funds to live or support yourself in UK. You will need to show that your sponsor has all the necessary financial means to support you before your UK dependent visa gets approved. Once your visa application is successful then you will be allowed to enter and live in UK without any restriction. In this visa category you are also entitled to work in UK at any level of your skills.

You will be granted ILR in UK after you successfully meet all the criteria of relevant immigration rules and so you can also apply for British Citizenship or naturalization after you have spent 5 years continuously in UK. Now dependent has to apply online for UK dependent visa. Dependent can apply from both within UK and from outside UK. If you are applying from outside UK then you need to get a biometric residence permit as part of your application at visa application center where your fingerprints and photograph will be taken for this purpose. You then need to collect your biometric residence permit within 30 days of when you said you would arrive in UK. If you are applying from within UK on your own then you can apply to switch or extend your visa to stay with your family member in UK. But if you are holding a visitor visa to UK then you cannot apply in UK as a dependent. You can apply online from within UK as partner or as a child of a permanent resident of UK. Here also you need to provide your biometric information which includes your fingerprints and your photo. You will get a biometric residence permit once your application for UK dependent visa is successful.

So UK dependent visa allows all the elderly parents of someone who has ILR in UK or who is a British citizen to apply for it and thus to be able to live in UK along with their family member. If you are one who is looking for help in this regard then you should contact us for all the support you need to make your UK dependent visa application successful. You can talk to us to get the specialist service and the right advice at all stages.  To know more visit http://www.visaandmigration.com/service/uk-adult-dependent-visa/12.html