News & Press

February 1st, 2016

English Language Requirement for Family visas

On 18 January a new English language requirement was announced for applicants seeking to extend their stay in the UK in family visa categories.

Non-EEA national partners and parents in the family routes will be required to pass a speaking and listening test at level A2 to be eligible, after two-and-a half-years in the UK, for further leave to remain on the five-year partner or parent route to settlement. New English language test requirements will be implemented from October 2016.

Migrants applying for settlement (Indefinite Leave to Remain) under the same route have been required to meet level B1 or above in speaking and listening skills and pass the new Life in the UK test, as per rules in place since November 2010.

If you require assistance with your application please contact our office, 01793 836 010.

January 12th, 2016


On the 11 January 2016, the government set out its proposed changes to the fees for visas, immigration and nationality applications and associated premium services for 2016–17.

Specific fee changes for 2016–17 will apply after further legislation is laid in Parliament by April this year.

The new legislation will set new maximum levels on the amounts for broad categories of fees that can be charged by the Home Office over the next 4 years. There are no current plans to raise fees to the maximum levels.

The increases will help, according to the Home Office, to reduce taxpayer contributions towards the border, immigration and citizenship system.

The Home Office hope that by 2019–2020 the system is self-funded by those who use it.

The main changes are:

  • small increases (2%) for visit, study and work visas
  • fees for settlement, residence and nationality will increase by 25% in 2016–17
  • targeted increases have been applied to premium services, such as the priority visa service

Submission fees for all sponsorship categories will stay at the current rates.

It is therefore important that any applicants who are only able to apply after April 2016 ensure they pay the correct fee.

If you believe you can submit before April 2016 please contact our office, 01793 836 010, and we can assist with your application.

March 27th, 2015

Changes in the Immigration Rules coming in from the 6th April from commencements of the Immigration ACT 2014

There are a number of important Immigration rule changes occurring from the 6th April 2015, which affects the majority of migrants on visas already in the UK and those planning to apply for a visa for the UK.

February 26th, 2015

Tier 1 (General) Category will be Closed from 6th April 2015

You can’t apply for a Tier 1 (General) category visa if you’re outside the UK, and you normally can’t switch to it from other immigration categories. From 6 April 2015 it will be closed to applicants who want to extend their visa.

February 24th, 2015

Large numbers of Tier 2 visa holders could be forced to leave the UK

The UK authorities have proclaimed a clampdown on fake Tier-2 visa sponsorships, which may result in up to 2,500 migrants forced to leave the country.

February 16th, 2015

Changes to the UK Immigration Rules for Tier 2 Sponsors

Recent changes to the Tier 2 which became effective in November 2014 have placed new Sponsor Licence applications and Tier 2 applications under scrutiny by the Home Office. The main change in regards to Tier 2 is the introduction of a ‘genuineness’ test.

November 7th, 2014

Changes for Tier 1 (Investor) visa

There have been some key changes to the Tier 1 (Investor) visa from 06th November 2014:

July 10th, 2014

Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa Changes

The Home Office introduces new restrictions on the Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa route.

July 1st, 2014

Tier 2 maintenance fee changes

From 1st of July this year maintenance fees for Tier 2 applicants have been raised up to £945.

October 31st, 2013

October 2013 Immigration Update

What changes have come into effect as of 28th October 2013?

From 28 October 2013, unless you are exempt, all applicants for

settlementor naturalisation as a British citizens will need to meet

the knowledge oflanguage and life (KOLL) requirement by:

  1. Passing the life in the UK test; and
  2. Having a speaking and listening qualification in English at
  3. B1 CEFR or higher, or its equivalent.

The KOLL requirement for settlement purposes

The normal expectation will be that adults (i.e. those aged 18 or over)

applying for settlement, whether as a main applicant or a dependant,

will be expected to meet the new KOLL requirement.This will include

adult children of persons settled in the UK and adult children

applying for indefinite leave as a dependant.

However, there are some circumstances where exceptions to this

normal rule will apply.

The KOLL requirement for naturalisation purposes

Persons who apply for naturalisation under section 6(1) and section

6(2) of theBritish Nationality Act 1981 will be expected to meet the

new KOLL requirement.However, there are some circumstances

where exceptions to this normal rule will apply.

The Life in the UK test

There will be no changes made to the Life in the UK test.

The Life in theUK test is a computer-based, multiple

choice test. It will continue to beavailable through the

network of test centres operated by learn direct

on behalf of the Home Office.

Case Update: MM & Others v SSHD (income level for spouses):

An appeal to the First Tier tribunal, which has since escalated to the

Court of Appeal,regarding the requirement for British national to

earn at least £18,600 per annum in

order to bring their non EEA spouse or partner to the UK.

The case is to be heard in the Court of Appeal between 3rd and 5th

March 2014.Once heard we envisage a wait of at least 3-6 months

for a determination and for the Home Office to amend any rules in

line with the determination, if necessary.

Upcoming Changes to be Aware of;

The UK Border Agency is due to make further changes through

the year.These will include;


The Tier 1 (General) extension applications being closed.

This will mean Tier 1 (General) migrants will no longer be

able to extend their current leave to remain. This will more

than likely affect migrantseligibility to apply for ILR and we

strongly advise migrants to keep in

contact with us until confirmed actions have

been published by the Home Office.


There has also been a new Immigration Bill laid before Parliament.

The Bill has received wide scale criticism for being extremely harsh.

The Bill proposes to, amongst other proposed changes;

-          Provide a single power to remove

-          Enlarge the States power to record and use biometrics

-          Significant changes to appealable decisions and grounds

of appeal

-          Dictates how the Tribunals should assess proportionality

under Article 8

-          Making it unlawful for landlords to rent to individuals who

should have a visa and who do not.

-          Stop individuals who should have a visa and do not from

openingbank or building society accounts.

If you are concerned about upcoming changes and the possibility

of their effect on your immigration status please call the office on

01793 836 010 and one of the Immigration Consultants will be

able to conduct an assessment for you.

If you have a corporate or private UK immigration matter which you

would like to discuss, please contact our office on 01793 836010

and we will be able to assist you further.