HONG KONG BRITISH NATIONAL (OVERSEAS) VISA ROUTE NOW OPEN

Applications can now be made from inside the UK or from abroad.

At the moment they can only be submitted on-line which means that applicants and their dependents will need to attend a biometric appointment as part of the process.

From 23rd February 2021 a new app will be available , meaning that eligible applicants and their family members will be able to avoid the need for attending a biometric appointment . The application process is likely to be much quicker but only those holding chipped BN(O), HKSAR or EEA passports will be able to use the app.

It is very important to note that dependents must apply at the same time as the main applicant. It will otherwise be too late.

Please get in touch for help in submitting an application or if you have queries about this new immigration route.

HOPING TO LEAVE THE UK BUT UNABLE TO DO SO AND WORRIED THAT YOUR PERMISSION TO BE HERE IS ABOUT TO EXPIRE?

You may be able to ask for “exceptional assurance” if your leave will expire before 31st May this year.

The attached guidance sets out how to ask, and the information you need to supply, to be given this protection against becoming an “overstayer.”

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-advice-for-uk-visa-applicants-and-temporary-uk-residents

Asking for “exceptional assurance” may not be your only choice. You MAY be able to apply to remain in the UK on a longer-term basis if for example, you have an urgent reason for needing to stay here and can not leave the UK to apply for a visa as you would in normal times. You will see from the guidance that this can be complicated to navigate so please feel free to email us for more information on any aspect of the guidance or on any other Covid- related query on immigration during the Pandemic.

NEGATIVE COVID-19 TEST REQUIRED TO ENTER ENGLAND

Travellers arriving in England from 4 am onwards on Monday 18th January must bring with them proof of a negative Coronavirus test.

 

This will apply to UK citizens and to those arriving from a country on the current travel corridors list though there are some limited exemptions including children under 11 years old and those doing certain jobs.

 

The test must be taken in the 3 days before the journey to England starts and must meet the requirements set out in this guidance.

 

Coronavirus (COVID-19): testing for people travelling to England – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

 

Failure to provide a negative test result could mean being unable to board and a fine of £500 upon arrival.

 

The guidance of course makes the point that those who test positive should not travel.

HONG KONG BRITISH NATIONAL (OVERSEAS) VISA CAN BE APPLIED FOR FROM 31ST JANUARY 2021

Hong Kong BN(O) Citizens and close family members will be able to apply to come to the UK, or to remain here, from the end of this month.

Successful applicants will be granted permission to live here for 30 months or for 5 years, depending on the length of time they apply for, and after 5 years of living in the UK under this route they will be able to settle permanently (if eligible at the time.)

They will be permitted to work and study in the UK and will have access to the National Health Service as they must pay the Immigration Health surcharge as part of the application process. Their children will be able to attend state schools.

Applicants may need to provide a TB test certificate, even those who are already in the UK in certain situations.

More detailed information can be accessed at the link below and if you have questions or would like us to assist with your application please e mail us on info@jennyharveyimmigration.co.uk

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/hong-kong-british-national-overseas-visa-applications

Important dead-lines for some EEA Nationals and their family members

The UK has now of course left the EU and the end of the 12 month “transition period” is almost here. It will in fact end at 11 pm on 31st December 2020.

EEA nationals and their family members who are resident in the UK before the end of the transition period will be able to apply (assuming they need to) for pre-settled status in the UK. They will have until the end of a further 6 month “grace period” – until 30th June 2021 – to do so.

Family members may still be able to join EEA family in the UK even if they have not become resident by the end of 2020 but they will generally need to apply to do so from outside the UK. They should not enter the UK as visitors and try to apply once they are already here.

From 1st July 2021 dependent parents of adult EEA children will need to prove their dependency in order to join their children in the UK. This is a significant change from the current assumption of dependency.

The consequences of Brexit, and the various deadlines to be aware of, are complex.

Please contact us for additional information about any of the above points or about any other aspect of immigration law on info@jennyharveyimmigration.co.uk

SIGNIFICANT NEW RULES FOR SKILLED WORKERS IN FORCE TODAY

Much of the UK’s new immigration system has come into force today.

One of the biggest changes is the introduction of the Tier 2 Skilled Worker route which replaces the Tier 2 (General) Visa category.

A collection of new guides for employers has been published and can be found at this link. T2 (Worker) or T5 (Temporary Worker): guidance for sponsors – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Some welcome changes have been made, including the abolition of the “Resident Labour Test”, the scrapping of the annual cap on certificates of sponsorship, a reduction in the required skilled level and a reduced minimum salary level. The “cooling off period” has also been removed along with the six-year maximum length of stay in the UK.

Sponsoring employers will still need to apply for a Certificate of Sponsorship (COS) if the skilled worker they wish to employ is outside the UK. Such certificates are now called “Defined” certificates and detailed information on how to apply for them is set out in the new guidance and manuals.

From 1st January 2021, most skilled EU nationals who wish to work in the UK will need to be sponsored under this route and employers without a sponsorship licence are being encouraged to apply as soon as they can to ensure that they can employ relevant EU workers from next year.

For advice on the above or on any other aspect of the new immigration rules please email us on info@jennyharveyimmigration.co.uk

New date set for immigration Health Surcharge Hike – 27th October 2020

Submit your immigration application before that if you can.

Most applicants will, from 27th October,  have to pay £624 per year instead of £400 meaning that, for example, an application to extend your leave to remain as a spouse will cost £1560 instead of the current £1000.

Read more

DELAY TO INCREASED HEALTH SURCHARGE

It appears that there will be a short delay in the implementation of the increased charges.

There may be more time to submit an application and to pay the current rate!

Please watch our website for further updates.

IMMIGRATION HEALTH SURCHARGE TO INCREASE ON 1st OCTOBER-SUBMIT YOUR APPLICATIONS NOW IF ELIGIBLE

The Health surcharge will increase from £400 per year to £624 per year on 1st October 2020. This will apply to main applicants and their adult dependents.

Those who currently pay a discounted amount (students and their dependents and those applying under the youth mobility scheme) will still pay less but the discounted fee is rising from £300 per year to £470 per year.

All children under 18 years old will pay £470 per year.

Certain categories of applicant will remain exempt from needing to pay the health surcharge as set out in the guidance below.

https://www.gov.uk/healthcare-immigration-application

For further information on the immigration health surcharge or on any other aspect of an immigration application please contact us on info@jennyharveyimmigration.co.uk

MAJOR CHANGES FOR INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS FROM 5th October 2020

From 5th October 2020 the Tier 4 ( General) and Tier 4 (Child) student routes will be replaced by a new Student and Child Student route. No new applications can be made under the existing routes after this date.

This route will apply to EEA national students from January 2021 but not until then.

There seem to be quite a few positive changes in the new route.

 Evidence of maintenance will not be required for student applicants who have already spent longer than a year in the UK.

 Students will be able to show that they meet maintenance requirements by relying on a wider range of accounts and will be able to rely on electronic bank statements.

 Students at higher education providers with a track record of compliance won’t routinely need to provide evidence of academic qualifications.

 Applicants will only need to prove their English language ability once.

 There will be no limit on the time that can be spent on postgraduate courses.

This is just a short summary and there is lots more detail to the new route. For more information on this or on any aspect of the immigration rules please email us on info@jennyharveyimmigration.co.uk