The Home Office has confirmed that EU nationals and their family members granted pre-settled status but not yet settled status will automatically receive a two-year extension of their pre-settled status towards the end of that pre-settled status.

This is to avoid those who have not applied for settled status losing the right to remain in the UK when their pre-settled status has expired.

E-mails are being sent to those granted pre-settled status to explain this extension and to encourage people to apply for settled status once eligible.

If you receive such an e-mail and would like our advice on an application for settled status please contact us on


Many students with courses starting on or after 1st January 2024 will not be able to bring their partners and their children to the UK.

Recent changes to the law mean that only those students studying for a Ph.D./other doctoral qualification, or those on a research-based higher degree, can be joined by their dependants.

Whether this deters students from coming to the UK remains to be seen. It is widely anticipated that universities will suffer from reduced international student fees.


Further to an announcement by the Prime Minister on 13th July 2023, we are expecting large increases in visa application fees and in fees for applications to remain in the UK.

Similarly, the Immigration Health  Surcharge will drastically increase, from the current £624 per year for most applicants to £1035 per year. The current discounted rate for children is £470 per year but will rise to £776 per year.

If you are thinking about making an immigration application, and are eligible to do so, it would be sensible to apply as soon as you can.

We don’t yet know when the increased rates will be introduced and will post updated information as soon as we do.

Changes to the Youth Mobility Scheme for Australian Nationals

Thanks to the recent Australia-United Kingdom Free Trade Agreement, young Australian nationals wishing to apply to come to the UK under the Youth Mobility Scheme will, from 31st January 2024, benefit from two welcome changes:

Firstly, the eligible age limit will increase from 30 years old to 35 years old.

Secondly, Australians will be able to extend their permission to stay in the UK from 2 years to 3 years.

These changes are similar to those already announced for nationals of New Zealand, and UK nationals seeking to enter Australia as working holiday makers will benefit from a similar relaxation of the rules.

Welcome Changes to the Youth Mobility Scheme for New Zealander Applicants

From 29th June 2023, Nationals of New Zealand will be benefit from an increased age limit if they wish to come here under the Youth Mobility Scheme.

Applicants must currently be under the age of 31 . They will need to be under 36 years old as of 29th June and will also be able to stay here for up to 3 years rather than 2 years.

British nationals will benefit from a similar arrangement as referred to in the recent news story from the Home Office.

UK and New Zealand expand schemes for young people to work abroad – GOV.UK (

Please contact us for more information about this or any other aspect of coming to live and work in the UK.

Electronic Travel Authorisation – new requirement announced

From 15th November 2023, visitors from Qatar will need to apply for Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) before travelling to the UK, even though they do not require a visa.

This requirement will be extended to nationals of Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates from 2nd February 2024.

The Home Office plans for further countries to be added to the list.

Children will be expected to have their own ETA.

We do not yet know the cost of an application but some additional information can be found at this link.

Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) – GOV.UK (

Please contact us if you have questions about this or any other aspect of visiting the UK.


Great news for applicants who could until recently have waited for up to six months for a decision, the priority service is no longer suspended for applicants applying to join family members.

For an extra £573 or equivalent, applications should usually be decided within thirty days of attendance at a biometric appointment.

Priority services may still be unavailable in certain locations and are not advised for all applicants. Please do get in touch if you would like any advice on this or any other aspect of making a visa application.


As of 1st October 2022, the guidance on employers undertaking right-to-work checks has been updated. Checks must be undertaken in accordance with the guidance below.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): right to work checks – GOV.UK (

The adjusted procedures introduced during the pandemic have ended.

Retrospective checks do not need to be made on employees whose right to work has already been checked.

For information on the new guidance or on any other aspect of making right-to-work checks please contact us at

High Potential Individual Visa Route Introduced on 30th May 2022

High Potential Individual (HPI) visa: Overview – GOV.UK (

This new route enables eligible graduates to come to the UK (or to stay here) for two years (three if they have a Ph.D.) and to look for work, take up employment, or become self-employed.

Work does not need to be skilled and no sponsor is required.

Although permission under this route can not be extended and is not a path to settlement, applicants can later switch to a different route such as the skilled worker route. Permission to enter or to stay as a High Potential Individual can provide a flexible breathing space for recent and relatively recent graduates whilst they consider other more long-term options for living in the UK.

Applicants can be in the UK or outside but must have graduated within the last five years from an eligible overseas university. The lists of eligible universities depend on the month and year of graduation.

Applicants will need to be competent in English at level B1 CEFR and must generally have savings of at least £1270. Eligible partners and dependent children can apply to join their partner or parent in the UK.

For further information on this exciting new visa route, or for assistance with making an application, please contact us at


On 11th April 2022, a new route was introduced for overseas businesses wishing to establish a branch or subsidiary in the UK.

Unlike under its predecessor, the Sole Representative route, an employee being sent to the UK to establish a branch will need to be sponsored by their overseas employer which must apply for a UK Expansion Worker Sponsor Licence.

Interestingly, the route allows the overseas business to nominate an eligible employee to act as the authorising officer of the new entity and to sponsor him or herself to enter the UK.

The employee in question should have worked for the overseas business for at least 12 months before they apply for a visa (unless they earn an annual salary of £73,900 or more), must generally earn at least £42,400, and must be coming to undertake a skilled role.

Once in the UK, they may be able to sponsor up to 4 additional eligible employees to help with the establishment of the UK entity.

This route is only aimed at businesses without an existing trading entity in the UK.

Employees coming to the UK under this route will not be able to settle here though they may be able to switch to the skilled worker route and apply for settlement once eligible on that basis.

For more detailed advice on using this route, and for applying for a UK Expansion Worker Sponsor Licence, please email us on