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

New Immigration Application Systems

New in-country application procedures are being introduced from today ( 2nd November 2018) meaning that many more applications will be completed on-line with paper application forms gradually being withdrawn .

A new UK Visa and Citizenship Application Service ( UKVCAS) has been established and will open 57 centres across the UK including centres in Gloucester, Reading and Swindon where supporting evidence will be submitted and biometrics will be taken.

Additional services will be available for an extra cost, similar to those on offer when applying for visas from outside the UK. These will include out of hours appointments and a document translation service.

For additional information on the changes please e mail Jenny Harvey on

Relaxation of Rules on Absences Calculation

Certain visa categories including Tier 1 entrepreneurs and  Tier 2 (General) workers require an Applicant to show “continuous residence” for a 5-year period when applying for indefinite leave to remain in the UK.

“Continuous residence” can be broken by absences of 180 days or more in 12 months. This used to mean that an Applicant should not have been out of the UK for more than 180 days in any of the 5 years preceding the date of their application.  A new rule brought in on 11th January 2018 meant that an application could be refused if at any point over the 5 years in question the limit was exceeded in any rolling 12 month period.

The new rule was applied retrospectively and has led to widespread condemnation. It has now, from 6th July 2018,  been relaxed, meaning that it won’t apply to absences occurring during leave granted prior to 11th January 2018.

For more information about this or for any question about applying for indefinite leave please contact Jenny Harvey on

Some Positive Changes for Students

  • As of 6th July 2018, students from an additional 11 countries including China, Japan, South Korea and Thailand will be able to produce a reduced level of documentation when applying for Tier 4 Visas.
  • The minimum length that a postgraduate course needs to be in order for a Tier 4 student to bring dependents to the UK has been reduced from  12 months to 9 months.
  • And evidence of previous qualifications now includes print-outs from awarding bodies’ online checking services.

Croatian Nationals – unrestricted rights to work in the UK

Croatian Nationals – unrestricted rights to work in the UK as of Sunday 1st July 2018.


From that date, employers may accept Croatian passports as proof of the right to work and Sponsors will need to update their systems as employees will no longer need authorisation to work.

Employers – a new guide on right to work checks

Employers – a new guide on right to work checks has been published.


Please see link below.

Details of new post-Brexit Settlement Scheme published

The Home Office has published a “Statement of Intent” outlining its planned “Settlement Scheme” for when the UK leaves the EU. It is not set in stone but gives some strong indications of what the scheme will involve.

Read more here.

The new Settled Status will apply to EU citizens and family members who have lived continuously in the UK for five years (Similarly to the current status of permanent residence).

It may be easier to acquire than permanent residence for certain groups of EU nationals who currently need to have held comprehensive medical insurance for the relevant five years. This should be good news for students and stay-at-home parents.

An application for Settled Status will cost £65 but will be free for those who already have confirmation of permanent residence or indefinite leave to remain.

Children will need to apply at a cost of £32.50 for those under 16 years old.

It will be an online application and it is hoped that it will be “short, simple and user-friendly”- (Let’s wait and see!!)

The scheme is not yet open although the Home Office expect it to be by the end of 2018. There will be no immediate requirement to apply.

Further details of the scheme will be outlined on this website once we know more.

Resident Labour Market Test and “Find a Job”

As of today, “Universal Jobmatch” will be replaced by a new service called “Find a Job”.

Employers will usually need to advertise their vacancies on “Find a Job” in order to meet the Resident Labour Market test.

Employer accounts with “Universal Jobmatch” can be accessed until 17 June 2018 and job applicants who view advertisements and who apply for vacancies before that date will still meet the requirements of the Resident Labour Market Test.

Undocumented Commonwealth Citizens – new guidance for employers

The Home Office has published new guidance for employers dealing with undocumented Commonwealth Citizens in light of the recent revelations about the “Windrush Generation”.

For questions on the guidance or on any aspect of “Right to Work Checks” please contact me on

Undocumented Commonwealth Citizens – new guidance for landlords

The Home Office has published new guidance for  landlords dealing with undocumented Commonwealth Citizens in light of the recent revelations about the “Windrush Generation.”

For questions on the guidance or on any aspect of “ Right to Rent Checks” please contact me on