LEXVISA Weekly Immigration Update 7 July 2017

The UK Government has announced that Business Immigration to the UK is much needed for the growth of the UK economy and has proposed less stringent immigration and visa application processes for business migrants to enter the UK. In this regard, switching in the UK to a Tier 1 Business Investor or Entrepreneur visa route may be an attractive option. The UK Government has also introduced a UK Online Passport Renewal Service and extended the number of countries from which migrants are eligible to sign up to the Registered Traveller Service as frequent travellers for business or other purposes. Finally, the UK Government has also devised a Brexit Strategy which it intends to use the status of EU nationals living in the UK as a bargaining chip during its negotiating process. For full and comprehensive analysis on these topics of discussion, please see below.

1.UK Online Passport Renewal Service

By 2020 all passport renewal applications will be replaced with a new UK Online Passport Renewal Service. Applicants will be able to apply for a passport online by avoiding lengthy paper document applications and be able to submit their photos either through their smartphone or tablet.

Immigration Minister Robert Goodwill confirms this development is part of the Home Office’s intention to transform the passport service to a more efficient and convenient one for customers. UK customers and British citizens based overseas will be able to complete their application and make payment online as well as being able to track the progress of their request.

Meanwhile, since June 2017 the online renewal service is available only for customers who meet certain Home Office criteria.

2. Switching into a Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa within the UK

Overseas migrants currently residing in the UK with valid immigration status can apply for a Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa to set up a or take over an existing business in the UK. The Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa is a popular route for Applicants holding leave under the Points Based System, such as a Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur, Tier 2 General Worker or Tier 4 General Student visa.

Applicants in the UK under the following Points Based System categories may be eligible to apply to switch into a Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa:

  • Tier 1 Investor or Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur;
  • Tier 2 General Workers; and
  • Tier 4 Students.

Applicants currently on a Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur, Tier 1 Investor or Tier 2 General Work Visa may rely on their own personal cash savings if they can demonstrate that the funding is readily available to invest and has been held in a regulated financial account for a consecutive 90 day period. Whilst Tier 4 General students are permitted to switch into the Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa, they can only meet funding requirement from an approved source and cannot rely on their own personal cash savings.

3.Registered Traveller Service Expansion Signals The UK Is Open For Business

For frequent travellers to the United Kingdom, using the Registered Traveller Service makes arrival at your destination airport or station much more convenient. The Registered Traveller Service is open to those who have entered the United Kingdom at least four times the last 24 months on a Standard Visitor visa, or hold or hold a different type of valid UK visa, excluding Tier 5 Sporting & Creative Concessions, EEA Family Permits, discretionary leave and leave outside the rules.

The Government expanded the Registered Traveller Service so that includes Argentina, Australia, Belize, Brazil, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, El Salvador,  Guatemala, Honduras, Hong Kong SAR, Israel, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Uruguay and the USA. This means that nationals of those countries are eligible for a much smoother and more convenient arrival in the United Kingdom.

4.UK’s Brexit Strategy for EU Nationals in the UK

During the first official Brexit talks, Prime Minister Theresa May has started to reveal the UK’s Brexit strategy and her plans for EEA nationals whose future in Britain is uncertain. There have been proposals that EEA nationals will have to apply for “settled status” if they have been in the UK legally for a period of 5 years. This would apparently entitle these individuals to continue to exercise existing benefits such as health care arrangements and eligibility for loans and maintenance support for higher education.

At this early stage in the Brexit negotiations, the amount of uncertainty experienced by EEA nationals is still running high and although arrangements have been proposed to be as streamlined as possible, this has done little to ease the concerns of EEA nationals looking to remain in the UK post-Brexit.

Using Legal Representation to Submit UK Immigration Visa

Legal representatives, such as our specialist immigration and visa law firm, are qualified to advise you on immigration law and your immigration matter. You can instruct one of our immigration and visa legal representatives to successfully assist you with a UK Immigration & Visa application. Our solicitors and Barristers will help you comply with the Home Office’s requirements and meet the Immigration Rules.

Caseworkers at the Home Office are trained to reject applications which are improperly prepared, for example by failing to provide the correct supporting evidence. In order to ensure your Immigration & Visa application succeeds, our solicitors and barristers will ensure all specified documents must be provided.

The UK Immigration Rules are complex and a legal representative can help ensure that your application meets the Immigration Rules.

Successfully Apply for UK Immigration Visa

Our team of solicitors and barristers are specialist immigration lawyers who act in your best interest. We offer a client-tailored approach from the outset. From the very first meeting, we will be able to advise you in respect of your prospects of submitting a UK Immigration & Visa application before your application even reaches the Home Office UK Visa & Immigration department. We can assist you with the preparation and submission of an application to switch into a Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa and ensure that you meet all the requirements of the relevant rules.

We are based in the legal epicentre of London, just across the road from the Royal Courts of Justice in order to ensure we get the best results for our clients.  We are minutes away from the Immigration and Asylum Tribunal, the Royal Courts of Justice and other central London courts.

Preparation is the key to successful immigration applications. Our UK immigration and visa solicitors are here to guide you through the complex immigration rules and requirements. If you wish to meet one of our lawyers, please call our Immigration Team so we can assess your case and arrange your legal consultation to discuss a UK Immigration & Visa application.

Contact our London immigration solicitors on 02071830570 or complete our contact form.

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