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Archive for the ‘UK Immigration’ Category

Ever Consider a UK Tier 1 Work Visa for Highly Skilled Professionals?

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Your second H-1B term might be about to expire or you may have been recently laid off work, or you are a recent college graduate who is unable to find an employer to sponsor you, or you want to be able to live and work in UK and travel Europe, or you are a highly skilled individual looking for better career opportunities.  Whatever your reason, the UK Tier 1 work visa for highly skilled individuals is a good option to consider as it allows one to enter the UK and look for work or self-employment opportunities.
The UK Tier 1 category was established in 2008 to make UK more globally competitive and attract talent. The Tier 1 category visa is available to any highly skilled worker who can bring professional skills, qualifications and experience to the United Kingdom and does not require a job offer or a sponsorship from an employer for the visa to be granted.
Tier 1 is a point based system and as a highly skilled individual you are awarded points based on your age, qualifications, previous earnings, any prior UK experience, your English language skills and your ability to maintain yourself on your own funds until you are able to find a job. A wide variety of highly skilled individuals, ranging from an experienced doctor to fresh graduates are able to qualify for the Tier 1 visa.  For instance, a more experienced applicant with an established career may not score any points for age, but may make up the lost points by scoring high in earnings points.  A recent college graduate may not yet be able to demonstrate a high salary to qualify for high earnings points, but will be awarded additional points based for his/her younger age.  If you are interested in obtaining a free initial accurate assessment of your eligibility of the visa, feel free to call our office.
The many benefits of the Tier 1 visa, which is initially granted for a two-year period and is renewable further for three years, are that it gives you the same access to the UK job market as a UK passport holder, it allows you to work for any employer you choose, it allows you to change jobs as you like, it does not require sponsorship or a job offer from an employer, it gives you the ability to set up your own business, and best of all it is currently processed by the UK authorities within 4-6 weeks!
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Written by MithrasLaw

October 1, 2010 at 4:32 pm

Upcoming UK Immigration quota criticized

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The new UK coalition government will be implementing a permanent immigration quota in 2011 with the aim of bringing  levels of migration to the rates in the 1990s.  As a side effect this will have a result of dramatically reducing the numbers of non-Europeans allowed to live and work in the UK.

For years, the Conservative Party has criticized and complained that the Labor Party’s policy of unchecked immigration had strained public services and has perpetuated social divisions preventing minorities from integrating with the main stream British culture.

However, the new policy of immigration quota is being heavily criticized by business leaders who warn that limiting much needed legitimate immigration could leave the United Kingdom short in many critical industries.

Examples cited include inadequate medical staff in many areas, delays in building new nuclear power stations, and a shortage of care workers needed for a steadily growing elderly population.  Some business leaders have warned that the quota runs the risk of stalling economic growth by choking off the supply of skilled foreign workers and thereby curtailing Britain’s recovery from recession.

It must be noted that as a European Union nation, citizens of most other members states have free movement to live and work in the UK.  Thus, it is clear that an immigration quota will heavily target workers from Africa, and Commonwealth countries such as India, Pakistan and Australia.

Written by MithrasLaw

July 26, 2010 at 2:08 pm

UK launches ‘Highly Trusted Sponsor Scheme’ for Education Providers

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The UK Government has launched the ‘Highly Trusted Sponsor Scheme’ for education providers under Tier 4 of the points-based system. This means that Tier 4 sponsors can apply for a Highly Trusted Sponsor licence from March 22, 2010 and the register of highly trusted sponsors will go live on Tuesday 6 April 2010.
Under the UK’s points-based system for controlling migration, all sponsors are rated according to their track record and procedures for monitoring overseas students. The new scheme, according to the UK Immigration authorities is about immigration control, not academic achievement. To qualify as a highly trusted sponsor, an education provider must have a proven track record in recruiting genuine international students who comply with immigration rules while they are in the UK.
Compared with other Tier 4 (General) sponsors, a highly trusted sponsor will be able to offer a wider range of courses to overseas students. It will also be offered new services and benefits, such as a dedicated account management function and a more flexible approach to reporting student non-attendance.
Under Tier 4 of the points-based system, all sponsors receive an ‘A’ or ‘B’ rating. The new Highly Trusted Sponsor category is a further segmentation of this sponsor rating system. It is designed to identify those sponsors who have the highest levels of compliance with their sponsor obligations, and whose students are showing the greatest compliance with the terms of their visa or permission to stay.
Highly trusted sponsors will be expected to meet the published criteria in full throughout the period when they hold a Highly Trusted Sponsor licence. In return they will be given a number of additional freedoms and benefits for the duration of their registration, and will be offered new services.

Written by MithrasLaw

March 23, 2010 at 8:53 pm

Posted in UK Immigration

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UK Announces Tougher Rules for Foriegn Students

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Foreign students,outside of the European Union, wanting to come to the UK study will be now required to meet stricter entry criteria according to British Home Secretary, Alan Johnson.
Yesterday Mr. Johnson announced that students wanting to study in the UK will have to show more robust documentation, including financial proof of being able to study and live in the UK.
New measures introduced include:
  • a good standard of English (equivalent of holding just below a GCSE in a foreign language) will be needed to come to the UK and study to improve English language competency further;
  • a good standard of English (again equivalent of holding just below a GCSE in a foreign language) will need to be demonstrated to study any other course below degree level;
  • restricting the lowest-level courses (A levels and equivalent) to only the most trusted institutions;
  • halving the amount of time a student studying below first degree level or on a foundation degree course will be able to work, to just 10 hours during term time;
  • a ban on bringing in dependants for anyone studying a course for less than six months; and
  • a ban on dependants of anyone studying a course lower than foundation or undergraduate degree level from working – or being subject to removal from the UK if found doing so.
  • introduction of tougher criteria for defining which course providers count as ‘highly trusted sponsors’ of foreign students. All publicly funded universities and colleges will count as highly trusted, and private training colleges can also gain that status.

The Home Secretary also announced that the UK government will implement plans to introduce a points test by 2011 for those who wish to earn British citizenship.

Written by MithrasLaw

February 11, 2010 at 11:04 am

UK Temporarily Bans Student Visa Applications Received from Northern India, Bangladesh, and Nepal

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The United Kingdom, from February 1, 2010, has temporarily banned applications received from Students in Northern India (New Delhi, Chandigarh and Jalandhar), Bangladesh, and Nepal to prevent suspected abuse of the UK immigration system. The ban is to be reviewed again at the end of February 2010.

UK immigration authorities have reported a huge increase in the last three months of 2009 (13,500 applications in three months) as compared to the same period in 2008 (1,800) and the UK government is concerned that these student visa applications may not be in good faith and may be an attempted route for some to stay in the UK on a long-term basis.

So for instance, after students complete their studies, they are entitled to apply for Tier 1 Post Study Work visa which enables them to work for two years. After completion of the two year Tier 1 Post Study Work visa, one is eligible to apply for Tier 1 Immigration Scheme for General Highly Skilled Migrants which can result in settlement in the UK.

In the meantime, UK visa offices are expected to step up scrutiny and make additional checks on student visa applications received.

Written by MithrasLaw

February 10, 2010 at 11:20 am

Posted in UK Immigration

United Kingdom To Introduce New Controls to Help Protect its Workforce

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The UK government has accepted the recommendation made by the Migration Advisory Committee to tighten up rules controlling skilled workers that are allowed to take up jobs in the UK under its point-based system so as to further support British workers and to give them an opportunity to apply first for jobs before hiring skilled workers from outside Europe.

From 2010, all jobs in the UK will need to be advertised for 4 weeks (extended from 2 weeks) in Jobcenter Plus to British workers before companies can hire non-European workers.

Additional measures that will be undertaken to protect jobs for the British workforce will be extending the qualifying period for overseas workers who want to transfer for work at their company’s UK office as well an increase of minimum salary that qualifies a skilled worker to be eligible to work in the UK from 17,000 to 20,000 Pounds Sterling.

Written by MithrasLaw

September 14, 2009 at 4:07 pm

Immigrants leaving UK in growing numbers

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Legal immigrants to the United Kingdom (UK) are increasingly more likely to leave the country after a short stay.  The report titled Shall we stay or Shall we Go: Re-migration trends among Britain’s immigrantsdiscloses that in the last two years 400,000 immigrants have left the UK.

Published by the Institute for the Public Policy Research on August 5, 2009, the report makes some interesting observations:

  • Approximately half of the around six million total immigrants to the UK in the last thirty years have left the country
  • The number of people leaving is expected to keep increasing — more than 190,000 left  in 2007, likely to be exceeded in 2008
  • The number of immigrants spending less than four years in the UK doubled between 1996 and 2007
  • According to an on-line survey, 85% of immigrants currently in the UK said they were only planning to stay short term

The findings of the report would likely have an effect on the UK Government’s new points-based immigration and citizenship schemes, which put an emphasis on highly skilled migration and greater integration of immigrants.  Research shows that it’s the migrants with high-end skills and good education who even though tend to come to the UK for economic reasons but are leaving for personal reasons, thus depriving the country of it’s best skilled immigrants.  The current policies also run the risk of affecting employers’ retention strategies used to keep highly skilled immigrants in Britain.

The report makes some policy recommendations to the government to stem this flow of highly-skilled immigrants:

  • Pilot and promote Migration Information Centres and ‘Circular Migration’ schemes so that short stay migration is better managed
  • Actively encourage immigrants to stay longer through using the points based system, retention schemes, simplified visa extensions and tax incentives
  • Ensure that migrant integration strategies take into account the increasing amount of short stay migration
  • Encourage and help foreign students to find jobs in the UK after they graduate through government schemes
  • Improve links with former immigrants to the UK and treating them as a ‘secondary diaspora’ which could be regarded as an economic and diplomatic asset

Written by MithrasLaw

August 7, 2009 at 5:21 pm

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