February 5, 2019

Registering to remain in the UK if you are an EU Citizen

For the moment, the UK intend to leave the European Union (EU) on 29 March 2019. The UK government have put in place a new scheme called the EU Settlement Scheme (Scheme) which permits EU Citizens to register in the UK to continue to live and work in the UK after Brexit.

This Scheme replaces the residence scheme which operates under the EU regulations. The EU regulations or freedom of movement permits EU Citizens entry to the UK for 3 months before having to demonstrate ‘exercising a treaty right’ through working, self-employment, retirement, studying or being self-sufficient to continue to remain lawfully in the UK.

Many EU Citizens currently in the UK have not registered under the old residence scheme because it was never compulsory.

It will be compulsory for all EU Citizens to be registered in the Scheme by 1 July 2021 if they want to continue to reside in the UK.

The Scheme will grant ‘pre settled status’ to those who have resided lawfully in the UK for less than 5 years or ‘settled status’ to those who have resided for 5 years or more.

The Home Office introduced testing phases of the Scheme to mainly public sector workers since October last year. The test pilots have been so successful that they will open a new phase of testing from 21 January 2019. The new test phase is open to all EU Citizens who hold a valid passport.

January 2, 2019

Non-EEA citizens – options to work In the UK

2 Jan 2019

What are the current options available to a non-EEA citizen if they want to work in the UK? Here is a brief overview.

Tier 2 (General) Migrants

The Tier 2 (General) route is the main immigration route for people applying to work in the UK and is designed for skilled workers who have a job offer from a UK employer who has usually satisfied the Resident Labour Market Test. This route requires the applicant to have found a company willing to sponsor them in the UK. The applicant will also have to meet English language requirements.

Tier 2 (Intra-company Transfer) Migrants

The Tier 2 (ICT) visa route is for overseas employers who have offered their employees a temporary role in their UK branch. This is in order to transfer their skills and knowledge to and from the employer’s UK workforce.

Tier 5 (Youth Mobility)

The Tier 5 (Youth Mobility) visa is a scheme for young people aged 18-30 from certain countries and territories including Australia, Canada, Japan, Monaco, New Zealand and others, who want to live and experience life in the UK for up to two years. In order to apply for this visa, the applicant must also have a minimum required level of savings.

Tier 5 (Government Authorised Exchange)

The Tier 5 (Government Authorised Exchange) route is a visa for someone that wants to come to the UK for up to a year in most cases for paid work experience or internship from a UK company or a fellowship through an approved government authorised exchange scheme. In order to apply for this visa, the applicant must have a sponsor.

UK Ancestry

Applicants can apply for a UK Ancestry visa if they are a Commonwealth citizen and applying from outside the UK. The applicant also has to be able to prove that one of their grandparents was born in the UK and that they are able and planning to work in the UK.

Tier 1 (Entrepreneur)

The Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa is for applicants who want to set up or run a business in the UK and meet certain eligibility requirements, including having access to at least £200,000.00 in investment funds. In some cases you may only need to evidence access to £50,000.00 and all applicants have to meet English language requirements.

Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent)

Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) visas are for non-EEA applicants who have been endorsed in their field of expertise. The threshold to obtain a Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) visa is very high. The applicant must be very talented and be well regarded in the industry.

Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur)

A Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) visa is for applicants who are UK graduates and who have been officially endorsed as having a genuine and credible business idea and who have met the English language requirement.

Representative of an Overseas Business

A Representative of an Overseas Business visa is for candidates who are looking to set up and establish the UK branch or subsidiary of an overseas business and who have met the English language requirement.

It is important to note that for all these UK visa routes there are specific eligibility requirements which applicants must meet and that without satisfying the requirements the entry clearance (visa) applications are likely to be refused. These eligibility requirements can include minimum salary thresholds, savings and maintenance funds. All applicants for these visa routes must also be from outside the EEA and Switzerland.

December 12, 2018

Update on new services for UKVI customers

12 December 2018

Dear colleague,

We are writing to update you on UK Visas and Immigration’s (UKVI) new services for UK customers, including online application forms.

The first UK Visa and Citizenship Application Service Centre (UKVCAS), run by Sopra Steria, opened in Manchester on 09 November; followed by Birmingham, Belfast, Cardiff, Croydon and Glasgow, and the Premium Lounge in London.

In addition, 42 of the 50 enhanced service centres have opened for customers; the remaining 8 will all be open by early 2019. Please note, following sub-optimal customer experience at a small number of enhanced service centres, we have amended the roll-out to ensure we are able to address issues prior to further centres going live.

All core service centres that offer free appointments to customers are live and functioning well, and we are working with our partner Sopra Steria to ensure they are responding to demand including with increased capacity where appropriate. We are committed to ensuring all customers are offered an appointment within 5 days of submitting their application; and are working with Sopra Steria to ensure the service delivers for our customers. Customers have the choice to continue to use the current process of attending a Post Office to submit their biometrics during the transition.

Sopra Steria are offering a range of services for customers, including an On-Demand Pop-Up Clinic, to allow the UK VCAS to go to a University or Company; and an On-Demand VIP Service for individuals. Both services mean that customers do not have to travel to a core or local centre for their appointment and can submit their supporting evidence and biometrics at a location convenient to them.

Further details on the roll-out of UK VCAS.

Customer reaction

Customer feedback from live centres has been positive, with customers enjoying the speed and convenience of the new system, including being able to retain their passports and key documents; an easier online application form and the option to purchase added value services to tailor their application to their needs; and the ability to submit key evidence and personal information online, from home, before their appointment.

A recent customer said:

“Clear info. On the website I like the fact that you are accompanied / guided through the process.”

Service and Support Centres

In reviewing our services we recognised that some customers may require more support from UKVI, including during the application process itself. Therefore, in early 2019 we will be opening dedicated Service & Support Centres (SSCs) for customers whose applications or circumstances mean they need more assistance with their application.

We have communicated about this separately; please get in touch if you would like more information.

Applying online

From 13th December, the following paper forms will no longer be available for download from GOV.UK and customers will apply using the online service:

– Tier 1 Entrepreneur and Graduate Entrepreneur – applications to extend stay or switch from another visa category

– Dependants of Tier 1 customers in the above routes who are applying separately from the main applicant

– Form FLR(FP) – apply to your stay in the UK on the basis of family life as a partner, parent or dependent child or on the basis of your private life in the UK

– Form FLR(LR) – apply to extend your stay in the UK on the basis of long residence

– Form FLR(DL) – apply to extend your stay or for indefinite leave to remain in the UK if you were refused asylum but given another type of permission to stay in the UK

– Form FLR(HRO) – apply to extend your stay in the UK for human rights claims, leave outside the rules and other routes not covered by other forms

– Form FLR(M) – apply as a fee waiver customer to extend stay in the UK as the partner or dependent child of someone who is settled here or who is a refugee or under humanitarian protection

Customers who are eligible for fee waiver will be able use a new online form to ask UKVI to consider their circumstances. This service will assist customers who are destitute and cannot pay the fee to extend their stay on the basis of private/family life or other human rights grounds. Therefore, from 13th December, the paper fee waiver form ‘Appendix 1’ will no longer be available for download from GOV.UK.

Where the customer is in the process of completing one of the above paper forms, UKVI will accept the application up to the expiry date of 4 January 2019.

Assisted Digital Service

Further help and advice for customers making an application is available, including support to complete applications online for those who are unable to use the online application process. More information and contact details for the Assisted Digital Service.

Please find attached a Q&A. If you have any feedback on the new system, or any questions, please contact frontendservicesteam@homeoffice.gov.uk. Sponsors who have subscribed to the Premium Customer Service may contact their account manager.

UKVI and Sopra Steria look forward to working with you to deliver an improved customer service and application process.


UK Visas and Immigration