Monday, 31 January 2011

US Economy Growth better than UK's

Guide to UK Benefits

I thought I would publish a short Guide to the UK Benefit System, Please note that with the UK Govt's plans for a single universal credit some of the below will cease to exist but many of the benefits below will still be valid. If you have any doubt you can always use The Directgov web site with full details of eligibility and instructions on how to apply.

Benefits A-F

Adult Social Care- assistance with paying for Care(washing, dressing etc) relevant mostly to Senior Citizens

Attendance Allowance- Tax free benefit for people aged 65 or older who are mentally or physically disabled two rates apply of 71,40 GBP per week

Bereavement Allowance- 97,65 GBP weekly payment for up to 52 weeks following the death of a husband, wife or civil partner

Bereavement Payment- one off tax free payment of 2,000 GBP following the death of a husband, wife or civil partner who was under the pension age

Budgeting Loans- Interest free loan for those people on a low income who need assistance with important items such as clothing,travel etc

Carer's Allowance- Taxable benefit for people who look after a disabled individual (there is no need to be related or to live with the disabled individual)

Child Benefit-Benefit for parents to claim for children

Child Tax Credit-Tax credit's are paid to families with children whether they work or not

Cold Weather Payment-25 GBP payment is made for each 7 day period of extreme cold weather from 1 November until 31 March, to help with additional cost of heating during these colder months

Community Care Grant-Benefit meant for people who just moved out of care and who need help to live independently in the Community

Constant Attendance Allowance
-benefit for people who need constant care, these people are 100% reliant on the help of a carer and who have undergone medical examination to confirm this and who receive Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit or War Disablement Benefit

Council Tax Benefit- financial aid for those people on low incomes to assist with the payment of their council taxes

Crisis Loans- An interest free loan for people that cannot meet their families needs in a time of emergency or as a result of disaster

Disability Living Allowance
-Tax Free Benefit for disabled people, including children that need someone to assist with walking and who needs constant attention or care

Employment and Support Allowance
- Paid to people with an illness or disability but this aims to get them back into some kind of work

Funeral Payments- benefit for people on low incomes who need help with paying for a funeral, this may need to get paid back once the estate of the person who died has been settled.

I will be posting more benefits later.

Thursday, 27 January 2011

English Level to be raised

The Home Office in the UK has recently sent a detailed proposal to all Ministers with an aim to increase the level of English needed by students arriving in the UK to Study.

In order for the Govt to reduce the numbers the Student Visa Route will surely be scrutinized thoroughly in particular those Foreign Student Studying at below Degree Level courses.

1 option proposed is to raise the English Level for the Students Studying at below Degree level only, the level at present is set at a score of B1 on the CEFR. The raising of the level to B2 wold basically mean a required level from intermediate to upper-intermediate

The Extended Student Visitor changes are meant to alleviate some of the concern from the English Language Education Sector, these changes allow the student visitor to stay in the UK for up to 11 months BUT this category would not necessarily satisfy all of the industry's requirements.

Telegraph Personal Finance Podcast

UK Bookings to the USA 2010 Report

I received an interesting and informative email about UK travel bookings to the USA, thought I would share some of the data:

The United Kingdom Travel Trade Barometer (as of October -November 2010) demonstrated that only slight growth from the previous summer carried over into the 2010 4th Quarter.

For the first quarter of 2011 many UK tour Operators are forecasting higher bookings to the USA in comparison to the same time in 2010.

There are many reasons for UK residents to choose to travel to the USA: one of the main motivating factors for travel booking to the USA in the next six months will be VALUE. Accommodation rates also were a top motivating factor as was the exchange rate.

The main factors deterring UK travelers booking trips to the USA was reported to be the current economic climate and the UK economy specifically.

UK Prime Minister told to change course on cuts

Thursday, 20 January 2011

New Plans SCrap NHS TRUSTS

Passport About to Expire? What to do to TRANSFER a UK VISA to new Passport.


If you hold a valid UK Visa with LEAVE TO ENTER OR LEAVE TO REMAIN and your current PASSPORT is about to EXPIRE the UKBA can TRANSFER the RESIDENCE PERMIT to your new PASSPORT

however if you decide not t do the transfer you HAVE to CARRY BOTH PASSPORTS TO CONFIRM YOUR STATUS.

The UKBA will not/cannot TRANSFER any RESIDENCE PERMITS at Passport Control when you arrive in the UK.

If the RESIDENCE PERMIT confirms that you permission to live in the UK (SETTLE) permanently you need to request a NO TIME LIMIT (NTL) stamp by submitting form NTL

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Fears of Harsher UK STUDENT VISA Rules

With all the recent changes to the Immigration System in the UK it has become one of the most difficult in the world. The Points Based System and Entry Routes for Skilled People ensures that much lower numbers of foreign workers will have the opportunity to apply for taking up work in the UK.

The TIER 4 Student Visa rules are also meant to be changed and many UK Universities and Colleges fear that if the proposed changes come into affect that many International Students will choose other destinations with easier methods of Visa Applications.

America, Australia and Canada for example are becoming more attractive for Potential Students who previously would have only considered the UK.

The Universities face budget cuts and International Student Fees make up an extremely important source of income. Universities will get a chance to air their concerns during the UKBA's Consultation on Student Immigration.

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Longer Paternity Plan UK

It looks as if New Fathers in the UK can receive much longer Paternity Leave under the new plans of the UK Govt.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg outlines the plans in the video clip below:

Monday, 17 January 2011

Tips: Submitting your UK Visa through an Agent

If you decide to use an independent travel agent, immigration consultant or Agent there are some general tips to ensure that you choose correctly:

Agents/consultants cannot guarantee that they will be able to get you a study or work visa.

No agent should guarantee that you will receive the visa without an interview or guarantee the outcome of your visa application.

If you do contact an agent and they make such claims be very careful and ensure that you receive everything in writing and check any contracts that they will have you sign before you sign it.

I have been working in the Immigration Industry since 2002 and have never made any guarantee of an outcome whether it be a Study/Work/Family or Visit Type Visa

The terms of service and fees associated with Immigration Consultants, Agents and Lawyers can obviously vary and it is extremely important for you to feel totally comfortable enough with your agent/lawyer/consultant to bring up any concerns before you enter into an agreement.

Always remember that the application for the Visa is YOUR application and the documents provided are your property, an agent may help you complete the necessary forms and guide you as to what documentation to submit with.

A large part of my duty as an Immigration Consultant is to inform potential visa applicants on their eligibility and the rules associated with the particular visa type.

2011 Working in the UK

In the past it has not been too difficult for Highly Skilled individuals to immigrate and work in the UK without a job offer or sponsorship from a UK Based Employer HOWEVER the UKBA has recently closed this entry route to applicants from outside the UK.

Through the Tier 2 (General) Visa UK based employer can SPONSOR FOREIGN WORKERS

The process of Sponsorship includes an employer applying for a sponsorship license from the UKBA to be able to employ foreign workers by issuing Certificates of Sponsorship

In order to meet the UKBA requirements under Tier 2 (General) and sponsorship the UK Employer must:

be a legitimate Company operating legally in the United Kingdom
must have Human Resource facilities to deal with immigration control
must have a dully appointed individual that will use the sponsorship management system

This list is not complete and anyone looking to make such an application should contact our offices

Thursday, 13 January 2011

UK Tutor Scam Investigation Video

Jan 12.2011

A University Lecturer and Liberal Democrat Parliamentary candidate has been accused of defrauding students out of thousands of Pounds:

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Extended Student Visitor Visa for Students Studying English in the UK


ENGLISH LANGUAGE students looking to study only English Language Courses will from today be able to apply for a STUDENT VISITOR VISA which will allow these students to stay in the UK for up to 11 months.

This extended STUDENT VISITOR VISA will be available exclusively to applications made outside the UK.

Please note that the requirements and restrictions of the EXTENDED STUDENT VISITOR will be the same as the current STUDENT VISITOR. Applicants under this STUDENT VISITOR VISA are NOT ALLOWED:


THIS EXTENDED STUDENT VISITOR VISA does NOT affect any applications to study NON-ENGLISH LANGUAGE COURSES in the UK for longer than six months, and anyone thinking of applying for a course like this (Longer than six months and non English Language) needs to still apply under the TIER 4 rules of the POINTS BASED SYSTEM.

Sunday, 9 January 2011

UK Visa Issues in the Premier League

In the past we have seen a number of foreign footballer's experience visa issues. The latest story in 2011 so far has been Manchester City's newest signing Bosnian Edin Dzeko after he experienced some UK VISA Issues.

His 27 Million Pound deal with Manchester City could fall away unless he secures the necessary papers which according to sources were missing when he arrived in the UK on Wednesday.

In general visa applications can take up to 28 days to process and the concern for the striker is that the transfer window closes on January 31.

Sunday, 2 January 2011

Review from IPPR claims UK Immigration to rise in 2010/11

The Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) has claimed in its Migration Review 2010-2011 that the UK Govt's plans on reducing the number of Net Migration is bound to be a failure.

The review has also reported that the UK Govt used deceptive tactics with regard to Student Visas. In the UK there has been a steadily growing number of International Students and the UK Govt plans to reduce the total number of Students too, however the consultation on Tier 4 UK STUDENT VISA is still underway and a reduction in Tier 4 Applications is highly unlikely in 2011.

With regard to the Immigration Cap on Skilled Migrants the report stated that the UK Public DO NOT perceive these Migrants as an Issue.

Taking into account the Financial Situation across Europe and the Irish Financial Collapse there is serious concern on the numbers of Migrants from these areas entering into the UK. One thing looks certain though the UK govt will come under fire from all sides with regard to the immigration policies and pledges they have made.