Thursday, 30 June 2011

Heroines in Chemistry discussed by FCO

On the 16th June Foreign Common Welath Office Scientific Adviser talks about major female influences in Chemistry and Science. With 2011 being the international year of Chemistry an event that highlighted the role of Nobel Prize winners Marie curie and Chemist Dorothy Hodgkin.

Support for British Business Overseas

UK's new EU Bill explained

wanna make some extra passive $$$

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

New UK Student Visa-Tier 4 Update

I was busy reading through the newly published document regarding UK Tier 4 Study Visa NEW POLICIES. Once again the UKBA have done a good job at making the Tier 4 Visa Process more confusing.

1st off the document starts with a weak attempt at describing the new arrangements for "low-risk" applicants. A Tier 4 applicant willbe considered to be a Student sponsored by a Highly Trusted Education Sponsor, is applying for entry clearance in his/her country of nationality and who is a national of:

Honk Kong
New Zealand
South Korea
Trinidad and Tobago

The UKBA may approve Tier 4 applications from these nationalities without certain documentation, however they go on to say that all Tier 4 Applicants should hand in all supporting evidence with their Student Applications. So whats the point in this really.

In my opinion its just a way to make it seem as if they are at least trying to alleviate the current situation around UK visas and Immigration

The rest of the document is just as confusing and can be seen HERE

I am also concerned about the maintenance section that now seems more involved.

These rules are set to come in on the 4th July 2011 and this morning I have just returned from a meeting with the UK embassy and the embassy employers confirmed that they still have not received any indication on how to deal with new applications.

What they did confirm is that they have recently received more UK Visa refusals than ever before and many of the refusals were due to maintenance requirements.

I always suggest that any potential student looking to make an application uses a professional service especially lately however even now with certain types of applications I am starting to stop my service temporarily until I can confirm what will happen in the future.

For example yesterday I had to turn away a potential UK Business Visa where in previous years I would have gladly attempted to provide the best service. I just am not prepared to commence with any case where I do not feel more than confident that I can get approved.

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Entering the UK as an Artist or Musician-Update from UKBA 28.06.2011

The UKBA released a response to recent media statements about the points based system and how it has affected the ability of top musicians and artists from entering the UK.

The UKBA spokesperson made a typical statement that basically just confirmed that any creative visitor genuinely visiting the UK to perform are welcome but that they still need to meet the entry requirements for the UK and or possibly may rather need to apply for a specific UK visa.

The UKBA has also published a document that goes into further detail about entering the UK as an artist or a musician

check out the full document here:

Exciting Opportunity for Blog/Website Owners

Monday, 27 June 2011

30 June Strike Planned UKBA will be affected

The UKBA has announced on their web site that there will be a 1 day strike starting the evening of the 29th June and ending midnight the following day 30 June 2011. This strike is set to affect the UKBA staff inside the UK. The UKBA has confirmed that there may be delays at border control posts across the UK as their focus remains securing the UK's borders and properly managing UK immigration control.

They cannot confirm how this strike will affect the different posts like airports, international rail stations and ports however they have listed some pretty basic info for people travelling into and out of the UK

I suggest that anyone booked to enter the UK for the first time with any kind of longer term visa or UK Tier 4 visa on that date prepare themselves well. I would keep a copy of all important application documents with you and obviously make sure that all the details on the visa inside the passport are 100% correct and there is no missing info or misspellings.

bloggers read here

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

UK Tier 4 Student Update-More Changes from 4 July 2011

There were more changes to the Tier 4 UK Student Visa system announced today, these changes will come into affect from 4 July 2011.

The changes to the Student Visas are as follows:

-require that sponsors/education institutions will need to vouch that a new study course follows academic/logical/authentic progression

-extended list of study courses where students need to receive ATAS clearance

-work restrictions to allow students undertaking a course at postgraduate (higher education institutions) and publicly funded education institutions ONLY

-new maintenance requirement to ensure that study and living expenses funds (maintenance) are genuinely available to the student, by using a new declaration on visa application form

-the UKBA will publish a list of financial institutions that do not, on the basis of their experience, confirm financial evidence well enough

-UKBA will explain the situation of overseas universities and colleges with campuses inside the United Kingdom

-bring in a faster application process for certain low risk nationalities wishing to study at Highly Trusted Institutions

-new restriction on dependents being allowed into the UK, only those students studying at Postgraduate Level on courses lasting 6 months or more, and for govt sponsored students courses with a duration of at least 6 months

-new restriction on ability to offer accountancy courses that are accredited by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants to those who have platinum or gold status by ACCA.

These changes are once again making it harder for certain types of students wishing to study in the UK, we have noticed that a number of applicants we have spoken with have chosen to study in either Australia, Canada or the USA as the constant rule changes and tightening of the procedures have made their experience with the UK difficult and tedious.

Truth is that genuine students who are studying at reputable UK Tier 4 Sponsors will not have too much difficulty in obtaining their Visa's. As always I suggest using an immigration specialist or lawyer to verify that all your application is correct. The main area to be careful and thorough in understanding is the maintenance requirements/rules, this is an area where many applicants fail to provide satisfactory evidence.

With my Tier 4 Student clients I ensure to request that I see a copy of their financial evidence long before we submit to give enough time to make any changes or request further evidence.

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

The UK National Lottery-Some News and Updates

The UK's National Lottery is the biggest lottery in the UK at the moment, it is more commonly known as the lotto. There are a number of different games that fall under the term National Lottery and remains an extremely popular method of easy gambling in the UK. All prizes won in the lottery are tax free and paid in one lump sum payment.

It is estimated that The National Lottery has created over 2500 millionaires which is a staggering figure.

Eligibility to play is as follows:

Lottery is not restricted to UK residents so any nationality can purchase a ticket
Players must be 16 years or older
Online ticket purchases are limited to people with UK bank accounts only, a UK residential address, and being physically present in the UK when purchasing the ticket
Lottery Tickets are not transferable
Commercial Syndicates are not permitted

Available Games


Where six numbers are randomly drawn from numbered balls from a machine, players would have chosen a sequence of numbers beforehand. A match of 3 or more numbers will receive a prize with obviously increasing value with the more matching numbers. There is always a bonus ball too which applies to people with matches of 5 numbers.

Lotto Hot Picks

Similar to Lotto and uses the same numbers and concept but the player chooses the numbers and the number of balls drawn. This game is more commonly known as five games in one.


Where a player chooses 5 numbers from 1-39 and 1 THUNDERBALL number from 1-14 . Prizes can be won by matching the regular numbers and the THUNDERBALL numbers.

Lotto Plus 5

This is a new game and is offered fills the gap in the alternate lotto draw days, Again matching 3,4,5 and 6 numbers with jackpot reaching 250,000 GBP.


This is a lottery with added lotteries from Austria,Switzerland, Ireland, Belgium, Luxembourg, France and Spain.

Scratchcard and Instant Wins

The National Lottery also sells scratchcards, these are small card like boards with an area on them that can be scratched off. Once scratched if the player has 3 matching symbols/numbers/pictures/amounts. At the moment the highest prize is about 100,000 GBP and tickets can be bought from many vendors and supermarkets across the UK. Online instant win games are available similar to online scratchcards and may involve things like dice or matching symbols/numbers/pictures/amounts. The prizes vary from game to game but like online scratch cards and regular scratch cards the player is made aware immediately of whether a prize has been won and what the prize amount is.