Monthly Archives: March 2019

March 2019 commentary

In the Month of March 2019 Lawson Hunte achieved 17 successful outcomes for our clients, these included some subsidiary issues such as a refund for an overbill by the National Health Service in relation to overseas billing and an amended Biometric residence permit. We also encountered challenges with the recently introduced new application system under VFS and scanning issues which arose from this. In relation to spouse visa the computer generated checklist did not always have a requirement for all of the specified evidence to be produce. Noting this, we are continuing with advice to client’s to non-the-less provide any and all documents specified under the rules.

We noted that the UKVI are seeking to simplify the application processes, this however is a difficult challenge for them and from our experience is not proving to be a smooth transition, most applications since November 2018 are now online. The EEA app will be rolled out fully three days from today.

For individuals the online system essentially will provide applicants with more ease to complete forms than with the traditional paper form. The issue for applicant’s will be ignorance of the rules, case law and policies which underlie any issues they need to bring to the table for assessment by the authorities.

We are looking forward to our April report and hope to bring you more interesting view on developments in the immigration system. To conclude, we would like to congratulate Lawson Hunte Staff for their hard work, dedication and solid commitment to our client’s.

EEA Application via App

We have so far made two experimental applications using the new app for EEA applications. When you enter your information in this app it tells you that the App is still under construction but ignore this. The app is accessed on Google Play. Once this is opened you will be asked to scan the identification page of your passport. Once this is done the next step is to scan the chip on the cover of your passport. Then take a photo of yourself against a white background. This all takes place using the camera on your android phone. The app then opens an application form beginning with security questions and very few personal questions.

Enter whether you are applying for settled or pre settled status. The final stage is review your answers, pay (fees will be refunded) and then submit. In our experience the result is made available within 24 hours with a Certificate of Application and the Letter of Grant being sent to your email address. Our assessment – this is a fiddly process and you may have to start it over a few times to get it right but not too difficult. Hey Ho, all being well, the system will be fully operational by 30 March 2019

The English Language Requirement for Spouses

Spouse are required to demonstrate mandatory levels of English Language competence. Individuals from majority English speaking countries are exempt from this requirement. If an individual is not relying on their nationality or an academic qualification, they must sit an English test for initial entry at level A1 CEFR. It is always useful to check with the British Council in the relevant country they will verify the steps needed to achieve this. after sitting the initial exam, any subsequent application should be accompanied by a fresh English Language test taken at A2 CEFR speaking and listening certificate. Both A1 and A2 are short exams taking less than 6 minutes to complete. For settlement applications, the level is B1 CEFR. If an individual has a degree taught in English this would need to undergo UK Naric assessment of compatibility to a UK taught degree.

Article by Sonya King

Immigration and Brexit; Will it impact you?

The current Brexit plan allows European nationals currently living in the UK to remain subject to certain conditions to remain after June 2021 under a ‘pre-settled’ and ‘settled’ status and UK citizens working in the EU are allowed to also continue to do this also. The Brexit plan dose not allow the UK to prohibit the free movement of people from the EU until a December 2020 cut off date. The Treaty that currently allows citizens of member states to live and work in the EU will not be in effect in the UK for European nationals coming to the UK after the 30th of March 2019 from that date the UK will be in transition as regards the status of EEA Nationals.

On the 23rd of June 2016 a referendum vote was held on whether the United Kingdom should stay in the European union. The negotiations for the exit process have been ongoing as of many political disputes regarding the fall out of the United Kingdom leaving the EU. In March of 2017 an article 50 withdrawal notice was sent the EU giving the UK and EU until the 29th of March 2019 to end the EU relationship.

EEA Nationals who do not utilise the newly introduced status’s will be given a ‘temporary status’ allowing stay in the UK until the end of the transition phase in December of 2020. The UK is to remain as part of a ‘customs union’ with the EU preventing a ‘Hard Border’ between the North and South of Ireland as southern Ireland is an independent country that is a member of the EU. The UK would also have to stick to the laws of the EU and the European court of judgement.

The Vote

Yesterday, the 12th of March 2019 the current proposal for the Brexit withdrawal was voted on again and was not accepted by the UK parliament. A further vote will be held on the 14th of March 2019 for extension of Article 50; a further vote is to be held today, 13th of March 2019. The options now for the UK are to leave the EU with no deal, or apply for an extension on the deadline or to revoke the section 50 notice sent in March of 2017.

MP’s were voting today to determine whether the current exit package suited the UK. The bottom line was that if the package were rejected and/or firm decisions not made for the UK by the 29th of March the UK would no longer be a member of the European union and would have no trade agreements. MP’s were voting today to determine whether the current exit package suited the UK. The bottom line was that if the package were rejected and/or firm decisions not made for the UK by the 29th of March the UK would no longer be a member of the European union and would have no trade agreements.

Lawson Hunte News this week

On a lighter note, and changing the subject Lawson Hunte has achieved 7 grants this week for its clients. We are extremely pleased with our client results and wish to congratulate those granted leave to remain and British Nationality in the past week. Well done, Guy for maintaining an unblemished 100 percent success rate and other team members for putting clients first.

By Jed Nero Compliance Officer at Lawson Hunte immigration services