Firstly, may we remind you that there are now only a few days until the UK Border Agency increases its fees on 6th April. Among the biggest increases are:
- Huge increases in fees for dependants. At present, dependants applying within the UK pay only 50% of the main fee. This will rise to 75% in April and will cost applicants hundreds if not thousands of pounds.
- Many applicants will also pay higher same-day application fees.
- And if you cancel your same day appointment it will cost you £100.
From 6th April 2013 there will also be changes to the Tier 2 visa system. These will include an increase in minimum salary requirements and changes to the skilled occupation list.
If you need your UK immigration application processed fast, why not let us submit it for you? We can get applications processed on the same day.
We can help with applications for indefinite leave to remain, tier 1 extensions, and many other types of application. Please call our London Office on 0344 991 9222 for further details. Our slots are allocated on a first-come-first-served basis so call today.
A committee of MPs has issued a report which is strongly critical of the UK Border Agency. It says that it is failing in almost all areas. The UKBA has been responsible for almost all the UK’s immigration administration since 2008. The UKBA missed its target for processing applications under all four active tiers of the UK's five tier immigration system between July and September 2012.
It processed just 18% of postal applications for Tier 1 visas and only 14% of Tier 4 postal applications within four weeks. In total, it missed its target of processing visas in four weeks in 72.5% of cases.
On Tuesday 26th March 2013, the UK's Home Secretary, Theresa May, told the House of Commons that she was abolishing the UKBA because it was ‘not good enough’. Its staff will be incorporated into two new organisations. One will deal with visa applications and the other will find and remove illegal immigrants.
Mrs May said that the UKBA has always struggled with the volume of work and has failed to deal with a backlog of several hundred thousand cases. Mrs May's announcement took most people by surprise. Last week, the UK's immigration minister Mark Harper issued a statement saying that there had been great improvements at the UKBA.
As of 23rd March, Australia has scrapped nine visitor visas and replaced them with four new ones. Australian immigration minister Brendan O’Connor said it would simplify the system. The four new visas do not allow their holders to do paid work. They are
- The Visitor Visa which you apply for at the relevant Australian Embassy or Consulate.
- The Electronic Travel Authority visa; a visit visa which you apply for online.
- The Medical Treatment visa.
- And the eVisitor; an electronic visit visa you apply for online for people from the European Economic Area.
Mr O’Connor also announced the new Temporary work (short stay activity) visa which allows you to enter Australia for up to six weeks for short-term, specialised work.
David Cameron, the UK's Prime Minister, has said he intends to prevent recent immigrants from claiming benefits, getting social housing or using the National Health Service. Mr Cameron said that many of the UK’s scientists, doctors and sportspeople were immigrants but he said that the UK benefits system encourages immigrants to stop work and claim benefits.
He added that the government would crack down on firms employing illegal immigrant workers and act to make private landlords check the immigration status of tenants before renting property.
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