Tag Archives: ILR

UK Eases Visa Rules – 1st October 2013

Last Friday, Mark Harper, the immigration minister, announced changes which generally ease visa rules from 1st October 2013. Some of the key changes are:

  • Removal of the English language requirement for intra-company transferees.
  • Tourists and business visitors are allowed to do some study where it is not the main purpose of their visit.
  • Share ownership restrictions waived for senior staff earning £152,100 or more.
  • Artists of exceptional promise enabled to apply under Tier 1.
  • Graduate entrepreneurs will find it easier to switch into Tier 2.
  • New youth mobility scheme quotas set for 2014
  • Hong Kong will be added to the list of participating countries and territories on the UK’s Youth Mobility Scheme in order to further strenghten business, trade and cultural ties.
  • Some students will be allowed to work as interns under the Tier 5 government authorised exchange scheme.
  • The removal of the prospective student route.
  • The expansion of checks to ensure applicants for work and student visas are genuine, and that they intend to meet the conditions of leave they apply for.
  • The introducion of  powers to refuse Tier 4 extension applications where the applicant cannot speak English.
  • Dependants in the Points Based System and other work routes will be allowed to apply from within the UK, providing they are not here illegally, as visitors, or on temporary admission or temporary release. They will still need to satisfy all other existing requirements.
  • Special rules for overseas visitors to the Commonwealth Games 2014 were included.
  • With effect from the 28th October 2013 there will be changes to how applicants for indefinite leave to remain are required to demonstrate their knowledge of the English language and of life in the UK.

If you need a visa to work in IT, Engineering, Actuary or Finance Commonwealth Contractors may well be able to help.

To find out more about our solutions call now on 0800 294 4388 or Send us some details now and we will get right back to you!

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Contracting after ILR

If you’re on a temporary work visa (such as Tier 1 General or Tier 2 General), and yearn to be a pure freelancer (not always the best option!), you will be looking forward to the day that you can consider contracting after ILR is achieved as it means you will be on the same playing field as all of the other highly skilled British Contractors who operate Contractor Limited Companies.

A Contractor Limited Company can represent a good way to make the most out of working as a professional contractor in the UK. The 13.8% Employers National Insurance saving means that you could add a significant amount to your monthly retention when considered vs a PAYE option, but the benefits are list unless you avoid MSC legislation, which generally means taking on a significant administrative burden.

To find out more about securing Indefinite Leave to Remain and working as a highly skilled Contractor call Commonwealth Contractors now on 0800 294 4388 or Submit your Details and we will get right back to you!

Contracting Solutions and Work Visa Applications

When on a temporary work visa such as Tier 1 General (formerly the HSMP) you need to place more importance on qualifying for a visa extension or ILR that improving your net retention by using a tax efficient contractor solution.

Over the years many of those who have used a tax efficient contractor solution have failed to qualify for a visa extension. If you have already done 2-3 years this can be potentially devastating. Tier 1 General Extensions

Working in Europe

Once you have secured Indefinite Leave to Remain you no longer have to worry about breaking your run for permanent residence (i.e. a break is considered to be any more that 90- days in any one year) and can therefore work for longer periods of time in other areas of the EEA where required (you may be able to do this via a Vander Elst Visa).

Please note however that if you spend an extended period of time outside of the UK (more than 2 years) you will lose your ILR status and also if you are planning on applying for British Citizenship you need to be based in the UK to qualify.

Securing Tier 2 Work Permit Sponsorship

Are you a highly skilled IT, Engineering, Financial Services Professional? Would you like to work in the UK on a Tier 2 General Visa?

At Commonwealth Contractors we partner with Tier 2 Licensed Employers & Consultancies who may be prepared, where required, to sponsor an individual on a Tier 2 General Visa.

To find out more call Commonwealth Contractors now on 0800 294 4388 or Submit your Details and we will get right back to you!

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To find out more about our solutions call now on 0800 294 4388 or Submit your Details and we will get right back to you!

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Knowledge of Language and Life in the UK

Before you can apply for Naturalisation as a British Citizen you first need to pass a ‘Knowledge of Language and Life in the UK’ test. Only on passing the test and gaining a Certificate of approval can you apply for British Citizenship. (more…)

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British Citizenship (Naturalisation)

Most people are Naturalised as British Citizens 1 year after securing Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK. There are many benefits to securing British Citizenship (and with it a British Passport) including the ability to work freely throughout the European Economic Area (EEA). (more…)

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UK Settlement Visas

After you have completed a certain number of years in the UK on a certain immigration status you can normally apply for Settlement (also known as ‘Indefinite Leave to Remain’ or ‘Permanent Residence’). (more…)

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UK Settlement and Citizenship Overview

After you have spent a certain period of time in the UK (generally 5 years for skilled workers) you can normally apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (also known as Permanent Residence). Following a further 1 year it is normally possible to apply for Naturalisation as a British Citizen and then a UK Passport. (more…)

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The route to unrestricted working rights & UK Citizenship

If you come to the UK as a Bulgarian or Romanian on an ECAA Visa then you can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (also known as Permanent Residence) in the United Kingdom after 5 continuous years. (more…)

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ILR | Tier 2 Intra Company Transfer

If you hold a Tier 2 Intra Company Transfer Visa (ICT) issued before the 6th April 2010 you may be able to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (otherwise known as Permanent Residence) on completing 5 full qualifying years.

However, if you were approved an Intra Company Transfer visa after the 6th April 2010 time spent on the visa will not qualify towards Indefinite Leave to Remain (Permanent Residence).

Are you currently working in the UK on a Tier 2 Intra Company Transfer Visa? Would you like to switch to Tier 2 General? If so Commonwealth Contractors may be able to help!

At Commonwealth Contractors we partner with Tier 2 Licensed employers and consultancies who may be prepared, where required, to sponsor an individual under Tier 2 General. To find out more call now on 0800 294 4388 or Submit your Details and we will get right back to you!

Tier 2 ICT Sponsors and Indefinite Leave to Remain

Each year thousands of highly skilled professionals come to the UK on Tier 2 Intra Company Transfer Visas, many with multi-national employers such as; Infosys, Tech Mahindra, Tata, IBM, Accenture, Sapient etc.

Many companies benefit from utilising those on ICTs as they are able to reduce delivery costs while still charging a premium for services delivered. Often employers will apply for the maximum term ICT available in respect of a consultant but will happily cancel a secondment in an instant if:

  • A project is cancelled, OR
  • They need to scale back delivery, OR
  • If an individual is approaching Indefinite Leave to Remain.

If you are on an ICT which qualifies for ILR and you believe that your current employer will allow you to reach 5 years please be aware that this might not be the case. It is not in an employer’s interest to invest in an individual simply for them to secure Indefinite Leave to Remain and then leave for a better paid opportunity.

If you are on an ICT which qualifies for ILR (and qualifies to ‘switch’ in country) you are advised to concentrate on finding a prospective employer who will be willing to sponsor you under Tier 2 General. Once a transfer has been completed you will be free to work towards ILR without the threat of having your leave curtailed by the employer.

Applying for ILR

For detailed information on applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain please see our UK Settlement and Citizenship section.

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To find out more about our solutions call now on 0800 294 4388 or Submit your Details and we will get right back to you!

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Tier 2 General to ILR & Citizenship Route

After completing 5 full years in the UK on a Tier 2 General Visa you can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) so long as you have not spent any more than 90 days outside the country in any one year.

Holding Indefinite Leave to Remain (also known as Permanent Residence) means that you spent long enough in the UK for the country to be considered your permanent home, although not long enough for it to be considered your country of Citizenship.

ILR status will allow you to come and go from the UK freely and work in the country without requiring a temporary work visa. Please note however that if you are planning to leave the UK (after securing settlement) for an extended period (2+ years) you will lose your entitlement to the status and you will need to qualify all over again.

Are you a highly skilled IT, Engineering, or Financial Services Professional? Do you need a Tier 2 General visa for the UK? If so Commonwealth Contractors may be able to help! We partner with Tier 2 Licensed employers and consultancies who may be prepared, where required, to sponsor an individual under Tier 2 General.

Submitting an Application for Tier 2 General to ILR

To submit an application as a Tier 2 General or Business and Commercial Work Permit holder you will need to:

  • Provide a fully completed and up to date SET (O) application form – You can find application forms on the UK Border Agency website within the ‘settling in the UK’ section here
  • Include supporting documents with your application including;
    • Original Passports
    • Current Passport Sized Photos
    • Proof of qualify against the Knowledge of Language and Life in the UK requirement (KOL)
    • Proof that you have been paid at or above the minimum required level for your Tier 2 General role
    • Birth Certificates and Marriage Certificates (for dependents)

Tier 2 / Work Permit Salary Requirements

If you hold a Tier 2 General Visa (or old style Work Permit) you will need to prove that you have been paid at or above the appropriate rate for the job as set out in the Tier 2 Codes of Practice.

To do this you will need to provide:

  • A written confirmation from your employer(s) confirming that you have been paid at or above the required level, AND
  • Original stamped and signed payslips to confirm the gross and net monthly payments, AND
  • Original personal bank statements to prove that net sums have been paid to you

If you are unable to provide this information you may find that you visa application is rejected.

Knowledge of Language and Life in the UK

In order to apply for ILR you will need to:

Losing ILR Status

If you secure ILR and then decide to leave the UK for a period of 2+ years you will lose your entitlement for the status and you will need to apply for entry clearance (normally further to a Tier 2 General Visa) all over again.

You will be able to return to the UK so long as:

  • When you last left the UK you held ILR status, AND
  • You have been away for less than 2 years, AND
  • You are returning to the UK to live here permanently, AND
  • You were not given public funds to pay the costs of leaving the UK

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To find out more about our solutions call now on 0800 294 4388 or Submit your Details and we will get right back to you!

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