Tag Archives: Immigration

Curry House raided by immigration police

The business, Shagorika curry house now faces a potential fine of up to £20,000 – £10,000 per illegal worker – unless it can prove that the correct pre-employment checks were carried out. The raids took place after a tip-off from a member of the public. It is the second time in three years that the restaurant has been raided by immigration officials although no action was taken in the first instance. Officers also visited a residential address in Walcot Road where they found a 35-year-old from Pakistan who had also overstayed his visa. He remains on immigration bail while action to remove him is taken by the agency.

Phil Rudkin, the agency’s chief immigration officer, said: “We are working hard to find and remove those who have no right to live or work in the UK. The message we are sending to people flouting the law is clear – more raids are planned and you will be caught. Our enforcement visits are intelligence-led and we appeal to the public to let us know when they have information about suspected immigration offenders.”

Shagorika has been based in the town since 1980. Owner Ala Uddin said the incident was a misunderstanding and denied that his restaurant had any knowledge that the men were illegal immigrants. One of the men was not working in the restaurant but staying in a flat above it, he said, while the other man had provided official-looking immigration documents that have turned out to be false. “He showed me a passport but I now learn that it was a false passport. How was I supposed to know,” he said.

Chief immigration officer Mr Rudkin added: “By law, employers must check that their staff have the right to work in the UK and we are happy to provide help for people who want to play by the rules.”

Commonwealth Contractors

At Commonwealth Contractors we partner with OISC Registered Private Immigration Firms and Tier 2 Licensed Healthcare and IT Consultancies who may be prepared, where required, to sponsor an individual on a Tier 2 Visa (formerly UK Work Permit). If you are a highly skilled International professional and you would like to work in the UK Commonwealth Contractors can help. Our OISC Registered Partners specialise in Tier 1 General (formerly Highly Skilled Migrant Programme) visa applications and can assist those highly skilled individuals that either wish to apply or extend a Tier 1 General Visa.

For more Information call Commonwealth Contractors now on 0800 294 4388 or Submit your Details and we will get right back to you. Please see other areas of the Commonwealth Contractors site for interesting articles on tax, immigration and contracting.

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UK Boarder Agency cracks down on immigration abuse

UKBA Regional Director of Pakistan, Carol Doughtry said: ‘‘we welcome genuine travellers from Pakistan and between January and March 2011 issued over 35,000 visas to Pakistani nationals. But we will not tolerate immigration abuse and will punish those who break immigration laws. Our aim isn\’t just to prevent illegal migration but also identify and take out those criminals behind these immigration scams.’

Various scams related to illegal immigration have recently come to light while the agency has been making a constant effort to tackle sham marriages – when a non-European national marries someone from the European Economic Area, including the UK, as means of attempting to gain long-term residency and the right to work and claim benefits.

A mixture of Pakistani and Slovak nationals, were arrested in February, following an investigation by the UKBA in Islamabad into criminal gangs organising sham marriages. Slovakian women would fly to Pakistan and marry Pakistani men. Documents would then be provided to the men to support a visa application. Documentation were generally forged in attempt to make it appear that Slovakian females lived and worked in the UK.

Immigration Minister Damian Green said:
\’We are doing more than ever to stop those seeking to abuse our immigration system from entering the UK and, as this investigation clearly demonstrates, that work does not stop at the UK border. Our investigations into organised immigration crime both in the UK and abroad mean we know the scams the gangs use and can keep one step ahead. The message is clear – the UK is no longer an easy touch.\’

Between January and March 2011, the UKBA worked with air carriers in Pakistan to stop 214 passengers who intended to travel to the UK without proper documentation on flights from Islamabad, Lahore, Karachi and Peshawar. Additionally, a 40-year-old man from Karachi was jailed for six years and nine months on July 29 after he was caught trying to smuggle heroin at Manchester Airport.

Commonwealth Contractors

At Commonwealth Contractors we partner with OISC Registered Private Immigration Firms and Tier 2 Licensed Healthcare and IT Consultancies who may be prepared, where required, to sponsor an individual on a Tier 2 Visa (formerly UK Work Permit). If you are a highly skilled International professional and you would like to work in the UK Commonwealth Contractors can help. Our OISC Registered Partners specialise in Tier 1 General (formerly Highly Skilled Migrant Programme) visa applications and can assist those highly skilled individuals that either wish to apply or extend a Tier 1 General Visa.

For more Information call Commonwealth Contractors now on 0800 294 4388 or Submit your Details and we will get right back to you. Please see other areas of the Commonwealth Contractors site for interesting articles on tax, immigration and contracting.

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Home Office blunders result in violent thugs escaping deportation

Ex-Tory Shadow Home Secretary David Davis said: ‘in addition to the original sin, it is a disgrace the Home Office is not willing to release figures on something which is of such public importance. They must tell the public exactly what they have done to bring these dangerous criminals under control and be fully open about the extent of this problem.\’

The Home Office, which has jurisdiction over the UK Border Agency, blamed the Ministry of Justice which is in charge of running Britain\’s prisons. David Wood, of the UK Border Agency, said it deported 5,235 foreign nationals last year and that it has made \’considerable improvements\’ to the system. He said: \’We receive around 500 referrals per month and work closely with other agencies to ensure we deal with all foreign national prisoners, including cases where the offender will be released on sentencing directly from court, those serving short sentences and remand prisoners.\’

Commonwealth Contractors

At Commonwealth Contractors we partner with OISC Registered Private Immigration Firms and Tier 2 Licensed Healthcare and IT Consultancies who may be prepared, where required, to sponsor an individual on a Tier 2 Visa (formerly UK Work Permit). If you are a highly skilled International professional and you would like to work in the UK Commonwealth Contractors can help. Our OISC Registered Partners specialise in Tier 1 General (formerly Highly Skilled Migrant Programme) visa applications and can assist those highly skilled individuals that either wish to apply or extend a Tier 1 General Visa.

For more Information call Commonwealth Contractors now on 0800 294 4388 or Submit your Details and we will get right back to you. Please see other areas of the Commonwealth Contractors site for interesting articles on tax, immigration and contracting.

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Improved services for online UK appointments booking

The online booking service has been brought together with interactive UK application forms and online payments, providing a single convenient process for applicants in the UK.
To use the improved service, you need to create your own online account. You can then book and reschedule your appointments online without needing to phone the UKBA. You can create and log in to your account by selecting a link in the top right corner of the ‘Apply online’ section of their website.

The improved service enables you to book an appointment at a time and place that suits you, searching across a number of locations at the same time. All UK appointments will be available to book online, except those at Belfast public enquiry office. You will need to phone the UKBA immigration enquiry bureau to book appointments in Belfast.

Commonwealth Contractors

At Commonwealth Contractors we partner with OISC Registered Private Immigration Firms and Tier 2 Licensed Healthcare and IT Consultancies who may be prepared, where required, to sponsor an individual on a Tier 2 Visa (formerly UK Work Permit). If you are a highly skilled International professional and you would like to work in the UK Commonwealth Contractors can help. Our OISC Registered Partners specialise in Tier 1 General (formerly Highly Skilled Migrant Programme) visa applications and can assist those highly skilled individuals that either wish to apply or extend a Tier 1 General Visa.

For more Information call Commonwealth Contractors now on 0800 294 4388 or Submit your Details and we will get right back to you. Please see other areas of the Commonwealth Contractors site for interesting articles on tax, immigration and contracting.

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Bride and groom arrested following sham marriage

Muhammad Naeem Aslam, a 22-year-old Pakistan national, appeared before Armagh Magistrates Court on Tuesday 2 August charged with seeking to obtain leave to remain in the UK by deception.

The bride, 21-year-old Latvian national Jolantea Juska, and her sister, 26-year-old Jana Juska, who acted as witness to the marriage, also appeared at Armagh Magistrates today and were both charged with assisting unlawful immigration. They were all remanded in custody to re-appear at a later date.

In a separate operation, also on Monday 1 August, a marriage that was due to take place at Belfast City Hall was stopped and after questioning the groom, a 21-year-old Pakistani national, was arrested by officers for overstaying the conditions of his visa.

A sham marriage typically occurs when a non-European national marries someone from the UK or another country in the European Economic Area, as a means of trying to gain long-term residency and the right to work and claim benefits in this country.

UK Border Agency senior criminal investigator Earl Aiken said:
“The UK Border Agency is determined to identify marriages that may not be genuine, and where we suspect that may be the case we will investigate. We have specialist teams of immigration officers and police working together to investigate cases just like this and ensuring people are not able to benefit from breaking the UK\’s immigration laws.”

Commonwealth Contractors

At Commonwealth Contractors we partner with OISC Registered Private Immigration Firms and Tier 2 Licensed Healthcare and IT Consultancies who may be prepared, where required, to sponsor an individual on a Tier 2 Visa (formerly UK Work Permit). If you are a highly skilled International professional and you would like to work in the UK Commonwealth Contractors can help. Our OISC Registered Partners specialise in Tier 1 General (formerly Highly Skilled Migrant Programme) visa applications and can assist those highly skilled individuals that either wish to apply or extend a Tier 1 General Visa.

For more Information call Commonwealth Contractors now on 0800 294 4388 or Submit your Details and we will get right back to you. Please see other areas of the Commonwealth Contractors site for interesting articles on tax, immigration and contracting.

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Online booking of UK appointments will be unavailable on 4-7 August

The service will be available again from Monday 8 August, including a number of improvements. You will be able to create your own online account, and book and reschedule your appointments online without needing to phone. The improved service will bring the appointments process together with interactive application forms and online payments for UK applicants. All UK appointments will be available to book online.

By creating a customer account you will be able to:

• Use an interactive application form or book an appointment at a public enquiry office or biometric enrolment centre online
• Register your account and log in using a link in the top right corner of pages on the UKBA website
• Search for an appointment at a time and place that suits you, and book it without needing to phone the UKBA contact centre
• Reschedule your appointment without needing to phone the contact centre.

Commonwealth Contractors

At Commonwealth Contractors we partner with OISC Registered Private Immigration Firms and Tier 2 Licensed Healthcare and IT Consultancies who may be prepared, where required, to sponsor an individual on a Tier 2 Visa (formerly UK Work Permit). If you are a highly skilled International professional and you would like to work in the UK Commonwealth Contractors can help. Our OISC Registered Partners specialise in Tier 1 General (formerly Highly Skilled Migrant Programme) visa applications and can assist those highly skilled individuals that either wish to apply or extend a Tier 1 General Visa.

For more Information call Commonwealth Contractors now on 0800 294 4388 or Submit your Details and we will get right back to you. Please see other areas of the Commonwealth Contractors site for interesting articles on tax, immigration and contracting.

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Agency operation seizes four tonnes of cannabis

Four men appeared before Brighton Magistrates to face charges with the importation of controlled drugs and were remanded in custody.

David Smith, UK Border Agency regional deputy director, said: The UK Border Agency\’s fleet of cutters play a vital role in securing the border. They are on constant alert around the UK coastline to keep illegal drugs and other banned substances out of the UK. We are determined to prevent this terrible trade which can have such a destructive impact on the lives of so many.\’

The UK Border Agency\’s five fast patrol vessels, known as Cutters, patrol the UK\’s 10,000 miles of coastline every day of the year to detect prohibited and restricted goods and prevent tax fraud by searching all types of vessels. Each vessel can accommodate up to 16 persons and remain at sea for extended periods and in heavy weather conditions. The crew are all highly trained for the maritime enforcement role they undertake.

Anyone with information about drug smuggling can call the UK Border Agency hotline on 0800 59 5000 where anonymity can be assured.

Commonwealth Contractors

At Commonwealth Contractors we partner with OISC Registered Private Immigration Firms and Tier 2 Licensed Healthcare and IT Consultancies who may be prepared, where required, to sponsor an individual on a Tier 2 Visa (formerly UK Work Permit). If you are a highly skilled International professional and you would like to work in the UK Commonwealth Contractors can help. Our OISC Registered Partners specialise in Tier 1 General (formerly Highly Skilled Migrant Programme) visa applications and can assist those highly skilled individuals that either wish to apply or extend a Tier 1 General Visa.

For more Information call Commonwealth Contractors now on 0800 294 4388 or Submit your Details and we will get right back to you. Please see other areas of the Commonwealth Contractors site for interesting articles on tax, immigration and contracting.

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Government proposes tougher English language test for family migration

Under rules implemented in 1997 spouses must demonstrate that they can ‘understand everyday English’ before they are allowed to apply for permanent settlement. This is tested through a computer-based ‘Life in the UK’ test which the government claims corresponds to the level B1 on the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR). CEFR provides a basis for the mutual recognition of language qualifications, thus facilitating educational and occupational mobility. Furthermore, a spouse can enrol on a specialist English language course to display progression of at least one level below or at B1. However, this option will be removed under proposed plans where all categories of family members will need to demonstrate that they are at B1 by passing a test at the end of the five-year probationary period.

The UK government is asking for views on what skills- speaking, listening, reading or writing- should be assessed, indicating it is considering abandoning the ‘Life in the UK’ test. The test has been the focus of criticism as a tool for language development and assessment. A government review of citizenship carried out by Lord Goldsmith in 2008 stated: \”The present test is not seen typically as a stimulus for learning, though that was one of its stated aims.\”

Proposals to the process by which family members demonstrate their command of English are likely to be scrutinised closely by immigrants support groups and English language testing experts. If implemented, the proposals would be far stricter than those in force in most EU countries, the US and Canada, says Thomas Huddleston, a researcher for the Brussels-based Migration Policy Group, who compiles statistical comparisons of countries\’ migration policies in the Mipex index.

\”After these changes, families, including non-EU immigrants, would face some of the most restrictive policies in the UK with a family reunion ranking of only 27th of 31 countries in Europe and North America,\” he stated on his blog. He claims that a testing regime based on the Life in the UK test would be equally detrimental to the UK\’s current ranking. \”Mipex found the UK\’s current approach to be slightly favourable and flexible for learning English, scoring 68/100. Requiring all to take the Life in the UK Test would set unrealistic bars for many willing learners to succeed, scoring only 18/100.\”

Commonwealth Contractors

At Commonwealth Contractors we partner with OISC Registered Private Immigration Firms and Tier 2 Licensed Healthcare and IT Consultancies who may be prepared, where required, to sponsor an individual on a Tier 2 Visa (formerly UK Work Permit). If you are a highly skilled International professional and you would like to work in the UK Commonwealth Contractors can help. Our OISC Registered Partners specialise in Tier 1 General (formerly Highly Skilled Migrant Programme) visa applications and can assist those highly skilled individuals that either wish to apply or extend a Tier 1 General Visa.

For more Information call Commonwealth Contractors now on 0800 294 4388 or Submit your Details and we will get right back to you. Please see other areas of the Commonwealth Contractors site for interesting articles on tax, immigration and contracting.

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UK Board Agency appoints new CEO

Rob Whiteman has lead the local Government\’s response to central Government\’s agenda for greater self-regulation and improvement. Working across Whitehall, he has supported policy discussions between the new coalition Government and local Government. The appointment has been approved by the Prime Minster and Home Secretary where Mr Whiteman will succeed Jonathan Sedgwick, the interim CEO following Lin Homer’s move to the Department for Transport.

The Permanent Secretary at the Home Office, Helen Gosh said: “I am delighted to announce the appointment of Rob Whiteman as the new chief executive for the UK Border Agency. He has an outstanding record of service improvement and leading change in the public sector, and will ensure the UK Border Agency has the direction it needs during the challenges ahead.\”

Gosh continued “I would also like to thank Jonathan Sedgwick for the excellent job he has done as the interim chief executive of the organisation.\”

The Home Secretary Theresa May explained:

\’This is a hugely important post. Protecting our border effectively is absolutely critical to the work of the Home Office. Rob brings a wealth of experience to the department and I look forward very much to working with him.\’
Rob Whiteman himself stated: \”I am honoured and excited to be appointed to be CEO of the UK Border Agency which carries out such a vital role. I am looking forward to taking up post and meeting staff and managers throughout the Agency and the organisations we work with to deliver excellence.\”

Sir Merrick Cockell, chairman of the Local Government Association, said:

\’Rob Whiteman has made a very significant contribution to local government through his roles in several leading councils and national work on our behalf. I am sure he will make an equal impact in central government and that his energy will bring success to the UK Border Agency and the Home Office.\’

Commonwealth Contractors

At Commonwealth Contractors we partner with OISC Registered Private Immigration Firms and Tier 2 Licensed Healthcare and IT Consultancies who may be prepared, where required, to sponsor an individual on a Tier 2 Visa (formerly UK Work Permit). If you are a highly skilled International professional and you would like to work in the UK Commonwealth Contractors can help. Our OISC Registered Partners specialise in Tier 1 General (formerly Highly Skilled Migrant Programme) visa applications and can assist those highly skilled individuals that either wish to apply or extend a Tier 1 General Visa.

For more Information call Commonwealth Contractors now on 0800 294 4388 or Submit your Details and we will get right back to you. Please see other areas of the Commonwealth Contractors site for interesting articles on tax, immigration and contracting.

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Family Migration consultation launched by the UK Government

Immigration minister Damian Green said:

“This consultation is about better family migration – better for migrants, communities, and the UK as a whole. We welcome those who want to make a life here with their family, but too often in the past the family route has been abused as a means to bypass our immigration laws. That includes too many times when we have seen Article 8 used to place the rights of criminals and illegal migrants above the rights of the British public. That balance must be redressed where there is a clear public interest in removing someone from the UK. Our message is clear – we will not tolerate abuses. And if you cannot support your foreign spouse or partner, you cannot expect the taxpayer to do it for you.”

Key proposals include:

• Defining more clearly what constitutes a genuine and continuing marriage, to help identify sham and forced marriages;
• Introducing a new minimum income threshold for sponsors of partners and dependants, to ensure that family migrants are adequately supported as a basis for integration – the independent Migration Advisory Committee has been asked to advise on what the threshold should be;
• Extending the probationary period before partners can apply for settlement in the UK from 2 years to 5 years, to test that relationships are genuine and to encourage integration into British life;
• Requiring partners and adult dependants aged under 65 to demonstrate that they can understand everyday English (B1 level on the Common European Framework for Languages) when they apply for settlement;
• Exploring the case for making \’sham\’ a lawful impediment to marriage in England and Wales, and for giving the authorities the power to delay a marriage where sham is suspected;
• Working closely with local authorities to ensure that vulnerable people are not forced into marriage; and
• Reviewing the full right of appeal for family visitor visas, and inviting views on whether there are circumstances (beyond race discrimination and human rights grounds) in which an appeal right should be retained.

Debate on Article 8 of the ECHR (the right to respect for private and family life) has been initiated by the consultation through highlighting that while people have a right under the Article, it is not an absolute right. It is legitimate for the Government to interfere with the exercise of that right when it is in the public interest to do so, including to protect the public and maintain immigration control.

Further Information:

• In 2010, 48,900 visas were granted to people on the family route. Of these, 40,500 were granted on the basis of a marriage or civil or other partnership, and 8,400 were granted to other dependants.
• At present, anyone who is refused a family visitor visa has the right of appeal. In 2009/10, these appeals – which were often based on new information which should have been submitted with the original application – made up approximately 40 per cent of all immigration appeals and cost around £40 million.
• To reduce the financial burden on the taxpayer, and deliver an appropriate system for applicants, the government is reviewing this right of appeal. Appeals based on grounds of race discrimination and the European Convention on Human Rights will continue to be allowed, but the government is inviting views on whether an appeal right should be retained for family visitor visas in other circumstances.

Commonwealth Contractors

At Commonwealth Contractors we partner with OISC Registered Private Immigration Firms and Tier 2 Licensed Healthcare and IT Consultancies who may be prepared, where required, to sponsor an individual on a Tier 2 Visa (formerly UK Work Permit). If you are a highly skilled International professional and you would like to work in the UK Commonwealth Contractors can help. Our OISC Registered Partners specialise in Tier 1 General (formerly Highly Skilled Migrant Programme) visa applications and can assist those highly skilled individuals that either wish to apply or extend a Tier 1 General Visa.

For more Information call Commonwealth Contractors now on 0800 294 4388 or Submit your Details and we will get right back to you. Please see other areas of the Commonwealth Contractors site for interesting articles on tax, immigration and contracting.

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