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16 June 2019

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Immigration Update February 2015

Biometric Residence Permits to be introduced to visa applicants from abroad from March 2015

The Home Office has announced that United Kingdom entry clearance visas or entry clearance vignettes are soon to be replaced by a short validity "travel" vignette followed by a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) after entry to the UK.  The new regulations ensure that the UK is fully compliant with EC Regulations requiring Member States to issue a standard format residence permit document when granting leave for more than six months, and the new BRP will be the sole evidence of leave.

The new initiative is to be rolled out over a period of four months subject to parliamentary approval, expected to commence in March 2015.  The visa application process itself will remain largely unchanged and there will be no additional fees to be paid for the BRP, but instead of being granted the full period of leave, non EEA nationals seeking permission to enter the UK for more than six months will be granted a 30 day travel vignette in their passports to travel to the UK, after which they must collect the BRP within ten days of arrival in the UK from a designated Post Office branch.

Under the new process, applicants who do not travel to the UK within 30 days on their short validity travel vignette will need to apply for a replacement short-term visa to enable them to travel to the UK.  it is therefore important to accurately determine the intended date of travel as the BRP must be collected within ten days of arrival in the UK.

New Fees for 2015/2016

The Home Office has announced new fees for a range of immigration and nationality applications for 2015/2016 which are likely to come into effect from 6 April 2015.

Under Tier 2, the fee for a Certificate of Sponsorship will increase to £199.

Tier 2 (General) and Tier 2 (Intra Company Transfer) Long-Term Staff applications for Leave to Remain and entry clearance will increase by approximately £50 where the Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) is issued for less than three years in duration, and by £100 where the CoS is issued for more than three years.

Tier 2 (Intra Company Transfer) Short Term Staff, Graduate Trainee and Skills Transfer applications for Leave to Remain applications and entry clearance will go up by approximately £17.

Applications for Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK will increase from £1,493 to £1,900 for a Premium Service application, and applications for naturalisation as British Citizens will be £1,032.