A written ministerial statement setting out the changes to the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) route has been laid in Parliament.
UKBA are introducing the following changes: An introduction of a genuine entrepreneur test which will give UK Border Agency caseworkers the ability to test the credibility of suspicious applicants; and a change that requires the necessary minimum funds to be held, or invested in the business, on an ongoing basis rather than solely at the time of application.
These changes are being made in response to evidence that the route is being targeted by applicants seeking to abuse the Immigration Rules.
If UKBA have not decided the application before 31 January or application submitted on or after this date, they will consider it under the new rules.
UKBA may ask applicant to provide additional information which have 28 days time limit to submit.
If you are applying on or after 31 January and are relying on funds from a third party, the declarations you provide from those third parties will need to confirm that the funds will continue to be available to you until they are used.
An updated Life in the UK test handbook is now available to buy. It has been updated to provide the reader with a more accurate reflection of living in the UK, with a greater focus on British culture and history. The handbook celebrates British achievements and prominent individuals in the fields of science, culture, literature and sport. It also highlights the natural beauty and major landmarks of the UK. There is information on government, democracy, the legal system and how individuals can contribute to their community, plus a greater emphasis on the responsibilities as well as privileges of living in the UK.
A new Life in the UK test will be introduced on 25 March 2013, 8 weeks after publication of the new handbook, to allow candidates time to prepare. Unlike the current test, candidates will be tested on their knowledge of history and the law in the new test.
The United Kingdom is open for business and tourism and China is one of the UK’s priority markets.
From 2010 to 2011 the UK saw 28 per cent growth in visit visas issued compared to France, which saw 19 per cent growth for the same period. In 2011 they processed more than 283,000 visas from Chinese nationals worldwide.
94 per cent of Chinese visitors who apply for a visa get one; 96 per cent of applicants surveyed who have applied for a visa said that they were satisfied with the service they received; 97 per cent of non-settlement visas from Chinese nationals are processed within 15 days (and 54 per cent within 5 days);
99 per cent of business visit visas are decided within 15 days (75 per cent within 5 days).
The average length of a visa application form is 6 pages (including the disclaimer); the average UK visa costs £81, which is multiple entry for 6 months to 5 years. Our website has information and guidance translated into Chinese and applicants have access to a Chinese language phone and email service.
Online application forms will also be translated in Chinese from later this year.
For businesses UKBA have set up a dedicated network of staff to support them with the visa application process.
From spring this year UKBA will offer a service to some businesses where UKBA will go to them to capture fingerprints of their employees travelling to the UK, to help speed up the system even further.