Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Guide

Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Guide

As part of OTB Legal's continued commitment to providing the best practical legal advice online we are pleased to confirm that we have released the latest of our legal guides.  If you are considering applying for a Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa then we have the lawyers, guides and further information available for you today with zero cost and no obligation to use our services.

OTB Legal Director, Sally McEwen has written the guide which covers 

  • The basic requirements
  • Documents you will need
  • How to apply
  • How much it costs
  • Success rates
  • Professional tips
  • An illustrative case study
"A Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) visa offers the greatest freedom to individuals who can demonstrate they are recognised leaders in their field. This route leads to faster settlement, and to early naturalisation as a British Citizen if this is what you choose to do.


You can be employed, self-employed, change employment, work in a sector of your choice, and get promoted, all without seeking prior authority from the Home Office. This route is particularly attractive to Tech Migrants wishing to come to the UK. As is to be expected with a visa that offers such considerable freedom, the application process is complex, heavily evidence based and the process consists of two stages."


To access the free guide as well as learn more about our fees for applying for a Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa then please do follow the link below:

Representative of an Overseas Business Visa Guide

Sole representative of an overseas business

At OTB Legal we are committed to providing the best practical legal advice online. Today we have released the latest of our legal guides which gives you everything you need to know about applying for a Representative of an Overseas Business Visa.

OTB Legal Director, Sally McEwen has written the guide which covers 

  • The basic requirements
  • Documents you will need
  • How to apply
  • How much it costs
  • Success rates
  • Professional tips
  • An illustrative case study
"The visa itself is the most flexible in terms of what you can do when you are in the UK.  You can be employed or self-employed, work for any employer and take up employment in any sector at any level without seeking permission from the Home Office. When you come to apply for settlement or an extension, you will have to show that you have worked in your field of speciality. "


If you are considering applying for a Representative of an Overseas Business Visa then we have the lawyers, guides and further information available for you. These are all available today with zero cost and no obligation to use our services.

Access the free guide as well as learn more about our fees for applying for a Representative of a Overseas Business Visa by following the link below:

Right to Work. Is your business at risk?

Right to work documents

400% increase in Home Office issued fines shows importance of Right to Work checks.

The latest Home Office report confirms that £7.8 million in civil penalties was issued to businesses employing individuals who do not have the right to work in the UK or are working in breach of their conditions of stay over a 2 month period (between 1 October 2018 and 31 December 2018).

The most common reason provided for the issue of a civil penalty was due to employers failing to conduct the necessary Right to Work checks and failing to retain the required documents.

Businesses issued with civil penalties can face a number of serious consequences including having to pay £20k per illegal worker, criminal sanctions, disqualification of company directors, loss of PBS sponsor licence and reputation harm due to the Home Office publicising the names of the businesses who have been issued civil penalties.

Businesses that receive a Civil Penalty Notice from the Home Office may consider challenging the same to limit the impacts on the business. Legal advice should be sought immediately on the merits of challenging the penalty as there is a 28 day deadline to respond to the notice.

Putting in place preventative measures is the most effective way for businesses to avoid civil penalties and here at OTB Legal we can advise and assist businesses with the Right to Work checks to ensure that you are compliant.

If your business has been issued with a Civil Penalty Notice, please contact us for a free, no obligation initial meeting so that we can advise you on the merits of challenging the same. We can assist you with completing your Objection Form and prepare detailed written arguments on your behalf, supported with documentary evidence, to challenge the notice.

Does your business employ EU nationals or their family members?

Does your business employ EU nationals or their family members?

If the answer is yes, EU nationals and their family members will need to apply to the Home Office for settled or pre-settled status by 31 December 2020 (if the UK exits with NO DEAL) and by 30 June 2021 (if the UK exits with a DEAL). They are required to do this even if they have previously been issued a permanent residence card by the Home Office.

If EU Nationals and their family members do not apply within the set time, they will lose their right to live and work in the United Kingdom and you will be employing them unlawfully. The consequences for your business are serious and could include:

• Loss of employees and recruitment costs in finding replacements
• Loss of PBS Sponsor Licence
• Penalty of up to £20,000 per illegal worker
• Criminal sanctions (up to 5 years imprisonment and/or an unlimited fine
• Loss of reputation as the Home Office publishes the names of businesses fined for employing illegal workers

In our experience, there continues to be a lack of understanding amongst EU nationals of their need to apply, and their rights to remain in the UK going forward. This is causing a lot of anxiety amongst EU nationals.

How can OTB Legal assist in ensuring that these changes do not negatively impact your business and employees?

• Seminars for HR professionals and employees
• On-site visits to assist employees with their applications
• Assistance in assessing alternative immigration solutions post-Brexit
• Audit Compliance Service
• Right to Work checks

We are currently offering discounted Brexit Seminars to businesses for a short time at your business premises. To take advantage of this offer, please register your interest at https://otb.legal/brexit-talks/

What does the Home Office mean by this?

Glossary

The UK Immigration System is well known for becoming more complicated year by year. The Immigration Rules started as 20 pages long when they were first introduced in the 1970s, and now stretch to more than a 1,000 pages. As the rules become more detailed, the Home Office introduce an increasing number of legal terms which can make the system even more confusing to a non-lawyer.

To help break through some of that confusion, I have listed some of the most commonly used Home Office terms and their meaning. Not only can immigration terms be confusing but our politicians and media regularly use the incorrect terminology when reporting on immigration cases in the news.

An example of this is the incorrect use of the term ‘deportation’ when referring to someone who has been removed from the UK through an ‘administrative removal’ because they no longer have permission to stay in the UK. The term ‘deportation’ refers to persons who have been convicted of criminal offences in the UK and the Home Office has made a decision that they should be deported from the UK. Therefore referring to
someone as being ‘deported’ implies that they have committed criminal offences which may not be the case and could have serious consequences for the person involved.   

A-rated Sponsor refers to a rating awarded to an organisation that has applied for or holds a sponsor licence.  A-rating is awarded when an organisation is first granted a licence on the basis that they have systems in place to be able to meet their sponsor duties.  If an organisation is not meeting their sponsor duties their rating can be downgraded to a B-rating. One of the advantages of the ‘A’rating is that the sponsor is able to confirm that they can financially support an employee if required and therefore an employee does not have to hold personal savings to show they are able to support themselves. The register of licensed Sponsors on the Home Office website lists all the organisations that hold a sponsor licence and what rating they hold.

Administrative removal refers to a person being removed from the UK when they have no permission to stay in the UK.

Biometric information refers to fingerprints and a digital photograph being
taken as part of the application process.

Biometric residence permit  refers to a document about the size of a
photocard driving licence issued by the Home Office confirming a person’s right to stay, work or study in the UK.

Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) is assigned by a sponsor (usually an employer) to an employee. It is an electronic record and each certificate has its own number which an employee can use to apply for a visa.

Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) refers to a unique reference number electronically issued by an Education Provider via the Sponsor Management System. It is necessary for a Student to have a CAS when applying for a right to enter or stay under Tier 4 (student category).

Conviction refers to a conviction for a criminal offence in the UK or any other country.

Country Guidance case refers to a case in which the Upper Tribunal (UT) issues guidance on the situation in a particular country, based on an assessment of expert and factual evidence. This guidance should then be followed by the First-tier Tribunal when making decisions on appeals unless significant new evidence is produced which shows the country guidance case should no longer be followed.  

Curtailment means shortening a person’s right to stay in the UK
which may leave the person with a shorter right to stay or no right to
stay. For example, if a person had a right to remain in the UK on the basis of
his marriage for another 12 months, and the Home Office became aware that the marriage had broken down, they may ‘curtail’ the leave so that the person would have to leave the UK within 60 days.

Deception refers to providing false information or submitting false documents.

Deportation refers to someone who has been convicted of a criminal offence and the Home Office has made a decision that they should be deported from the UK. Deportation action is usually taken where a person has been sentenced to a period of 12 months imprisonment or more, although can be taken for shorter sentences in some circumstances as well.

EEA national refers to a European Union national (this does not include nationals of the UK, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland).

Entry clearance refers to the Home Office grant of permission to enter the UK. This is granted to a person who applies from abroad to come to the UK.

Illegal entry refers to someone who has entered the UK without obtaining the required visa before entry.

Immigration Health Surcharge is the UK healthcare charge that non-EU nationals need to pay as part of their immigration application process. This allows them to access free healthcare services from  the UK’s National Health
Service (NHS).  

Immigration Rules refer to a list of rules which have been produced in order to set out the requirements that an Applicant needs to meet in order to be granted a visa or leave to remain in each category.  

In breach of immigration laws refers to someone who is residing in the UK without a permission to stay or is breaching conditions attached to their right to stay i.e. a visitor working in the UK when this is not allowed.

Indefinite leave to remain refers to the Home Office grant of permanent right to stay. 

Leave to enter refers to the Home Office grant of right to enter the UK to a person who has applied from outside the UK.

Leave to remain refers to the Home Office grant of right to stay in the UK to a person who has applied within the UK.

Naturalisation refers to the process of an adult becoming a British citizen once they are able to satisfy the relevant requirements, including having resided in the UK for a particular period of time.

Overstayer refers to a person who has remained in the UK after their permission to stay has expired.

Points Based System (PBS) refers to the process used by the Home Office to determine applications made by individuals from outside the EU wishing to work, train or study in the UK.

Present and settled in the UK refers to a person who has a permanent right to stay in the UK and at time of the application, they are physically present in the UK or coming to the UK with or to join the applicant.

Public funds include a range of benefits that are given to people on low income, as well as housing support.

Settled in the UK refers to a person who has a permanent right to stay in the UK.

Sponsor (family type applications) refers to a person who the applicant is accompanying to the UK or applying to join in the UK.

Sponsor (Tier 2, 4 and 5) refers to the Organisation or Government that the Certificate of Sponsorship or Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies records as being the Sponsor for an applicant.

Sponsor licence refers to a licence granted by the Home Office to an organisation that allows them to be able to Sponsor foreign nationals under Tiers 2, 4 or 5. A register of sponsors is kept on the government website.

Tier 4 Sponsor means a sponsor that is recorded as having “Tier 4 Sponsor status” on the register of licensed sponsors available from the Home Office website.

UKVCAS are the name of service centres used by individuals applying to extend their stay or applying for citizenship in the UK. To complete the application process, individuals will need to attend an appointment at one of the service centres and will be able to upload their documentary evidence from their home before the appointment or pay extra to have it uploaded at the appointment.

Visa is a conditional authorisation granted by the UK to an individual allowing them to enter and/or stay in the UK.

The above list is not a complete list of the terminology used by the Home Office but represents some of the most commonly used terms.  

Are there any Home Office terms that I have not covered? If there are please write them in the comments section below and I will respond to you as well as add your suggestion to the above list to assist others. 

Home Office Review their Immigration Fees

UKVI Reviews Immigration Fees

The Home Office go through a process of changing their fees every year in around April. In recent times, Home Office fee changes have been dramatic, with a significant increase to the amounts that Applicants are being asked to pay, as can be seen from the table below.

UKVI Fee Rises Table

The cost of a family making an application for indefinite leave to remain has increased from £750 in 2007 to £11,945 – that is an increase of more than 1,500%!

Part of the increased costs for applicants is due to the introduction of an Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS). This is paid by Applicants as a separate charge in addition to the application fee. The IHS was introduced in April 2015 and Applicants were charged £200 for each year of leave that they would be granted (£150 for students). In December 2018, this charge has doubled so Applicants now have to pay £400 for each year of leave granted (£300 for students).

A new way of submitting applications involving third party contractor Sopra Steria has also been introduced, and involves Applicants needing to book appointments at UK Visa and Citizenship Application Service Centres. Booking appointments at these service centres has in some cases also attracted new booking fees that represent an additional expense for Applicants.

With such dramatic increased fees charged by the Home Office, Applicants usually hold some trepidation whilst waiting for the Home Office announcement on new fees at this time of year. However, for 2019/2020, there is good news. Most application fees are staying the same for 2019/2020 as they were for the previous year. So a family applying for an extension or indefinite leave to remain will be charged the same basic application fee as they were at the start of 2019.

The main changes that have occurred from 29th March 2019 are set out below:

UKVI Fee Changes

The most notable change is therefore the increased fee that is being charged by the Home Office for speeding up consideration of applications (an optional service).

It is welcome news that the Home Office have not attempted to further increase fees, which have been subject to substantial changes well above the rate of inflation for many years. In the uncertainties that are presented by Brexit, the decision to not increase fees for most types of applications, may be a reflection of a changing approach to immigration and the important role that immigration plays within UK society.

To find out more information about the fees that OTB Legal charge for applications, please visit our individual service pages. We appreciate the financial strain that can be placed on individuals and families who are paying for immigration applications and offer payment plans for our legal fees to help spread out the costs. https://otb.legal/our-services/

I like the UK, how can I stay here longer?

United Kingdom

I often get asked this question by non-EU clients who have come to the UK on a temporary basis, who like the way of life in the UK and want to remain here longer.

To answer this question, I thought that it would be helpful to list some of the main immigration categories under which someone can remain in the UK and the basic requirements for each category.

Study

  • An unconditional offer of a place on a course with a licenced Tier 4 Sponsor (list of the licenced sponsors is available from the Home Office website).
  • Enough money to pay for the course and support yourself (the amount will vary depending on your circumstances).
  • Knowledge of the English language to the required standard (there are different ways in which this can be proven and certain applicants are exempted from this requirement).

Work

  • An offer of a skilled job from a licensed sponsor.
  • A valid certificate of sponsorship reference number which will be issued by your employer.
  • Knowledge of the English language to the required standard.
  • Enough money to support yourself when you arrive in the UK.

Set-up or run a business in the UK

  • If applying under the Start-Up category, which replaces the graduate entrepreneur category, you will need an endorsement from an endorsing body.
  • You will need a genuine and original business plan, which meets a new or existing market need.
  • Knowledge of the English language to the required standard.
  • Enough money to support yourself during your stay.

Family in the UK

The type of an application that you can make will depend on the family you have in the UK. You may find it helpful to consider our guides on various family type applications that can be made which can be accessed through the following link. https://otb.legal/our-services/

Fear of persecution in home country

You can claim asylum in the UK if you fear persecution in your home country. This should be done as soon as possible as any delay in claiming asylum may negatively impact on your claim.

At OTB Legal we offer a free initial telephone consultation.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you require advice on making an
application under any of the above immigration categories. If your reasons for
wishing to remain do not fall within the main immigration categories, you can
discuss your personal reasons for wishing to remain with us and we will advise
whether you have grounds to make an application under a different category. https://otb.legal/schedule-your-appointment/