5 New Visa Changes South Africans Need to Know About Before Heading to the UK

UK immigration minister, Caroline Nokes, recently made a number of surprising announcements as the country prepares to make visa reforms.

Below, Breytenbachs Immigration Consultants broke down some of the most important changes and what they will mean for South Africans.

Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa to be replaced by innovator route

The current Tier 1 Entrepreneur route will be replaced by a new Innovator route, for more experienced business persons.

It will have a “similar emphasis on endorsement by a business sponsor, who will assess applicants’ business ideas for their innovation, viability and scalability”.

“We subsequently encourage applicants who still want to apply under the current Tier 1 Entrepreneur route, to contact us without delay,” Breytenbachs said.

New start-up visa route

Earlier in 2018, the UK Government announced that it will establish a new Start-up visa route. This route will build on the Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur route.

Applicants under this new route will have to be endorsed by either a business or higher education institution sponsor.

No clarity on Tier 1 investor route

The UK Government announced on 6 December 2018 that the Tier 1 Investor route is suspended.

It added this route will from 7 December 2018 no longer be open for applicants to apply, and that new rules will be put in place sometime during 2019.

However, the Home Office has since released an official statement to the Immigration Law Practitioners’ Association (ILPA) stating the following:

“The Tier 1 (Investor) visa is not currently suspended. However, the Government remains committed to reforming the route. A further announcement will be made in due course.

“Any suspension would be implemented through changes to the Immigration rules.”

Tier 1 exceptional talent extended to architects

The Tier 1 Exceptional Talent route will be expanded to provide for the inclusion of leading architects.

These architects will have to be endorsed by the Royal Institute of British Architects, under the remit of the Arts Council England.

Tier 5 religious and charity workers

Tier 5 Religious Workers and Tier 5 Charity Workers will in future have a cooling off period.

This cooling off period will prevent them from returning to the UK for 12 months, on another Tier 5 visa. This step is taken to underpin the fact that this is a temporary route.

 

For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, Remuneration, and Expat Tax needs, email marketing@relocationafrica.com, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Sources: [1], [2]. Image sources: [1], [2].

Valid UK Visa in an Expired Passport

The issue of a valid UK visa in an expired passport has caused problems for numerous individuals over the past year. Although a person can still use a valid visa in an expired passport, the situation is not ideal.

Expired Passport – Home Office Guidance

The official guideline from the Home Office regarding the matter states that a person can still use the valid visa in the expired passport. They will, however, have to show the expired passport together with the new passport when travelling.

UK employers can also check a person’s right to work with the UK Employer Checking Service.

Solution for the Expired Passport, Valid Visa Situation

Probably the safest solution is to replace your visa with a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP). This transfer can be done if you are in the UK.

If you are outside the UK and have an expired passport with a valid visa, it is possible to apply to transfer the UK visa to your new passport.

It is not mandatory for a person to apply for a Biometric Residence Permit where the passport has expired. There are however some benefits of doing so that are listed by the Home Office;

  • Enhanced security features of the BRP.
  • It proves that a person has the right to work and access certain benefits.
  • It will facilitate travel to and from the UK.

Biometric Residence Permits

Fortunately, for newer UK Visa applicants the Biometric Residence Permit is now issued to all applicants.

All successful UK visa applicants, excluding those who apply for visitor visas and EEA Family permits, receive a 30-day vignette in their passports.

The applicant then has 30 days to leave their home country. Once in the UK, they are required to collect the Biometric Residence card or BRP. This card will then, in essence, be the UK visa, settlement, Ancestry, Tier 2 work permit, etc. Once a person applies for Indefinite Leave to Remain, a new Biometric Residence Permit is issued, stating this new status.

In the light of the doubts about the situation that sometimes arise at airports, and with UK employers, it is highly recommended that persons with expired passports rather apply for a Biometric Residence Permit. This should remove all doubts and ensure peace of mind for the visa holder.

 

For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, and Remuneration needs, email marketing@relocationafrica.com, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Source: The South African [1]. Image source: [1].

Nigeria’s Naira to be Added to Britain’s List of Trade Currencies

Nigeria’s currency, the naira, will become one of three West African currencies that the United Kingdom’s export finance agency will add to its list of pre-approved currencies, allowing it to provide financing for transactions with Nigerian businesses denominated in the local currency. The other two currencies have not yet been disclosed.

Paul Arkwright, the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, stated that this is a clear indication of how much value the UK places on its relationship with Nigeria, and that it will provide a firm foundation for a significant increase in trade and investment between both countries.

Britain voted in 2016 to leave the European Union, which has forced London to rethink its trade ties with the rest of the world. The UK and the EU struck an agreement in December that opened the way for talks on future trade ties.

The naira financing will follow the same structure as a someone buying in Britain’s sterling, except that Nigerian firms taking out a loan in the local currency can benefit from a UK government-backed guarantee.

 

For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, and Remuneration needs, email marketing@relocationafrica.com, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Source: [1]. Image source: [1].

Trends From IBA’s 2017 Global Immigration Conference

Relocation Africa recently attended IBA’s Global Immigration Conference 2017 in London, U.K. From the numerous talks, two main trends emerged.

Firstly, corporates are choosing regional immigration and mobility suppliers instead of global ones. This is due to regional suppliers having a much better focus on and knowledge of their own regions, and thus being able to provide a better quality of service to their clients. The infographic below describes the many benefits of using a regional supplier, such as Relocation Africa.

Secondly, corporate procurement divisions are working more and more with HR teams in order to ensure that the services they procure are truly meeting the specific needs of the business. This trend involves a move away from procuring suppliers based purely on price, and towards procurement based on considering quality of service.

Some suppliers make use of pricing models whereby a low price is quoted, without adding exclusions, for additional services which will be needed. Procurement divisions that are not aware of this may choose a supplier with a lower initial quote over a supplier that is more upfront, and provides a comprehensive quote for the entire service offering.

It is important for procurement to consider the above in order to ensure that the best possible supplier is sourced, based on reputation, and the exact business needs at the time.

Relocation Africa is focused on Africa, and has decades of experience throughout the continent. We also have an upfront approach with our clients, and consider each business’s unique and changing needs.

For an overview of the services we provide, view our digital brochure here.

For more information about how we can help your company with Mobility, Immigration, Research, and Remuneration services, email marketing@relocationafrica.com, or call us on +21 763 4240.

Relocation Africa is a Proud Member of The British Chamber of Business in South Africa

The British Chamber of Business in South Africa is a British Chambers of Commerce accredited Chamber, part of the Overseas Business Networks initiative, a key program of the British government that intends to stimulate and strengthen international business networks and UK exports.

The Chamber’s main objective is promoting trade and commercial relations between the South Africa and the United Kingdom. The Chamber collaborates with other business groupings, and fosters strong ties with the British Chambers of Commerce and regional counterparts.

Membership is drawn from a broad spectrum of British, SA, and international businesses with a common interest in developing business in either region.

Benefits of membership include regular Chamber events, as well as other networking events including receptions and product launches. Benefits also involve access to macro-economic reports, security reports, sector insights, seminars, newsletters, and advertising opportunities, as well as briefings by British High Commission, and SA parliamentary reports relevant to members.

Relocation Africa has been a proud member of the British Chamber for over two years, and the insights we gain by maintaining the membership assist us in ensuring that we are up-to-date with what is happening in our industry, and can best satisfy our clients’ needs.

For more information about the Chamber, visit http://www.britcham.co.za, and for more information about membership benefits, click here.

To speak to us about your Mobility, Immigration, Research, and Remuneration needs, send an email to marketing@relocationafrica.com, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.