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UK settlement/ILR visa application fees to rise by 22.5 percent from 6 April, 2017

UKVI has announced its proposed fee changes to come into effect on 6 April 2017; with settlement and indefinite leave to remain application fees to rise by as high as 22.5%. This means an £422 increase for a Settlement/ILR application which will stand at £2297 compared to current fee of £1875.

Spouse visa application fees also rise by the same percentage as above and will increase by £269 to £1464 from the current level of £1195.

Students and visitor visa application fees to rise by 2%.

Fees are also increased by £90 for premium service/same day appointments in UK and will rise to £490 + £100 compared to £400+£100 as of now.

Full list of the new proposed fees can be found on www.gov.uk.

Nurses stay on shortage list but RLMT required now

Latest immigration rules implemented from the 24th Nov, 2016 will require resident labour market test  (RLMT) to be carried out before a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) is issued to any migrant Nurses using Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) Code 2231.

The SOC code 2231 Nurses is still on the shortage occupation list (SOL) and therefore any request for Unrestricted CoS is going to be given priority over other occupations which are not on the SOL.

The RLMT criteria remains the same which is advertising the vacancy for 28 days, at two sources, one of which must be Universal Jobmatch.

When the RCoS limit is reached, nurses, medical radiographers and paramedics will be given extra points in the allocation process from 24 November 2016. This extra weighting will remain in place until July 2019.  In addition to it they will also be exempt from the increased salary threshold for new Tier 2 General entrant; which is being phased – £25,000 from 24 November 2016 to £30,000 from April 2017.

For full details please visit the following link which lists statement Of changes in immigration rules.

NMC, UK announces flexibility for foreign Nurses in IELTS English exam

Nursing & Midwifery Council (NMC) has announced changes in its International English Language Testing System (IELTS) requirements for nurses and midwives coming on to the register from overseas and within the European economic area.

This is aimed at making it more flexible for overseas Nurses to acquire the required IELTS score while still ensuring that the appropriate minimum standard is met to carry out their jobs successfully.

Under the previous system, applicants were required to achieve the IELTS Academic Test Level 7 in reading, writing, speaking and listening in a single sitting. Under the new protocols the NMC still requires applicants to achieve Level 7 in all areas, but this can now be achieved over two sittings of the tests. Both tests must be within six months of each other and no single score must be below 6.5 in any of the areas across both tests.

Nurses trained within EEA/EU can take any version of IELTS Academic Test as they currently do not need any work visa to come and work in the UK, however overseas Nurses from outside EEA who want to come and work in the UK must take the UKVI version of the IELTS Academic exam as its needed for processing their Tier 2 General visa.

Separate test sessions are held for UK Visas and Immigration applicants. You must ensure you register for an “IELTS for UKVI” test date.  The IELTS test for UK visa purposes is designed to meet certain administrative requirements that are specific to UK Visas and Immigration. Test Report Forms will be slightly different, to show that test takers have taken the test at an IELTS UK visa session.

There are no differences in the test format or questions. The actual test taken is the same – same content, examiners, format, level of difficulty, scoring and so on. For further details and to book please visit:  http://takeielts.britishcouncil.org/ielts-ukvi/book-ielts-ukvi

We at UK Visa Works specialise in providing immigration and recruitment services to the healthcare sector in the UK. If you are an overseas nurse trained wishing to work in the UK then please get in touch using our contact form. You can also follow us through our facebook page.

UKBA online visa application system overcharging

Tier 2 (General) visa applicants who are applying from outside the UK have to submit and pay for their visa application using the following url: https://www.visa4uk.fco.gov.uk/home/welcome . The online payment system is currently not taking into account that there is reduced fee levels for Tier 2 applicants whose job is on the shortage occupation list.

According to the latest fees table of UK Visa Fees published on 18th March, 2016: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/503658/Fees_table_18_March_2016_PDF.pdf  the normal UK visa application fee for Tier 2 General visa application is £575 but those jobs that are currently on the shortage occupation list qualify for a reduced fee level of £437 which is £138 less. However when the overseas applicants reach the stage of paying for their visa application the system does not offer them the reduced fee even when they have clearly mentioned and specified in the relevant section that the job is on the official shortage occupation list.

There are about 36 different Standard Occupational Classification codes on the official shortage occupation list  https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/tier-2-shortage-occupation-list ; and there is a high likelihood that thousands of pounds are being overcharged by UKBA online system from overseas visa applicants from around the world.

One of our client recently submitted the Tier 2 online application from overseas and being a Chef his job falls under the 5434 code which is a shortage occupation but he had to pay the full fee. He even tried and contacted UKBA through their online website form but the response he received clearly showed that his message was not even ready properly. We will try and pursue this matter for our client and update in due course.

All overseas Tier 2 General visa applicants shall check if the job that their visa is sponsored for is on the shortage occupation list to qualify for a reduced visa fee.

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