Dedicated to Working Holidaymakers and people willing to immigrate

Thursday, 28 May 2009

Quality of immigration checks under the points-based system: UK Border Agency response

The UK Border Agency has responded to claims in the media that the United Kingdom's new points-based system for visa applications has weakened security, particularly with regard to applications for student visas, by replacing face-to-face interviews with a 'tick-box' system.

A UK Border Agency spokesperson said:

'The UK's border is stronger than ever. Fingerprint visas mean we can check everyone who wants to come to the UK against immigration and crime databases. These checks are a crucial part of securing the border, and they have already detected at least 5,000 false identities.

'Fingerprint visas make up one part of the UK's triple ring of security, alongside hi-tech watch-list checks at the border and identity cards for foreign nationals, and work alongside the tough new rules of the points-based system to protect the UK's border.'

In addition to the system of fingerprint visas, the UK Border Agency's Risk and Liaison Overseas Network provides additional checks and supports all high-risk posts in making the right visa decisions.

The United Kingdom's points-based system for visa applications was extended to students on 31 March 2009, introducing robust new controls. Any foreign student applying to study in the United Kingdom must now show that they have a place at an education provider with a sponsor licence, and education providers cannot get a sponsor licence from the UK Border Agency unless they are inspected or audited (by the appropriate statutory body) or hold valid accreditation with an approved accreditation body.

Extracted from UK Border Agency

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Indefinite leave to remain success story ILR-0010 (Wp + Hsmp)

Here come some tips from one of the successful applicant

'I attended Croydon PEO yesterday and successfully got my ILR based on 5yr wp (caught up by the 4 +1 yr crap)

A few tips about Croydon PEO:

1. My appointment was for 10am but the doors were not open until 9.40am. The people ahead of me with 9am appointments were seen from 10.30ish and so everyone was 1.30 hrs behind schedule.

2. There was only one queue for people applying for premium service and those attending biometric appointments. The queue was so long into the streets by 9.30 and nobody from HO seemed to bother to let people know why they were not opening the doors.

3. Their pin and chip machines were not working for some cards, and they refused to accept people to sign the machine print outs...this may have been the cause of late opening, but am not sure ... (Tesco lets you sign if their pin and chip aren’t working). So either carry a cheque book with you or an extra CC or DC.

4. Everything at Croydon is just snail speed slow. Please try and book an early appointment if you can. The number of people inside the building at 4pm when they stopped admitting anyone else were as many as they were in the morning when they opened the doors..... lots of overtime for CWs.

5. A family ahead of me got their photos misplaced by the first IO at the reception who validates the application. This family were running like headless chicken looking for the photos when they were finally called on 1st floor for the interview. Their application was refused based on no photos yet not their fault. Again if you can, go with a pair of photographs in different pockets!'

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Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Life in a harsh jobs market

Nearly half of all firms will not be looking to hire graduates or school-leavers in the months ahead, a report by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development suggests.

The CIPD found that only one in five companies planned to hire 16-year-olds due to leave school.

Why are young people vulnerable?

Unemployment in the UK has risen steeply in the recession. It now stands at above two million for the first time since 1997.

This means stiffer competition for jobs. Young people - who generally enter the jobs market with little or no work experience - may find it harder to convince employers to take them on.

The Prince's Trust fears the poorest youngsters will be particularly badly affected by the recession.

It says young people in deprived areas will be hardest hit as unemployment rises and local youth services become vulnerable to cuts.

The trust says youth charities may be unable to keep up with demand, as their services face spiralling demands from disadvantaged young people.

How can young people improve their job prospects?

Graduates and school-leavers will undoubtedly have to work harder to get themselves into employment this year.

Adam Hale, chairman of the technology leadership group at the Prince's Trust, says job-seekers must be distinctive and proactive and must communicate well.

"Having done things that are a little bit different, having made maximum use of your time are all important - do lots of things that make you distinctive," he says.

"Think about which areas you would like to work in - write to them, call them, seek them out rather than wait for opportunities to come to you.

"And communicate well - think about what you say before you say it. Listen - ask probing questions in response to what's been said."

He also suggests videoing a mock interview with a friend or family member to boost self-awareness.

"It's an experience that takes everyone out of their comfort zone."

The chief executive of the Higher Education Careers Services, Mike Hill, says: "There are hundreds of different professions. People need to cast their nets wider, look at professions related to their field and take careers advice".

Are there better prospects outside the UK?

Adam Hale says young people looking for work should think about spending time abroad.

"We are but one country in the global landscape. There are lots of countries round the world where GDP is growing not shrinking.

"Don't constrain yourself to thinking about the UK."

Is paid work the only option?

Graduates and school-leavers may also they can gain valuable skills by doing voluntary work for a while.

Martin Edmonson from Graduates Yorkshire says there are a "wealth of opportunities" to volunteer in the UK.

"There are plenty of worthwhile local charities that could really benefit from the skills that graduates can offer," he says.

"For instance, an IT graduate could build a website or a computer network, or a media graduate could produce promotional podcasts and videos.

"Many can offer graduates the opportunity to gain experience of working with people which can help them gain essential skills for employment, such as communication, team building and leadership."

Charities like Inter Cultural Youth Exchange offer graduates the chance to volunteer across the world on a variety of projects from promoting HIV/AIDS awareness to developing children's sports projects.

"There's never been a better time to gain new skills by volunteering abroad,'' said Shaffique Prabatani, chairman of ICYE.

What is the government doing to help school-leavers find work?

The government is committed to ensure all young people in England remain in education or training until they are 18, rather than the current 16.

The Education and Skills Act 2008 means that, from 2013, all young people will be required to continue in education or training post-16.

Last year, the Department for Children, Schools and Families introduced the Diploma qualification in England which combines theoretical study with practical experience.

The Diplomas operate on three levels - foundation, higher and advanced - and help students to acquire the skills and knowledge necessary for employment and higher education.

The government also says it is committed to growth in its apprenticeship scheme.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown recently announced a £140m package for 35,000 additional apprenticeship places over the coming year and to extend opportunities to people facing redundancy.

A spokesman for the DCSF said: "The government is committed to significant growth in apprenticeships for young people and adults.

"At a time of economic downturn, it is vital that we continue to invest in people and their skills."

What is the government doing to help graduates find work?

This year the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills (Dius) is issuing a "Life after graduation" booklet to all graduates in England.

It offers information on a range of options such as teaching, further study, volunteering and working abroad.

Dius is also increasing the number of career development loans on offer to young people.

The department has set up a new "graduate talent pool" as part of an internship programme.

The online talent pool will link employers - such as Microsoft, Marks and Spencer, Network Rail and the police service - with graduates, to help them build up work experience.

It is hoped internships will improve graduates' skills and experience and may in some cases lead to full-time work.

Are any areas worth avoiding?

A study by graduate recruitment researchers High Fliers found the financial sector was particularly badly affected by the recession.

In recent years it had been a key growth area for jobs, but now graduate recruitment alone is expected to halve this year.

Is it worth educating more graduates if the job market is already so bad?

Every year, more than 300,000 people graduate from UK universities. Ministers say it is crucial to increase the proportion of graduates and skilled workers, so that the UK is in the best position to move out of recession.

It is committed to having half of people educated to graduate level and to increasing skills generally to enable the UK to maintain competitiveness with the rest of the world.

How many graduates are unemployed at the end of their studies?

Of those who graduated in 2007, the latest year for which figures are available, 5.5% were believed to be unemployed six months later, according to the Higher Education Statistics Agency.

Extracted from BBC
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Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Indefinite Leave To Remain (ILR) – Application Tips

UK Indefinite Leave To Remain (ILR) TIPS
  1. Ensure that you are using an up to date form;
  2. Ensure that your signature on the form matches your signature in your passport;
  3. Ensure that all relevant sections are duly completed and that you have gathered all the supporting documentation in line with the BIA's checklist;
  4. Ensure that your passport photos meet the BIA's requirements;
  5. If submitted by post or in person, make a copy of the supporting documents;
  6. Make sure that your application is filed before the expiry of your current leave;

5 year rule:

  1. list all your absences – travelling days must be included but will count as zero day out (ie travelling to Berlin on Monday, returning on Tuesday will be zero day);
  2. aggregated absences of more than 180 days during the 5 year period could jeopardise the outcome of your application;
  3. if you have been absent for more than 180 days and that many of your absences were business trips, we recommend that your submit a letter from your employer confirming that the nature of your employment requires you to travel on a frequent basis;
  4. if you have had several work permits over the 5 year period, we recommend that you submit your original P60s as well;
  5. the letter from your employer should be on headed paper, signed and confirm that you are employed and will remain so in the future;
  6. your payslips or bank statements should be original documents – internet prints or copies of payslips will not be accepted unless they are stamped/countersigned by their issuer;
  7. book your ‘life in the UK test' well in advance as waiting list are between 1 to 4 weeks and DO READ the relevant chapter of the Life in the United Kingdom handbook prior to taking the test – on the day of the test ensure that you carry with your photographic ID;
  8. be aware that you will have to wait at least 7 working days from the day you pass the test before you are able to file your application for indefinite leave to remain;
  9. if your spouse is to be included in your application, she or he will have to successfully passed the ‘life in the UK test';
  10. dependant children over the age of 18 should complete their own forms and will be have to pay additional processing fees.
Where and how should I apply?
The application should be filed at the Home Office in Croydon either in person, by proxy or by post. Note that postal application can take up to 13 weeks to be processed. Applications filed by proxy should not take more than 48 hours.

When can I apply?
The earliest you can apply is one month before the five-year anniversary of your arrival in the UK (not the date you were issued with your initial visa)

The application must be filed before your leave to remain in the UK expires.

What do I need to file?

A duly completed and signed SET(O) form – including a detailed schedule of absences indicating all your absences over the last 5 years. Do note that amalgated absences of more then 180 in total could jeopardise the outcome of your application.
  1. Your original life in the UK test result – you may have to wait 1 to 2 weeks after passing the test before you are able to proceed with your application
  2. The Police Registration Certificate (if applicable)
  3. Two passport sized photograph with your name written on the back of each photograph
  4. Your original bank statements or pay slips for the three months preceding the filing of your application (internet prints will only be accepted if stamped and endorsed by the issuing organisation)
  5. An original letter from your employer confirming your continued employment in the UK over the last five years – (a template of the letter is available)
  6. If the application is approved, you will be entitled to remain in the UK for an indefinite period. You will be able to take employment with any employer or even set up your on business. You should be entitled to apply for naturalisation as a British national and qualify for a British Passport 12 months later.

Do note that you could lose your indefinite leave to remain if you remain out of the UK for a prolonged period of time.

Extracted from
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Indefinite leave to remain success story ILR-0009 (Wp + Hsmp)

This story is based on one of the applicant of Indefinite leave to remain (ILR)

Apply Method: Birmingham PEO Interview
Apply Date: 26th of March 2009
Previous Visa: 4 years work permit + 1 year HSMP


Thanks who supported in the forum and good news that i got my ilr in birmingham on march 26.

My details:
WP 4 years and 1 year hsmp

Compication in my case:
91 days continous break to india
My previous company name changed.

How i resolved this:
I got a letter from employer for the business trip and advantage that my wp was not expired on my break.

The case worker told me that the work permit documents shows current empoyer name and the letter i brought for business trip had new company name. However, luckily,
my company HR has mentioned former company name also.I pointed out to the case worker.Then he asked me to provide economic activity for my hsmp period. He asked me
specifically for last one year payslips. i said i have only bank statements for one year and he went through this.

The document he reviewed
current passport
he did not even see my work permit and hsmp documents and no p60.
life in uk test
current employer letter
business tirp letter from previous employer
last 12 months bank statement

I noticed that he discussed with senior case worker about my break (continous 91 days);then he finally said ' i put through the application and asked me to do the payment'

Please note that in birmingham, the payment is taken after the decision is made. Also, I brought my dependants and my kid and all were present before case worker.
Case worker told me that my wife and kid could go out and wait. So then my kid and my wife left the scene. i am not sure; but if you bring a letter from your spouse for stamping her ilr, then that is find and no need to bring in person.

I waited for 2 hours (i did not go out anywhere just sitting in the premises) to get my passport stamped and after only, i was confident and happy . And also, Please note that be there on your appoinment time in peo without any delay.


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Monday, 25 May 2009

Graduates 'should try leaving UK'

The government is urging graduates to consider a spell working abroad, whether in internships or volunteering, to avoid the worst of the recession.

The advice is backed by the National Union of Students and is being handed out on leaflets at universities over the next couple of weeks.

Recent figures suggest there will be a 5% drop in jobs for new graduates this summer, compared to last year.

But Universities Minister David Lammy said internships can lead to a UK job.

Mr Lammy told the BBC: "If you get an internship, you are with a company acquiring skills that are attractive on a CV - and indeed, the company that you do it with might take you on.

"Then beyond that, it's right to say that we live in a global market place, opportunities abroad can add to your skills and sometimes your language skills.

"And volunteering is always something that's attractive to employers."
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Sunday, 24 May 2009

Requests for your personal data kept by Home Office or UK Immigration Border

A guide to making a request for information under the Freedom of Information Act

The Home Office and its Agencies are committed, under the Freedom of Information Act to:

  • promote informed policy making and debate;
  • provide timely and accessible information to explain the department's
  • policies, actions and decisions; and
  • respond to requests for information.

Any request to the Home Office for information will be handled in accordance with the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act.

Requests for information

The Home Office proactively publishes a wide range of information. In addition, in late 2002, government departments established publication schemes under the Freedom of Information Act 2000. Therefore, you may first wish to search the Home Office Publication Scheme, departmental websites or check with the General Enquiries section to find out if the information you require has already been published or if there are plans to do so. Alternatively, if you know which part of the office might deal with the information you require, then contact them direct.


The Home Office target for meeting requests for information is twenty working days.

Requests for personal data

The Data Protection Act 1998 governs the processing of personal data (information relating to living individuals). This legislation makes it possible for you to request access to personal data that the Home Office may hold about you. A request for disclosure of such information is called a subject access request.

Should you wish to know more about your rights under the Data Protection Act 1998 you should consult the Office of the Information Commissioner's website

Limits of disclosure

The Home Office will disclose information wherever possible. However, in certain limited circumstances, it will be necessary to preserve confidentiality where it is not in the public interest to disclose. Where information is refused, the Home Office will specify which exemption is being claimed and why. All requests for information will be carefully considered on their own merits and with close regard to the public interest.

UK Border Agency freedom of information requests

UK Border Agency
Central Freedom of Information Team
11th Floor
Lunar House, Short Corridor
40 Wellesley Road

Public enquiries
Tel: 0870 606 7766

FOI enquiries
Fax: 020 8196 3172

Extracted from UK Border Agency

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