Priti Patel and the “Vindaloo” visa

A very basic change to the Immigration Rules, which normally would receive little attention in the Media, received a bit more coverage than usual when home secretary Priti Patel announced the introduction of “vindaloo visas” to save the nation’s curry houses. From 6th October 2019, restaurants which provide takeaway services will be allowed to recruit non-EEA (European Economic Area) chefs under a Tier 2 visa. Chefs join architects, engineers and nurses on the shortage occupation list. The plight of Indian…

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New Home Office visa application system

Until November 2018, in-country visa applications were made directly to the Home Office. These applications were either made by post or, in some cases, could be made in person at various UKVI offices throughout the United Kingdom. Since then the in-country visa application service has been outsourced to French firm Sopra Steria. In most cases, paper forms have been abolished and applications are made online. The online forms are not user-friendly and contain a myriad of extra questions which never…

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The Scandal of UK Visa Fees

It is a fact that the United Kingdom has some of the highest visa fees in the world. The fee for an application for indefinite leave to remain now costs £2,389 per person. That amounts to more than £10,000 for a family of four. In 2011, the then immigration minister, Damian Green, announced that the Home Office would start charging fees significantly above the cost of administration in order to offset cuts to the funding of the immigration system. For example,…

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