Archive for UK Visa applications

Requirements for a Chinese Visa

Requirements for Chinese Visa


Have you been asked to provide a letter of invitation for a Business Visa for China and not too sure what information is needed? 

Follow the guideline for a business visa for China, you should ensure that your letter of invitation contains the following details listed below:

  • Full Name, Gender and DOB of invitee
  • Your intended Entry and Exit dates to China
  • Your purpose of your visit to China
  • Your intended destination(s) in China
  • Your source of financial support for your trip to china
  • Your relationship with the invited institute
  • A letterhead showing the name, address, telephone number of the inviter
  • Signature and stamp from the inviter on the invitation

Make sure your letter of invitation outlines all the above to ensure that your application is processed in a timely manner. For further information contact First Visas, to speak to one of our specialist please give us a call on 0208 769 1750 or you can email us at,uk.

Are you applying for the correct Nigerian Visa?

Are you applying for the correct visa, when traveling to Nigeria ? If you are intending to travel to Nigeria to work, even on a short term contractual basis, you should consider applying for a temporary work permit (TWP) and not a business visa.

Applying for the incorrect visa could cost you unnecessary time and additional cost in referral fees charged by First Visas. We want to be sure you get your application right first time, before it is submitted. Business visas are issued specifically for travelers attending business meetings, ventures, conferences, trade shows etc. Multiple entry business visas (valid for 6 months) are issued where clients can demonstrate a proven track record of attending Nigeria for permitted business activities.

If it is your first business meeting trip to Nigeria, consider asking your sponsor to request in their letter of invitation for a single entry business visa, instead of a multiple entry. There after an application can be made for a multiple entry business visa. If in doubt or need any help please contact First Visas for helpful tips you can call us on 0208 769 1750 or you can email us at

Meeting the Skill Level Requirements for Tier 2 (general) & Tier 2 (intra country transfer)


One of the important aspects of the work permit process is employers will need to ensure the position meets the skills requirements of the job description.  If an employer wants to recruit what is the level of the skills the position needs to be?   In relation to the qualifications required for the migrants, please refer to our previous article in this category. The work permit scheme allows employers to be able to recruit if they are unable to find a suitably qualified settled worker.  In determining what the level of skills required will depend if the migrant has been previously been granted leave to remain.

work permit for londonAll migrants coming into the UK under Tier 2 (general) and Tier 2 (ICT) or switching must be coming to fill a vacancy that that is at or above National Qualifications Framework (NQF) level 6 or equivalent.  This would include a position as Manager, Director, or IT specialist Manager, Construction Project Managers etc.

If the employer wants to sponsor a migrant who is already working in either of these categories, then the skill level required is determined on when they were first granted leave.

 The next question that an employer will need to consider is whether the job is available at the skill level required. For example a position offered as local government’s administrative office will not meet the requirements.  Before an employer can sponsor a migrant under Tier 2, they must check that the job will meet the requirements on the skill level of the job and the ‘appropriate rate’ of pay for the job.  If the job does not meet these requirements, they will not be able to assign a certificate of sponsorship.  It is essential to refer to the codes of practice tell the minimum rates of pay and the skill level required before applying.

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Switching from Tier 4 student (general) to Tier 2 (General) work permit employment

Under Tier 4 (general) of the point based system adult aged 16 – 17+ are able to come to the UK to study a course at or above National Qualification Framework level 3.  Entry clearance is a requirement.  The UK economy still actively encourages students to come to the UK to study. Students are able to switch into work permit employment, if suitable employment is secured.


The UK still remains one of the top destinations for students wishing to study, followed by Germany. Germany has is not only Europe’s biggest economy. It is also well-known for its high-class education especially in the field of engineering.

Immigration Minister Damian Green   ‘Britain is open for business to the brightest and the best migrants……..”

 So what are the opportunities for securing a work permit employment to those able to find employment after graduating?   What specific skills are required from the applicant?   In what instances does the resident labor test apply, and when is it exempt? We will be examining the answers to these common questions.

Qualifications Required


The job must require the applicant to have either:


       A UK equivalent degree level qualification; or

       An Higher National Level (HND) level occupational qualification that is

       relevant to the post on offer; or

       An HND level qualification which is not relevant to the post on offer, plus

12 months of relevant full-time work experience; or

       At least 3 years relevant experience at NVQ level 3 or above.



Switching – Post Study work visa & IGS

 Applicants who are in the UK on a Tier1 post study visa or International Graduate Scheme (IGS) will also be able to switch into this category.  

Securing offer of employment

Applicants will first have to secure employment offer in their respective fields of discipline before they can apply.

Resident labor Market Test

The test requires that the employer must advertise  in  national form of media  to enable a resident worker to apply. Eg Job centre plus or a publication that is available throughout the UK.  This test does not need to be done if the applicant is applying following a post study visa or under the International Graduate Scheme (IGS).   The test is also not required where the skill is listed on the shortage occupation list.   The Tier 2 (General) category is also the route for applicants outside the UK who have been offered a skilled job route.


 Applicants must score a minimum of:

 50 points for Attributes, which includes having a sponsor and a valid Certificate of Sponsorship (Appendix A of the Immigration Rules); and



Assigned Certificate of Sponsorship having met the requirements of:

• A resident labor market test exemption; or

• A resident labor market test by the sponsor; or

• An extension – Continuing to work in the same occupation for the same sponsor.


Appropriate salary  £20,300 or above



10 points for English language skills (except for certain Intra-Company Transfers) (Appendix B of the Immigration Rules); and

10 points for Maintenance (funds) (Appendix C of the Immigration Rules).

The Certificate of Sponsorship must confirm that the job is at NQF level 6 (or the equivalent in Scotland) as stated in the codes of practice, or the job is a creative sector occupation skilled to NQF level 4 as listed in the Tier 2 & 5 Sponsor Guidance. This does not mean that the applicant must be educated to that level; it means that the job is at that level.

The Certificate of Sponsorship must also confirm that the applicants will be paid at or above the appropriate rate for the job.

 Leave granted up to 3 years + extension

 Successful Tier 2 (General) applications will be granted leave up to 3 years with the possibility of extending for a further 3 years.  They will not be able to extend beyond 6 years.  Applicants will also not be able to re-apply to return to the UK under Tier 2 until 12 months after their last leave under Tier 2 expired or they can show they have been outside the UK for 12 months, whichever is sooner, unless they will be paid a gross annual salary of £152,100 or more.


Opportunity knocks & rocks in the UK under the PBS Tier 1 Entrepreneur


Immigration Minister Mark Harper said:

The UK remains open to the brightest and best – genuine entrepreneurs with the ideas and motivation to drive economic growth will always be welcome in the UK.’


 Although tough times are times are still here, there remains clear indications from various forecasts that the economy is now moving ahead. It is predicted there will be a gradual recovery to the UK economy. There are real opportunities for investors and entrepreneurs who want to invest in the UK by setting up or taking over, and being actively involved in the running of, a business or businesses here.  The entrepreneur visa is designed to enable the brightest and best to come to the UK to set up and start trading.

UK trade & investment website quotes

“The UK is the ideal location for entrepreneurs to achieve growth and success. With a rich history of innovation and a dynamic business environment, we value entrepreneurs in the UK – and we’re pulling out all the stops to make things work for business”.

 The Requirements -PBS

The flexibility of the Immigration rules has been revised to allow applicants to use money invested in a UK business while they were here in a different immigration category. Applicants will need to meet the points score.  Under Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) applicants must score at least 75 points for attributes. They must have access to not less that £200,000 or not less than £50,000 if planning to switch into this category if they qualify.  £50,000 can come from a Venture Capital firm, Seed Funding Competition or UK Government Department/Devolved Government Department. The funds must be held in a regulated institution, (Appendix A of the Immigration Rules); 10 points for English language (Appendix B of the Immigration Rules); and10 points for Maintenance (funds) (Appendix C of the Immigration Rules).

The Procedure – Applying

If the Applicant is outside the UK the applicant(s) will need to make an application for entry clearance. Applicants who are in the UK, who are in the categories (see below) qualified to switch will need to apply for further leave to remain. Applicants who are in the UK in the following categories can apply to switch into this category and apply for further leave. They must have access to the funds mentioned.  Successful applicants switching will initially be granted 3 years leave.


a highly skilled migrant;

a Tier 1 (General) migrant;

a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) migrant;

a Tier 1 (Investor) migrant;

a Tier 1 (Post-Study Work) migrant;

a Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) migrant

a Businessperson;

an Innovator;

a Work Permit holder;

a Writer, Composer or Artist;

a Self employed Lawyer;

a participant in the International Graduates Scheme (or its predecessor, the Science & Engineering Graduate Scheme);

an Investor;

a participant in the Fresh Talent: Working in Scotland Scheme;

a Tier 2 migrant;

a Prospective Entrepreneur.



        The following categories below can also apply to switch into Tier1 Entrepreneur

a Tier 4 migrant;

a Student nurse;

a Student;

a Student writing up a thesis;

a Student re-sitting an examination;

a Postgraduate Doctor or Dentist;



On 31 January 2013 the Immigration Rules changed to tackle abuse on this route, while leaving genuine entrepreneurs unaffected.

The changes are:

 Where we have concerns, we may ask you to demonstrate that the funds you have used to apply remain available to you beyond the date of your application. The funds must continue to be available to you until they are spent by your business or businesses. ‘Available to you’ means that the funds must be:

(1) In your own possession; or

(2) in the financial accounts of a UK incorporated business of which you are the director; or

(3) available from the third party or parties named in your application (if applicable).

 If you are applying on or after 31 January, the declaration from your third party funds donor must confirm that the funds will remain available to you until they are used

 It is useful to note that money for investment can be shared by a team of a maximum of two Entrepreneurs. Each team member may apply to come to the UK as a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) using the same investment funds. Neither applicant must have used the same funds with any other applicant.  Applicants will need to provide all the documents needed for evidence.

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How to make a UK visa application for entry clearance

Applying for A UK Visa
Applying for A UK Visa

These include the following settlement applications:
fiancée visas,
Unmarried partner/ same sex.

How to make a UK Visa application for entry clearance
Recent changes to the Immigration Rules came into effect from July 2012, and also the introduction of new financial requirements under Appendix FM. The consequences of these changes means that sponsors considering applying for entry clearance will need to wade through a copious volume of documents, in order to know whether they meet the criteria. It always worth going through the IDI (Immigration Directorate Instructions) as this is the internal guidance given to staff, on deciding on an application. Most applications initially now have to be made on line, but a quick check on will enable sponsors to clarify this.

A very brief summary of the changes in the financial requirements consist of the introduction of the new minimum threshold of £18.600. The probationary period of leave granted if successful in bunches of 30 months (2.5 years) ILR after 5 years. The sponsor would also need to produce documentary evidence of self employment, if he /she fitted into this category. If you don’t think that you will meet the minimum threshold, let’s say you earn slightly less £15,000 then you will need to have cash savings of at least £25,000 at the entry clearance/leave to remain stage. Only savings of £3,600 can be used  to make up for the shortfall.

At the indefinate leave stage  savings of £9,000 can be used if other sources of income add up to £9,600.

Now that’s a lot of loose change, and great if you have it in the current economic climate. In relation to partners, there are now new English language requirements. There are exemptions for English speaking countries.

see table below:


Total Savings held

Entry Clearance/Leave to Remain

Indefinite Leave to Remain

Amount which can be used

Income needed from other sources (that can be combined with cash savings)

Amount which can be used

Income needed from other sources (that can be combined with cash savings)


(62500 – 16000) ÷ 2.5

= £18,600


(62500– 16000)

= £46,500



(40500 – 16000) ÷ by 2.5

= £9,800


(40500 – 16000)

= £24,500



(33000 – 16000) ÷ 2.5

= £6,800


(33000 – 16000)

= £17,000



(25000 – 16000) ÷ 2.5

= £3,600


(25000 – 16000)

= £9,000



(17500 – 16000) ÷ 2.5

= £600


(17500 – 16000)

= £1,500



(16500 – 16000) ÷ 2.5

= £200


(16500 – 16000)

= £500