Category: News & Announcement

Rule Changes coming into effect on 9 July 2012 affecting non EU migrants

Theresa May has announced significant changes to the immigration rules .The changes are part of the Government’s programme of reform of the immigration routes and follow wide consultation and expert advice from the Migration Advisory Committee. The changes include:

Overall, there are a number of significant changes for family members, in particular those seeking to bring non-EEA spouses and partners to the UK will face new barriers to their entry and settlement in the future. Based on news coverage and the Home Office website, it seems that the major changes will be:

New income threshold of £18,600 for those wanting to sponsor a non-EU spouse or partner – increasing to £22,400 for one child and an additional £2,400 for each further child. This falls short of the potential level of £25,700 which was on the table and which the home secretary was apparently pushing for. According to a study at the Migration Observatory at Oxford University these changes will mean that, of British citizens in employment:

  • 47% will not qualify to bring in a family member.
  • 58% of people aged between 20 and 30 will not qualify to bring in a family member compared to 35-45% of people aged between 30 and 60.
  • 61% of women and 32% of men will not qualify to bring in a family member. • 48% of people in Scotland will not qualify to bring in a family member.
  • 51% of people in Wales will not qualify to bring in a family member.
  • 46% of English residents will not qualify to bring in a family member.
  • 29% of Londoners will not qualify to bring in a family member.
  • The areas of England with the lowest eligibility are Mersyside, where 56% of people will not be eligible, North West England (53%) and Yorkshire and Humberside (52%).
  • Extension of the period before non-EU migrants here on a spouse or partner visa can apply for indefinite leave to remain, from 2 to 5 years. In addition to this the spouse will need to make an application for an extension of leave to remain after an initial period of 2 1/2 years followed by another application after the period of 5 years has been completed. This extension of the period of leave will cause uncertainty for families. During this period the spouse will not be able to access public funds but will be able to work.
  • Requirement that, from October 2013, all people applying to settle in the UK will need to pass an intermediate level English language test and pass the ‘life in the UK’ test. Currently, applicants can either take the Life in the UK Test or take combined English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) and citizenship classes – the system is geared towards accommodating different skills in language ability. This means that the change will impact in particular those without strong English reading and writing skills.
  • Removal of the right of appeal for people refused family visas. However, leaked figures from the Home Office last year suggested that a high proportion of family visit appeals – around 36% – are successful. This suggests that the problem is not with the appeals system, but with the initial decision-making by the UKBA…
  • Restrictions on the ability of non-EEA adult and elderly dependent relatives to settle in the UK, limiting this to those who require long-term personal care that can only be provided in the UK by their relative here, and requiring them to apply from overseas. Applications for Indefinite Leave to Remain for adult dependant relatives have been abolished. All applications will have to be made from outside the UK.
  • Removal of the 14 year long residence rule – the 14 year long residence rule will be abolished for all applications submitted after 9 July 2012. The period of leave to remain which is lawful and unlawful has been extended to 20 years residence before a person can qualify for Indefinite Leave to Remain where they have had periods of unlawful residence.
  • It seems that the majority of these changes (unless otherwise stated) will come into force one month from now, on 9th July – but will only apply (with the exception of the increased settlement English and Life In  the UK tests from October 2013) to people given leave to enter or remain in the UK under these routes after that date.

RBM Solicitors, Coventry

New family visit visa appeal regulations

The government laid the Immigration Appeals (Family Visitor) Regulations 2012 in Parliament on 18 June 2012, which set out who qualifies for a full right of appeal against refusal of a visa to visit family in the UK.

These regulations will come into effect from 9 July 2012. No changes are being made to the rules governing who can qualify for entry to the UK as a visitor and genuine visitors are welcome.

These regulations will change the appeal rights of family visit visa applicants, for those applying to visit their uncle, aunt, nephew niece or first cousin, or a relative who does not have settled, refugee or humanitarian protection status in the UK. They will no longer have a full right of appeal if refused. A limited right of appeal will remain for these people on human rights and race discrimination grounds.

As previously announced on 11 May 2012, the Crime and Courts Bill will, subject to Parliamentary approval, remove the full right of appeal against all family visit visa refusals. It is expected to come into force by 2014.

Ukukula Meeting – Monday, 4th June, 2012

Notice is hereby given that Ukukula will hold its meeting on 4th June, 2012 at 10:00 hours.  The venue is 61 Chandos Close, Grange Park, Swindon, SN5 6AQ.  Mr. Gracewell Mwansa from Birmingham, a former captain of industry, will give an investment talk.

The meeting is primed at finalising arrangements for launching an investment project in Zambia arising from the meeting addressed by the Minister of Local Government and Housing, Prof. Nkandu Luo in April, 2012.

President Sata to address investors in London on 7th June

PUBLIC NOTICE

The Commonwealth Business Council in conjunction with the Zambian Government will hold a Special Session on Investing in Zambia, at Mansion House from 11am on 7th June, 2012. HE Michael Sata, President of the Republic of Zambia, will give a keynote address titled “A New Vision for Sustainable and Inclusive Growth in Africa.”

The Special Session will also include presentations from the Honourable Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry, Honourable Robert Sichinga, MP, and the Director General for the Zambia Development Agency, Mr. Andrew Chipwende.

This event will be part of the Diamond Jubilee Commonwealth Economic Forum on 6th and 7th at Mansion House.

The Commonwealth Business Council have kindly agreed to allow access to this special session to guests of the Zambian High Commission.

DATE : Thursday, 7th June, 2012
TIME : 11.00 – 13.00 hrs (only)
VENUE : Mansion House, London EC4N 8BH

All those who would like to attend this Special Session must confirm their participation with Mrs. Ikayi Mushinge, Counsellor (Economic) at the Zambia High Commission on any of the following by Wednesday 30th May:

Email : IMushinge@zambiahc.org.uk
Tel : 020775896655 / 07979124090
Fax : 02075811353.

Those who have not registered with the High Commission in advance will not be able to access the venue. This invitation only extends to the Special Session from 11.00-13.00 and is not for the full Commonwealth Economic Forum.

If you would like to attend the full Forum, which is a paid event, please visit www.cbcglobal.org for further details or contact Kiran Luchmun (kiran.luchmun@cbcglobal.org; 02070248271).

 

Didier Drogba to carry flame through Swindon on Olympic torch relay

The 34-year-old is expected to be greeted by thousands of people when the torch arrives at Wharf Green, in Swindon town centre, at 1.35pm.

It may be his last public appearance as a Chelsea player as he has agreed a deal with Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua, but reports that Drogba was in tears telling team-mates about his exit have been denied.

Drogba will become the latest well-known figure to carry the flame after Olympic sailor Ben Ainslie, rock band Muse, triple jumper Jonathan Edwards, and The Voice judge Will.i.am all donned the white shell suit and took the cheesegrater on a 300-metre journey.

Will.i.am said: “I’m a huge Olympics fan. I want to see the swimming match, I want to see Usain Bolt.

“I want to see if he’s really that fast because I want to race him one day. I wouldn’t win but I want to see how close I would come.”

The star said he was amazed at the number of people who had turned the relay through Taunton into a real family occasion.

“I just saw everyone coming out, excited that the running of the torch was here in their neighbourhood, in their city and pride for the city,” he said.

“To see families and little kids and their parents and everyone just having a good time – I am so glad I came here. It’s great people, great energy, a great vibe.

“There’s one area, it’s like a village of houses and it looked like the neighbourhood I came from in Boyle Heights, where the neighbours looked after the neighbours, and it looked like a real community and that reminded me of the community I come from.”

(The Telegraph)

Bournemouth Trip Postponed to 30th June, 2012

Notice is hereby given to all members of ZISWA that the family trip slated for 2nd June, 2012 has been postponed to 30th June, 2012.  All the other details remain the same.  Members are encouraged to make early accommodation arrangements.  We have scouted out Travelodge, citylode at citylodge.co.uk and Premier Inn in Poole (which is about 15 minutes from Bournemouth) as possible places members can book accommodation with. 

 Further announcements with regards to this Family Trip will be advised in due course.

UKUKULA FORMED!

Following the meeting that was addressed by the Minister of Local Government and Housing, Professor Nkandu Luo at the Zambian High Commission in London on 17th April, 2012  whereat Zambians in the diaspora were urged to take part in investing in differrent sectors to aid the construction of housing units in Zambia, a group of Zambians met on 7th May, 2012 to chart the way forward of how to participate in this investment idea.

A decision was taken to form an investment network called UKUKULA to which any interested Zambian is free to belong and invest. This will be a member governed network where all investing families will be represented on the management board in order to promote transparency and integrity in the management of funds.

The networ has set itself a target of raising £30, 000 in the next six months to kickstart the whole project.  The network members will make monthly investments in a designated account in the United Kingdom. 

A follow up meeting  is scheduled for bank holiday, 4th June, 2012 at 10:00 hours.  Those interested in attending and/or investing are welcome to attend.  Expressions of interest and more details can be provided by requesting for them at ukukula@yahoo.co.uk

UKZambians Excellence Awards, 2012

UKZAMBIANS website will be hosting the UKZAMBIANS Excellence Awards for 2012 on 9th June, 2012 at the London Palace Q Banqueting Suite, 502 High Road, Tottenham, London, N17 9JF. Laid out will be a three course buffet dinner. Tickets are going for £70.

ZISWA is looking into organising a table for those from the South West who would like to be part of this event. A table for 10 will cost £600. If you are interested in being part of the reserved table, kindly register your interest by emailing ziswacommittee@gmail.com

More details about this event can be found here UKZAMBIANS

ZAMBIA’S PROF. NKANDU LUO MEETS ZAMBIANS IN LONDON

Three members of ZISWA were among the Zambians that attended the investment meeting addressed by Professor Nkandu Luo, Minister of Local Government and Housing of the Republic of Zambia at the Zambian High Commission in London on 17th April, 2012.

The Minister urged Zambians in the diaspora to invest in the construction of housing stock in Zambia. She also outlined further areas of investment as being in construction of paved roads (as tarmac has proved costly for the nation), play parks, schools, water and sanitation and any other area associated with creation of new small or sub-towns.

The Minister stressed the fact that the greatest demand for investment is in low -cost housing for the low-income groups of Zambians. The current indication is that such a house would cost USD$ 25, 000 to USD$35, 000 to construct on a 45 to 65 square metres size area. For medium Cost housing, current estimates forecast that they will cost between US$ 50, 000 and US$ 75, 000. On the otherhand the indications for High Cost houses are expected to be US$100, 000 and above.

All the units will have paved road access and all will be connected to water reticulation and public sewers. Further all units will have solar power heaters and mains electricity. All these aspects are open for investment.

To aid the anticipated housing boom, the government has decided to decentralise the acquisition of title deeds to land. All applications for investment in the areas that the Minister outlined must be routed through the Zambian High Commission in London who will provide a supporting covering letter.

The Minister stressed that she can be contacted directly in the event of their application being obstructed or delayed at the High Commission in London. Professor Luo further indicated that her Ministry was ready to play a facilitating role in assisting those investors who required loans from Zambian commercial banks. The Zambians were urged to organise themselves into small groups or incorporate companies, although individual investors were also very welcome to participate as well.

Further information can be found on www.mlgh.gov.zm and at the Zambian High Commission, 2 Palace Gate, London, W8 5NG, Tel : +44(0)20775896655. Fax : +44(0)2075811353.

Death of Mr. Davies Ezekiel Mwape

The Zambian Community in the South West of England would like to announce the death of its member, Mr. Davies Ezekiel Mwape.  Mr Mwape died on Sunday, 19th February, 2012 at his home. The deceased is survived by his wife, Getrude Kunda Mwape and 3 children. The Funeral gathering is being held at 2 Wesley Street, Old Town, Swindon, SN1 3LF. A requiem mass in his honour will be held on Friday,24th February, 2012 at the Catholic Church in West Swindon opposite the Link Centre.