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National lockdown: Stay at Home

You must not leave or be outside of your home except where you have a ‘reasonable excuse’. This will be put in law. The police can take action against you if you leave home without a ‘reasonable excuse’, and issue you with a fine (Fixed Penalty Notice).

You can be given a Fixed Penalty Notice of £200 for the first offence, doubling for further offences up to a maximum of £6,400.

A ‘reasonable excuse’ includes:

  • Work - you can only leave home for work purposes where it is unreasonable for you to do your job from home, including but not limited to people who work within critical national infrastructure, construction or manufacturing that require in-person attendance
  • Volunteering - you can also leave home to provide voluntary or charitable services.
  • Essential activities - you can leave home to buy things at shops or obtain services. You may also leave your home to do these things on behalf of a disabled or vulnerable person or someone self-isolating.
  • Education and childcare - You can only leave home for education, registered childcare, and supervised activities for children where they are eligible to attend. Access to education and children’s activities for school-aged pupils is restricted. See further information on education and childcare. People can continue existing arrangements for contact between parents and children where they live apart. This includes childcare bubbles.
  • Meeting others and care - You can leave home to visit people in your support bubble ( if you are legally permitted to form one), to provide informal childcare for children under 14 as part of a childcare bubble (for example, to enable parents to work, and not to enable social contact between adults), to provide care for disabled or vulnerable people, to provide emergency assistance, to attend a support group (of up to 15 people), or for respite care where that care is being provided to a vulnerable person or a person with a disability, or is a short break in respect of a looked-after child.
  • Exercise - You can continue to exercise alone, with one other person or with your household or support bubble. This should be limited to once per day, and you should not travel outside your local area.You should maintain social distancing. See exercising and meeting other people.
  • Medical reasons - You can leave home for a medical reason, including to get a COVID-19 test, for medical appointments and emergencies.
  • Harm and compassionate visits - you can leave home to be with someone who is giving birth, to avoid injury or illness or to escape risk of harm (such as domestic abuse). You can also leave home to visit someone who is dying or someone in a care home (if permitted under care home guidance), hospice, or hospital, or to accompany them to a medical appointment.
  • Animal welfare reasons – you can leave home for animal welfare reasons, such as to attend veterinary services for advice or treatment.
  • Communal worship and life events - You can leave home to attend or visit a place of worship for communal worship, a funeral or event related to a death, a burial ground or a remembrance garden, or to attend a wedding ceremony. You should follow the guidance on the safe use of places of worship and must not mingle with anyone outside of your household or support bubble when attending a place of worship.Weddings, funerals and religious, belief-based or commemorative events linked to someone’s death are all subject to limits on the numbers that can attend, and weddings and civil ceremonies may only take place in exceptional circumstances.

There are further reasonable excuses. For example, you may leave home to fulfil legal obligations or to carry out activities related to buying, selling, letting or renting a residential property, or where it is reasonably necessary for voting in an election or referendum.

source: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/national-lockdown-stay-at-home?priority-taxon=774cee22-d896-44c1-a611-e3109cce8eae#detailed-guidance-on-the-national-lockdown

Immigration: Visa applications open under UK's post-Brexit system

New immigration rules will be "simple and flexible", ministers have promised, as the UK's points-based post-Brexit system prepares to go live.

From Tuesday all foreign nationals, including from the European Union, who want to work in the UK from 1 January will have to apply online for a visa.

Those seeking a skilled worker visa will need a job offer, to be proficient in English and earn at least £25,600.

Free movement from and to the EU will come to an end on 31 December.

EU citizens already living in the UK by 31 December and their families do not have to go through the new system but instead can apply to the EU Settlement Scheme, and have until 30 June 2021 to do so.

If they are successful, they will be able to remain in the UK and claim the same benefits as UK citizens if they become unemployed.

Irish citizens do not need to apply to the scheme and will not require permission to come to the UK, as the UK and Ireland are both part of a Common Travel Area.

The UK left the EU on 31 January but has been largely following its rules during the subsequent 11-month transition period, as the two sides try to reach agreement over a trade deal.

As talks continue in London, the UK is stepping up its preparations for leaving the EU's single market and customs union at the end of the year.

The government has announced it is setting up a new Border Operations Centre, which it says will ensure round-the-clock surveillance of goods and passengers coming in and out of British ports for the first time.

Border preparations stepped up

Cutting-edge software will be used to gather information about the flow of goods and passengers in the hope of minimising the amount of "short-term" disruption at the border in the days and weeks after 1 January.

Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove said the new system, which will be manned 24/7, would enable the authorities to identify and get on top of bottlenecks "quickly and decisively".

Business groups have said delays at the border are inevitable given the looming changes to customs procedures while Labour said "glaring questions" remained unanswered about what businesses needed to do.

"The government is putting the burden on businesses to prepare for the end of the transition period when it has not explained what it is those businesses are getting ready for," said shadow minister Rachel Reeves.

"The government is re-badging a basic element of preparation but still can't tell us how many customs agents are recruited or trained or whether crucial IT is ready."

 

To tackle what the Cabinet Office calls the "challenges" of potential disruption at the UK border next year, a Border Operations Centre will use big data technology to try to "identify the root causes" of hold-ups to passengers and freight.

The software system is produced by the controversial US tech firm Palantir and will pull together information from different government computers to monitor the flow of people and vehicles across the UK border.

Palantir has courted controversy in the United States, where its systems are used by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

This has led the human rights organisation Amnesty International to warn of "a high risk that Palantir is contributing to serious human rights violations of migrants and asylum-seekers".

The company denies the suggestion and says it remains extremely concerned about protecting human rights, privacy rights, and civil liberties in general.

The UK government has stressed that Palantir will only process data in Britain and that strict measures are in place to protect personal information.

 

What is changing in immigration?

The UK's new immigration system will determine who can work in the country from 1 January.

Online applications for visas via a range of new "routes" will open on Tuesday.

Applications for skilled worker visas will be judged on the basis of a points system, which is modelled on the system in place in Australia for many years.

Points will be awarded for a job offer at the appropriate skill level in an eligible occupation, knowledge of English and whether applicants meet a salary threshold - which will typically be at least £25,600.

The cost of applying will be between £610 to £1,408 and people will have to show they have enough money to support themselves as well as having proof of identity.

Applicants will have to wait about three weeks to find out whether they have been successful.

Route for 'exceptional talent'

Home Secretary Priti Patel said the system would be "simple, effective and flexible" and enable employers to fill skills gaps while also placing a greater onus on firms to train and invest in British workers.

Ms Patel and other critics of free movement have long argued it has left British firms overly reliant on low-skilled workers from the continent and put applicants from the rest of the rest of the world at a disadvantage.

But unions have warned of a looming crisis over the recruitment of social care staff under the new rules and says action is also needed to support those foreign-born NHS workers whose visas are expiring.

Applications also opened on Tuesday for Global Talent, Innovator and Start-Up visas designed to attract "those who have an exceptional talent or show exceptional promise in the fields of engineering, science, tech or culture".

New rules for international students came into force in October.

The rights of the more than three million EU citizens already working in the UK are protected under the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement signed by the UK and EU earlier this year.

As of 30 September, 2.1 million people had been granted settled status and 1.6 million pre-settled status - ensuring they can remain in the UK.

 

Source: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-55133506

 

#Solicitors #Leicester #Hounslow #Immigration #Wills&Probate #LegalAdvice #FamilyLaw #PropertyLaw #Matrimonial #SaifeeSolicitors

Solicitors Leicester

Are you looking for a solicitor in Leicester or Hounslow? why not drop us a call an see how we can help you,  we provide the following services:-

Family & Matrimonial

Property law

Wills and Probate

Personal Immigration

Business Immigration

Business Law

call us on 0116 243 8852 for Leicester Legal Services and 020 3621 4545 for Hounslow Legal Services

Coronavirus: Wills witnessed by video link to be made legal

Wills witnessed remotely via video link will become legal in England and Wales to make it easier for people to record their final wishes during the pandemic.

The change to the law will be backdated to 31 January, the date of the first confirmed coronavirus case in the UK, the government said.

It means any will witnessed remotely from that date onwards will be legally accepted.

This measure will remain in place until January 2022.

The time period could be shortened or extended if deemed necessary, the Ministry of Justice said.

Under the current law, a will must be made in the physical presence of at least two witnesses but social distancing measures have made this difficult.


For a will to be legally valid, as the law stands you must:

  • Be 18 or over
  • Make it voluntarily
  • Be of sound mind
  • Make it in writing
  • Sign it in the presence of two witnesses who are both over 18
  • Have it signed by your two witnesses, in your presence
  • You cannot leave your witnesses (or their married partners) anything in your will

During lockdown, lots of people have turned to video conferencing software as a communication solution, using platforms such as Zoom or FaceTime.

Ministers said wills witnessed using this sort of technology would be deemed legal, as long as the quality of the sound and video was sufficient to see and hear what was happening at the time.

The change to the legislation to include video-witnessing of wills will be made in September.

Two witnesses - who are not beneficiaries - will still be required, helping to protect people against undue influence and fraud, the government said. Electronic signatures will not be permitted.

Justice Secretary Robert Buckland said: "We know that the pandemic has made this process more difficult, which is why we are changing law to ensure that wills witnessed via video technology are legally recognised.

"Our measures will give peace of mind to many that their last wishes can still be recorded during this challenging time, while continuing to protect the elderly and vulnerable."

However, the government said the use of video technology should remain a last resort and people must continue to arrange physical witnessing of wills where it was safe to do so.

Wills witnessed through windows are already considered legitimate, provided there is clear sight of the person signing it.

Emily Deane, technical counsel at Step, a professional body comprising lawyers and accountants, said: "We are delighted that the government has responded to the industry's calls to allow will witnessing over video conference.

"By removing the need for any physical witnesses, wills can continue to be drawn up efficiently, effectively and safely by those isolating."

She also welcomed the move to apply the change retrospectively, saying it would provide reassurance to anyone who had had no choice but to execute a will in this manner prior to this legislation being enacted.

source: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-53530228

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Coronavirus: Renters threatened with eviction 'should stay put'

People living in rented accommodation in England and Wales who have received an eviction notice have been urged not to move out.

The government announced a three month ban on evictions as part of emergency coronavirus legislation.

But the ban only covered new eviction proceedings, not people already in the court system.

Last week, ministers caved in to pressure from Labour and charities and announced a complete ban on evictions.

The courts in England and Wales have been instructed to "suspend all ongoing housing possession action", the government said in a statement.

The suspension "will initially last for 90 days, but this can be extended if needed", the statement added, with all private and social renters, as well those with mortgages, to be protected.

'Good news'

The move is thought likely to affect about 20,000 people who had been facing repossession.

In Scotland, MSPs are planning introduce a temporary ban on evictions in their emergency coronavirus legislation, but it will only covers new evictions, not people already facing court proceedings.

Housing charity Shelter fears some people in England and Wales, who might not be aware of their rights, are still being forced out of their homes by their landlords.

Shelter chief executive Polly Neate said: "The government's blanket ban on evictions is good news for millions of renters who can now safely remain in their homes.

"It's crucial people know they're protected and that no legal action can be taken to evict them for at least the next three months.

"Even if they receive an eviction notice from their landlord in the coming weeks they should not feel any pressure to leave until this crisis is over, and should stay where they are."

The charity's advice for private rented, council or housing association tenants is:

  • It is illegal if your landlord makes you leave without notice or a court order - or locks you out of your home, even temporarily
  • If you have had an eviction notice from your landlord you should stay in your home
  • In most cases, if an eviction notice is issued between 27 March and 30 September, the landlord must wait three months before they can apply to court
  • If your landlord has already applied to court then your case will be put off for 90 days
  • The court will tell you when any new hearing is but this may take some time

The government is advising people to continue paying their rent - and for those struggling financially to speak to their landlords about setting up a payment plan or to seek help through the benefit system.

Big arrears

It says lenders will support struggling landlords, and those with buy-to-let mortgages will be entitled to a three month payment holiday.

But campaign group the London Renters Union is calling on the government to suspend all rent payments - and to protect people from having to pay big arrears when the crisis has eased.

The group says thousands of people are continuing to have to go to work because of pressure from landlords, meaning they are unable to follow the government's social distancing guidelines.

In a letter to Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick, the group said: "Urging landlords to 'show compassion' does nothing in reality to protect renters. The government has left renters to fend for themselves.

"As the government's recent guidance clearly states, tenants are still legally obliged to pay rent and landlords are still able to issue eviction notices to renters who enter into rent debt.

"The eviction process will begin as soon as the temporary ban on evictions is lifted."

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government has been contacted for a response.

'More help needed'

The government is temporarily making the housing benefit system more generous to help people struggling to meet rent payments, by increasing it to cover 30% of the market average rent in each area.

Image copyright Shelter Image caption Polly Neate: Make help available from day one

The move was welcomed by Shelter, but the charity is urging the government to go further and increase the Local Housing Allowance - the housing component of Universal Credit for private renters - to more of local market rates, and to end the five-week wait for new claimants.

The charity says there has been a surge in people applying for benefits, in many cases for the first time.

Ms Neate said: "At Shelter we're receiving daily calls from people up and down the country who are worried about how they'll pay the rent, keep the lights on and put food in the fridge in the coming weeks and months.

"That's why we're urging the government to go even further on its welfare measures to help people through the financial shock created by this pandemic.

"To prevent households slipping into poverty and debt, the government should temporarily increase housing benefit so that it covers the average cost of local rents.

"And to make sure help is available from day one it must end the five-week wait for universal credit, by turning advance payments into a grant instead of a loan."

source:  https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-52108344?at_custom1=%5Bpost+type%5D&at_custom2=twitter&at_custom3=%40BBCPolitics&at_campaign=64&at_custom4=twitter&at_medium=custom7#

 

Coronavirus: People urged not to move house

The government has urged people not to move house to try to limit the spread of coronavirus across the UK.

Buyers and renters should delay moving while emergency stay-at-home measures are in place, it said.

Its comments come amid reports banks are pressing for a full suspension of the UK housing market.

Lenders are concerned about the effect of the pandemic on valuations, according to the Financial Times.

Banks are also worried about granting mortgages during this period of extreme economic uncertainty, the FT said.

The government said that while there "is no need to pull out of transactions", "we all need to ensure we are following guidance to stay at home and away from others at all times".

If a property is vacant, people can continue with the transaction, although they must ensure they are following guidelines with regards to home removals.

But if the house is occupied "we encourage all parties to do all they can to amicably agree alternative dates to move".

Property listings websites say that interest in moving home has slumped amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Zoopla said demand in the week to 22 March fell 40% from the week before and it predicts housing transactions will drop by up to 60% over the next three months.

Meanwhile, an increasing number of sales that had been agreed before the lockdown are falling through.

The property listings site said the UK housing market had a strong start to the year before the coronavirus outbreak crushed demand.

The pandemic has led to a "rapidly increasing" proportion of sales falling through, as would-be buyers "reassess whether to make a big financial decision in these shifting times".

Rival Rightmove also said the slowdown in the UK housing market had been "significant".

"The number of property transactions failing to complete in recent days and likely changes in tenant behaviour following the announcement of the renters' protections by the government may put further pressure on estate and lettings agents," it said, referring to the recent ban on evictions.

In response to the crisis, UK Finance, which was formerly known as the British Bankers' Association, said lenders would extend mortgage offers for people who were due to move house during the lockdown.

"Current social distancing measures mean many house moves will need to be delayed," UK Finance chief executive Stephen Jones.

"Where people have already exchanged contracts for house purchases and set dates for completion this is likely to be particularly stressful," he said.

"To support these customers at this time, all mortgage lenders are working to find ways to enable customers who have exchanged contracts to extend their mortgage offer for up to three months to enable them to move at a later date."

source: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-52051174#

UK Visa Application - Step by step guide on applying for a UK visa

Wide ranges of people visit the United Kingdom every year under different purposes as for sightseeing, studying, or even working. Despite that the nationals of many Western countries, in particular of the European countries, can enter the United Kingdom visa-free, the rest of world citizens are very likely to need a visa in order to be permitted to step in the United Kingdom.

The UK visa allows you to enter the country, whether it is through the sea, land or air.  The possession of a visa means that you have fulfilled the requirements that the particular visa has.

This detailed article will help you understand the UK visa application process and procedures you need to go through in order to obtain a visa to the United Kingdom.

UK Visa Application Process

The UK visa application process and service you need to use in order to apply for a UK visa depends mostly on the visa type you need to apply for. If you are applying for a UK tourist or short stay visa you can start your application here.

For every other type of visa, you will have to use the online Visa4UK service, including study and work visas. If you are applying for the first time you will have to create an account. If you already have an account, just sign in and fill the areas with the required information.

To apply for UK visa you must go through these simple steps:

  1. Find out if you need a UK visa.
  2. Chose the right UK visa type.
  3. Complete the online application form.
  4. Collect the required documents for a UK visa application.
  5. Schedule a UK visa appointment.
  6. Attend the UK visa interview.

Find out if you need a UK visa

You may be exempt from the UK visa requirement, depending on your nationality. You will not have to apply for a UK visa prior to your trip to England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland, if you are:

  • An EEA citizen.
  • A Swiss citizen.
  • A Commonwealth citizen.

Check the list of nationals that need a UK visa for more information in this regard.

If you realize that you need a visa, then you can proceed with the other steps!

Choose the right UK visa type

Most of the application process for a British visa, including the visa requirements, depends on your purpose of visiting the UK. Your purpose of travel to the UK determines what type of visa you need, which can be one of the following:

Complete the online application form

Usually, the UK visa online application form contains questions on personal information as:

  • your name & surname.
  • nationality.
  • country of residence.
  • marital status.
  • personal number.
  • passport number.
  • reason for wishing to enter the UK.
  • other information about your application.

If the information in the application form doesn’t comply with the information in the other required documents, your application will be rejected!.

You can find a list of UK visa application forms here.

Collect the required documents

As a part of your UK visa application, you should submit some mandatory required documents to support your case.

Click here for a complete list of required documents for a UK visa.

Schedule a UK visa appointment

After making the appointment online, print the email confirming the details of your appointment, and take it with you to the UK visa application center you have chosen to attend, together with the required documents.

The documents required in the original must be submitted in original. Make sure that the documents are as required because sometimes even a little mistake can cause a lot of trouble. Please note that the appointment must be made in your name, not in someone else’s.

Attend the UK visa interview

When you attend the UK visa application center, you will need to provide your biometric information, which includes a photograph and a digital scan of your fingerprints.

Every applicant who is submitting a visa application must attend the visa application center in person, including children. Applicants under 18 years old must be accompanied by an adult.

 

UK Visa Application Denial

Pay attention to the whole application process, since even small mistakes can lead to the rejection of your application by the UK Home Office. Some of the main reasons for visa rejection are:

  • Missing Documents.
  • Applying for the wrong type of visa.
  • Failure to prove you have the financial means to support your stay in the UK.
  • Fraudulent documents.
  • You have overstayed on a previous trip.
  • Criminal history.

How to Appeal Against the UK Visa Denial?

If your UK visa application is rejected, when you receive the answer on your application you will also be notified on the reasons behind it. If you think that this decision has not been taken justly, then you can appeal it.

  • Fill in Form IAFT-2, which is an appeal form
  • Submit it to the UK Immigration and Asylum Chamber
  • This body will send the documents will be forwarded to the relevant authorities
  • A new decision will be taken and communicated to the applicant in writing

If the decision is not changed, you can file a new application by correcting the previous mistakes.

Can I Extend my UK Visa?

Extending your UK visa while in the UK is possible. However, the process differs depending on the visatype you hold. If you are in the UK on a standard visitor visa, you will be eligible to apply for a visaextension as long as the total time you spend in the UK is less than 6 months.

Applicants from the USA

To apply for a UK visa from USA there are some specific procedures that you must go through. Although US citizens do not need to apply for a UK visitor visa, they must apply for visas in the Points Based System.

 

 

 

Last Updated on December 11, 2019

source:https://visaguide.world/europe/uk-visa/how-to-apply-for-a-uk-visa/

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Apply for a permit to join your EU or EEA family member in the UK

Contents

  1. Overview
  2. EU Settlement Scheme family permit
  3. EEA family permit
  4. Derivative rights of residence
  5. Surinder Singh
  6. Retained rights of residence
  7. Stay after your family permit expires

EU Settlement Scheme family permit

You can apply for an EU Settlement Scheme family permit to come to the UK if all of the following apply:

  • you’re from outside the European Economic Area (EEA)
  • you’re the ‘close’ family member of an EEA or Swiss citizen (excluding UK nationals)
  • the EEA citizen you’re joining is in the UK already or travelling with you to the UK within 6 months of the date of your application

The person you’re joining must also either be:

  • an EEA or Swiss citizen with ‘settled’ or ‘pre-settled’ status under the EU Settlement Scheme
  • an Irish citizen
  • a British citizen who also has EEA or Swiss citizenship and who lived in the UK as an EEA or Swiss citizen before getting British citizenship

If you’re from outside the EEA and cannot apply for the EU Settlement Scheme family permit, apply for the EEA family permit instead.

Qualifying as a ‘close’ family member

You must be the EEA citizen’s spouse or civil partner, or related to them (or to their spouse or civil partner) as their:

  • child or grandchild under 21 years old, or dependent child or grandchild of any age
  • dependent parent or grandparent

Family members who are adopted under an adoption order that is recognised in UK law are regarded the same as natural family. Read the guidance on adoption and settlement.

Documents you must provide

You must provide:

  • a valid passport
  • evidence of your relationship to your EEA family member, for example a marriage certificate, civil partnership certificate or birth certificate
  • your EEA family member’s EU Settlement Scheme application number, if they have one

You’ll also need to provide proof of your dependency if you’re:

  • a dependent child or grandchild of your EEA family member and you’re over 21
  • a dependent parent or grandparent of your EEA family member and they are under 18

Apply for an EU Settlement Scheme family permit

You must apply online for an EU Settlement Scheme family permit.

You must be outside the UK to apply.

 

Source: https://www.gov.uk/family-permit/eu-settlement-scheme-family-permit

Pay for UK healthcare as part of your immigration application

Overview

You might need to pay a healthcare surcharge (called the ‘immigration health surcharge’ or IHS) as part of your immigration application.

Whether you need to pay depends on the immigration status you’re applying for.

When you must pay

If you’re making your immigration application online, you pay the surcharge as part of your application or when you book an appointment.

If you’re applying by post, you pay the surcharge online before you send your application. You’ll need to include the IHS reference number on your application form.

When you can start to use the NHS

You can start using the National Health Service (NHS) when both:

  • you’ve paid the healthcare surcharge (or are exempt from paying it)
  • your visa or immigration application is granted

You’ll still need to pay for certain types of services, such as prescriptions, dental treatment, eye tests and assisted conception.

You should bring your biometric residence permit with you when you access healthcare in the UK.

source: https://www.gov.uk/healthcare-immigration-application

Free Wills Month - October

Are you 55 or above? 

Get a free will as part of 

Free Wills Month

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Oadby, LE2 4DA

0116 243 8852


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020 3621 4545


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Email us:info@saifeesolicitors.com

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