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UNITED KINGDOM: Public Testing of EU Settlement Scheme Opens

30 January 2019

Effective 21 January, the Home Office opened the voluntary public testing phase of the EU Settlement Scheme to resident EU citizens (and their EU citizen family members) with a valid passport and their non-EU citizen family members holding a valid biometric residence card.

Also on 21 January, the prime minister announced that the application fee (currently £65 for an adult and £32.50 for a child under 16) will be cancelled once the scheme is fully open and that anyone who has applied during testing will have their fee reimbursed.

What is the EU Settlement Scheme?

The EU Settlement Scheme is an application to...

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UK exports: why British education is big business

24 January 2019

With the popularity of the UK curriculum around the world at an all time high, London’s International and Private Schools Education Forum (IPSEF) revealed the potential opportunities for UK schools looking to open abroad… as long as they understand their marketplace.

Exporting UK education

This reputation has seen increasing numbers of British school brands exporting themselves overseas. According to recent statistics from ISC Research, who provide data and intelligence on the international schools market, the UK curriculum is still the most popular in the world, having been adopted by 3,586 international schools globally.

This is something that Geoff Gladding, senior lead of the...

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UK employment rate and job vacancies at record high

23 January 2019

The number of people in employment in the UK has hit a record high while wage growth is at its greatest for 10 years, according to official data released on Tuesday.

Rise in jobs vacancies indicates skills shortages in UK business sectors

Meanwhile, the number of job vacancies rose by 10,000 over the quarter to November to an all-time peak of 853,000, reflecting the skills shortages being reported by many UK business sectors. The figures prompted a call from the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) for a post-Brexit immigration system “that helps, rather than hinders” businesses.

The number in work in the three...

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BREXIT: UK Parliament Rejects Withdrawal Agreement [UPDATED]

21 January 2019

On 15 January 2019, the United Kingdom parliament voted overwhelmingly (by 432 votes to 202) against the withdrawal deal negotiated between the government and the EU. On 16 January, the UK Prime Minister survived a vote of no confidence. The government has until Monday 21 January 2019 to present a plan B to parliament for another vote. The debate and vote on this plan B, and any amendments tabled before then, is expected to be held on 29 January 2019.

While the article 50 process means that the UK will leave the EU on 29 March 2019, with or without a ratified...

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London house prices fall as UK homes grow in value

17 January 2019

Homes in the capital also experienced the greatest annual fall as they dove 0.7 per cent year on year in November, according to HM Land Registry figures.

The drop left the average London home priced at £472,901.

That contrasted with UK house prices, which dropped 0.1 per cent in value compared to October but rose 2.8 per cent compared to 2017, with the average property price hitting £230,630.

In England, house prices grew year on year by 2.6 per cent with the average home costing £247,430.

Property experts warned that further falls are likely after yesterday’s Brexit drama, in which parliament handed Theresa May’s...

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The clock ticks down: Fees ban will apply to all tenancies signed after June 1

16 January 2019

Fees charged to tenants are to be outlawed on all new tenancies signed after June 1.

The long-awaited announcement of a date for introduction of the ban was made by Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth, the Government’s housing spokesperson in the House of Lords, during the Tenant Fees Bill’s Third Reading yesterday.

He said: “Implementation is subject to the parliamentary timetables and amendments need to be considered in the other place [the House of Commons].

“We need to enable agents and landlords following Royal Assent to become compliant but we intend for the provisions to come into force on June 1, 2019.

“This would mean...

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'Uncertainty reigns' for UK workers in EU

15 January 2019

Despite a lack of official statistics, research suggests significant numbers of mobile young British expats working across Europe with no clarity as to their long term status.

With Brexit little more than two months away, nobody still really knows how many British expats live and work in the European Union, according to a London-based academic.

No clear statistics on how many UK citizens live in other EU countries

Dr Michaela Benson, research leader for the BrExpats project at Goldsmiths, University of London, says that the official Whitehall estimate of 784,900 UK citizens living in other EU countries (excluding Ireland) might be only about...

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EuRA Global Quality Seal

09 January 2019

On the 27th December, we passed our 6th EGQS audit. This makes us the longest continual holders of the seal in the UK.

The EuRA Global Quality Seal is the world’s first accreditation programme for relocation providers and is open to all Full, Associate and Worldwide EuRA Members.

In 1998, an association was born with the founding principle of raising the standards in the relocation industry; that association was EuRA. Over the past 20 years, EuRA has worked with its 500+ members, the HR community and the EU to develop strategies that would set the delivery of destination services by its members...

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Immigration update: Switzerland negotiate terms with the U.K. to safeguard citizens’ rights

07 January 2019

On December 19, 2018, the Federal Council of Switzerland approved an agreement with the U.K. on the rights of citizens after Brexit. This contract benefits Swiss and British nationals who have acquired rights in Switzerland or the U.K., based on the Free Movement of Persons Agreement (e.g. residence rights).

Following the withdrawal of the U.K. from the EU, the bilateral agreements between Switzerland and the EU with the U.K will cease to apply. Therefore, the Federal Council wants to ensure the existing mutual rights and obligations between Switzerland and the U.K. after leaving the EU (Mind the Gap strategy). Until the...

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04 January 2019

An Order of 18 December 2018 authorises the doubling of the immigration health surcharge (IHS) to £400 per annum, effective 8 January 2019.

The discounted charge, payable by Tier 4 students and those on the Youth Mobility Scheme (Tier 5), will rise from £150 to £300 per year.

Introduced in 2015, the IHS is payable by those from outside the European Economic Area coming to the UK to work, study or join family for six months or longer.


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Overseas investors spent £144.3bn on London offices over two decades

03 January 2019

Foreign buyers have invested £144.3 billion in London commercial property over the past two decades and are still buying despite Brexit, new research showed on Wednesday.

Agent CBRE revealed its office property data as industry experts insisted Brexit will not have a “material impact” on future appetite to spend here.

The firm said overseas investment into central London has increased steadily since 1999 (see data below). Buyers from Germany and the US were dominant in the Noughties, followed by Middle Eastern companies between 2009 and 2013. Between 2014 and Q3 2018, international buyers spent £56.5 billion, with Asian companies featuring heavily.

There have...

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