Leading financial services and immigration group, 1st Contact has announced a positive new development from UK policy makers, just in time for the festive season, which will affect South Africans, Australians and New Zealanders wanting to extend their residence in the UK.
Stephen Atkinson from 1st Contact explains that one of the most stringent requirements to apply for a Tier 1 Visas status, allowing highly skilled professionals to extend their residency in the UK, is the highly contested maintenance requirement issue. According to this requirement, applicants will need to show evidence of at least £ 2 800 (or the equivalent in the relevant currency) in their bank accounts, where the relevant bank statements need to be issued 7 days before the application process. To further complicate the process, foreign nationals wishing to under go this application have to return to their countries of origin to initiate the process. This coupled with the 7 day window period for the maintenance requirement together with the slow process of the UK banking fraternity, who can take up to 5 days to issue bank statements, have made it near to impossible, particularly for New Zealand and Australian applicants to meet these deadlines. This means that by the time UK based banks have issued the official bank statements for applicants, acting as evidence of sufficient funds, these individuals would essentially only have two days to travel to their home countries to initiate the application process.
Through the determination and persistence of 1st Contact’s lobbying efforts with key UK policy makers at the UK Border Agency, an agreement has been reached to revise the 7 day window period and extend this to a 30 day period for the maintenance requirement.
Stephen Atkinson confirms that this will make a marked difference for many South Africans, Australians and New Zealanders wishing to extend their stay in the UK, further to which the UK Border Agency has agreed to review applications which may have been refused based on the previous stringent requirements.
For expert advice on this issue, please contact 1st Contact Visas:
0800 039 3076
South African Office
+27 21 657 2196
1800 835 148