Test-driving the new gadgets: (1) EU Settlement scheme and ID CHECK App, (2) “New service” for FLR application submissions by Sopra Steria, (3) Overseas visa online document upload courtesy Teleperformance

I remember being amused once, years ago, at a Marxism festival in London, where an influential “champagne socialism” ideologue Alex Callinicos, a middle-aged professor, proclaimed in a dismissive, matter- of-fact lackluster way – “We hate the Tories – hate, hate, hate”, moving on mid-sentence. It didn’t seem like a sort of thing you would say matter-of-factly, without a pause for a chant. Yet, I nowadays say just in this same manner, that I hate all private contractors that  the government hires to do its work, instead of hiring and training unionized civil servants. Sopra Steria, Capita, ATOS,  G4S, Serco – hate, … Continue reading →

It’s not just “simplifying” the Immigration Rules. The principles of how government interacts with users of the immigration system are changing.

The Law commission started a public consultation on now the immigration rules are to be rewritten. They call it, unambiguously, a consultation on “Simplifying immigration rules”.  Reminds me of a character played by Ralph Fiennes in some movie, who is trying to get a young actor to say “Oh, but if it were so simple”, but the latter only manages to say  “It’s complicated”.  This is different from  a question on what sort of rules do we need in a first place (eg, who is allowed to come here and on what conditions). This is about who, how, where and … Continue reading →


It was Christmas Eve yesterday, and the “PM Exceptions” team, which used to employ humans but clearly no longer does, had dampened it considerably by dumping a pile of dung on my doorstep. A pile I would have to somehow explain this Christmas to yet one more scared, abused, cornered Ukrainian woman, a single mother of two children, both British citizens, terrorised by a Lithuanian man who fathered one of them and to whom she is still married. I promised her that I will help her. But UKVI has now taken to piling on and perpetuating spousal abuse. IT MUST … Continue reading →

Tier 1 Investor route closes immediately, but there are still options left for the wealthy – for now (UPDATE – APPARENTLY NOT CLOSED?)

Tier 1 Investor route suspended with immediate effect, unless you already filed an application today. That being said, I never worked with T1I, even in my for-profit days — the amounts involved were always beyond the level of responsibility I wanted to be anywhere near. However all those who were maybe contemplating an application and now cannot, would note that Tier 1 Entrepreneur route is technically still open and available, and most of those who qualify as investors would qualify under it. I humbly predict T1E will also go in April or whenever the post-Brexit overhaul is announced, so – no time to waste. Some could also qualify as a sole representative (no investment at all). If you are in Russia and in this position, I can take a look at your options now, if you want: not in my UK practice, but when I am in Russia 16-20 December, and then again at the last week of March. Would have to aim at submitting end of March then. (Click here to read this in Russian – здесь по-русски)