Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Indefinite Leave to Remain in UK

Indefinite Leave to Remain status (ILR) also known as Permanent Residency or (PR) is an immigration status granted to a person who does not hold the right to stay in the United Kingdom (UK), but who has been issued a temporary visa with a time limit to reside and have the permission to work or study with certain restrictions. Persons who have legally stayed in the UK can apply for PR, once they have completed the qualifying period. This status although termed Permanent Residency lapses if the holder has stayed outside the United Kingdom for a continuous period of more than two years.

Categories qualifying for UK PR, having stayed in the UK for a specific period of time, usually 5 years, may apply for an ILR which entitles them to live in UK as long as they wish and eventually even apply for naturalization. The processing time and requirements for the ILR vary depending on the visa class that an applicant has immiditly prior to their application.
Visa Class
Below is a table for the visa status/class with the corresponding required length of stay in the United Kingdom as one of the requirements to qualify for an ILR application.
Current Visa Status/ ClassRequired Years of Stay
Unmarried Partner5
EEA Family Permit5
Work Permit5
HSMP (closed)5
People establishing business5
Writers, Composers, Artists5
Legal stay on any basis10
Illegal stay on any basis14
Language and Awareness Requirements

Aside from the visa class, in order to be eligible ILR applicants require proficiency in the English language as well as have knowledge of living in the United Kingdom. Applicants who are under 18 years of age or above 65 are exempted from this requirement.

Cost of Indefinite Leave to Remain Application

Effective the 6th of April 2016, the application fees have been raised from £1500 to £1875 per person. Dependents also pay the same fees. The premium application fee (meaning there is an in-person appointment) has been raised from £1900 to £2375.

Advantages of having an Indefinite Leave to Remain status

Being an ILR status holder, an individual enjoys the following advantages:

  • Acquisition of British Citizenship not only for themselves but also for their children, if applicable under certain conditions and requirements.

  • The holder will also have the right to access public funds. Unlike those of the Limited to Remain (LTR) visa in the United Kingdom, the wording” no recourse to public funds” is not written in an ILR holders’ visa. As a result they are able to claim job seekers allowances and other benefits which are usually available only to British, EU and EEA citizens.

  • Have the advantage of paying the same tuition fees as those of British, EU and EEA citizens (also known as Home Student Status) whilst studying at institutions of higher education in the UK, as opposed to paying substantially higher tuition fees like International Students with a LTR.

  • ILR citizens are UK residents and enjoy the right to vote and stand for election to a public office.

Conditions of Indefinite Leave to Remain

An important reminder: Once an individual has been granted an ILR, ensure that you do not spend 2 years or more outside the United Kingdom, as this can lead to the ILR being revoked. In order to surmount this challenge, migrants are eligible to apply for British Citizenship after 1 year as a permanent resident or after 1 year of being granted an ILR status.

Vira International provides end to end immigration services for ILR application. Our service starts from the initial phone or email enquiry right until your visa approval. For further information please email or

Sunday, 25 September 2016

How Hospitality Recruitment Works

Skill Assessment

Hospitality recruitment agencies and organizations serve as a very important link between employers and candidates in the hospitality industry. They help candidates enhance their career path, skills and abilities as well as guide the complete administrative process.

In order to select the best suited candidates for available positions, various skill based appraisals and assessments are conducted by the recruitment organization. This serves as a candidate feedback tool as well as provides an accurate overview of the effectiveness of the candidate for the particular position. The hospitality industry offers a wide spectrum of positions, a few of which are mentioned below:

  1. Food & Beverage which includes positions like, Waiters & Waitresses, Sommeliers, Bartenders, Hosts & Hostesses, Restaurant Managers, Catering Executives, Banquet Managers.
  2. Lodging includes: Front office personnel, Doormen, Housekeeping and Laundry staff as well as Office Support functions.
  3. Culinary includes: Chefs, Sous Chefs, Specialty Chefs, Kitchen Managers and all ancillary food production positions.
  4. Hotel Operations includes: General & Executive Assistant Managers, Corporate Controllers, Senior Accountants, Credit Managers, Financial Analysts, Purchasing Director, IT Directors, Human Resources, Sales and Marketing Managers, among others.

Additionally, there are hospitality recruitment agencies which offer in-depth psychometric appraisals for C-Level positions like Chief Executive Officer, Chief Financial Officer and senior management positions as these roles require an enhanced level of ability, performance and education as compared to less senior positions.

The Hospital industry is a service oriented discipline hence a thorough and competent screening of the talent pool is extremely essential.  Recruits are made acutely aware of the importance of their tasks which include courtesy, impeccable behaviour, positive body language, professional decorum, a genuine concern for the comfort, safety, the overall well-being of customers and the importance of good communication skills within the front and back of the house environments.

Further Assistance offered to Applicants

Once the candidate has successfully completed their aptitude test and general appraisal the recruitment organization assists with coaching and preparing the candidates for job interviews to ensure their success in the selection process. Job descriptions, contractual terms and conditions of employment which include wages, benefits like medical services, sick leave, vacation entitlements as well as incentives and rewards are communicated.

Furthermore, recruitment agencies guide and assist applicants with their documentation, like visa applications, work permits, specific information on embassy interviews, travel arrangements and where applicable, relocation services.

 Candidates are urged to thoroughly research the credentials of the recruitment organization they wish to use.  It is best to check the certification and accreditation of the agency as well as their registration details with the Bureau of Labour. This ensures that the candidate does not fall victim to any nefarious business practices.

Hospitality recruitment organisations charge fees for services rendered. The amount varies and can be as much as 35% of a candidate’s offered salary. To avoid any ambiguity it is prudent to understand and clarify the financial aspects of your transaction with the recruitment agency.

Most recruitment agencies are contactable via the internet and have the required capabilities to help you find the best available jobs in the Hospitality industry.

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Scams Unscrupulous Employers and What You Need to Know About Tier 2 Visas and Work Permits

Whilst the majority of people going to the UK on a Tier 2 visa andwork permit do so without problems, there are a significant number who have been the victim of some unscrupulous companies. This has cost some people dearly, in time, money and even having their work permit and visa withdrawn and having to leave the UK.

It’s vital that anyone who is considering going to work in the UK does so with as much knowledge as possible, enabling them to find a suitable job with a good employer through a trustworthy and reputable agency. Some of the issues to look out for include: 

Fake websites – In 2012 the UKBA (UK Border Agency) issued a warning about a number of frauds targeting people wanting to work in the UK. There are always websites springing up offering fake UK jobs. People who then apply are then told that their application is successful and then taken to a page where they are told they are required to pay for their Tier 1 or 2 visa and work permit. As soon as payment is made, the applicant never hears from the website again, and often soon disappears, leaving them out of pocket and without a job, visa or work permit. 

Telephone scams – These work in the same way as the website scams and instead of a website, people are contacted over the telephone with the offer of a job and are then asked to pay a fee to the company. As soon as this fee is paid, the applicant never hears from the company again, and like in the website scam, is left out of pocket without a job, visa or work permit.

Are you working for an unscrupulous employer? 

The potential problems don’t end once you have a sponsor, job, visa and work permit. There are countless cases of unscrupulous sponsors not following the rules and mistreating applicants in terms of salary and not processing their visa and work permits correctly. When considering a sponsor, all applicants should consider the following: 

Certificate of sponsorship and reference number 

This isn’t an actual certificate but a reference number which is unique and holds all the information about the job in question and all of your personal details. Your sponsor MUST provide you with one of these. You will need to add this to your application form when applying for your Tier 2 visa.

If you’re currently working in the UK and don’t recall having one of these, you should contact your sponsor straight away. If they can’t provide one, you could be working illegally.

Appropriate Salary

On a Tier 2 application, the job you are offered must pay at least £20,500. There are exceptions to this, but none that should realistically affect chefs or other skilled staff in the catering trade.

Some dubious agencies sponsors pay a salary of £20,500 or more, but then take a monthly fee from this. This is wrong. The salary of £20,500 should be paid AFTER such deductions. If you are not being paid £20,500 (before tax and national insurance deductions), then you may be working for sponsor that is not following UK government guidelines and your indefinite leave to remain in the UK may be under threat. 

The solution

By far the best way to ensure your Tier 2 application goes through smoothly and you end up with a sponsor and job that is suitable and matches your skills, needs and requirements, is to use the specialist help of an OISC (Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner) registered company such as ourselves at Vira.

You can be assured that your Tier 2 application will be treated with the utmost care by highly trained advisors. Remember we have been successfully working in this sector for 40 Plus Years. 

If you are currently working in the UK and suspect that your sponsor may not be following UK government guidelines and are worried about the validity of your visa and work permit, then you should contact ourselves straight away. We can guide you through the Tier 2 Priority Service. With this, you can get a decision within 10 working days on your visa, and ensure that your remain to leave in the UK is legal and with a sponsor that is suitable and law-abiding. 

For more information please call us on 0870 9909007 or email us