Economy and immigration after Brexit

Two months have passed since the referendum vote to leave the European Union. There was a lot of fear that an economic crisis is on the way of the public voted to leave. Although economic indicators are showing levels of fast improvement.

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For instance, the month before the referendum vote airline reservations to the UK were down compared to last year. After the vote, they have improved by 4.3 percent- and richer tourists have purchased more jewellery and watches.

Other parts of the economy have not suffered as most have though it would. Confidence of consumers and domestic purchases are going up. “Retail sales smashed expectations in August”, as it was noted by the daily Mail on 26 of August. Home-sales and manufacturing reports are well and good.

Britain has, of course, not left the EU yet and certain experts indicate there is a huge possibility that it will not happen. As the government has “taken a bite out of more than they can chew”. As noted by some experts that “separating a connection that has lasted for more than 40 years is not that easy”.

Britain has its own advantages. It has a huge market and the EU is one of the biggest trade partners it has. Severing such ties and imposing a “we are free to do what we want attitude” will only constitute as economic and political “suicide”.

For instance, if Germany were to stop doing business with the UK, both sides would suffer enormous losses.

But what about migration? It is true that severing itself from the EU the pool of skilled workers from the UK (including a cheap labour force) would be diminished immensely. As doing “simple jobs is not attractive to the British youth”. However, the international scandal that would follow if the UK were to tell its migrant inhabitants to leave will not happen. The backlash from the international community would be hard to get back from.

However, no one is stopping the UK from creating new types of visas to attract this wide pool of skilled workers and businessmen if there was a need to do so.

While London does remain the most affluent area in terms of the number of millionaires, earning and sky-high property prices (although the latter is seeing a drastic drop in prices), Scotland is enjoying itself with one of the biggest boost to household wealth over the period, Barclays said.

Behind London the other most prosperous areas of the country include the South East, Eastern England and South West of England.

In terms of the health of the country’s small to medium sized businesses, Manchester, Cardiff and Sheffield saw some of the strongest turnover growth over the period, rising 15 per cent, 12 per cent and 11 per cent respectively, Barclays said.

Askshaya Bhargava, of Barclays, said: ‘It is very encouraging to see the upward trajectory for prosperity in the UK continuing despite recent global volatility.’

Mr Bhargava said: ‘The research shows that not only is the UK still “open for business”, it sends a clear message that all parts of the UK are sharing in, and contributing to its role as a driver of global prosperity.’

In a bid to stimulate the economy, the Bank of England has cut UK interest rates from 0.5 per cent to 0.25 per cent. While this could spell welcome news for mortgage-holders, hard-pressed savers are look set to continue feeling the squeeze.

In conclusion, the economy is steadily bouncing back and for now (if not forever) the UK is part of the EU whether it likes it or not. As the new London Mayor keeps saying “London is open for business”, I would rephrase to Britain is still open for business”.

Studying in the UK

Studying in the UK is not only a chance to discover its unique culture, cities and countryside. When it comes to starting your career, UK qualifications are also a great boost to your salary, as well as to your CV. That’s why this country is a popular choice among international students. If you consider starting a degree in Britain, we can provide you a brief introduction into the education system of the country.

london-1081820_1920The education system in the UK can be seen as divided into different parts depending on what is required of the student (child) or what the student wants (over 16). Children in the UK are legally obligated to attend primary and secondary schools which runs from approximately about 5 years old until the student is around 16 years old.

Generally, the stages can be seen divided into:

  1. Stage one: 1 – 7 years’ old
  2. Stage two: 7 – 11 years’ old
  3. Stage Three 11 – 14 years’ old
  4. Stage Four 14-16 years’ old

Usually the first two stages will be completed at primary and secondary schools. After that the student will move on to stages 3-4.

Students in the UK are assessed at the end of every stage. The most important assessment occurs at stage 4 when students pursue their GCSE’s or General Certificate of Secondary Education. When a student manages to complete their GCSE’s they are presented with a choice whether to go onto further education and then potential higher education, or finish school and go into the working world.

Here is a small overview of how education facilities and visas function:

Elementary and Secondary Education

Tier 4 (Child) visa category is directed towards children aged between 4 – 17. Children between the ages of 4 – 15 are only allowed to attend independent fee-paying schools. Tier 4 (Child) students may not be able to study in public schools unless it is in the form of a publicly funded further education college.

Child Visitor      

This category is for children who are under the age of 18 and would like to undertake a short course of study in the UK. The individual has to be accepted into an accredited educational program to participate. These types of visas are valid for a period of 6 months or less. However, 12 month visas are obtainable for those children accompanying an academic visitor.

Student Visitor

A Student Visitor category is directed towards adults, aged 18 or over, who would to start a short course of study in the UK. The person in question must be enrolled into an accredited educational program to participate. Needs to be applied under the Tier 4 (General) visa category. Issued visas are valid up to 6 months or less; however, 11 months visas are possible to those who wish to study English language courses.

Post-Secondary

A student has the option to come to or remain in the UK as an adult student under the current Tier4 (General) via category. This category is targeted for individuals aged 16 or over who would like to come to study a course at or above National Qualification Level 3. This level is a secondary education program which is meant for individuals who wish to enrol in a university. You may also study at a University/College in the UK under this category.

All in all, it may seem daunting and to some extent frightening with all the different regulations and visa types for students depending on the age and where they are going. However, Mann’s Solutions is here for you (and your children). We can help you prepare all the necessary documents and to make sure you or your children will have a stress free obtained visa. The only thing you will have to worry after that is homework.

Bank of England cuts interest rates

24367987593_064607c7efSummer for the United Kingdom has proven to be a tidal wave of changes. It is quite clear that Brexit still remains as a bewildering fog that covers the future direction of the country. Although country is still at a ‘post-referendum, pre-Brexit’ period, various sources show that business is not even slowing down in the UK. Speaking generally, the status has returned to ‘Business as usual-ish’ status with a lot of businesses even showing a large income growth during this summer.
Last week the Bank of England cut interest rates to 0.25% for the first time in more than seven years and warned high-street lenders to pass on cheaper borrowing costs to customers, in a bigger-than-expected package of measures designed to prevent a post-Brexit recession. The Bank cut official interest rates to a new record low of 0.25% from 0.5% and signalled they would be reduced further in coming months. The move is expected to bring relief to borrowers. The Bank’s governor, Mark Carney, unveiled additional funds for banks to cushion the blow to their profitability from lower interest rates. He personally called bank bosses after Thursday’s announcement to make it clear the Bank wanted to see the full benefits of its anti-recession strategy felt by households and businesses.
All in all, the Bank announced following measures:
• A cut in official interest rates to 0.25%, the first such move since March 2009;
• Plans to pump an additional £60bn in electronic cash into the economy to buy government bonds, extending the existing quantitative easing (QE) programme to £435bn in total;
• Another £10bn in electronic cash to buy corporate bonds from firms “making a material contribution to the UK economy”;
• As much as £100bn of new funding to banks to help them pass on the base rate cut. Under this new “term funding scheme” (TFS) the Bank will create new money to provide loans to banks at interest rates close to the base rate of 0.25%. The scheme will charge a penalty rate if banks do not lend (the Guardian).
The currency value of the post-Brexit pound has understandably caused some concern in businesses and generally speaking made them more “currency aware”. However, a weaker pound is now cheaper to foreign investors and new businesses. Also, with the knock-on effect on rents and house prices, the cost of accommodation in London will become more affordable, which in turn will boost the attractiveness of starting a business in the UK.
On the banking side overdraft fees and an easier system of moving personal and small business accounts will be at the centre of measures that are intended to bolster competition in the banking sector. The Competition Market Authority has started to help to strengthen supply dynamics in the market and resolve some of these long-term issues by providing swift and firm remedies to boost opportunities for businesses.
A new budget has been set by the Competition Market Authority to find ways to make it easier for small and new businesses to operate within the UK.
Perhaps the brightest point after the Brexit vote, is that the country is bouncing back by already having a new government in place, Under Theresa May – who triumphed earlier than expected in the Tory leadership race. With the Prime Minister the country is no longer leaderless.
The new Prime Minister’s reputation for political caution is therefore mostly welcomed as a salve for self-inflicted British harm at this early point on the post-referendum timeline. Taking some time to look around and think ahead without jumping blindly is vital.
While, there are challenges that the British population will have to face still lie ahead. One thing is certain that the gears of business are still running and that Britain is still ‘open for business’.

Britain for business

gherkin-935126_1920Britain is open for business” – a campaign driven by many successive UK governments attracting talented entrepreneurs worldwide to set up or invest in an existing business in the UK. The Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa is the natural visa to obtain for those wishing to start or invest in a business they will actively be involved in running in the UK.

This is something London can be proud of: An unfaltering ability to attract record levels of all types of businesses from overseas. As it is proven by reports that London is the best city for international trade far ahead of its European counterparts.

By result of foreign investment and foreign entrepreneurs coming to the UK, tens-of-thousands of jobs are being created in London alone. If you have plans to start a business in any sector and set up in the UK, now is a great time to get involved.

A possible question on your mind might be “how can I set up in the UK?” We can always assist you with that but here is a quick background on what to expect.

To start you will have to meet an important criterion if you wish to apply for an Entrepreneur Visa UK; that you are a non-European national who wishes to start a business in the UK.

There are two ways you can apply for a Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa:

  1. You can show proof that you have access to at least £50,000 of investment funds; or
  2. At least £200,000 investment funds

As you might have expected you cannot simply present yourself to the UK border with a suitcase full of money. That might raise a lot of questions and different problems.

So the money has to be held in one or more regulated financial institutions and be disposable. In other words, you have to have free access to spend it on a business in the United Kingdom.

If it seems too big of a burden to carry alone, the guidance allows you to have a partner.

There is a need not only to show that the funds are available to invest but that the entrepreneur has a business plan and the necessary skills and to put the plant into action. At the heart of the scheme is the requirement to create new jobs for UK workers through investment and this is a requirement to be able to obtain an extension of stay after the visa is closing on its expiration date. We at Mann’s Solutions can help you navigate and increase your chances of success dramatically, as every person has his/her circumstances that might change how a matter has to be approached.

Political process stabilisation

brexit-1491370_1920With Theresa May as the United Kingdom’s new prime minister, investors were given a little more certainty in regards to the present political situation. As Theresa May has become the second Prime Minister she has taken the daunting challenge of taking charge of one of the most unsteady periods in recent political history. The reaction to the appointment of Ms Theresa was mainly positive among conservative party members (both Brexit opponents and proponents).

The newly appointed Prime Minister has agreed for the moment to postpone Brexit talks until the UK has “a strong position and a clear goal on how to proceed” The German Councillor Merkel has agreed with this plan to schedule the talks at around December or early January.

It is expected that the Prime Minister’s main tasks will be negotiating the conditions of future relationships with the European Union, mainly the position of the millions of British citizens living in the EU (vice-versa for EU migrants) and the current situation of business. As Britain is one of the biggest trading partners of the EU this will not be an easy and quick task.

Initially, Theresa May supported the British campaign on staying in the EU, and although she highlighted that the new policy will go in accordance with the will of nation, further mitigation of political climate is expected.

According to BBC, Mrs. May has said she will not trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, which would formally take Britain out of the EU after up to two years of negotiations, before the end of 2016. The next EU Council meeting is not scheduled to take place until 20 October, which may buy her some breathing space, as she sets up a negotiating team and establishes some “red lines” on issues such as immigration and access to the single market before official exit talks begin.

 

What we can learn from the fast allocation of Theresa May is that the political process in the UK has clear chances of stabilisation.

In terms of economic environment, the Bank of England maintained Bank Rate at 0.5% to support national currency. The huge decline of property prices has already started, which provides a window of investment opportunities for market players. Figures from Rightmove show the average asking price of a home listed for sale in England and Wales has fallen since mid-June. Post-Brexit, a larger number of new properties are being listed for sale than during the same period last year. The vote triggered a wave of discounts, while the number of cuts to asking prices surged by 163 per cent in the 12 days following the referendum, compared to the 12 days ahead of the vote (according to figures from LondRes, a property research firm). The weakening of the sterling also provides additional benefit for holders of the U.S. dollar capitals. The situation on property market in the U.K. is unique today, and an able-minded investor can spot this opportunity.

What will happen to EU nationals in the UK?

eu-1473958_1280 (1)As every news station, newspaper and radio station mentioned this, the UK in a couple of months will begin talks to leave the European Union. A lot of English laws and regulations regarding the safety of your job, family life and residency may be in danger if no European law safeguards are left.

As you may be aware the initial idea behind ‘Brexit’ was to stop the influx of immigrants to the UK.
The EU laws for the moment are still binding but soon this will change. A lot of immigrants will be faced with the reality that they do not satisfy the Tier visa requirements and will have no other choice but to leave the UK.

Those who hold a valid EU country nationality and their family members, proven they can satisfy certain requirements, can obtain a permanent residence card or a family member visa which will allow them to work, live and study in the UK. In other words, we highly recommend all European nationals and their family members to start preparing documentation to secure a place in the UK following the result of the referendum.

The reason why European nationals and their family members can still apply for visas and residence documentations is because the Regulations (or laws) are still in effect and are deeply rooted in British law. The government would have to repeal these laws to affect immigrants. There is a high chance that these laws will be repealed. In other words, slowly the guarantees you have for the safety of your job, residence and the right to study will disappear.
Here are the documents immigrants and their family members can apply:

Registration Certificate

This is the first and easiest document a European National can apply for. Under this certificate a ‘Qualified Person’ is someone who is working, self-employed, studying, self-sufficient. We highly recommend this document to those Europeans who do not satisfy the permanent residence criteria. This is not a difficult document to obtain and is a good starting point to work towards permanent residency.

Permanent Residence Card

This type of residence can be obtained by EEA nationals and their non-EU family members after five years of lawful and continuous stay in the UK. The definition of lawful in this regards means that an individual(s) is a worker, self-employed, student or self-sufficient. Each of these categories require different documents and we can advise and help you to prepare them.

For those non-EU family members (in this regards spouses/civil partners) who have divorced their European family member it is still possible to obtain a permanent residence permit by Retained Right of Residence. However, the marriage had to have lasted for at least 3 years.

Family Members of European Nationals

This type of visa splits into two different categories. Those who are spouses, civil partners, descendants (children), up to 21 years of age, of the European national or the spouse, civil partner and dependants who are over the age of 21.

The second category is Extended Family Members. This applies to those who are in a relationship with the EU national like an uncle, aunt, grandchildren, cousins and etc.

Each of these visas require specific documents which we can help you with the collection and preparation. Upon a successful application the visa will grant the non-EU nationals the right to work, study and live in the UK for 5 years. After that period these individuals may ask for Permanent Residence.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you require any assistance in making an application.

UK Budget 2016 – News for Businesses and Entrepreneurs

On 16 March, George Osborne the UK Chancellor (Finance Minister) claimed new Budget 2016. The Budget sets out long-term solutions for the investment and economy, building an environment of supports and savings for the next generation. In order to meet financial targets, Mr Osborne announced that £3.5 bn of extra spending will be cut by 2020.

Reforms including:

  • Income tax starts to be paid when your earnings reach £11,500, the higher level is from £ 42,385 raise to £45,000 paying 40 per cent tax from April next year.
  • Personal Allowance raises to £11500 in 2017-2018.
  • Corporation tax will be reduced to 17% for the Financial Year commencing 1 April 2020.
  • Capital Gain Tax cuts from 28% to 20%, the lowest rate in the G20,it will be 19% in 2017 and 1% further cuts in 2020.
  • New Allowance at £1,000 for both ‘micro-entrepreneurs’ and online overseas retailers.
  • Relief 600,000 small businesses from pay rates.

 

Osborne’s Budget brings great news to the setups and entrepreneurs. Since 2010, the government plans to delivery security of economy for British businesses. In particular, providing strong and stable infractions which small businesses need.

 

Competitive Tax Rate

Budget 2016 produces a low business tax for the companies and small businesses compared with the other members of Group Twenty. According to the legislated plans, British corporate tax will be the lowest in G20 at 17% compared with the US 40%, Russia 20% and China 25%.

 

Cuttings of Corporation tax are boost enterprises

The main corporation tax will be cut from present 28% to 20% this year and 17% by the year of 2020. A further increase in allowance of £3,000 will begin from April 2016 in order to cut the cost of employer National Insurance contributions to £2,000 annually. The new budget also supports these small businesses by relief tax from purchasing commercial properties. Mr Osborne claimed that at least 500,000 people would benefit and there would be no tax return forms to fill in. That is because the new £1,000 allowances for “micro-entrepreneurs” who is doing businesses online, such as eBay, Amazon and other online platforms.

 

Capital Gain Tax

CGT will also be reduced from 28% to 20%, and the basic rate will be 10%. Individual’s main property is not the subject to CGT and exempted by Private Residence Relief. For those people who purchase British real estate which is considered to be a second residential property will be liable to an 8% higher rate of stamp duty. However, the government are delivering a tax cut for smaller businesses, who purchase less expensive properties. The new rates will be 0% for the portion of the transaction value between £0 and £150,000; 2% between £150,001 and £250,000; and 5% above £250,000.

 

Additionally, the new sugar tax levied from soft drinks industry has been set out in concern about the obesity of young generation. Producers will be taxed according to the quantity of the sugar-sweetened drinks.

 

In short, the new budget brings a delight help for small businesses, particular to new setups. Both tax relief from Corporate Tax and Capital Gain Tax provide the brilliant opportunity to boost enterprises. However, if you are a property investor of buy-to-rent, you will levy a higher CGT.

 

Potential future of Tier 1 Entrepreneur program in the UK

Recently Migration Advisory Committee (MAC), the British government’s public line, considered to review the UK’s arrangements for the entry and stay of non-EEA entrepreneurs under Tier 1 Points Based System. MAC together with the UKBA proposed to improve the programme of Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) route which encourages skilled entrepreneurs relocate to Britain and establish one or more businesses. A more detailed summary and analysis on this below.

The Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) category is for non-EEA nationals who would like to set up or running businesses in the UK. Those who apply under the category must meet the requirements that have access to at least £200,000 investment funds. Additionally, there is a lower funding threshold of £50,000 for migrants to apply for this visa, if they comply with the relevant criteria. Tier 1 Entrepreneur programme is appropriate to bring significant economic benefits to Britain. The programme also drives investors to make long-term decisions based on the benefits of joining technical industries. In return, these start-ups based in the UK give new job opportunities and provide competitive economy in the global market. As more focus and support from the government, almost 85,000 new jobs were created by the foreign investments last year.

Total successful of Tier Entrepreneur Visa application was 1039 according to Home Office Immigration Statistics, and 1087 applicants were succeed in 2014. In order to make a more productive financial capital market, the UK government and UKTI increased the promotion and secure on 34 R&D collaboration between UK-based research centres and overseas investors in relation to Research & Development investment. Financial technology is one of the potential invest areas which is accounted for 2/5ths of total fintech investment in Europe. A decade ago, we may enviously at overseas outstanding technology market. However, now the picture is different, Britain becomes good at applying and developing technology, particularly in retail and banking. For example, the online retailer specialising in household appliances or real estates as well as financial information companies provide independent data, customised technology platforms and money transfer services.

New proposals and changes by the government to Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa category which give entrepreneurs more opportunities to set up innovative businesses in Britain. It becomes a global tech and digital hub attributed by investors from foreign countries, including many of talents whose birthplace is not in Britain but choose to invest and live here. Therefore, supporting entrepreneurship gets more focused by the MAC and become a long-term goal.

Our team of experienced immigration solicitors are pleased to see the positive direction and scope of MAC’s reforming of the programme. We welcome consulting of Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa. Our expertise solicitors will be able to advise and guide you via whole process of obtaining the visa.

 

 

Reasons to invest and locate business in the United Kingdom.

Companies considering the country to base their enterprise usually can affect its chances of success. From the place, people to innovation, we looking for the first destination of invest and set up businesses. In terms of the financial hub in the globe, the UKTI claimed that only New York can comparable to London as the title of world’s leading financial centre. Both cities have the complete size and expertise of financial services sector, bank’s assets of London are the fourth largest compared with China, America and Japan.

People and Place

United Kingdom is positioned time zone 0 which easier for the businesses across the Asia, Europe and the USA. According to the latest data, here is also the gateway to Europe. The United Kingdom holding 40 percent of capital from the 250 companies’ European headquarters, the only viral city is Paris, however only hosts 8 percent. People also is a vital element of success, there are over 64 million people living in the UK and with an integration of multi-cultural capital, attracting and motivating talents from different regions within diverse approaches and fresh ideas, especially in London.

Entrepreneur Hub

Global Talent Competitiveness Index issued a new report which ranking the most talent attraction and international mobility countries. Switzerland ranked the first, Singapore in second followed by Luxemburg and the USA. United Kingdom ranked in number 7, while due to the big population, the UK’s population is equivalent to the total of the other top six countries apart America. Mobility is vital for the innovation and workforce. Highly skilled people are more attracted to the cities which with a high immigrant population. They considering multiple criteria, for example, the quality of life, business support, tax, etc. According to the data from National Statistics Office, over 580,000 businesses set up in the UK, and 88,580 of start-ups in London which means if weighted by resident population 95.6 per 10,000 people are setting up the businesses.

Legal Framework

British common law with international reputation due to its stability and consistency. The law protects and promotes equal opportunities for all investors which are the base of economic prosperity and social freedom. The policy gives foreign investors trust and confidence to choose Britain as their destination of investment.

There is no doubt, United Kingdom is leading financial centre that the entrepreneurs and investors first choice for investment. The government committed to establishing the most open, business-friendly country with the increasingly strong economy and stable framework around the world. Deciding where could success your investment, from the region, economic environment and government initiatives, London is the city that comes out on the top.

 

Why the UK Economy Attracts Foreign Investors?

As much debate and conversation relation to the immigration, the government is recent reviewing all immigration policies for the purpose of fair to the immigrants and citizens. The lasted figures published by the Office for National Statistic indicated that the annual UK net migration was 323,000 last year. Since 2014, Asian investors and entrepreneurs have raised their focus on UK Economy and European Financial Hub – London particularly.
UK Investor Visa has existed for many years to allow high net worth individual with at least £2m or more to invest in the United Kingdom on a long-term basis. The visa are allowed investors and their family to relocate, run the business successfully. Applicants can obtain settlement after 5 years, moreover in some cases this period could be reduced.This immigration route is very attractive particularly for Chinese, Russian Investors and their families, not only because enviable tax incentives, a highly developed financial sector, cultural diversity and integration, outstanding education system, but also a more fair and stable country to invest.
If Investor Visa can be compared with Entrepreneur Visa, then last one was designed for person who would like to establish new business venture and freshly invest £200,000 in British Economy. With the rapid growth in regards to technical innovation and high-level investment in start-ups, the Migration Advisory Committee and the Government is currently working to enhance the development of Entrepreneur Visa Programme which can offer a brilliant scheme for establish technology businesses and job opportunities for local market. Following the discussions, the government believes that it will encourage and attract more non-EU immigrants thinking business activity locate in the UK. There is no doubt, that Britain is one of the best relocation option for anyone who looking for a fair country, which has strong traditions of Common Law, well established business environment and one of the greatest places to live in for a families and study for children.
Britain has reputable democracy with rule of law, which offering citizen high-quality of life and compelling value proposition for businesses that other countries cannot be compared. Britain has a stable economy and favourable policies attract the most investment funding and start-ups. Together with many investment banks, family offices and legal advisors providing assistance for investors and entrepreneurs, particularly in London. However, we understand that when you are looking to make such a big move, the considerations you need to make can sometimes become overwhelming. It’s our job to provide all the guidance and advice you require to make informed decisions and attain the best outcomes.