Call for paid service +44 (0)344-991-9222 end of Year Update for 2017

Hello and welcome to’s end of year Update for 2017. I’m Sanwar Ali

2018 is our thirtieth anniversary year. is one of the most influential and important visa consultancies in the World and one of the most popular visa related sites in the World.

Please note a number of changes to UK visa regulations from 11 January 2018. It is now easier for students to switch from a tier 4 to a tier 2 visa.

We are providing below details of some important changes in visa regulations.

US Visas

If you are applying for an US work Visa then be prepared to provide even more documentation than before and perhaps wait longer. In addition USCIS may visit your office and make it more difficult to obtain extensions.

L1 US visa employers now face increased unannounced site visits in anti-fraud operation

Reports have surfaced that United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is ‘quietly expanding’ its site visit program. The program involves USCIS agents conducting unannounced visits at the work sites of immigrants on certain types of US work visa to check compliance with US visa rules.

L1 visa regulations both for L1A executives and managers and for L1B specialized knowledge workers are extremely complex. It is very easy for an employer to fall foul of the regulations. Even if an employer has taken all reasonable steps to make sure that they comply with the L1 requirements it is still possible that an L1 employer will face problems.

UK Visas

The UK Tier 2 Visa scheme is difficult and complex to come under. Every year it seems to become even more expensive and bureaucratic to obtain a Tier 2 Visa and Tier 2 Sponsorship Licence. One bit of good news is that from 11 January 2018 it has become easier for tier 4 students with a tier 2 visa sponsor to switch to a tier 2 visa.

UK Tier 2 visa sponsorship licence compliance and loss risk for majority of UK businesses

New research warns that up to 95 percent of UK small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), hiring non-EU migrants on Tier 2 Visas, run the risk of losing their Tier 5 or Tier 2 visa sponsorship licence and face closure by the Home Office. As Brexit looms, it’s understood that less than 25 percent of SME companies are aware of the serious sanctions they face for failing to comply with sponsor licence regulations.

UK Visa Tier 2 Visa £1,000 Immigration Skills Charge from 6 April 2017

The new charge, announced in March 2016, is due to come into effect on 6 April, 2017. The Immigration Skills Charge is being put in place with a view to ‘incentivising employers to invest in training British staff’, according to a Home Office statement.

…Tier 2 visa applications will include a mandatory £1,000 fee for medium and large businesses per sponsored employee per year of sponsorship. However, for smaller businesses as well as educational, charitable and other similar institutions, a concession will be granted reducing the Immigration Skills Charge to £364…

Switching to a UK Tier 2 visa to be made easier for Tier 4 Visa international graduates

Please note changes FROM 11 JANUARY 2017

New government plans will make it easier for foreign students in the UK to apply to switch from within the UK from a Tier 4 visa to a Tier 2 skilled worker visa once they complete their course, rather than having to wait until they have confirmation that they have passed their exams.

Australian Visas

Australian skilled immigration remains an important visa route for many people. One change that will affect temporary workers is the more difficult work visa requirements in future.

Australian 457 visa scheme to be scrapped

The Australian Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, announced that his government will scrap the 457 visa scheme for skilled temporary foreign workers. A video posted on Mr Turnbull’s Facebook page said that his conservative government would ‘axe the 457 visa programme’ amid growing immigration concerns among voters.

Visas for other Countries

The Irish employment permit scheme is worth considering and is easier than the UK Tier 2 Visa scheme. We may provide a more detailed update for other Countries in future.

If you would like to apply for a visa, can help. is a specialist visa consultancy with almost thirty years of experience dealing with visa applications and is one of the top visa related websites in the world.

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The News and Media Team. – One of the world’s top immigration portals.