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Under the Conservative government, tough immigration changes will take effect from this Autumn as well as in April 2016. Here are how the changes could affect you:


Immigration status can now impact certain aspects of your daily  life with your passport being checked more often. For example, civil penalties could be given to employers if they do not carry out relevant checks, landlords have begun checks of legal status in a pilot scheme being launched in the Midlands before a UK wide roll-out next year and the DVLA can check your immigration status and revoke your license. Additionally the health surcharge charges migrants to gain access to the NHS in the visa application. You could be denied leave to remain if in debt with the NHS.


Theresa May announced changes this month to the Tier 4 route for non EEA students. From August 2015 university students wishing to study a new course at the same level can only do so when there’s a link to their previous course or the university confirms that this supports their career aspirations. Additionally from November 2015 college students are banned from extending their Tier 4 UK visas unless they are studying at an ‘embedded college’, one which has a formal, direct link to a university that is recognised by the Home Office. This will require them to leave and apply for a new visa (including Tier 2 or 5) from outside the UK if they wish to come back for study or work. You can read the full changes on the Gov UK website.


From 6 April 2016, skilled non-EEA worker with Tier 2 (General) visas will only be eligible to stay in the UK as a permanent resident (Indefinite Leave to Remain) if they earn a salary of at least £35,000. It applies to those who have come to the UK since April 2011 with a Tier 2 (General) visa. This is known to hit nurses particularly hard. Exemptions include those who have a job in the Shortage Occupation List and people who have a Tier 2 (Minister of Religion) or Intra-Company Transfer (ICT) visa. The government has also indicated that it aims to raise the minimum salary thresholds of ICT visas. 

Get help with all your visa queries and ask an expert your immigration questions on

An ‘important information’ leaflet providing essential guidance on protecting passports from traffickers will be issued to all new British passport holders from March.

17th February 2015: New amendments to the Modern Slavery Bill will ensure that victims of modern slavery receive the best possible support and protection, Minister for Modern Slavery and Organised Crime, Karen Bradley has said.

13th February 2015: All front line professionals in the UK will have a mandatory duty to report suspected cases of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).

Home Office will “no longer overlook lengthy periods of unlawful residence” while processing British citizenship applications,” Immigration and Security Minister James Brokenshire said.

Home Secretary Theresa May has unveiled a new domestic abuse offence of coercive and controlling behaviour within relationships.

Do you work in the UK and send money to home abroad? If you use money services regularly, are you sure you’re getting your money’s worth? Have you really found the cheapest way to send money abroad? It is important to look at all the options available, so that your hard earned money is not being spent on a bad remittance service. Here are 5 signs that you may be wasting your money on Transfer Services when transferring money from the UK to your country:

1. You do not know what an Exchange Rate Margin is

Banks have an ‘official rate’ for trading, otherwise known as a inter-bank rate but each transfer operator applies their own rate when exchanging your currency. The difference between the official rates and the applied rate could be as little as 0.001 cent per unit, but remember not to underestimate that because it can cost you dearly once you multiply it by how much you’re sending.

2. You always rely on INSTANT money transfer services

Do you really need to send money instantly?

An instant transfer from the UK to your country will cost a larger transfer fee and an exchange rate fee, for example if transferring through Western Union. If you opt for next day transfer, the transfer fee will be cheaper and the exchange fee will remain constant. Just imagine how much money you’re losing if you use instant money transfer services regularly.

3. You believe you can find a deal with Zero Transfer Fees

Zero Transfer Fees don't exist. Banks and transfer operators do not do free transfers. You think you are getting the best exchange rate from the UK to your country, but whatever they don’t charge as a ‘fee’ is recovered—sometimes as much as three times more— through high currency exchange rate margins.

As a consumer, the best thing you can do is equip yourself with information so you know what’s actually going on and so you don't waste your money on phony advertising claims.

4. You have not changed money transfer services in many years

You might always use MoneyGram because they have branches near you. But have you considered what the cost of that loyalty?

Because you haven’t checked other options, you may not know that there are cheaper, faster or more reliable money transfer operators around.

It’s hard to entrust your money to a company you may not know. To get over your doubts, try sending a small amount first. See if that works. Then you can see whether it’s worth switching or not.

5. You have not compared the rates

Not all remittance services are the same. Their rates, reliability and their service fees will vary so it’s wrong to assume that one is just as good as the other.


Migreat in partnership with TawiPay has a free money transfer comparison service that enables you to find the cheapest way to send money abroad


FestivalAsiaLondon’s largest indoor festival covering all Asian countries is for the first time ever, in the UK at Tobacco Dock, London on May 15th-17th 2015.

With over 150 exhibitors over the course of three days, the pioneering FestivalAsia will incorporate Asian food, fashion, spirituality, art, music, performance, culture, artefacts, massage stalls, yoga vendors, henna artists, clothes, spices, meditation rooms, and even speed-dating!

The unique focus of FestivalAsia’s embraces the diversity of all Asian Cultures from many of the 29 countries making up the continent.

Festival Asia takes place at Tobacco Dock, London, E1W 2SF. Nearest stations are Tower Hill, Wapping or Shadwell.

You can purchase your tickets in advance on the FestivalAsia website.

16th February 2015: We’d like to appeal to all our readers to help trace a 14-year-old girl with learning difficulties who went missing from Mill Hill.

10th February 2015: More than 400 people attended the third annual British Muslim Awards in Worcestershire. The ceremony was presented by award winning TV chef, Ajmal Mushtaq and featured a special performance from UK’s funniest Asian comedian, Mani Laiqat and artist Naseem Khan.

23rd January 2015: Zahida Ali, a 29-year-old girl has gone missing from East Ham. She was last seen on 19th January 2015 at around 11:00 at her family's address in Plaistow.

The Evelyn Oldfield Unit, a London-based support group is looking for volunteers on the innovative e3 English Language project.

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