For Vincentians living in the UK, have a gander at these upcoming issues and events… they may very well be of interest to you! Anyone with details of other events, please email me (email@example.com) with the relevant information. Thanks!
Increase to UK Immigration and Nationality Application Fees
Changes to immigration regulations (including fees) will take place in April this year. On February 28, 2011, Immigration Minister Damian Green issued a written ministerial statement that proposes to increase immigration and nationality application fees for all those applying to study, visit, work or stay in the UK.
The new proposed fees will be laid in Parliament in two separate regulations. These fees will not come into force until they have been debated and approved in Parliament, but are due to take effect from 6 April 2011.
Under the current spending review, the Home Office is implementing a real terms reduction in budgets of up to 20 per cent. The UK Border Agency is already seeking to offset this income gap with efficiency savings of approximately £500 million by reducing support costs, increasing efficiencies, boosting productivity and improving value for money from commercial suppliers. It has been said that these measures will not go far enough; so to address the funding shortfall, the UK Border Agency will need to increase fees forthe 2011/12 financial year.
The UK Border Agency believes the proposals to increase fees continue to strike the right balance between maintaining secure and effective border controls, and ensuring that the fees structure does not inhibit the UK’s ability to attract those migrants and visitors that make a valued contribution.
Those who are eligible to apply for settlement/nationality should submit their applications by the end of March 2011, and should view this link.
Additionally, those who wish to submit applications for nationality (citizenship) should do so through the Nationality Checking Service – available through most councils. For more information concerning the NCS, click here.
UKBA – Settlement Checking Service Expanded
The UK Border Agency has announced the expansion of its recently introduced Settlement Checking Service (SCS). The service, which is delivered in partnership with certain Local Authorities in the UK, currently only checks applications made on Form SET (M), i.e. application as a spouse, civil partner, unmarried partner or same-sex partner of a person who is British or settled in the UK.
SCS does not offer immigration advice, however, it does benefit applicants by checking and returning their valuable documents. UKBA has stated that cases submitted through SCS are quicker to decide when compared with standard postal applications sent directly to them.
By the end of March 2011, a total of 24 local authorities will offer SCS. For details, visit this link.
The SCS complements the Nationality Checking Service, which provides a similar service for persons applying for British Citizenship. The High Commission recommends that persons wishing to apply for British citizenship or settlement consider using these services.
- March 12, 2011: HIGH WYCOMBE – hosted by Sands SDA Men Christian Fellowship. SVG National Heroes’ Day – Annual Spiritual Cultural Event, in aid of children ‘in need’. Will take place at the Trinity United Reformed Church, LONDON ROAD, High Wycombe, HP11 1BJ. The evening will commence with a spiritual aspec,t followed by refreshments and the cultural show. Tickets cost £7 (concession £3)
CONTACT: 01494 533605 or check the Facebook page for more info.
- May 2, 2011: LONDON – SVG and Friends Association will host a Family Fun day at the St. Ann’s Community Center, Tottenham. There will be fun and games for all ages, including a ‘Dominoes Master’s Tournament’
CONTACT: Denzil ‘Ladd’ Wainsborough 020 8467 1992.
- May 30, 2011: READING – join the SVGA Reading for Reading Carnival, slated to be held in Prospect Park. Make some noise for SVG! For further information check the group’s Facebook page.
- July 18, 2011: READING – SVGA Reading (in association with National Associations of SVGA) to host a Family Fun day at Cintra Park, off Christchurch road , near Reading University. It will be a fun day to be had by all the family – steel band and reggae music, Caribbean food on sale, egg and spoon, three legged race, cricket, football etc… There will be something for everyone!
CONTACT: Gloria – 0118 986 9587 or Duds 07813 004 302. More details available on the Facebook page.
- August 21, 2011: HIGH WYCOMBE – the Wycombe Action Group celebrates Wycombe African Caribbean Community Day. There will be music, food and entertainment.
CONTACT: Duds 07813 004 302.
- October 22, 2011: LONDON – SVG and Friends Association brings you ‘Vincy on the River’, celebrating St. Vincent and the Grenadines’s 33rd year of independence. Formal attire – black tie optional. Tickets available in advance only – cost TBA.
CONTACT: Ladd 020 8467 1992.
- December 3, 2011: LONDON – SVG and Friends Association will host a Christmas Social at the High Commission, 10 Kensington Court, London, W8 5DL. Ticket cost TBA.
CONTACT: Ladd 020 8467 1992.