A Y & J Solicitors celebrate recognition by Chambers UK
London-based immigration specialists A Y & J Solicitors are celebrating after being recognised as one of the leading UK law practices by Chambers and Partners UK Guide 2021.
Chambers – which provides in-depth analysis of law firms across the country-rated A Y & J Solicitors for its expertise in all aspects of immigration and the firm secured a position in Band 2 in the immigration: personal practice area.
The rankings were released after assessing the team on technical legal ability, value for money and other factors such as knowledge and experience, ability, effectiveness and client service by individual lawyers. Other qualities on which rankings are assessed include professional conduct, commercial astuteness, diligence and commitment.
Managing Director Yash Dubal is renowned for his work in areas such as Sponsor Licence, Global Talent Visa and Sole Representative Visa (the UK and India). One client commented, “The A Y & J team are a fantastic, boutique law firm – I really appreciated their professional, experienced approach.”
Mr Dubal has also been praised by clients and partners for his dedication and assistance to end immigration struggles in the UK. His careful observations, straightforward approach,
and bespoke legal advice has helped entrepreneurs, business owners, highly skilled workers and Global Talent Visa applicants.
Speaking of his delight at the Chambers and Partners ranking, Mr Dubal said, “I feel very proud of the team here at A Y & J Solicitors. After 10 years of practice, it’s an honour to have our work recognised and I believe it endorses our commitment to providing the best possible service to our clients.”
Chambers and Partners have been a trusted legal market source for more than 30 years, surveying and interviewing clients and lawyers across the United Kingdom to determine leaders in their field.
In the section, ‘what the team is known for’, Chambers and Partners described A Y & J Solicitors as a ‘specialist immigration firm known for its work on complex personal immigration matters. Acts for a range of private clients including highly skilled migrants, spouses and partners of British citizens and EEA nationals, and students. Particularly adept at challenging Home Office refusals regarding applications for residence cards and leave to remain’.
Applauding the firm’s strengths, Chambers added that, ‘A Y & J Solicitors is amazing. With more than 400+ reviews on Trustpilot and thank you cards sent by clients displayed in the review section, clients have given them excellent ratings and 4.9 stars. They hold a track record of handling clients timely and in a professional manner. Most of the clients say that if anyone is struggling with immigration issues they should consult A Y & J Solicitors. They give clients straight answers after analysing the case’.
Among those celebrating the good news at A Y & J Solicitors are practitioners Diana Todirica, Anita Salako, Shurui (Jenny) Han and the rest of the team. Yash Dubal is a key contact and also managing director of the organisation.
‘Talent crisis’ warning as immigration upheaval threaten the arts
The arts industry will face a talent crisis if it does not prepare for new immigration rules which will kick in within weeks.
There is already a skills shortage in the UK across several sectors, including ballet and contemporary dancers, choreographers, musicians, arts officers, producers and directors.
These key roles are on the government’s list of ‘shortage occupations’ – meaning that a green light has been given to recruit from abroad.
But a leading immigration expert has sounded the alarm as only three per cent of British companies have registered to employ overseas workers when the new changes come in on January 1st – which means they will be restricted from access to the best international talent after that date.
Mr Yash Dubal, director of London-based A Y & J Solicitors and an expert on Immigration and Visa law, suggests there is no time to lose to prepare for the new regulations.
Mr Dubal said, “The UK is rightly proud of its incredible arts industry. But if it wants to continue as one of the best in the world, then the industry must be able to recruit from the rich pool of international talent to help ensure our theatres and orchestras continue to thrive. Revised immigration and visa regulations will mean reduced access to the cream of the crop for those who are not prepared and a possible talent crisis.”
Some industry professionals have blamed the government’s lack of investment in the sector as a reason for there being a shortage of individuals who possess the very highest skills required by the likes of orchestras and dance companies – which had often meant recruiting from EU nations, until the spectre of Brexit created upheaval.
Now, UK employers wishing to hire skilled migrants must be registered on the government visa sponsor scheme when new immigration rules come into effect. Currently the scheme only applies to workers from outside Europe but after January 1, 2021, all overseas workers will require a visa under the new Points-Based Immigration System.
Worryingly, Mr Dubal, believes that not enough is being done by the government to raise awareness and he says that many employers are unaware of the requirement to register.
He said, “While there has been a campaign about the new points-based system, hardly any of it has been aimed at employers to tell them that they need to register if they plan to hire skilled workers from abroad next year.”
Mr Dubal believes that the current sponsor registration system needs to be overhauled to make it easier and cheaper for British employers to recruit skilled migrants and bridge the skills gap. Currently, businesses must pay Immigration Skill Charge (ISC) between £364 to £1000 per year for each skilled overseas worker they employ.
“The Home Office does not make it easy and there seems to be a policy of discouragement. British companies are facing personnel shortages. The problem can be addressed by hiring from abroad, where there is a huge and highly skilled pool to pick from. It makes good sense to make this hiring process easy.”
A Y & J Solicitors excels in The Legal 500
A Y & J Solicitors has been ranked as one of the top law firms in London in the prestigious Legal 500.
The immigration and visa specialists have been classed as one of the top ten firms in the UK Capital in their respective category of practice.
The Legal 500 is one of the world’s most respected legal directories. It produces an annual ranking of the best-performing and best-rated legal businesses globally which highlights the practices providing the most cutting-edge and innovative advice and services. Positions on the list are based on feedback from 300,000 clients worldwide, submissions from law firms and interviews with leading private practice lawyers, and a team of researchers who have unrivalled experience in the legal market.
Remarking on A Y & J Solicitors, The Legal 500 stated: “A Y & J Solicitors supports businesses across the IT, financial services, hotel and retail and sports sectors. Key areas of work include advising on the overturning of Tier 2 suspensions and revocations and assisting Tier 2 and Tier 5 sponsor licence holders. Yash Dubal leads the practice, while ‘highly professional, caring and very honest’ senior associate Diana Todirica is head of the operation.”
A Y & J Solicitors director, Yash Dubal, said: “Inclusion in the Top Ten is a reward for the whole team who work energetically to offer excellent support to our customers. I am grateful for all their hard work.
“Being in The Legal 500 recognises that we are skillful, niche-driven and caring value providers. It has been a rewarding year as we were also shortlisted in the Institute of Directors Awards. We are thankful to our customers for their trust in us. It has been a challenging year for everyone but we plan to continue growing and developing in 2021.”
About A Y & J Solicitors: A Y & J Solicitors are based in London and have a global clientele, serving both individuals and organisations. We advise on all immigration law including all aspects of sponsor license applications and all aspects of visa applications.
We have a trust rating of 9.8 out of 10.0 from 500+ reviews on TrustPilot.
For more information call +44 7448 5656 70 or email [email protected]
MAC Review identifies British need for foreign tradesmen after British
British firms will need to employ foreign tradesmen such as electricians, bricklayers and butchers after Brexit because of shortages. The country will also be reliant on migrant car mechanics, physiotherapists, and foreign language teachers. These occupations, along with others such as lab technicians, pharmacists and meat hygiene inspectors, are set to be included in a list of jobs that qualify for work visa eligibility. They are identified in a review by the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) published today (Sept 29).
The review recommends that the occupations should be added to the official Home Office Shortage Occupations List (SOL) to make it easier for migrants to apply for work visas to fill vacancies. The existing SOL also includes engineers, programmers, web designers, medical practitioners, artists, dancers and nurses.
The MAC review predicts that when free movement of people ends after Brexit on January 1, 2021, several sectors within the economy will face manpower pressures. It particularly highlights shortages in the care sector and recommends numerous care sector jobs be added to the SOL, including senior care workers, residential, day and domiciliary care managers and proprietors. The review warns that low wages in social care mean most frontline occupations in the sector are ineligible for the skilled worker route. It calls on the sector to make jobs more attractive to UK workers by increasing salaries rather than relying on migrants, particularly during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Care sector stakeholders have predicted staff shortages will put huge strain on both health and social care as the British population ages. One projection is that the 65 and over age group will increase from 10.2 million in 2018 to 14.1 million by 2035, requiring a further 580,000 jobs. Another predicts that the 75 and over demographic is set to grow by 50 percent and would require a further 800,000 jobs.
Immigration specialist Yash Dubal, Director of A Y & J Solicitors, is calling for the MAC to recommend reclassifying care workers and home carers as medium skilled workers, a move that will allow care homes to fill vacancies with overseas workers.
He said: “It would be greatly welcomed if the Government, with a recommendation from the MAC, was to reclassify care workers and home carers up from the lower-skilled classification they currently hold. They could then be added to the SOL and foreign workers could be sponsored at a lower salary of £20,480, rather than the minimum £25,600 needed under the new points-based system. This would then become affordable for the care industry which could remain competitive and continue providing care for those who need it the most and who get little government support.
“If the current system remains, the care sector is in danger of collapse due to rising costs and lack of the right staff. In April last year one of Britain’s largest care home groups, Four Seasons Health Care, went into administration and we could see more.”
Mr Dubal also believes the numbers of migrants needed in the UK could increase after Brexit.
He explains: “This report shows that there continues to be shortages of skilled workers in around 70 professions in the UK, with more being added. Only a few have been removed so the trend is towards a skills shortage, not surplus. In order to keep the economy strong and globally competitive, those workers have to come from somewhere, and if they are not in the UK, they will come from overseas.
“At A Y & J Solicitors, we have actually seen a rise in the number of skilled workers from overseas applying for UK work visas, not a reduction, and I expect that trend to continue.
“Unfortunately, there will be a lot of job losses due to coronavirus and its effects, but these will be concentrated in the retail, leisure, travel and hospitality sectors, not those on the SOL. People may retrain of course, but in the interim employers will look internationally to fill their vacancies.”
Occupations on the SOL are subject to different, more favourable, migration arrangements, enabling employers to access a wider pool of suitable workers, more quickly. Candidates from overseas applying for jobs in these fields are eligible for work visas under the skilled worker route.
The MAC provides independent, evidence-based advice on migration issues to the Government, and was commissioned to consider what medium-skill occupations should be included ahead of the introduction of a points-based immigration system on 1 January 2021.
The review also recommends that several agri-food sector occupations be added to a Northern Ireland-only SOL, as after Brexit, firms in Northern Ireland will face competition from those across the border in Ireland which will retain access to unrestricted labour from the EU.
UK needs Indian talent as the Fourth Industrial Revolution ‘charges ahead’
The global pandemic has thrown working lives in the air as we grapple with the ‘new normal’ and find ourselves looking for certainty in an uncertain employment world.
One thing that is certain is that companies will become more digitally-driven than ever ahead of what the World Economic Forum has dubbed the ‘Great Reset’ of economies and societies.
And while the disruption of lockdown turned many traditional working practices on their head, there are big opportunities in the UK for those with the talent to remodel the future on a digital footing.
Yash Dubal, director of London-based A Y & J Solicitors and a UK expert on Immigration and Visa Law, believes the British jobs market will see an urgent need for highly skilled workers from India in key sectors as the nation finds its feet in a post-COVID world. And he says that this demand can be addressed by India’s huge and skilled international workforce.
Mr Dubal says: “For the tech community, this is an absolutely key time. The way we work has change immeasurably in just a few short months and the World Economic Forum’s description of a Fourth Industrial Revolution now seems more apt than ever. It’s happening now and it’s charging ahead.
“Though this has brought hardship to some, and wreaked havoc for some of our industries, there are still great opportunities in the workforce. Look at the importance of the IT department; with so many people now working from home, they have taken on a vital new position as enablers of business. Increased workloads on IT will, I am sure, see an increase in demand for IT professionals.
“There has always been a demand for highly-skilled talent in areas such as artificial intelligence (AI) and data science, and I strongly believe this will continue to be the case post-pandemic.
“There was already an accepted need for businesses to improve productivity via digitalization but, after COVID, we will see that speed up at a rate of which no-one would have dreamed possible before. The only thing that could hold UK industry up is a lack of the highly skilled people with the vision to make it a reality.”
However, Mr Dubal warns that UK firms wanting to hire the best tech talent from abroad could face a shock after January next year, as only three per cent of businesses are currently eligible to employ overseas workers.
UK employers wishing to hire skilled migrants must be registered on the government visa sponsor scheme when new immigration rules come into effect next year. Currently the scheme only applies to workers from outside Europe but after 1st January 2021, all overseas workers will require a visa under the new Points-Based Immigration System.
Mr Dubal adds: “There has been a big campaign about the new points-based system, but hardly any of it has been aimed at employers to tell them that they need to register if they plan to hire skilled workers from abroad next year. There is already a shortfall in tech talent in the UK. The danger is that, from next year, there will be a double whammy effect of a rapidly digitilised market, but with UK firms unable to hire the talent they need due to visa issues. My advice to those firms is to act now, get the sponsor licence to avoid skilled personnel shortages.”
Sponsor Shortfall: Are we ready for post-Brexit skill gap?
New figures show that the number of British firms applying for permission to employ migrants has remained static since the start of the year, despite Government attempts to prepare businesses for new immigration rules.
The figures released by the Home Office suggest that thousands of employers will be caught out when Britain leaves the EU on January 1 2021. From next year, all British businesses that employ migrant workers will have to be Home Office approved. Previously, under free movement principles, firms employing EU workers have not had to register.
Research by immigration specialist A Y & J Solicitors show only a tiny rise in the numbers registered to become official Home Office visa sponsors. The total figure constitutes around two percent of all British business. The lack of uptake in the sponsorship scheme suggests the vast majority of UK firms will be unable to employ skilled migrants from next year, despite the Government’s assertion that the new immigration system is designed to attract the ‘brightest and best’ from around the world.
The latest figures, released this week, show 29,514 enterprises are registered to sponsor applicants on Tier 2 visas. Tier 2 is the main immigration route for working in the UK and is for skilled workers with a job offer. Visa sponsorship is required by an employer and the visa is linked to a specific job. At the start of the year the figure stood at 28,734. House of Commons business statistics show that there are 1.4 million private sector employers in the UK, which means only 2% are in a position to employ new arrivals next year.
Immigration specialist and A Y & J Solicitor Director Yash Dubal said: “The messages encouraging businesses to apply for sponsorship to make the most of the global skills pool appears to have fallen on deaf ears. These figures show a negligible rise in percentage terms. I fear the result will either be an influx of new applications in the last months of the year, which the Home Office could struggle to process, or many businesses that will find themselves unable to employ the calibre of international worker they require because they haven’t got the correct paperwork.”
UK Immigration routes open early for International students
International students planning to study in the UK next year will be able to apply for visas from next month. The UK government announced that the new Student route and Child Student route will open on October 5th. The application process for both routes has been simplified for applicants and the education institutions that sponsor them. The early introduction of the scheme aims to give students and universities time to get visas in place for January 2021.
It is a UK policy goal to attract “the brightest and the best from around the world” after the country leaves the EU on December 31 this year and international students play a pivotal role in the Government’s plan to upscale the UK’s potential. The country hopes to attract 600,000 international higher education students by 2030. Applications to the new student routes will be made through the new points-based immigration system.
Benefits of the new system include:
- Equal treatment for all students: Post-Brexit, students from all countries will be treated equally.
- Streamlined processes: The Government promotes the point-based system as flexible and simplified.
- Opportunities to stay post-study: The government plans to launch the Graduate route in the summer of 2021, which helps retain talent within the country.
- Offers to stay: Students with a record of compliance who have completed a degree at a UK HE provider will be offered the chance to stay and work at any skill level for two years (three years for PhD graduates). They also have an option to switch into work routes if they find a suitable job.
- Unlimited visa: There will be no cap on the number of international student visas issued.
Under the points-based system, students will require 70 points to attain a visa. Points are awarded for factors including offers from an approved educational institution, ability to speak English, and the ability to self-support.
Barbara Wickham, Director of the British Council in India, said the new student routes will pave a way for thousands of Indian students wishing to study in the UK.
Visa applications can be complex and confusing. If you need help, our expert legal advisors are available to offer expertise and guidance.
Issue of UK Tier 1 (Investor) plummets during Covid-19 lockdown quarter
For decades, the UK has been one of the attractive markets for foreign investment. Every year, individuals travel to the country to leverage ever-changing investment environments. On that note, the UK government offers a unique combination of investment and immigration opportunities to boost the UK’s economy and promote growth.
The concept of Tier 1 (investor) is one of the unique combinations by the UK Government which came into effect on 30 June 2008. This is an immigration route to attract foreign investors. However, the novel Coronavirus has severely impacted migrant priorities which are easily reflected in the migration statistics shared by Shard Capital. The data reflects the leftward shift in migration habits of other countries except for America and Asia which contemplate factors like the respective nation’s handling of the virus, and the solidity of the nation’s healthcare systems.
A shift in American Migrants
Investment migration has declined altogether. But it may come as no surprise to those who are keeping a tab on the inflow and outflow of migrants. More and more Americans are bringing wealth and keeping the UK economy afloat. According to the industry experts, they are optimistic about the inflow of American investors which will be reflected in the period of Q4’20-Q1’21.
More property acquisition by Asian Investors
Till 2018, billions of pounds were invested in property and businesses by the Asian market. Even in times of crisis, investments by Asian investors are booming and the credit goes to Brexit. The Great British Pounds dropped considerably which has attracted Asian investors to invest more. For the first time, the number of passport holders from Hong Kong SAR surpassed the number of applicants from Mainland China.
An Asian investor can reap a reward during the transition from the freedom of movement to the points-based system. However, there are several other challenges that one investor needs to consider when the country is actually propelling through the crisis of Coronavirus.
Undoubtedly the weakening of the pound has encouraged more and more Asian investments in the UK. But profoundly lower interest rates can raise alarm in terms of return on investment. The ongoing economic crisis under COVID-19 can make it harder for investors to yield good profits. It could even take a longer time for the economy to recover if the second wave of Coronavirus hits the nation. Moreover, the economic transition due to Brexit can impact the portfolio. So, it is very important to assess the current economic climate before withdrawing any investment from the UK.
Understanding Tier 1 Visa Requirements
Come and take advantage of Tier 1 Investor Visa which is primarily designed for high net worth individuals from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland who wish to invest £2,000,000 or more by entering and remaining in the UK. The individual must:
- be 18 or over to apply for the visa,
- be able to provide evidence that the money belongs to a spouse, unmarried, or same-sex partner.
- have an account at a UK regulated bank.
The funds must be held in one or more regulated institutions. The fund must be free to spend in the UK. Those individuals who are already holding a Tier 4 general visa can also apply for a Tier 1 Investor Visa. However, they will need to undergo an unconditional agreement with the financial sponsor if their living costs and course fees are paid by the government.
Please note that visa applications can be complex. So, get in touch with an experienced team of immigration solicitors who can navigate the complexities of the immigration route. Hire A Y & J Solicitors which will be your first step towards your successful Tier 1 (investor) visa application.