Hi {name}

I hope everyone enjoyed their Easter break. There has been a lot of activity in the news this pass month surrounding the dos and don’ts of Brexit, as well as Amber Rudd now investigating retrospectively Investor visas issued to Russia nationals particulars before the rules were tightened in 2015. I envisage some changes being implemented in the Tier 1 Investor visa category as a result of these investigations. I will keep my eye out for any changes and report them.

Also this
month I have the pleasure of including an article from one of my colleagues Amber Discombe, who is the Business Development Manager at Halo Financial that I hope you find interesting.


All the best Narinder
It’s been a busy month for the currency markets, with Sterling and the US Dollar on a rollercoaster ride
Brexit is the big bear that won’t budge

There’s no getting away from it: the key catalyst in any exchange rate movements between the GBPEUR currency pair is Brexit. Positive or negative rhetoric, discussions and decisions as the UK-EU negotiations play out are carving a path for these currency partners, strengthening and weakening Sterling in equal measure.

Turbulent times for the Euro

The Euro makes up one side of some 34% of FX swap transactions, so, while this pales in comparison to the US Dollar’s 91%, it still makes up a considerable share of the currency markets, and economic performance and political activity in the Eurozone not only affect the strength of the Euro, but can have noticeable effects on other currencies.
Besides Brexit, the European Central Bank’s (ECB) approach to monetary policy is often a market mover – the current cautious attitude is, for the most part, keeping the Euro on the back foot.

Political uncertainty continues for Eurozone

The aftermath of the German and Italian elections are also still a concern for the Eurozone and the Euro, and recent economic disappointments from Germany – their major producer – have kept the Euro under pressure.
The Eurozone is still in recovery mode, with a mixed bag of economic data being released and markets considering further troubles for the Euro in the weeks ahead, given the myriad political pressures. Strong economic data coming through is helping boost the Euro on occasion, as we have seen just recently, but the overall cautious stance of global currency markets is reflected in the single currency’s performance.

British Pound still tied to Brexit – will April see it strengthen?

The Pound has remained cool under pressure in the current market, having dipped against the US Dollar and then climbed its way back up again. Sterling strength to date has been all down to any positive Brexit developments, and the Pound remains vulnerable to any shocks from difficult conversations and negative murmurs that filter from the negotiations.

Success for Sterling

Recent weeks have seen strength and success for Sterling, however, as confirmation of a Brexit transition agreement and a more proactive stance from the Bank of England (BoE) on interest rates have helped the British currency to climb against a raft of major currencies, including the Euro, US Dollar and Australian Dollar. Markets have been buoyed by this vote of confidence for the UK economy and the Pound has benefitted. Positive economic data, in the revision of Gross Domestic Product growth upwards to 1.8%, is also helping balance the Pound against its major currency partners.

Will the Pound push upwards?

Markets are debating whether the traditional upswing for the Pound will happen again this April; something we’ve traditionally seen at the start of springtime in the UK. The Pound often pushes up in April, and it seems to happen regardless of the economic and political context. However, could Brexit be big enough to tether the Pound on its travels next month?

Currency markets remain cautious

Markets are in a cautious mood, with several key economic and political discussions and announcements still on the cards and trade tensions globally, all alongside the waiting game for confirmation of the Brexit transition deal and further negotiations playing out.

If you’re moving to the UK, or wanting to transfer currency between countries, contact our partners, Halo Financial, on +44 (0)20 7350 5473 www.halofinancial.com. They can help you assess the currency markets to make the most of your money and make your currency exchange quickly, safely and securely.
Brexit: Settled status and citizens’ rights
 
On the 21st March 2018 the European Union and the UK agreed the Draft agreement on the Withdrawal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from the European Union and the European Atomic Energy community.
 
The Draft agreement confirms what EU citizens in the UK should expect now and throughout the transitional phase beginning on the 29th March 2019 and the requirements to ensure continued lawful residence after the transition ends on the 31st December 2020.
 
The Draft agreement ensures that EU citizens and their family members who are legally residing in the UK by either working, self employed, students, or those with retained rights will remain protected under the Draft agreement.
The UK can require EU citizens and their family members living in the UK to apply for new residence status which cannot be more stringent than set out in the Draft Agreement and the as previous referred to in my February newsletter will be known as settled status.
 
The Draft agreement confirms the following;
 
·        EU citizens who have resides in the UK lawfully for five years before the 31 December 2020 will be entitled to “settled status” to protect their continued right to reside in the UK
·        The settled status will not be automatic even for those with permanent residence and they will be required to make an application. However those with permanent residence will be asked to complete the form to switch status, which will be free of charge and their Immigration history will not be reassessed
·        Those who arrive from the EU before the 31 December 2020 but have not lived in the UK for a period of five years will be allowed to apply for temporary status, which will be known as “pre settled status” to enable them to secure five years residence. They can then apply for settled status
·        EU citizens who live in the UK as self employed persons or students will not need to show they have or had comprehensive health insurance during their qualifying period
·        EU citizens who do not apply before the deadline without serious or good reason will be residing in the UK without permission and subject to removal
·        EU citizens and family members who acquire new criminal convictions or issues affecting their character from the 31 December 2020 will be subject to assessments under the UK Immigration rules and could see their documents revoked and if not removed from the UK banned from applying for British citizenship
·        Family members who are residing in the UK before 31 December 2020 will be able to continue to reside in the UK. some specific family members will be allowed to join EU citizens after the 31 December 2020
 
Family member who arrive before the 31st December 2020 are covered by the Draft agreement. Family members such as pre existing spouses, civil partners, those in a durable relationship, child or grandchildren under 21, dependent children and grandchild over the age of 21 and dependent direct relative in the ascending line can arrive after the 31 December 2020. Adopted children and uncles, aunts, brothers and sisters must all ready be residing in the UK to be included in the Draft agreement.
 
EU citizens and their family members who are residing outside the UK at 31 December 2020 will retain their rights to reside in the UK so long as they have permanent residence at the time of being aboard. Under the Draft agreement those who have permanent residence and reside aboard can do so for a period of five years without this affecting their permanent residence. Whereas at present it is only two years before one can lose their permanent residence status. Anyone who considers the UK will be their long-term home after Brexit should apply for permanent residence to secure their status.
 
There are still many areas that have not been addressed and we will have to wait and see what further announcements are made. The upshot of the Draft agreement for me is that if one qualifies for permanent residence apply now, as who wants to become entangled with the Home Office at the same time as 300,000 other EU citizens in the same boat as oneself. The Home Office can barely function adequately now and I envisage errors and long delays the closer we come to Brexit.

Comprehensive Sickness Insurance for EEA nationals exercising their Treaty rights as a Self Sufficient person or Student

The Home Office can accept an EEA national or their family member as having Comprehensive Sickness Insurance (CSI) if they hold any form of insurance that will cover the costs of the majority of medical treatment they may receive in the UK.

The definition of CSI does not include: cash back health schemes, such as dental, optical, prescription charges, travel insurance policies, access to the UK’s NHS

Individuals who must have comprehensive sickness insurance according to Regulation 4(1)(c)(ii) and (d)(ii) of the Immigration EEA Regulations 2016 are those that are nationals living in the UK as self-sufficient people or students.

Regulation 4(2) of the regulations states that CSI must also cover the family members of self-sufficient persons. From 6 April 2015 (implemented in practice from 22 June 2015), this also applies to the family members of students.

Following the changes to the EEA Regulations 2016, regulation 4(4) has been amended to include dependent children of primary carers as well as primary carers for the purposes of regulation 16(2). This means that there is a requirement for all family members, who are dependent on that child for a right of residence, to hold CSI.

Family members of British citizens under regulation 9 must have CSI if the British citizen intends to be economically inactive in the UK on their return. As British citizens have free access to the NHS they would not be required to hold CSI.

If the following persons do not provide evidence of CSI their applications will be refused:

• a self sufficient person or any of their family members
• a student or any of their family members
• family members dependent on a child under regulation 16(2) (Chen)
• family members of British citizens where the British citizen is economically

The Home Office guidance indicates individuals must provide one of the following documents to show they have CSI:

a comprehensive private medical insurance policy document
a valid European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) issued by an EEA member state other than the UK (for people temporarily in the UK)
Form S1
Form S2
F
orm S3

The documents or a combination of these documents covering the 5 continuous year’s residence in the UK will be sufficient to meet the requirements.

If an individual provides a valid form of the above medical insurance as evidence of CSI, it must have been issued by a member state other than the UK, because the member state that issued the card will cover the cost of treatment.  The card should have a valid from date or a letter from the member state should be secured to confirm the valid from date.

According to Home Office guidance individuals do not need a statement of intent with their permanent residence applications as at the permanent residence stage the Home Office is deciding if the applicant has already acquired a right of permanent residence in the UK. Therefore the individual’s intentions for the future are irrelevant. In these circumstances, individuals only need to provide evidence to show they had an EHIC for the whole of their 5 years continuous residence, hence the importance of the valid from date.

I think this is great news for those who may not have private health care cover but have secured the European Health Insurance card.

 

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