Visa fees to increase

25 February 2013

Today, Immigration Minister Mark Harper laid a written ministerial statement proposing fee increases for visa applications made overseas, and applications made in the UK.

The proposals laid in Parliament today and on 14 March, subject to Parliamentary approval, will take effect from 6 April 2013.

Immigration Minister, Mark Harper said:

‘These increases are mostly in line with inflation and will ensure that the UK continues to welcome the brightest and the best. It is only right that those who use and benefit from the immigration system should contribute more than the UK taxpayer.’

The proposed fee increases takes place against a difficult financial context for the UK Border Agency and the government as a whole. We believe our proposals to increase fees strike the right balance between ensuring the UK Border Agency continues to provide a world class service and maintaining a fees structure that does not inhibit the UK’s ability to continue to attract those businesses, migrants and visitors who most benefit the UK.

These adjustments will also allow us to improve our levels of customer service and deliver a high quality immigration service at a challenging time for public finances across the UK.

A full table of the proposed fees is included in the written ministerial statement.

increases cn be found here

 You may also not be aware that the courier  service that is being used to send back passports with Uk visa maybe not be deliverable to your address,  Many Ukrainians come to the visa center from small towns and villages,  for example  we live in a town of 40.000 plus, too small to have an office of the courier company, the outcome even when you pay is that you will have to use another address, which probably means another trip to collect from the adressee. I have learnt that a  the same family whiich is treated as such by the visa center wont send both back together yes you have to pay to separate courier fees, the whole thing is a rip off in my opinion



??????????????????????????????? ???????????????????????????????just receiving my new Cambridge Sciences StarPAD tablet, from Kele founder of the company and Gary technical director, its brilliant, well pleased, does just what it says on the box and more this is the bees knees, more later as I get used to its many wonderful functions and about half the price of some of the more well know makes, that have less to offer in the way of performance and specs.

had great evening in the Hare and Hounds in Claygate always a warm welcome from Nick and his team, Food is terrific here as well

I travelled back to Ukraine last week after a busy period in UK launching on radio the Biggest, Baddest, Bucket List for My Destination, 

enloyed the  interviews, did 12 in one day on radio with Neil Waller founder of MY DESTINATION Who are enjoying great success with this amazing offer? There is still time to enter to travel to 25 destinations on 5 continents, all expenses paid, and after writing a blog whilst on the trip and completing some tasks like, flying over the grand canyon in a helicopter, well someone has to do it. On return a $50,000 cash payment yours to do as you wish with.

I travelled back with Ukraine International Airlines had the usual delightful flight, pleasant  and very helpful cabin crew, good meal as is the norm for UIA. Took off a little late, arrived on time. Still puzzled why the border control checks passports of every Ukriane flight leaving Gatwick, surely people are leaving, and I am told they check UK passports just to be seem not to discriminate, just yet another irritation on the bureaucracy of travel. I understand that while David Cameron has promised to help Indian passport holders wishing to visit UK by speeding up the process and lessening the red tape, why not for Ukrainian Passport holders, who after April will yet again have to pay more for visa’s for Uk, how fair is that. The Minister states that it will bring a better class of immigrant and tourist to UK.

Looking forward to Burns Night on 9th March in Kiev at the Accor centre looks to be a good night in the brewing.

Travel back to Uk on 11th March to visit my destinations and Hills Balfour. The UK’s Leading Travel PR Agency.

 Looking forwards  to travel to Kenya  Seychelles in April.




I have been going too Hare and Hounds for over 7 years. It is a good English pub with a great atmosphere and terrific ambience. The pub has very pleasant seating outside, and in good weather is entirely attractive with hanging flower baskets, in the centre of an attractive village square. I sat there yesterday with a couple of old friends from Ukraine, enjoyed the sun and the well kept beer, I had the Bombadier a truly good pint, They have a good selection of traditional ales and lagers, supported by an excellent wine list liquers and spirits. The bar food has a varied menu, with steak night, curry night, kids menu and, a Sunday roast menu. The daily menu has a dish to suit all tastes well prepared, served by smiling pleasant and helpful staff.
Mine host Nick is a good landlord of well known repute, its as pleasure always to come back to the Hare and Hounds for a drinlk, a friendly chat and on some evenings good live bands playing music people like to hear. Nick and his team run a great pub thats for sure.
I have enclosed the pub menu, it is really good,it is always advisable to have a reservation especially on steak , curry and Sunday lunchtime.
I would recomend thiis pub to anyone, they allow kids and dogs that are kept under control, the essence of your village pub.


Moroccan Spiced Lamb Burger with grilled haloumi cheese, tzatziki and chips £11.00 Chicken and Chorizo skewers with fries £10.00 Smoked Haddock Risotto with mushrooms, parmesan and a poached egg £11.00 V) Vegetable & Herb Frittata with garlic bread £9.50 Bangers & Mash Cumberland sausages, wholegrain mustard mash, onion gravy & confit red cabbage £10.00 Chicken Burger with avocado, bacon and cheddar cheese served with homemade coleslaw and chips £10.50 Fish and Chips deep fried cod in ‘Wainwrights Golden ale’ batter with chips and mushy peas £11.00 Homemade Ground Steak Burger topped with grilled bacon and Cheddar, served with Homemade Ground Steak Burger – topped with grilled bacon and Cheddar, served with homemade coleslaw and chips £10.50 SUMMER LIGHT BITES Blackened Chicken Caesar Salad with smoked bacon, Parmesan shavings and homemade Caesar dressing £8.95 Smoked Mackerel Salad with vegetable crisp and horseradish cream dressing £8.95 Melon & Parma Ham Salad with chilli and mango dressing £8.95 Tuna Nicoise Salad sweet peppers, potatoes, tomatoes, onions, French beans, tuna, egg and olives £8.95 (V) Quiche Provencale aubergine, mixed peppers & courgette quiche with fries and salad £8.50 V) Omelette cheese and mushroom omelette with fries & salad £7.95 SIDES Sautéed Seasonal Vegetables £2.50 Rocket and Parmesan Salad £2.50 Garlic Bread £2.50 Chips or Fries £2.50 DESSERTS Fresh Strawberry Tart £5.50 Dark Chocolate Fudgecake with vanilla ice cream £5.50 Lavender Crème Brulee £5.50 Homemade Profiteroles with ice cream and chocolate sauce £5.50 Apple and Pear Crumble with vanilla ice cream or crème anglaise £5.50 Warm Chocolate Fondant with Baileys ice cream £5.50 Selection of English and French Cheese £6.95 Glace et Sorbets variety of ice creams and sorbets £3.95 TEA COFFEE & LIQUEUR COFFEES Tea – Breakfast, Peppermint, Camomile or Green £2.25 Filter Coffee, Espresso £2.25 Cappuccino, Double Espresso, Macchiato £2.50 Latte, Hot Chocolate
I would recommend the Hare and Hounds



Prizes for Burns Night 2013

I have had terrific response from my friends in Kenya, Seychelles and UK. I will ask you to look at these links and when you feel you would like to travel to either of these please contact me or the links directly I am 100% certain that you will rest assured of the best possible service and the best in your destinations. Happy travels Please leave comments as these fabulous venues have graciously and kindly donated for us. Thank you my dear friend’s these will produce much needed funds to help towards trhe children of Ukraine

Seychelles    wonderful    the best inbound tour operator bar none.


Arranged by Perrie Hennessy at Island Camp!/IslandCampBaringo?sk=wall


Kerio valley



Arranged by Mike Kirkland Chairman and Torben Rune Managing Director Southern Cross Safari’s Mombasa Voted “Best Tour Operator in Kenya” 4 Years in a row by Travel News Magazine readers

And Chris Modigell General Manager Par excellence at Leopard Beach Hotel Diani Beach Mombasa


Saturday                              Depart Nairobi after lunch for Satao Elerai. Dinner and overnight Satao Elerai (FB)

Sunday                                 Morning game drives in Amboseli. Lunch Satao Elerai before driving to Tsavo West.

                                                                Dinner and overnight Severin Safari Camp (FB)       

Monday                                               Morning of game drives in Tsavo West National Park. After lunch continue to Tsavo East National Park.

                                                                Dinner and overnight Satao Camp (FB)

Tuesday                                               Morning of game drives in Tsavo East National Park. After lunch continue to Mombasa.

                                                                Overnight Leopard Beach Resort & Spa standard garden view room (HB) Wednesday to


Sunday                                 Days at Leisure. Five Nights at Leopard Beach Resort & Spa standard garden view room (HB)

We’re Kenya’s Leading Resort – Again!

Leopard Beach Resort & Spa has been voted Kenya’s Leading Resort for the 3rd year running (and we’re very, very proud!).

Monday                                               Transfer to Moi airport Mombasa to connect your schedule flight.


Dinner for two at Mossiman’s

Tour of the houses of parliament

Two nights at The Hyatt Regency Churchill Hotel in London


These will be auctioned at the Burns Night on behalf of the Lions Club Kiev

Tickets from

Dear Friends, 

Please book your tickets now as tickets are now selling fast. If anyone would like to meet to discuss Sponsorship opportunities then I am of course ready to meet and brainstorm ideas. It will be a fantastic night with a really wonderful TOP CLASS program planned with Top Local and International Stars, all your guests will have a ball – be ready to Party the night through – you do not want to miss this one !

The idea of the event however, is for the whole Kyiv business community to get together and raise money for Ukrainian based charities supported by the Kyiv Lions Club. So please try and investigate how you can support, we need all the help possible. Over the past 9 years Burns Night has raised over 700,000 USD ! 

I thank all our current sponsors for their wonderful and selflessness support so far – you support is so much needed and always remembered.

Please everyone else, call me to give your help and support! 

My best wishes’ Stuart MOB: +380503316969



Opera hotel
Back to this most beautiful of hotels, never ceased to be amazed at the incredible welcome I always receive on my return.
I arrived on 26th January around 7.30 in the evening on Saturday checking in was quick and easy, prechecked in just a signature then on my way to room, on the way to the elevator I meet that most fastidious of general managers Benoit Kuborn yes, even on Saturday he was on a walk about to check that all was ok before he left himself. A general manager that enjoys his job, and it seems infectious among the staff, they all like the boss and try to do well for him, so lucky guests,
I think that the Opera Hotel is an absolute delight for business, pleasure, special weekends, even to just come in and enjoy the informal bar or to eat in, or the wonderful Teatro Restaurant. The Hotel has a pleasant location very convenient for all areas of this beautiful city, it is also on the road which you can take to exit town and has parking next to hotel on same level as lobby.
My room was perfect as always in every possible way , the rooms here are spectacular.I seem to get a different but simply exquisite room each and every time I come to Opera Hotel. This time I had the Rusian suite.
After changing from the winter gear we have just had very bad weather minus 14 and a very long journey to Kiev,needed to look respectable to go to the Teatro restaurant for dinner.
I had the unexpected pleasure of meeting the Executive Chef Emmanuel Soares, whom I met almost a year ago when he had just arrived from Morocco. I was interested to see the new additions to the menu, to see for myself the changes that Emmanuel Soares the executive chef has introduced into the menu, added some really good dishes. I had a tapas selection just what I needed after a long day fraught with difficulties, relaxing in Teatro, the good food, the ambience , a good glass of Rioja and an informative chat with Emmanuel soon had me enjoying the gracious service and my dinner.
Such is the high standard of Emmanuel’s talents as the executive chef, he is now corporate chef for Opera and Donbass Palace, another very fine hotel under his belt, I am looking forward to my next trip to Donbass Palace Hotel in Donetsk, to see and taste for myself the tantalising, to the taste buds food, that I will inevitably find there.
I enclose photographs of the stunning Russian Suite that I stayed in unfortunately only for a short while late arrival and, then off to airport in the morning.
The Russian suite is equipped to satisfy the most demanding, including 63 Square metres of space, lounge/living room so cosy and a truly comfortable bedroom, two bathrooms, individual controlled air-conditioning in both rooms , controlled temperature under floor heating in master bathroom ,mini bars in both rooms, room safe, complimentary high speed internet connection, complimentary newspaper, pay TV, DVD / CD player , direct dial telephone, special guest amenities and, welcome amenities, plus the new chefs delicacies chocolate with strawberries and raspberries even the photos will make your mouth water, a nice bottle of wine, which I have saved for my next trip.
I had the buffet breakfast and, was delighted and, very pleasantly surprised that the executive chef was on parade even on Sunday morning, the selection was everything that you could possible desire, juices, cold dishes fine selection of breads and patisserie, a varied choice of hot dishes, eggs anyway you needed them, if there was something you needed that wasn’t there, a few minutes later the ever attentive staff were bringing your choice to you.
I am glad that the Opera Hotel has won the prestigious trip advisor Travellers’ Choice® 2013 Winner
A hotel full of character, an established impressive boutique hotel, where the quest is always for the best in comfort and service for the guests which starts at the top level with GM Benoit Kuborn.,
Stay here with the complete confidence that you will enjoy your stay and, want to revisit the Opera Hotel.
i know I will be back

Hill Balfour

I have workd alongside Neil and James of  to launch their fantastic prize. readers please go and enter its the best. then  Kirsty who did such a good job on my latest interveiw, its there as well, I have to say it is refreshing to meet with such enamoured, enthusiastic, professional group of people, They were ably helped, guided and asisted by Hills Balfour the best Travel PR company,  truly proffesionnal, a remnarkable group whom I had a real ball working with. http://,    I visited the company met the CEO Amanda, John MD, the Kenya Team, they have had the Kenya account for many years. Kevin and Jasmin. i have been very much involved with  for the biggest, baddest bucket list launch, they have made working together a real event, its years since I had so much fun. I met  many others in the offices yesterday, its great to be around such a vibrant and exciting atmosphere,  had so much fun well done,. well done  see you all soon




My destination

have done so many interviews here, is tha latest about mydestinations
The 15 Million Mile Man –  – My Destination
“Is it a pleasure doing business or a business doing pleasure?” As Fred Finn utters these words at the start of our meeting, I’ve never seen
Like · · Promote · Share
  • Fred Finn save the concorde group there is something for you and ukraine of course UIA has their spot
  • having a great time launching the http://www.mydestination/bbb
    holiday of a life time  26 destinations 6 continents all expenses paid enter you just needs to make 3 minute video of your destination upload it if you win you will leave in June for 6 months need toi write a daily blog and understake to mee the locals and on return $50,000 cash
    WIN the Biggest, Baddest, Bucket list brought to you by My Destination
    Want to win an AMAZING six month, all expenses paid trip of a lifetime? Choose your bucket list destinations AND $50k prize money when you get back! Enter

    the greatest holiday prize enter it can be yours