Moving from one’s country of birth can be both exciting and scary, be it for temporary periods such as a student or more permanently, for example as the spouse of a British national applying for settlement. However, it can also be very expensive. This article seeks to highlight the costs and some potential savings of UK immigration, which should be one of the considerations for anyone looking to move or stay here legally.Continue Reading →
So, life has been really good and cupid has found you a match, you have popped the question and she/he has said yes! Or you have been asked and you said yes! Congratulations!
Now you need to not only plan the wedding but also decide where you will hold the wedding; this article is hopefully going to aid you in making that choice if you are a Non-EU citizen living outside of the UK and are engaged to marry a Brit in the UK.Continue Reading →
A little known visa, which the government have been trialing since March 2019 to run until December 2020, is the Tier 5 Seasonal Worker visa. This allows migrants from any part of the world to come to the UK as seasonal workers, if they are working for farmers in the edible horticulture sector who have a special licence from the government, allowing them to sponsor such temporary workers.
The backdrop of this visa is the government’s recognition of the fact that a lot of UK farms have for many years relied on eastern Europeans (mainly Polish and Romanian workers) who come to the UK during harvest season and help with the harvesting of farms. Given that the UK has now left the EU and the freedom of movement from the EU zone has ended, farmers have lobbied the government to ensure that such farms do not go under due to the lack of workers for roles that Brits mostly do not wish to do.Continue Reading →
Covid-19 has changed many people’s plans in the last year, and it has made things more complicated for some of those who are in the UK with a visa. The government has made several attempts to allow a little leeway for those affected by disrupted flights, and the most recent amendments come in the form of ‘Exceptional Assurance.’
What is Exceptional Assurance?
‘Exceptional Assurance’ is a form of permission to stay that is being granted to those whose visas have or will expire, but who have been unable to leave the UK due to the Covid-19 pandemic.Continue Reading →
The Government has recently announced that they will refund the Immigration Health Surcharge to eligible individuals who work in Health and Care.
What is the Immigration Health Surcharge?
Most migrants need to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge when they make an application for a UK visa. It is currently £624 per year for most adults, so it is quite a hefty sum when you are paying for a visa that lasts a few years. The government introduced it in 2015 to ‘ensure temporary migrants make a fair contribution to the comprehensive range of NHS services available to them during their stay’.Continue Reading →
What is the Graduate Route / Post Study Work Visa?
The Graduate Route is a visa that will be available to students on completion of a higher-level qualification. It was previously referred to as the Post-Study Work Visa (PSW) and will bring back the route that was previously available but stopped in 2012.Continue Reading →
In a recently published detailed guide, the Home Office officially opened The Hong Kong British National (Overseas) visa on the 31st of January 2021, which is a new visa exclusively for Hong Kong nationals with a BNO Passport. This article aims to summarise the main points, but if you have further queries, you may want to contact a qualified UK Immigration Lawyer for details on how it will affect you.Continue Reading →
As this unprecedented year is coming to a close, we at Cross Border Legal Solicitors want to reach out and send our best wishes to you and your family. We hope that 2021 holds success and good fortune in all endeavours that you pursue. Despite the difficult circumstances this year, it continues to be a pleasure getting to know you and your families.Continue Reading →
As the UK is coming to the end of the transition phase on the 31st of December 2020 and will then have left the EU, the government have designed a new points based immigration system.
Continue Reading →
The new system will come into effect from the 31st of December 2020, at 11:00 PM, when freedom of movement between the United Kingdom (UK) and the European Union (EU) will officially end.
As noted in our previous article in April 2020, the Immigration Health Surcharge was set to increase from £400 to £624 on the 1st of October 2020. However, there is a bit of good news, as the Home Office has not been able to get the new IHS fee increase to go ahead on the 1st of October 2020 as planned, as the legislative process has yet to finalise.Continue Reading →
It seemed to come as a surprise to Boris Johnson that NHS workers and their families were also subject to paying the NHS surcharges, which are due to increase from £400 per year to £624 in October of this year. A spokesperson in May said that the Prime Minister had asked the Home Office to remove the IHS surcharge requirements for Health and Care workers and their families, but has any progress been made on this promise?Continue Reading →
Life has its ups and downs and sometimes we are faced with how fragile it can be. The recent epidemic has particularly brought this to the forefront, as there are many who have lost their loved ones.
Least of your worries…
At such a trying and emotional time, it is not desirable to be worried about what will happen with your visa, so this article seeks to answer the question: what happens to a migrant’s immigration status if their spouse dies?Continue Reading →
The recent highlighting of the country’s reliance on NHS workers and the health care system by the Covid-19 outbreak, which has led to an outpouring of public gratitude, has left the government keen to capitalise politically on the public mood. They have therefore created a “new” category of visa called the Health and Care Visa, which has been available since the 4th of August 2020.Continue Reading →
Following our previous article, which detailed the impact of Covid-19 on UK immigration and the governments’ temporary changes to the rules, to assist those who were here on temporary visas (please see the article here), the Government has now published a guide for those who are applying for settlement visas or extensions and are struggling with meeting the income threshold.Continue Reading →
The Covona Virus situation continues to develop, and there has now been a further update from the government with regards to those migrants affected by the almost universal shutdown of normal business and services, in a bid to curb the spread of Covid-19. If you have been affected you may find the below information useful.Continue Reading →
As the governments around the world continue to battle the outbreak of the Corona Virus (Covid-19), people’s lives have been turned upside down, with many livelihoods affected, especially as most businesses and work is at a standstill due to the lockdown.
The UK government has tried to assist the general public in dealing with the effects of this lockdown, and we wish to highlight those measures that may be helpful, specifically for migrants on various visas (i.e. those not already holding ILR or British Nationality). There may be several options for those already settled and British Nationals, including making an application for Universal Credit; the two main avenues of help available can be classed under two areas:Continue Reading →
Unfortunately, the short relief from the government not increasing the visa application fees for 2020/2021 is due to give way to crushing disappointment later this year, after Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s budget was presented to Parliament on the 11th of March 2020. He has announced a new increase to the Immingration Health Surcharge (IHS) later this year, which will see the overall price of immigration to the UK increase significantly. The government has now drafted legislation – The Immigration (Health Charge) (Amendment) Order 2020 – to pave way for the coming changes.Continue Reading →
Brexit and transition Period
So, on the 31st of January 2020, Britain formally left the European Union, but no real changes have yet occurred, as the withdrawal agreement guarantees EU (and British citizens who are lawfully resident in other EU member states) broadly the same rights as they had before Brexit Day.Continue Reading →
There are different routes to meet the income threshold, and each have their own rules that need to be followed in order to be successful with a visa application. It is common knowledge that we can use cash savings to meet the income threshold, which typically involves cash savings held either in the form of a current account or a savings account e.g. an ISA account.Continue Reading →
If you are a British national who has been residing outside the UK, and has a non-EU national spouse, once you start thinking about relocating to the UK with your other half, you are probably wondering where to start.Continue Reading →
If you are British citizen, or have an Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK, and wish to bring your partner or child/children who are not EU-nationals to the UK, then you usually need to meet the income threshold of £18,600.Continue Reading →
The financial requirement of £18,600 generally must be met by anyone applying for entry clearance, leave to remain or indefinite leave to remain in the UK as the non-European Economic Area (non-EEA) national partner or dependent child of a person, who is either a British citizen or has Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK. Please note that sometimes the financial requirement might be a bit higher if sponsoring a non-EU partner and child/children.Continue Reading →
Since July 2012, when the current rules regarding UK spouse visas came in to effect, the number one issues that many face when sponsoring their family for a UK settlement visa have been relating to the Income Threshold. This issue has been hotly contested in court but calumniated with the UK Supreme court confirming that the new rules were legal, although it did suggest certain exceptional circumstances where alternative incomes source should be considered by the UK Home Office ( see here).Continue Reading →
Generally under UK Immigration rules, if you have been living in the UK for 10 years continuously and lawfully, youcan apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain on the basis of your private life andlong residence in the UK.
As a UK immigration lawyer, I wish to highlight several key points that someone making an application for this visa should note; including that the
After many years of practising UK Immigration Law and Human Rights there are some simple mistakes that I often see people making during the application process for a UK visa. I would like to highlight some very simple mistakes and hopefully may be able forewarn someone who is about to do the same. Below are five common mistakes, in no particular order, that applicants are repeatedly making:Continue Reading →
Further to our previous article Brexit Update – Permanent Residence or Settled Status for EU nationals in UK, and as the new scheme has now been fully implemented, we wish to provide you with some general information on the application process under the EU settlement scheme.
If you are an EU or EEA national or their family member, and wish to remain in the UK after Brexit, you need to apply for Settled or Pre-Settled Status under the EU Settlement Scheme.Continue Reading →
Entrepreneur visa replaced by Innovator visa
Since the 29th of March 2019 the Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa application process has been closed for all applicants. You can no longer apply for this visa unless you are applying for an extension, which will be possible until the 5th of April 2023, or settlement, which will be possible until the 5th of April 2025.Continue Reading →
Under the European Community Association Agreement with Turkey, the “Ankara Agreement”, a Turkish national might extend his leave whilst already legally living and working in the UK.
Who is this visa for?
If you are a Turkish national living and working in the UK it might be good news for you, as there is the possibility to apply to extend your stay in the UK as a Turkish worker.Continue Reading →
The new Access UK service has been rolled out in stages throughout 2016, went live initially in India and Turkey and was available to customers applying for visit visa routes.
Continue Reading →
Access UK has now been rolled out worldwide and should soon be available for all types of entry clearance visa applications.
UK visa and Immigration rules can sometimes be complex and it is comparatively a very expensive process, therefore any mistake made by the applicant can have serious implications in terms of time, stress and finances. It is for this reason that one is best advised to use a qualified UK immigration lawyer when applying for a visa, which could potentially save them the hassle and cost of when things go wrong. This article is to highlight the process of trying to remedy things if a visa application is rejected.Continue Reading →
Unfortunately, the pause button on the NHS fee increase will not hold for long; the new publicised legal amendment tabled in parliament (The Immigration (Health Charge) (Amendment) Order 2018) confirms that the Immigration Health Surcharge is to double in December 2018.Continue Reading →
As another year is coming to a close, we at Cross Border Legal Solcitors want to reach out and send our best wishes to you and your family. We hope that 2019 holds success and good fortune in all endeavours that you pursue. It has been a pleasure getting to know you and your families this year.Continue Reading →
Who can apply?
If your child is under the age of 12 and is about to study at an independent school in the UK, you might be eligible to accompany your child to the UK, provided that you are able to meet certain requirements.Continue Reading →
Lately, I have heard quite a few accounts of people who have been ‘advised’ by someone who is claiming that they are an Immigration lawyer/advisor, but have given migrants shockingly bad advice, which lands them in more trouble than they bargained for. Are these people really lawyers? And how can you find out for sure? There have also been many cases of ‘fake news,’ but how can you find out if it’s fake news and avoid being taken in?Continue Reading →
To be eligible to apply for an ancestry visa you need to meet the following requirements:
1. Country and Age:
- Be a Commonwealth citizen and aged 17 or
To apply for an ancestry visa, you must be a Commonwealth citizen at the date of application, not necessarily at the date of birth. Additionally, you must be 17 or over. It is quite easy to prove the above mentioned, as you need to provide a current passport or other valid travel identification and your full birth certificateContinue Reading →
When to choose a 5-year route as a partner and when the 10-year route should be considered.
There are two routes to settlement on the basis of family life as a partner, provided by Appendix FM viz 5-year route and a 10-year route. The 5-year route as a partner will be appropriate for those who meet all the suitability and eligibility requirements of the Immigration Rules at every stage. The 10-year route as a partner applies in respect of applications for leave to remain as a partner who meets all the suitability requirements, but only certain eligibility requirements.Continue Reading →
What does Brexit mean for EU nationals?
The UK government has yet to reach a final agreement with the European Union on citizen’s rights, but according to the information on the government’s website and the recently published White Paper on Brexit, containing the Government’s proposal on how they intend to deal with the EU moving forward, we know that EU citizen’s status will not change until the 1st of January 2021. Therefore, EU citizens will still have the same rights to live and work in the UK, as well as the same access to public funds and services as they do at the moment.
For those looking to come to the UK to start a business, there are various options which may be available:
Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) Visa:
Who can apply for a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) Visa?
You can apply for this type of visa if you wish to set up, join or take over an existing business in the UK.
From the 6th of April 2018, major immigration fee increases are due to be introduced for those looking to visit or settle in the UK.The government has finally announced the fee increases on the Gov.UK website ahead of the change the home office fees 2018/19.
Although there are small increases across the board, at first glance, it doesn’t seem that there are many significant increases. Continue Reading →
If you are applying to come to the UK on a Spouse Visa there are certain requirements that the government needs to be fulfilled. One of these is being able to adequately maintain yourself without relying on ‘public funds’ (this means benefits or the NHS etc.). So, if you are applying for a Spouse Visa you or your partner must meet the income threshold; this is currently £18,600 a year. If you are coming to the UK through EU law then this requirement does not apply to you. Continue Reading →
Statement of changes to the Immigration Rules: HC290, 20 July 2017
After a long winded court battle that finally ended in the high court of Britain (see the article …here and here...), the outcry and sacrifices of thousands of families have finally yielded some results. Yesterday, through a new ‘Statement of Change in Immigration Rules,’ published on the GOV.UK website on the 20th of July 2017, the government laid bare the new changes which have been made in order to comply with the Supreme Court judgment in MM (Lebanon) & Others, which was handed down on the 22nd of February 2017 (see Article Here). Continue Reading →
I have been getting a lot of enquirers lately about relying on cash savings for spouse/child or family dependent visas.
Basic UK Spouse Visa Income Threshold:
Under the current Immigration Rules, in order to qualify for any family settlement visa (spouse, fiance, family dependent etc.) you must meet the financial requirements – by earning above what is referred to as the Income Threshold. Normally, you can do this in two ways: Continue Reading →
For those who have not noticed, on the 3rd of November the UK Government introduced changes to the UK Immigration rules . These changes come into effect from the 24th of November. This is due to affect those who are going to be making a UK Immigration visa application on or after the 24th of November; these rules may affect you application. For those who have pending applications worry not, as these rules do not affect your application. Continue Reading →
Following from my earlier article on the Immigration Act 2016, it has now been confirmed that Section 63 of the Immigration Act 2016 will come into force on the 1st of December 2016. The new law states that ALL immigration appeals will have to now be made from out of the country. There will be no in country appeals. Continue Reading →
Serious and irreversible harm
This Article follow my previous Article on the New Immigration Act 2016 removal of ‘in country right of appeal’ for most cases, save for a few exceptions where there would be ‘Serious and Irreversible harm’. The phrase ‘serious and irreversible harm’ comes from the test used by the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) to determine whether to issue a Rule 39 injunction. Nunez v Norway (App no. 55597/09) ECHR 1047. Continue Reading →
For those who may have missed it (I would not blame you as this kicked in just a few weeks before the EU referendum in the UK), the government has passed yet another legislative Act of Parliament on Immigration in a bid to reduce immigration and especially come down hard on those in the UK without legal status. The Immigration Minister’s statement when the Immigration 2016 bill was introduced last year sets the tone of what the government hopes to achieve with the new immigration legislation. Immigration Minister James Brokenshire said:
“The message is clear — if you are here illegally, you shouldn’t be entitled to receive the everyday benefits and services available to hard-working UK families and people who have come to this country legitimately to contribute.
Whether it is working, renting a flat, having a bank account or driving a car, the new Immigration Bill will help us to take tougher action than ever before on those who flout the law.
This Bill will build on the government’s work since 2010 to crack down on abuse and build an immigration system that truly benefits Britain – by deterring illegal migrants from coming and making it harder for those already here to live and work in the UK.”
Further to my previous Article about Brexit and the Possible Effect on UK immigration and European Migrants, I have complied a list of questions that I have been frequently asked and hope to answer them here for the sake of those who might be wondering the same
i.Are we part of the EU?
The UK is still part of the EU, and no formal legal process of leaving the EU will start until the UK decides to invoke Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, which can only be done by either David Cameron or his successor. This means that the UK is still bound by EU Treaties and Laws, and will continue to be so up to two years from the formal notice to the EU. Continue Reading →
I know a lot of people are worried about the EU referendum result and I am overwhelmed with calls from people asking what happens now that we have left the EU – please stay calm!
UK Still Part Of European Union
We are still in the EU and all the laws remain the same for now; the earliest that we will be out of the EU is two years from the time that the government gives formal notice to the EU of our intention to divorce.
I will be writing an article shortly on the options available for EU nationals, but please note that most of the legal implications remain unknown and subject to the UK negotiations with the EU. It is highly unlikely that EU nationals or their families will be ‘kicked-out’ as a result of the referendum result. Continue Reading →
The upcoming referendum may be causing concern for some, especially if the outcome leaves them unsure of their visa status.
I have received a fair number of emails recently regarding the changes in UK Immigration Law that might take place and I thought it would be useful to address them with an article.
What happens after the referendum?
According to Part I, Chapter 18 of the British Nationality Act 1981, a person is entitled to naturalisation as British citizen if at the time of the consideration meets some requirements, such as being of good character. However, the Act itself does not provide with a definition of good character.
In absence of a statutory definition as to how this requirement should be interpreted or applied, it is the Secretary of State who should be satisfied that an applicant is of good character. In order for the Secretary of State to make an assessment on good character, Annex D of Chapter 18 of BNA contains a guidance with information on how to assess if the applicant is of good character. This guidance also applies to minors above the age of ten. Continue Reading →
Latest Immigration Rules changes:
Anyone who has been keeping an eye on UK immigration law will have now become accustomed to the regular Immigration Rules changes, which seem to always bear bad news for migrants.
The Immigration Rules are published by the Home Office. The last statement of change is from the New Immigration Rules Change, and is no exception to the general tradition. It brings some changes which mainly affect Tier 2 work permit holders. Continue Reading →
New Immigration Bill
As some of you will be aware, the latest Immigration Act 2014, which has just been fully implemented in April 2015, brought with it numerous changes, including the right of appeals for Point Based applications, as well as an attempt to define the application of human rights by the Court. The Government seems to be very impressed by the outcome of the changes in the last bill, so much so that they have decided to go even further with the new Immigration Bill, which is currently in the House of Commons. As a UK Immigration Solicitor specialized in Human Rights many of my clients are affected by this, therefore I wish to highlight some of the changes that should expected if the new Bill becomes an Act. Continue Reading →
Immigration Health Surcharge
The Immigration Health Surcharge is one of the key reforms within the Immigration Act 2014 which both Human Rights Solicitors and migrants must get to grips with. In addition to a new higher fee that has just kicked in, an additional NHS Immigration Health Surcharge is payable as of the 6th April 2015 by all non-EEA migrants coming to the UK for more than six months.
The UK Government has stated that the purpose of this surcharge is to ensure that non-EEA migrants contribute to the cost of the NHS. However, given the timing it could perhaps appear as an election stunt as some of the best immigration lawyers in the UK observe – the policy began a week after Parliament is expected to dissolve and during a national election campaign… Continue Reading →
Changes on Appeal Right – Government gives with one hand takes with the other
Some of you may have missed it but from this week, as of the 2nd March 2015, the government further rolled out the curtailment of immigration appeal rights.
One of the major features in the new Immigration Act 2014, in the latest bid of the government to crack down on immigration, is the way that Immigration Appeals will be dealt with. Through the Act, the parliament not only tries to dictate how Immigration Tribunal Judges Should deal with Appeals, especially under Human Rights Grounds (Paragraph 117B), but also reduces the grounds on which a challenge can be brought. Continue Reading →
Your Protected Right to Family Life
As many of you will know, everyone has the Right to Family, and these rights are protected under the EU Convention on Human Rights. However, and to the great discomfort of many couples, as any UK Immigration Lawyer will tell you, Right to family is right is a qualified right, and does not necessarily give the couple the right to choose where they would exercise their right to family.
Ordinarily, a British citizen is allowed by law to sponsor their foreign spouse to come to the UK on a Spouse Visa. This type of application, as many of you have seen on previous blog post here has recently been severely restricted, with strict income requirements for the sponsoring spouse. In effect, this has resulted in thousands of couples being separated, as they do not meet the government requirements. Continue Reading →
UK Spouse Visa Financial Requirement and Supplement Savings Calculator
As most of you may know by now, since 2012 the government has introduced a new income requirement for a British and settled person wishing to sponsor their Non-EU Spouse/partner. This brought the requirement for the British national (sponsor) up to an earning of at least £18,600 per annum, with no third party sponsorship allowed (you can’t get your rich uncle to stand in for you like old times).
These rules have had a disastrous effect on Brits who are not earning a high income but never the less play very important roles contributing to this nation; people such as teaching assistants, care workers e.t.c, who would not be able to meet this threshold; in fact it is reported that up to 40% of the UK population do not earn this level of money. Continue Reading →
Definition Of “Worker” under EU Law – Self Employed and Agency worker Mothers on maternity
Following a lengthy court battle the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom requested a preliminary ruling under Article 267 TFEU by a decision dated the 31st October 2012;
see case Saint Prix v Secretary of Sate for Work and Pension 2013 UKSC and the YouTube video below.
So, most of you would have heard about the Court of Appeal hearing (MM & Ors v Secretary of State for the Home Department (2013)) which is challenging the Income Threshold requirements for the family visas. For those who haven’t, please see my previous posts here and here .
Lots of people celebrated the high court’s recommendations that, among other things, the Income Threshold should be reduced to around £13,000, that third party sponsorship should be allowed, and that special consideration should be taken for certain groups who could not relocate and exercise right to family in another country; e.g.. refugees. Continue Reading →
Most of you will have seen my previous post-EU Family Route: what is the Surinder Singh Route (see post here...). Some time has lapsed since then and I apologise for the delay in writing the second part of the post, which I hope to tackle here. For obvious reasons, this route has grown in popularity and as one can imagine, the Government does not like it.
The Current Position:
In a nutshell, this route currently allows UK citizens to LEGALLY circumvent the UK Immigration rules on spouse and family members from non-EU countries. The UK citizen may purposefully travel to another EU country, work for a few weeks and then return to the UK with his or her non-EU spouse. This route has become increasingly popular as one can avoid the stringent requirements of the spouse visa including the income threshold, which is out of the reach of many ordinary citizens. It also avoids the cost of the application, as this route is free, and the time granted under the EU laws on entry is normally longer; a 5-year residence card as opposed to the 2 and a half years on a spouse visa.
Those of you that have kept up-to-date with the recent immigration news or are in the process of trying to bring their foreign Non-EU Spouse into the UK , would have possibly heard of the so called EU Family Route or ‘Surinder Singh’ route. This is a route that is becoming an increasingly popular (or necessary) option for Britons who seek to reunite with their spouse having fallen foul of the current immigration rules.
Why EU Route?
In case you haven’t been in the loop on what is happening; say you are a British national and have just gotten engaged to a non-EEA national. Well… congratulations first of all, and second, I hope you have a very good job, as you will need one. Continue Reading →