UK Immigration & Nationality Advice

What is UK Immigration Law and how is it different from Nationality Law?

UK Immigration Laws grant permission to migrates to live and work in the UK, the most used laws explaining these are Immigration Act 1971 is the primary statute dealing with rules on migration; Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Act 2009 and Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 which defines the right to live in the UK, for citizens, some other British nationals and some Commonwealth citizens.

British Nationality Law, on the other hand, defines people nationality if born in the UK have and or how a migrant acquires British Nationality, through the application of the British Nationality Act 1981 which has been significantly amended, including British Nationality (Falkland Islands) Act 1983; Hong Kong Act 1985 and Hong Kong (British Nationality) Order 1986; British Nationality (Hong Kong) Act 1990, which introduced the British Nationality Selection Scheme; Hong Kong (War Wives and Widows) Act 1996 British Nationality (Hong Kong) Act 1997; Adoption (Intercountry Aspects) Act 1999; British Overseas Territories Act 2002; Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002; Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006; Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Act 2009.

As you can now understand these areas of Law are completely different and will affect you in different situations.

If you are a migrant looking to live and work in the UK then UK Immigrations Law will affect and determine your rights.

If you are born in the UK to settled parents, or you have British Grandparents as a migrant, or you were born as a British Subject in a British Overseas Territory and wish to live in the in the UK, then The British Nationality Act 1981 and (others) will determine your rights.

Must you pay the Health Surcharge Insurance Charge?

You may be a non- EEA National you have been granted permission to live and work in the UK for more than 6 months, you are by law expected to pay this charge.

The Immigration Act 2014 made changes to the charging rules. These changes are two-fold. First, section 39 of the Act changes the meaning of “ordinary residence” in section 175 of the National Health Service 2006 Act as it relates to non-EEA nationals who are subject to immigration control. Since 6 April 2015, such individuals also must have indefinite leave to remain in the UK to be ordinarily resident here. Second, section 38 of the Immigration Act authorised the Home Secretary to introduce an immigration health charge (known as the health surcharge) to be paid by non-EEA nationals, subject to immigration control, who apply to reside temporarily in the UK for six months or longer. The health surcharge is paid at the same time as a visa applicant pays their visa application fee.

There are exemptions from paying the health surcharge for certain people, and the Home Secretary has the discretion to reduce, refund or waive all or part of the health surcharge. The health surcharge is payable for new visa applicants who have made an application for a visa on or after 27 April 2015.

However, do note that the Home Office or UK Visa Centre, will refund this fee, back to you if your application is refused.

Has the law changed and how will it affect your application?

To understand which UK Immigration laws have changed and how you will be affected by the change, you should contact us today on 01634 828288.

Do you have enough time to submit your application?

As non-EEA nationals who are subject to immigration control, you need to ensure that you are aware as to when your visa will expire if you are in the UK.

Otherwise, if you are outside of the UK you are not subject to time limitation – unless your UK visa states this condition.

What are the implications of submitting an application out of time?

You seek legal advice if your visa has expired.

Ask us to represent you at the Home Office?

To understand how you will be affected by the change, you should contact us today on 01634 828288.

Sponsor Licence Applications

Why does a UK Employer require the Sponsor Licence?

A UK Employer intending to employ a migrant must first apply for a Sponsor Licence. It is illegal to employ a migrant without the permission of the Home Office.

How to apply for a Sponsor Licence?

As a UK Employer Apply for a sponsor licence so you can sponsor foreign workers or students to come and work or study in the UK. To be eligible for the licence the Licence your company must be trading for a 12 months, to have the best chance of success and you will be required to choose the type to licence, depending on the type business you have. You will be required to submit the application on line on the Home Office website.

Can the Sponsor Licence be refused?

Yes, this can be refused and revoked if an Employer has breached the Licence conditions.

Why are Employers Fined by the Home Office?

Employers are fined for not carry out worker checks or reporting changes to their worker conditions.

Fast Track Sponsor Licence services?

Yes, the Home Office does offer this service, but it is very expensive and I do not recommend that you use this service, unless your company is in a position to justify the cost.

The premium customer service will provide:

  • expert, tailored advice, offering guidance and support with any immigration queries or issues a premium customer might have
  • you with account managers who have in depth knowledge about the right to work requirements and can offer immigration history information on potential employees
  • unique access to a number of priority visa services including special access to premium service centre appointments and faster passport return on in-country applications.
Asking us to represent you at the Home Office to carry out the process?

To understand if you qualify for British Citizenship, you should contact us today on 01634 828288.

Spouse & Civil Partnerships, Marriage visits

Do you have the right to apply for a spouse visa?

Yes, if you are over 18, Your partner must also either:

  • be a British citizen
  • have settled in the UK (they have ‘indefinite leave to remain’ or proof of permanent residence)
  • have refugee status or humanitarian protection in the UK

You and your partner must intend to live together permanently in the UK after you apply.

What is a spouse visa?

If you’re already in the UK, your spouse (husband, wife or civil partner) or fiancé will need a visa to join you to live for over 6 months, this used to be called a marriage visa.

What is the difference between Marriage Visit Visa?

A British citizen wanting to return home or living in the UK (with a spouse) must be able to prove an annual income of £18,600 or have cash savings of at least £62,500. Throw in a child and then the income threshold goes up by another £3,800. Additional children increase the figure by £2,400 each.

What is a same sex visa or a civil partner visa UK?

Civil partnership status, a same sex relationship however, is not limited to those who enter into a British civil partnership in the UK or at one of the British Embassies abroad which conducts ceremonies. Applications can also be made based on certain overseas relationships which are recognised as being civil partnerships under British law. These relationships are listed in Schedule 20 of the Civil Partnership Act 2004 but a more detailed (unofficial) list can be found in Wikipedia’s Schedule 20 page. Even if a relationship does not appear in the current or future Schedule 20, it may be acceptable if it meets the general conditions in section 214 of the CPA.

If you are in an overseas relationship which has been recognised in the law of that country (or region of that country), you can check with the Home Office contact centre whether your relationship is considered equivalent to a UK civil partnership.

Can you switch to this visa from the UK?

Yes, however, this will depend upon your current immigration status.

Must your UK Spouse prove his or her income level?

Yes, The General Requirements have been amended to require the decision-maker to consider whether the Minimum Income Rule can be met from other sources of income, financial support or funds as set out in the new paragraph 21A of Appendix FM-SE. It must now be evident from the information provided in the application that there are (using the infamous phrase) ‘exceptional circumstances’ which could render the refusal of the application a breach of Article 8 because it could result in unjustifiably harsh consequences for the applicant, the partner or a child under the age of 18 years old if the other sources of income are not considered. The Home Office considers this to bring the test of proportionality under Article 8 into the Rules and the Rules, she says, are now a complete framework for her consideration of Article 8 grounds under Appendix FM (On 22 February 2017 the Supreme Court in MM (Lebanon) & Others [2017] UKSC 10 … following categories of Appendix Armed Forces unless otherwise stated in that).

What if the UK Sponsor is on Benefits?

Although, because of a disability, you may be exempt from meeting the current income threshold, the sponsor will need to prove that they can adequately maintain the foreign spouse or partner they are bringing to the UK and any dependants. Where the UK partner is in receipt of any of the following in the UK, the applicant will meet the financial requirement so long as they can provide evidence of ‘adequate maintenance’ as opposed to meeting the financial threshold:

  • Carer’s Allowance
  • Disability Living Allowance
  • Personal Independence Payment
  • Severe Disablement Allowance
  • Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit
  • Attendance Allowance
  • Armed Forces Independence Payment
  • Guaranteed Income Payment
  • Constant Attendance Allowance, Mobility Supplement or War Disablement Pension

You must provide proof of receipt of this benefit in the form of:

(a) Official documentation from the Department for Work and Pensions or the Veterans Agency, that confirms current entitlement and the amount being received.

(b) A bank statement issued in the last 12-months prior to the application demonstrating payment of the benefit or allowance into the account.

It is not necessary to prove that the applicant meets the minimum financial threshold. However, you will be required to demonstrate that the applicant can be supported without recourse to further public funds.

What does adequate maintenance mean?

Paragraph 6 of the Immigration Rules sets out the definition of ‘adequate’ and ‘adequately’ that must be applied in all cases in relation to a maintenance and accommodation requirement:

“adequate” and “adequately” in relation to a maintenance and accommodation requirement shall mean that, after income tax, National Insurance contributions and housing costs have been deducted, there must be available to the family the level of income that would be
available to them if the family was in receipt of Income Support.

Asking us to represent you at the Home Office to carry out the process?

To understand if you qualify for British Citizenship, you should contact us today on 01634 828288.

Sponsor License Audit Applications

What are the requirements for sponsor license audit?

If your organisation currently holds a Sponsor Licence, then you can book my time to conduct an onsite audit, this is the most important requirement.

What is a sponsor license audit service?

This a service I offer Employers holding a Sponsor Licence, if you have not been inspected by the Home Office yet, then your orgainsation is more likely to be inspected unannounced by the Home Office.

How can we help you with a sponsor license audit?

I can come and advice guide your orgainsation, Employer or College holding a Sponsor Licence call today for an appointment.

Contact us on 01634 828 288 for more information.

Family Members Applications

There are different types of applications depending on who the family member is?

You’ll need a family visa to come to the UK and live with a family member for more than 6 months. If you’re outside the UK you can apply to live with your:

  • spouse or partner
  • fiancé, fiancée or proposed civil partner
  • child
  • parent
  • relative who’ll provide long-term care for you

If you’re already in the UK, you can apply to extend your stay with your family member.

Must the sponsor be a British Citizen sponsor a family member?

No, you can sponsor if you have indefinite leave to remain. You can support the application of a person who is applying to come to the UK to visit or settle (they have ‘indefinite leave to remain’ or proof of permanent residence).

This form is to confirm that you will be responsible for the applicant’s maintenance, accommodation and care, without relying on public funds:

  • for at least 5 years, if they are applying to settle
  • throughout their stay in the UK, if they are applying to visit
Can a family member be refused a visa or be removed from the UK?

Yes, On 1 February 2017, the EEA Regulations 2006 were revoked and replaced by the EEA Regulations 2016.

The changes to the public policy and public security provisions of the 2106 EEA Regulations require individuals to be removed under a time-limited deportation order (under public policy) rather than through an administrative removal if they:

  • have entered into, attempted to enter into, or assisted another person to (attempt to) enter into a marriage of convenience
  • have fraudulently obtained an EEA right to reside

There has therefore been a removal of sham marriage as an administrative removal category.

Unlike a decision to deport under Regulation 23(6)(b), a person who is administratively removed from the UK is not subject to a fixed bar on re-entry.

How long does it take the Home Office is give a decision?

If the application is straightforward it may take 6 to 12 months.

EEA Applications

What type of application should you make?

This will depend on whether you are a qualified EEA National in the UK, you can apply for a Residence Card or Permanent Residence Card.

Do you include all my family members in the application?

Yes, you can include your non-European Family member a member of your house hold.

Will you be allowed to apply for welfare benefits and housing?

EEA nationals and their family members will be eligible for income related benefits if:
• They have a right to reside under EU law; and
• They are either exempt from the habitual residence test or they are habitually resident; and
• They meet the conditionality test, that is they can demonstrate that they are available for and actively seeking work.

For claims for benefits made on or after 1 January 2014, no one is considered habitually resident unless he or she has lawfully resided in the Common Travel Area (the UK, Republic of Ireland, Channel Islands or the Isle of Man) for three months.

The Habitual Residence Test (HRT) is made up of the first two parts of the list above: right to reside and actual habitual residency. It is the key deciding point for eligibility for benefits. The decision is made in a central department based on information submitted by the local Jobcentre Plus via an electronic form, containing an extensive list of data.

Conditionality is a local decision, based on an individual’s compliance with the normal entitlement conditions for the benefit in question. For income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA), an individual must demonstrate being available for and actively seeking work. This is becoming increasingly focused – work that the individual can do must be available in the local area i.e. if the person’s background is in construction they must be actively seeking construction work in that area, and if such opportunities do not exist they would have to widen their search. The claimant has to evidence how they are actively seeking work, in accordance with their Jobseeker’s Agreement or Claimant Commitment (a document agreed with their Jobcentre adviser).

For claims made on or after 1 January 2014, migrants claiming JSA who have not worked in the UK must demonstrate that they have ‘compelling evidence that they have a genuine prospect of work’ to continue receiving JSA after six months. For claims made on or after 10 November 2014, the period is three months. Even if they meet this test, the extension is likely to be short term e.g. until a new job begins.

For claims made on or after 1 April 2014, an EEA national whose only right to reside is as a jobseeker is no longer able to claim housing benefit. EEA workers and self-employed persons are not affected.

For claims made on or after 1 July 2014, new jobseekers arriving in the UK need to have lived here for three months to claim child benefit or child tax credit.

If eligible for income-related benefits, then recipients may also be eligible for a range of Jobcentre Plus support to get into employment, on the same terms that apply to other claimants of the same benefit.

New migrant jobseekers from the European Economic Area (EEA) will no longer be able to get Housing Benefit (HB) from April, Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith announced.

Can you be refused a residence permit?

Yes, The Secretary of State may refuse to issue, revoke or refuse to renew a registration certificate, a residence card, a document certifying permanent residence or a permanent residence card if the refusal or revocation is justified on grounds of public policy, public security or public health, or on grounds of misuse of rights in accordance with regulation 26(3).

(2) A decision under regulation 23(6) or 32(4) to remove a person from the United Kingdom, or a decision under regulation 31 to revoke a person’s admission to the United Kingdom invalidates a registration certificate, residence card, document certifying permanent residence or permanent residence card held by that person or an application made by that person for such a certificate, card or document.

(3) The Secretary of State may revoke or refuse to renew a registration certificate or a residence card if the holder of the certificate or card has ceased to have, or never had, a right to reside.

What types of EEA permits can you apply for?

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I have been told I do not need a residence permit?

The UK government’s offer for EU citizens is:
• People who have been continuously living here for 5 years will be able to apply to stay indefinitely by getting ‘settled status’. That means these citizens will be free to live here, have access to public funds and services and apply for British citizenship (
• People who arrived before the cut-off date, but won’t have been here for 5 years when we leave the EU, will be able to apply to stay until they have reached the 5-year threshold. They can then also apply for settled status.
• People who arrive after the cut-off date will be able to apply for permission to remain after the UK leaves the EU, under the future immigration arrangements for EU citizens.
• Family dependents who are living with or join EU citizens before the UK’s exit will also be able to apply for settled status after 5 years in the UK. In these cases, the cut-off date won’t apply.

Can your non EEA Family member be refused permission to live and work the UK?

Yes, as an extended family member of an EEA National you do not have an automatic right to be in the UK, you must have the correct permission before coming to the UK. If you are already in the UK with another type of immigration permission, which will expire before the time they wish to leave, you must make their EEA extended family member application as soon as possible, as otherwise you will not have permission to be here (or study) between the time your immigration permission expires and the grant of permission to be here as your extended family member. If there is, or will be, such a gap as a family member, you are advised to return to your country of residence to make the application, returning when permission is granted.

How long it take to obtain a decision to my application?

Up to 6 months.

Can the application be submitted in the UK?

Yes, only a EEA National if excising treat rights (working, studying or self-sufficient only) can.

Asking us to represent you at the Home Office to carry out the process?

To understand if you qualify for EEA Residence or Permanent, contact us today on 01634 828288.

Business Sponsor Visas

What types of sponsorship’s can UK Businesses Offer?

Yes, You can apply for a Standard Visitor visa if you want to visit the UK for business-related activities.

Turkish Business Person visa;
Business Visitor Visas;
Long-Term Business Visitor Visas;

What is a Business Visa and how can you qualify for it?

Persons seeking to enter or remain in the United Kingdom as a businessman, self-employed person, investor, writer or composer or artist. You can find more information by visiting our Business Sponsor Visa page.

Do you need to provide investment/money to apply?

Yes, if you wish to come as an Investor and set up a business in the UK.

Can you switch to this visa from the UK?

Only Tier 4 General Visa holders can switch to Tier 1 £50,000

How can we help you during this process?

We can assist in many ways from advising you on what to apply for, the legal ramifications and point you in the direction of a trusted litigation solicitor.

Contact us for more information.

British Citizenship

Understanding which application is right for you?

British citizens usually hold this status through a connection with the United Kingdom, Channel Islands and Isle of Man (“United Kingdom and Islands”). Citizens of the United Kingdom and Colonies (CUKCs) who possessed “right of abode” under the Immigration Act 1971 through a connection with the UK and Islands generally became British citizens on 1 January 1983. To understand which category, you come under depends upon when and where you were born and your parents nationality.

What is the difference between British Citizenship and Applying for a British Passport?

British citizenship is the most common type of British nationality, and the only one that automatically carries a right of abode in the UK.

Other rights can vary according to how the British citizenship was acquired. In particular there are restrictions for ‘British citizens by descent’ transmitting British citizenship to children born outside the UK. These restrictions do not apply to ‘British citizens otherwise than by descent’.

You are awarded British citizenship by application for “Naturalisation” show sufficient knowledge of life in the UK, either by passing the Life in the United Kingdom test or by attending combined English language and citizenship classes. Proof of this must be supplied with one’s application for naturalisation.

Those aged 65 or over may be able to claim exemption or meet specified English, Welsh or Scottish Gaelic language competence standards. Those who pass the Life in the UK test are deemed to meet English language requirements.

Can you apply for this from within the UK?

Yes; You can apply for British citizenship from the UK if:

  • you’re 18 or over
  • you’re of good character, for example, you don’t have a serious or recent criminal record, and you haven’t tried to deceive the Home Office or been involved in immigration offences in the last 10 years
  • you’ll continue to live in the UK
  • you’ve met the knowledge of English and life in the UK requirements
  • you meet the residency requirement

And you must usually also have:

  • lived in the UK for at least the 5 years before the date of your application
  • spent no more than 450 days outside of the UK during those 5 years
  • spent no more than 90 days outside of the UK in the last 12 months
  • had settlement (‘indefinite leave to remain’) in the UK for the last 12 months if you’re from outside the European Economic Area (EEA)
  • had permanent residence status for the last 12 months if you’re a citizen of an EEA country – you need to provide a permanent residence document (
  • not broken any immigration laws while in the UK
Can you apply for this if you have criminal convictions?

Schedule 8 of the International Criminal Court Act 2001 states that you must declare all convictions, current and spent. You must give details of all civil judgments which have resulted in a court order being made against you as well as any civil penalties under the UK Immigration Acts. If you have been declared bankrupt at any time you must give details of the bankruptcy proceedings. Your application is unlikely to succeed if you are an un-discharged bankrupt.

If you provide forged or fraudulently obtained documents you may be investigated under section 46 of the British Nationality Act 1981. We will press for prosecution which may include up to 3 months imprisonment or a fine not exceeding £5,000 or both.

Do you need to pass the Living in the UK Test and the English Language test?

Yes, we can help you with this if you contact us.

Can a EEA National apply for British Passport?

Yes, you must have permanent residence status for the last 12 months if you’re a citizen of an EEA country – you need to provide a permanent residence document as contained under the British Nationality Act 1981.

Can you loss British Citizenship?

Yes in some circumstances. If you’re struggling with this, contact us or call us on 01634 828 288

Asking us to represent you at the Home Office to carry out the process?

To understand how you will be affected by the change, you should contact us today on 01634 828288.

Administrative Review

What is Administrative Review?

The Immigration Act 2014: allows you to request the application to the Home Office a review of its decision again. If the Home Office does not change its mind, then the only challenge will be judicial review in the High Court, a costly and time-consuming remedy. Appendix AR to the Immigration Rules sets out which decisions for applications for visas or visa extensions are eligible for administrative review.

AR2.8 Where administrative review is pending (as defined in AR2.9) the Home Office will not seek to remove the applicant from the United Kingdom.

Administrative review is regarded as pending for the purposes of sections 3C(2)(d) and 3D(2)(c) of the Immigration Act 1971.

Who can apply for the process?

An administrative review is available to correct case-working errors in certain Tier 4 (student) decisions since 20 October 2014. From 2 March 2015, it has been available for decisions on Points-based System applications where the application (as opposed to the decision) was made on or after that date. From 6 April 2015, administrative review it has been available for all decisions under the Immigration Rules where there is no longer a right of appeal.

There are three categories of applicants who will not be entitled to an administrative review even though they do not have a right of appeal:

1) Visitors and short-term students If you are refused entry clearance as a visitor or a short-term student you will have to make a further application as a visitor, addressing the reasons for refusal, rather than applying for administrative review.

2) Persons given notice of liability for removal If you are liable for removal from the UK you will be given notice that you are expected to depart from the United Kingdom. If you submit further applications for leave to remain at this point, you are not able to have the refusal of those applications administratively reviewed.

3) Persons whose leave is cancelled There is no right of appeal or administrative review against the decision to cancel a person’s leave to remain or enter once they are already in the UK.

Can you apply for this from the UK?

Yes, you will be told in your application refusal letter by the Home Office if you can ask for the decision on your visa application to be reviewed. You can ask for your application to be reviewed if one of the following apply: your application was refused; your application was granted but you’re unhappy with the amount or conditions of your leave.

If your application was refused, you must apply for an administrative review within 14 days of getting the decision. Your refusal letter will tell you how to apply. It costs £80. You must apply within 7 days if you’ve been detained. If your application was granted but you’re unhappy with the amount or conditions of your leave, you must email the Home Office within 14 days of getting your biometric residence permit.

Contact Us if you have a general enquiry about immigration.

What happens when you are refused administrative review?

If your request for administrative review is refused and the refusal is maintained by the Home Office (decision maker), you have the option to challenge the refusal by way of Judicial Review in Upper Tribunal within 10 days from the date of the refusal letter.

We can conduct your Pre-Action Letter prior to Judicial Review only, and will then signpost you to an Expert UK Immigration Litigation Solicitor.

Asking us to represent you at the Home Office to carry out the administrative review process?

To understand how you will be affected by the change, you should contact us today on 01634 828288.

Tier 2 General Visa

Tier 2 General Application and Eligibility?

You can apply for a Tier 2 (General) visa if: you’ve been offered specialist skilled employment in the UK and you are a national from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland. Your sponsor will have to be a UK Employer holding a licensed sponsor in the UK. Your sponsor will have to check that you can do the job they’re hiring you for and if it qualifies you for a visa. They’ll assign you a certificate of sponsorship to prove this.

Can I switch to Tier 2 General Application from the UK?

You must leave the UK and make your Tier 2 (General) application from abroad if you’re not in currently in the UK in one of the following categories Tier 1 visa; Tier 2 (Sportsperson) visa; Tier 2 (Minister of religion) visa; Tier 2 (Intra company Transfer) visa under the Immigration Rules in place before 6 April 2010 and you’re applying to change sponsor; Tier 4 visa – if you have an eligible qualification or you’ve done at least 12 months of a PhD. You can also switch to a Tier 2 (General) visa if you’re: a dependent partner of someone with a Tier 4 visa a representative of an overseas business.

Tier 2 General Sponsor Guidance Notes are helpful?

This guidance is to be used for all Tiers 2 and Tier 5 sponsor licence applicationsTier 2 (General): sponsors of shortage occupations – digital… Important notes about assigning a certificate of sponsorship to a contractual. As these are only guidance notes, they are not law and you cannot challenge the Home Office on these notes if you have used them and your application is refused. The Decision Maker can still refuse your application only on Law.

Does a Tier 2 General Application require a Certificate of Sponsor?

Yes, if you are the employer, requiring advice on this call 01634 828288

How do I obtain a Certificate of Sponsor?

Your UK Sponsor & License holder will assign a certificate (work permit) to you if you qualify to switch in country; this is called a un restrictive certificate of sponsor. If you have been offered employment as a national from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland and live outside these areas, you will be assigned a restrictive certificate of sponsor.