Did Meghan Markle Applying for a fiancee visa?

Entry clearance is the procedure used by Entry Clearance Officers (ECOs) at British missions overseas to check eligibility before a person is allowed to enter the UK, if that person qualifies under the Immigration Rules.   In some cases particularly under the Immigration Rules entry clearance is mandatory.  In all cases, the authority to admit someone to the UK ultimately rests with the Immigration Officer (IO) at the port of entry.

Applicants are also required to submit biometric information as part of the application process and pay the correct a fee which is listed on the Home Office website.

The UK’s immigration control is based on the Immigration Act 1971 amended by subsequent immigration and asylum acts, and the Statement of Changes in Immigration Rules (the Rules) provided for in Section 3 (2) of the 1971 Act.

 

Entry clearance for fiancée & proposed civil partners

Whether you are applying for settlement in the form of fiancée, spousal, civil partnership, or unmarried partner an application for entry clearance must be made.   The applicant must be seeking entry to the UK to enable their marriage or civil partnership to take place within 6 months of arriving in the UK.  The partner in the UK must either be a British Citizen settled status or have been granted humanitarian protection for example refugee status.    So it is probable that Megan Markle applied to enter the UK on a fiancee visa before she entered the UK this time. It is clear she made the necessary long term changes at her former residence paving the way to settle in the UK.  That would be the correct procedure under the Immigration Rules.

 

IS ENTRY CLEARANCE COMPULSORY FOR EVERYONE?

It is not compulsory for everybody; some people (non-visa nationals) USA is a non visa national, are able to travel to the UK and make their immigration application on arrival to a border force officer at the port of entry, provided their intended stay is for six months or less. But if an applicant knows that they are intending to get engaged in the UK and remain an application would need to be made before.  Most immigration routes now require entry clearance regardless of the applicant’s nationality and some people for whom entry clearance is not compulsory still choose to apply for it.

WHERE CAN I MAKE AN APPLICATION FOR ENTRY CLEARANCE?

You will need to go online and create an account for Visa4UK and sign into that account. In almost all countries, applicants must apply online. The only exception is North Korea.

DOES IT MATTER WHAT LOCATION THE APPLICATION FOR ENTRY CLEARANCE IS MADE?

You cannot  apply whilst you are physically within the UK. The application is made online.  Arrangements will need to be made to ensure all documents are submitted to the relevant visa application center.

The application form must be printed online and the application submitted with their passport and supporting documents, this is usually when they attend the visa application center to give biometrics and, in many cases, although this happens less frequently to attend an interview. Most applicants pay the application fee online, but in some countries, they pay the fee when they attend the visa application center. Applicants usually select a date and time at which they would like to attend a visa application center as part of the online application process.

 

 

 

WILL MY PARTNER BE REQUIRED TO TAKE AN APPROVED ENGLISH LANGUAGE TEST?

If they have an academic qualification, in English they will not need to take the test. Provided the qualification is recognized by UK Naric and equivalent to UK bachelor degree or higher. If not they will need to pass an approved English language test with at least a CEFR level A1 in speaking and listening. The test is not required by children or adults coming to the UK to be cared for by a relative.

HOW CAN FIRST PRECEDENT & VISA SERVICE HELP IN SUBMITTING AN APPLICATION FOR A FIANCÉE/ CIVIL PARTNERSHIP?

We understand how difficult and stressful the immigration process can be for our clients, looking to make these types of application. This is why we manage these applications with care and sensitivity.  Some clients may simply be overwhelmed by the sheer complexity of documents required. Some may have been refused in the past and not sure whether all the information is in place.  It is fundamental to have a sound knowledge of the various appendix and immigration rules. Navigating the various appendixes is never easy. We have been doing this for years. Just one error or oversight may result in an application being refused, and loss of fees, which can prove costly.

We have helped numerous clients achieve a successful application.    We do the legwork and research, online application and prepare supporting documents so you don’t have to.  You can use the time to plan your wedding/ civil partnership. Just like Harry and Megan! Congrats by the way on their engagement.

Immigration law is constantly changing, as a result, Home Office refusals are sadly at an all time high in the UK, however, our success rate is unperturbed by the changes, we consistently achieve positive outcomes for our clients.  Don’t leave your loved one’s application to chance. Leave it to the professionals. First Precedent & Visas Services offers a fully regulated service to level 3, the highest level in immigration services. Give us a call and let us know how we can help you.

If you  have any queries about our Civil Partner or Spousal Visa application, or any other application process please call on (+44) 0208 7691750, or for out of office hours enquires please send us an email to: info@firstprecedent.com and we will send a timely response the next working day.

 

What EEA nationals & family members need to know about applying for Permanent Residence

What is Permanent Residence?

Under the EU regulation, EEA citizens and family members will qualify for permanent residence after 5 years continuous Residence. The regulations also apply to workers or self-employed who has ceased activity, and their family members. It also applies to family members of workers who have died where the family member resided with the EEA national subject to conditions. In calculating continues residence, it is not broken by periods of absence from the UK for 6 months or less per year. As under UK law, the permanent residence will lapse with two years continuous absence, It is also equivalent to ILR because it brings with it protection from being removed.    Permanent Residence is granted is for 10 years, after which an applicant can apply for it to be renewed. The applicant will need to pay the correct fee.

 How do I qualify for Permanent Residence?

In order to qualify it will depend on whether the EEA national can demonstrate that they have had a continuous right to reside described above. Evidencing permanent residence is not straightforward.  An EEA national may have had periods of economic inactivity in the relevant five year period. This needs to be examined very closely.  The success of the non-EEA family member’s application will depend on the evidence that the EEA national had a continuous right to reside.

Is it possible to apply for British Citizenship without applying for permanent Residence?

No it is no longer possible to do this.   As a result of new changes in Nov 2015. Applicants must first apply for permanent residence certificate before they can apply for naturaliasation. This change was introduced by the British Nationality Act. Therefore this has the effect of extending the qualifying process…  However, provided the applicant was resident in the UK for a 5 year period ending at least 12 months before they want to apply for citizenship, they can then apply for citizenship provided they meets the necessary  requirements for British Citizenship.

 What happens to the status of permanent residence after UK leaves EU?

This is an interesting question which will definitely be debated in time to come. When the UK leaves the EU, ‘permanent residence’ status will no longer be granted because UK will no longer be part of the EU. It would be for the UK government to replace it should they decide to do so. Immigration experts at the University of Oxford’s Migration Observatory have said: “it is likely to be more difficult (politically and legally) for the government to remove this status from people who already hold it”. The government wants to reach an agreement to protect the status of EU citizens already living in the UK and those of UK citizens living in other EU countries as soon as possible. Hopefully, this will be agreed sooner rather than later.

How long does it take to process my application for Permanent Residence?

In view of Brexit, there has been a substantial increase in applications made to the Home Office.   The “normal processing time for permanent residence application is four to six months while some applications may take a longer time to process”  in many cases these time limit has been extended. Its a good idea to check on the Home Office, as this information is regularly updated.  Once an application has been submitted, the Home Office will confirm receipt; this usually takes about 2 weeks.

What form is used to apply for Permanent Residence?

Applicants can use form EEA PR to apply. The form is 85 pages long; the application can also be made online, and supporting documents mailed by post. The form has been described as being very long and complicated. It is permissible to download and submit only the sections that are relevant to the applicant.

 How can First Precedent &Visa Services help in my application for Permanent Residence?

With over 20 years’ combined immigration experience our solicitors have established a brand our clients can trust. Whether you are a family member of an EEA national or the EEA national we can help. It should be noted that in some cases evidencing that you qualify for Permanent evidence is not always easy. We at First Precedent & Visa Services have helped numerous clients qualify for Permanent Residence. We know the pitfalls, and challenges associated with these applications and will ensure that we can put forward the strongest possible case. It is important to note that in these applications the Home Office will require the applicant to prove their case to the criminal standard or go to appeal. Don’t leave your future to chance.

It important to note also that a quarter of EU citizens are having their application rejected, since the UK voted to leave the EU. This is according to a new government data. Don’t leave your application to guess work consult the professionals. Our Immigration Advisers are fully regulated by the OISC to level 3 the highest level. The OISC is responsible for regulating the advice provided by immigration organizations and advisers must only act according to, and within, their authorization.

Contact First Precedent and arrange an immigration consultation today.

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Helpful tips to consider in an application for discretionary leave.

What is discretionary leave?

The Discretionary Leave to Remain is a leave granted by the Secretary of State outside the Immigration Rules and any exceptional and compassionate circumstances in the case are always a relevant consideration when it is decided whether or not discretion should be exercised to grant Discretionary Leave to Remain.

Can you explain what the old type of discretionary leave is?

There are two types of discretionary leave. The old type that was granted pre Jul 2012.   It was leave that use to be granted to individuals who did not qualify under the immigration rules, but it was considered they had an Article 8 claim (Human Rights). In other words their removal would breach their right to private and family life. It was also granted in medical cases too where there would be a breach under Article 3 inhuman or degrading treatment or Article 8.   Grant of leave would be granted for 3 years, followered by an active review. The applicant would need to re apply for a further 3 years before the expiry. After 6 years the applicant will be eligible to apply for Indefinite Leave to remain (ILR). If an applicant is still on this route they will continue, until they qualify for ILR. Clearly this grant of leave was more advantageous as it enabled an applicant   to qualify for ILR within a shorter time frame, 6 years instead of 10 years. The new changes now in place mean that an applicant has to wait 10 years before they are eligible to apply for ILR.

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Can you explain what the new type of discretionary leave is?

 

Those applicants with an Article 8 claim who were granted leave under Article 8 will now be granted 30 months (2.5 years) leave at a time to remain on a 10 year route. It is now no longer called discretionary leave as it is now granted under the private and family life provisions of Appendix FM. New grants of leave will be granted for 30 months at a time, and an applicant will need to apply to extend before the expiry of their existing leave.  With this grant an applicant will not qualify for ILR until they have completed 10 years. It is important to also note that each applicant will be subject to an active review to ensure that they continue to qualify for a further grant of leave.  Discretionary leave will also be granted in cases where removal would breach Article 3 in medical and other cases who do not qualify for humanitarian protection.

 

I am an overstayer. I am content to put off applying for discretionary leave as I am not sure if I qualify?

 

 

It is understandable to have these concerns. However it is always advisable to seek immigration advice to assess whether an applicant does have a human rights claim under family & private provisions.  The government continues to pursue a hostile environment for overstayers, and things are scheduled to get tougher.  Measures are already in place making it harder for illegal migrants to rent property, and making it easy for landlords to evict. In Jan 2018 the government has brought in changes requiring banks to check their customers against a Home Office list of known overstayers, failed asylum seekers and foreign national facing deportation. It is clear that the measures introduced are making it increasingly very difficult for illegal migrants to operate.

 

 

How can First Precedent & Visa Service help in submitting an application for discretionary leave?

With over 20 years experience we are confident that we can provide you with the level and expertise needed, in making this type of application. These applications require careful research and an in depth knowledge of case law and the Human Rights Act. Although we cannot guarantee success we are confident that we can bring our experience and resources to bear, we also work with a team of qualified professionals to offer you the client an unrivalled service.  We are dedicated in meeting the needs of our clients. We understand how difficult and stressful these types of cases can be which is why all of our client applications are managed carefully and with the strictest confidence.

We pride ourselves in building a solid reputation in the pursuit of excellence for our clients. Our Immigration Advisers are regulated by the Office of immigration Service Commissioner (OISC) to level 3 the highest level. As Immigration Adviser it is essential for us to keep abreast of changes in the regulations.  We are please to confirm that we have many success stories of clients in this category.   Take charge of your future today, instruct the professionals to get impartial advice.

If you have any queries about making this type of application , or not sure if you qualify please call on (+44) 0208 7691750, or send us an email to: info@firstprecedent.com and we will send a timely response the next working day.

 

What are the Implications of Brexit for EU national & family members?

brexit

Remember this slogan? Britain is now leaving the UK .

What are the implications? This is the question everyone is asking, particularly EU national and their family members, who face an uncertain future in the UK. Equally perplexing is the effect on the family members of third-country nationals the EU national may be connected with.

The question arises what can be done to protect their status in the wake of Brexit.  Many are concerned that the UK government will use EU nationals as a bargaining tool.

Many EU nationals and their family members are considering applying for British Citizenship or Permanent Residence (PR). A person automatically qualifies for PR if they meet the 5 years residence requirements.  There is the option to apply for Permanent Residence. As one can imagine there has been a surge in applications, at the Home Office in the light of Brexit.     However, proving Permanent Residence is not easy, and it’s important that sufficient evidence is provided. The Home Office will not tell you what you need to submit. The application form is also very lengthy and consists of 85 pages. The form is far from straightforward, and you will definitely need to take your time on this one.

Our experience in this area is that the applicant, whether they are an EU national or a family member has numerous questions, from wanting to know whether they qualify for Permanent Residence, to whether they can include family members on their application at the same time.

Also what are the implications under EU law on becoming a British Citizen?  EU law has always been very generous, when dealing with family reunion cases, particularly from third countries Eg Nigeria Ghana-India etc.  Whereas the Immigration Rules are far more restrictive and make family reunion if not difficult, virtually impossible.   If you are looking to apply for a family permit for a family member or a close relative (extended family members) a lot more information may be needed. If you do decide to become a British Citizen you also need to consider whether your country of origin allows you to hold dual nationality.

The chances are you are reading this because you have a specific problem and you are not clear on your position after Brexit. Whether you are applying for Permanent Residence or deciding to become a British Citizen.   One thing is certain, now is the best time to find a solution as the UK is still part of the EU and will be so for the next 2 years.

 

 

Summary of Nigel Farage speeches

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Top tips What you should know before applying for UK visa to enter the UK

Whether you are applying for a visit visa  or settlement  for a loved one  there are a lot of hurdles to jump through when you are trying to navigate the immigration rules. It not just the immigration rules you will need to know.

If you have been refused  in the past than reapplying makes it equally  more challenging. Sadly there is no longer the right to appeal against refusal of a visit visa or even a right to an administrative review. So your only option will be to submit a fresh application.   In an increasingly hostile environment to immigration particularly from the Commonwealth countries its important that all steps are taken to make the application stands a good chance of succeeding.  Make sure all information  whether the online or paper application is accurate and correct. If you can afford to use Immigration Adviser.  We are regulated by the Office for Immigration Service Commissioner ( OISC ) level 3. They will hopefully be able to provide you with  right advice, so that you can avoid the pitfalls.

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If you decide to prepare and submit the application yourself make sure you  familiarize yourself with the Appendix .  There is no numbering system like the Immigration Rules  The appendix are referenced by a complex  lettering scheme.

Here are examples of some of the appendices listed below:

  •  Appendix B English language requirement
  •  Appendix FM Family Members
  •  Appendix FM SE Specified Evidence
  •  Appendix K short list occupation
  •  Appendix V  Immigration Rules for Visitors

It always worth looking at Immigration Directorate Instructions(IDI )which applicants will definitely find helpful when  making an application.

 

 

 

 

EEA nationals applying for family permit for fiancees and unmarried partners.

EEA nationals applying for family permit for third country nationals
Family member of EEA national who are qualifying members enjoy free movement rights under the regulations. Family members of EEA national are entitled to accompany join or resided with an EEA national.
What happens where an EEA national wants to apply for a fiancée visa, to get married in the UK, or make an application for an unmarried partner to join him or her in the UK?. What does the EU Regulations say about these types of cases? What are the differences between the two categories family members and extended family members provided for in the Regulations. To what extent is it relevant and how will it affect the application? Does the Immigration Rules appendix FM play a part in this process? If yes what can I do if I can’t meet the financial limit of £18,600. Essentially the immigration rules defines the financial limit and maintenance and accommodation requirements the sponsor must satisfy before he/she embarks on an application for entry clearance. How much does the application cost for an unmarried partner fiancée visa? and when is it fee? We will be addressing some of the answers to the question raised below:
Family members Regulation 7
Regulation 7 identifies the first main category of family members. The list below includes spouse or civil partner and direct descendents of EEA national or his spouse under the age of 21. This first category is very important because their free movement rights are innate.
Regulation 7 of the EEA Regulations defines “family member” as:
• the EEA national’s spouse or civil partner

• Direct descendants of the EEA national or of his spouse or civil partner who are under the
age of 21 OR are their dependants

• dependant direct relatives in the ascending line of the EEA national or of his spouse or
Civil partner.

This definition includes EEA nationals who are students in the UK for less than three
months. For periods of residence extending beyond 3 months family members of an EEA
national who is a student (unless he is additionally exercising another Treaty right) are
defined as his spouse or civil partner and his dependant children or the dependant children
of his spouse or civil partner.
The right to admission and residence is automatic and there are no cost implications once such a family relationship has been established.

Extended Family members (Regulation 8)
Extended family members are only to be treated as family members for the purposes of the
EEA Regulations if they have been issued, as a matter of discretion, with an EEA family
permit or a registration certificate or residence card. The EEA Regulations allow for an“extensive examination of the personal circumstances” of a person applying under these
provisions.
The following persons are extended family members:
A relative of an EEA national or of his/her spouse or civil partner who is residing in an
EEA state in which the EEA national also resides and is dependant on the EEA national or is
a member of his household AND is either accompanying or joining the EEA national OR has
joined the EEA national and continues to be dependant or a member of the EEA national’s
household

• A relative of an EEA national or of his/her spouse or civil partner who strictly requires
personal care from the EEA national or his spouse or civil partner on serious health grounds

• A relative of an EEA national or of his/her spouse or civil partner who would meet the
requirements in part 8 of the immigration rules (other than those relating to entry clearance)
for indefinite leave to enter or remain in the United Kingdom as a dependent relative of the
EEA national or his spouse or his civil partner were the EEA national or his spouse or his
civil partner a person present and settled in the United Kingdom.

• A person who is the partner of an EEA national (other than a civil partner) who can show
that he/she is in a “durable relationship” with the EEA national. When assessing whether a
relationship is durable officers should satisfy themselves fully that the person meets the
leave to enter requirements of an unmarried partner as set out in part 8 of the immigration
rules .
Is the Immigration rules appendix FM relevant to my application?
http://ukimmigrationforum.co.uk/uk-immigration-and-its-effects/
For partners in a durable relationship the Home Office applies a rule of two years, so the couple would need to demonstrate by providing evidence. There is no definition of a durable relationship so this rule is not set in stone. For sponsors unsure how to proceed, it is always worthwhile getting immigration advice, particulary if you are seeking to do the application on your own, just to make sure that you are on the right track. see link below.
http://ukimmigrationforum.co.uk/immigration-services/
puzzled

Are you seeking UK Immigration Advice ?

Top Tips to consider in applying for a UK fiancée/ Spousal Visa

 

Are you looking to apply for a spousal/ fiancée visa and not sure how to go about it. Then you may find these tips helpful.

 

Applicants in the UK who are applying to switch for instance from student to spouse should ensure that they meet all the requirements of the immigration rules before proceeding with their application. The sponsor should either have settled status, which means that they indefinite leave to remain ( ILR) or British nationals.

 

An application can be made under the Immigration Rules for a fiancee if you are bringing your partner to the UK with the intention of marriage/civil partnership. If the application is successful, then leave will be granted up a maximum of 6 months, to come to the UK to get married with a restriction on work. If the marriage/ civil partnership do not take place within the 6 months then a further application may need to be considered.

 

The next factor one should consider is the accommodation. Whether this is rental accommodation or owned. It is important to ensure that the accommodation you intend to reside  is not overcrowded and that there is exclusively use.

 

Age is also an important factor. If there is a large age gap between the applicant and sponsor then one should expect that the application will be scrutinized carefully.  Is the relationship has a result of a world wind romance?  then these issue will be looked into. If either party has been divorced then it’s important to show that  they are free to marriage.

 

When and where did you meet? It is a requirement under the immigration rules whether you are applying for a spousal/ fiancée civil partnership visa that you have actually met. The applicant will also need to submit evidence that they speak English   to the required standard.   At least CEFR level A1 in speaking and listening if the applicant is from an English speaking country then this is not required.

Black-family

Here is a list of some of the documents required.

 

Documents Needed:

  • 2 recent passport photographs and your passport
  • Evidence of your age and your partner’s age
  • Marriage or civil partnership certificate
  • Evidence that you were both free to marry or enter your civil partnership
  • Evidence that you have met
  • Evidence of your English language ability
  • Evidence that you meet the financial requirement.

 

Financial Requirements:

You must have an income of at least £18,600. If you are sponsoring a child as well as a partner you will need an income of at least £22,400. For each additional child being sponsored you will need an additional income of £2,400. For example, if you are you are bringing 2 children with you to the United Kingdom, you must have and income of £22,400 and £2,400 for the additional child, so a total of £24,800.

Applying for Permanent Residence for Family Members of EEA nationals

 

 Top Tips to consider before applying for permanent residence

Family members of EEA nationals who are exercising rights of free movement are entitled to be admitted to and stay in the UK with the EEA national.  The definition of family members includes the third country nationals, a term used to describe nationals who are not members of the European Union.

Family members of EU nationals also have the right to reside in the UK and do not need to leave the UK if they have overstayed on their visa.

puzzled

 

This is of great advantage to family members, who may have overstayed under the Immigration Rules, and do not have any leave to remain. They are able to regularize their stay in the UK.

Family members issued with a residence permit are also entitled to family reunion, under the   EU law and may also qualify under the Immigration Rules. Reunion can be achieved  under EU law  more effectively, but this needs to be assessed on a case by case basis. It always worth getting immigration advice so one can weigh up the pros and cons. EU law is more generous in allowing family reunion with distant family members, but make sure you check out whether you meet the requirements first.

Family members of EU nationals should note that their rights of residence are dependent on their connections to the EEA national and this can be lost. For instance when the EEA national themselves ceases to be a qualified person, by no longer living and working in the UK.  Divorce is another example, unless the family  member has retained his or her rights of residence.

 Settlement Applications

The EU law does allow all persons who have been admitted under the various immigration categories including family members of third country nationals to apply for permanent residence after 5 years continuous lawful residence.

Family members of third country nationals considering applying should not assume it’s purely a question of meeting the residence requirements, they need to show connections to the EU national.

The immigration Rules now include provision for applicants wishing to remain in the UK on the basis of their family or private life.  These rules are located at Appendix FM and Para 276ADE. But once again applicants should also seek advice on their circumstances before deciding the best way to proceed; as they may find out they do not qualify! In view if the ever increasing uncertainty of the UK continuing to be a member of the European Union, seeking advice over rights of settlement is now increasingly  of great importance.

brexit