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Archive for Current News
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.
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 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
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
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
• 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
Is the Immigration rules appendix FM relevant to my application?
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.
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.
Here is a list of some of the documents required.
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
As from January 1, 2014 citizens of Romania and Bulgaria will enjoy the same rights as the rest of the EU which will allow them to work in the UK. It was back in 2007 when Bulgaria and Romania both joined the EU which meant its citizens could have the right to travel in the UK without the need to get a visa. However, there were restrictions imposed at the time of the type of work they could do.
Any employer in Britain that wanted to hire someone from Bulgaria or Romania would have to have work permits and the employees (from Romania and Bulgaria) have to have a document called the “Accession Worker Card.”
It all made life rather difficult for those wanting to come and work in Britain, particularly for unskilled workers. But come January 1, 2014 these tough restrictions will be lifted after seven years of being in place.
There are other countries in the EU that face the same issues as Britain, France, Germany, Spain, Belgium, Austria, Holland, Malta and Luxembourg for example. The Romanian and Bulgarian workers will be entitled to the same benefits as the rest of the EU member states but prime minister David Cameron has proposed a number of restrictions that should be in place by the time the immigration visa restrictions are due to be lifted.
There will be a restriction on migrants claiming out of work benefits, like Job Seekers Allowance (JSA) for the first three months and all welfare benefits will stop completely after six months unless there is a real chance of that migrant worker getting a job. Migrants will not be able to claim housing benefit and any migrant caught begging will be deported and not allowed to return to the UK for a period of 12 months. Whether or not these restrictions go far enough is a burning question. Several Romanian visitors spent well over three months sleeping rough on the grounds of Marble Arch in central London over the summer months, some would get by with food that had gained from bins and begged from tourists.
Another proposal is to quadruple the fines imposed on employers who undercut British workers by paying less than the minimum wage. The backlash has come from political party UKIP and pressure group Migration Watch that has predicted more than 55,000 could arrive in the UK every year until 2019.
The prospects for many applicants seeking to apply for this represent the final hurdle for achieving their long awaited status. Depending on the basis of your application e.g. Tier 2 work permits or 10 years lawful residence, you may qualify for indefinite leave either after 5 years or 10 years lawful residence. Before making these application applicants should check they meet the requirements to ensure that they qualify.
In particular applicants should look closely that they do meet the continuous residence requirements, and that there residence is lawful throughout this period. Under the Immigration rules continuous residence means residence in the UK for an unbroken period, and the for these purposes a period shall not be considered to have been broken where an applicant is absent from the UK for a period of 6 months or less. So if an applicant who has existing leave travels overseas and return with 6 months. This would be treated as continuous.
Identifying Gaps or breaks in the qualifying period.
What if you do have gaps or breaks in your period of entitlement? Have you made an out of time application in the proceeding period? If there has been a break, how long is the break? If you have had a period of overstay during the qualifying period, then this can affect the result of your application.
One should not assume that just because an application meets the milestone of say 5 years or 10 years that you will automatically qualify. In cases where an applicant has a single short gap in lawful residence through making one single previous application out of time by a few days not more than 10 days (e.g. postal strike, hospitalization, administrative error) then it may be possible that caseworkers may exercise discretion in these instances.
If there is a gap or break applicants should ensure that they do get the necessary legal advice before proceeding with their application.
As foretold earlier this year, the Government publishes its new immigration bill today. The bill contains a number of tough measures which has major far reaching social and political implications for families communities, and society as a whole.
Please see list below for a summary of the main proposals:
- Stop migrants using public services
- Easier deportation procedures;
- Private landlords to check the immigration status of their tenants;
- .Introduction of a requirement for students to make a contribution to the heath service;
- Banks will be required to check known databases of offenders before opening bank accounts;
- Introduction of powers to check and revoke driving licenses where immigrants have overstayed;
- Restriction on ability for detainees to apply for bail if repeatedly refused;
- Clamp down on sham marriages or civil marriages to gain immigration advantage
- Redefine how the courts apply Article 8 ECHR
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With the general election now in clear sight. The UK government has decided to step up their approach targeting illegal immigration, much to the annoyance of their coalition partners who said that they found their adverts distasteful.
The Home Office has defended the campaign covering six London boroughs, which involved leaflets and small posters being distributed and two advertising vans being driven around for a week. The department said it represented a constructive approach to the problem of illegal immigration. It is understood that Downing Street has indicated that the controversial campaign could be extended nationwide.
Meanwhile UK Border Agency staff has stepped up its increase presence in the London boroughs. They were visible on tooting on Saturday when they closed a local store. Concerns have been raised about the government’s approach, many feel it is reminiscent of the 1970 images, and could be seen to unfairly target legal migrants.