Archive for family

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.

home office bding

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.

 

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.

pic pic today

 

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.

 

 

 

 

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.

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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.

Are you eligible to apply for limited leave to remain as a parent?

Are you are a parent or carer of a child settled in the UK? Do you have a child born in the UK under 18 years that you would like to maintain regular contact?   Do you have existing leave to remain in the UK? Or are you an overstayer?  The good news is that the immigration rules do make provision, however there are a number of requirements that would need to be met under the Immigration Rules. Applicants should seek the advice of an Immigration Adviser before considering applying, as changes to the Immigration rules may impact and affect the application. Applicants would need to satisfy not only financial & accommodation requirements, but also English language requirements.

 

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If the application is successful, the applicant will be initially being granted 30 months leave, and would be eligible to apply for indefinite leave to remain after 60months.

 

The New Immigration Bill – New Tough Measures Planned

UKBA-LogoAs 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:

  1. Stop migrants using public services
  2. Easier deportation procedures;
  3.  Private landlords to check the immigration status of their tenants;
  4. .Introduction of a requirement for students to make a contribution to the heath service;
  5.  Banks will be required to check known databases of offenders before opening bank accounts;
  6. Introduction of powers to check and revoke driving licenses where immigrants have overstayed;
  7.  Restriction on ability for detainees to apply for bail if repeatedly refused;
  8. Clamp down on sham marriages or civil marriages to gain immigration advantage
  9.  Redefine how the courts apply Article 8 ECHR

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