Immigration

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Navigating the immigration system in the UK can be a daunting and stressful experience, which is why our team of experienced professionals are on-hand to guide you through the Home Office’s application, review and appeal processes.

You’ll receive clear, focused advice catered to your specific circumstances, and we always endeavour to handle your case in the most efficient way we possibly can. At Michael Rose & Baylis, we strive to deliver the best possible outcomes for each client and we are immensely proud of our record of success.

Visitor Visa (Standard)

The Visitor Visa is a popular visa category which allows individuals to reside in the UK for a short period. There may be a number of reasons for visiting the UK, such as tourism, business, visiting family, sitting an exam, undertaking research or attending a special event.

Applicants can apply for a Standard Visitor Visa under the following categories:

  • Family Visitor
  • General Visitor
  • Child Visitor
  • Business Visitor, including academics, doctors and dentists
  • Sports Visitor
  • Entertainer Visitor
  • Prospective Entrepreneur Visitor
  • Private Medical Treatment Visitor
  • Approved Destination Status (ADS)

The applicant must be a genuine visitor, intending to visit the UK for no more than 6 months and leave at the end of the visit. The applicant must also demonstrate that they have sufficient funds to maintain and accommodate themselves without recourse to public funds.

During the period for which the visa is granted, the applicant cannot study in the UK, undertake business activities, marry or enter into a civil partnership and cannot receive medical treatment (unless they have applied to visit for that specific purpose).

Start-Up Visa

This visa launched in March 2019 and replaced the Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur Visa. This route is for people who wish to start a new business in the UK for the first time and applicants are required to have an innovative, viable and scalable business idea supported by an endorsing body. An endorsing body is an organisation which has been approved by the Home Office to support an applicant’s business idea.

The requirements for the Start-Up Visa application are as follows:

  • Applicant must be at least 18 years old;
  • Meet the English requirement by either having passed an English language test approved by the Home Office with at least CEFR Level B2 in reading, writing, speaking and listening OR by having an academic qualification that was taught in English and is recognised by UK NARIC as being equivalent to a UK bachelor’s degree, master’s degree or PhD. The applicant is not required to meet the English requirement if they are a national from an English speaking country as outlined by the Home Office;
  • The applicant must be able to prove that they have enough personal savings to support themselves whilst in the UK. The applicant must have at least £945 in their bank account for 90 consecutive days no earlier than 31 days before the date of application.
  • The applicant is not required to provide evidence of maintenance if the endorsing body confirms in their letter that they have been awarded at least £945 for the maintenance.
  • This route does not lead to settlement in the UK. Successful applicants will be granted a 2 year visa and will be able to step into the Innovator Visa category to develop their business idea in the UK.

Innovator Visa

The Innovator Visa launched in March 2019 and replaced the Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa. This route is intended for more experienced business people who are seeking to set up a new business in the UK for the first time and applicants are required to have an innovative, viable and scalable business idea which is supported by an endorsing body. An endorsing body is an organisation which has been approved by the Home Office to support an applicant’s business idea.

The requirements for the application are as follows:

  • Applicant must be at least 18 years old;
  • Meet the English requirement by either having passed an English language test approved by the Home Office with at least CEFR Level B2 in reading, writing, speaking and listening OR by having an academic qualification that was taught in English and is recognised by UK NARIC as being equivalent to a UK bachelor’s degree, master’s degree or PhD. The applicant is not required to meet the English requirement if they are a national from English speaking country as outlined by the Home Office;
  • The applicant must be able to prove that they have enough personal savings to support themselves whilst in the UK. The applicant must have at least £945 in their bank account for 90 consecutive days no earlier than 31 days before the date of application;
  • The applicant is not required to provide evidence of maintenance if the endorsing body confirms in their letter that they have been awarded at least £945 for the maintenance;
  • The applicant must have at least £50,000 in investment funds if they want to set up a new business. The applicant does not need funds if their business is already established and has been endorsed for an earlier visa.

Successful applicants will be granted a 3 year visa with the option to extend for a further 3 years. Applicants may be able to apply for settlement when they have completed 5 years in the UK.

Sponsor Licence Under Tier 2, Tier 4 & Tier 5 for UK Employers

If you are a UK employer who wishes to employ an overseas national from outside the European Economic Area for a vacancy in the UK or if any Education Provider wishes to enrol an overseas student from outside the EEA, they are required to sponsor them under the Tier 2, Tier 4 or Tier 5 points-based system. Applicants must therefore obtain a Sponsor Licence from the Home Office.

To become a licensed sponsor, the organisation must be a genuine organisation or sole trader legally operating in the UK. The Home Office will complete the necessary checks and may make a visit to the organisation’s premises or request further documentation prior to making a decision on the sponsor licensing application.

Tier 2 Visa

There are four types of Tier 2 skilled worker categories which require a sponsorship certificate assigned by a licensed sponsor (employer) in order to apply for leave to enter or remain in the UK. These are as follows:

  • Tier 2 (General)
  • Tier 2 (Minister of Religion)
  • Tier 2 (Sportsperson)
  • Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer)
  • General

The applicant is required to score at least 70 points under the following categories:

  • Attributes – which includes the availability of a valid Certificate of Sponsorship
  • English Language – evidencing their level of understanding of the English language
  • Maintenance – evidencing 3 months worth of bank statements with a balance of £945.00

Successful applicants will be granted a 3 year visa with the option to extend for a further 2 years. The applicant must work for the sponsor in the job described in the certificate of sponsorship, but in certain circumstances they can do supplementary employment of no more than 20 hours per week.

Tier 2 workers can apply for permanent settlement in the UK on completion of a total of 5 years. The applicants are required to demonstrate in their settlement applications that they are earning a salary of £35,000 (from April 2018 – £35,500, and from April 2019 – £35,800), unless they are in an extremely highly-skilled occupation which will grant them exemption from this requirement.

Dependents would also be allowed to apply for settlement with the main applicant if they had last been granted leave as a dependent of the main applicant.

Minister of Religion

This category is for people who have obtained a role within the UK which is affiliated to a religious organisation / pastoral services.

The applicant is required to score at least 70 points under the following categories:

  • Attributes – which includes the availability of a valid Certificate of Sponsorship
  • English Language – evidencing their level of understanding of the English language
  • Maintenance – evidencing 3 months worth of bank statements with a balance of £945.00

Successful applicants will be granted a 3 year visa with the option to extend for a further 2 years. The applicant must work for the sponsor in the job described in the certificate of sponsorship, but in certain circumstances they can do supplementary employment of no more than 20 hours per week.

Tier 2 workers can apply for permanent settlement in the UK on completion of a total of 5 years. Dependents would also be allowed to apply for settlement with the main applicant if they had last been granted leave as a dependent of the main applicant.

Sportsperson

This category is for talented sportspeople and coaches who are internationally established at their highest level.

The applicant is required to score at least 70 points under the following categories:

  • Attributes – which includes the availability of a valid Certificate of Sponsorship
  • English Language – evidencing their level of understanding of the English language
  • Maintenance – evidencing 3 months worth of bank statements with a balance of £945.00

Successful applicants will be granted a 3 year visa with the option to extend for a further 2 years. The applicant must work for the sponsor in the job described in the certificate of sponsorship, but in certain circumstances they can do supplementary employment of no more than 20 hours per week.

Tier 2 workers can apply for permanent settlement in the UK on completion of a total of 5 years. Dependents would also be allowed to apply for settlement with the main applicant if they had last been granted leave as a dependent of the main applicant.

Intra-Company Transfer

This category is designed for multinational companies who wish to transfer an existing employee who works in their overseas branch or head office to work in the UK. The sponsor needs to issue a certificate of sponsorship including their salary.

This category divided into four subcategories as follows:

  • Short Term Staff – for a duration of up to 12 months and ensuring that the skilled job cannot be filled by a resident work force;
  • Long Term Staff – for a duration of 12 months or more and ensuring that the skilled job cannot be filled by a resident work force;
  • Graduate Trainee – for new graduates who need to come to the UK for a training programme in order to progress towards a managerial or specialist role within the company;
  • Skills transfer – for overseas employees who are being transferred to the UK branch to gain the skills and knowledge required to perform their job overseas.

Tier 4 Visa

The Tier 4 Visa is a Student Visa which has two categories:

  • General Student;
  • Child student – for children between 4-17 years old to study at independent schools.

The applicant must score at least 40 points in total under the following categories:

  • Valid Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies from an approved education provider dated within the last 6 months;
  • Evidence of sufficient finance to cover course fees for the first year and maintenance in the UK for up to 9 months. The funds have to be in the applicant’s or their parent’s account for at least a consecutive 28 day period.

Expected living costs are:

  • £1265 per month if you are living in London;
  • £1015 per month if you are living outside London.

Applicants are required to demonstrate sufficient knowledge of the English language by providing a certificate from an approved English test provider.

Students at a Higher Education Institute studying at degree level are permitted to work no more than 20 hours per week during term time, but may work any number of hours during holidays.

Students at a Higher Education Institute studying below degree level are permitted to work no more than 10 hours per week during term time, but may work any number of hours during holidays.

Tier 5 Visa

This category is for people who want to work in the UK on a temporary basis. The Tier 5 Visa consists of two main categories under the point-based system which are as follows:

  • Tier 5 (Youth mobility)
  • Tier 5 (Temporary Worker) under the following sub-categories:
  • Creative and Sporting
  • Charity workers
  • Religious workers
  • Government authorised exchange
  • International agreement

The applicant must score at least 40 points in total under the following categories:

  • Attributes – which includes the availability of a valid Certificate of Sponsorship
  • Maintenance – evidencing 3 months worth of bank statements with a balance of £945.00

EEA Nationals and EU Settlement Scheme

Nationals from a European Economic Area can exercise their right of free movement under European Convention. Following their initial right of residence in the UK of three months, they have the right to continue their residence in the UK as long as they are a qualified person. A qualified person must demonstrate that they are exercising treaty rights in the UK under any of the following:

  • Employment, including job seeking
  • Self-employment
  • Study
  • Self-sufficient

Employment / Job-Seekers

All EEA nationals have the right to reside in the UK or work in the UK without any restrictions, except Croatian nationals. Croatian nationals can reside in the UK as other EEA nationals but they are subject to work restrictions. They must apply for a worker registration scheme.

EEA nationals can become a qualified person by having full-time or part-time employment in the UK.

EEA nationals will be considered a qualified person as a job-seeker if they are actively seeking employment in the UK, but they must demonstrate that they have a realistic chance of finding work in the UK. They can exercise treaty rights as a job-seeker for 6 months.

Self-Employed

EEA nationals will be considered a qualified person through registering as a self-employed person with HM Revenue and Customs. If any EEA national temporarily becomes unable to continue their self-employment due to illness or accident, they will not lose their qualified status.

Students

To become a qualified person as a student, you must:

  • Enrol on a course of study at private or public educational establishment recognised as an education or training provider;
  • Show they have sufficient funds to meet living costs in the UK;
  • Have comprehensive sickness cover.
  • Self-Sufficient

EEA nationals can become a qualified person by establishing that they are a self-sufficient person and that they have sufficient funds to live in the UK without recourse to public funds. They must have comprehensive sickness insurance in the UK.

Derivative Rights of Residence

Rights of Residence can exist for a carer of self-sufficient EEA children or a carer of a former EEA national worker where the child is in education. The European Court’s judgement of Zambrano has been implemented in the EEA regulations as a derivative Right of Residence. These rights do not lead to permanent residence.

EEA nationals who reside in the UK for a continuous period of 5 years in accordance with the EEA regulations are qualified to apply for permanent Right of Residence or a document certifying permanent residence in the UK. One year after obtaining permanent residence status, they will be eligible for naturalisation.

Settled and Pre-Settled Status for EU Citizens and Families

The Home Office has now introduced the EU Settlement Scheme for EU, EEA and Swiss nationals who wish to continue living in the UK after 30th June 2021. The deadline for applicants will be 31st December 2020.

To be eligible for settled status, you have to demonstrate that you have lived in the UK for at least 6 months in any 12-month period for 5 consecutive years.

If an EU citizen and their family have been living in the UK for more than 5 years, they will be granted settled status. If, by 31st December 2020, you have not been living in the UK for 5 years, you will be granted pre-settled status and be eligible to apply for settled status once you have been living in the UK for more than 5 years.

Entry Clearance Applications for Children/Spouses/Unmarried Partners

This category is designed for applicants who wish to enter the UK as the child, spouse or unmarried partner of a person present and settled in the UK.

Children

The following conditions must be satisfied before a child can qualify for entry clearance:

  • The sponsoring parent must be present and settled in the UK or have limited leave to remain in the UK;
  • The child must be under 18 years old, not leading an independent life and not be married with an independent family unit;
  • The sponsoring parent must have sufficient funds to adequately maintain and accommodate the child without recourse to UK public funds.

Spouse / Unmarried Partner

The following conditions must be met if a spouse or unmarried partner intends to apply to join their spouse or unmarried partner who has settled status in the UK:

  • The couple are both at least 18 years of age;
  • The couple met before the application;
  • The couple are legally married or in a civil partnership recognised in the UK. Unmarried partners must prove that they have been living together in a relationship akin to marriage for at least two years;
  • The spouse or unmarried partner is present and settled in the UK;
  • They intend to live together permanently;
  • The applicant must show that they have sufficient funds to maintain themselves and any dependents without assistance from UK public funds and meet the minimum income requirements of £18,600.00. If a child is sponsored with the applicant, the minimum earning requirement will be £22,400 and £2,400 for each child;
  • They have adequate accommodation for themselves and any dependents which is legally owned or rented by the couple without assistance from UK public funds, and which will be occupied exclusively by the couple and any dependents;
    They have passed an approved English language test.

Dependent of a person present and on limited leave to remain in the UK (under refugee status or Humanitarian protection in the UK)

This category is designed for an applicant who is a dependent child/spouse/unmarried partner of a person present and on limited leave to remain in the UK. These applicants are eligible to apply for family reunion subject to the following conditions:

  • They must prove that they are in a genuine relationship as a spouse or in a civil partnership;
  • If the applicant is an unmarried partner who wishes to join their partner in the UK, he/she has to prove that their sponsor has been given refugee status or humanitarian protection on or after 9 October 2006 or;
  • He/she must prove that they lived together in a relationship like in a marriage or civil partnership for 2 years and the sponsor has been given asylum or humanitarian protection after 9 October 2006;
  • They must prove that they have the intention to live together and continue their relationship

If child wants to join parents in the UK, the child must be:

  • Under the age of 18;
  • Going to live with the parent and their partner;
  • Not married or in a civil partnership.

Successful applicants will be granted permission to live and work in the UK for 30 months initially and will need to apply for further extension prior to being eligible for settlement in the UK.

Right of Family and Private life under Article 8 of ECHR

Article 8 of ECHR has defined the right to family and private life of every person within the European Union borders. Accordingly, any person who has established private and family life in the UK can claim the right to remain in the UK on that basis, despite their immigration history, such as:

  • Overstayer
  • Illegal immigrant
  • Asylum seeker
  • Failed asylum seeker
  • Anyone who has not claimed under immigration rules and lived and remain in the UK

A family life can be established by proving there is a relationship to a child, parent, spouse or unmarried partner. A parent who does not have a legal right to be in the UK may be qualified to apply under this category if they have a qualified child in the UK. A child will be a qualified child if they are a British child or a non-British child who has lived continuously for a period of 7 years immediately prior to the date of the application.

A private life can be established if the applicant is able to prove the following:

  • They are under 18 and have lived in the UK continuously for at least 7 years;
  • They are between 18 and 24 and have lived continuously in the UK for more than half their life;
  • They are 18 or over, have spent less than 20 years in the UK and would have very significant problems living in their returning country, i.e. they do not speak the language and could not learn it;
  • They are 25 or over and have been in the UK continuously for 20 years.

Successful applicants under this route will be issued leave to remain in the UK for an initial period of 30 months with a 10 year route or a 5 year route. Once the applicant has completed 5 years or 10 years in accordance with their initial grant, they will be eligible for settlement in the UK.

Asylum in the UK

The United Kingdom is bound by the 1951 UN Convention relating to refugees (which defines the rights of refugees) and also by the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR) which protects the Human Rights of people of the signatory states.

A refugee is defined as a person who:

  • lives outside of their country or habitual residence;
  • has a well-founded fear of persecution in their country because of their political opinion, race, religion, nationality or membership of a social group;
  • is unable or unwilling to seek the protection of their national authorities.

Asylum should be claimed at the port of entry or as soon as is reasonably practical. Delaying claiming asylum may adversely affect the credibility of the claim and entitlement to NASS support.

If you fail to claim asylum at the port of entry, you can claim asylum in person at the UKBA asylum screening unit where they will conduct a screening interview.

If you have been granted refugee status or limited leave to remain under Humanitarian Protection, you will be able to bring your dependents to the UK to join you.

If your claim is refused, there will be an automatic right of appeal. If an asylum claim is unsuccessful and the appeal rights have been exhausted, the applicant may face removal from the UK.

Permanent Residence/ Settlement in the UK

On completion of a qualifying period for permanent residence or settlement under various immigration categories, the applicant can apply for settlement in the UK provided that they have meet the following criteria:

  • B1 Level English language qualification or;
  • Degree certificate from English speaking country and;
  • Life in the UK certificate.

Some applicants may be exempt from the above criteria if they are:

  • Under 18 years of age;
  • Aged 65 or older;
  • A person whose physical or mental condition will severely restrict their ability to learn English and/or take the Life in the UK test;
  • A person who is making an application for settlement on the basis of a domestic violence rule or if their spouse has died;
  • A person who has leave as a Refugee, has Humanitarian Protection or Discretionary Leave.

British Citizenship- Naturalisation

British Citizenship is an important event for migrants who have spent many years under UK immigration control. Once an individual obtains British Citizenship, they will not be subject to immigration control nor any restriction to work or travel in the UK or European Economic area. Upon the completion of 12 months of permanent residency, the applicant is eligible to apply for naturalisation to become a British Citizen.

To apply for British Citizenship, the following criteria must be fulfilled by the applicant:

  • Minimum age of 18 (if the applicant is under 18, the child must be registered as a Minor British child)
  • Full mental capacity
  • Intention to have their home in the UK
  • Sufficient knowledge of the English language
  • Good character
  • Residence requirements
  • References

Immigration Appeals

Appeal is a formal request to challenge an adverse decision of an immigration application submitted to the Home Office. You can appeal to the First Tier Tribunal about the Home Office decision if you believe that the decision maker has not considered your application appropriately and accurately.

If the appeal has been refused and you believe that the immigration judge has made an error on law or an error of the facts, you will still have the chance to challenge the decision by appealing to the Upper Tribunal .

If there is no right of appeal given with the immigration decision, you will be able to apply for Administrative Review or Judicial Review.

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