Our areas of legal expertise
The majority of our clients require immigration assistance but we also conduct divorce, conveyancing and general litigation matters.
Our Principal Solicitor has many years of experience in lodging immigration applications that include:
Settlement applications (indefinite leave to remain)
Extensions of visa
Post Study Work Visa
Child Settlement Visa
Family reunion for asylum seekers
Appeals against refusal
General Visitor Visa
As a visitor you will normally be allowed to stay for a maximum period of 6 months. You will normally need to have a "sponsor" in the UK who usually is a friend or relative. There are normally restrictions on what you can and cannot do whilst in the UK. For example as a visitor you cannot work or marry or conduct business. There are numerous categories of visitor visas which are listed below
- General visitor
- Child visitor (under 18 years)
- ADS (Chinese group visas)
- Family visitor
Business Visitor Visa
If you want to come to the UK to conduct business you would need to apply for abusiness visitor visa (this includes academic visitors, doctors undertaking clinical attachments or the PLAB test)
If you wish to visit the UK prior to applying for a Tier 1 Entrepreneur ) you can apply for a prospective entrepreneur visa
You can also come to the UK as a visitor to undertake a short term fee paid activity if you apply for a permitted paid engagement visitor visa.
Visiting to study
If you want to study in the UK for up to 6 months (or up to 11 months if you will be studying an English Language course), and you will not work while you are here, you can come here as a student visitor (or as a child visitor if you are under 18).
If you intend to study in the UK under Tier 4 of the points-based system, but you have not completed the arrangements for your course of study, you might be able to apply for a visa as a prospective student.
If you have a child aged under 12 who will be studying in the UK under Tier 4 (Child) of the points-based system, you can apply to accompany them as a parent of a child at school.
We can also assist with other types of visitor visa applications such as
- Sports visitor
- Visiting as an entertainer
- Visitor to get married or register a civil partnership
- Visitor for private medical treatment.
In order to qualify for a UK spouse / marriage or civil partner visa (Settlement), you and your foreign spouse/partner must meet the following basic legal requirements:
- To sponsor a non European national for a UK marriage visa, the sponsor must be either a British citizen, or lawful permanent resident of the UK permitted to remain in the UK indefinitely. To be considered a UK permanent resident, you must be permitted to live and work in the UK indefinitely without restrictions on your stay. The sponsors must hold British Citizenship status or jhave Indefinite leave to remain (ILR) in the UK
- To qualify as a sponsor, you must demonstrate that you are present and settled in the UK or, if living overseas, expect to return to the UK to live before or at the same time as your spouse or partner arrives in the UK on a settlement category visa.
- You must be legally married or in a registered civil partnership, and your marriage or civil partnership must be valid under the laws of the country in which it took place and under UK law.
- Unmarried partners must be living together in a subsisting relationship for at least two years prior to the application for a settlement visa being submitted to the UK Border Agency (UKBA).
- You and your spouse or civil partner must be at least 18 years of age at the time of application for a UK spouse visa or civil partnership visa.
- You must have met your spouse or partner in person prior to applying for a UK visa
- Your relationship must be genuine and subsisting. You must satisfy the examining UK Visa Officer that you intend to live together after the UK settlement visa has been granted.
- One of the most important qualifying criteria and often common reasons for refusal is that you must be financially secure under the new rules and have adequate accommodation in place by the time your spouse or partner enters the UK on a settlement visa. You must satisfy the UK Border Agency that you have the ability to support your spouse / partnerand can afford to live in the UK with your family, including any dependents, without requiring any recourse or help of public funds.
- New Settlement Visa Rules effective from 9th July 2012 mean that to sponsor a foreign partner or spouse with no children the new minimum income threshold is £18,600. This increases to £22,400 if there is one child dependant, £24,800 for two children, £27,200 for three (£2,400 for each additional child involved in any UK settlement visa application). Sponsors are required to provide mandatory and strict forms of evidence to show that they meet the new financial requirements, unless they are exempt from this requirement under the new Financial Requirement. We can of course advise on this further.
Family Reunion (Asylum seekers)
People who flee to the UK to seek asylum can include their dependants in their application for asylum, if those dependants have travelled with them to the UK. However, we recognise that families can become fragmented in cases of asylum, depending on the speed and manner in which the person has fled.
If you are a recognised refugee or have been given humanitarian protection in the UK, the UKBA has a family reunion programme which allows you to be reunited with your family members (that is, those who were part of your family unit before you fled).
Under the Immigration Rules, only your pre-existing family (husband, wife, civil partner or unmarried/same-sex partner, plus any children under 18 who formed part of the family unit when you fled to seek asylum) can apply to enter the UK under the family reunion programme. However, the Home Office may allow family reunion for other family members if there are compassionate reasons why their case should be considered outside the Immigration Rules.
We have conducted numerous appeals to the Immigration Asylum Tribunal over the years and have an excellent track record of winning appeals.
If you are in the unfortunate position of having a family member’s application refused or your own application refused by either the UKBA or the overseas visa application centre you only have a limited time to appeal the decision.
At our initial meeting we will:
- review your papers; and
- advise on the merits of appealing the decision
Should you decide to appeal a decision by UKBA or overseas visa application centre we will assist you by:
- drafting the grounds of appeal;
- drafting your witness statement and the statements in support by other parties (if applicable);
- advise on what supporting documentation is required;
- draft and lodge the Tribunal bundles and appeal index;and
- arrange for an experienced Barrister to attend the hearing.
We provide practical, commercial advice in relation to all aspects of business immigration both into the UK and internationally. Our advice is aimed at assisting businesses overcome the complexities of UK and international immigration laws.
We provide comprehensive advice, assisting UK employers who wish to employ overseas nationals; international and multi-national businesses looking to establish or operate in the UK; and entrepreneurs and private clients who wish to do business, invest, reside or settle in the UK.
The services we can provide to your organisation are
- Certificates of Sponsorship applications
- UKBA and consulate applications
If you have fallen foul of the rules and inadvertently employed a person who was not in the UK legally you could be fined up to £10,000 per employee. In addition the UKBA’s website is updated on a daily basis with the names of employers who have been fined. However we have experience in negotiating the reduction of such fines with the Home Office.
Any questions about our services?
Contact us on 01702 352 971 or directly via our contact form.