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Visas

The team assists with applications across the huge range of visa options, from applications under European law, for British citizenship, for the spouses and children of settled people and British citizens, to visas for the armed forces, UK ancestry, students under Tier 4, visit visas and dependant relative visa applications.

We can help you through the process, from the first stage of deciding which application to make, to support with preparing the application itself, to appeals in the First Tier and Upper Tribunal, as well as challenges in the High Court where there is no right of appeal.

We can also help you to deal with problems and difficulty meeting Home Office requirements and the team enjoys a high success rate, even with complex applications and applications outside the Rules.

For further information and advice regarding a visa application, please contact our Immigration team call 01206 835270.

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Visa Services

Marriages

Marriage, Fiancé(e)s and Other Relationships

This category allows the spouses, civil partners, unmarried partners, same-sex partners, fiancées/fiancés or proposed civil partners of British nationals or people who are settled in the UK to join them if they meet the requirements specified by the UK Border Agency. The requirements are, for those making their first application after July 2012, contained in Appendix FM of the Immigration Rules. The requirements in relation to who can and cannot qualify and also which documents have to be submitted are very specific. Many applications get refused because people are confused about whether they are making the correct application, have the right form, paid the right fee, or submitted the required documents. We can help you through this process, from simply discussing before you start which application is best for you and how to troubleshoot any problems, to help with preparing the forms and documents.

The process can be broken down into three separate stages:

1. Initially applying for Entry Clearance from abroad OR Applying for Leave to Remain in the UK

Then, normally after an initial period of approximately 2 and a half years:

2. Applying for either Further Leave to Remain

3. Following a continuous period of five years, people can apply for settlement, or Indefinite Leave to Remain, provided they meet the requirements at the time.

For those whose initial visa was granted before July 2012, they may only have to complete 2 years before applying for settlement.

Once you have Indefinite Leave to Remain you are welcome to give us a call to see if you can qualify for citizenship immediately, or whether you need to wait 12 months. There is an accelerated route to citizenship for people who have married British Citizens.

The UKBA recently introduced an English language requirement and knowledge of Life in the UK under this category. We can advise you what level of qualification is needed to meet this requirement and whether this is sufficient to meet the Rules.

How Can We Help?

We can assist you by checking that you meet the requirements for this category, completing the application form, and advising you regarding the relevant documentation to submit with your application. We can also advise you throughout the appeal process if the application has been refused. Please note appeals can take many months to be processed, we can also help you with trying to persuade the Home Office or Embassy to reverse the decision and review the case without it having to go to a hearing at court.

For further information and advice please contact our Immigration team on call 01206 835270 or email [email protected] / [email protected].

UK Ancestory

Individuals who are Commonwealth Citizens and who have British born grandparents may qualify for an Ancestral Visa if they can satisfy certain criteria, including showing an intention to work or seek employment. The application is made on an application form and the person will have to prove their UK ancestry usually by producing birth certificates and marriage certificates establishing the relationship between the applicant and his or her ancestor. Normally you would be granted permission to enter or remain in the United Kingdom for a period of 5 years. The rules surrounding a persons entitlement to this visa are complicated and it is advisable to seek legal advice before doing this application. There is a fee for the application.

How Can We Help?

We can advise you on whether you are likely to qualify for this type of visa and assist you in the preparation of your application. If you have already made your application and it was unsuccessful we may be able to advise you on your possible next steps.

For further information and advice please contact our Immigration team on call 01206 835270 or email [email protected] / [email protected].

Students

With the introduction of the Points Based System (PBS) most students from abroad who are in the UK studying already, or who are seeking to come to the UK to study will come under Tier 4 of the PBS. We routinely assist students with initial applications for leave to enter or remain, also with appeals and requests for a review where the application has been refused.

Requirements under Tier 4 are very specific, those who fail to put in the correct documentation can be refused without being given the opportunity to send in their documents later on.

Whilst living in the UK in this category does not lead to settlement, those who have been living in the UK lawfully for ten years might still be able to qualify, even if some of their residence here was spent under Tier 4.

The Home Office have now introduced a cap on how many years students can spend studying below and above degree level. We can advise you about this and potentially on challenges to this requirement, in certain circumstances.

We can also advise on potential visa options once you have finished studying.

For further information and advice please contact our Immigration team on call 01206 835270 or email [email protected] / [email protected].

Visits

For those not intending to visit the UK for business reasons, but only coming for tourism or to visit family, it is possible to qualify for a visa for a visit for up to six months.

These applications are often refused because the Embassy does not accept that enough evidence has been provided to demonstrate the person intends to return home at the end of their visit. Once an application has been refused there is a lengthy appeal process, and only refusals of certain types of visit visa application can be appealed anyway, as only applications by close family members carry an appeal right. We can help you prepare the initial application and give you advice about the kind of documents you need to include to give the application the best chance of success.

Typically even those people who have been granted a lengthy multiple entry visa need to be aware that the Home Office do not allow visits that add up to more than six months in any twelve-month period, and this is often not properly explained when the visit visa is granted.

During the visit, there are also restrictions on the activities you can do, such as employment activities or accessing the National Health Service, unless your visa specifically allows you to do this.

We can help with preparing initial applications, and also with requesting reviews of refused visit visa applications and we can also guide you through the appeal process if your application has been refused.

For further information and advice please contact our Immigration team on call 01206 835270 or email [email protected] / [email protected].

Dependents & Relatives

If you have a parent, grandparent, or other dependent relative, such as a brother or sister over the age of 18, living abroad who is wholly or mainly dependant on you, your relative may be able to apply to come to the United Kingdom on the basis of this dependant relationship.

In certain circumstances, this application can be made whilst your relative is in the UK however it is important to get legal advice on this before an application is made to the UK Border Agency when your relative is still in the UK.

The threshold for an application of the kind to be successful is high, in that you must demonstrate that as a result of age, illness, or disability, your relative requires long term care to enable them to perform everyday tasks. You must also show it is not possible for that care to be provided in the country where they are living.

A high proportion of these kinds of applications are refused, often because people do not fully appreciate the correct test for the application to be successful, or the need to provide documents, assessments, and reports that prove the person’s meets the requirements. In many ways, the evidential requirements are particularly onerous, and it is important to put in the correct paperwork from the beginning, where possible.

How Can We Help?

We can help you with the application by considering the specific circumstances of your relative’s case and advise you on whether your relative meets the requirements of the immigration rules.

We will represent you in the preparation and submission of the application to the UK Embassy or UK Border Agency. If your relative has already made the application and it has been refused, we will advise on the chances of success in appealing the refusal and, if your relative wishes to pursue the appeal, represent you and your relative throughout the appeal process.

For further information and advice please contact our Immigration team on call 01206 835270 or email [email protected] / [email protected].

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