Home Office UK eVisa system is now live

Over the past few months we have been eagerly awaiting the implementation of an online UK eVisa system which will end the issuing of BRP cards. Many BRP card holders were wondering why, despite their visa being granted for longer, their BRP card had an expiry of 31st December 2024. We explained that this was […]

Victory After Two Decades: Successful 20 Years Long Residence Visa Application

Securing legal residency after two decades of living in the UK under uncertain circumstances can seem like an insurmountable challenge. However, for many individuals who have built their lives in the country despite their unlawful status, obtaining a visa can become a reality with the right approach and supporting documentation. In this article, we outline […]

Immigration Salary List Rapid Review Published

On 4 December 2023, the Home Secretary announced several changes to the immigration system related to the Skilled Worker (SW) route. The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) subsequently published its rapid review of the Immigration Salary List (ISL) on 23 February 2024 after being commissioned by the Home Secretary James Cleverly.   The Immigration Salary List […]

Lisa’s Law Helps Human Trafficking Victim in Successful Asylum Appeal Case

Amidst the harrowing tales of human trafficking, a beacon of hope emerges with the outcome of a successful asylum appeal case of an individual who had endured the horrors of modern-day slavery. The Upper Tribunal’s landmark decision overturns a previous ruling. This new ruling recognises the plight of our client, a Chinese national who was […]

Act now – Beat the ban on newly arrived care workers bringing immediate family members

Recently, the government has announced changes to the visa rules in order to reduce immigration. The government has come under pressure due to the unprecedented levels of immigration since the Covid pandemic, which has seen net migration increase to over 700,000 per year. This has resulted in the government taking action to cut net migration […]

High Court grants permission for judicial review of the government’s treatment of people with 3C leave

The High Court has granted the migrant and refugee charity organisation, Refugee and Migrant Forum Of Essex & London (RAMFEL), permission to bring a judicial review of the government’s treatment of people with 3C leave immigration status.   When an applicant is applying to extend their stay in the UK in time, applicants are automatically […]

Financial requirements for skilled worker and family visas to increase in April – apply now

Recently, the government has introduced some changes to the skilled worker visa and the family visas. These changes have been introduced after the UK has experienced unprecedented levels of immigration.     Due to humanitarian reasons and duties, the UK has accepted a lot of people coming from countries like Ukraine, Hong Kong and Afghanistan. […]

Can the identities of Home Office caseworkers be redacted?

  In general, a litigant in judicial review proceedings is not entitled to redact, on the ground of relevance, the identities of officials in such disclosure. This means that the Home Office should not redact the information about caseworkers in a judicial review. Routinely the names of civil servants outside the Senior Civil Service would […]

Navigating the Asylum Process: A Comprehensive Guide

    This article covers everything from what asylum is to the intricate steps of the application process and important details. Let’s dive into the complexities of seeking international protection and the path to asylum in the UK.   What is Asylum?   A person claims asylum when they are seeking international protection. The UK […]

Grounds for refusal under the UK immigration rules – what are they?

Within the immigration rules, part 9 relates to general grounds for refusal. If you are thinking of applying for either leave to remain or entry clearance in the UK, it is important to ensure that you avoid general grounds for refusal by meeting the suitability requirements set out in the UK immigration rules. Failure to […]

Business visit visas relaxed in latest statement of changes to immigration rules

Last week the Home Office announced the Statement of Changes to the Immigration Rules: HC 246. With this edition of the statement of changes, notable changes have been made in the area of business visit visas.   Business visit visa changes   The new business visit visa allows visa holders to engage in the internal […]

Waiting to apply for a spouse visa? Apply now before changes are introduced

If you are in a relationship with a person from abroad and wish for them to come and live with you in the UK, you need to apply for a spouse visa. To be successful in the application for a Spouse visa, there are a number of requirements that you must satisfy.   At this […]

UK signs new treaty with Rwanda in hope of reviving asylum partnership

  The Home Office have confirmed that the Home Secretary James Cleverly has today signed a new agreement with Rwanda’s Foreign Minister, Vincent Birtua. This new UK-Rwanda asylum agreement follows the Supreme Court’s Judgement last month confirming that removals of asylum seekers to Rwanda is unlawful.   The Home Office claim that the agreement signed […]

UK tightens legal immigration rules – minimum salary hiked to £38,700 for some visas

  Yesterday, the Home Secretary announced plans which amount to one of the most substantial proposals in years to cut migration levels through the tightening of UK immigration rules. Popular visa routes like the skilled worker visa, health and care worker visas, as well as family visas are all affected.   Those who wish to […]

Latest asylum seeker statistics paint a complex picture – what can we learn?

  The Home Office has published the latest asylum and resettlement statistics for the year ending September 2023. These latest statistics show that there were 40,571 asylum grants in the year ending in September 2023. This is the most asylum grants since 2010. For comparison, the second highest amount of grants were in 2021 where […]

India and Georgia to Be Added to Safe Countries List

  On November 8, the UK Home Office announced the draft legislation procedure of adding India and Georgia to the safe countries list within Section 80AA of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002. This means that if individuals from these countries seek asylum or make human rights claims in the UK, those claims would […]

Rwanda Policy held to be unlawful by UK Supreme Court

  Recently, the UK’s immigration policy faced a crunch moment when the Supreme Court decided that the government’s Rwanda policy is unlawful. The highest court in the UK has spent a month deliberating the legality of the plans to remove asylum seekers to the East African country.   Today, the Supreme Court released its final […]

Success in Recognition of Dependants – Decade-Old Error Corrected

There are numerous pathways to securing immigration status in the United Kingdom. Each individual’s unique circumstances often leads them to selecting specific visa routes, and at times they may even possess multiple legal foundations for achieving Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR). Dependants in particular can sometimes face a harder route to secure immigration status.   […]

20 year residence appeal – refusal to accept tribunal decision leads to win

  20 years is a long period for an individual. Our team has assisted many clients with their 20-year long residence application, with people seeking to obtain legal immigration status in the UK after being in the UK for such a long period of time.   We were instructed by a client that had arrived […]

No Recourse to Public Funds Lifted! UK Immigrants may access benefits in the future

No recourse to public funds (NRPF) is a not a new thing for migrants in the UK, and always appears on their BRPs. For those with ‘No Public Funds’ on their BRP, they have no recourse to public funds and are not able to claim most benefits, tax credits or housing assistance that are paid […]

Guide to the UK High Potential Individual Visa

The High Potential Individual visa is dedicated to attracting graduates from leading non-UK universities who have the potential to work in fields such as science, technology, innovation, and entrepreneurship. The aim of this route is to cement the UK’s reputation as a hub for technological advancement by attracting some of the best and brightest from […]

Manston Immigration Centre admonished in watchdog report

By Victor Falcon Mmegwa   A report on the Manston immigration centre has seen it be described as “unacceptable” by an independent watchdog that monitors the centre. The Manston immigration centre originally opened in February 2022 to process migrants who arrived in the UK on small boats. It is designed for around 1,000 people to stay […]

One year sentence not excessive for small boat asylum seekers, rules Court of Appeal

A recent case gives guidance for the courts on how asylum seekers who arrive in the UK via small boats should be sentenced.   Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has made ‘stopping the boats’ one of his five key priorities for 2023, but has recently suggested it may not be possible before the next election. The […]

European travel information and authorisation system (ETIAS) introduced by EU – UK travellers must apply!

In our recent article about the new UK Electronic Travel Authorisation scheme, we mentioned that the EU were planning on introducing a similar system. Now, the details about that scheme, the ETIAS, have been revealed.   By acquiring an ETIAS travel authorisation, you will be able to enter these European countries as often as you […]

Guide to the UK Fiance visa. What are the requirements and can you switch to a spouse visa?

Many people will be familiar with the ‘spouse visa’, a type of visa which allows a foreign national to live with their partner in the UK as long as the partner is either British or settled in the UK. However, there is another similar type of visa – the fiance visa. Both visas are separate […]

Migration Advisory Committee recommends scrapping the Shortage Occupation List

The Migration Advisory Committee has published its 2023 review of the shortage occupation list. Commissioned in August 2022, the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) is an independent non-department public body that advises the government on migration issues.   Compared with previous reviews, this review was conducted on the basis of the MAC’s recommendation that employers should […]

Concealment of essential information leads to deprivation of citizenship

By Yang Peng   Relationships in real life are not always stable; there are always ups and downs. Likewise, when applying for a visa, applicants often face challenges in proving the genuineness and enduring nature of their relationships. Consequently, accidental omissions and minor errors may occur in the complex visa application procedure.   During the […]

Brook House Inquiry – what were the findings? Part 1.

By Victor Falcon Mmegwa   This article is a more detailed follow up to our instant report on 19th September about the Home Office response to the Brook House Inquiry. In this article, we will go into more detail about the Inquiry, as well as take a look at some of the recommendations made by […]

ETAs to be introduced for travel to the UK – do I need to apply?

If you have travelled to countries such as Canada, the USA, Australia, and New Zealand, you may be familiar with the concept of an ETA. Short for electronic travel authorisation, ETAs are used to prevent unwanted visitors from entering the respective country. While they are already used in the previously listed countries, both the EU […]

Home Office states 2017 Brook House IRC abuse unacceptable

The Home Office has announced that the abuse at Brook House IRC in 2017 was unacceptable.   In 2019, an inquiry was started into Brook House Detention Centre (Brook House Immigration Removal Centre) in relation to the treatment of detainees in 2017.   The Brook House Inquiry identified 19 instances of mistreatment contrary to Article 3 of […]

UK visa fees to increase from 4th October 2023

UK’s immigration and nationality fees (UK visa fees) are set to increase from 4th October 2023. The Home Office confirmed today (15th September) that they will be increasing fees for the majority of immigration applications starting on 4th October 2023.   The fee rises were originally announced in July this year, and today, legislation is […]

Temporary admission and time spent on visitor visa may still count towards 10-year lawful residence

Migrants who have accumulated ten years of continuous lawful residence (10-year lawful residence) under any combination of visas may qualify for Indefinite Leave to Remain.   This would also include those who spent a period of time on temporary admission or immigration bail and were subsequently granted a visa.   An example of this would […]

BNO Visa priority service introduced! Find out how to apply

The Home Office has recently announced the introduction of a new priority service for BNO visa applicants. This means that British nationals (overseas) from Hong Kong and their families who are planning to move to the UK can pay £500 to have their application processed within 5 working days. As current timescales for the BNO […]

Successful EU Settlement Scheme Appeal for couple despite lack of relevant EU permit

  We have recently been successful in the appeal of an application for our client to join his EU national partner under the EUSS (EU Settlement Scheme). There has been lots of coverage recently about this topic following a decision by the Court of Appeal in Celik vs Secretary of State for the Home Department […]

Visa holders entitled to Immigration Health Surcharge refund if working in health and care sector

  If you hold a visa, and you have worked at least 16 hours per week in the health and care sector for a period of 6 months, you are entitled to an Immigration Health Surcharge refund.   If you have any dependents, then you would be entitled to a refund of their IHS fees […]

Illegal Migration Act 2023 – what are the key changes?

The Illegal Migration Act is a major piece of legislation which forms a key centrepiece of the UK government’s policy platform. The purpose of this Act is to prevent and deter illegal migration; in particular those by unsafe and illegal routes.   The government have stated that their aims are to both stop illegal boat […]

Success in obtaining leave to remain despite having no status for 23 years and little evidence

  We have recently been successful in representing a client who has been living in the UK for more than 20 years in their application for leave to remain on human rights grounds. This is despite the fact that the client had very little evidence to support their application.   Keep reading to find out […]

Home Secretary found to have adopted unfair procedure after cancelling student’s leave to enter

By Yang Peng   On 28 July 2023, The Administrative Court allowed a Pakistani student’s claim for judicial review of a decision by the defendant Secretary of State for the Home Department (SSHD) to cancel his leave to enter as a student. The court decided that the claimant was denied the opportunity to comment on […]

Harsher penalties proposed for landlords and businesses employing illegal workers!

  Presently, if you are a business employing an illegal worker (a person who does not have the status to reside in the UK), you can face a fine of up to £20,000 for each illegal worker.   If you are a landlord and have rented a property to a tenant without status, you could […]

Thinking about coming to the UK? These are the 4 most popular UK visa routes

By Yang Peng   You may have been thinking about coming to the UK, whether it is just to visit or to settle here. The UK immigration procedure can seem complicated for those who have never travelled here before. In this article we will look at the most common UK visa routes.   Option 1 […]

The SNP announces independence plan for Scottish citizenship

The Scottish government has published new proposals for how someone would be able to obtain Scottish citizenship in a independent Scotland. These proposals were published in a research paper entitled ‘Citizenship in an independent Scotland’.   The report’s release comes at a time when Scottish independence currently seems to be a remote possibility. The sudden […]

Court dismisses appeal for deprivation of citizenship

By Yang Peng   In an important recent case, the Court of Appeal announced that the appellant A’s appeal in the case of Shyti v Secretary of State for the Home Department (SSHD) against the decision to deprive him of his British Nationality, was dismissed.   This article looks at the circumstances in which citizenship […]

Do you have a parent with EU citizenship? You might be eligible for a British passport!

Written by Lorraine Hon   A new law has given nationality rights to children born in the UK to EU citizens. Previously, the children of EU citizens who were working in the UK were not given British citizenship. However, this has changed with the recent implementation of a new law for those born before the […]

Surprise UK student visa announcement – students no longer able to switch to a work visa while studying!

We recently brought you news about the changes the Home Office are making to the UK Student Visa. Well, the Home Office have now surprised us all by implementing some of these changes with immediate effect!   Understandably, overseas students in the UK may be anxious about what this will mean for them, as well […]

UK Government announces huge increase in immigration fees

The UK government has announced a substantial increase in visa fees across a range of immigration and nationality routes, including the immigration health surcharge. The Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, has framed this increase as necessary to fund a 6% rise in doctor’s wages.   Following a recommended pay rise for public sector workers of between […]

Another successful private life application after 13 years of no status in the UK

By Lorraine Hon   We are pleased to have been successful in another private life route case where our client came to the UK as a teenager after fleeing the Taliban in Afghanistan.   One of the private life route requirements is where the applicant is aged 18 or above but below 25 at the […]

Court of Appeal rules that Removal of Asylum Seekers to Rwanda is unlawful

  Today (29/06/2023), the Court of Appeal reversed the High Court decision in AAA v Secretary of State for the Home Department (SSHD) on 19th December 2023 where it was held that removal of asylum seekers to Rwanda was lawful.   In today’s ruling, the Court of Appeal confirmed that any removals of asylum seekers […]

Home Office re-commences deport now, appeal later certification

By Victor Falcon Mmegwa   Recently, the Home Secretary, Suella Braverman MP, confirmed in a letter to the Chair of the Home Affairs Select Committee that the Home Office have suggested the use of certification under section 94B of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 from 5 June 2023. This means that any appeal […]

Confirmed – Proposed Bill of Rights abandoned by the UK Government

  In June 2022, the UK Government proposed a Bill of Rights which was intended to replace the Human Rights Act 1998. The Human Rights Act affords us all with fundamental rights and freedoms by enshrining the rights contained in the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).   The introduction of the Bill of Rights […]

Successful application for UK visitor visa despite previous refusals

By Yang Peng   We recently managed to help a client gain a UK Visitor Visa, despite them receiving two previous UK refusals. Keep reading to learn more about why these refusals occurred, and how Lisa’s Law can help you with similar applications.   Introduction to the case   Our client instructed us to apply […]

Indefinite Leave to Remain (10 year lawful residence) application guide

  This article serves as a guide for an indefinite leave to remain application, otherwise known as 10 year lawful residence. Contact us today for help with your application.   What is indefinite leave to remain on the basis of 10 years lawful residence?   Indefinite leave to remain allows you to settle in the […]

High Court says unpublished Home Office policy on NHS debt is unlawful

By Yang Peng   Today’s article looks at a recent case involving an unpublished Home Office policy which caused individuals to be unlawfully detained over NHS debts.   Keep reading to learn why the High Court decided the policy was unlawful and our thoughts on the case.   Background   MXK and SXB are two […]

Another successful visitor visa application from Fujian province in China

  Following on from our article in April where we discussed whether the Home Office have recently become more open to visitor visa applications made from Fujian province in China, we have been successful in another case from the region.   You can read the previous article here.   Our clients were Chinese nationals living […]

Will applicants with a skilled worker visa need to wait 8 years for settlement?

  A skilled worker visa allows a person to come to the UK and work for an employer. The visa also allows a skilled worker to bring their dependents to the UK with them.   A skilled worker visa can be issued for up to 5 years. After 5 years of holding a skilled worker […]

20 Years Long Residence – what are the visa requirements?

    This guide will briefly explain the general requirements that must be met to apply for leave to remain based on 20 years residence. All requirements must be strictly met, otherwise the application will be refused.   Firstly, what is the 20 years long residence route?   The 20 years long residence route allows […]

Most postgraduates on student visas to be banned from bringing dependents to the UK

  Undergraduate students are not permitted to bring their partner and children to the UK when they come to the UK to study. However, until now, all postgraduate students have had the potential to do so.   That was the case until this week, when the Home Office announced new restrictions to the student visa […]

Overseas students barred from switching from student visa to work visa until education is completed

  In 2022 there were over 485,000 student visas granted according to the Government website. This represents a 29% increase compared with visas granted in 2021.   Many who come to the United Kingdom on a student visa complete their studies and apply for employment in the United Kingdom with their newly earned qualifications. This […]

Can I still apply for settlement if I exceeded the absence limit due to Covid?

  We were recently approached by a client who entered the UK in 2012. Since entering, he applied for a number of visas and accumulated 10 years lawful residence in the UK. Our client applied for Indefinite Leave to Remain / Settlement himself on the basis that he had been in the UK for 10 […]

Retained right of residence for family members of EU citizens

By Victor Falcon Mmegwa   Can family members of EU citizens acquire independent rights of admission or residence in the UK where they have lost their family connection to the EU citizen they are related to?   Qualifying family members can continue living in the UK lawfully without their EU citizen sponsor. But a person […]

Is the Home Office now more open to UK visitor visas from China’s Fujian province?

  For some time, it has been no secret that the Home Office have tended to refuse visitor visa applications from applicants who are from Fujian Province in China.   The commonly understood reason for this is that it is due to the large number of overstayers in the UK from the Fujian province. The […]

New Innovator Founder Route opens – how do I apply?  

  The new Innovator Founder route came into force on 13th April 2023. It replaces the previous innovator route and start-up route.   The route is for those that wish to set up and run an innovative business in the United Kingdom. The business must be new, and an original business idea that is different […]

Can you achieve UK settlement without speaking English or passing the life in the UK test?

  To apply for settlement / indefinite leave to remain in the UK, there are a number of requirements that an applicant needs to satisfy. One requirement is knowledge of language and life in the UK.   Under the Home Office Discretionary Leave Guidance, it states that those who have been granted discretionary leave and […]

UK Ancestry visa – do you qualify for the UK’s ‘easiest’ immigration route?

The UK Ancestry visa is one of the most popular routes to residency in the UK. As its name suggests, acquiring the UK Ancestry visa requires you to have ancestry from the UK. More specifically, you must have a grandparent who was born in the UK, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man.   […]

Discretionary leave to remain – Home Office grants leave for trafficking survivors with a pending asylum claim

By Zhuoqi Li   The Home Office has updated its caseworker guidance on Discretionary Leave to Remain. The new version of the guidance has provisions that allow acknowledged victims of trafficking to be granted leave if they have an ongoing asylum claim related to their trafficking.   Discretionary leave to remain relates to permission to […]

Asylum backlog at record levels – is now the time to make discretionary leave applications to the Home Office?

  The number of asylum seekers waiting for a decision on their case has soared to record levels over the years with almost 75,000 claims in 2022 alone. The asylum backlog of claims has grown substantively by almost 10 times since December 2010. Clearly, dealing with the huge backlog is a priority for the Home […]

Expansion Worker Visa granted to Australian wine company within 24 hours

By Lily Dai   We recently dealt with a private limited company which was incorporated in Australia and specialises in brewing and producing bacteria–free red wine. In 2018, our client manufactured its first batch of wine. The wine achieved many sales and had a lot of success when it first launched locally in Australia. As […]

Illegal entrants to be prevented from claiming asylum under Illegal Migration Bill announced by Home Office

On 7th March, the Home Secretary announced her plan to stop illegal migration to the UK by preventing those who enter the United Kingdom from claiming asylum. The Illegal Migration Bill proposes that all that enter the UK ‘illegally’ (often by crossing the Channel in a small boat) will be detained and then removed to […]

What new routes and changes to existing routes have been announced by the Home Office in 2023’s first Statement of Changes?

The government has announced the latest statement of changes in the immigration rules, titled HC1160. These provisions have been made under Section 1 (4) and Section 3 (2) of the Immigration Act 1971. These are the first statement of changes to the immigration rules since 18th October last year, and as a result are relatively […]

Courts agree with the Home Office on relevance of experience and qualifications when applying for leave to remain on the basis of setting up a business

  The appellant is a Turkish national that applied for leave to remain under the European Communities Association Agreement (ECAA) in order to establish himself in business (ECAA Business Visa). His proposal involved the acquisition of an existing grocery shop and its development. He was intending to buy an existing business, organic grocery store in […]

High Court Refuses to Strike Out Negligence Claim Against Home Secretary

  In a recent judgement, Aruchanga v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2023] EWHC 282 (KB), the High Court refused the Home Secretary’s application to strike out the claimant’s negligence claim against them.   The Claimant arrived in the UK in May 1995 from Rwanda and claimed asylum upon arrival. He was granted […]

India Young Professionals Scheme Visa – how to apply

The India Young Professionals Scheme visa permits young people aged 18 to 30 years old to travel and live in the UK for up 2 years. This presents a fantastic opportunity for young people from India to be able to travel to the UK, and, providing that the applicant is a graduate and has enough […]

Court finds that Chikwamba only relevant in certain circumstances

  In a recent judgement, Alam and another v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2023] EWCA Civ 30, the Court dismissed the Appellant’s appeals against the refusal of their leave to remain application.   The Appellants (SA and AT) both lived in the UK unlawfully. They wed British citizens and made an application […]

Lisa’s Law helps to secure indefinite leave to remain for client despite long absence period due to Covid

  We have recently been successful in an application for indefinite leave to remain on the 10-year route. Our client made an application based on exceptional circumstances outside the immigration rules and was granted settlement status despite 966 days outside the UK.   This case demonstrates the approach which the Home Office may take towards […]

Does the Home Secretary have the right to refuse an application based on false information in a previous application?

By Jessie Yang   In the case of Khan v The Secretary of State for the Home Department, the Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal of the appellant, whose application for Indefinite Leave to Remain had been refused by the Secretary of State (Respondent). The appellant’s application was refused on the basis that he had […]

High Court rules that the EU Settlement Scheme is operating unlawfully – why?

By Jessie Yang   On 21st December 2022, the High Court delivered a judgment for a judicial review case relating to the EU Settlement Scheme which came about as a result of Britain’s exit from the EU in 2016.   This case was brought by the Independent Monitoring Authority (a statutory body set up to […]

Priority service returns for entry clearance family applications

  The Home Office have formally announced the return of their priority service for family visa applications. This will once again enable applicants to have the option to pay for their application to be considered quicker. We have now received emails from the Home Office regarding pending applications, and whether the applicants want to pay […]

How do you vary or speed up a visa application you have already made?

Making a visa application is a lengthy process, and waiting for a decision can be very frustrating, especially if you need to travel while waiting for your visa decision.   So, what options do you have? One option is to “upgrade your visa application”. Keep reading this article to find out how to vary or […]