IMMIGRATION AND NATIONALITY

The United Kingdom’s Immigration law, practice and policy are complex and constantly being amended. We understand that this can cause anxiety and distress to our clients. We therefore work incessantly to meet our clients’ needs and are able to offer an efficient, sympathetic and cost-effective service.

Our qualified and quantified experience allows us to offer specialist advice to our clients on a comprehensive range of immigration law.

Those wishing to join their British or settled partner in the UK will need to apply for a Spouse
Visa. A Spouse Visa allows the holder to remain in the UK for up to 33 months, at which time
an extension application can be made to allow the applicant to extend their stay in the UK for
a further 30 months. Once the applicant has accrued 5 years of continuous leave, they will
then become eligible to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain.


A Spouse Visa allows the applicant to work in the UK and to change jobs without restriction,
and there is no need to notify the Home Office. Successful applicants enjoy the right to
study, do voluntary work and leave and re-enter the UK as needed. If the applicant intends
to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain in future, however care must be taken to ensure that
they do not leave the UK for any extended period of time and our staff will be happy to
explain these rules so that you don’t fall foul of them.


Where the applicant has dependent children under the age of 18, these can be included as
part of the same Spouse Visa application and will become eligible to apply for Indefinite
Leave to Remain, and subsequently Citizenship, after accruing 5 years of continuous leave
in the UK.


Eligibility


There are, of course, a variety of eligibility requirements that must be met and evidenced by
both those applying for and those sponsoring a Spouse Visa Application.


In order to enter or remain in the UK as the partner of a British citizen or settled person, an
applicant must be able to demonstrate that:

 

  • they are in a genuine and subsisting relationship,

  • they and their sponsor have met,

  • they and their sponsor must intend to live together permanently in the UK,

  • they and their sponsor have suitable accommodation in the UK for the applicant,

  • sponsor and any dependants,

  • they or their sponsor meet the financial requirement; and

  • they meet the required level of English Language.


Whilst the above requirements may seem trivial at first glance, one must not only satisfy the
requirements but also be able to provide sufficient evidence to demonstrate this to the
satisfaction of the Home Office. This can be challenging.


The financial requirement alone can be met in a number of different ways: Applicants must
demonstrate that they or their partner meet a minimum salary amount or that the applicant
and/or their partner have significant savings which they have held for a period of six months
or more prior to applying. Where the visa application includes dependants, the financial
requirement is varied to reflect this and for those applicants whose British partner is in
receipt of certain benefits.

Our expert team will ensure that the evidence accompanying every application is both as
clear and as compelling as possible, and where documents may be partial or missing, our
team can help overcome this by suggesting other available evidence that will meet
requirements.

Most people who apply for a Fiancé(e) Visa do so with the long-term aim of moving to the
UK indefinitely. A Fiancé(e) Visa allows the Fiancé(e) of a British Citizen or settled person to
join their partner in the UK in order for their marriage to take place and enable them to then
apply to remain in the UK thereafter.


A Fiancé(e) Visa allows the holder to remain in the UK for a maximum period of six months,
during which time their marriage must take place. As soon as the marriage has taken place,
an extension application can be made to allow the applicant to remain in the UK for a further
30 months as a Spouse. Once the applicant has accrued 5 years of continuous leave, they
will then become eligible to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain.


The holder of a Fiancé(e) Visa is not permitted to work in the UK, however as soon as the
marriage has taken place and an application for further leave to remain as a Spouse has
been granted, the applicant will be able to work or study as they wish.


It is not possible to extend a Fiancé(e) Visa or to switch into any other visa category other
than Spouse.


Eligibility


In order to enter the UK as the Fiancé(e) of a British citizen or settled person, an applicant
must be able to demonstrate that:

 

  •  Their Fiancé(e) is a British Citizen or has settled status in the UK,

  • They and their Fiancé(e) must both be at least 18 years old,

  • They and their Fiancé(e) must have met each other,

  • The couple plan to live together permanently after their marriage,

  • The intention is to marry within the six-month duration of the visa,

  • There will be adequate accommodation for the Applicant, their Fiancé(e) and any dependants, without relying on any public funds,

  • Any previous relationships (married or unmarried) must have broken down irretrievably,

  • Their Fiancé(e) earns a minimum amount per year (currently £18,600) per year or has sufficient savings (held for at least 6 months prior to the application,

  • They can satisfy the English language requirements.


It is not enough to declare that the above requirements are met, it is mandatory to provide
satisfactory evidence on each requirement on the list.


Where the Visa application includes dependants, (e.g. children) the financial requirement is
varied to reflect this and for those applicants whose British partner is in receipt of certain
benefits, there can be additional complexity which we can advise you on.

For those wishing to sponsor dependent relatives to come and join them in the UK, an
application can be made from overseas on behalf of the applicant. This application can be
prepared from the UK and we can advise you on the applicable rules and procedure and the
necessary supporting evidence.


Adult Dependent Relative


This is a category for adults who are dependent relatives of British citizens in the UK, those
who have settled status in the UK, those who have limited leave to remain in the UK under
Appendix EU or those who have refugee status or humanitarian protection.


Eligibility requirements


In order to qualify for an Adult Dependent Relative visa, the applicant will need to satisfy
UKVI that:

 

  • They are the parent aged 18 years or over, grandparent, brother or sister aged 18 years or over or son or daughter aged 18 years or over of a person who is in the UK and that person is over 18 and either a British citizen, settled in the UK, has limited leave to remain in the UK under Appendix EU or is a person with refugee leave or humanitarian protection status;

  • As a result of age, illness or disability, they require long-term personal care (that is help performing everyday tasks, e.g. washing, dressing and cooking);

  • They are unable, even with the practical and financial help of a family member in the UK, to obtain the required level of care in the country where they are living because it is not available and there is no person (close relative, home-help, housekeeper, nurse, carer, care or nursing home) in their country who can reasonably provide it, or because it is not affordable;

  • They will be adequately maintained, accommodated and cared for in the UK by the sponsoring family member, without recourse to public funds

 

Dependent Children


If you have a child under the age of 18 who is living overseas and you are either settled or
applying for settlement in the UK, then you may be eligible to apply for a child visa for your
child to enter and remain in the UK indefinitely.


If you have, or are applying for, limited leave as a partner (spouse, civil partner or unmarried
partner) of a British citizen or settled person then you may be eligible to apply for a child visa
for your child to have limited leave in line with you.


Eligibility


An application for indefinite leave to enter the UK as the child of a settled parent or relative
may be made where:

 

  • The child is coming to the UK to live with both parents and either:

    • Both parents are British citizens or have indefinite leave to remain, or are being admitted on the same occasion for settlement; or

    • One parent is a British citizen or has indefinite leave to remain, and the other parent is applying to come to the UK.

  • The child is coming to the UK to live with only one parent and either:

    • One parent is a British citizen or has indefinite leave to remain, and the other parent is dead; or

    • One parent is a British citizen or has indefinite leave to remain, and that parent has had sole responsibility for the child’s upbringing; or

    • One parent is a British citizen or has indefinite leave to remain, and there are serious and compelling family or other considerations that mean that it would be undesirable to exclude the child from the UK.

  • The child is coming to live with another relative who is not their parent and the relative is a British citizen or has indefinite leave to remain, and there are serious and compelling family or other considerations that mean that it would be undesirable to exclude the child from the UK.


Additionally, the child will have to show that they satisfy the following requirements:

 

  • They are related to the parent or other relative as claimed; and

  • They are under 18 at the date of application; and

  • They are not married, in a civil partnership or leading an independent life; and

  • There is adequate accommodation and maintenance for the child, without relying on public funds.

 

Limited Leave to Enter or Remain in the UK as a Child


An application for limited leave to enter or remain in the UK as a child under this category
may be appropriate where the child’s parent is applying for entry clearance or leave to
remain as the partner of a British citizen or settled person in the UK or where the child’s
parent has already been granted entry clearance or leave to remain as a partner of a British
citizen or settled person in the UK.


In order to qualify for entry clearance or leave to remain as the child of a parent with limited
leave as a partner, the child must be able to demonstrate that:

 

  • They are the child of a parent who is in the UK as, or applying to come to the UK as, a partner;

  • The applicant’s parent’s partner is also the applicant’s parent, unless either:

    • the applicant’s parent has sole responsibility for the child; or

    • there are serious and compelling family or other considerations which make exclusion of the child undesirable and suitable arrangements have been made for the child’s care.

Additionally, the child will have to show that they satisfy the following requirements:

 

  • They are under 18 at the date of application, unless applying to extend leave granted in cases where the applicant has subsequently reached the age of 18 but not yet obtained settlement;

  • They are not married, in a civil partnership or leading an independent life;

  • There is adequate accommodation and maintenance for the child, without relying on public funds.

The UK sponsor will also need to demonstrate that they meet the financial requirements in
the Immigration Rules by having a gross annual income of at least £18,600 plus £3,800 for a
first child (who is not British, settled or an EEA national) plus £2,400 for each additional child
(who is not British, settled or an EEA national). Different rules apply if the UK sponsor is in
receipt of certain benefits.

EEA Pre-Settled Status


For EU, EEA and Swiss citizens (and their family members) who started living in the UK on or before 31 December 2020 and who wish to remain in the UK after 30 June 2021, an application can be made under the EU Settlement Scheme for either Pre-Settled Status or Settled Status.

 
Those who have not completed a continuous period of 5 years qualifying residence in the UK, will be granted a period of 5 years’ limited leave, also known as Pre-Settled Status.  An application for Settled Status can be submitted once a 5 year period of qualifying residence in the UK has been completed.


Eligibility


In order to qualify for Pre-Settled Status, an applicant will need to show that they are:

  • A relevant EEA citizen; or

  • A family member of a relevant EEA citizen; or

  • A family member who has retained the right of residence by virtue of a relationship with arelevant EEA citizen; or

  • A person with a derivative right to reside; or

  • A person with a Zambrano right to reside; and

  • They started living in the UK on or before 31 December 2020; and

  • They are not eligible for Settled Status under the EU Settlement Scheme solely because they have not completed a continuous period of 5 years’ qualifying residence in the UK.

 

If granted Pre-Settled Status, an applicant will be able to stay in the UK for a further 5 years from the date on which they are granted Pre-Settled Status.


They will be permitted to spend up to 2 years outside the UK without losing their status but will
need to maintain ‘continuous residence’ if they wish to apply for Settled Status. Any application for Settled Status must be submitted before Pre-Settled Status expires.

 

EEA Settled Status

For EU, EEA and Swiss citizens (and their family members) who started living in the UK on or before 31 December 2020 and who wish to remain in the UK after 30 June 2021, an application can be made under the EU Settlement Scheme for either Pre-Settled Status or Settled Status.


Those who have completed a continuous period of 5 years qualifying residence in the UK Settled Status in the UK. This is also known as indefinite leave to remain.


Eligibility


In order to qualify for Pre-Settled Status, an applicant will need to show that they are:

 

  • A relevant EEA citizen; or

  • A family member of a relevant EEA citizen; or

  • A family member who has retained the right of residence by virtue of a relationship with a relevant EEA citizen; or

  • A person with a derivative right to reside; or

  • A person with a Zambrano right to reside; and

  • They started living in the UK on or before 31 December 2020; and

  • They have completed a continuous period of 5 years qualifying residence in the UK.

 

If an applicant is granted Settled Status, they will be able to remain in the UK indefinitely.