Indefinite Leave to Remain- Calculating the Continuous Period in the UK

Indefinite Leave to Remain- Calculating the Continuous Period in the UK

Indefinite Leave to Remain: Calculating the Continuous Period in the UK

Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) is the status awarded to overseas nationals living in the UK who wish to live in the country without facing any more immigration restrictions. However, to be eligible, applicants must have accumulated a certain amount of time in the country. This is known as ‘continuous residency’ in the immigration rules.

Calculating continuous residency in the UK can be complicated, particularly if you have frequent or large gaps where you have been absent. For instance, you may be required to work overseas or you have been abroad for holidays. 

Let’s take a look at how you can calculate your own continuous residency – and what you need to do if you feel you may fall short of the stipulated time required.

What is continuous residence for ILR?

In order to be eligible for ILR and therefore settle in the UK permanently, applicants must have adhered to the immigration rules and lived lawfully in the UK for, usually, a period of five years. In some cases, applicants are able to seek ILR status in as little as three years, while others may be required to wait for longer.

Nevertheless, ILR applicants must prove that they have been present in the country throughout the duration of their residency. In other words, applicants must not have spent excessive time overseas in any qualifying period. Lengthy absences abroad could jeopardise your ILR application as it contradicts your intention to become a permanent resident of the UK.

What does the Appendix Continuous Residence 2020 guidance say?

New guidance was brought into effect as of 1 December 2020 – in line with the new post-Brexit immigration rules.

While the rules can vary from person to person, and from visa to visa, most will need to have accumulated five years of continuous residency in the country. And during these five years, applicants must not have spent more than 180 days outside of the UK during any 12-month period.

How is continuous residence broken?

An applicant will be deemed ineligible for ILR if they have spent more than 180 days outside of the UK in any given 1-year block. 

However, you can also breach continuous residency if:

  • You have been convicted of an offence and sentenced to imprisonment
  • You are subject to a deportation order
  • You are placed in detention and marked for removal/deportation from the country 
  • You have any periods where you overstayed your visa permission or any other gaps in your immigration history

What are the exceptions to ILR continuous residency?

Only in compelling circumstances are you able to override the rules around continuous residency. For instance, if you have been required overseas to care for a sick relative, to seek medical treatment yourself, for employment purposes or services to the crown, UKVI may waive the requirement for you.

If you were assisting an international humanitarian crisis, or you were caught in a conflict during your time abroad, this can also be waived for you so that your ILR is not jeopardised by forces outside of your control. Any disruption to your residency as a consequence of COVID-19 can also be considered.

You will need to explain in full detail why you have spent more than 180 days overseas to seek an exemption.

How to calculate continuous residence

As complicated as it may sound, you only need to work out how many days you have been absent from the country during the last five years from the date of your application.

You can retrace your steps by going through travel tickets and stamps in your passport.

It is important to note that absences are calculated on a rolling basis rather than in fixed blocks. Any days, weekends or fortnight trips abroad will all need to be calculated in each 12-month period to give an overall figure. 

You should also be mindful that this doesn’t mean from year to year: it doesn’t mean between January 2020 to January 2021, for example, it means the 12-months preceding the date of your application. This means you might have spent 180 days outside of the UK between October 2020 and April 2021 without breaching the rules as the absences can be split between two different 12-month blocks.

The good news is that you may not qualify for ILR on the basis of your residency by a few days, weeks or months. If so, you simply need to wait until you become eligible again (but be sure to check that you still have permission to remain in the UK while you do so).

Do you need an immigration lawyer to help with the ILR application?

If you need help calculating your continuous residence, or guidance with the ILR application itself, look no further than 1 Absolute Advisor.

Our immigration lawyers are OISC-certified and trained, meaning they are fully capable to assist you with any settlement application you desire and can even help you to reach the ILR requirements.

Get in touch with our friendly customer service team today to discuss your free ILR consultation by calling 0207 993 6762. Hope you have found this article on Indefinite Leave to Remain: Calculating the Continuous Period in the UK useful

Indefinite Leave to Remain Priority Service

Indefinite Leave to Remain Priority Service

Indefinite Leave to Remain Priority Service

Processing times for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) can vary considerably, depending on where the
applicant is applying from and how busy UKVCAS is when it receives the application.

There may be delays with the application, too. For instance, if you make a mistake or if the Home
Office requires further information from you. In this case, UKVCAS may put your application on hold
– or outright refuse it if your application is significantly lacking in evidence.

In this blog, we’ll look at the advantages of the Indefinite Leave to Remain Priority Service and how
you can apply for this fast-track service.

How long is the ILR processing time?

To process most UK visa, status and nationality requests, the Home Office can take as long as 6
months to deliver its verdict. However, on average most people receive a response within 8 weeks (2

It can take longer to process if UKVI has a backlog of applications to examine. Summer holiday
season where tourists flock to the UK is one of the busiest times of year for the Home Office, but
your application can also be delayed for many other reasons, such as if you are applying from
outside of the UK.

If your visa is due to expire soon, it is recommended that you seek a priority service to safeguard
yourself from any periods where you may be accidentally overstaying your visa permission. If
UKVCAS finds any gaps in your immigration history, such as instances where you may have
overstayed, your application is likely to be refused and possibly future applications will be denied,

What is the difference between Indefinite Leave to Remain Priority Service and ILR Super Priority

The Super Priority Service is the fastest route for visa and ILR applicants. With this, you will receive a
decision in as little as 24 hours (by the end of the next working day), providing your appointment is
on a weekday. This service costs £800 alongside your ILR application admin fees.
Second to this is the standard Priority Service where your application will be decided on within 5
working days. This route costs £500 in addition to standard ILR costs and lawyer fees.

What are the benefits of the ILR priority service?

Where time pressures may be a factor, opting for a priority service is clearly beneficial. Your current
UK Visa may be due to expire in the next 6 months, or you need ILR status quickly for another

However, some people simply wish to secure ILR status as soon as they are able to do so. Providing
you have accumulated five years of continuous residency in the UK and you meet the ILR
requirements, you are eligible to seek this status.

Once you have ILR, you are finally free from immigration control – which means no more UK visa
renewals and Immigration Health Surcharge fees. In fact, ILR comes with a swathe of privileges and
benefits such as access to social housing and financial support.

Clearly, it is an enormous advantage to gain ILR status as soon as possible. After just 12 months
under this status, you can even switch to full UK citizenship.
So whether your visa is due to expire or you are eager to obtain ILR status, the priority service can be
a huge benefit.

How do I book for an ILR Premium Service?

You can book for a premium service with UKVCAS. You must pay the fees in advance when you
submit your application. Alternatively, your immigration lawyer can arrange a premium service appointment for you.
However, please note that 1 Absolute Advisor is not responsible for processing the visa itself and
cannot influence the decision or speed up the process any more so. Your visa outcome lies in the
hands of UKVI.You will need to book for a suitable appointment by checking for your nearest centre location and its
opening hours.

How else can I speed up the ILR application processing time?

To mitigate against lengthy processing delays, it is essential that you submit an accurate, honest and
detailed portfolio of supporting evidence.

Since ILR is a form of status and a step towards British citizenship, UKVI assesses each application
thoroughly. The Home Office wants to make sure that you are upstanding citizen with a
demonstrable history of good behaviour before it is willing to grant you ILR status.

It is therefore widely recommended that you hire an immigration lawyer to help with the application
itself. Your lawyer will be able to verify that you meet all of the ILR eligibility requirements and can
advise you on how best to proceed with your application.

At 1 Absolute Advisor, our immigration specialists can also help you with the application itself by
pooling together an airtight portfolio of supporting evidence. Our lawyers can even write a formal
letter to the Home Office that vouches for your good character to strengthen your case.

Speak to our immigration experts today by calling 0207 993 6762 to hear more about our custom ILR
packages and our own fast-track services.

British Citizenship Referee

British Citizenship Referee

British Citizenship Referee is an important part of your application. Applying for British citizenship can be a lengthy process. You need to satisfy the British citizenship requirements, ensure you meet the eligibility criteria and pass the Life in the UK test. But that’s not all you need to worry about: to naturalise as a British citizen you will also need to provide referees in your application.

Why are referees important for British Citizenship?

No matter which country you originate from, you will need to provide at least two referees to verify
your identity. Even UK-born citizens have to have referees when applying for their British passport.
It is unlikely your referees would jeopardise your application, but the Home Office may contact them
if the decision-maker has any concerns about you.

Who can be a British Citizenship Referee?

The second important thing to note is that not anyone can be a referee for your British citizenship
Your two referees must:

  • Be over age 25
  • Work in a specific profession outlined by UKVI
  • Hold a British passport
  • Have known you for at least 3 years
  • Be upstanding citizens – I.e., have not been convicted of an offence within the last 10 years
    With this criterion in mind, your referee cannot be a close friend, a relative or your lawyer. They
    must be someone you know in a professional capacity but who knows you well enough to confirm
    your identity – like your doctor or dentist.

Who constitutes as an ‘acceptable professional person’?

As mentioned above, your referees must be a professional person.
This includes but is not limited to:

  • Accountants
  • Bank or building society officials
  • Barristers
  • Chemists and most people in the medical profession like nurses and doctors
  • Councillors, civil servants and Members of Parliament (MPs)
  • Dentists
  • Directors or managers
  • Engineers
  • Firefighters or fire service officials
  • Journalists
  • Minister of religion
  • Armed Forces
  • Opticians
  • Post Office officials
  • Pilots
  • Salvation Army officer
  • Social workers
  • Solicitors and paralegals
  • Teachers
    UKVI has a long list of professions it deems acceptable for referees, but if you’re not sure if your
    referee qualifies as a professional person, speak to your immigration lawyer for verification.

How do British Citizenship Referees verify my identity?

Referees must follow strict criteria when verifying your identity for British citizenship. They need to
provide information, including their:

  • Full name
  • Date of birth
  • Profession
  • British passport number
  • Addresses over the past 3 years
  • Contact details (phone number and email address)
    The referee is also required to outline how and in what capacity they know you. For instance, a
    teacher may know you through your child attending his or her school.
    Finally, the referee will need to provide a declaration that agrees the photograph is truly you and
    that the details provided in the application are correct.

Do you need help naturalising as a British citizen?

If you need assistance with the British citizenship application, contact our office today. Our
immigration lawyers are well-versed in UK nationality law, and know exactly what UKVI is looking for
in your application.

Ring us today on 0207 993 6762 for a free initial consultation on your case.

EU to British Citizenship

EU to British Citizenship

EU To British Citizenship

The UK’s decision to leave the European Union stipulates key changes to the immigration rules. At
the beginning of January 2021, a new points-based immigration system came into effect, requiring
all new EEA entrants into the country to apply for a UK Visa. Meanwhile, EU citizens already living in
the UK were able to apply for Settled Status.

As such there are numerous routes through which EEA nationals can apply for British Citizenship.

EU to British citizenship through Settled Status

Settled Status is the status granted to EEA nationals who have already lived in the UK for at least five
years up until 30 June 2021 and who have applied under the EU Settlement Scheme. Those who
have accumulated less than five years residency have instead been granted Pre-Settled Status.
The key to remember here is that Settled Status is a form of Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR).
Similarly to ILR then, EU nationals with Settled Status can seek to apply for British Citizenship after
just 12 months.
You may also have to check that your home country in the EU permits Dual Citizenship.

EU to British citizenship by naturalisation

To naturalise as a British citizen, you must meet a set of specific criteria. The applicant generally

  • Be aged 18 over
  • Prove English language ability
  • Pass the Life in the UK test
  • Meet the ‘continuous residency requirement’
  • Have an intention to continue living in the UK
  • Pass the ‘good character’ requirement
  • Have Settled Status or Indefinite Leave to Remain or similar residency rights
    Up until the deadline (30 June), EU nationals with a permanent residence card were able to switch
    onto British citizenship with ease. However, it is no longer possible to apply for a permanent
    residence card – and holders must switch onto Settled Status instead.
    EU citizens can naturalise as a British citizen with their Settled Status, but there are different rules
    depending on the applicant’s circumstances.
    Married to a British citizen
    An EEA citizen with Settled Status and who is married to a British citizen does not need to wait 12
    months before applying for UK nationality.
    Another advantage of your married status includes relief from the five years continuous residency
    requirement. Instead, you can apply for British citizenship after just three years of continuous living
    in the UK.

Still, once you have obtained Settled Status you can switch immediately onto full British citizenship.

Not married to a British citizen

By contrast, an applicant who is not married to a British citizen must have accumulated five years of continuous residency on UK soil. In addition, you must live in the UK with Settled Status for 1 year before seeking citizenship. You are permitted to apply exactly 12 months from the date you received your Settled Status.

The British citizenship requirements

Just because you have EU Settled Status does not guarantee you will be awarded British citizenship.
You still need to meet the requirements, pass legal checks and pass the Life in the UK test.

If you need help with the British citizenship application, get in touch with our team of immigration
lawyers. Our OISC-certified solicitors specialise in British Nationality Law, meaning your case will be
handled by a legal advisor with the utmost professionalism. We can advise and even help you with
your citizenship application from start to finish.

Call us on 0207 993 6762 for a free discussion about your case with our friendly client care team.

Skilled Worker Visa Q&A

Skilled Worker Visa Q&A

Skilled Worker Visa Q&A

The Skilled Worker Visa replaced the Tier 2 Work Visa when the UK’s new points-based immigration system came into effect in January 2021. However, the new route shares many similarities to the Tier 2 Visa. Read on to learn more about the Skilled Worker Visa Q&A and its top 10 most asked questions by applicants.

  1. What is the points-based system?

The UK government crafted a points-based immigration system whereby applicants can secure a UK Visa by scoring a certain number of points. This system is meant to be fairer as it allows for some degree of flexibility. 

Applicants can score points based on their education, salary, English language ability, skillset and if they are filling a position on the UK Shortage Occupation List. 

  1.  How many points do I need for a Skilled Worker Visa?

For a Skilled Worker Visa, you will need to score a total of 70 points. This is compiled of 50 ’mandatory points’ and 20 ‘tradable points’.

  1. How do I score ‘mandatory’ points for a UK Work Visa? 

As the mandatory category suggests, it is necessary that score these points as gaining these will depend whether or not you are eligible for the visa. 

You must gain the following points:

  • 20 points for a job offer from an approved UK employer (your employer must have a Sponsor License to hire you)
  • 20 points for working a job at an appropriate skill level
  • 10 points for passing the English language test

  1. What are ‘tradable’ points and how many do I need for the Skilled Worker Permit?

As for the tradable points, you can swap how and where you want to score the remaining 20 needed. You can score these points as follows:

  • 20 points can be gained if you are offered a salary above £25,600
  • 10 points can be given if you are offered a salary above £23,040
  • 20 more points can be gained if you are filling a job on the Shortage Occupation List 
  • 20 points are granted for PhD graduates in a STEM subject that is relevant to the job
  • 10 points are awarded for PhD graduates in a non-STEM subject that is relevant to the job

  1. What is the UK Shortage Occupation List?

The UK Shortage Occupation List (SOL) contains a list of job roles considered to be short of labour in the country. Because of the shortages in these sectors and professions, employers can bypass job advertising rules while overseas nationals can benefit from a visa discount if they can fill a position in shortage.

Workers in high demand such as doctors, engineers, scientists and IT specialists, to name just a few, may accumulate more points just based on their occupation code.

  1. What is allowed and what is prohibited with a Skilled Worker Visa?

With a Skilled Worker Visa, there are some rules and regulations which you must adhere to. You cannot change your job or your employer without re-applying for a new work permit. This is because the Skilled Worker Visa was awarded to you under the condition that you continue to work for the employer that sponsored your visa.

You can, however, work on a voluntary basis or carry out an additional job if you seek permission from UKVI.

You are also permitted to bring existing family members with you to the UK including your partner and children, but they will need to apply for a Dependent Visa.

  1. What is the income requirement of the Skilled Worker Visa?

The financial requirement of the UK Work Visa is far more flexible than it used to be under Tier 2 rules. Before the rule change, overseas nationals had to earn a minimum of £30,000 to be eligible for this type of permit. Now, however, skilled workers can be offered a visa on a much lower salary.

The salary requirement depends on your specific occupation code. Most people will need to earn at least £26,600 per year, unless the ‘going rate’ of the occupation code is higher. 

In some cases, applicants can be awarded a visa with a salary of no less than £20,480. Here, applicants will not gain points for their salary but they can accumulate the points from elsewhere and through a combination of methods. For instance, if they are a ‘new entrant’ to the UK workforce or if they are offered a job on the Shortage Occupation List.

  1. How much does a Skilled Worker Visa cost?

The cost of the visa itself depends on your individual circumstances such as where you’re applying from, how long your visa needs to last and whether your job is on the UK Shortage Occupation List. 

For a 3-year Skilled Worker Visa, you will need to pay £610 if you submit your application outside of the UK. From inside the country, it costs £704. Applicants eligible for a role through the Shortage Occupation List only need to pay £464 for a 3-year work visa.

However, there are additional costs that apply to all visa applicants such as the Immigration Health Surcharge which permits access to healthcare in the UK. You may also decide to hire an immigration lawyer or opt for a fast-track priority service which can vary in cost.

  1. How do I check if my prospective employer has a Sponsor License? 

The Home Office publishes an Approved Sponsors Register where you can search for your prospective employer. 

In addition, your employer must provide you with a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) as will need to submit this in your Work Visa application.

  1. How to seek settlement

Generally speaking, once you have accrued five years continuous residency in the UK, you will be eligible to apply for settlement (Indefinite Leave to Remain). You can accumulate these five years from across different visas, but it is important to note that only some visas count towards residency. Temporary visas such as the Visit Visa do not count.

How can your immigration lawyers help me?

Hope you have enjoyed reading our post on Skilled Worker Visa Q&A. All our immigration specialists here at Absolute Advisor are OISC certified and therefore legally trained to advise Skilled Worker Visa applicants. With decades of experience, our immigration lawyers can make all the difference between success with your application and a visa refusal.

Top 10 Mistakes to Avoid with Your Spouse Visa Application

Top 10 Mistakes to Avoid with Your Spouse Visa Application

Top 10 Mistakes to Avoid with Your Spouse Visa Application

The UK Spouse Visa application is notoriously difficult to navigate, partly due to the hefty and lengthy Spouse Visa requirements and the portfolio aspect of the application itself.

The application is well known for its complexity. It can be a huge burden for anyone attempting to navigate through the application process alone, and those who do try without professional support are more likely to fall victim to tedious mistakes. 

Furthermore, UKVI and the immigration officers in charge of assessing each Spouse Visa application exert little leeway when it comes to errors. These decision-makers are tasked with scrutinising each Spouse Visa application it receives. As such, even the most minor errors can result in an outright visa refusal. From there, applicants can either appeal, seek an administrative review or start the process all over again – not to mention that the Home Office does not issue refunds for failed applications.

Our immigration lawyers here at 1 Absolute Advisor have compiled the Top 10 Mistakes to Avoid with Your Spouse Visa Application. Read on to learn more about how you can protect yourself – and your wallet – from a costly visa refusal.

  1. Satisfying the ‘genuine relationship’ test

Arguably the highest hurdle of the Spouse Visa application is passing the ‘genuine relationship’ test. This test is largely subjective as an immigration official will assess not only your application, but the legitimacy and sincerity of your relationship. You must prove to the caseworker that your relationship is ‘genuine and subsisting’.

UKVI takes this aspect of the application very seriously. The UK Government is cracking down on so-called ‘sham marriages’ and ‘marriages of convenience’ where fraudsters marry for visa privileges. 

Yet there is no set guidance on how to pass the ‘genuine relationship’ test. Your immigration lawyer might advise you to gather evidence of your relationship from the day you met to the current day and map out a timeline. Photographs together, travel tickets, your marriage certificate, holidays taken together and any gifts bought for one another could all be included in your application as proof of your sincerity. Letters from family and friends may also be considered.

  1. The financial requirement 

A second common mistake applicants make is proving that they meet the Spouse Visa financial requirements.

The sponsor of the visa (the partner who is settled in the UK) must earn at least £18,600 per annum, which is known as the ‘Minimum Income Threshold’. This can be met through a combination of ways, including:

  • Income from employment
  • Non-employment income (like rental income)
  • Savings
  • Pension 
  • Self-employment income
  • Some benefits 
  • Maternity pay

But applicants can fall short of submitting all the necessary documents. 

It is also common for applicants to miscalculate their finances, particularly if he/she earns below the minimum income threshold.

  1. Unoriginal and unofficial copies

Visa applicants more generally tend to make the mistake of sending unoriginal or unofficial copies of documents. And while the Home Office changed its position in 2018 to permit photocopies, there are still some instances where applicants need to submit the original document. 

For Spouse Visa applicants, the original passports belonging to the couple will need to be shown as proof of their identity, but most other documents can be scanned.

However, bank statements and payslips that are submitted to satisfy the financial requirement need to be official with headed stationary and the bank or company logo on every page. These statements must also be recent – no more than 28 days old from the day it is received. 

  1. Incorrect or incomplete statements 

Since the Spouse Visa application has such high criteria, there is little room for error. The application must be concrete and coherent for the caseworker to make a fair verdict.

Any documents or statements that are incorrect or incomplete will be rejected by UKVI. The decision-maker will spot any signs of inconsistency or gaps in your application. If you lie or provide misleading information, the Home Office may even flag your application as deceptive, so it’s always best to be honest and full with your answers.

If evidence becomes outdated or invalid by the time it reaches the Home Office, UKVI does grant applicants the opportunity to rectify the error. However, applicants have only 10 days to supply the correct information.

Either way, submitting incorrect or incomplete forms is bound to delay the Spouse Visa processing time, so double check your application. You can even hire an immigration lawyer for a thorough document-check. 

  1. Insufficient evidence – or too much 

Failing to prove that you meet the Spouse Visa criteria with sufficient evidence is another area where applicants tend to go wrong. 

The Spouse Visa requirements are long, and you must prove that you can meet every single one with confidence. Your visa may be delayed or refused if you provide insufficient evidence.

On the other hand, while most of this guidance suggests the Married Partner Visa demands a plethora of evidence, there is also a risk of submitting too much information. Unnecessary additional information may cast a doubt over the sincerity of your application – and the caseworker will take even longer to read through it.

To mitigate against a delay or visa refusal, make sure to create a portfolio of evidence that answers all the questions, requirements and criteria succinctly and in few documents.

  1. Sitting the wrong English language test or letting it expire

A key component of the UK Married Partner Visa application is the English language test, referred to as the ‘Secure English Language Test’ (SELT). The SELT is necessary for overseas applicants to prove that they can communicate and understand English to a certain degree. Yet applicants either sit the wrong test or their certificate expires before they apply for a visa.

While there are many centres offering English language courses and examinations, only few SELT providers are approved by UKVI. This means the applicant may need to travel to the appropriate test centre, as well as pass at least level A1.

The Home Office states applicants can only take a SELT test with one of the following providers:

  • IELTS Selt Consortium
  • LanguageCert
  • Pearson
  • Trinity College London
  • PSI Services (UK) LTD

It is also important to note that the SELT certificate can be no older than two years old when applying for a Spouse Visa. If your certificate has expired, you will need to re-sit the test and submit your new certificate in your visa application.

  1. Translation

All official documentation in the Spouse Visa application has to translated into English or Welsh (depending on where you plan on living). This may mean you need to pay a translation fee, too.

Applicants often slip up here by failing to get their documents translated in full by a verified translator.

  1. Applying as a visitor

The Visitor Visa is one of a handful of UK visas where applicants are unable to switch or amend their immigration status. Visitors are permitted entry into the country for visiting, family or tourism purposes only. 

For marriage, applicants can either apply for a Marriage Visitor Visa or a Fiancé Visa. The former permits overseas nationals to enter the UK for 6 months to give notice of marriage, after which they must leave the country, while the Fiancée Visa allows holders to switch onto a Spouse Visa to remain in Britain after tying the knot. 

Therefore, visitors are unable to switch onto a Spouse Visa as a key condition of the visit permit is that they leave the UK once the visa expires.

  1. Letters

Letters and written statements are encouraged by UKVI as it gives the caseworker some context to the documents that you have supplied. 

You may already need your manager to provide an ‘employee’s letter’ as proof of your employment and salary – but you should also consider writing your own declaration. Your statement could assist in meeting the ‘genuine relationship’ requirement as you could outline your plans for the future when living with your married spouse in the UK.

Although letters aren’t compulsory, it may be the final piece of the puzzle that UKVI considers when making its decision. 

  1.  Attempting the application alone

Now that you know the Top 10 Mistakes to Avoid with Your Spouse Visa Application.Finally, the most common mistake that failed Spouse Visa applicants make is attempting the application alone.

Most visas on the UK’s points-based immigration system and its tiered system are complicated to navigate, and the Spouse Visa has gained notoriety for being the most complex of them all.

The best way to mitigate against the vast majority of these mistakes is to hire an OISC-certified immigration lawyer. Having a professional pair of eyes examine your visa application can make all the difference between a stamp of approval – or a stamp of rejection.

If you need help meeting the Spouse Visa requirements, speak to our immigration lawyers in London today. Our Spouse Visa specialists can help you to tackle the application, or simply provide a document-check. Call us today to find out how our team can help you on 0207 993 6762.

UK Student Visa New Rules 2021

UK Student Visa New Rules 2021

UK Student Visa New Rules 2021 : What is the cost for university students and how to apply 

With September now looming just beyond the horizon, there will be many last-minute applications submitted by those wishing to study a course in one of Britain’s universities through clearing. But for international students, they will also need to apply for a student visa formerly known as Tier 4 Student Visa too, which isn’t always straightforward or cheap.

Read on to learn about the Student Visa requirements, how much the Student Visa costs and how you can apply. 

About the UK Student Visa New Rules 2021

If you are planning to travel from your home country to study in the UK, you need to apply for a Student Visa. Your visa will cover you for the entire duration of your course and for a maximum of 5 years. You are able to extend your Student Visa if you need to.

To be successful in your visa application, you must already have accepted an offer to study in one of the UK’s academic institutions. This is important because your university will ‘sponsor’ your visa, essentially endorsing your application. However, please note that ‘sponsorship’ does not mean your university will pay for your Student Visa: it will merely validate your visa application.

Fortunately, beyond obtaining a Certificate of Acceptance CAS from your university, you won’t need to submit much else in your visa application. You’ll only need proof of your identity (such as your passport), evidence of your finances and proof of payment for your visa and surrounding fees.

Financial requirements 

As an international student, you are unable to apply for benefits or Student Finance, which is the loans company that assists British students with their tuition fees and maintenance. 

As a result, you will need to prove that you can afford to live in the UK independently without state support throughout the duration of your course. 

Generally speaking, you will need £1,023 per month for up to 9 months for any course undertaken outside of London. Meanwhile inside the capital, you will need £1,334 saved per each month of residency up to 9 months.

This means that in addition to your Student Visa fees, you will also need substantial savings that will last you the entire 9 months of the academic year and per each year you intend on living in the UK.

Who needs to pay for a Student Visa?

You will need to pay for your visa if you originate from overseas, including EEA citizens. Universities do not pay this fee for prospective students, though you can apply for scholarships and bursaries depending on your chosen place of study.

It is important to stress that the Student Visa is not just for university students, it is also applicable to international students who are looking to study in a UK school, college or other academic setting. 

The Student Visa fees are as follows:

  • £348 to apply while outside the UK
  • £475 to switch onto a Student Visa while already in the UK
  • £470 per each year of study for the Immigration Health Surcharge

1 Absolute Adviser – immigration lawyers in London

If you need professional guidance and support with your Student Visa, speak to our immigration lawyers in London today. Here at 1 Absolute Advisor, we can help you with your Student Visa application from start to finish, so ring us for a free consultation on 0207 993 6762 today.

UK Spouse Visa Sham Marriage

UK Spouse Visa Sham Marriage

Spouse Visa UK: What is a ‘sham marriage’?

The UK Spouse Visa is notorious for high refusal rates and unprecedented speculation on behalf of
the Home Office. Immigration enforcement has gate-crashed weddings and generally invaded
people’s personal lives when investigating so-called ‘sham marriages’.
But what is a sham marriage and why is it relevant to Spouse Visa applicants?

A sham or a scam?

The first point to consider is that the UK Spouse Visa rules dictate the applicants must be in a
genuine, long-lasting relationship. As a result of this requirement, UKVI will dig deeply into your
relationship to establish its sincerity. If, for any reason, the decision-maker perceives the relationship
to be a ‘sham’, it will result in a visa refusal.

The definition of a sham marriage is one in which a couple chooses to marry for the sole purpose of
an immigration advantage. Indeed, a UK Spouse Visa will allow any non-British individual to move to
the UK and seek settlement after a mere five years. Seeking a Spouse Visa when you’re not really the
spouse of a British national is considered a direct abuse of the immigration rules. If the couple are
not genuinely together, UKVI will consider the relationship fraudulent and the application itself
deceptive. You may even be banned for a certain amount of time from applying again.

Similar to a sham marriage, however, is a ‘marriage of convenience’. Here the couple may genuinely
be together, but decide to marry for the purpose of a visa. This is much harder for UKVI to prove, but
nonetheless stresses how crucial it is to hire an immigration professional: you wouldn’t want to slip
up casually that you had planned to marry for visa purposes.

Through the eyes of UKVI, sham marriages and marriages of convenience are virtually the same.
Therefore, applicants must be vigilant when it comes to proving that they are in a genuine

How to pass the ‘genuine relationship’ test

Part and parcel of proving to the UK Government that the relationship is real involves submitting
evidence of having met at least once, proof of a legally binding marriage (with a certificate) and a
declaration that the couple intends to live together under the same roof in the UK. To build a
compelling case, applicants may submit years of evidence of their relationship such as travel tickets
and holidays taken together, text message exchanges and photographs together.
It is important to note that even having children and being married will not guarantee a successful
Spouse Visa application.

How can 1 Absolute Advisor help?

Our immigration lawyers in London are well versed in the UK Spouse Visa rules. We know exactly
what UKVI is looking for when it assesses your relationship and how you can prove you are genuinely
together. Don’t be a victim of UK Spouse Visa Sham Marriage

By hiring an immigration professional, you can mitigate against the high risk of a visa refusal. We will
even help you to build a compelling portfolio of supporting evidence which documents your
relationship from the day you first met.

If you need help with your Spouse Visa UK application, get in touch with 1 Absolute Advisor today on
0207 993 6762.

Immigration Lawyer In Watford

Immigration Lawyer In Watford

Are you looking for an Immigration Lawyer In Watford who can assist you with your UK Visa Application.

Immigrating to the UK, whether temporarily or permanently, can be a difficult and costly procedure for individuals who want to do so. Like most immigration departments the UK Home Office state that foreign nationals are not obliged to hire immigration lawyers to complete their immigration paperwork, this does not imply that you should do it on their own. Because of the complexities of immigration rules and the significance of each immigration case, you must hire an immigration lawyer to help you through the process.

Our Immigration Lawyer in Watford can help you great deal be it a visit visa or a spouse visa or if you wish to apply for British Citizenship.

We offer you affordable and reliable services starting from a consultation to filing your application with the Home Office. We make the entire process easy and stress free. It starts with a friendly phone call where our advisers will understand your case and make an assessment. You will then be told about the merits of your case. You can engage in one of our three service option.

Option 1: Consultation Advice. This is normally done via a zoom video call where we will advice you about your case and how best to make an application.

Option 2: Review Service. This will include a thorough review of your application and supporting documents that you have included in your application. This will ensure that you are able to file this application yourself with confidence.

Option 3: Full Service. We file the application on your behalf and represent you until you get your visa. This is the most comprehensive service.

If you are looking for a reliable, affordable and friendly immigration lawyer call us today 0207 993 6762 or simply fill in a free call back form.

UK Spouse Visa From Pakistan

UK Spouse Visa From Pakistan

UK Spouse Visa From Pakistan

If you’re a Pakistani resident with a British spouse who is either a British citizen or has indefinite permission to stay in the UK, you’re probably looking for how to apply for a spouse visa to join or stay with your partner.

The Home Office handles these applications under the Immigration Rules. “Appendix FM” (FM refers to family members) and “Appendix FM SE” (SE refers to specified evidence) are the sections of the Rules that applicants must traverse.

The regulations are not simple to comprehend. For example, paragraphs are not numbered but are tagged with acronyms, rules relate to other laws in other sections, and paragraph and sentence structures do not always seem to make any sense.

In this article, we aim to shed some light on the criteria that must be fulfilled when applying for a UK spouse visa from Pakistan.

Step 1: UK Spouse Visa From Pakistan

Like with other countries, the first step is to fill out the visa application form on the site. This includes filling out a long application form with questions about your history and present situation. Pay special attention to whether or not all data is factually correct and consistent with prior applications. You will be prompted to pay your application fee and the Immigration Health Surcharge (the mandatory charge to access NHS in the UK for the visa’s duration) after the form has been verified. The application will be deemed filed after the money has been received successfully.

Step 2: UK Spouse Visa From Pakistan

The next step is to schedule and arrange an appointment to have your facial image and fingerprints (also known as biometrics) enrolled and have your papers submitted to the decision-makers. These may be done via the link at the bottom of the submission page.

You will be taken to the VFS Global website after clicking on that link. For those unfamiliar, VFS Global is an outsourced service provider firm contracted by the Home Office to perform administrative duties connected to visa processing.

The appointment is set up by selecting a day and time from an online calendar. In Pakistan, there are four options: Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore, and Mirpur. After you’ve scheduled an appointment, you’ll need to determine how you’ll provide your evidence.

Through VFS Global, you have four options for submitting your evidence to UK Visas and Immigration, the decision-making entity:

  • Upload supporting documentation to the VFS Global website on your own time (no additional charge): This is how most people typically go about things. It guarantees that you can inspect all the evidence submitted and don’t have to rely on a third party to do so. All scans must be properly uploaded before the appointment, and evidence of upload must be given along with the normal passports and ancillary items brought to the biometrics session. Unless you pay for the ‘keep my passport’ service, they will generally keep your passport (criteria and fees apply).
  • At the Visa Application Centre, there is a Document Scanning Assistance Service (additional fee PKR 4790 or GBP 22): This option may be bought in advance via VFS Global, with the receipt being presented to the biometrics session with your original passports and appointment sheet. Everything will be scanned and returned to you by the VAC personnel. Unless the extra service of retaining the passport is bought, the passport is generally kept, just as option one.
  • A walk-in settlement scanning service is available in the United Kingdom: For an extra GBP 75 charge, the UK-based sponsor steps in and gets all papers scanned.
  • Settlement scanning service in the United Kingdom: For an extra GBP 100, you may send it via post (with GBP 25 extra for secure return)

The UK options are generally ideal for people who have all of their papers in the UK and do not wish to scan them or transfer them to Pakistan.

The waiting period for evaluation starts after you attend your biometric appointment and submit your documents in one of the numerous methods allowed. According to the general service requirements for settlement applications, a decision is made after 12 weeks of the biometrics being registered. Priority service is available for individuals who fulfill the requirements for an extra fee of PKR 121,104 or GBP 547.

UK Visas and Immigration intends to come to a decision in 30 working days of the biometrics being registered under this scheme. The catch, of course, is that this is just an ‘aim,’ not a promise. Despite fulfilling the qualifying requirements and exhibiting no factual or evidentiary complications, applications in Pakistan, regardless of which VAC is selected, typically exceed this timeframe. Therefore, it is important to keep delays in mind when considering buying this service or preparing ahead.

Eligibility Requirements

All of the criteria in Appendix FM, paragraphs E-ECP.2.1 to 4.2, must be fulfilled to be given entry clearance as a spouse.

The applicant’s sponsor has to be British or has restricted refugee or humanitarian protection leave in the UK. (Rather than Appendix FM, refugees may be allowed to bring certain relatives into the UK under the “family reunion” regulations.)

The applicant and the sponsor should be at least 18 years old at the time of application and not have a “prohibited degree of relationship.” This implies they can’t be so close that marrying them would be illegal in the UK (for example, sister and brother and sister).

The parties must also have met face-to-face, have a real and ongoing relationship and plan to permanently live together in the UK.

If the individuals are married or in a civil partnership, their relationship must be legal, and any prior relationships must have ended permanently. Fiancées who want to marry must be willing to marry in the coming six months.

Applicants seeking entrance clearance must have completed an English language exam in speaking and listening at the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages Level A1 or above.

Only a provider authorized by the Home Office may administer the exam. Lists of these providers are updated regularly, so double-check that the institute you’re applying to is still on the list before submitting your application.

Documents Required

To prove that the applicant meets all of the criteria for a UK Spouse or Partner Visa, they must provide appropriate supporting documents, which the UKVI will examine as part of the application.

The following documents must be submitted with your spouse visa application:

  • Passport must be valid.
  • Proof of your relationship’s genuineness
  • Proof that you’ve met the financial requirements
  • Proof of English language proficiency.
  • Proper accommodation

If you want to travel to the UK as a spouse or partner, you must:

  • Right to reside in the nation from where the applicant is applying
  • TB Test certificate, if required.

Read here for a detailed UK Spouse Visa Document Checklist


The decision is announced through a cryptic email that tells you that a decision was made in your case (they don’t bother to tell you the outcome). They usually text or email you again after that to inform you that the actual passport and decision letter are available for pickup. The choice is disclosed within the package after it has been collected.

If your visa is approved, you will get your passport returned with an entry-clearance vignette stamp allowing you to enter the United Kingdom. This will be valid for 30 days for spouse/partner visas. After arriving in the UK, you will be given a Biometric Residence Permit, a card that looks like an ID card and has all of your visa information and duration. This is usually collected at a post office near your home in the UK or from a separate location if you specified a different address while filling out the online application form. Those awarded fiancé visas will not get a Biometric Residence Permit; instead, their whole 6-month stay will be validated on the passport vignette.

Concluding Remarks

Those who do not want to return to the VAC after the decision has been made may pay for a courier service to send their passport. The service costs PKR 2750 or GBP 12.5 and is promoted on their website as “safe and easy.” If you’re interested, you may get it ahead of time on VFS Global’s website.

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