UK Immigration Blog

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
relationship.

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 gov.uk 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 gov.uk 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

Decision

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.

Harsh Refusal UK Spouse Visa

Harsh Refusal of UK Spouse Visa

Harsh Refusal UK Spouse Visa in a recent case where the applicant wanted to apply for a UK Spouse Visa Set entry clearance for his wife and 5 year old son to the UK.  The sponsor applicant and his wife had been married for over five years and were living in Peru. The wife had a five year old son from her previous relationship.  They all visited the UK for a short period of time on a UK Visitor Visa to see what it is like to live in the UK and naturally they fell in love.  So they decided to apply for a UK Spouse Visa along with their son.

They gathered the UK Spouse Visa Document Checklist after a long struggle for her to meet the UK Spouse Visa English language requirement finally the application was submitted.  Since the sponsor was living in Peru he did not meet the UK Spouse Visa financial requirement of £22400 so they had to rely on their savings.


Considering the UK Spouse Visa processing time they had their application decision made within the time frame. The results were unbelievable, the Home Office granted the wife entry clearance but refused her five year old son. The reason for refusal was that despite the mother having the sole custody of the son, the biological father had visitation rights.  


They now had to re-submit a new application with evidence of no objection from the biological father and a new child custody order that does not contain visitation rights. They are now awaiting a decision. Stay tuned to know the results.


The reality is no matter how well prepared you think you are such Harsh Refusal UK Spouse Visa by the Home Office is possible even if they seem illogical. Why would you grant a visa to the mother and not her child as if they would stay apart?

Moving To UK On Spouse Visa

Moving To UK On Spouse Visa

Moving to UK on spouse visa and relocating to an entirely new country is never without its challenges. But hopefully, you’ve begun the settling-in process and are ready to start your new life. If you are still looking for ways to do just that while still maintaining close contact with the people you love back home, keep reading these tips presented courtesy of 1 Absolute Advisor.

Learning About Your New Home

One of the first and best things you can do as a new immigrant is to pick up a book. To highlight more than two dozen books on immigration, which you may identify with based on your circumstances. This can serve to give you hope that you will eventually acclimate into a sense of normalcy in what may still feel like a foreign land.

Next, look for books and websites that help you get a grasp on the history of United Kingdom. Knowing the events that turned this nation into what it is today is an important step in understanding why we are the way we are. You’ll also want to take the time to get to know about local laws and traditions and find information on obtaining a labor certification and other resources on becoming a citizen.

Supporting Those You Left Behind

One of the most difficult aspects of moving to a new country is leaving your loved ones at home. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to stay connected with your family, even from thousands of miles away. To start, consider planning out regular FaceTime calls with them. You can even set up a shared family calendar through Cozi so you never have to miss out on important updates or gatherings. 

Grab cheap shipping rates and share part of the US experience with your family back home. Visit your local grocery store and pack a box of staple snacks, postcards, and other trinkets that offer a taste of your new life. If you’d rather skip the line, you can use websites that cater specifically to curating flavors for your friends and family. Snack Magic is one example.

And if your family is relying on you for financial support, there are affordable and safe ways to ensure you come through on your promise to them. If your family is in India, for example, and you plan to send money home, you can use an online service like Remitly that has a fair exchange rate and, depending on how much you plan to send, may not charge fees – even for same-day transfers.

Integrating Into a New Community

Getting to know the people and places in your new hometown may be intimidating at first, especially if you’ve come here alone and do not have any local support. A few good places to start are your church or by volunteering for community services that align with your personal goals. For instance, you might walk dogs at animal rescue shelters or help pack food boxes to relieve hunger. Your local library, museum, and Habitat for Humanity organisation are all also excellent places to volunteer your time.

If you are looking to build a social network, you can use sites, such as MeetUp or Facebook, to seek people out that share similar interests to yourself. For virtually any activity that you would like to do, there is a group that can help you connect with like-minded individuals of all ages, races, and backgrounds.

Ultimately, moving into a strange land is a daunting and sometimes overwhelming experience. But it does not have to be, and there are steps you can take to make your transition as seamless as possible without losing sight of the life you left behind. So read a book, learn about your new home, and don’t be shy about sharing it with the people you love.

If you are planning to Moving To UK On Spouse Visa and want to know how to get a UK Spouse Visa you can read our post here. A complete list of documents needed for a spouse visa can be found here

EU Citizens In The UK After 30 June 2021

EU Citizens In The UK After 30 June 2021

EU Citizens in the UK After 30 June 2021

One of the results of Brexit was the end of freedom of movement between the EU and the UK. Although old EU residence documents, such as UK derivative residence cards and permanent residence cards, are still recognized after the official Brexit end-date on 31 December 2020. But they would no longer be valid after 30 June 2021. This means EU citizens must now apply for necessary documents to enter, stay, work or study in the UK. So, if you are moving to the UK as an EU citizen, the following are some of the most commonly used visa and immigration routes available to you. 

1. Tier 1 Visa

The UK Tier 1 visas are of various types – the Tier 1 Investor visa and the Tier 1 Exceptional Talent visa. However, the Exceptional Talent category is no longer open for new applications. As an EU citizen, you can get a Tier 1 Investor visa with Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) status after 5 years if you can invest at least £2m in the UK Government or UK companies. With an investment of up to £5m or £10m, you will be eligible for ILR after 3 and 2 years, respectively.  

2. Skilled Worker Visa

If you’re sponsored by a UK Visa and Immigration (UKVI) authorised employer or have a job offer in the UK, you can apply for a Skilled Worker Visa, formerly known as Tier 2 (General) visa. This is the major route for skilled immigrants seeking jobs in the UK. However, your job offer must be on the list of eligible occupations. Also, it must attract a stipulated minimum salary, depending on the type of work. With the Skilled Worker visa, you can apply for permanent residency in the UK after 5 years.

3. Student Visa

EU students above 16 years can apply for a Student Visa. The requirements for a student visa will depend on the programme you are applying for and your school of choice. For instance, you may need evidence of consent from your parents, depending on your age. There is also a Child Student Visa route for students between the age of 4 and 17. The UK student visa generally requires that a licensed education provider has admitted you for a course.

In addition, you must show proof that you have enough money to pay for the tuition and support yourself for the duration of your course in the UK. If you are applying from outside the UK, you may start your application process anytime from 6 months before the start date of your course. You should get a decision within 3 weeks after application. If you are applying from inside the UK, then you may apply anytime from 3 months before the start date of your course. You will usually get a decision within 8 weeks.

4.    Temporary Worker Government Authorized Exchange visa

This visa is available to EU citizens who are coming to work in the UK for a short time. It’s also available to those partaking in training, fellowship, or research programmes by any government authorized scheme. As a result, you must have a sponsor and a certificate of sponsorship reference number from them. This certificate of sponsorship is usually valid for 3 months after the issue date. Furthermore, you’re expected to have a minimum of £1,270 available to support yourself during your stay in the UK.

5. Innovator Visa

You may be eligible for the UK innovator visa if you are above 18 and want to set up a business in the UK. Specifically, the business must be innovative – different from other businesses already available in the UK market. You must first submit your business idea to an endorsing body for approval. The body’s decision can make or mar your chance of getting this visa. If they reject your business plan, you can’t get the Innovator visa. Financially, you need a minimum of £50,000 in investment funds to apply for this visa. You’re also required to prove where you got this funding from.

EU Citizens In The UK After 30 June 2021. If You Are Already In The UK

If you are an EU citizen in the UK and would like to continue living in the UK after 31 June 2021, you must apply for the newly recognised status known as the EU Settlement Scheme. The deadline for applications for this scheme is 30 June 2021. If you fail to submit your application on or before this date, you may no longer be eligible to continue living in the United Kingdom. If you are able to successfully submit your application before the deadline, you will be eligible to continue staying in the UK.

Understanding the EU Settlement: Who is Eligible?

You are eligible to apply for the EU Settlement Scheme if you are an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen, and you were residing in the United Kingdom before 1 January 2021. You are also eligible if you are a citizen of Iceland, Liechtenstein or Norway. Other eligible persons are family members of the EU, EEA, and Swiss citizens. You can also apply if you are a family member of an eligible person of Northern Ireland. Your children can also apply for the scheme.

How to Apply

You can apply for the EU Settlement Scheme either by post or electronically. It is a free application that is accessible online on GOV.UK. You will need certain documents to prove your eligibility for the application. The required documents include proof of identity and proof of residence. If you are applying as a family member, you will need proof of qualifying relationship with your family member you are applying to join. Proof of length of stay in the UK is also important.

EU Citizens Who Don’t Need to Apply for Settlement Scheme

Some EU citizens may not need to apply for the settlement scheme to be eligible to continue staying in the UK after June 2021. If you are an Irish citizen and you have a valid Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR), you don’t need to apply for the EU Settlement Scheme. Also, if you are working in the UK as a frontier worker but don’t live in the UK, you don’t need to apply for the settlement scheme.

What Rights Does the EU Settlement Scheme Give?

If you apply for the EU Settlement Scheme successfully, you will be able to continue residing and working in the United Kingdom after 30 June 2021. The UK government will grant you either settled status or pre-settled status. This will depend on how long you’ve been residing in the UK when you submit your application. The status you get will also determine your rights as an EU citizen living in the UK after June 2021.

Understanding Settled Status

If you are granted settled status, you will be eligible to continue living in the UK indefinitely. You will also be able to apply for British citizenship if you are eligible.

If you have lived in the UK for a continuous period of 5 years, you will usually get settled status. In other words, you have spent at least 6 months in any 12-month period in the UK, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man.

Pre-settled Status

If you don’t have 5 years of continuous residence in the United Kingdom, you will usually be granted pre-settled status.

If you are granted pre-settled status, you will have the right to continue living in the UK for another 5 years. After you have maintained 5 years of continuous residence in the UK, you will be eligible to change the pre-settled status to settled status.

EU Citizens In The UK After 30 June 2021 have the above options and if you wish to have professional help with your application please click here to book a FREE CALL with one of our Immigration Advisers.

EU Citizens Moving To The UK In 2021

EU Citizens Moving To The UK In 2021

The UK left the European Union on 31 January 2020, as a result the free movement between the UK and the European Union ended on 31 December 2020. Below are the Top 10 questions and answers for EU Citizens Moving To The UK In 2021.

I arrived in the UK before 31 December 2020, can I still apply for European Union Settlement Scheme (EUSS)?

Yes, to be eligible to apply, you must have arrived in the UK before 31 December 2020, and you must submit your EUSS application before 30 June 2021. The EUSS is free of charge and offers secure status for 5 years. 

I arrived in the UK after 31 December 2020, can I still apply for European Union Settlement Scheme (EUSS)?

If you were not resident in the UK by 31 December 2020, you will need to meet specific requirements and criteria in order to live in the UK from 1 January 2021. 

Can I join a family member in the UK after 31 December 2020?

If the applicant is not living in the UK by 31 December 2020, the applicant will be able to apply provided the below mentioned criteria is met:

-applicant’s family member was living in UK by 31 December 2020

-the relationship began by 31 December 2020

-the applicant is a close family member, for example a spouse, unmarried partner

-their family member has settled status in the UK

What permission do I need to obtain to live in the UK after 31 December 2020?

In order to live in the UK after 31 December 2020, applicants must have the relevant permission to live and work in the UK under the UK’s points-based immigration system. If applicants intend to work in the UK, they must meet certain criteria for the immigration route they are applying for. 

If applicants wish to come to the UK to work, they can apply for the Skilled Worker visa route. Applicants must have a valid job offer from an approved employer, the job offer must be at a required level and complexity and at the appropriate salary level. Applicants who wish to apply for the Skilled Worker visa route must also show English language proficiency. 

On the following link applicants can also browse through alternative work visa routes and specialist occupations: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/the-uks-points-based-immigration-system-information-for-eu-citizens

Can Skilled Worker permission lead to settlement in the UK?

Yes, the Skilled Worker visa route can lead to settlement in the UK provided applicants maintain 5 years of lawful and continuous residence in the UK. 

What other options do I have if I want to live in the UK? 

If you wish to study and live in the UK, the Student visa might be the best option for you! 

Applicants are required to show that they have a valid Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) letter from an educational sponsor approved by the Home Office, applicants must meet English language proficiency and financial evidence requirements. More information about this route can be found on: https://www.gov.uk/student-visa 

If applicants successfully complete their undergraduate level degree or above in the UK, they will be able to apply for a Graduate visa to stay and work in the UK or look for work for up to 2 years after completing their degree. The Graduate visa route is expected to open in summer 2021. 

Applicants switching to the Graduate visa route will then be able to switch to the Skilled Worker visa route provided they’ve found a suitable job and meet all the requirements of the Skilled Worker immigration route. 

What is the visa application process for EU citizens after 31 December 2020?

All EU Citizens Moving To The UK In 2021 to work or study must apply for the most relevant visa. The visa application must be submitted online on Gov.uk website and applicants must demonstrate that they meet the requirements and the relevant criteria for the visa route they are applying for. Applicants also need to verify their identity through an ID Check application available on mobile devices and upload their supporting documentation with their completed online visa application. 

How much do I need to pay for my visa application? 

Applicants will need to pay an application fee. On the following link, you can check how much you need to pay for your visa application outside the UK: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/visa-regulations-revised-table/home-office-immigration-and-nationality-fees-31-january-2021 

Furthermore, applicants need to pay an Immigration Health Surcharge before they submit their visa application. This allows applicants to access the NHS in the UK. The current Immigration Health Surcharge for a student visa is £470 per year and £624 per year for all other visa and immigration applications. 

What identification document do I present at the UK Border? 

From 1 October 2021, EU citizens will not be able to use their EU, EEA or Swiss national ID card to enter the UK. EU, EEA or Swiss nationals will need to present a valid passport at the border. In some circumstances EU, EEA or Swiss nationals can continue using their national ID card to enter the UK until 31 December 2025 provided they have settled or pre-settled status under the European Union Settlement Scheme. 

Do I need a visa to visit the UK? 

No, you can visit the UK without applying for a visa up to 6 months. You will need to apply for the most relevant visa if you want to study or work in the UK and intend to live in the UK for longer than 6 months.

If you are a EU Citizens Moving To The UK In 2021 then there are several other options that you can explore based on your individual circumstances. Why not speak to one of our advisers to see what options you have. Fill in a FREE CALL BACK form to have your call.

Top Reasons For ILR Refusal

Top Reasons For ILR refusal

In this post we will look at the top reasons for ILR refusal by the Home Office. Although this list is not exhaustive and there are many other reasons for refusal, these are the most common grounds.

Part 9 of the Immigration Rules discusses the grounds for refusal. Where an applicant does not meet the suitability requirements of the immigration route they are applying for, their application might fall for refusal under the Immigration Rules. 

The Secretary of State has outlined that decisions on suitability grounds are either mandatory or discretionary. For example, if an applicant meets some of the mandatory grounds for refusal, their application must be refused and if an applicant meets the discretionary grounds for refusal, their application may be refused. 

Below are mentioned Top Reasons For ILR Refusal. 

  1. Starting with a mandatory ground for refusal based on criminality grounds. Section 9.4.1 of the Immigration Rules part 9 state that an individual’s application must be refused if the applicant has been convicted of a criminal offence in the UK or overseas for which they have received a custodial sentence of 12 months or more, they are persistent offender or has committed a criminal offence, or offences, which caused serious harm. If an applicant’s presence is not conducive to the public good because of their character, conduct or they have been convicted of a serious criminal offence, their application for Indefinite Leave to Remain must be refused. 
  1. A discretionary ground for refusal is if the individual has made false representations, provided false documents, false information in support of their application or failed to disclose relevant facts in relation to their application. This refusal ground is stated in 9.7.1 of the Immigration Rules part 9. 
  1. Another discretionary ground for refusal is if an applicant fails to provide required information. If the applicant fails to provide a reasonable excuse to comply with a reasonable requirement, for example to attend an interview or provide further information to support their visa application, the Secretary of State may refuse applicant’s application to remain in the UK as mentioned in 9.9.1 of the Immigration Rules part 9. 
  1. Further discretionary ground for refusal is if an applicant has been involved in a sham marriage or sham civil partnership. The application may be refused if the applicant has entered or attempted to enter a sham marriage or sham civil partnership to evade immigration control as stated in 9.6.1 of the Immigration Rules part 9.
  1. Subsequent discretionary ground for refusal is if the applicant ceases to meet the requirements and criteria of the rules under which they are applying for as referred in 9.23.1 of the Immigration Rules part 9. 
  1. An application for permission to stay may be refused where the applicant has failed to pay charges to the NHS and the value of the outstanding charges is at least £500 as stated in 9.11.1 of the Immigration Rules part 9.

Now that you have learned the top reasons for refusal of an ILR application it is always advised to get professional help with your application. Considering the fee that is charged by the Home Office.

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