Naturalization – Good Character Requirement

If one wants to apply to become a British Citizen then he/she is required to meet the good character requirement. Majority of the people who are above 10 years of age and who apply for British Citizenship need to meet this criterion of good character. Home Office in the UK assesses whether an individual applying for British Citizenship is to be considered of good character or not. In order to assess good character, various considerations are carried out by Home Office which includes criminal offenses, financial stability, compliance with UK immigration laws etc. Should the applicant not meet the Good Character requirement the application will be refused.

Aspects, which are considered for good character requirement

  • Whether or not the applicant has disrespected the law in any manner or is not ready to follow the law.
  • Whether or not applicant been involved or been associated with war crimes, crimes against humanity or genocide, terrorism or other actions in any manner.
  • Whether or not the applicant failed to pay taxes.
  • Whether or not the applicant has been involved in any kind of notorious activities, which raise serious doubts on their standing in the local community.
  • Whether or not the applicant has been deliberately dishonest or deceptive with the UK Government.
  • Whether or not applicant avoided immigration control in any manner.
  • Whether or not the applicant was previously rejected the UK citizenship or citizenship of another country.

Apart from the above, you also need to know that the assessment of your good character also includes any circumstances that may have occurred to you outside the UK, not just in the UK. You must disclose all offenses you were involved in or associated with, no matter how minor they were according to you. You should not hide anything because if you fail to disclose something which the Home Office comes to know about eventually in their own investigations, then there is strong possibility that your application will be rejected on this basis of failing to disclose. If you do this and it is caught then you may face the claims of dishonesty, which will damage your immigration history quite significantly. And you should always remember that the Good Character requirement applies not just on adults but also to children above the age of 10.

There have been detrimental changes as well to paragraphs 9.5 and 9.7 in recent times that cover issues surrounding compliance with immigration law.

 

Fines and Fixed Penalty Notices

If you have received a traffic offense imposed by police or any other authority such as Fixed Penalty Notices, Penalty Charge Notices and Penalty Notices for Disorder, traffic rule violations, environmental and civil violations then you need to pay the fine and if you do so then you don’t need to bother as receiving an FPN fine does not form part of a person’s criminal record as there is no admission of guilt. So, this will not affect your good character requirement.

However, if you fail to pay and so you faced criminal proceedings as a result of this or you received numerous FPN suggesting that there is a pattern for behavior from your side which calls into question your character then the Home Office decision maker will consider all these factors when assessing your good character requirement.

 

How do criminal convictions and sentences affect the Good Character Requirement?

You can note below sentence and its impact on your application for British Citizenship.

  • If you got 4 years or more imprisonment sentence then your application will normally be refused.
  • If you got a sentence of imprisonment between 12 months and 4 years then your application will normally be refused unless 15 years have passed since the end of the sentence.
  • If you got a sentence of imprisonment for up to 12 months then your application will normally be refused unless 10 years have passed since the end of the sentence.
  • If you got a non-custodial sentence or other out of court disposal that is recorded on a person’s criminal record then your applications will normally be refused if the conviction occurred in the last 3 years.

So, you should always keep in mind about good character requirement when applying for British Citizenship as naturalization. For any assistance, you can contact Visa and Migration Ltd on 02034111261.

 

 

 

What to do if your UK Visitor Visa is Refused?

You may apply for a UK Visitor Visa for meeting your family, holiday trip, and medical treatment, short-term course, marrying or entering a civil partnership, participating in any sports, musical or other events and so on.

When you apply for the visa, you must be careful in providing all the required documents in properly required formats. You must not leave any chance so that your visa application gets refused. This is because if your visa application is refused then all the time and money you spent on it, will be wasted and will tarnish your immigration history. Also your opportunity to visit the UK is gets jeopardized.

So basically, what to do if your UK visit visa is refused?

Options if your UK Visit Visa is refused

 In case your UK visitor visa is refused then you have 3 choices:

  1. You can reapply for the visa.
  2. You can appeal on human rights grounds.
  3. You can challenge the decision via judicial review

 Reapplying for UK visitor visa

In certain circumstances, it is better to reapply because this is the simplest, less time consuming and cost-effective option if your Visitor Visa application has been refused.  If you filled in application form incorrectly or you have not supplied the correct supporting documents then you should go for this option as it makes sense. But it costs you moneywise and you also need to wait again so to avoid such situation you need to ensure your application is correct. For this you should seek instruction from an experienced immigration lawyer or an even better option is to ask them to make the application for you. They are experts and they will explain to you exactly what documents you need to include along with your application.

Appealing on human grounds

 Since 2013 no full right of appeal is possible against visa refusal and refusals for UK Standard Visitor Visas can only be appealed on the basis of human rights grounds. So, you are suggested to ensure that when you apply for the UK visit visa, if possible, grounds for a human rights appeal are present in your application. If you fail to include human rights grounds then you may have to spend a great deal of time and money on an appeal, only for the judge to rule that there are no human rights grounds existing allowing you to make a legitimate appeal in the first place.

Challenging the decision via judicial review

 Going for Judicial review is also a choice as it is a process by which the courts in the UK exercise a supervisory jurisdiction over the exercise of public functions by public bodies.  However, you cannot exercise judicial review in all situations. It can only be used when all other avenues have been exhausted by you. Judicial review is also an expensive and complex process which is available to one only on specific grounds like illegality, irrationality and any unfairness in following procedures. If you plan to go for a judicial review case, then you must seek the advice of an expert immigration lawyer because they can advise you the best about the course of action you need to take.

If your visitor visa has been refused contact Visa and Migration for best UK Immigration Advice

 

Family Life as a Parent

Pre 2012 the route used to be called Right to Access the child and now this has been renamed to family life as a parent.

A non-British parent can exercise their right of access to their child/children (under 18 years) who are resident in the UK and are a British citizen or settled in the UK. A single non-British parent can apply for leave to enter or remain in the UK on the basis of their family life with a British or settled child who is living in the UK. This application can only be made by a single parent/s. Those who are still in a relationship with the other parent cannot apply under the parent route they should rather submit an application under the partner route.

Family life as a parent visa

Those single non-British parent whose child is resident in the UK can apply for family life as a parent visa to join their child in the UK to raise them. However, such parent must have sole parental responsibility of the child or be normally living with the child, or they must have direct contact with the child.

Parent’s route requirements

The conditions to be met are:

  • You need to have the sole responsibility for the child; or
  • You need to have direct access to your child and in that situation, another parent of the child must not be your partner.
  • In order to prove direct access to the child, you must provide evidence from the court or agreed with another parent
  • You must be able to prove that you have an active involvement in the upbringing of the child.
  • You must also prove that you are able to meet maintenance and accommodation cost for yourself, the child, and any other children that you care for.
  • You must fulfill the English Language requirement at Level A 1 of the CEFR (only applicable to 5-year route).

You must meet the above conditions in order to submit an application as a parent in the UK. However, even if you don’t meet the above conditions still you can extend your permission to stay in the UK if:

  • Your child living in the UK is a UK British citizen or has lived in the UK for 7 years or more.
  • It would not be reasonable for them to leave the UK and continue their life outside the UK.

Once you apply for Family life as a parent visa and if your application is successful you will be granted a stay in the UK for 2.5 years. After this time period, you need to apply for an extension. Also if you complete 5 or 10 years continuously in the UK as a parent then you become eligible to apply for indefinite leave to remain in the UK.

If you are looking to submit an application under this route, please contact Visa and Migration Ltd for professional advice on your application and process.

 

 

 

 

 

Sole Responsibility

Generally, the concept of sole responsibility is only applicable where the parents may have separated or divorced. The responsibility of the child is such cases are with one of the parents who are in the UK. If the parent in the UK wants their child to join them in the UK then they will need to establish that they have the sole responsibility of the child.

If you are settled in the UK or on a temporary leave and want your child to join you from overseas then you will need to prove that you are solely responsible for the child. That means that you are the person who is the chief decision-maker in connection with the child who is currently outside the United Kingdom.

The UK based parent, in this case, is the sponsoring parent. Such parent must be able to show that he/she has been solely responsible for care and development of the child for a substantial period. Thus they will be establishing that they are the chief decision maker for the child’s well-being.

If the child is separated from sponsoring parent, then it will be expected normally that the child has been in the care of the sponsoring parent’s relatives rather than in the care of the relatives of the other parent outside the UK. And if it is found that the child has been in the care of the other parent’s relatives and also the other parent lives nearby the child and actively involved in the child’s welfare then such applications by sponsor parent for bringing their child to the UK under sole responsibility will be refused.

Sole responsibility test

A child under 18 outside UK cannot simply join his/her UK based parent unless the UK based parent passes sole responsibility test. A child under the age of 18 can seek leave to enter the UK to accompany or join a parent who is present and settled in the UK (someone who has obtained indefinite leave to remain or who has acquired British citizenship) and is solely responsible for the child’s upbringing.

Sole responsibility is a test invented for and exists solely in the immigration jurisdiction which has three main limbs: legal responsibility (for example legal custody of the child has been given to the UK parent), financial responsibility and emotional responsibility which mean they are making important decisions about the child’s upbringing and sending money for the child’s education and other needs.

Assessment of sole responsibility

While assessing the sole responsibility of a parent following factors are considered by Home Office:

  • Are the parents married / in a civil partnership?
  • If the marriage/civil partnership does not sustain and gets dissolved, in that situation which parent was awarded legal custody of the child, which includes the assumption of responsibility for the child?
  • When there is a legal custody order of the child is given in favor of the UK parent, the ECO should make sure that that the issue of a settlement entry clearance to the child will not contravene the terms of the custody order.
  • Is there a situation where the marriage / civil partnership subsist, but both the parents do not live together?
  • For how long has the sponsoring parent been separated from the child after he/she migrated to the UK?
  • If the sponsoring parent migrated to the UK, how was the child taken care of before and after the sponsoring parent migrated?
  • What has been the relationship between the sponsoring parent and the child if the sponsoring parent migrated to the UK?
  • Has the child been consistently supported by sponsoring parent directly or by personal care; or has there been a regular and substantial financial remittance by sponsoring a parent for the care of the child?
  • Who of the parents and in what proportions bore the cost of the child’s maintenance?
  • Who is the one taking the important decisions of the child’s upbringing, for example where the child lives, which school child studies, which religion child practices etc.?

 

However, there have been challenges when sponsoring parent tries to bring their child to the UK under sole responsibility.

The case of TD Yemen [2006] UKAIT 00049 is the Stare Decisis for establishing sole responsibility.

If you are looking for professional assistance in making the application for your child to join you in the UK, please contact Visa and Migration Ltd

Applying for Sole Representative Visa

Overseas companies who intend to establish their operations in the UK are able to send a representative from the organisation who can set up a company branch in the UK. The representative will be solely responsible for the operations of the company in the UK.

Requirements for Sole Representative

  • You must be from outside EEA and Switzerland
  • You must be recruited and employed by a company outside the UK. The company is considered to be fit if they have headquarters and principal place of business outside the UK.
  • You must hold a senior position in the company. However, you cannot be a major shareholder/director in the company which means they cannot be holding more than 50% shares of the company.
  • You must have full authority to make operational decisions on the company’s behalf in the UK.
  • You must intend to work full time for your employer to establish the first commercial presence in the UK, for example establishing a registered branch or a wholly owned subsidiary of the company.

You may also be a sole representative if the company has a legal entity in the UK which does not employ staff or does not transact any business in the UK. If your company has already been making efforts to establish a UK branch or subsidiary, but so far no branch or subsidiary has been set up, in that case, you can replace a previous sole representative.

Moving employees to the UK

Businesses overseas can send their employees to the UK through Tier 2 ICT or Business Visit visa options. The choice of choosing the visa category will be determined by a number of factors which includes the role of the employee in the company and role they will perform in the UK, the nature of the activity they have to carry out, the time they plan to spend in the UK and also the status of the company’s operations in the UK.

How long it takes and how long can you stay

You can apply the earliest 3 months before you travel to the UK. Once you apply from the outside UK, you should get a decision on your visa application within 3 weeks.

Once you are granted Sole Representative Visa, you can come to the UK for 3 years initially and you may extend your visa for 2 more years, provided you meet the requirements for an extension. After you complete 5 years in the UK, you can apply for permanent settlement/Permanent Residence/ Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK.

What you can do and what you cannot do

As a sole representative in the UK, you can work full time for your employer. You can also bring your family to the UK and you can extend your visa multiple times.

However, with Sole Representative Visa, you cannot work for yourselves or any other company or business. If the sole representative arrangement is ended by your employer then you cannot stay in the UK anymore. You cannot switch from any other visa category to this visa category and you are not allowed access to the public funds in the UK.

 

 

Tier 1 and Tier 2 – Point Based System – dependent visa

Many migrants come to the UK and they have their dependents back home. They also want to join them in the UK. The UK Immigration rules do allow the dependents to accompany or join the main applicant in the UK.

Point-based system (PBS) dependent visa is for the family – Wife/ Children under 18 years of age to join or accompany the main applicant. Dependents may have different rights given to them as compared to the rights applicable to the main applicant. As a PBS dependent you need to know the rights you have, entitlement for activities and so on. It is important for you to understand all the factors that apply to you as a PBS Dependent. Once you know this you won’t breach any UK immigration laws and you also plan properly for your ILR if you decide to make the UK your home. There are many variations in rules and requirements for PBS dependents are under paragraph 319 of the Immigration Rules.

If you came to the UK after July 2012 then you need to spend minimum 5 years in the UK to qualify for ILR.

Tier 1 and Tier 2 PBS dependents

 A dependent is one who is one of the following:

  • Your husband, wife or your unmarried partner.
  • Your child below 18 years
  • Your child above 18 who came in the UK as a dependent before they turned 18 years old.

Please note – Children above 16 years of age have additional evidence requirements.

Tier 1 and Tier 2 PBS dependents can enjoy following:

  • They can work full time in the UK without any restriction.
  • They can apply for ILR after 5 years in the UK. However, they must show evidence of a genuine and subsisting relationship in the UK.
  • They cannot enjoy benefits while in the UK as this is a breach of a PBS Dependent’s immigration permission.
  • They can study full time when they are in the UK. But they have to pay international university fees for this.
  • They are not tied to the same number of days out of the country restrictions as the main applicant.
  • They can access NHS

Maintenance Requirement

You must show that dependents coming to join you can be supported financially and will not be dependent on public funds in the UK. Each dependent whether applying with you or separately must have at least £630 available with them and this is required in addition to the amount of £945 which you must have to support yourself while you are in the UK. You must show the proof that money has been available and it has been in your bank account or the dependent’s bank account for a minimum 90 days before you or dependents apply. However, you don’t need to show evidence of savings if you have a fully approved A-rated Tier 2 sponsor provides confirmation of maintenance for dependents.

Please note – Tier 1 Dependents applying from outside the UK have to show £1890 for 90 days, whereas Tier 2 dependents only need to show £630 from outside or inside the UK.

Applying from within and outside the UK and applying for children born while you are in the UK

If your dependents apply from outside the UK then they can apply online and if your partner and/or child apply from within the UK to extend or switch their visas to stay with you if they are already in the UK then they can ask to use priority service and get same day decision at the premium service center. If you have children while you are in the UK, you can apply to receive permission for your children to stay in the UK.

 

 

 

 

 

 

What are your Duties as a Sponsor License Holder?

When an organization in the UK receives Sponsor License it authorizes them to recruit foreign nationals outside of EEA area. They can employ skilled workers to work for their organization. However, along with rights, there are some duties or responsibilities upon sponsor license holders as well. If you are an organization in the UK applying for sponsor license, it is better you know the duties that you need to perform as sponsor license holder because if you fail to do so then you may face a downgrade in user rating, your license may be suspended or withdraw and you are putting the jobs of existing migrant workers at risk.

 

Duties as a sponsor license holder

 Carry out checks of sponsored workers

 You need to carry out following duties to make sure you are complying completely as an organization.

  • You must check that foreign national employees working in your organization have the necessary skills, qualifications or professional accreditations to do their jobs. You must keep copies of documents showing this as well;
  • You must only offer certificates of sponsorship to people when the job you are offering them is suitable for sponsorship; and
  • You must inform UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) if workers you sponsored are not complying with the conditions of their visa.

Monitor your employees

When you have done due diligence while assigning a sponsored license to workers suitable for the job, the next duty you have is to monitor your employees. You must have a strong HR system in place that performs following duties:

  • They must monitor the immigration status of your employees;
  • They must check and maintain relevant documents for each worker which includes their passport and right to work information;
  • They must always track and record attendance of workers;
  • Worker’s contact details must be always updated; and
  • If there is a problem, for example, any worker is not coming to work then it must be reported to UKVI.

Report changes in your own business

If there are any significant changes in your own business circumstances then you must report it to UKVI within 10 working days. Changes can be the following:

  • If you stop trading or become insolvent.
  • If you changing the nature of business substantially.
  • If you are doing a merger or take-over.

Apart from the above changes if you are making any changes in business details like your address, Key personnel or allocated roles then you must report this to UKVI.

You can register a change of circumstances by using the sponsorship management system (SMS).

It can take up to 18 weeks to process your requests. You can also use priority service to register a change within 5 working days. It costs you £200.

Other Sponsor License duties

You must perform other duties failing which you may face the consequences. These are:

  • You must be a running a genuine organization.
  • You must be operating legally in the UK.
  • If you are sponsoring workers under 18 years of age, you must ensure that these workers receive suitable care arrangements for travelling to the UK, arrival in UK and living arrangements in the UK. You must get a letter of consent to the care arrangements from parents of workers under 18.
  • You must get a Disclosure and Barring Service to checkon those of your workers who need it – Tier 2 rote provides a list of individuals to need a police record check before they submit an application.

If you are looking in order for assistance in meeting the compliance requirements or wish to discuss on submitting an application for sponsorship licence, please do not hesitate to contact Visa and Migration Ltd.

 

Tier 2 (Intra Company Transfers)

The Tier 2 ICT route is mainly available to companies who intend to move their employee from overseas branch to a UK Branch. You can apply for Tier 2 (Intra Company Transfer) visa if you have been offered a job role by your overseas employer in UK branch of the organization and you are from outside EEA and Switzerland.

The eligibility conditions which are the following:

  • Your employer has issued you a valid Certificate of Sponsorship;
  • You must be paid an ‘appropriate salary’ as on the Occupational Codes;
  • You must show with documents that you have enough savings to support yourself financially when you arrive in the UK – or the maintenance is certified by the sponsor;
  • If you are from a listed country then you need to have tuberculosis test results; and
  • You must show you have worked for your employer outside the UK for at least 12 months.

You must have confirmed job in the UK and you must receive a certificate of sponsorship from your employer to be able to apply for Tier 2 Intra Company Transfer visa. Your employer must also be a licensed sponsor in order to provide you a Certificate of Sponsorship.

There are 2 types of Intra Company Transfer Visa

The two types of Tier 2 ICT categories are –

  • Long-term staff
  • Graduate Trainee

You can apply Long term staff visa if you are transferring into a role for which it requires you to have had previous work experience in the company for more than 12 months unless your employer will pay you £73,900 or more a year to work in the UK.

Graduate Trainee visa is applicable if you are transferring into graduate trainee programs for specialist roles such as a specialist research or IT role. You need to have a recent degree level or above qualification with a minimum of 3 months experience with your employer overseas.

You can apply for the visa up to 3 months before you are going to start your work in the UK. You can find this date mentioned on your certificate of sponsorship. After you apply from outside the UK, you should get a decision on your visa application generally within 3 weeks.

How long you can stay?

The maximum length of time you can stay in the UK on your Tier 2 Intra Company Transfer is as follows:

  • For long-term staffs having an income of more than £120,000, the maximum time length allowed to stay in the UK is 9 years.
  • For long-term staffs having an income of less than £120,000, the maximum time length allowed to stay in the UK is 5 years, 1 month.
  • Graduate trainees can stay for a maximum 12 months.

However, you can stay in the UK for the maximum time allowed as mentioned above or the time is given on your certificate of sponsorship, whichever is shorter. You can start living in the UK up to 14 days before the start date on your certificate of sponsorship.

What you can do and what you cannot do?

You can do following:

  • You can do the job described in your certificate of sponsorship for your sponsor.
  • Along with your main job you can also do a second job in the same profession and at the same level as your main job for up to 20 hours per week.
  • You can do voluntary work.
  • You can study unless it interferes with the job you are sponsored for.
  • You can travel abroad and return to the UK.
  • You can bring your family members to the UK with you.

You cannot do the following:

  • You cannot have access to public funds.
  • You cannot start working before your application is approved.

 

Reasons for Delays in UK Visa Processing Time

When you make a UK visa application, you want this to be processed quickly. There are standard time limits within which visa applications are processed, assuming everything is right with the application and the applicant.

But there can be occasions when you may have to face delays – what are some of the reasons behind delays in the processing time for UK visas?

Continue reading “Reasons for Delays in UK Visa Processing Time”

Tier 2 Indefinite Leave to Remain

A Tier 2 indefinite leave to remain visa is granted to people who have completed 5 years as a Tier 2 (General) Migrant and satisfy requirements of paragraph 245HF of the Immigration Rules.

Tier 2 ICT migrants granted leave before 5 April 2010 and Tier 2 ICT Long Term granted leave before 5 April 2011 may also be eligible for Indefinite Leave to Remain provided they satisfy all the requirements under paragraph 245 GF of the Immigration Rules.

Continue reading “Tier 2 Indefinite Leave to Remain”