The EU Settled Status

After Brexit, UK will leave the European Union in March 2019 and as a result, EU nationals will have to apply for a new settled status. This new EU settled status is the new indefinite leave to remain (ILR) status, which will protect the rights of non-UK EU citizens after separation of UK from EU in March 2019. So, this means that if you are an EU citizen and you along with your family want to continue to live in the UK after 31st December 2020 then you can apply for settled status. If you get EU settled status then you will be able to continue to live and work in the UK under this scheme. The deadline to apply will be 30 June 2021. You may be able to apply after this date if you are joining a family member with settled status in the UK.

Once you get settled status you can stay in the UK for as long as you wish to and you can also apply for British Citizenship provided you meet the eligibility requirements. Under this scheme, you will be able to spend up to 2 years outside the UK in a row without losing your settled status. However, this time limit is still subject to approval by Parliament. If you have children in the future after you have got settled status then they will automatically be British Citizens.

 

Rights you get with settled status

After receiving settled status you will be entitled to some rights, which are as following:

  • You can work in the UK;
  • You can use NHS;
  • You can get an education or continue your study;
  • You can access public funds such as benefits and pensions, provided you are eligible for them;
  • You can bring your family members to the UK after 31 December 2020; and
  • You can travel in and out of the UK.

 

Who should apply?

You need to be eligible in order to apply for settled status. Those eligibility conditions are the following:

  • You need to be an EU citizen, or a family member of an EU citizen – including a durable partner or a child dependent under the age of 21 years;
  • If you have been living in the UK continuously for 5 years means that you have ‘continuous residence’;
  • If you have started living in the UK by 31 December 2020.

If you have lived in the UK for less than 5 years, then you will be able to apply for ‘pre-settled status’ instead of settled status. Also, you will need to apply despite the fact that you are an EU citizen married to a British citizen.

 

Those who are non-EU nationals

Those who are from outside EU can also apply provided they are in a relationship with EU citizen as one of the following:

  • They are a spouse or civil partner.
  • An unmarried partner having a residence card which proves their relationship.

Apart from being a spouse, civil partner or unmarried partner one who is from outside EU can also be related to an EU citizen, their spouse or civil partner as one of the following:

  • Their child, grandchild or great-grandchild under 21 years old.
  • They can be a dependent child above 21.
  • They can be a dependent parent, grandparent or great-grandparent.
  • They can be their dependent relatives with a residence card, which proves their relationship.

However, you will not be required to apply if you meet the following:

  • You are an Irish Citizen.
  • You already have ILR to live in the UK.
  • You have indefinite leave to enter the UK.

But your family members will need to apply if they are outside UK and Ireland.

 

The possibility of applying for settled status before completing 5 years

In following events you EU nationals will be able to apply for a settled status without completing the 5 years residence –

  • You have stopped working or being self-employed due to accident or illness and have lived in the UK for 2 years or married to or in a civil partnership with a British Citizen.
  • Having reached the state pension age and were working or self-employed in the UK for 1 year and have lived in the UK for 3 years.
  • If you are EU citizen and started you work or self-employment in an EU country and have lived and worked or been self-employed in the UK for 3 years and you return to your UK home once a week. (family members are also eligible for settled status)
  • If your EU family member has died and you have lived in the UK at least 2 years before their death. Their death was as a result of an accident at work or occupational disease.

 

Retention of Residence for Non-EU nationals

If you are a non-EU national and were married to an EU national you may be eligible for settled status after living for 5 years in the UK – if less than 5 years then you may be eligible for pre-settled status

  • You EU –Citizen family member dies and you have lived in the UK for at least 1 year with your EU Family member;
  • You are a parent and have a custody of a child or court order for the child to live with you;
  • On termination of marriage or civil partnership – you have been married or a civil partner for 3 years and have lived in the UK for 1 year; or have custody of an EU citizen child, or have right to access the to a child of EU citizen where court has ordered such access; or you have been a victim of domestic violence whilst your marriage or civil partnership was subsisting.

When to apply?

You can apply for a new EU settlement scheme from March 2019 when the scheme will fully open. Last day for applying will be 30th June 2021. After this date, you may be able to apply if you are joining a family member who has settled or pre-settled status in the UK. You will be able to apply online application form.

 

Cost of application

The Home Office will charge a fee of £65 for adults and £32.50 for those under 16 on the date of application.

What to do if your Visit Visa is refused

Large numbers of people apply for UK Visitor Visa every year. Earlier there were different visa for different purposes like travel, study, business, leisure and so on. Now all these visas have been replaced by UK Standard Visitor Visa. One can apply for this visa if they want to visit UK for business, leisure, private medical treatment and so on. This visa is granted for a short stay of six months or less in UK. As there are increase in number of visit visa application so is in number of refusals as well.

 

Options to exercise when visit visa is refused

 When one applies for UK Visitor Visa, there are few mandatory documents which are required as part of the application. Also the decision on visa application is broadly based on discretion of entry clearance officers. This means that many time visa refusals are not properly reasoned and they suffer from factual errors or sometimes decisions are wrong in law as well. So when your visit visa is refused and you think that it is a wrong decision then what are the options you have. Well, you have 3 choices at this stage. You can go for a. Reapplying b. Appeal or c. Judicial Review.

 

Re-apply UK visitor visa

Perhaps Re-apply is the easiest option. You can re-apply addressing refusal grounds with new evidences and fee. There is no time limit to re-apply. In certain circumstances, this is the simplest and most cost-effective option. In a situation where your visa application has been rejected by UK Visas and Immigration because you filled in the form incorrectly or you did not supply the correct supporting documents, reapplying makes sense. To ensure that you fill your application correctly, it is always recommended that you seek service from an experienced Immigration solicitor/lawyer to make the application for you. They are experts and they can inform you with explanation that exactly what documents you need to include with your application, like bank statements, to expedite the process.

Appealing on Human Rights grounds

Since 2013, full right of appeal has been has been taken away. Now there can only be appeal made on human rights ground against refusals for UK Standard Visitor Visas. Therefore, while applying for visa it is imperative for you to ensure that if possible, grounds for a Human Rights appeal are present in your application. So, how do you make sure to have a claim of human rights grounds in case of refusal? Well, you should seek an Immigration solicitor’s advice to safeguard your human right claims on your original application. If you fail to do so then it may result in a situation where you have to spend a great deal of time and money on an appeal. And all this effort will be only for the judge to rule that there are no human rights grounds which allow you to make a legitimate appeal in the first place.

Judicial Review

Judicial Review is the third option you have when your visit visa application is refused. You can use this option only when you have exhausted all other avenues. This is also expensive and complex process which is available on specific grounds only. In judicial review the court exercises a supervisory jurisdiction over the exercise of public functions by public bodies.

Following are the grounds on which you can exercise Judicial Review:

  • There is an illegality in decision making.
  • There is irrationality.
  • Procedure has not been followed fairly.

As mentioned Judicial Review is a complex process and time consuming as well so if you are thinking of taking a judicial review case, then you should seek help from an expert Immigration solicitor. An expert solicitor can advise you on the best course of action you need to take.

 

How to Apply for a UK Spouse Visa from outside UK

If you are in UK already and want your spouse to join you in UK then he/she needs to apply for UK spouse visa. If they want to join you in UK for less than 6 months then you or your partner can apply for UK Visit Visa but if they are looking to join you in UK for over 6 months then you or they need to apply for UK spouse visa. Your spouse can be husband, wife or civil partner. Your fiancé can also join you for initial 6 months and then for further leave as a spouse after this time. In such situation your spouse or fiancé is called ‘dependent’ and you are known as ‘sponsor’. Your spouse needs to make visa application from outside UK.

 

How to apply from outside UK?

 Though this is always considered as Spouse Visa but what visa category they need to apply depends on your actual status in UK. Like if you are a British Citizen or a settled person in UK which means you have ILR status or then your spouse needs to apply for ‘family of a settled person’ visa. But if you are in UK on Tier 2 General Visa or Tier 4 Student Visa then your partner needs to apply for dependent of Tier 2 and Tier 4 visa holder respectively. Visa application can be made both by you and your spouse or partner. If you make the application for them you can do from within UK and if your spouse applies for UK spouse Visa then they need to it from outside UK.

 

Those applying from outside UK must meet certain requirements for successful spouse visa. They are following:

 

  • You and your spouse must be 18 years or above.
  • You must have met each other and be got married legally.
  • You must show that both of you are in genuine relationship.
  • You both must intend to live together permanently.
  • Your partner in UK must have enough money to support you and other dependents (if any) without claiming public funds.
  • Your sponsoring partner must meet minimum income requirement of £18,600 per year or must have enough savings to be able to sponsor you. In case your sponsoring partner is also sponsoring one dependent child then the minimum income requirement would be £22,400.
  • Your sponsoring partner must have suitable accommodation for both of you and any dependents.
  • You must meet the English language requirements.

Once you and your sponsoring partner meet all the above conditions you can apply for UK spouse visa from outside UK. You must apply online from outside the UK. You need to fill in information and send required documents. You also may have to go for an interview as part of the UK Spouse Visa application and it may take long time for an interview as well. During the interview you will be asked questions about the relationship between you are your partner in UK and if you both are already married then they can ask for the evidence like marriage certificate.

How long can you stay?

Spouse (husband, wife and civil partner) can stay in UK for up to 33 months after successful visa and after this period they can apply for extension for another 2 years and 6 months. After 5 years you can apply to settle in UK.

 

 

 

How to Apply for a UK Entrepreneur Visa from the UAE

If you are looking to come to the UK from the United Arab Emirates in order to set up a new person, then you will likely be seeking an entrepreneur visa. This allows business people from all over the world – including the UAE – to start a new enterprise in the UK. In order to do so, you would just need the relevant funds – either £50,000 (in regulated funds) or £200,000 (in your own disposable funds).

The process for applying for a UK visa from Dubai or any other part of the UAE is similar to applying from many other countries across the globe. If you are a non-UAE national living in the United Arab Emirates you can still apply for a UK in the UAE – assuming that you are legally present.

Continue reading “How to Apply for a UK Entrepreneur Visa from the UAE”

Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa maintenance fund

There are many looking for a great opportunity in UK as entrepreneurs. UK allows non EEA nationals to enter and do business in UK. So, one looking to enter UK as an entrepreneur can apply for UK Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa. When you apply for entrepreneur visa you are required to meet some eligibility conditions. Meeting these conditions raises your chance of getting successful decision on entrepreneur visa application. These eligibility conditions are following:

  1. You want to set up or run a business in UK.
  2. You are a non EEA national.
  3. You must have access to minimum £50,000 or £200,000 investment funds. Your funds must be:

a. held in one or more regulated financial institutions and

b. Your fund must be free to spend on business in the UK.

  1. You must be able to support yourself or you must have maintenance fund to support yourself during your stay in UK.
  2. You must meet English language requirement.
  3. You must be 16 years or above.

When minimum investment fund is £200,000

This is the most common option. In this visa applicant must have minimum of £200,000 of their own money available to them which they can spend as a fresh investment into business in the UK. This fund can be of a single person or as part of an entrepreneur team. Applicant can also include third party money to form the funding. However third party fund should ideally be transferred and held by the applicant for at least 90 days. In case the fund has been held for less than 90 days or it is held by the third party at the time of the application, then in that situation the third party must confirm their funds will remain available to the applicant until they are transferred to the applicant or the business.

When minimum investment fund is £50,000

This option is not available to everyone. This is available only to applicants whose funding is through one of the following investment vehicles:

  • A Venture Capital firm registered with the Financial Conduct Authority.
  • A UK entrepreneurial seed funding competitions which have been endorsed by the Department for International Trade.
  • A UK government department made funds available for the specific purpose of establishing or expanding a UK business.

 

Tier 1 Entrepreneur Maintenance fund

 Having maintenance fund is a crucial requirement for UK Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa applicants. This fund is required for the applicants to support themselves and their dependents applying during their stay in UK. This fund is exclusive of fund required to invest in UK for the business. All those applying for Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa must have maintenance funds to support themselves during their stay in UK. What should be the amount of maintenance depends on the fact that whether the applicant is making an initial visa application, or applying for an extension. Those applying as initial applicant must show that they have funds of at least £3,310 as their personal savings. Those applying for extension of their visa or further leave to remain in UK must have funds of minimum £945. Applicants must have held the amount for minimum 90 days up to the date of their visa application.

So, once you have met all these funds requirements and other eligibility requirements you can get successful UK Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa application which gives you an opportunity to do business in UK.

2 year rule for UK returning resident

What if you were living in UK on ILR to enter or remain but for some reason you had to live away from UK for more than 2 years? Well, you can return to UK but you need to apply for a fresh visa now. You need to apply for UK resident visa.

When a person is seeking leave to enter UK as a returning resident then they need to apply for Returning Resident visa. This means if you were living in UK previously with indefinite leave to enter or remain in UK and you have been away from UK for more than 2 years now then you need to apply for UK returning resident visa to enter UK. But if you wish to return to UK, then you need to meet certain conditions in order to satisfy immigration officer about your ability to return to UK. These conditions are following:

  • When you left UK last you had the indefinite leave to remain or enter in UK.
  • You have been away from UK for more than 2 years.
  • You did not get any fund assistance for meeting the cost of leaving UK.
  • You are now applying for the permanent settlement in UK.

2 year rule for returning residents

If you have been away from UK for more than 2 years then you must provide enough evidence as a returning resident to show in order to get successful decision on returning resident visa:

  • You have strong ties to the UK.
  • What is current circumstances and why you had to live outside UK for so long?

However in 2 situations you will not lose your indefinite leave to remain in UK even after having been away from UK for more than 2 years. One is if your spouse or partner is a member of the UK armed forces and you have joined them on an overseas posting. Second is, if your spouse or partner is a British citizen or settled in the UK then also you will not lose your ILR in UK. However in second situation your spouse or partner settled in UK must also be one of the following:

  • He/she is a permanent member of the Diplomatic Service.
  • He/she is a UK-based British Council employee working outside the UK.
  • He/she is an employee of Department for International Development (DFID).
  • He/she is an employee of Home Office.

If you have any dependent family member like your partner and children under the age of 18 then they need to apply for a returning resident visa separately if they are also eligible.

How to apply and documents to submit

 You have to apply online for returning resident visa application. You need to submit your biometric information which includes your finger print and photograph at visa application centers as part of your application.

When applying you need to submit following documents:

  • Your current passport or other valid travel identification.
  • Your previous passports.
  • A color photograph of passport size.
  • Documents which prove your ties to the UK. One such document can be proof of income you have earned, or rented or owned property, in the UK.

You may have to submit additional documents as well which depends on your circumstances.

How long you can stay

After successful visa application you can return UK to live permanently in UK.

 

Writing a Business Plan for an Entrepreneur Visa

Are you looking to start a new business in the UK and need to apply for an entrepreneur visa? In this article, we will explain what an entrepreneur visa is and the steps you need to take to apply. We will also highlight what elements you need to include, as well as some common mistakes that often to lead to applications being rejected.

Continue reading “Writing a Business Plan for an Entrepreneur Visa”

UK Tier 1 Visa Categories

There is great opportunity for those living outside UK and EEA area to enter UK and do study, work, business, and join families and so on. For all these purposes however one needs appropriate UK Visa. Based on requirements there are multiple categories of UK Visa. So there is UK Tier 1 Visa category under which you can apply to enter UK for some purposes. So, what is UK Tier 1 Visa and where it can be applied?

Continue reading “UK Tier 1 Visa Categories”

UK Spouse Visa Applications Under FLR(M) and FLR(FP)

Applying for a visa can be very stressful. The applicant must know which form to fill out, how to fill it out and what supporting documents are required. When applying for a UK spouse visa, you need to meet certain requirements in order for your application to be successful.

There are different forms to complete depending upon how you are applying. One such form is known as Form FLR (M). This is intended for those who are married to – or a dependent child of – a person settled in the UK and can meet the necessary requirements. The other form is Form FLR (FLP). This is for those who are a partner, parent or dependent child, or are making an application based on their private life in the UK.

Continue reading “UK Spouse Visa Applications Under FLR(M) and FLR(FP)”

What Happens With My Visa if I Have a Criminal Conviction?

For reasons related to an individual’s character, conduct or associations, immigration officials and the Home Secretary reserve the right to refuse permission for foreign migrants to enter the UK, or revoke permission for migrants who have already been granted a UK visa. Alongside this, the Home Secretary has the power to refuse entry to a foreign migrant even if there’s been no indication that they intend to visit the UK.

Continue reading “What Happens With My Visa if I Have a Criminal Conviction?”