Tier 2 License Renewal Process

United Kingdom employers can employ non-EEA nationals in their companies under point based systems such as Tier 2 category. To employ one, UK employers need to sponsor the worker and in order to do this; they need to obtain a sponsor license from the UKVI – Home Office. Tier 2 sponsorship license is granted for a period of 4 years initially. Employers must apply for the renewal of the license to continue to employ non-EEA nationals before the expiry of the licence. Companies must apply for renewal ahead of sponsor license expiry.

Renewal process

License Expiry date can be seen on the summary page of Sponsor Management System (SMS). Summary page also tells you the date on which you can apply for the renewal of sponsor license. Generally, as advised by UKVI – Home Office, a sponsor can apply for license renewal up to three months in advance of the sponsor license expiry date. An application can be submitted via the online Sponsor Management System.

Sponsors need to submit a request via the SMS and pay the appropriate fee for renewal. The application fee is different depending on the size of companies such as small, medium or large. At the time of initial sponsor application for Tier 2 sponsorship licensea company may be small but in due course of time it might have become medium or large and so at the time of renewal application current size of the company is considered.

Size of the company is determined by UKVI as per the Companies Act 2006 classification. The renewal fee for a small company and a company with charitable status is £536 and the fee for medium or large sponsors are £1,476. If the sponsor fails to pay the correct fee, then the renewal application will be rejected.

All sponsors seeking renewal of its sponsor license should apply well within the time else the application may be rejected. In case an application is rejected before the actual date of license expiry, the sponsor can submit a new renewal application. The initial license continues until a decision is made on a fresh application of renewal.

If a sponsor misses the application deadline or their application is rejected after the license expiry date, their name will be removed from the register of sponsors. They need to make a new application if they wish to retain their sponsor license.

UKVI – Home Office Procedure

UKVI will check for following to analyze the suitability of sponsor to be granted renewed sponsor license;

  • if applying is operating legally in the UK;
  • is applying company still suitable to be a licensed sponsor; and
  • whether the company meets the compliance and reporting requirements at the level UKVI – Home Office expect from them;

Compliance visit by Home Office

Home Office may make a site visit when there is a renewal application. This is a routine exercise. Applicant sponsor must make sure before making their renewal application that everything is in place and they are ‘match-fit’ for a site inspection in case it is requested.

Sponsor’s current compliance with their duties will be checked during the visit by Home Office officials.  These duties include record keeping, key personnel appointments, migrant worker etc. If there has been any breach and it is found during the visit it can result in refusal of the renewal application.

There are further factors considered by Home Office such as whether a civil penalty has been imposed on the sponsor for employing illegal workers and so on. If only everything matches right with appropriate documents submitted with the renewal application, the sponsor will be granted sponsorship license and retain Tier 2 Sponsorship license.

If you need assistance with the sponsor licence application contact Visa and Migration Ltd on 02034111261

UK Visa Refusals under 320 (7A) of Immigration Rules

UK immigration rules have some grounds that outline mandatory refusal of UK entry clearance refusal or UK visa refusal of applicants. These general grounds for the mandatory refusal of visa are set out in UK immigration Rules under paragraph 320.

The Immigration Rules Paragraph 320 (7A) States – where false representations have been made or false documents or information have been submitted (whether or not material to the application, and whether or not to the applicant’s knowledge), or material facts have not been disclosed, in relation to the application or in order to obtain documents from the Secretary of State or a third party required in support of the application.  

Generally, where an application is refused due to these reasons the applicant is generally banned for 10 years and all subsequent application are refused. This is a serious refusal and should be challenged by why of reapplication or appeal.

In our practice, we have managed to turn around such refusal on applications and Appeals. 

If you have received a refusal under paragraph 320 (7A) contact one of our Immigration lawyers on 02034111261 or you can email your refusal and your contact details to info@visaandmigration.com and one of the lawyers will be in touch with you.

 

After UK visa refusal – Appeal or Re-apply what is better

Nobody wants a visa refusal. But for various reasons, a refusals outcome is handed to numerous applicants every year inside and outside the UK. The reasons can be that the applicant has not submitted all required documents, not submitting correct documents, submitting false documents, oversight of application form or documents by ECO etc. So, what are the options available to applicants when their visa application is refused?

Well, each applicant has three choices generally in such a situation.

  1. They can reapply with a new application; or
  2. They can go for an appeal against the visa refusal; or
  3. If there is no right of appeal granted the decision can be Judicially Reviewed

Appeal or Re-apply what is better?

Whether one chooses to reapply or appeal, both are time-consuming and take money from your pocket. So, how would you choose and which one is a better option?

Re-apply

Re-applying is an easier choice. You can make a fresh application addressing the grounds of refusal with the submission of new evidence and fee. There is no time limit for making a fresh application. So, you can reapply any time after your UK visa refusal. One must understand the requirements for the particular UK Visa Application correctly and thus they must submit a well-prepared application which can satisfy the Immigration Officer otherwise there is no point in submitting a new application with the same documents. This will clearly be a waste of time and money.

But if your visa application was refused on grounds such as insufficient evidence, absence of proof then you should reapply. However, if you know that you submitted the required documents such as bank documents as evidence or proof and there is a possibility of mistake or oversight from the Immigration Officer, you can approach the Home Office and request for a reconsideration of your visa application.

Appeal

Not all visa refusal decisions can be appealed; however, there are situations in which appeal is inevitable. Visa appeals are mostly available to applicants who are related to, married to, or dependent on British citizens. You can appeal to the tribunal only when you have the legal right to do so. The applicant is generally informed about their right to appeal in the decision letter. If they have been refused point based Tier 1, 2, 4 or 5 visa categories, the applicant will not have the right to appeal but they may be able to ask for administrative review and they are informed about the same in the decision letter as well. If the right to appeal is given to the applicant then they must appeal within 28 days (Outside UK) or 14 days (inside the UK) after getting the refusal decision letter. If for some reason you fail to appeal within the deadline and appeal afterwards then you must explain it to the tribunal why you could not appeal within the time allowed. Now, the tribunal will decide whether to admit your appeal or not.

After you filed an appeal form along with supporting documents, it takes several weeks depending upon various factors to get the final decision.

So, whether to go for a re-apply of appeal is a decision that is not easy to make. If you simply don’t have the right to appeal then you can think of re-applying but even if you have the right to appeal you cannot afford to make a mistake in the process because it costs time and money. So, you are advised to take legal assistance from experts about this.

If your application has been refused, please send Visa and Migration ltd a copy of your refusal letter and your contact details to info@visaandmigration.com and one of our immigration lawyers will be in touch with you.

Home Office Civil Penalty Notice – what to do next

Employing illegal foreign worker in the UK is an offence. If an employer is found to be guilty of employing someone they knew or they had enough reasons to believe, had no right to work in the UK, the employer in such cases can face consequences. They can be sent to jail for 5 years and pay unlimited fine. So, what could be enough reasons to believe that a worker did not have the right to work in the UK? Well, if one of the followings was in knowledge of the employer, they should have acted upon it.

  • Worker/s did not have leave or permission to enter or remain in the UK.
  • their leave had already expired.
  • they were not eligible to do certain types of work.
  • the papers they produced were incorrect or false.

Home office civil penalty notice

 UKVI does regular right to work checks to make sure that employers are complying fully with immigration rules and all personnel employed by them have the necessary permission to work in the UK. If an organization is found guilty of breaching their immigration duties, for example, they employed someone who did not have the right to work in the UK because they did not conduct correct or proper check of such employees about their eligibility or documents, they may be issued a civil penalty notice for illegal employment, comprising a fine of up to £20,000 for each illegal employee employed.

In such situations, you might be sent a ‘referral notice’ to inform you that your case is being considered and you may be imposed a civil penalty (fine) of up to £20,000 which you have to pay for each illegal worker.

And if you are found liable you will be sent a ‘civil penalty notice’ to which you need to respond within 28 days. In the notice, you will be informed about how to pay, what to do next, and how to object to the decision. Also Immigration The enforcement agency may publish your business’s details to warn other businesses not to employ illegal workers.

Appealing against Civil Penalty Notice

If you can show that you made correct ‘right to work’ checks for each employee you hired then you don’t need to pay any civil penalty.

Once you have received a Civil Penalty notice for employing illegal workers, you are entitled to go for an appeal. An appeal can be about reducing the original penalty or to remove the penalty completely. An appeal can be made to a court on below grounds:

  • You are not liable to the imposition of a penalty and have a statutory excuse;
  • You are excused payment by virtue of section 15(3), or
  • The amount of the penalty imposed upon you is too high

Now, the court may allow your appeal and cancel the penalty completely or they can just reduce the penalty amount or simply dismiss your appeal.

Now, the appeal the process is complex and you must appeal within the prescribed time of 28 days with submission of relevant documents failing to which can simply turn the decision against you. So, it is important at this stage that you seek specialized legal advice because Home Office even have the right to issue an increased civil penalty in response to receiving an objection from you.

If you have received a civil penalty notice Visa and Migration Ltd will be able to assist you. Call is today on 02034111261

 

Things you must know about UK Start up Visa

There are thousands of capable entrepreneurs who want to start up their business in the UK as the country offers bundles of opportunity. The UK is an attractive country for startups with political stability, language advantage, generous tax structures for entrepreneurs and a robust economy. The UK also recognizes the contribution of foreign talents who can contribute to a country’s growth immensely. Thus, the UK allows for startup visa for non-EEA nationals who wish to start up a business in the UK. So, anyone with an endorsement from an authorized body in the UK can apply for a UK startup visa.

Eligibility Requirements

  1. Endorsement letter

All individuals who wish to apply for a UK startup visa must have their business idea assessed by an approved body in the UK. After they find that your business is viable they will provide you an endorsement letter which is essential for a UK startup visa application. You will get an endorsement letter only if the endorsing body finds that your business venture meets the criteria of innovation, viability, and scalability. Another condition is that the endorsing body should be reasonably satisfied with the fact that you will dedicate most of your working time in the UK on developing your business.

Other eligibility conditions include:

  1. You must be 18 or above.
  2. You must have the minimum required English language knowledge.
  3. You must prove that you will be able to support yourself financially while you stay in the UK. The minimum amount of £945 you must have had in your bank account for 90 consecutive days before you apply.

Documents you must provide

Apart from the endorsement letter from an authorized body, you need to submit the following documents when applying for a UK startup visa:

  1. Your current passport or any other document as valid travel identification.
  2. Bank statement that shows that you have had a minimum of £945 in your bank accounts as savings for 90 consecutive days before you apply.
  3. Your TB test results in case you are from a country where you are required to take this test.
  4. Documents as proof of your knowledge of the English language.

Keep a blank page in your passport where you’re your visa can be put. If there are documents that are not in English or Welsh language then you need to provide a certified translation of such documents. You may also have to submit more documents other than mentioned here depending upon various circumstances.

When to apply, how long it takes and how long you can stay on the UK startup visa?

Well, at the earliest you can apply 3 months before you plan to travel to the UK and in normal circumstances, you should get a decision on your visa application within 3 weeks.

With the UK startup visa, you can stay in the UK and do your business for 2 years. There is no possibility of any visa extension in this category. Also, the time period to stay in the UK may be cut short if your endorsement is withdrawn. However, you can re-apply with a new endorsement if you want to stay longer before your current startup visa expires. With a new visa with a new endorsement in place also you can only stay for a total of 2 years. If you wish to extend your stay in the UK you will need to make an application as an Innovator

What you can do and what you cannot do?

With a startup visa, you are allowed to bring your family members with you. You can also switch to a UK startup visa from any other visa category.

You cannot seek and access public funds. You cannot work as a doctor, professional sportsperson and you cannot settle in the UK with UK startup visa.

EU Settled Status

After Brexit, several things are changing and may continue to change. So, what about EU citizens living in the UK without a restriction earlier? What will change for them? Well, if you are an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen then you can continue living in the UK after 30th June 2021 by applying for EU settlement scheme provided there is a deal on Brexit. In case there is a no deal Brexit the date will be brought forward to 31 December 2020.

In case you have not completed 5 years in the UK as an EU national then you will apply for temporary status and will be granted Leave to Remain Status (LTR) and will have to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK after completing the 5 years. It is still unclear what new requirements will be applicable after the deadline of 31 December 2020 or 30 June 2021.

When does the application process start for EU settlement? Well, the scheme is open from 29th March 2019 and about 150,000 people have already been granted status under the EU settled scheme since 1 January 2019 under the pilot project – test phase.

Who all can and cannot apply?

At present during the test phase national of EU nations with a valid passport can apply. Also, family members of EU nationals with a residence card with a biometric chip and ‘EU right to reside’ on the back can apply for the scheme. Irish Citizens don’t need to apply to stay in the UK after the UK leaves the EU because they will have the same rights as they have now.

Those with British Citizenship or Irish Citizenship or dual citizenship (EU national with British citizenship) cannot apply. Also, those who have indefinite leave to remain or enter the UK need not apply.

EU settled status

Until the last date of application i.e. 30th June 2021, the rights of EU, EEA and Swiss citizens living in the UK will remain the same and after that those with the successful applicant will be able to continue living in the UK. They will be given either pre-settled status (LTR) or settled status (ILR). You don’t have a choice to choose between these two, but depending upon how long you have been living in the UK at the time of application, you will be given either pre-settled status or settled status. Your rights will also be different for both the status.

Rights you get with settled status

You can work in the UK and use the NHS also. You can study, access public funds such as pensions provided you are eligible and travel both in and outside the UK.

After you got settled status your any child born in the UK will automatically be a British Citizen.

Documents required for application

You need to submit proof of following at the time of application.

  1. Your identity proof like a valid passport and
  2. Your continuous residence in UK proof. However, you don’t need this if you have a valid permanent residence card or valid indefinite leave to enter or remain in the UK.

If you are looking to apply for EU settled or Pre-Settled Status you can contact Visa and Migration Ltd on 02034111261.

What happens if my Application is Refused?

If your application is refused you will be granted right to Administrative Review, which needs to be exercised within 28 days.

 

 

 

 

UK Spouse Visa Extension

Once you have obtained the initial tranche of Spouse Visa/Marriage Visa or Unmarried Partner visa the visa is granted to you for a 30 month period.

You should apply for extension 28 days before your visa expires.

Once you have completed 60 months in the UK you can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK, provided that you meet the requirements under Appendix FM of the Immigration Rules and also meet the English language and Life in the UK test requirement.

If you are in the UK already on some other visa then also you can apply to switch to UK Spouse Visa. Once you are granted UK spouse visa you can stay with your married partner and you are allowed to work or study in the UK during your stay in the UK.

You must apply for an extension before your current UK spouse visa expires, otherwise, you may have to leave the UK.

Requirements to be met for an extension

The applicant will need to meet certain requirements for the UK spouse visa to get a visa extension successfully. These requirements are the following:

  1. Financial Requirement

You need to show that you and your partner can meet the financial requirements and would not require any access to public funds. As you are allowed to work in the UK on UK spouse visa, so you can surely use your income if you are working and adding to that your partner’s income will be sufficient to meet all your financial requirements. You can also add your savings and other incomes like rental income from properties or pension etc. You must provide documents as evidence to show all this.

  1. Cohabitation Requirement

Apart from meeting financial requirements you also need to show with evidence to the Home Office – that you and your partner have been living together in the UK. To prove this you can provide documents like council tax bills, bank statements, utility bills etc. which are addressed to either jointly or items in each of your names. These supporting documents should be covering 2 years prior to your visa extension date.

  1. Time period spent outside the UK during your existing stay

Though Home Office does not impose any time restriction that you must not spend outside the UK during your stay in the UK on current UK spouse visa, however, what they do want to be satisfied with the fact that you are your partner intend to live together. But if you want to apply for citizenship later on then you should avoid spending more than 90 days on an average in 1 year.

Please note requirements may change according to circumstances of the applicant and the requirements stated are not exhaustive.

If you need expert help and advice for your UK Spouse Visa Extension contact Visa and Migration on 02034111261

 

Tier 2 Visa Termination of employment

You get a Tier 2 visa when you are offered a skilled job in the UK. You get sponsorship from your employer in the UK and then you can apply for a Tier 2 visa and work in the UK. When you get a job through sponsorship on Tier 2 visa you can stay in the UK for a time period that is mentioned on your certificate of sponsorship and 1 month extra or for a maximum period of 5 years, whichever is shorter.

But what if your employment terminates earlier?

Do you have to leave the UK early then?

Well, if your job gets terminated because of resignation, dismissal, redundancy or for any other reason then your leave to enter or remain in the UK is curtailed. Now your leave to be in the UK gets shortened by 60 days or until the end of your Tier 2 visa, whichever is the shortest.

What to do when a Tier 2 visa termination happens?

If your sponsor ends your contract then they have to report it to the Home Office within 10 days of your last work date. They also need to inform your last known address to the Home Office. Now the Home Office should send you or your employer the curtailment letter.

After you get the curtailment letter from Home Office, you have 60 days or until the end of your visa within which you can either get a new sponsor or move to another immigration category or leave the country.

Making a new job application

You can apply for a new job in the UK and if you find another sponsor then you can apply for UK Tier 2 Visa again. This means that your new employer will offer you a certificate of sponsorship to sponsor your visa application. So, your employer must have sponsor license but if they don’t have it then they need to get it by making application for sponsor license and then only they can offer you a new job which has to pass the Resident Labor Market Test. All this needs to be done within 60 days.

Now until you get a new job and your new UK Tier 2 visa application is successful, you must support yourself financially during this time.

Switching visa

This is another option when your employment is terminated and your leave is curtailed. You can do switch to different visa category if you find that applying for a new Tier 2 visa is not a viable option for you. You can switch to a Tier 1 visa, family visa, and Tier 4 Student Visa.

Leaving the country

If you don’t find a new visa then you will have to leave the UK within a given time period. Now if you want to apply again for a Tier 2 visa or for a different visa from your country then you can do it only after a 1-year cooling period.

You can also leave the UK if you have been offered a new job somewhere else in the world. In this case, when you resign, you need to meet some responsibilities towards your sponsor. And you should send a copy of resignation to the Home Office which should include your leaving date.

When you experience a Tier 2 Visa termination of employment, this may be a stressful time for you. So, you should follow the rules of the Home Office in such situation and for this, you must seek expert advice. For this, you can contact us to get the best expert advice from our experienced immigration lawyers on 02034111261.

Overview of Same-Sex Partner Visa the UK

When there is a relationship between two people of same sex out of which one is a British citizen or settled in the UK with ILR, and they are neither married nor in a civil partnership, then the partner who is non-EEA national can apply for a same-sex partner visa – proposed civil partnership to join the other partner in the UK. One who is applying for same-sex partner UK visa can come to the UK for a limited period of time by making an application under immigration rules in the UK. The applicable rules are similar to as any married/unmarried couple.

Eligibility conditions for the same-sex partner visa

As an applicant, you must meet some eligibility conditions to successfully apply for a same-sex partner visa. They are the following:

  • You both must be above the age of 18 years;
  • You must show that you are in a relationship and you have lived together for a minimum of 2 years – if applying as an unmarried partner;
  • You must show arrangements for the marriage/civil partnership to take place;
  • You must provide evidence regarding your accommodation in the UK. This means you need to show that your partner has adequate accommodation for both of you and dependents if any without recourse to any public fund;
  • Your relation must be genuine and subsisting;
  • You must meet the English Language Requirements.

Financial requirement

You must meet the financial requirement. You cannot access any public fund for your maintenance during your stay in the UK. This means when you stay in the UK, you and your partner in the UK must be able to take care of the financial requirements of both of you. Your British partner who is a sponsor, in this case, must be able to demonstrate that their gross annual income is minimum £18,600.

How long can you stay once granted the visa

Once you have successful same-sex partner visa application and you meet all entry clearance requirements, you will be granted to stay in the UK for a period not exceeding 33 months or 6 months if applying as a proposed civil partner and after that, you can apply for an extension. You must be physically present in the UK to apply for an extension. After you have lived in the UK for a continuous period of 5 years on same-sex partner visa, you can apply for ILR. Other conditions to obtain ILR remain the same as in other cases.

If you are looking for Expert Advise and assistance with your application, please contact Visa and Migration Ltd on 02034111261

How to Apply for UK Fiance Visa and Necessary Documents

If you want to join your partner in the UK who is a British Citizen or holding ILR, you can apply for UK Fiancé Visa. This also means that if you are planning to marry your partner in the UK who is a British citizen or a permanent resident in the UK, you can apply for UK Fiancé Visa. This falls under the settlement category of visas. You can only apply from outside the UK.

Eligibility conditions for a fiancé visa

You must meet the following conditions to successfully apply for a fiancé visa –

  • You must have met in person;
  • The applicant and the sponsor must intend to get married within a 6 month period;
  • You are a fiancé, fiancée or proposed civil partner of a British citizen or one permanently settled in the UK and you will marry or enter into a civil partnership within 6 months of arriving in the UK;
  • Both partners must intend to live together permanently;
  • If you were in any previous marriage or civil partnership then you must prove that it has ended;
  • You cannot access public funds in the UK so he/she must be able to support him/herself, or be supported by their partner;
  • Prove your relationship is genuine and subsisting;
  • Adequate accommodation must be there; and
  • You must fulfil the English language requirement

So, if you meet above-mentioned conditions you are eligible to apply for a fiancé visa.

How to apply?

You must apply online. You need to pay the required fee as part of the application.

Once your application is successful you are granted a 6-month visa in which you can come to the UK and get married to your partner. You are not allowed to work when you are in the UK on this visa. You must apply for a marriage visa once married. If your application is successful then you can live in the UK for a total of 60 months or 5 years, where you need to renew your visa at 33 months before you become eligible to apply for ILR.

You can apply to live permanently in the UK known as indefinite leave to remain after you have lived in the UK for 5 years with leave to remain in the UK as a partner of a British citizen. Here you cannot count anytime you spent with permission to stay in the UK as a fiancé or a proposed civil partner.

Documents required

You need to submit the following documents when you apply for a fiancé visa.

  • UKVI Visa Application form;
  • Your current passport;
  • Any previous visa if you held;
  • Bank statements;
  • Proof for financials requirement is met;
  • Your UK partner’s address proof where you intend to live;
  • Proof of intent to marry;
  • Proof of relationship;
  • Proof of English Language;
  • TB test – according to the country of residence

The above list is not exhaustive and documents change according to circumstances of the applicant.

You may require to submit additional documents and so you are advised to take expert’s guidance on this before you apply for the fiancé visa.

If you are looking support in connection with your fiancé visa contact Visa and Migration Ltd on 02034111261