What documents do you need to apply for Spouse Visa?

Spouse Visa is a category under Settlement Visa. People who are either holding Indefinite Leave to Remain or a British citizen – present and settled – in the UK can bring his/her spouse to the UK.

Sponsoring partner

To complete the immigration process settled partner in the UK need to sponsor their partner’s application so that he/she can join them in the UK. To be a sponsor you need to meet one of the following:

  • You must be a British Citizen or
  • You must have settled status or indefinite leave to remain in the UK or
  • You must have asylum or humanitarian protection in the UK.

Eligibility

Both the partners must meet some eligibility criteria in order to one partner from the outside UK to join the other UK resident partner in the UK. These criteria are set by the Immigration Authorities in the UK. These eligibility criteria are the following:

  • Both must be over 18;
  • Applicant’s partner who they want to join must be a British citizen or ILR holder;
  • There must be a marriage or civil partnership between the two and it must be recognized in the UK;
  • The Relationship of the couple must be genuine and subsisting;
  • The applicant must meet the English language requirements;
  • The applicant must not for refusal under the suitability requirements; and
  • The applicant must be maintained and accommodated in the UK.

Documents required to apply for a UK spouse visa

The documents required generally depend on the circumstances of the applicant case and the evidence changes according to circumstances of the applicant.

Some documents which are applicable to all cases are mentioned below:

  • Printed application forms;
  • Your current passport or valid travel identification document;
  • Passport sized photographs;
  • Evidence showing your identity and status in the UK;
  • Documents to show the marital status between the two;
  • Evidence of intent that you and your partner want to live together in the UK;
  • Documents to show that partner in the UK has adequate accommodation;
  • Documents to prove that you can meet the financial OR maintenance requirement if receiving permitted benefits;
  • Proof that your partner has the knowledge of the English language;
  • Your partner’s valid TB test certificate- where applicable; and
  • Sponsorship form.

If along with your partner your child or children are also applying to travel to the UK, then below mentioned documents should also be submitted. However, this is not a complete list.

  • Current passport or valid travel identification document of the child/children;
  • Previous or expired passports of the child if any;
  • Passport sized photographs of child/children; and
  • Valid TB test certificate of child/children where applicable;

So, once you submit your application with appropriate documents then you have a fair chance to get a successful decision on your application else your application may get rejected. So, you should always seek the advice of expert about it so that you don’t make a big mistake.

Visa and Migration Ltd specializes in UK immigration law and our lawyers can help you achieve a successful outcome on your application. If you want our legal assistance, please call 02034111261 or complete the contact us form on the right hand.

 

What is Unmarried Partner Visa?

This visa is for people who are not married or do not want to get married but stay in a genuine and subsisting long term relationship.

As an Un-married Partner, you can either be a dependent if your sponsor who has a temporary visa i.e. limited leave to remain for example as a Tier 2 visa holder or Tier 1 Visa holder. OR You can be an unmarried partner of a person who is British or holds Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK.

The applicant can apply entry clearance to come to the UK or apply leave to remain as a partner provided his/her current visa category allows the switch.

The applicant must be in a relationship with a person who is a British Citizen or settled in the UK or on Limited Leave to Remain (exceptions can be made if the applicant’s partner is remaining in the UK as a recognised refugee). The applications are made under the Immigration Rules. All the unmarried partners whether their sponsor is  British Citizen or settled in the UK or on Limited Leave to Remain generally need to show –

  • Both the applicant and the UK partner are over 18 years of age;
  • have met each other;
  • have been in a genuine and subsisting for at least 2 years period;
  • the applicant can be accommodated in the UK;
  • the applicant can be maintained without recourse to public funds;
  • the applicant does not fall for refusal under general grounds for refusal; and
  • the unmarried partners intend to live together in the UK

How to Apply?

The application can be submitted from within or outside the UK. The in-country application can only be made if you are in a category which allows you to switch from within the UK (generally any visa except visitor visa). Once the applicant has completed the application they should provide evidence to meet the above requirements for the Home Office to consider the application.

Documents to Submit

  • Your passport
  • Copy of your partner’s passport
  • Proof of relationship
  • If any of your documents are not in English or Welsh language then you need to provide a certified translation of those

N.B. this is not a complete list of documents. Contact the advisors at Visa and Migration Ltd for a fully comprehensive list according to your situation or circumstances.

How long you can stay on Unmarried Partner Visa

For applications made outside the UK, once the application is approved the applicant will be given one month visa and they will collect their Biometric residence permit which will be for

– Length of a Main Applicant’s or Sponsor’s Temporary Visa ( Tier 2 or Tier 1 visas)

– 2.5 years if applying under Appendix FM of the Immigration Rules

For applications made within the UK will also follow the above timeline.

Once an applicant has completed 5 years in the UK as a dependent of the sponsor or main applicant or under Appendix FM of the rules they can apply for settlement (Indefinite Leave to Remain) in the UK provided all requirements are met.

The application fee to the Home Office depends under the category you apply –

Tier 1 – Entrepreneur – Outside the UK – £1021 + Immigration Health Surcharge of £1200; Inside the UK – £1,277

Tier 1 – Investor – Outside the UK £1,623 ++ Immigration Health Surcharge of £1200

Tier 2 General – From outside 3 years or less – £610 + Immigration Health Surcharge of £1200

Appendix FM – from outside the UK is £1523 + Immigration Health Surcharge of £1200. From inside the UK, you will pay a Government fee of £1033 + and Immigration Health Surcharge of £1000

Contact Visa and Migration Ltd now to know more or apply Unmarried Partner Visa.

 

UK Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) Visa for Architects

In order to be recognised as an exceptional talent, you need to obtain endorsement from a relevant UK body who recognize you as a leader (exceptional talent) or as an emerging leader (exceptional promise). You can be endorsed in one of the many fields like science, architecture, engineering, humanities, medicine, arts, fashion etc.

Exceptional talent as architecture

Architecture has been added only recently in the list of creative professionals who are eligible for UK Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa.

This will allow successful architects applicants from overseas to stay in the UK for up to 5 years and four months with this visa. All architects must pass the RIBA – Royal Institute of British Architects – assessment in order to establish that they are an internationally recognized expert in the architect field.

This requires the applicant to meet any 2 out of the following 3 criteria.

  • You must have substantial media coverage in more than 1 country;
  • You must have won at least one international award; and/or
  • You must have showcased your work through exhibitions or in other ways to your audiences across borders.

Those who are a promising talent in the field of architecture can also apply on the ground of exceptional promise.

How to apply?

First, you need to make an application to the Home Office. You need to apply as a leader or an emerging leader in the field of architecture. In the second stage after you have been endorsed, you can apply for the visa. You should note that under this visa category there are only 2,000 places available from 6th April to 5th April of the following year.

Documents to submit

When you apply for Tier 1 exceptional talent visa you must submit the following documents:

  • Your passport;
  • Your endorsement letter copy;
  • Your TB test results in case you come from a country where you have to take the test; and
  • If any of your documents are not in English or Welsh language then you need to provide a certified translation of those

You may also need to provide additional documents.

Time for decision on endorsement and visa application

You should get the decision on your endorsement usually within 8 weeks. You can get the faster decision also if you either hold an approved peer-reviewed fellowship or you are a senior academic or senior researcher at a college, university or a research institute in the UK. You can check with your employer about the eligibility of your role.

Once you get a successful decision on your endorsement required for UK Tier 1 Exceptional Talent visa as an architect, you will receive an email from the Home Office in the UK with a copy of your endorsement letter which you need for the visa application letter. Without the endorsement letter, you cannot apply for the visa.

After you have received the letter of endorsement from Home Office, you must apply for the visa within 3 months’ time.

When you apply for the visa from the outside UK, you should get a decision on your visa application within 3 weeks. But time may vary depending upon the country you apply from.

How long you can stay on Tier 1 Exceptional Talent visa for architect

 If you apply from the outside UK then the maximum time you can stay in the UK is up to 5 years and 4 months and if you apply from the inside the UK then you can stay in the UK for 5 years. After the time period allowed you can also apply for an extension.

 

 

 

UK Settlement Visa

All the family categories leading to the settlement are classed as UK Settlement Visas by the UKV&I. The family categories are –

Spouse/Marriage Visa – This is generally for people who are married to a person who has indefinite leave to remain in the UK or is a British citizen and intends to come and live in the UK with their married spouse. The applications are under Appendix FM of the Immigration Rules. The applicants need to meet requirements to prove that they –

  • are over 18 years of age;
  • have met each other;
  • they are married and their relationship is genuine and subsisting;
  • the sponsor meets the financial requirement;
  • the applicant meets the English language requirements;
  • the applicant can be accommodated in the UK;
  • the applicant can be maintained without recourse to public funds;
  • the applicant does not fall for refusal under suitability requirement; and
  • the couple intends to live together in the UK

The application can be submitted from within or outside the UK. The in-country application can only be made if you are in a category which allows you to switch from within the UK (generally any visa except visitor visa). Generally, the process takes between 8 to 12 weeks from outside the UK unless you are purchasing priority service, which has an additional fee. In country, applications take 8 weeks or you can opt for 24-hour service by paying an additional fee. Once the applicant has completed the application they should provide evidence to meet the above requirements for the Home Office to consider the application. Once the application is approved from outside the UK the applicant will be given one month visa and they will collect their Biometric residence permit from the relevant post office which will be for 2.5 years. if the application is made within the UK then the applicant will get 2.5 years to leave to remain. Once the applicant has completed 5 years they can apply for settlement (Indefinite Leave to Remain) in the UK

The application fee from outside the UK is £1523 + Immigration Health Surcharge of £1200. From inside the UK, you will pay a Government fee of £1033 + and Immigration Health Surcharge of £1000

Fiance Visa – The fiance visa if for people who intend to get married in the UK to a person who has ILR or is British Citizen. the applicant can only make this application from outside the UK and will be granted a visa for 6 months within which they must get married. The applications are under Appendix FM of the Immigration Rules. The applicants will need to prove that they –

  • are over 18 years of age;
  • have met each other;
  • they have a genuine intention of getting married;
  • their relationship is genuine and subsisting;
  • the sponsor meets the financial requirement;
  • the applicant meets the English language requirements;
  • the applicant can be accommodated in the UK;
  • the applicant can be maintained without recourse to public funds;
  • the applicant does not fall for refusal under suitability requirement; and
  • the couple intends to live together in the UK after their marriage

Once making the application from outside the UK, the supporting documents must be submitted to the Entry Clearance officer for consideration. Once you are in the UK and have got married you can extend your stay from within the UK by submitting a spouse/marriage visa application. Generally, the process takes between 8 to 12 weeks from outside the UK unless you are purchasing priority service, which has an additional fee. The Home Office UKV&I fee for the application is £1523. Once you have extended your stay on a spouse/marriage visa and completed 5 years you will apply for Settlement (Indefinite Leave to Remain)

Unmarried Partner Visa – This visa is for people who are not married or do not want to get married. The applicant must be in a relationship with a person who is a British Citizen or holds Indefinite Leave to remain in the UK. The applications are under Appendix FM of the Immigration Rules. The applicant will need to satisfy the following requirements –

  • are over 18 years of age;
  • have met each other;
  • have been in a genuine and subsisting for at least 2 years period;
  • the sponsor meets the financial requirement;
  • the applicant meets the English language requirements;
  • the applicant can be accommodated in the UK;
  • the applicant can be maintained without recourse to public funds;
  • the applicant does not fall for refusal under suitability requirement; and
  • the unmarried partners intend to live together in the UK

The application can be submitted from within or outside the UK. The in-country application can only be made if you are in a category which allows you to switch from within the UK (generally any visa except visitor visa). Once the applicant has completed the application they should provide evidence to meet the above requirements for the Home Office to consider the application. Once the application is approved from outside the UK the applicant will be given one month visa and they will collect their Biometric residence permit from the relevant post office which will be for 2.5 years. if the application is made within the UK then the applicant will get 2.5 years to leave to remain. Once an applicant has completed 5 years they can apply for settlement (Indefinite Leave to Remain) in the UK

The application fee from outside the UK is £1523 + Immigration Health Surcharge of £1200. From inside the UK, you will pay a Government fee of £1033 + and Immigration Health Surcharge of £1000

Child Visa – This visa is for either a child whose parent is married or a fiance of a person who holds indefinite leave to remain in the UK or is a British Citizen. Such applications will be submitted under Appendix FM of the rules. The child must be –

  • Under 18;
  • Not formed an independent family;
  • the sponsor meets the financial requirement of £22400 with one child and additional £2400;
  • the child can be accommodated in the UK without recourse to public funds;
  • The biological parent married or fiance of a sponsor must have sole responsibility for the child;

The child will be given visa in line with the biological parents, that is the applicant will be given one month visa and they will collect their Biometric residence permit from the relevant post office which will be for 2.5 years. If the application is made within the UK then the applicant will get 2.5 years to leave to remain. In-country application take between 8 weeks to 6 months and application from outside the UK may take 8 to 12 weeks unless you are purchasing priority service. Once an applicant has completed 5 years they can apply for settlement (Indefinite Leave to Remain) in the UK  – Children who turn over 18 after arriving at the UK will need to prove they live with their parent and are dependent on them.

The application fee from outside the UK is £1523 + Immigration Health Surcharge of £1200. From inside the UK, you will pay a Government fee of £1033 + and Immigration Health Surcharge of £1000

If the child is a child of a person who is himself/herself a British Citizen or a person settled in the UK (holding indefinite leave to remain) then the application is made under paragraph 297 of the Immigration Rules.

The child must be –

  • Under 18;
  • Not formed an independent family;
  • the child can be maintained and accommodated in the UK without recourse to public funds;
  • The British or Settled parent must have sole responsibility for the child;

If the application is successful the child will be granted indefinite leave to enter the UK. The Indefinite Leave to Remain is generally for 5 years or the length of the passport whichever is shorter.

The application fee from outside the UK is £1523 and from inside the UK in £2389

If you need our assistance for settlement visa this is how it works –

  1. You can call us or get in touch through our website, an immigration lawyer will carry out free assessment and check if you qualify;
  2. You pay 50% of our fee to start the process and we provide you with a checklist and advise and submit your settlement visa application successfully

Continuous Lawful Residence – 10 Years Indefinite Leave to Remain

The continuous lawful residence is the most important thing for an immigrant.

Generally, the continuous lawfully residence is seen as a part for Indefinite Leave to Remain application on the basis of continuous 10 years residence in the UK.

Calculation of continuous lawful residence

So, the major requirement under the 10 years Indefinite Leave to Remain application is that the person should have a continuous lawful residence.

Continuous – means – without any break

Lawful – means – you always had some kind of leave to remain in the UK – Most of the confusions appear under section 3C and Section 3D leaves, or when a person has filed for an Administrative review or making repeated applications within 28 or 14 days after refusal as indicated under section 34 of the Immigration Rules.

Under paragraph 276 B of the Immigration Rules, Continuous residence means you spent 10 years in the UK without having a break in your lawful residence.

In some cases where there is a short break in continuous lawful residence, it may still be favorable for the applicant to make an application for Indefinite Leave to Remain and request discretion considering the life-changing event of getting ILR – in these cases the Home Office looks to the personal contributions to the UK, whether they have family who is settled or are British or whether the person owns a property or assets in the UK to show long term commitment.

Break continuous residence period

Where a persons leave may have expired, however, they lodged the application before their visa/leave ran out and the application was pending with the Home Office in such cases there will be no break in continuous residence. Absences below 180 days at any time do not constitute to be broken.

Absences outside the UK

You are allowed the absence of up to 540 days in 10 years and less than 180 at any time, however, if you exceed these periods then there has to be a serious or compelling reason like critical illness, a conflict or a natural disaster for your absence from the UK in various categories.

If you are looking to for Immigration Advise contact Visa and Migration Ltd on 02034111261

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

A non-British parent can exercise their right of access to their child/children who are resident in UK. There is this provision offered to such parent by UK immigration rules. A single non-British parent can apply for leave to enter or remain in 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 all single parents. Those who are still in a relationship with the other parent cannot apply as parent but they can apply as a partner. Single parent can be a stepfather, stepmother or adoptive parent.

Family life as a parent visa

Those single non-British parent whose child is resident in UK, can apply for family life as a parent visa to join their child in 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 requirements

There are conditions to be met for this. Parent needs to meet below conditions:

  • You need to have sole responsibility of the child.
  • You need to have shared parental responsibility for your child and in that situation other parent of the child must not be your partner and they must be settled in UK or a British Citizen.
  • If the child is living with their other parent or care taker in UK, then you must have access to the child in person, as a result of an agreement with the other parent or care taker or by a court order.
  • You must be able to prove that you have active relationship with your child in their up-bringing.
  • 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 have good knowledge of English language.

You must meet above conditions to be eligible to apply as a parent for family life in UK. However, even if you don’t meet above conditions still you can extend your permission to stay in UK if:

  • Your child living in UK is a UK British citizen or has lived in UK for 7 years or more.
  • It would not be reasonable for them if they leave UK.

Childs’s requirement

You can apply as a single non-British parent to live with your child in UK. However, your child must meet following conditions:

  • Your child must be under 18 on the date of your application or they must have been under 18 when you first applied for the visa and not living an independent life, or
  • Your child is living an independent life in UK. This can be like your child left home, got married and had children.
  • Your child must live in the UK. And along with this one of the following must also be true:
  1. Your child is a British citizen.
  2. Your child is settled in the UK which means they have ‘indefinite leave to remain’ or proof of permanent residence.
  3. if you are applying in the UK, then your child must have lived for 7 years or more continuously in the UK and it would be unreasonable for them to leave

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

 

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 your 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.