• Immigration

    Visiting the UK

    People from some countries (for example the USA, Japan, Brazil) do not need any visa to come to the UK for a visit. And nationals of the EEA countries and of Switzerland do not need any visa to come for a visit either, because they can enter the UK without restriction under European free movement principles. The countries such as the USA are called “non-visa national” countries because their nationals do not require a visitor visa but nationals of other countries (“visa national” countries) do require one. This category, of over one hundred countries, includes countries such as Russia, Ukraine, China, India and South Africa. Nationals of any of these…

  • Immigration

    Studying in the UK

    There are two main routes for studying in the UK: the Tier 4 visa route and the Short-Term Student visa route. There are two types of Tier 4 visa: Tier 4 General Student visa (for students aged 16 and upwards) and the Tier 4 Child Student visa (for students aged between four and 17). So students aged 16 or 17 can apply for either type of visa. Tier 4 General students can only apply to study a full-time course, of at least 15 hours per week. The course does not have to be of any particular length, and can be at degree level or lower than degree level. In all…

  • Immigration

    EEA Nationals and Their Family Members

    Nationals of all the EEA countries (ie the EU countries plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway) and of Switzerland have free movement rights under European law. This means that they can enter the UK without restriction and it also means that they can remain in the UK in the longer term if they are exercising EC Treaty rights. There are different ways in which EC Treaty rights can be exercised: by working, by studying, by being financially self-sufficient or by job-seeking. “Working” is defined very broadly: it could be work in employment or self-employment and it could be part-time or full-time. “Financially self-sufficient” is also broadly defined: it covers any kind…

  • Immigration

    SPOUSES/PARTNER VISA

    The spouse, civil partner or unmarried partner of a person who is present and settled in the UK (ie a British citizen, or a person who holds settlement or refugee status) may apply for a visa on this basis. They may be able to apply from outside the UK or, in some circumstances, from within the UK. Such an application is made under British immigration law; family applications made by EEA nationals are made under European law, which is an entirely separate body of law (see “European Nationals”). Applicants in all cases have to show that the relationship is real and genuine. This can be proved in different ways, but…

  • Immigration

    British Citizenship

    Some people are entitled to British citizenship from the moment of birth; others must acquire it. It can be acquired by naturalisation (for adults aged 18 or over) or registration (typically for children but in some cases for adults). There are two different routes for naturalisation: a five-year route and a three-year route. Under the five-year route a person must have been legally in the UK for at least five years and they must have held indefinite leave to remain/permanent residence for at least one year within the period. Under the three-year route a person must have been legally in the UK for at least three years, be married to…

  • Immigration

    Working in the UK

    There are various different categories of working visa for non-EEA nationals: Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa enables entrepreneurs to come to or remain in the UK, invest money into a business and run it. Their close family members can apply for visas as their dependants, and the main applicant and dependants may eventually qualify for indefinite leave to remain (settlement). Tier 1 Investor visa is not a true working visa. It enables high net worth migrants to come to or remain in the UK and invest funds into permitted UK investments and obtain immigration leave on that basis. Their close family members can apply for visas as their dependants, and the…