Russian grandfather refused EEA Family Permit

  A recent arresting headline in The Independent online said: “Man refused UK visa to visit newborn grandson because he did not send photo of 1975 wedding”. It all sounds quite extraordinary. What happened – as far as we can work out from the published details – was this. Stepan Polyakov, a Russian citizen living in Syktyvkar, Komi Republic, and his wife Anna (who is a German citizen) wanted to visit their newborn grandson in the UK. Their grandson’s mother, their daughter Natalja,

Business Start-Up/Entrepreneur Visas

As we explained in the Summer 2018 Immigration Summary, the Home Secretary has announced a new business “start-up” visa. It may be aimed particularly at the techie/IT sector but it may be wider – the information so far is sparse. The new visa does sound rather similar in some ways to the Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur visa, but the Home Secretary has specifically stated that it will not be limited to graduates – whereas the Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur visa, as

Dual British/European nationality – still not always easy

Some while ago in 2017 the CJEU (Court of Justice of the European Union) made a favourable decision about European/British dual nationals. The CJEU is the supreme court for EU law matters, and its decisions are binding on the national courts and decision-makers of the EEA countries in relevant legal areas. The court, in a case called “Lounes”, decided that Ms Ormazabal, a Spanish national who had come to the UK and had after some years also acquired British citizenship, could

Tier 2 scheme under pressure/doctors and nurses

The Tier 2 immigration scheme, whatever else it might have achieved, has certainly achieved a degree of complexity. The scheme is divided into two separate parts: firstly, a “sponsorship” scheme whereby employers which wish to employ non-EEA skilled migrants must be registered with the Home Office as “Tier 2 sponsors” and, secondly, a scheme of Tier 2 visas for those lucky employees whom the employer has succeeded in “sponsoring” – ie being able to offer them employment. There has been some

Tier 2 Intra-Company Transfer Visa

We recently wrote (“Home Office Discretion and Chess Players”) about a young chess-playing prodigy whose father was allowed, outside the rules, to switch in the UK from a Tier 2 Intra-Company Transfer visa to a Tier 2 General visa. His father works in the UK for Tata Group, the well-known Indian conglomerate, which has offices in many countries around the world. The Tier 2 Intra-Company Transfer visa (“Tier 2 ICT”) is designed for such international companies which want to transfer skilled

EU Settlement Scheme – New Immigration Rules

One of the fascinating intricacies of immigration law in this country is that different parts of the law are found in various different places, which adds to the general mystique. For some years now EU rules about immigration have been confined to the Immigration (EEA) Regulations – regulations written by the Home Office or its agencies which attempt or purport to interpret EU law for the benefit of Home Office decision-makers and indeed anyone else who may be interested. But this

Home Office Discretion and Chess Players

Actual practice shows us that sometimes the Home Office has to exercise discretion in its decision-making. To take a simple example, a migrant may apply for leave to remain and they have a recent criminal conviction. The rule says that such an application should “normally” be refused if the conviction is considered to be sufficiently serious. The word “normally” indicates that discretion must be exercised and an appropriate judgement made – should leave be granted or not? In such situations, the

Home Office – abuse of power – the courts

In the UK, as in other countries, Government agencies sometimes act unfairly and make unfair decisions. But we have an independent justice system which should be able to put things right. So does it happen? The case of Ms Joshi, a Tier 4 Indian student, was instructive. She was evidently conscientious and hard-working. She obtained a Bachelor’s degree from the London College of Fashion and a Master’s degree from the University of Ulster. Then she applied to study a PhD at

How many days can you stay outside the UK? – Settlement and British Citizenship

This is a question which often arises in the field of immigration. In previous articles we explained about the rather uneven rules on this subject. Working visa rules in many cases have somewhere a requirement that the migrant is not outside the UK for more than 180 days per 12 months, but the rule is not in every case straightforward: it is sometimes necessary to provide appropriate reasons for the absences. In some but not all cases dependant family members

Settlement – continuous residence – what does it mean?

In most cases settlement (Indefinite Leave to Remain under British law or Permanent Residence under European law) requires a period of “continuous residence” in the UK for a specified number of years. In many cases it is five years but it could be a different figure. But what does “continuous residence” mean? Intuition might suggest that it does not take the literal meaning, ie that the migrant has to stay in the UK for 365 days per year. In this case