Publications

Buying a new-build- what if you can’t complete your purchase?

The legal process involved in buying an apartment in a new development differs significantly  from the purchase of an existing property from an individual seller. It is often the case that, at the time of exchange of contracts, when your signed contract is sent to the seller and you receive the seller’s signed version,  construction of the building and your apartment is not finished. Completion of construction normally takes place at a later date and is confirmed by a certificate sent to your property agent and your solicitors, together with a notice

Brexit and Immigration

At last Brexit has happened. Some will breathe a sigh of relief and others will breathe a sigh of horror but at any rate it is done. But perhaps the sigh of horror will not be as strong as it might have been. So far the dread prospect of no deal Brexit has been avoided, and this has made things a bit easier for EEA nationals and their family members (of whatever nationality) than they would have been otherwise. Such people who

Ten-Year continuous lawful residence settlement route – excessive absences

Now and again we see cases in the media where an eminently deserving person gets their visa application refused and it kicks up a storm. (Actually, a lot of other eminently deserving people who do not get into the media also have their visa applications refused, but that is a different story.)   Ms Asiya Islam was a Cambridge PhD student who applied to the Home Office for settlement on the basis of ten years’ continuous lawful residence. As some readers will

Skilled Tier 2 chefs

When is a job “skilled” and when is it not? And more specifically when is a chef “skilled” and when are they not?   These interesting questions may come to mind for restaurant or hotel owners who cannot easily find sufficiently skilled chefs to cook their food. In some cases they would like to take advantage of the Tier 2 sponsorship scheme to sponsor chefs so that they can come to the UK and work for them. Chefs from outside the EEA

Unfairness in visa decision-making – students

It is not unknown for someone to come to the conclusion that a Home Office decision is unfair.   But if a decision seems harsh and pedantic but is technically correct it may not deemed to be unfair. Some areas of the immigration rules are notoriously complex and it is very easy for an applicant to slip up and make a minor error. In such a case the applicant might have met the spirit of the rules but not the letter

Visa decision-making algorithms – how do they work?

“Algorithm” is a word that has become part of general parlance over the last year or two. Algorithms, so they say, can in some situations save a lot of time by carrying out complex calculations very quickly. Not everyone knows this, but British diplomatic posts use algorithms in their visa application decision-making. But it was not really a secret: the Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration in a report published in 2017 explained about this in at least some detail. When confronted

Hong Kong British National (Overseas) status – what does it mean?

Does British nationality enable you to live in the UK for ever? The answer to this is – probably surprisingly for many people – “it depends”. If you are a British citizen then you can. British citizen is, if you like, the ultimate status in UK immigration law. But supposing you are a British Overseas Citizen, or a British Protected Person or you hold British National (Overseas) status? Then – although you are entitled to hold what looks like a

Tier 1 Investor – new rules and new restrictions

Until 6 November 2014 Tier 1 Investors could fulfil the requirements of the visa scheme on the basis of an investment of £1 million. But the Home Office had come to the conclusion that this was a paltry sum, and on that date the minimum amount of investment was dramatically increased to £2 million (but the accelerated routes for investments of £5 million and £10 million remained unscathed). Fortunately for existing Tier 1 Investors, the Home Office did not

Material non disclosure and what to do if there are undisclosed assets

“Divorce is a traumatic time for all parties. Once a spouse has got over the shock of the failure of the marriage, the mind turns to more practical matters. How will they manage financially in the short term until a Court can finalise matters? What if the Husband/Wife employs underhand tactics to defeat their legitimate claims? Can matrimonial assets be transferred to other family members to put them out of reach ? How will they pay lawyers to fight their

Immigration applications – false documents

The case of “Hameed” in the Court of Appeal made an interesting story. Mr Hameed is a Pakistani national and he applied to switch in the UK from Tier 4 student to Tier 2 work permit holder. As many readers may know, the prospective employer of a prospective Tier 2 work permit holder has to create a certificate of sponsorship (“COS”) for the employee. This is a “virtual document” – ie it exists on a computer database. But, like most things