Unmarried partners of EEA nationals – unequal rights

The UK immigration rules provide quite liberal treatment for unmarried partners. If they can prove that they have been living (anywhere) with their British/settled partner in a relationship for at least two years then they are deemed to be an unmarried partner within the legal meaning and they have similar rights to spouses and civil partners – in the immigration context at any rate, if not in all other areas. But in European immigration law things are more complex. The law

Entitlement to benefits for UK visa holders

    A recent story from the media concerns a cardiac physiologist, Paul Ermitano, and his wife Jamila, who are Philippines nationals residing in the UK. Mr Ermitano holds a Tier 2 General visa and his wife is his dependant, and they were told by the Home Office that they had to leave the UK because they were in breach of their immigration conditions. It appears from the media reports that they had claimed child benefit for their young son in the mistaken

Post-Brexit Immigration

  The Conservative Party annual conference revealed Prime Minister Theresa May dancing to Abba and also – less exciting but probably more important in the long run – her and Home Secretary’s Sajid Javid’s ideas and proposals about European immigration after Brexit. As we have often explained and discussed, the current regime about immigration from Europe is a very liberal one. Under principles of European free movement law EEA nationals and their family members (of whatever nationality) have powerful rights to come

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