Publications

Primary carers of British citizens – big change in the rules?

Some years the European Court of Justice (the “ECJ” – the supreme court for EU law) passed a judgement called “Zambrano”. This case is often described as a “landmark” decision, and indeed it was. What happened was that a husband and wife, who were Columbian nationals, were living in Belgium but they did not hold regular immigration/employment status. But they…

The UK innovator visa: innovative and scalable

At the end of March 2019, the UK government launched its new innovator visa for overseas entrepreneurs and closed the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) category to new applicants. The innovator visa is aimed at “more experienced business people” who have £50,000 to invest in an innovative business which could be scaled up fairly rapidly, with less experienced entrepreneurs seeking investment pointed…

Overstaying rules – it’s all rather complicated

An overstayer is somebody who has outstayed their welcome, at least as far as the Home Office is concerned: ie somebody who used to have immigration leave but no longer has it. There was always a strange discrepancy between the criminal law and immigration law as far as overstaying is concerned. Somebody who is an overstayer is committing a criminal…

Revocation of indefinite leave to remain – res judicata?

A case heard recently in the Court of Appeal called “Ullah” raised some interesting issues. Mr Ullah is a Pakstani national. He had entered the UK illegally in 1996 and eventually acquired indefinite leave to remain under the old (no longer existing) 14-year rule, which enabled irregular migrants to achieve permanent status after that period had passed. Importantly, his initial…

Is this goodbye to ‘no fault evictions’?

Are you a private landlord or private tenant in England? If so you will no doubt be interested to know that the Government has launched a consultation exercise on “no-fault evictions” in England. A no-fault eviction is where a landlord evicts a tenant who has not breached any of the conditions of the tenancy but the landlord nonetheless decides to...

Extradition request from Russia – Shmatko case

A recent case in the High Court of England and Wales, “Alexey Shmatko and The Russian Federation”, threw some interesting light on extradition requests from Russia and the view of the British courts. Some people might be surprised to know that Russia and the UK have an extradition arrangement. Also perhaps surprising for some is the fact that Russia, being…

UK Immigration World 2018

  We suppose that we should mention Brexit – after all, everybody else has. Certainly there is a lot of political froth being generated on the subject. Nonetheless the Home Office plods on regardless with its plans for EEA nationals’ immigration status after Brexit and, as we have often reminded readers, these plans will protect their status until the end…

“Precarious” immigration status

  We know what the word “precarious” means in everyday speech. But what does it mean in the context of immigration law? This question has reached the Supreme Court (which is, in the immigration field, the highest court in the UK), and it has provided a definitive answer. The case was called “Rhuppiah” and it made an interesting read. Ms…

Tier 2 sponsor licence – revocation – courts take a restrictive view

  As many readers will know, the Tier 2 immigration scheme is the scheme for non-EEA skilled workers – the sort of people who, in the old days, used to be known as “work permit holders”. As they may also know, employers who employ Tier 2 skilled migrants need to hold a Tier 2 sponsor licence. This is a licence…

Illegal migrants – constituents – MPs

What, in the political field, is the definition of a constituent? The answer would presumably be somebody who lives in an MP’s constituency. Would such a person necessarily be on the electoral register? Well, not obviously so. And – a related but rather deeper question – would such a person necessarily have legal immigration status in the UK? The answer…

Latest statement of changes to the immigration rules October 2018 – evidential flexibility

The Home Office’s latest statement of changes to the immigration rules contains various new provisions for the felicitously-named Appendix EU, which will govern the situation of EEA migrants after Brexit. It also contains new rules which liberalise the requirements for documents supporting visa applications. The Home Office is introducing new visa application systems and the new rules say that, in…

Academics refused visitor visas

  The “Women Leaders in Global Health” conference, held recently at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, aimed to “advance a collective new vision for global health leadership and build opportunities for women to progress in all forms of leadership”. As the astute reader will no doubt be able to work out for themselves, many of the delegates…

Upper Immigration Tribunal – “robust” comments may be acceptable

    It was one of those curious and complicated stories that sometimes emerges from the Upper Tribunal. Mr Victor Ortega, an Ecuadorian national, had come to the UK illegally and, after a few years, had sought to regularise his status in the UK by making an immigration application pursuant to Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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:…

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…

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…

Can Roman Abramovich work in the UK?/Visitor rules

Fans and followers of Chelsea Football Club are no doubt interested to know that the owner, famous Russian Roman Abramovich, apparently has no intentions to sell at the moment. This is despite the fact that he failed to renew his Tier 1 Investor visa and, as far as anybody knows, he no longer holds any kind of UK visa. His…

Options for Tier 4 Students

If you have completed your studies (successfully, we hope) as a Tier 4 Student, and now have the benefit of a superb British education, what next? Of course some people do not want to stay in the UK after their studies, and are happy to return home afterwards to get on with their lives. But others would like to stay in…

Plato, Aristotle, the Home Office, and asylum interviews

There is an old joke, or story, about somebody who applies for a job as a sales assistant (or similar) and they are invited to an interview. During the course of the interview the interviewer comes to the conclusion that they don’t want to employ this person, and then they suddenly ask “who is your favourite philosopher?”, in the expectation…

The Problems with Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa Applications

The current success rate for Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa applications is around 50%. To put it another way, other things being equal there is only a one in two chance of success. This high failure rate is not nice for applicants but, in a more overarching sense, it is not nice for the British Government either. The whole purpose of…

Immigration appeals – judge lashes out

Immigration Judge Nicholas Easterman, who sits at Hatton Cross Tribunal Centre, recently gave a speech to the Bar Council about poor Government decision-making. Working as he does in the immigration field one would imagine that he would have plenty of material. These are a few excerpts from his rather assertive delivery: “Immigration law is a total nightmare. I don’t suppose that…

Overseas domestic servants

Some domestic servants found themselves in the legal news recently. In one interesting case Ms Reyes, a Filipina, worked as a domestic servant in the UK for Mr and Mrs Al-Malki. Mr Al-Malki was a member of the diplomatic staff at the Saudi Arabian Embassy. Ms Reyes claimed that she had been very badly treated by her employers and she…

Occasionally the immigration requirements get easier

The UK immigration story generally consists of a progressive tightening of the rules and the requirements. If we could go back in time 15 years we would encounter an environment with no Home Office visa fees, short simple immigration rules, broad rights of appeal and a generally more liberal immigration regime. Things are an awful lot different these days. But occasionally…

Comforting Brexit words from the Home Office, but is there now a “Brexodus”?

Some comforting words recently came from the Home Office: “No EU citizen currently in the UK lawfully will be asked to leave at the point we leave the EU. EU citizens will have at least two years to regularise their status.” Although in part vague, it is at least reassuring for those Europeans who have not acquired Permanent Residence or who will…

Was the European marriage genuine? What is the test?

A remarkable, dramatic and legally interesting story has emerged from the Supreme Court (the highest court in the UK). The story was set in Edinburgh. (Readers will no doubt be interested to know that, although there are differences between the English/Welsh and the Scottish legal systems, our immigration law is UK-wide and the Supreme Court makes decisions on immigration cases…

Student numbers and student visas

There have recently been various confusing articles in the media about foreign students – or “international students”, as the current expression goes – dealing with such issues as how many of them are there in the UK? And do they go home when they have completed their studies? And should they go home when they have completed their studies? This was the…

British universities are probably the best – soft power

When one cautiously enters the arena of debate about student immigration one often encounters the argument that British universities are some of the best in the world and that this is why they are so popular with international students, despite the Government’s allegedly student-unfriendly immigration policies. And, certainly, a lot of statistics and information support the idea that many of the…

Has British citizenship been wrongly given to thousands of Europeans? And could it be taken away?

Has British citizenship been wrongly given to thousands of Europeans? And could it be taken away? Well, we certainly hope not, to both questions. The reason that this question suddenly and unexpectedly arises is a decision made by the Upper Immigration Tribunal in a case called “Capparrelli”. The decision has, or should have, high authority, as it was made by The Hon…

Out-of-country right of appeal – is it fair?

There has been – in various ways – a very significant diminution in immigration appeal rights over the last few years. One of the ways in which this has occurred is that the Home Secretary has acquired legal powers to determine that, where there is a right of appeal to the First-Tier Tribunal against a refusal of an immigration decision,…

Statelessness – right to British citizenship – rather confusing

Regular readers will know that we have on occasion explained that UK immigration law can be prodigiously complicated – and had a good moan about it. The venerable tradition of complexity, or perhaps confusion, has recently been upheld in a case in the High Court called “MK”. The presiding Judge was Mr CMG Ockleton – who is also Vice-President of…

Adult Dependant Relative visa – it’s not easy

9 July 2012 was one of those famous days in the history of UK immigration law. It was the day when new family visa rules were introduced, specifically the formidable Appendix FM, which contains a remarkably intricate set of requirements for family visas, including the new Adult Dependant Relative visa requirements. The new rules replaced previous rules, to which they…

The extraordinary complexity of UK immigration

We would like to tell our readers a story. Long, long ago an Indian national (whose initials were apparently “SI”) had immigration leave in the UK as a student. He applied to extend his leave as a Tier 1 Post-Study Work migrant (a visa category that has now been abolished) but unfortunately the Home Office refused his application. SI decided to…

EEA nationals – dual citizenship – family members

Brexit is expected some time in 2019 but, as far as we know, European free movement rights will continue up until that point. So, for the moment, litigation in the European legal field carries on as normal. As is well known, EEA nationals living in the UK and exercising Treaty rights can bring their family members into the UK, even…

The effect of criminal convictions on visa applications

Criminal convictions often have an effect on visa applications and generally – not surprisingly perhaps – a negative one. It is very often the case that a criminal conviction will occasion an automatic refusal of a visa application, however strong the application is otherwise. We could write a purely dry and technical article about this but, being Red Square London, we…

Right of appeal to the immigration tribunal – can they just take it away?

The standard and traditional understanding about immigration appeals was that Government and Parliament could give or remove the right of appeal for unsuccessful visa applicants as they saw fit. Immigration appeals are heard, in the first instance, before the First-Tier Immigration Tribunal (formally known as the “First-Tier Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber)”), which is an independent tribunal staffed by Immigration…

Overstaying and overstayers

An overstayer is somebody who has remained in the UK beyond the period of their visa. A person, for example, comes to the UK on a six-month visitor visa but – for whatever reasons – they remain in the UK after the six-month period. Not everybody knows this (and probably not everybody needs to) but overstaying is a criminal offence. However,…

Can the landlord claim from you the arrears owed by the previous owner?

Can the landlord claim from you the arrears owed by the previous owner? Needless to say, you, as a buyer of a leasehold property, would expect your solicitors to undertake careful due diligence before contracts are exchanged. Such due diligence should draw to the surface all matters of risk that need to be addressed before the ownership passes to you….

Asylum-Seekers

Asylum-Seekers Asylum-seekers have been in the news recently. Apparently there has recently been a fall in the number of unsuccessful asylum-seekers removed from the UK. Liz Truss, the Justice Secretary, says that she has plans to improve the rate of removal. It is of course generally the case that such media articles do not explain in detail what an asylum-seeker is…

Europeans – rights after Brexit

Europeans – rights after Brexit The Home Office has consistently stated that EEA nationals will be able to fully take advantage of European free movement law until Brexit actually happens, which may be on some date in early 2019 or thereabouts. This is a matter which worries some British people as well as Europeans. Some property companies which deal with…

The importance of company’s name and logo

The importance of company’s name and logo Welcome back, I hope you enjoyed the first part of this article explaining the first two stages of starting a business: market research and business plan and business structure. Now we’re going to look at the next 2 stages, these are crucial parts to starting your business venture although most people don’t give…

Setting up business in the UK

Setting up business in the UK Great Britain is a popular country for setting up and developing a business. There are relatively straightforward rules and regulations relating to organisation and management of businesses, well established banking infrastructure, and relatively transparent tax legislation. In the next series of articles, we will share with you our knowledge and expertise in relation to…