PART 1: CRUCIAL TO GET THE BASICS!
2 systems of immigration law: UK law and European law:
Types of visas under the UK law:
Leave to Remain (also called Residence Permit or Limited Leave to Remain):
Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR):
Indefinite Leave is not ‘indefinite’:
Indefinite Leave to Enter:
There is also a Leave to Enter:
‘Settlement’ and 2 confusing meanings of this word:
Common question: Passport has expired, do I have to transfer my visa to a new
passport? The answer is both Yes and No.
What is Switching?
Common examples when switching is not allowed even though the migrants are desperate to do so:
What is the Date of Application and why it is so important?
When is the Date of Application?
In-time and Out-of-time applications:
No more 28-day grace period from November 2016:
PART 2: IMMIGRATION RULES AND HOW TO USE THEM
Each category’s rules consist of 3 parts:
The ‘Other way around’ principle:
How to determine if switching is possible?
How to determine if a visa allows to work?
Registration with the police:
UKVI Operational Guidance:
Most useful guidance documents in our experience:
PART 3: VISITING THE UK
How long can visitors stay? 6 months, 3 months, 6 months in 12 months or what?
There is no rule on ‘gaps’ between visits BUT …
Visitor rules are the same for all. Visitor visa rules aren’t.
A visa stamp itself does not guarantee entry to the UK.
Main categories of visitors (and visitor visas):
Visitor visas can be from 6 months to 10 years:
Can a visitor apply for a visa to work, study or reside as a Spouse of a UK citizen?
Most common reason for a refusal:
PART 4: POINTS-BASED SYSTEM – ABOUT THE TIERS
As ‘Points-Based’ as it sounds?
PART 5: POINTS-BASED SYSTEM – WORKING IN THE UK
TIER 1 (ENTREPRENEUR)
Summary: what’s closed and what remains open + deadlines:
Conditions for extension:
Tier 1 Entrepreneur summary in Questions and Answers:
10 TOP TIPS
#1 What business activities are permitted?
#2 Working as a self-employed contractor is not allowed.
#3 Can one change a business activity while holding a visa? Can one be involved in several businesses?
#4 How to invest GBP 200,000 and what to spend it on?
#5 When to invest GBP 200,000? Is there a deadline, such as within 6 months, every year etc?
#6 Can I ask other investors to invest in my businss (and not use investments in my name)?
#7 When is the deadline for creating 2 jobs and hiring the workers?
#8 Who can I hire? And how much should I pay them?
#9 Can I hire my dependants?
#10 Accelerated route 3 years.
TIER 1 (GRADUATE ENTREPRENEUR)
What remains open and deadlines:
What has replaced this category?
What’s next after Graduate Entrepreneur visa?
TIER 1 (INVESTOR):
Before 6 November 2014:
Those who were issued an initial visa under the Rules in place before 6 November 2014:
From 6 November 2014 onwards:
New from 5 April 2015: UK-regulated investment account:
Tier 1 (Investor) in Questions and Answers:
TIER 1 (EXCEPTIONAL TALENT):
Why is this category useful?
It is also a possible solution for those stuck on Tier 2 ICT visa:
Initial application – Stage 1 – Talent:
Initial application – Stage 2 – Visa:
ILR application – 3 years:
ILR application – 5 years:
Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) in questions and answers:
STEP 1: SPONSOR LICENCE.
PRE-STEP 1: TIER 2 GENERAL ONLY – ADVERTISE THE JOB BEFORE ASKING FOR LICENCE
STEP 2: CERTIFICATE OF SPONSORSHIP (COS)
If Tier 2 application was refused, does the applicant need a new COS or can he/she use the same one?
STEP 3: TIER 2 VISA APPLICATION
Main requirements for a visa application:
TIER 2 (GENERAL) CATEGORY – SPECIFIC GUIDANCE:
Restricted/Unrestricted certificates and Annual limit:
Type Examples of when inrestricted certificates can be used:
Type of job offered:
Does applicant need to have experience or qualification for job sponsored under Tier 2?
Does an applicant need to work for this employer before he/she can be sponsored for Tier 2? If yes, how long for?
Salary offered: £20,800 or as on Code of Practice, or £35,000 – clarifying
New Entrant salary category:
Experienced salary category:
What if employer cannot offer the minimum salary?
Minimum salary when applying for ILR:
Common salary mistake when applying for ILR:
Advertising the job – Resident Labour Market Test:
Examples of exception (when employers don’t need to advertise the job):
Resident Labour Market Test and annual limit are not the same thing and not
RLMT mistake 1: not using Find A Job because it’s not for skilled people:
RLMT mistake 2: misusing Shortage Occupation List:
Special arrangements for Tier 4 Student visa holders switching to Tier 2 General inside the UK:
Why is it different applying from outside the UK?
Tier 2 General in questions and answers:
TIER 2 INTRA-COMPANY TRANSFER – SPECIFIC GUIDANCE
Important date: 6 April 2010.
Tier 2 Intra-Company Transfer in questions and answers:
TIER 2 MINISTER OF RELIGION – SPECIFIC GUIDANCE
Tier 2 Minister of Religion in questions and answers:
TIER 2 (SPORTSPERSON) – SPECIFIC GUIDANCE
Tier 2 (Sportsperson) in questions and answers:
TIER 5 – TEMPORARY WORKERS:
Tier 5 (Temporary worker – creative and sporting)
Tier 5 (Temporary worker – charity workers)
Tier 5 (Temporary worker – religious workers)
Tier 5 (Temporary worker – government authorised exchange)
Tier 5 (Temporary worker – international agreement)
Tier 5 (Youth Mobility Scheme)
PART 6: NOTES ON ENGLISH FOR ALL TIERS UNDER PBS
Based on the previous visa(s):
Tier 1 (Investor) and Tier 2 ICT applicants are exempt from this requirement:
Nationals of majority English-speaking countries:
Degree taught in English:
English language test:
Tables: English language required in each category
PART 7: NOTES ON MAINTENANCE FOR ALL TIERS UNDER PBS
Certified by the Sponsor – Tier 2.
Savings: 90 days for Tiers 1, 2, 5 or 28 days for Tier 4.
Table – summary of Maintenance requirement for each category:
Funds held for 90 days (Tiers 1, 2 and 5):
How to count 90 days and when should this period end, a day before applying or when?
What if the applicant does not have the funds ‘held for 90 days’?
Foreign currencies and foreign banks
Black list of foreign banks:
PART 8: PBS – SPECIFIED EVIDENCE AND EVIDENTIAL FLEXIBILITY
It goes further: specified details on the documents, not just specified documents.
The Immigration Rules provide 4 examples when Evidential Flexibility applies
PART 9: DEPENDANTS of PBS MIGRANTS
Tier 1, 2 and 5:
Before 1 October 2013:
From 1 October 2013:
PART 10: WORKING OUTSIDE THE POINTS-BASED SYSTEM
REPRESENTATIVE OF OVERSEAS BUSINESS:
NEW BUSINESS CATEGORIES FROM 29 MARCH 2019: OLD V NEW COMPARISON:
SUMMARY OF NEW BUSINESS VISAS’ RULES:
INNOVATOR VISA – CRITERIA FOR EXTENSION:
INNOVATOR VISA – CRITERIA FOR ILR:
PART 11: INDEFINITE LEAVE TO REMAIN (PERMANENT RESIDENCY) IN
PBS ROUTES AND OTHER WORK ROUTES
How to check whether a category leads to ILR:
Examples of categories which do not lead to ILR:
COMMON ROUTES TO ILR.
Representative of Overseas Business:
Tier 1 Entrepreneur:
Tier 1 Investor: 74
Tier 2 General, Minister of Religion or Sportsperson visas:
“6 years – and you are out” (overall limit in Tier 2 category):
Intra-Company Transfer – out after 5 years:
Can one switch from Tier 2 ICT to General (and qualify for ILR)?
COMMON ILR REQUIREMENTS AND ISSUES:
Absences from the UK:
Purposes of absences:
Before 13 December 2012 – Spent and Unspent criminal convictions:
From 13 December 2012 to present – Sentence-based thresholds:
Table of offences and impact on applications:
Driving offences: drink-driving, driving without insurance, driving whilst using a
mobile phone and similar:
Fixed Penalty Notices:
Case Study: South African national on an Ancestral visa who had a driving
Knowledge of Language and Life in the UK (KOLL) and changes from 28 Oct 2013.
Before 28 October 2013:
From 28 October 2013 to present:
Life in the UK Test:
English language requirement:
Examples of applicants who are affected:
PART 12: SPOUSES AND PARTNERS OF PBS MIGRANTS AND OTHER
If the main applicant holds an Ancestral or Representative of Overseas Business visa:
If the main applicant holds a Tier 1, Tier 2 or Innovator visa:
What to do if the main Tier applicant qualifies for ILR but his/her spouse/partner has
not spent enough time in the UK?
There is one exception
Absences for dependants:
Criminal convictions for dependants:
Life in the UK Test and English language:
PART 13: CHILDREN OF PBS AND OTHER WORK MIGRANTS
If the main applicant holds an Ancestral, Representative of Overseas Business visa
If the main applicant holds a Tier 1 or a Tier 2 visa:
Child born in the UK, do the parents need to apply for a child’s Dependant visa?
Children who turned 18 years old:
PART 14: STUDYING IN THE UK – TIER 4
2 TYPES UNDER TIER 4: GENERAL AND CHILD STUDENTS.
TIER 4 SPONSORS
CONFIRMATION OF ACCEPTANCE FOR STUDIES (CAS):
ACCEPTABLE TYPES OF COURSES:
HOW MANY YEARS CAN ONE STUDY IN THE UK?
How much money does a Student need?
How many days does the money need to be on account?
Whose name can be on account (and a common cause for refusal)?
If the money is on the parents’ accounts:
Test yourself: question from a real assessment of one of our advisers:
HOW LONG IS A VISA VALID FOR?
CAN STUDENTS WORK IN THE UK?
Can a Student work after the course finished and/or made an application for a new visa?
WHAT ABOUT CHANGES: change a course, change a sponsor, drop out of the course?
WHAT’S NEXT AFTER TIER 4 STUDENT VISA?
DOCTORATE EXTENSION SCHEME
PART 15: SPOUSE, PARTNER AND FIANCÉE VISAS
Which partners are covered? Or whose partners (of who) are covered?
‘Present and Settled in the UK’:
What is the difference between civil partners, unmarried partners and same-sex partners?
Which partners aren’t covered?
TYPES OF VISAS (Fiancée, Spouse and Unmarried Partner):
UNMARRIED PARTNER VISA:
SPECIFIED EVIDENCE – extremely important
It goes further: specified details on the documents, not just specified documents.
Common examples where clients struggle to provide Specified Evidence:
FINANCIAL REQUIREMENT £18,600
Thresholds are reasonable, the catch is how to calculate them:
Categories A and B – employment:
Whose earnings can be counted?
CATEGORY A – with current employer for 6 months or more in the UK:
CATEGORY A – with current employer for 6 months or more overseas – Sponsor
returning to the UK:
CATEGORY B – Less than 6 months with current employer or variable income in the UK:
CATEGORY B – Less than 6 months with current employer or variable income
overseas – Sponsor returning to the UK:
Can employment earnings be combined with other income?
CATEGORY C: specified non-employment income
Can ‘property’ be used?
Other sources of specified non-employment income:
CATEGORY D: Savings
Case Study – British/American couple used savings transferred from investments:
CATEGORY E: PENSION
CATEGORIES F and G: SELF-EMPLOYMENT
What’s meant by a ‘full financial year’?
Does one have to be self-employed for a ‘full’ financial year?
What is considered as income for self-employed people?
Directors of limited companies:
A company director is not the same as a company owner,
TIP – Deadline for submitting a tax return is the last day, not the only day!
TIP – Director’s Salary.
TIP – Once and for all: what is a ‘contractor’?
And here is what CANNOT be used to meet the Financial Requirement:
EXEMPTION AND EXCEPTION FROM THE FINANCIAL REQUIREMENT.
Exception (EX.1) – not covered in details as it should be at OISC Level 2
ENGLISH LANGUAGE REQUIREMENT: 1
When is A1 level required?
Switching from 10-year route to 5-year route:
When is A2 level required?
Important: A2 level is determined by the date of visa, not date of application!
When is B1 level required?
EVIDENCE OF GENUINE RELATIONSHIP:
PART 16: ILR FOR SPOUSES AND PARTNERS
BEFORE 9 JULY 2012:
– Evidence of living together
– Criminality threshold
– Knowledge of Life and English language.
PART 17: VISAS FOR CHILDREN AND STEP-CHILDREN:
SOLE RESPONSIBILITY RULE:
What if the child turned 18 years old between visas?
Case Study: Colombian wife of a UK citizen and a wife’s 17 yo child:
PART 18: VISAS FOR OTHER DEPENDENT RELATIVES:
Before 9 July 2012 (financial dependency):
From 9 July 2012 (day-to-day care which is not available in the country of
A word of warning!
Case study: Indian elderly parent who lived in a carehome in India. The application was refused but granted on appeal.
PART 19: EEA LAW AND BREXIT:
WHAT’S HAPPENING WITH BREXIT?
#1 Deadlines if there is a “deal”:
#2 Deadlines if there is “no deal”:
#3 More favourable definition of “residency” than it was under EEA Regulations:
#4 EU citizens will be able to bring family members even after that date if
relationship existed on 31.12.2020:
#5 EU Settlement Scheme is application process that gives immediate decision –
Settled and pre-settled status:
#6 STAGE 2 – agree or disagree:
#7 FAMILY MEMBERS:
#8 No documents will be needed for many to prove you have worked for 5 years. No
sickness insurance for students:
#9 It is free of charge.
#10 Irish citizens:
PART 20: BRITISH CITIZENSHIP
Nationality: citizenship, naturalisation, what does it all mean and what are the
CITIZENSHIP – NATURALISATION.
4 SETS OF NATURALISATION RULES:
THE MOST COMMON GROUP – ‘EVERYBODY ELSE’.
Condition 1: No ILR – No Citizenship!
Condition 2: Having ILR for at least 12 months.
Condition 3: Five years of residency in the UK and being present in the UK on a day
5 years before receipt of application by the UKVI.
Condition 4: Good character (criminal history).
Before and after 13 December 2012:
Table of offences and impact on applications:
Condition 5: Knowledge of Language and Life in the UK (KOLL):
Condition 6: Absences from the UK (not the same as for ILR!)
Unique ‘Date of Application’ meaning:
Basic rules on absences:
‘BRITISH BY DESCENT’ AND ‘BRITISH OTHERWISE THAN BY DESCENT’ – the difference.
British ‘otherwise than by descent’:
‘British by descent’
Example of a British by descent:
SPOUSES AND CIVIL PARTNERS OF BRITISH CITIZENS.
Conditions, which are the same as ‘everybody else’ generally but some details are different.
Conditions, which are unique to spouses and civil partners of British citizens:
Condition 4: Three years of residency in the UK.
Anomaly in this requirement:
Condition 5: waiting 12 months after ILR (not actually applicable).
Condition 6: Absences from the UK.
EUROPEAN (EEA) NATIONALS.
Rules are the same as for ‘everybody else’ but applied differently:
EEA citizens who have a settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme:
EEA citizens who have a permanent residency document under EEA Regulations
(issued before Brexit system):
Knowledge of Language and Life (KOLL):
FAMILY MEMBERS OF EUROPEAN (EEA) NATIONALS.
CITIZENSHIP – REGISTRATION OF CHILDREN UNDER 18 Y.O.
IMPORTANT DATES AND ACTS TO REMEMBER.
British Nationality Act 1981
From 1 July 2006
CHILDREN BORN IN THE UK.
If child’s mother is British
If child’s father is British:
If child’s parent (one or both) is not British but has permanent residency in the UK
If the child’s parents hold a limited leave to remain
If the child’s parents are European citizens
Children who spent the first 10 years of their life in the UK
Difference between ‘British by birth’ and ‘not British but can be registered as
CHILD BORN OUTSIDE THE UK WHOSE PARENTS IMMIGRATED TO THE UK.
Example 1: Indian family who came to the UK together.
Example 2: Indian national came to work while his family joined much later:
Example 3: Russian step-child of a UK citizen: