All Articles: key post

This piece is about refugees, asylum seekers, and the Refugee Convention. It outlines who can be a refugee, and how being a refugee and having “refugee status” are two very different things. We also explore the rights and entitlements available to refugees and to asylum seekers awaiting the outcome of...

19th June 2024
BY Larry Lock

Lawyers do not own the word “refugee”. The term has been in use since the eighteenth century and has its own evocative, wider meaning in the public consciousness. Those fleeing Ukraine or relocating to the United Kingdom from Hong Kong can validly be referred to as “refugees”, for example, even...

17th June 2024
BY colinyeo

With EU free movement fading into memory, the main visa route available for non British and Irish nationals wanting to work in the UK is now the Skilled Worker visa.  The Skilled Worker visa is a sponsorship system: a foreign worker cannot simply apply for this visa unaided. Applicants need...

6th June 2024
BY Joanna Hunt

Appendix Long Residence of the immigration rules enables a person with 10 continuous and lawful years of residence in the UK to apply for indefinite leave to remain. It is also possible to apply for limited leave to remain in this route. But there are complications and qualifications. Page contentsWhat...

9th May 2024
BY Alex Piletska

The Appendix FM minimum income requirements for spouse and partner visas can catch out even those with enough money to meet them. Having the money only takes you so far: the income must come from a specific source, must be calculated in a certain way, and specified evidence must be...

12th April 2024
BY Jack Freeland

In other posts we have looked at the requirements to be satisfied by a spouse or partner who seek leave to enter or remain. Under Appendix FM, the sponsor can be a British citizen, a settled person, a refugee, or someone with humanitarian protection, limited leave under Appendix EU, Appendix...

12th April 2024
BY Gabriella Bettiga

Spouses and partners of British citizens or people settled in the UK can apply for a visa to join or remain with their loved ones. These applications are dealt with by the Home Office under the immigration rules. Specifically, the part of the rules that applicants need to navigate are...

12th April 2024
BY Gabriella Bettiga

Domestic violence is a serious infringement of someone’s rights. While most often perpetrated against women, it can affect people from any background and part of society. Migrants can be particularly vulnerable and unwilling to seek help because of their precarious status in the UK. This article looks at in country...

15th February 2024
BY Nicholas Webb

Naturalisation is the legal process by which a non-British adult becomes a British citizen. An application has to be made to the Home Office and if the criteria set out in the British Nationality Act 1981 are met then the application will be granted and the person can attend a...

8th February 2024
BY Colin Yeo

The Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) is a fee levied on the majority of UK visa applications. The Immigration Health Surcharge is on top of other Home Office immigration fees and designed to land in a different government pocket. Also sometimes known as the NHS surcharge, it essentially adds £1,035 per...

6th February 2024
BY John Vassiliou

A “returning resident” is a resident of the United Kingdom with settled status who returns to the country after a lengthy absence abroad. Ordinarily, when a person refers to “returning residents” they might be talking about a temporary resident who leaves for a short time, for example on holiday or...

10th January 2024
BY Colin Yeo

The “no recourse to public funds” condition is imposed on grants of limited leave to enter or remain with the effect of prohibiting the person holding that leave from accessing certain defined public funds, set out at paragraph 6 of the immigration rules. A person who deliberately claims public funds despite such...

7th December 2023
BY Colin Yeo

The “sole responsibility” immigration test comes into play where one of the parents of a child is relocating to the United Kingdom and one parent remains abroad. The United Kingdom’s immigration rules effectively presume that a child should remain outside the country with the other parent, unless the parent moving...

15th November 2023
BY Colin Yeo

Deportation proceedings pit the rights of the individual against those of the state, appointed guardian of the public interest. And as very clearly stated in primary legislation, the deportation of foreign criminals is in the public interest. The law in this area is rent through with politics, shifting relentlessly with...

5th October 2023
BY Nick Nason

On the face of it, refugee status and humanitarian protection seem like two sides of the same coin. Both are a form of international protection granted to a person in need. Both result in a grant of five years’ permission to remain in the UK on a pathway to settlement...

26th September 2023
BY John Vassiliou

A visit visa is a visa allowing a person to visit the United Kingdom for up to six months at a time, during which time they are not allowed to work. Visa nationals have to apply for and be granted a visit visa before they travel otherwise they will automatically...

24th September 2023
BY colinyeo

Criminal convictions and other signs of poor character can, unsurprisingly, negatively affect applications for leave to enter or remain in the UK. Those caught out by these rules over the years include former boxer Mike Tyson, Duane “Dog the Bounty Hunter” Chapman, Tyler, the Creator and perhaps OJ Simpson. By...

15th September 2023
BY Colin Yeo

This post is intended for refugees (including those with humanitarian protection), their families and their friends trying to understand the rules on refugee family reunion. The requirements to be met are fairly straightforward and simple for children and partners who existed at the time the refugee fled their country of origin. These...

7th September 2023
BY Colin Yeo

Making a mistake on an immigration application form can be disastrous. If the mistake is interpreted by officials as an attempt to mislead or deceive, the application may be refused. If the application was for entry clearance, it can also lead to a ten-year ban on re-entry to the UK....

31st August 2023
BY Colin Yeo

The UK Expansion Worker visa is part of the Global Business Mobility route. It enables overseas businesses seeking to expand into the UK to temporarily assign senior managers and specialist employees, including business owners, to the UK to establish a British operation. Opening on 11 April 2022, it replaced the...

25th August 2023
BY Nichola Carter

Bill Gates once said that your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning. If the same applies to the Home Office staff who have the unenviable job of fielding complaints about their colleagues from irate migrants and their lawyers, their enlightenment must rival that of any Renaissance polymath....

16th August 2023
BY Alex Piletska

One of the most common UK immigration myths is that there is a maximum permitted stay of 180 days in a year (or six months in 12 months) for UK visitors. This myth has been propagated not just by migrants but also by advisers and even UK Border Force staff....

11th July 2023
BY John Vassiliou

A Youth Mobility visa enables people aged 18-30 to live and work in the UK, usually for up to two years. It used to be called the “working holiday-maker scheme” and some people may still call it that. Crucially, there is no requirement to have an employer to sponsor a...

12th May 2023
BY Alex Schymyck

You’ve left extending your visa until the last minute and are now in danger of missing the deadline. Does this matter and is there anything you can do about it? The answer to the first question is a resounding yes. Fortunately, in most cases, the answer to the second question...

12th October 2022
BY Nath Gbikpi

Immigration applications are extremely expensive. Most requests for permission to stay in the UK (other than under the Points Based Immigration System) now cost £1,048. In addition, applicants may need to pay an Immigration Health Surcharge (£624 a year for adults and £470 for children). On average, therefore, migrants will...

12th July 2022
BY nathgbikpi

The Home Office has published guidance on fee waivers for entry clearance applications (in other words, when it is possible to get a visa for free). This is important as the fees are set at a level that is prohibitive for many families. The waiver application form is here. The...

30th June 2022
BY Sonia Lenegan

Asylum lawyers like me tend to focus on just one clause of the Refugee Convention: the definition of a refugee. This is the gateway to formal recognition as a refugee and is therefore of vital importance to any person seeking asylum. From this definition, set out at Article 1A(2) of...

22nd June 2022
BY Colin Yeo

Owing a debt to the National Health Service is a ground for refusing applications for permission to enter or remain in the UK. Such debts arise because “overseas visitors” are charged for certain types of NHS treatment. The National Health Service (Charges to Overseas Visitors) Regulations 2015 (SI 2015 No....

6th June 2022
BY Nath Gbikpi

For a UK immigration application to be considered at all, it must be valid. Whether an applicant meets the criteria is a moot point if this first, fundamental requirement isn’t met. Validity is a bit like oxygen: all things being well, it is invisible and unnoticeable. You only notice it...

25th April 2022
BY Alex Piletska

A successful application for asylum or humanitarian protection in the UK results in the grant of five years’ permission to stay, on what is known as a “protection route”. People granted permission on a protection route then need to apply for settlement, or “indefinite leave to remain”, shortly before the...

11th April 2022
BY Philippa Roffey

There is a UK visa for overseas domestic workers, first introduced in 2002. Although the Immigration Rules do not define “domestic workers”, the route is typically used by nannies, cleaners, chauffeurs, cooks, personal carers and protection staff. The domestic worker route has undergone a number of changes over the years,...

22nd February 2022
BY Nichola Carter

If a migrant makes a valid application to extend their leave (permission) to be in the UK before it expires, their existing leave will be rolled over until a decision has been made on the application, even if this is after the original expiry date. This is commonly known as...

1st November 2021
BY Alex Piletska

People claiming asylum based on their sexual orientation, including homosexuality and bisexuality, may form part of a “particular social group” which qualifies for protection under the Refugee Convention. In deciding whether to accept an asylum claim, part of the Home Office caseworker’s job is to assess the person’s overall credibility....

22nd October 2021
BY Katherine Soroya

From a child’s perspective, seven years of residence in the UK can be literally a lifetime. It may be the sum of all the child’s experience and the UK may be the only home they know in any meaningful sense. On top of that, children do not make their own...

18th October 2021
BY colinyeo

Yesterday brought about a new immigration route for international sportspeople aged 16 or over wishing to enter the UK. It is intended to create a simplified visa arrangement for elite and internationally established sportspeople and sports coaches. Does it achieve this? Yes, insofar as we no longer need to consult...

12th October 2021
BY Glyn Lloyd

The Brexit vote, the triggering of Article 50, the failed May deal, the Johnson capitulation, the legal exit at the start of 2020 and the economic exit at the year’s end have all come and gone. On 30 June 2021 comes another milestone: the deadline for EU residents and their...

28th June 2021
BY CJ McKinney

International students are worth billions to the UK economy in higher education fees and indirect expenditure, benefitting local communities financially as well as enriching them in non-economic terms. Being able to attract overseas students is crucial to the economic viability of many education providers, but only those with a sponsor...

21st June 2021
BY Nichola Carter

A recent technical error cutting countless asylum seekers off from their already-meagre support payments of £39.63 a week has shed light on the difficulties those applying for asylum face in meeting their basic needs while their claims are being considered. The payment problems – estimated to affect around one third...

16th June 2021
BY Katherine Soroya

The UK’s Global Talent visa went live in February 2020, replacing the Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) route. Far more flexible than its predecessor, and with no cap on the number of people who can enter with this visa (why restrict talent!), it has fast secured its place as a badge...

2nd March 2021
BY Nichola Carter

The English language requirement can be generously viewed as the Home Office’s response to the biblical Tower of Babel story: society is undermined by its people’s inability to speak the same language. But as anyone who has ever had the misfortune to read Home Office guidance can attest, it is...

1st December 2020
BY Alex Piletska
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