All Articles: key post
Naturalising or registering as a British citizen: the good character requirement
Anybody over the age of ten who applies for registration or naturalisation as a British citizen needs to meet the so-called “good character requirement”. This is a mandatory requirement set out in the British Nationality Act 1981. Where a person i ...8th February 2019
Fee waiver policy: who qualifies and what does the Home Office guidance say?
Fees for immigration applications continue to increase every year. Most applications for leave to remain submitted from the UK (other than under the Points Based System) cost £1,033. In addition, applicants may need to pay an Immigration Health Surch ...4th February 2019
How to apply for “settled status” for EU citizens
It is increasingly hard to predict whether or not the UK will exit the European Union with a deal. But the government did publish, back in December, a plan for the rights of EU citizens living in the UK if there is no Brexit deal. According to the pla ...23rd January 2019
Children of single parents: the sole responsibility and exclusion undesirable tests
Where parents have already or are relocating to the United Kingdom and both parents will end up in the UK (or one parent will and the other is deceased) then the Immigration Rules permit them to bring their children. The main requirements are that the ...3rd January 2019
Comprehensive Sickness Insurance: what is it, and who needs it?
If you are an EEA/EU citizen or their family member and wish to qualify for an EU law right of residence, then eventually a right of permanent residence, you have to meet certain requirements. For some people — chiefly those not working or self- ...13th December 2018
Briefing: how lawyers can help young people in the asylum system
Claiming asylum can be a traumatic experience. Having to relive the worst events in your life while you undergo a series of interviews and hearings is bad enough. It is even worse when Home Office officials are highly sceptical about a young person’ ...10th December 2018
Can children and parents apply to remain after seven years residence?
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 the ...28th November 2018
Exceptional circumstances in a spouse or partner visa application under Appendix FM
In recent posts we have looked at the requirements to be satisfied by a British or settled person who wishes to bring their spouse or partner into the UK under Appendix FM of the Immigration Rules. But what can be done if someone is unable to meet the ...5th November 2018
Briefing: the rules on returning residents with indefinite leave to remain (ILR)
Indefinite leave to remain in the UK is a type of immigration status that means a person can live and work in the UK for as long as they like, with no further need to apply for a visa extension. Occasionally, though, people with ILR are refused entry ...1st November 2018
How to apply for leave to remain as a victim of domestic violence
Domestic violence is a serious infringement of someone’s rights. While most often perpetrated against women, it can affect men and women from any ethnic background and part of society. Migrants can be particularly vulnerable and unwilling to seek he ...26th September 2018
Visas for children under Appendix FM of the Immigration Rules
In this post we are going to look at the requirements for children to obtain permission to enter and stay in the UK under Appendix FM. As we have seen in recent posts on the subject, Appendix FM (for “family members”) sets out the rules f ...25th September 2018
Naturalising as a British citizen: the lawful residence requirement
An adult who is not a British citizen can apply to become one. This process is known as naturalisation. People will normally be eligible to apply for naturalisation under section 6 of the British Nationality Act 1981 if they meet certain requirement ...24th September 2018
How to gather evidence in support of a non-EU deportation appeal
In this post, we consider the type of evidence and information which should be gathered to support the appeal of a non-EEA national who has been made subject to an order for deportation. It is adapted from our full online training course on deportatio ...10th September 2018
The Surinder Singh immigration route: how does it work?
The “Surinder Singh route” has become well known to British citizens seeking to be reunited with their family members. The toughening up of UK immigration rules in July 2012 – particularly the introduction of the minimum income rule with ...31st August 2018
How to claim asylum in the UK
Claiming asylum is an important human right backed by the United Nations Refugee Convention and recognised by countries around the world. In order to make this right a reality in practice, countries like the UK have set up systems by which people must ...29th August 2018
How to apply for a UK spouse or partner visa
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 th ...20th August 2018
Visit visa refusals: appeal or judicial review?
The removal of full rights of appeal for family visit visas in 2013 has led to a legal dilemma for those considering a challenge to a refusal: should they give up, re-apply, attempt a human rights appeal or launch an application for judicial review? T ...14th August 2018
What are the financial requirements for UK spouse and partner visas?
One of the trickiest parts of applying for a UK visa as a spouse or partner are the financial requirements. Appendix FM of the Immigration Rules contains minimum financial requirements to be met in entry clearance or leave to remain applications. This ...6th August 2018
How will Brexit affect Irish citizens in the UK?
The government’s view is that Brexit will not affect Irish citizens at all. On 21 June 2018 the government published details of its plan to offer settled status to EU citizens who currently live in the United Kingdom. It confirmed the government’s ...23rd July 2018
Interview: Gabriella Bettiga on exceptional circumstances applications
The Immigration Rules provide that somebody who wishes to stay in the UK on the basis of their family ties but does not otherwise meet the requirements of Appendix FM can argue that there are “exceptional circumstances”. Paragraph GEN.3.2 ...20th July 2018
What are the 10 and 20 year rules on long residence?
The Immigration Rules allow people to apply to remain in the UK on the basis of long residence. Those here lawfully can apply for indefinite leave to remain following 10 years’ continuous lawful residence in the UK. Those who had periods of overstay ...26th June 2018
How to apply for a visa as the parent of a child in the UK
The Immigration Rules permit parents living overseas, who have British or settled children living in the UK, to apply for a visa to come to live with them. In this post we will consider the requirements that a parent applying for a visa in this catego ...25th June 2018
Boys to men: how to prepare asylum appeals for young Afghans
There are a considerable number of asylum claims in the UK by young Afghan boys and men. The number should not be overstated, though. The latest immigration statistics show that Afghans are still outside the top five nationalities claiming asylum in t ...21st June 2018
Briefing: What are the barriers to British citizenship for EU nationals?
The recent case of Inga Lockton is the most high-profile recent example of growing problems that EU citizens and their families face with applying for British citizenship. Ms Lockton lived in the UK for 39 years, was married to a British citizen and h ...14th June 2018
Leave to remain application date: how to calculate it and why it is important
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 some cases, th ...8th June 2018
Tax discrepancies and paragraph 322(5) refusals: what are they and how to challenge them
Back in January, we wrote about the case of Dr Syed Kazmi, a foreign doctor due to be removed from the UK because of a “HMRC tax issue” disqualifying him from settlement. Since then, many more refusals of settlement applications by highly ...30th May 2018
Interview: Tim Barnden on sham marriages
What is a genuine relationship? This idea of a love marriage is an invention of modernity,. It’s not so long ago that most people would be getting married through other kinds of arrangements. In Victorian England, all kinds of financial consider ...16th May 2018
Briefing: the immigration rules covering foreign citizens in the UK fishing fleet
One of the interesting aspects of the ongoing national debate about Brexit is the prominent position occupied in the debate by the UK fishing industry. I would venture to say that maritime immigration control is a topic infrequently encountered even b ...15th May 2018
Briefing: what is the hostile environment, where does it come from, who does it affect?
Theresa May declared in an interview with the Telegraph in May 2012 that she wanted to create a “really hostile environment” for irregular migrants in the UK. In this blog post we look at the evolution of the hostile environment, consider what m ...1st May 2018
Do you need to worry about Brexit if you have indefinite leave to remain?
An EU citizen with indefinite leave to remain in this country has taken the drastic step to leave the UK because of Brexit. You might have seen the story on Twitter, where it went viral. 24/ So my mum has taken the decision to return to the country of ...11th April 2018
Briefing: Brexit, settled status and citizens’ rights – what has been agreed?
On 19 March the European Union and the UK published the impressively named Draft Agreement on the Withdrawal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community. In other words, ...26th March 2018
Naturalising as a British citizen: the intention to settle requirement
An adult who is not a British citizen can apply to become one. This process is known as naturalisation. People will normally be eligible to apply for naturalisation under section 6 of the British Nationality Act 1981 if they: are 18 or over are of “ ...8th March 2018
Six lessons from my spouse visa application
Making an immigration application for clients is all in a day’s work, but working on your own wife’s visa is enough to reduce even an expert to tears, writes an anonymous Free Movement contributor. While courting my wife during a sabbatica ...23rd February 2018
How to make a permanent residence application
The Brexit vote to leave the EU has caused huge anxiety amongst EU citizens and their family members living in the UK. The UK government continues to advise these citizens not to make applications for proof that they have the right to permanent resid ...6th February 2018
How complex is UK immigration law and is this a problem?
One of the fundamental principles of the rule of law is that the law “must be accessible and so far as possible intelligible, clear and predictable” (Tom Bingham, The Rule of Law, 2010). The reasons for this should be self evident. Just as it is ...24th January 2018
The rise of modern banishment: deprivation and nullification of British citizenship
To deprive a person of their citizenship on the grounds of their behaviour or opinion is to cast them out of society. It is a power of exile or banishment. In Roman law, the punishment of “proscription” was civic and literal death, unless the pers ...24th November 2017
An immigration lawyer reviews Paddington 2: life in the hostile environment
Warning: contains spoilers. And information about the plot too. Let me say at the outset that Paddington 2 is a deeply unrealistic film. As a Paddington fan and father of two young children I had no problem suspending my disbelief to allow for a talki ...13th November 2017
The immigration rules for adult dependant relatives: out with the old…
Since July 2012 the immigration rules for adult dependent relatives have been, in practice, almost impossible to meet. Applicants need to demonstrate that they require a level of long-term personal care that they are unable to get in their home countr ...8th November 2017
What is the law governing the deportation of EU nationals?
Where a European national commits a crime in the UK and is sentenced to a term of imprisonment, they will often be subject to deportation proceedings. The protections afforded to them (and to British nationals who commit crime in European countries) a ...23rd August 2017
Home Office makes changes to Appendix FM Minimum Income Rule following MM case
On 20 July 2017 the Home Office published changes to the Immigration Rules intended to give effect to findings made by the Supreme Court in MM (Lebanon) & Others v the Secretary for the Home Department  UKSC 10 on the Minimum Income Requirem ...10th August 2017