Loading...

Follow DavidsonMorris | Immigration Blog on Feedspot

Continue with Google
Continue with Facebook
or

Valid

In June 2018, the UK Government announced plans to introduce a new UK Start Up Visa from Spring 2019.

This is hugely positive news for the UK.

To remain globally competitive and to achieve growth potential in core sectors such as tech, Britain has to be in a position where we are welcoming foreign talent, their ideas, investment and contribution. But current UK immigration rules simply don’t support this.

A new and well-aligned visa scheme is exactly what’s needed to make the UK a more attractive and accessible destination for foreign talent and investment.

It’s a mature policy move on the part of the Government, and largely unexpected given its mandate to ‘clamp down’ on immigration (economic migration included) and its dogged approach to hitting that magic (arbitrary) level of 100,000 net migration.

But in this instance, it seems the Government has listened to UK business.

Why the UK needs the Start Up Visa

Under current rules, any non-EEA or Swiss national wanting to set up a business in the UK will be required to apply to the Home Office under the Tier 1 route for permission to enter and remain in the UK to carry out the permitted activity. Tier 1 comprises a number of different visas, with different eligiblity criteria and carrying different visa conditions:

The number of Tier 1 applications shows there is a clear appetite among foreign business people to set up in the UK. In the first quarter of 2017, a record number of investor visa applications were made and with recent figures showing the dominance of London in European tech – we remain a hub. Brexit does not seem to be dampening UK prospects among talented and wealthy individuals.

Tier 1 visas are however extremely limited in their eligibility, and refusal rates are notoriously high; 42% of Tier 1 Entrepreneur applications are refused, for many reasons we have discussed previously. Of note however is that this is the highest refusal rate of any UK visa category outside of asylum applications.

As such, many individuals who could potentially make a valuable contribution to the UK economy through their enterprises are precluded from being granted a visa to set up in the UK, falling foul of current Home Office decision-making protocol and arbitrary criteria.

Add to this figure those individuals who decide not to incur the expense and effort of making the Tier 1 application through concern of an eventual refusal.

This is where the Start Up visa needs to step in – opening up the opportunity to set up in the UK to a broader range of applicants – including non-graduates – where they meet the requirements of setting up a viable business.

What will the new UK Start Up visa look like?

Under current proposals, the Start Up Visa will be available to individuals who want to set up business in the UK, whether or not they have a university degree.

The new visa is being designed to encourage more foreign entrepreneurs to come to the UK and contribute to the British economy, with particular ambitions to accelerate growth in sectors such as tech.

We expect the new Start Up Visa to operate along the same lines as the Tier 1 Exceptional Talent scheme, which is hugely popular – particularly in tech.

As with the Tier 1 graduate entrepreneur visa, the Start Up Visa will require endorsement, but the list of approved endorsers is being broadened to include business sponsors, as well as universities.

Applications are likely to centre on the credibility of the individual applicant and their business idea. This is an important distinction, as under present rules, it is the Home Office case worker who decides if a Tier 1 Entrepreneur applicant has what it takes to make their business idea work – which has long been a source of criticism of this route.

The benefit of this new visa is that decision-making for the business viability requirement will be addressed by qualified, experienced and more appropriate parties – ‘business sponsors such as accelerators’, according to the Government announcement. By placing the business viability decision-making within industry, the Government is clearly acknowledging that case workers and civil servants are not best placed to make this assessment effectively.

As a result, Home Office decision-making is expected to become ‘faster and smoother’ with the business viability requirement being taken away from case workers to be dealt under the preliminary endorsement stage.

Will the UK Start Up Visa ‘open the floodgates’?

The introduction of any new visa route is usually accompanied by grumbles over potential misuse and abuse.

From experience however, this rarely happens.

All applications for the new visa will remain subject to Home Office scrutiny in respect of each applicant’s immigration history, good character, source of funds etc. The safety net will remain in place, and any concerns should not detract from what we expect will be a hugely positive step forward for the UK economy.

Do you have a question about the UK Start Up Visa? We can help!

If you have a business idea or are looking to invest in an existing UK business, please contact us to discuss your eligibility and the options available to secure a UK business visa.

At DavidsonMorris, we work with foreign entrepreneurs and investors every day. We are extremely passionate about the contribution of foreign talent and its role in shaping and growing the UK economy.

The UK Start Up Visa needs to be a key enabler for growth and identity as we assert our global proposition as a hub of innovation.

We will keep you updated of developments with the Start Up Visa.

The post UK Start Up Visa appeared first on DavidsonMorris - Immigration Solicitors.

Read Full Article
Visit website
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Which UK business visa?

If you’re looking to start up a business in Britain, there are a number of types of UK business visa that may be available to you.

Each visa is different, so it’s recommended you take advice on your specific circumstances to ensure you consider all the options relevant to your needs and that you satisfy the eligibility criteria before embarking on the application process.

The main types of business visa for non-EEA nationals include:

UK Start Up Visa

Announced in June 2018 and scheduled to launch in Spring 2019, the UK Start Up Visa will be a new and welcome addition to current UK business visa options.

The new visa is being designed to encourage more foreign entrepreneurs to come to the UK and contribute to the British economy, with particular ambitions to accelerate growth in sectors such as tech.

Under current proposals, the Start Up Visa will be available to individuals who want to set up business in the UK. Initial plans are that the visa will replace the existing Tier 1 graduate entrepreneur visa (more below) by widening its availability to individuals wanting to start a business, and by introducing faster processing and decision-making.

As with the graduate entrepreneur visa, the start up visa will require endorsement, but the list of approved endorsers is being broadened to include business sponsors, as well as universities.

We will keep you updated of developments with the new visa. Do contact us if you have any queries.

Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa

Under a Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa, successful applicants can establish or take over the running of a business in the UK.

To be eligible for a Tier 1 entrepreneur visa, applicants have to be from outside the EEA and Switzerland, and be able to show they have access to at least £200,000 investment funds.

They must also submit a credible business plan that demonstrates the viability of the business, and that the applicant has the requisite skills, qualifications and experience to make a success of their business in the UK.

Applicants should also expect to be invited to interview, where they will answer questions on their application and business plan.

An initial Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa lasts for 3 years and 4 months. Holders may apply for a tier 1 Entrepreneur visa extension to extend their stay for a further 2 years.

The Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa extension process can be more demanding than the original visa application. The Home Office will be looking to ascertain if you have met your projections set in the original visa application, and that you continue to meet the eligibility criteria under the Tier 1 visa.

Issues typically arise where supporting documentation has not been kept up to date during the visa period.

There is also the possibility that you may again be invited to interview by the Home Office, to discuss in detail your application, your business and your activity during your stay to date.

Tier 1 Investor visa

Tier 1 Investor visa requires £2,000,000 or more into approved UK investments, such as government bonds, share capital or loan capital in active and trading UK registered companies.

Investor visa holders can also work, study or engage in business activities in the UK.

To apply for a Tier 1 Investor visa, applicants must be from outside the EEA and Switzerland, and show they have at least £2 million available to invest in specified UK investments. The investment funds must either belong to the applicant, their spouse or civil partner and they must be held in one or more regulated financial institutions and be available to be transferred to and invested in the UK. The source of funds must also be evidenced.

An initial Tier 1 Investor visa lasts for a total of 3 years and 4 months. Holders of the Tier 1 Investor visa may apply for a tier 1 investor visa extension to extend their stay for a further 2 years under Tier 1. Subsequent settlement options in the UK, including fast-tracked indefinite leave to remain, may also become available.

You will be required to collate and submit extensive documentation to evidence your investment activity during the course of your stay in the UK.

Problems may arise with your extension application where you or your professional advisers have not kept sufficient or adequate records of your investment and related activity covering the period of your Tier 1 visa. In which case, seek advice on how you can most effectively approach the extension process.

Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur visa

The Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) visa permits international graduates to extend their stay in the UK after graduation to establish one or more businesses. You are permitted to set up as either a sole trader, partnership or limited company.

To be eligible to apply for the graduate entrepreneur visa, the applicant must you must be from outside the EEA and Switzerland and must secure endorsement from a UK higher education institution, if it is an authorised endorsing agent, or by the Department for International Trade (DIT).

Applcants are required to hold a UK-recognised higher education qualification such as a Bachelor’s degree, Master’s or PhD and they must meet the English language requirements.

If the applicant can evidence endorsement, they must then make the application to the Home Office and provide relevant supporting documentation in support of their application. The type of documents will be dependent on whether you have been endorsed by a higher education institution or by DIT.

Applicants will also be required to have access to sufficient maintenance funds. The level of funds required depends on where you are applying from; at least £1,890 if applying from outside the UK, and at least £945 for those applying from within. In both circumstances, you must have had access to the funds for 3 continuous months or more.

Under the visa, you are permitted to stay in the UK for up to 1 year. An extension is available on application for a further year. However, this is not a route to UK settlement.

Switching visa categories

If you are already in the UK on a valid visa, you may be looking to switch to a visa which allows you to remain in the UK to set up your own business or make substantial investment here.

Under the current UK immigration rules, it is possible to switch from Tier 2 to the Tier 1 entrepreneur or Tier 1 investor visa– provided you meet the relevant eligibility criteria.

The application processes and requirements for switching visa category can be complex, and the timing of an application and additional complicating factors such as the Tier 2 cooling-off period will also require consideration.

Advice on applying for a UK Business visa – we can help!

If you have a business idea or are looking to invest in an existing UK business, please contact us to discuss the full eligibility criteria and the options available to secure a UK business visa.

We can also advise on employment-based work visas such as the Tier 2 visa and other visas and schemes for your circumstances

The post UK Business Visa Options appeared first on DavidsonMorris - Immigration Solicitors.

Read Full Article
Visit website
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Why apply for a UK registration certificate?

A UK Registration Certificate is an official document issued by the Home Office to prove right of residence for European Economic Area or Switzerland nationals who are living in the UK under their EU Treaty rights.

If you are an EEA national currently living in the UK, under current rules, it is not a legal requirement for you to have an EEA registration certificate. However, if you are an extended family member of an eligible national, then you must have a certificate in order to reside in the UK.

A registration certificate is also a useful alternative for obtaining documented residence if you haven’t yet lived in the United Kingdom for the continuous 5 year period that’s required to apply for a permanent residence card.

Am I Eligible for a Registration Certificate?

Not every EEA national can apply for a certificate. In order to satisfy the Home Office, and comply with Regulation 6 of the European Economic Area (EEA) Regulations 2006, you need to be able to prove two things:

  1. That you are an EEA Citizen

To show you are an EEA citizen, you will need either a valid National Identity Card or a Passport. If you do not have either of these, this can cause significant complications; therefore, you should seek prompt legal advice in this situation.

  1. That you are in the UK exercising your Treaty rights

In addition to proving your EEA Citizenship, you must also show that you are exercising your Treaty rights:

  • As a worker

You must be genuinely employed on a full or part-time basis under the supervision of someone else, and earning enough that you can look after yourself without claiming public funds.

If you are out of work temporarily, you may still be eligible; such as if you are ill or in an accident, have started vocational training or have become involuntarily unemployed.

  • As a jobseeker

To prove you are exercising your rights as a job seeker, you must be actively seeking work with a realistic chance of finding it.

  • As a self-employed person

You must prove that you are working in a self-employed capacity and that you have registered with the HMRC for tax and National Insurance purposes.

  • As a self-sufficient person

A self-sufficient person is someone who is financially able to cover living expenses for themselves and their family without having to claim UK benefits. You will also need comprehensive sickness insurance for yourself and your family.

  • As a student

You will need to have enrolled in a course at a public or private educational establishment in compliance with the Immigration Regulations 2006. You will also need to be able to show that you can meet your living expenses and that you have comprehensive sickness insurance.

You can also apply as a close or extended family member of someone who fulfils these requirements.

Who is a close family member?

To qualify as a close family member, you must:

  • be a spouse or civil partner of the EEA national; or
  • be a child/grandchild of the national or the nationals civil partner, be under 21 or dependent on them; or
  • be a parent/grandparent of the national or of their civil partner, and be dependent on them

Where the EEA national only has the right to reside as a student, only spouses or civil partners and children of a spouse or civil partner are eligible to apply as a close family member.

If you are a family member such as a brother or aunt, you can apply as an extended family member.

Who is an extended family member?

Extended family members of the qualified person include:

  • Siblings
  • Cousins (including second cousins)
  • Uncles or Aunts
  • Siblings’ children
  • Relatives of different generations (such as great-grandmother)
  • Relatives by marriage
  • Unmarried partner in a ‘durable’ relationship

If you are applying as an extended family member, you need to be able to prove:

  • That you were dependent on the qualifying person before coming to the UK; or
  • Living in the same house as the qualifying person before coming to the UK and will continue to live or be dependent on them; or
  • Cared for by them before coming to the UK due to a serious medical condition.
How to apply for a Registration Certificate

The way in which you apply differs depending on whether you are applying as a qualified person or as a close or extended family member.

As a qualified person

You can apply for a registration certificate as a qualified person using form EEA (QP). You can submit this form online, except where you are a student or self-sufficient person who is financially reliant on another family member, or where other family members rely on you. You also must apply via paper form if you are making your application based on retained rights or using the Surinder Singh category.

If you are not permitted to apply online, you can download and print the form and post it, or you can apply in person at a Premium Service Centre.

As a close family member of a qualifying EEA national

To apply for a certificate as a close family member of the qualifying person, you must complete form EEA (FM). If the qualifying person is applying online at the same time as you, you may also be able to submit your application online with theirs. If however, you are applying at a different time to them (for example where they have already completed their application), or they have to complete the paper form, then you must complete a paper copy.

As an extended family member of a qualifying EEA national

As an extended family member, you will need to complete form EEA (EFM). If the qualifying person is applying online at the same time as you, then you may be able to be added to their application. If the qualifying person isn’t applying online, or you are applying separately, you will need to print a copy of the form and send it to the Home Office.

How long does the application process take?

Applications can take six months to process; however, it can take longer if your application is rejected for any reason, as you will need to resend your application with the necessary amendments.

How much does the EEA registration certificate cost?

It costs £65 per person applying. Therefore if there are multiple close and extended family members applying in connection with one qualifying person, the fee is £65 per person.

Application process

You must submit an application detailing your personal information, and information surrounding the basis of your rights (i.e. if you are a worker, self-employed, etc. or your relationship to the qualifying person if applying as a family member).

In addition to the application form and paying the fee, you will also need to collate and submit the documents in support of your application.

If applying via paper form, you will need to send your evidence at the same time as the form. Just like the application form itself, the documentation required is extensive; especially where you are applying as a family member, as you will need the qualifying persons supporting evidence too. You must ensure your application is accurate and complete otherwise it may be rejected by the Home Office, and you will lose a portion of your application fee.

What supporting documents will I need to show?

The documents you will need vary depending on the circumstances of your application. All applicants will need to provide two passport-sized photos with full names written on the reverse of each (one of which should be a named photograph of the qualifying person if you are applying as close or extended family) that conform to the passport photo standards, and proof of identity and nationality. This can be a National Identity Card or a valid passport.

Evidence of employment includes an employer’s declaration & wage slips or bank statements. For self-employment, you will need to provide tax and National Insurance documents such as HMRC registration letters or Self-Assessment forms; evidence of your trading status such as invoices, contracts and business accounts or bank statements.

If you are a student or self-sufficient, you will need to provide proof of financial resources; such as bank statements, pension documents, or evidence of scholarship or bursary if you are a student. You also need to evidence your comprehensive sickness insurance. If you are relying on a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) you will also need to provide a Statement of Intent.

Where you are asserting your rights using education; either as a student or as a worker undertaking vocational training, you will need to enclose a letter from your training provider or educational institution.

If you are looking for work or claiming UK state benefits, you will need to provide evidence of your job search (such as registration with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), interview invitations and rejection letters), and evidence of your benefits (e.g. DWP or local authority letter).

If you have any academic qualifications in support of your right as a job seeker, you should include them also. If you are claiming incapacity a doctor’s letter and evidence of sickness based benefits will need to be submitted.

Where you are applying as extended family, the requirements are even more involved. Alongside providing the evidence above required for the sponsor you are relying on, you will also need to show evidence of your relationship to them, and of your dependency on them. This can be evidence of living together if you are in a durable relationship (e.g. tenancy agreement, mortgage), proof of marriage or relation through birth or marriage certificate, or a detailed medical report evidencing personal care.

If you are a non-EEA national family member, the Home Office also requires you to submit your biometric information, which includes fingerprints and a digital photograph. Once your form has been received, the Home Office will send you a letter requesting that you enrol your biometric information.

The Home Office has strict guidelines on the evidence it requires to process your application; therefore it is imperative that you supply the correct documents.

Do you have a question about the registration certificate? We can help

There are numerous pitfalls in applying for a Registration Certificate due to the extensive application form and stringent documentary evidence required by the Home Office. Any inaccuracies or omitted information will result in potentially significant delays and perhaps even complete refusal of the application.

If your circumstances are particularly complicated or you have a history of criminal convictions, this process can be even more difficult. Family members of qualifying persons may find this process overwhelming due to the volume of information and evidence required, and potential language barriers may make it even more difficult.

The status of EU citizens within the UK is also changing due to the implications of leaving the European Union, therefore clarifying your status within the UK is more important than ever. Your first step should be to take expert legal advice, where experienced immigration solicitors can advise you based on your particular circumstances and can guide you through every step of the process.

DavidsonMorris is a leading UK immigration law firm specialising in EEA permanent residence, British citizenship and naturalisation applications.

You can contact us if you are seeking legal help in relation to an EEA permanent residence application. Our team will provide you with a professional, friendly, reliable service to avoid any issues or delays with your application.

The post Should you Apply for a Registration Certificate? appeared first on DavidsonMorris - Immigration Solicitors.

Read Full Article
Visit website
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Civil Penalty Immigration Case Study:

How we helped an independent restaurant defeat a £30,000 Home Office fine

“We’re a small, hard-working family-run restaurant, and we refused to have our business’s name tarnished unfairly. Thanks to the team at DavidsonMorris, we can move on with our name cleared and without the crippling financial hit of a civil penalty fine.” Pushvinder Dale, Mogul Restaurant, Greenwich 

When Mogul first approached us for an initial assessment, they were understandably frustrated and upset. They were being accused by the Home Office of employing workers illegally and were facing a fine for tens of thousands of pounds.

It was clear to us straight away that this was a classic example of the Home Office targeting smaller businesses in the hope they will simply ‘pay up’.

Fortunately, Mogul sought help and we were able to instantly identify issues that we could use to successfully contest the allegations and defeat the civil penalty.

Background 

Mogul Indian in Greenwich, London, is a family-owned restaurant that has been trading for over 20 years. The restaurant is situated on a busy high street, and currently employs 10 individuals.

The business had had no previous issues with the Home Office, nor any history of immigration non-compliance.

It came as a considerable shock to Mogul’s owner, Pushvinder Dale, when Home Office officials attended the restaurant unannounced and with no prior warning to carry out an immigration inspection. To make matters worse, the inspection took place on a Friday evening in the run up Christmas – meaning the restaurant had to close during one of its busiest times.

What did the Home Office allege?

After attending the restaurant, the Home Office made two false allegations:

1. The Home Office alleged that the business had not conducted correct Right to Work checks for one employee. The employee purported to be an EU citizen and had presented EU identity documentation to gain employment at Mogul. The Home Office identified during the inspection that the ID document provided by the individual was counterfeit, and they were not in fact an EU citizen. A fine was imposed on Mogul for £15,000 for illegally employing the individual.

2. The Home Office alleged that the business had not conducted any Right to Work checks for another individual. The Home Office alleged that an individual present at the restaurant during the inspection was in fact a delivery driver and as such an employee. With no record of any Right to Work checks on the individual, a fine of £15,000 was issued for illegally employing the individual.

In total, Mogul Indian was facing a civil penalty for illegal employment of £30,000. 

How we successfully challenged the civil penalty

Mogul approached DavidsonMorris for a fixed-fee case assessment. This assessment determined that Mogul had sufficient grounds to fight against the civil penalty.

We were able to identify a number of grounds for challenge:

1. A civil penalty should not have been issued as evidence of the required right to work checks on the illegal employee were provided at the site visit. Mogul had conducted pre-employment checks on all employees and had presented the documentary evidence to the Home Office to support this.

2. The Home Office officials acted in a racist and discriminatory manner at the inspection. This included unlawfully arresting an employee, privately interviewing one employee who had made clear their English language proficiency was poor.

3. The Home Office alleged with no evidence that a suspected delivery driver present at the premises was an employee. Because the individual was not on the payroll and since no evidence could be provided that they were an employee, this had to be accepted.

We also discovered through our own investigations that the Home Office representatives had entered the premises on a warrant issued under The Licensing Act (relating to the provision of alcohol by food establishments), when the real purpose of the visit was to detain illegal immigrants.

On the basis of these arguments and our supporting evidence, we lodged the appeal to the Home Office on behalf of Mogul.

Civil penalty cancelled 

Upon receipt of the appeal, the Home Office made an instant offer before the appeal was even acknowledged by the Court. The Home Office offered to cancel the £30,000 civil penalty in full and made an offer to pay 60% of Mogul’s legal costs.

Pushvinder Dale of Mogul Indian Greenwich said:

“After the initial shock of the inspection and being issued with the fine, we decided to take legal advice on our options.  

“DavidsonMorris were amazing from the start and saw straight away the reasons to complain. We could have just paid the fine, but I’m so pleased and relieved we pushed back and didn’t just accept what the Home Office was alleging and how they went about the inspection.”

Civil Penalty Immigration: Advice for Small Business Owners

It’s unclear why the Home Office sought out Mogul, but this is a common tactic for immigration enforcement and for small business owners, it should serve as a warning that the Home Office can and does turn up on your doorstep at any time.

The levels of fines that can be issued are eye-watering. In many cases we have seen, the fine has had the potential to seriously impact the ability of a business to continue trading. The Home Office can fine up to £20,000 per illegal worker, and criminal sanctions may also follow.

So it’s imperative business owners get their immigration compliance in order:

  • Carrying out the prescribed right to work checks is essential in establishing a ‘statutory excuse’ for a cancelled or reduced civil penalty.
  • Responding to the Home Office’s request for further information and other deadlines is also essential in establishing a statutory excuse and getting the penalty cancelled or reduced.
  • Keeping a record of the conduct of the officials present at any site inspection is also important as evidence of unlawful or discriminatory behaviour tends to make the Home Office cancel penalties because they do not want to go to Court and confront these claims.

At DavidsonMorris, we have a team of specialising in civil penalties for illegal working.

We have extensive experience in advising business owners and employers on challenging fines for illegal employment, identifying areas for complaint and defence including the evidential basis for alleged breaches, whether the Home Office has followed the prescribed process and whether the conduct of Home Office officials during inspections meets the required standards.

Are you facing a civil penalty for illegal immigration? Take action!

If you have received a civil penalty, timing will be crucial since you only have a limited window in which to respond to the Home Office.

We can provide a fixed-fee assessment at the preliminary penalty stage enabling you to determine quickly how best to proceed and which course of action will result in minimal financial loss for your business.

If you are facing a civil penalty from the Home Office, contact us for advice on your case.

The post Civil Penalty Immigration: Small Businesses Challenging Home Office Fines appeared first on DavidsonMorris - Immigration Solicitors.

Read Full Article
Visit website
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

In accordance with the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2006, if you are an EEA national, you benefit from a number of automatic rights when immigrating to and residing in the UK.

As Brexit negotiations continue and the Article 50 deadline draws closer, we anticipate some change to the UK immigration rules. The Government’s most recent proposals relate to the introduction of a new settled status. Until however the proposals are agreed as part of the Brexit negotiations and then subsequently passed into law as new legislation, the current rules and rights of EEA nationals in the UK remain unchanged.

Rights of Entry and Residence

EEA nationals are generally permitted to enter the UK as long as they hold a valid passport or a national identity card.

The exception is where an EEA national is subject to an extant deportation order. Entry to the UK will not be permitted until the deportation order has been revoked.

An EEA national with a valid passport or national identity card may live in the UK initially for 3 months.

Extended Right of Residence

EEA nationals also have the right to extend their stay beyond those 3 months, as long as they exercise one of the following Treaty right categories:

  • Worker

An EEA national who claims to be a worker in the UK must provide supporting evidence such as an employment contract or a payslip. Should their employment come to an end, they may still qualify as a worker if:

  • illness or injury prevents them from working, on a temporary basis
  • after having been employed in the UK, they were involuntarily made unemployed, are registered as a jobseeker, and were either employed for 1 year or more before unemployment, have been unemployed for 6 months or less, or can prove that they are looking for work in the UK and are likely to find work
  • they started vocational training after being made unemployed involuntarily or they left their work voluntarily to take up vocational training which is relevant to their previous employment
  • Jobseeker

If an EEA national is actively seeking employment in the UK, they may extend their period of residence as long as they can prove that they are looking for work and are likely to gain employment. Evidence can be provided in the form of qualification certificates, job interview letters, and Job Centre/recruitment agency communications.

  • Self-employed person

Any self-employed EEA national must provide evidence of their self-employment in the UK, for instance, an accountant’s letter, tax return or business accounts.

  • Student

For an EEA national to be recognised as a student, they must provide evidence that they have a place on an educational course at an establishment that is registered on the DFES Register of Education and Training Providers. Such evidence could be in the form of a letter from their educational establishment, for instance, but details such as the course title and description, course venue and duration of the course must be supplied.

  • Self-sufficient person

If an EEA national can prove that they have sufficient funds to support their lifestyle, and that of any family member, while in the UK, so that they are not reliant on the UK government in the form of benefits or similar, they may qualify under the Treaty right of Self-sufficient person.

  • Family member of a qualifying EEA national

If you are the close relative of an EEA national, you may be eligible to extend your period of residence in the UK. In this context, close family members are spouses or civil partners, children, grandchildren under 21 years of age, and dependent parents or grandparents.

Permanent Right of Residence

Once a qualifying EEA national (one who exercises a Treaty right as stated in the above section) has lived in the UK continuously for 5 years, they are generally allowed to apply for permanent residence in the UK.

Proof will be required that you qualify under one of the Treaty categories and that you have lived in the UK for 5 years.

This right of permanent residence may, however, be withdrawn at any time on the basis of public security, public health or public policy.

British Citizenship

You may apply for British citizenship where you meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • at least 18 years old
  • of good character (no serious or recent criminal record, for instance)
  • intend to remain in the UK
  • have met the knowledge of English and life in the UK requirements
  • you were in the UK at the start of the 5-year period that ends on the date of your application
  • you were not away from the UK for either more than 450 days in the 5-year period, or 90 days in the 12 months ending on the date of your application
  • when you make your application, you are not subject under immigration laws to any kind of restriction on the time period you may stay in the UK
  • during the 12 months ending on the date of your application, you were not subject under immigration laws to any kind of restriction on the time period you may stay in the UK
  • during the 5 years ending on the date of your application, you were not subject under immigration laws to any kind of restriction on the time period you may stay in the UK
  • have lived in the UK for a minimum of 5 years before your application
  • hold permanent residence status with a permanent residence card issued for at least 12 months before your citizenship application
  • not violated any immigration laws while in the UK

These requirements will vary should your spouse or civil partner be a British citizen. For example, you will not have to wait 12 months following your permanent residency being attained, you can apply straight away.

What will change for EEA nationals post-Brexit?

At the present time, proposals suggest that EEA nationals will be required to apply for settled status in order to remain in the UK. The term ‘permanent residence’ is expected to be phased out post-Brexit. The government has assured those holding permanent residence will face a ‘light touch’ applicaiotn process to transfer to settled status, which is also expected to come at no cost.

Under this proposed new status:

  • EEA nationals who have been continuously and legally living in the UK for 5 years by 31 December 2020, will be allowed to remain in the UK indefinitely by applying for settled status.
  • EEA nationals who come to the UK before 31 December 2020 but have not been living in the UK for 5 years when the UK leaves the EU, may apply to stay in the country until they complete the 5-year period. After that, they may apply for settled status.
  • Family members who live with a qualifying EEA national or travel to the UK to be with them by 31 December 2020 may apply for settled status after having lived in the UK for 5 years.
  • Close family members may travel to the UK to join qualifying EEA nationals as long as the relationship existed on 31 December 2020.

Any qualifying EEA national who has settled status or permission to stay in the UK on a temporary basis will continue to have access to healthcare and other benefits in the same way that they did before the UK left the EU.

DavidsonMorris can help with your UK immigration rights

The journey towards the UK’s exit from the EU has only added to the complexities of an already complicated area of law.

Taking specialist legal advice will ensure you get the right immigration advice and are prepared for any changes that Brexit may bring.

If you are concerned about your current or future status in the UK, contact us for advice.

The post EEA National? What are your UK Immigration Rights? appeared first on DavidsonMorris - Immigration Solicitors.

Read Full Article
Visit website
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

The EEA registration certificate provides proof of residence for qualifying EEA nationals exercising their Treaty rights to live, work or study in the Britain.

A registration certificate can be a useful document if you do not yet satisfy the 5-year requirement for permanent residency. While there is no legal requirement to obtain an EEA registration certificate under existing EU law, by confirming your right of residence in the UK, it can be easier to prove to employers that you have a right to work in the UK and make it easier to re-enter the UK after any trips abroad.

When you become eligible to apply for a permanent residence card, the registration certificate is helpful in evidencing as part of your permanent residence card application that you have undertaken the required qualifying activities.

Who is eligible for an EEA registration certificate?

You must either be:

  • An EEA national exercising Treaty rights as a qualified person. A qualified person is either a worker, self-employed, self sufficient, an active job seeker or a student.

Or

  • An EEA national who is a family member of a relevant EEA national i.e. an individual who already holds a registration certificate or has permanent residence status in the UK.
How to apply for an EEA registration certificate

EEA national ‘qualified persons’

To apply as an EEA national qualified person you will need the EEA QP form. This form can be filled out online, in paper form or in person at any premium service centre. If applying at a premium service centre, you will need to take your completed form, all supporting documentation and your fee of £65 with you to the centre. You may not add any family members on to this application form, they will need to fill out one of the forms below.

You will be required to prove what you have been doing in the UK to be registered as a qualified person. If in employment this will be either by wage slips, P60s or contract of employment. You will need to show your income and provide bank statements and any HMRC documents. If self employed, you will need to provide your accounts, etc. Students will need to provide proof of enrolment with a letter from the college or university stating their attendance. If you are self sufficient, you will need to provide evidence of the monies you have with bank statements, any money transfers or additional income.

It is essential to provide a valid passport or national identity card that is current. Since the list of documents required is extensive, it is advisable to seek legal advice on which documents you will need to prove your residency status.

EEA family members of qualifying EEA nationals

EEA nationals applying as a family member of a relevant EEA national will need to apply online or in paper form using form EEA FM.

A family member is a spouse, civil partner, child, grandchild, parent or grandparent of the qualifying EEA national. You may add additional qualifying family members onto this form.

As a family member, you will be required to give evidence of your relationship with the qualifying EEA national. This may be through marriage certificate, birth/adoption certificate or a civil partnership schedule.

You will also need to provide a valid passport, national identity card or travel document for each applicant. Each applicant will need to pay the £65 fee.

Your sponsor will be required to provide evidence of their income and you will both be required to provide evidence of living together. This could be through utility bill, bank statements or official letters addressed to both of you at the same address.

EEA extended family members of qualifying EEA nationals

If you are an extended member of the family of the qualifying EEA national, such as a sibling, cousin, aunt, uncle or ‘durable partner’ eg an unmarried but cohabiting partner, then you will need to fill out form EEA EFM either online or in paper form. Only one applicant is permitted per EEA EFM form and the fee is £65.

As with the EEA FM form, your sponsor will be required to supply details of their income. You will also need to provide evidence that you are living together. Proof of your relationship to the EEA national is also required, birth/adoption certificates, or evidence of cohabitation such as utility bills that are addressed to you, photographs of family gatherings/holidays or bank statements.

The online facility cannot be used for applications made as a student, self-sufficient applicant, if you are reliant on family members for financial support or if you are supporting family members on your income. These will need to be filed in paper form.

Online applications will skip irrelevant sections and only ask you the questions relevant to you based on the information you provide. Your supporting documents will need to be in order when filling in your online application. Once completed, you will need to print off and send it with all supporting documents to the Home Office.

Supporting documents must be in their original format. For circumstances beyond your control, exceptions may be made, but you will need approval for this.

You will need to provide the correct fee of £65 per applicant when submitting your application, failure to do so will result in your application being rejected.

For each applicant, you need to include 2 passport-sized photographs with their name written on the back of each. If you have a sponsor, they will need to include 1 passport sized photograph, named on the reverse.

A valid passport or national identity card is required for all applications.

These application forms are extremely lengthy and the supporting documentation required is substantial. Mistakes can cause delays, and as the process can take up to 6 months at best, it is highly recommended to seek legal advice to ensure you get it right first time.

Common pitfalls with applying for an EEA registration certificate

Any incorrect or inaccurate information on your application form will lead to an instant rejection. Your fee of £65 will be returned minus a £25 administration fee. You will then need to wait for all your documents to be returned to you, correct the errors and return the form.

Likewise, any missing supporting documentation may lead to a delayed decision or even instant rejection and cost you the fee.

Fees need to have cleared before the Home Office will begin to process your application, so it is important to ensure you have the necessary funds in your relevant account. It is also important to ensure you have calculated the correct amount payable if more than one person is applying on the form. It is £65 per person.

Your passport or national identity card must be valid or it won’t be considered as evidence.

Finally, double check you have signed the form. Your application will not be accepted by the Home Office if your form is unsigned.

DavidsonMorris can help with applying for an EEA registration certificate

DavidsonMorris are experts in all aspects of UK immigration, including providing support and guidance to EEA nationals on their rights to enter and remain in the UK.

Under current proposals for UK immigration rules for post-Brexit all EU citizens and their family members will be required to apply for ‘settled status’.

The change over to the new Settled Status is intended to be complete by 1 July 2021, by which point all EU citizens wishing to take residence in the UK will need to have secured the new status.

Applications for Settled Status are expected to be expedited if you hold a current UK registration certificate.

If you are concerned about your current or future status in the UK, contact us for advice.

The post EEA Registration Certificate for Qualified Persons appeared first on DavidsonMorris - Immigration Solicitors.

Read Full Article
Visit website
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

The EEA Family Permit allows holders to enter the UK without restriction for a fixed period. Successful applicants can avoid delays at passport control or even the risk of refused entry.

If you are not an EEA or Swiss national, but are related to one, the EEA Family Permit may be open to you if you meet the eligibility requirements.

Your EEA national relative must be present in the UK or accompanying you to the UK for you to be eligible.

It is important that you take care in completing the online application form and ensuring you satisfy the eligibility requirements.

Failure to complete the form correctly may result in a rejected application.

Who can apply for an EEA Family Permit?

To apply for an EEA Family Permit, you must be from outside the EEA and a family member or ‘extended’ family member of an EEA national.

Other types of eligibility include:

  • Derivative right of residence – you are the carer of someone who has the right to be in the UK, the carer’s child, or the child of an EEA national who previously worked in the UK
  • Surinder Singh applications – if you have lived in another EEA country with a British family member
  • Retained right of residence – you have the right to stay in the UK as the family member of an EEA national who has died, left the UK or is no longer your spouse or civil partner
How to apply as a family member or extended family member

To apply for an EEA Family Permit, the EEA citizen you are joining in the UK must be in the UK already or travelling with you to the UK within 6 months of the date of your application. If they have been in the UK for more than 3 months, they must have a permanent right of residence or be a ‘qualified person’, ie they are one of the following:

  • working;
  • self-employed and paying tax and National Insurance;
  • studying; or
  • financially independent.

You have to meet the ‘qualifying family member’ criteria and evidence that you are either:

  • the EEA citizen’s spouse or civil partner, or
  • related to the EEA citizen (or their spouse or civil partner) as their child or grandchild under 21 years old, or as a dependent child or grandchild of any age, or
  • a dependent parent or grandparent.

You can apply as an ‘extended family member’, for example a brother, sister, aunt, uncle, cousin, nephew or niece, if you can show dependency on the EEA citizen or you are a member of their household, or have a serious health condition and rely on them to care for you.

You can also apply as an unmarried partner if you can show that you are in a lasting relationship with the EEA national.

Which documents do I need to show as part of the application?

As part of your EEA Family Permit application, you are required to prove your dependency if you are dependent on your EEA family member. This includes:

  • a valid passport
  • evidence of your relationship to your EEA family member, for example a marriage certificate, civil partnership certificate, birth certificate or proof that you have lived together for 2 years if unmarried
  • your family member’s valid passport or national identity card (or a certified copy if you are unable to provide the original)
How long is an EEA Family Permit valid for?

An EEA family permit is valid for 6 months. You can leave and enter the UK as many times as you need within that time.

An EEA Family Permit for the non-EEA family member is usually issued for a period of 5 years, after which the non-EEA family member can make an application for Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK (also known as ‘ILR’ or ‘permanent residence’).

How much does an EEA Family Permit cost?

An EEA family permit is free.

Where do I apply for an EEA Family Permit?

You apply online via the Home Office website at https://www.gov.uk/apply-uk-visa

Can you stay after your EEA family permit expires?

You can stay in the UK after your permit expires if:

  • you are the family member of an EEA national; or
  • you qualify for a ‘Surinder Singh’ application; or
  • you have a retained right of residence; or
  • you have a derivative right of residence.

You can apply for a residence card card or derivative residence card to confirm your right of residence. There is no requirement to apply but it will make it easier to prove your right to live and work in the UK.

If you are the extended family member of an EEA national and want to stay in the UK after your EEA family permit has expired, you must apply for a residence card.

Other points to note about the EEA Family Permit 
  • You must be outside the UK to apply for an EEA family permit.
  • If the EEA national is a qualified person in the UK, then their non-EEA family members are entitled to work in the UK without restriction.
  • Your EEA national family member must have full health insurance (comprehensive sickness insurance) if they are studying or financially independent.
DavidsonMorris can help with your EEA family permit application

DavidsonMorris is a leading UK immigration law firm specialising in EEA Family Permit applications.

Many websites on the internet offering immigration services are unregulated management companies or intermediaries that sell on your details to third parties.

DavidsonMorris is fully regulated by the Law Society of England and Wales and is a registered member of the Immigration Law Practitioners’ Association.

You can contact us if you are seeking legal help in relation to an application for EEA Family Permits. Our legal team will provide you with a professional, friendly, reliable service to avoid any issues or delays with your application.

The post How to Apply for an EEA Family Permit appeared first on DavidsonMorris - Immigration Solicitors.

Read Full Article
Visit website
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

A UK registration certificate provides proof of residence for EEA nationals who wish to exercise their Treaty rights in Britain. Treaty rights are the right to live, work or study in the UK under current legislation.

Although there is currently no legal requirement to obtain an EEA registration certificate under existing EU law, by confirming your right of residence in the UK, it can be easier to prove to employers that you have a right to work in the UK and make it easier to re-enter the UK after any trips abroad.

You will also need the UK registration certificate if you wish to sponsor a family member applying for EEA residence.

Once you have held a valid UK registration certificate for 5 years you may be eligible to apply for a permanent residence card.

Who is eligible for a UK registration certificate?

You must either be:

  • An EEA national exercising treaty rights as a qualified person. A qualified person is either a worker, self-employed, self sufficient, an active job seeker or a student.

Or

  • An EEA national who is a family member of a relevant EEA national i.e. an individual who already holds a registration certificate or has permanent residence status in the UK.
How to apply for a UK registration certificate

EEA national ‘qualified persons’

To apply as an EEA national qualified person you will need the EEA QP form. This form can be filled out online, in paper form or in person at any premium service centre. If applying at a premium service centre, you will need to take your completed form, all supporting documentation and your fee of £65 with you to the centre. You may not add any family members on to this application form, they will need to fill out one of the forms below.

You will be required to prove what you have been doing in the UK to be registered as a qualified person. If in employment this will be either by wage slips, P60s or contract of employment. You will need to show your income and provide bank statements and any HMRC documents. If self employed, you will need to provide your accounts, etc. Students will need to provide proof of enrolment with a letter from the college or university stating their attendance. If you are self sufficient, you will need to provide evidence of the monies you have with bank statements, any money transfers or additional income.

It is essential to provide a valid passport or national identity card that is current. Since the list of documents required is extensive, it is advisable to seek legal advice on which documents you will need to prove your residency status.

EEA family members of qualifying EEA nationals

EEA nationals applying as a family member of a relevant EEA national will need to apply online or in paper form using the EEA FM form.

A family member is a spouse, civil partner, child, grandchild, parent or grandparent of the qualifying EEA national. You may add additional qualifying family members onto this form.

As a family member, you will be required to give evidence of your relationship with the qualifying EEA national. This may be through marriage certificate, birth/adoption certificate or a civil partnership schedule.

You will also need to provide a valid passport, national identity card or travel document for each applicant. Each applicant will need to pay the £65 fee.

Your sponsor will be required to provide evidence of their income and you will both be required to provide evidence of living together. This could be through utility bill, bank statements or official letters addressed to both of you at the same address.

EEA extended family members of qualifying EEA nationals

If you are an extended member of the family of the qualifying EEA national, such as a sibling, cousin, aunt, uncle or ‘durable partner’ eg an unmarried but cohabiting partner, then you will need to fill out the EEA EFM form either online or in paper form. Only one applicant is permitted per EEA EFM form and the fee is £65.

As with the EEA FM form, your sponsor will be required to supply details of their income. You will also need to provide evidence that you are living together. Proof of your relationship to the EEA national is also required, birth/adoption certificates, or evidence of cohabitation such as utility bills that are addressed to you, photographs of family gatherings/holidays or bank statements.

The online facility cannot be used for applications made as a student, self-sufficient applicant, if you are reliant on family members for financial support or if you are supporting family members on your income. These will need to be filed in paper form.

Online applications will skip irrelevant sections and only ask you the questions relevant to you based on the information you provide. Your supporting documents will need to be in order when filling in your online application. Once completed, you will need to print off and send it with all supporting documents to the Home Office.

Supporting documents must be in their original format. For circumstances beyond your control, exceptions may be made, but you will need approval for this.

You will need to provide the correct fee of £65 per applicant when submitting your application, failure to do so will result in your application being rejected.

For each applicant, you need to include 2 passport-sized photographs with their name written on the back of each. If you have a sponsor, they will need to include 1 passport sized photograph, named on the reverse.

A valid passport or national identity card is required for all applications.

These application forms are extremely lengthy and the supporting documentation required is substantial. Mistakes can cause delays, and as the process can take up to 6 months at best, it is highly recommended to seek legal advice to ensure you get it right first time.

Common pitfalls with applying for a UK registration certificate

Any incorrect or inaccurate information on your application form will lead to an instant rejection. Your fee of £65 will be returned minus a £25 administration fee. You will then need to wait for all your documents to be returned to you, correct the errors and return the form.

Likewise, any missing supporting documentation may lead to a delayed decision or even instant rejection and cost you the fee.

Fees need to have cleared before the Home Office will begin to process your application, so it is important to ensure you have the necessary funds in your relevant account. It is also important to ensure you have calculated the correct amount payable if more than one person is applying on the form. It is £65 per person.

Your passport or national identity card must be valid or it won’t be considered as evidence.

Finally, double check you have signed the form. Your application will not be accepted by the Home Office if your form is unsigned.

DavidsonMorris can help with applying for a UK registration certificate

DavidsonMorris are experts in all aspects of UK immigration, including providing support and guidance to EEA nationals on their rights to enter and remain in the UK.

Under current proposals for UK immigration rules for post-Brexit all EU citizens and their family members will be required to apply for ‘Settled Status’.

The change over to the new Settled Status is intended to be complete by 1 July 2021, by which point all EU citizens wishing to take residence in the UK will need to have secured the new status.

Applications for Settled Status are expected to be expedited if you hold a current UK registration certificate.

If you are concerned about your current or future status in the UK, contact us for advice.

The post Applying for a UK Registration Certificate appeared first on DavidsonMorris - Immigration Solicitors.

Read Full Article
Visit website
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Permanent residency is an immigration status that grants EEA nationals the right to live, work or study without restriction in the UK. With a successful permanent resident application and a document certifying your status, you may be eligible to apply for British citizenship.

You will also have access to the benefit system should you find yourself involuntarily unemployed or needing assistance with any incapacity benefits. You may also be entitled to receive treatment within the NHS system.

Before making a permanent resident application in the UK, you would first need to check you meet the eligibility criteria.

Who is eligible to make a permanent resident application in the UK?

You can make a permanent resident application if you are an EEA national or Swiss citizen and have lived in the UK for a continuous 5 year period prior to application for a document certifying permanent residence. You will need to prove that during this 5 year period you were exercising your Treaty rights, ie either working, seeking work, self sufficient or a student. You may still apply if you have since retired, become permanently incapacitated or are now working in a different EEA State while retaining your residence status in the UK.

You will need to prove you were working in the 5 year qualifying period with evidence such as payslips, bank statements, NI contributions or HMRC documents. This evidence will need to be spread across the entire 5 year period even if you have changed employer, been made redundant or started vocational training. Any changes will need to be evidenced through your supporting documents. Each of the 12 month periods in the qualifying 5 years will require evidence to support your application.

If you are self employed your accounts will be required for the full 5 years, along with your Self-Assessment documents and evidence of any tax and national insurance paid. You may also need to provide evidence of who your clients/customers are, this could be through work contracts or invoices. If you have left employment to become self employed in this time, you will be required to provide evidence of the previous employment. Likewise if leaving study or jobseekers to become self employed, you will also need to provide the evidence of this status.

As a student, you will need to provide evidence through an enrolment letter, or acceptance letter with attendance confirmed by the college or university. Again if you were not a student for the entire 5 year qualifying period, you will need to provide the supporting documentation for any other status you held. You will also need to provide bank statements to prove you are financially supported through evidence such as any student loans or bank transfers from family members.

For Jobseekers, evidence from the job centre plus of your benefits paid and any letters of interviews and rejection letters will need to be included. You will need to prove that you have a reasonable chance of gaining employment. This means having a skill that is required by potential employers and/or relevant qualifications. Not having evidence of actively seeking work through letters inviting you for interview etc, may harm your claim as demonstrating the ability to find work which could lead to your application being rejected.

All changes in status within the qualifying 5 year period need to be evidenced. You need to have evidence for each of the 12 months within the 5 year qualifying period and it must be for 5 continuous years exercising Treaty rights. The evidence required is extensive and must be in its original format. As this is so important to get right, it is highly recommended that you seek legal advice on what supporting documents are required.

If you are applying for permanent residence using a qualifying period that ended more than 2 years prior to your application, you will need to provide evidence that you have not spent 2 or more consecutive years outside of the UK. Permanent residence status will be lost if you have spent 2 or more years outside the UK, or if you have been deported from the UK. You will need to provide your current valid passport or national identity card, in addition to any that were current during your 5 year qualifying period. All travel documents for the 5 year period and any period after prior to applying will also be needed. It is advisable to keep accurate and detailed records of any trips outside of the UK, including the duration and reason.

A non-EEA citizen will need to have been resident for 5 continuous years in the UK as a family member of an EEA qualified person or permanent UK resident to receive a permanent residence card. There are other circumstances where a non-EEA citizen will still qualify for permanent residency including separation from the EEA national they were living with for whatever reason, or they are a family member of a British citizen who was working in different EEA state before returning to the UK.

Family members of an EEA national include spouse, civil partner, child or grandchild (of either party) who is under 21 or a dependant parent or grandparent (of either the partner of the EEA national or the EEA national).

However, if the EEA national acting as your sponsor is a student, you will only qualify if you are their spouse, civil partner or a dependent child.

How to make your permanent resident application

You will either need to apply for a document certifying permanent residence if an EEA citizen or a permanent residence card using the EEA PR form. This form may be filled out online or downloaded, filled out and posted with all supporting documentation.

You cannot use a premium service centre to apply for permanent residency.

Which ever document you are applying for, there is a £65 processing fee which needs to be paid at the same time as you send in your application. Failure to do so will result in your application being instantly rejected without consideration.

Likewise it important to ensure that you have filled out all the relevant sections of the form with complete accuracy. You will also need to send in all relevant supporting documentation in its original form. Should you fail to provide accurate and relevant information, your application may be rejected without consideration and your fee returned to you minus a £25 administration fee.

What are the next steps?

Once your application has been received and the payment has cleared, the Home Office will assess your claim to determine if you have the right to permanent residency. This process can take up to 6 months.

If your claim is successful, under current legislation, you would then be entitled to apply for British citizenship immediately after receiving your residency documents if you are the spouse of a British citizen, or 12 months after receiving your permanent residency document if you are not married to or a civil partner of a British citizen.

DavidsonMorris can help with making a permanent resident application 

Under current proposals for the post-Brexit immigration system, permanent resident holders will be required to transfer to settled status. This is expected to be a ‘light touch’ application process, at no cost to the applicant.

For advice and guidance on a permanent resident application, contact our immigration experts.

The post Making a Permanent Resident Application appeared first on DavidsonMorris - Immigration Solicitors.

Read Full Article
Visit website
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Applying for permanent residence can be a daunting process. The permanent residence form EEA (PR) is long and complex, and requires substantial supporting documentation. It pays to get your permanent residence form right first time, to avoid any issues that can result in delays with your application. The permanent residence application can take up to 6 months, unnecessary delays could add to this timeframe.

There are a number of common pitfalls which applicants can avoid when completing their permanent residence form.

1. Check your eligibility

You can only apply for your permanent residence card if you qualify.

To qualify you must have evidence of 5 continuous years of residency in the UK exercising your Treaty rights, such as wage slips, bank statements, bills.

In other words, an EEA national will need to have spent 5 years as a qualified person, working, seeking employment, self sufficient or as a student. Non-EEA nationals will also be required to supply this evidence of continuous residency.

If you can’t prove your continuous residency status, it is unlikely that your application will succeed.

2. Which form?

The Home Office frequently make changes to their forms and you should submit on the most recent version to avoid processing issues or delays.

3. Read the questions carefully!

Errors commonly occur where the question hasn’t been read or understood correctly, resulting in incorrect answers, albeit honestly made.

It is also easy to omit important details, such as reference to a previous rejected application, if it is assumed the information is not relevant.

Read the form and the guidance notes thoroughly before you start to complete the form. Then gather all of the required information.

If you are a non-English speaker, it may be advisable to take support from a native English speaker to ensure you understand the questions and have answered in correct English.

4. Answer the right questions

You won’t need to complete all sections of the permanent residency application form, but you will be required to complete all sections relevant to you. Failure to do so will result in delays so it is advisable to seek legal advice to ensure that you have completed all relevant sections in full.

The online form is easier in this regard since the questions presented to you are tailored based on the responses you provide. It is also not possible to pass on a question without completing it. A paper form requires you to self-check and can be more prone to issues of missed sections.

5. Problems with supporting documents

You must ensure that your passport or national identity card is valid. These are critical in proving your nationality and identity. An out of date version, it will not be accepted.

The specific documents you provide will depend on your application and the nature of your qualifying activities.

If applying as a qualified person, ie a worker, self-employed person, self-sufficient, a jobseeker or a student, it is important that you supply sufficient documentation to prove that you have been exercising your Treaty rights for the full 5 continuous years.

For example, these could include P60s, wage slips, HMRC or NI documents, accounts for your business, bank account statements, letters from your college or university confirming your enrolment onto a course or in the case of a job seeker, a letter from Job Centre Plus, proof of benefits and any supporting documents that validate you are actively seeking employments. Original form documents only will be accepted, unless a specific exemption applies.

They must however provide evidence to cover the full qualifying period. Even if you have undertaken different qualifying activities during this time, such as changing employer, gone from employed to unemployed, started studying, left study to take up employment, or any other change, you will need to provide the evidence for each activity across the full 5-year period.

In reality this is of course not always straight forward. For example, if a previous employer has ceased trading. If you are having problems collating the relevant information, we would recommend seeking legal advice.

Also be aware to only supply the supporting documents that have been asked for. Additional and unnecessary information can delay your application.

6. Unexplained absences

You are required to have been a resident in the UK for a continuous period of 5 years prior to applying for permanent residency.

Continuous residence means that you have not spent more than 6 months outside of the UK in any given 12 month period over the 5 year qualifying period, with the exception of time spent outside of the UK for compulsory military service.

It is possible to spend up to 12 months outside of the UK for ‘important reasons’ such as pregnancy, childbirth, serious illness, as part of your studies, vocational training or for an overseas posting. You will however be required to give supporting evidence to prove you had an important reason to be absent from the UK for up to the 12 month period.

Whatever your reason for being absent from the UK that falls outside of the 6 month criteria, you will need valid evidence to support your application or it will be rejected.

7. Don’t forget to sign

Another common mistake is that applicants forget to sign their permanent residence application forms. This signature is necessary to show you have read and understand all the information on the form and that you are providing a true and accurate account of your current status. The form will not be accepted without your signature.

8. Pay the correct application Fee

Permanent residence applications carry a fee of £65 per applicant to process. This is payable either prior to or at the time you submit your application. The fee is per person and not per application, so you will need to calculate your total fee accordingly. For example, if your application includes yourself and two family members, the charge would be £195.

If the correct fee is not included with your permanent residence form, it will be instantly rejected.

DavidsonMorris can help you to complete the permanent residence form

Permanent residence application forms are notoriously complicated and lengthy.

Given the nature of the eligibility and evidentiary requirements on applicants, it can be difficult to understand and interpret what is required for your specific circumstances.

DavidsonMorris provide help and guidance to individuals with their permanent residence application, ensuring you have completed all the questions relevant to you and provided the required information accurately and in the required format.

For guidance on your situation, contact our immigration specialists.

The post Errors to Avoid When Completing the Permanent Residence Form appeared first on DavidsonMorris - Immigration Solicitors.

Read Full Article
Visit website

Read for later

Articles marked as Favorite are saved for later viewing.
close
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Separate tags by commas
To access this feature, please upgrade your account.
Start your free month
Free Preview