Immigration


There are many reasons why both individuals and their families relocate to the UK either temporarily or permanently. Britain offers many work and educational opportunities for foreign nationals, which are not available in other countries. Many people also travel to the UK to be with their families or spouses, were either born British citizens or have been living in the UK for several years.

The guidelines governing immigration and asylum cases are one of the fastest changing areas of British law. Constant monitoring is required to keep up with these changes, as mistakes can be very costly. If a visa is rejected, appealing can take between 6 to 9 months. This is why it is imperative to work with experts in the field so that any errors or delays can be avoided.

At Lewis Sidhu Solicitors, we specialise in making the complex process of obtaining a UK visa both simple and affordable for individuals and their families.
EEA Citizens

Citizens of the European Economic Area or EEA are free to live and work in the UK without applying for a visa.
Countries in the EEA include:

  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Bulgaria
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Holland
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden


While Switzerland is not part of the EEA, Swiss citizens do not need to apply for permission to stay, study or work in Britain.

Currently, there has been no change to the rights of EEA citizens as a result of the 2016 referendum.


Family Members of EEA Citizens


Provided that the EEA citizen is a qualified person, his or her non-European family members can come to live with them in the UK. A qualified person is one who is exercising ‘treaty rights’ in the UK. You exercise treaty rights if you are self-sufficient. This includes individuals who are:
  • Employed
  • Self-employed
  • A Job Seeker
  • Studying
  • Retired

Even extended family members of EEA citizens can apply to live in the UK with the EEA national, however there is no automatic entitlement for these family members, they must apply for a visa. If UK Visas and Immigration can be satisfied that the extended family member is dependent on the EEA national, then a Residence Card can be issued for the non-EEA relative.

After 5 years of living in the UK and exercising treaty rights, both EEA nationals and their family members can apply for Permanent Residence in the UK. They can also apply for British Citizenship after being settled for 1 year. Qualifying for British Citizenship will be subject to passing the Life in the UK test and having a clean criminal record.
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Non-EEA Individuals


Nationals of countries that are not in the in the EEA, such as citizens of the United States of America, Australia, China, India and Brazil, must apply for a visa if they would like to live or work in the UK.

Immigration for Professional or Academic Reasons

Many individuals from all around the world travel to Great Britain for both business and academic reasons. British businesses are known for their high standard of service and excellent products, which is why many professionals travel to the UK to learn from the best. Students of all ages, from school level learners to those starting or completing their undergraduate and postgraduate studies, travel to the UK to study at prestigious educational institutions, such as Oxford and Cambridge.

At Lewis Sidhu Solicitors, we understand how important the opportunity of working or studying in the UK is to you. We know that it can significantly improve your chances of improving your level of education, advancing your career, and achieving your financial goals. This is why we do our best to make our immigration services as simple, quick and efficient as possible. We help everyone from new students and recent graduates to seasoned professionals apply and receive their UK visas.

When visiting the UK for business or academic reasons, it is vital to have legal professionals, such as our solicitors, deal with the application. Laws surrounding immigration in the UK are incredibly complex and ever-changing, and many professionals and students often do not have reliable access to the latest information. If the application is completed incorrectly, appealing the rejection of the request can take a long time, affecting your progress at work or at school.

Business Visas

Lewis Sidhu Solicitors helps professionals from a variety of industries, with different levels of skill and wide a range of incomes, apply and receive UK visas. We help clients obtain:

Tier 1 Visas - For high-value individuals, such as professionals with specialist skills, investors and entrepreneurs.
Tier 2 Visas - For skilled workers who have been moved to the UK by an international or UK-based company.
Tier 5 Visas - For temporary workers, such as highly-skilled sports persons and creatives, or low-skilled workers such as volunteers.

Academic and Sports Visa

We help both students and athletes apply and obtain the following permits:
Tier 2 Sportsperson Visa - For high-ranking individuals in the sporting field, such as coaches and managers.
Tier 5 Temporary Sportsperson Visa - For contract athletes such as footballers, cricketer and rugby players.
Tier 4 Student Visas - For Students who wish to study in the UK.

Managed Migration and Compliance Check

We also provide a specialist immigration consultancy service for companies plan to transfer personnel to the UK and educational institutions looking for immigration advice. Our managed migration services, includes keeping management and human resources informed of any changes to UK laws relating to immigration, to ensure that the organisation strictly adheres immigration to even the latest immigration policies. Our solicitors have a way of translating intricate and complex matters into simple language, saving managers time by providing key information without the legal jargon.

We also carry out compliance checks, to ensure that all employees have the necessary documentation and that all their paperwork is up to date.

Family Immigration

If you would like to bring your spouse, partner, child or other relative to live with you in the UK, Lewis Sidhu Solicitors can help. We are experts in immigration law and have helped many British citizens obtain visas for their family members.

When a non-British individual applies for a visa based on their relationship with a UK national, the person applying is known as the ‘dependent’ while the British citizen is known as the ‘sponsor’. Requirements for application are different, depending on the relationship between the UK national and the non-British individual. Our immigration specialists are experts at understanding the requirements for UK visa applications and will provide you with the best advice for obtaining a visa for your spouse, child, parent or other family member.

Spouses

If your spouse is planning to visit you for less than 6 months, they will need to apply for a marriage visitor's visa. If they are looking to stay with you more permanently, for over 6 months, then they will need to apply for a spouse visa. All applications for marriage visitor’s visas or spouse’s visas must be submitted from outside the UK.

The spouse visa is valid for 2 years and 3 months. Once it expires you can then renew it for another 2 years and 6 months. After 5 years, your spouse can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain.

We can help you in sourcing and supplying the evidence needed to prove that you are in a relationship. Such evidence typically includes submitted documentation and conducting interviews with witnesses as well as both partners, to prove that you live together, share a bank account or have children together. Our immigration specialists can also help your non-British spouse prepare for the required interview.

Fiancés

Persons engaged to British citizens and persons with settled status in the UK, can apply for visas on this basis. However all applications need to made from abroad. The Entry Clearance Officer will have to be satisfied that the parties are both over 18 years old, that they have met, are in a genuine relationship and intend to marry.

A successful fiancés applicant will be granted leave to enter for 6 months and the marriage must take place within these 6 months. Once married, you will need to apply for leave to remain as a spouse and can then apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain after 5 years.

Unmarried Partners

If you are a British national or settled person, and you and your non-British partner have been living together for at least 2 years in a relationship akin to marriage, either in or outside the UK, your partner can apply for a UK visa on the basis of cohabitation.

Both partners must be over 18 years of age and the UK partner must have a minimum income of £18 600. Only in exceptional circumstances will the income of the overseas partner be taken into consideration. The applicant will not have recourse to public funds and before the application is made, partners must prove that they have adequate accommodation.

The overseas partner will also be subject to the English language and life in the UK test. They will also need to prove that they are of good character. Having a criminal record or a track record of not adhering to immigration policies will have a bearing on the success of the application application.

Children

There is no automatic right for non-British or non-EEA children to enter or remain in the UK. They will need to meet certain requirements in order to visit and stay in the UK. General rules include that all children must be under the age of 18, must be supported financially by their parents and not leading an independent life. The parent or parents must prove that they are able to finance and accommodate the child or children without reliance on government funding.
If only one parent resides in the UK, you need to prove that either the other parent is deceased, that the parent in the UK has sole parental responsibility or that there are ‘serious and compelling family or other circumstances’ that would make it undesirable to refuse the child permission to visit or stay in the UK.

Care of Dependent Adults

If you are a British citizen or person settled in the UK, you can apply for an Adult Dependent Relative’s Visa or ADR for elderly or disabled relatives. In order to apply for this visa you must agree to take care of your parent, grandparent or another relative for 5 years without the use of UK government funding. You must prove that the dependent adult is not capable of taking care of themselves, that they cannot receive adequate care in the country wherein they currently reside, due to professional care being unaffordable or a lack of other relatives who are able to take care of them.

Indefinite Leave to Remain

Settlement or Permanent Residence, also known as, Indefinite Leave to Remain or ILR, is granted to individuals based on whether they are related to British citizens, as well as if they have any British ancestry. ILR is also granted to persons who are have been working in Great Britain for an extended period of time or have taken up long-term residence in the UK.

Requirements for ILR, include that the applicant must have sufficient knowledge of the English, Welsh or Scottish Gaelic language and life in the UK. Unless the applicant is under the age of 18 or over the age of 65, there are tests, set by UK Immigration and Visas, which they must pass in order for ILR to be granted.

Citizenship

The is no automatic right to British citizenship other than to be born to parents who are British nationals or to an individual with settled status in the UK. For non-British adults with the right to settle in the UK, the most common route to being granted citizenship is through Naturalisation.
Requirements for naturalisation state that the individual must:
  • Be 18 years or older
  • Have been residing in the UK for a minimum of 5 years
  • Have Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK
  • Speak English well and be knowledgeable about life in the UK
  • Intend to live permanently or own a home in the UK
  • Have a clean criminal record

For persons applying for naturalisation on the basis of marriage to a UK national or person with settled status, the requirements for naturalisation are slightly different. Contact us by calling 0208 4297473 or sending an email to info@lewissidhu.com to find out if you qualify.
If naturalisation is granted, successful applicants are required to attend a citizenship ceremony to take an oath of allegiance to the Queen and pledge loyalty to the UK.

Registration

Minors under the age of 18 can obtain British citizenship by going through a process known as Registration. This can be done at the same time their parents apply for naturalisation or when their parents have settled status in the UK. Registration is also available to some other persons because of their own historic links to the UK or those of their family.

Asylum

Many people every year seek asylum in the UK. Lewis Sidhu Solicitors helps clients looking to take refuge in the UK as a result of persecution in their home country. We will help you to find out if you can gain protection under the 1951 Refugee Convention Act. This will entail proving that you are under persecution for reasons such as your race, sex or religion in your native country.

Our firm understands that persons applying for asylum in the UK have likely recently experienced a traumatic event and are often still fearing for their lives. This is why we do our best to make the process as stress-free and straightforward as possible. While we always remain professional, in order to help clients obtain their visas even in the most complex cases, we realise that the reasons for seeking asylum are often very sensitive matters. This is why we do our best to treat all our clients with the utmost respect.

Appeals Against Visa Refusals

At Lewis Sidhu Solicitors, we understand how frustrating it can be when your visa application is rejected. It can be both a costly and time-consuming process to appeal the refusal of a visa, so we do our best to make our services affordable and efficient.

All appeals against visa refusals, whether the application was made from within the UK or abroad, are heard and decided in the UK. The bodies that deal with appeals are The Immigration and Asylum Chamber or IAC or the First-tier tribunal.

To appeal any Immigration or Asylum decision you must serve a Notice of Appeal usually on a prescribed form. There are strict time limits which must be adhered to, otherwise, you may lose your right to appeal a decision. When filing your notice of appeal you will need to submit written arguments in support of your appeal. These are known as ‘Grounds of Appeal’.

Appeals can be decided on the basis of the documentation submitted as the grounds of your appeal or after an oral hearing before an Immigration Judge. At an oral hearing, you have the opportunity to present evidence and make arguments in support of your case. You can be represented at an oral hearing by qualified legal professionals, such as ourselves, even if you are not in the UK.

Decisions made by the IAC or the First-tier Tribunal, can be changed only by appealing to a higher court or tribunal, however this depends on whether you have been granted ‘Leave to Appeal’. The only time that you will be allowed to present fresh evidence in support of your case at an appeal is at the first appeal stage. Only legal arguments, and no new factual information, will be allowed to be presented at any other stage during the appeals process.

Fast Track Immigration Services

Need to speed up your visa application process? UK Visas and Immigration offers a fast track immigration service. Our immigration experts help clients who urgently need a visa, accurately complete their paperwork and submit the correct documentation. Once the application is ready, we will submit it to the Public Enquiry Office or PEO, by hand, and they will get back to us with a decision within 48 hours.

Fixed Immigration Fees
Service Fees
Consultation Fees (up to 1 hour) £50.00
Visitors Visa £850.00
Extension of Visitor Visas FLR (O) £450.00
Extension of Stay Basis of Marriage FLR (M) £1000.00
Indefinite Leave to Remain Basis of marriage SET (M) £1250.00
Application for Settlement SET (O) – SET (F)
Permits for EU and EEA Citizens including Worker Registration
Citizenship Applications
Home Office Premium Service (Fast Track)
Appeals to the First-tier Tribunal
Applications on the Basis of Humanitarian Concerns



Please note: Fees listed above are simply a guide and may vary due to circumstances. For a free quotation on any immigration-related matter please contact us on 0208 4297473 or info@lewissidhu.com. We will send you an estate of the fees we will care to take on your case via email. You will then have a chance to read over the document, ask questions and confirm that you are happy to go ahead with the agreement. We will not start any work until you are entirely happy with our stated fees and have confirmed this with us in writing.
Lewis Sidhu
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