Successful application for limited leave to remain in the UK as a proposed civil partner, switching from a visitor visa in the UK
Mr A and his partner Mr B have been together for a few years, and they tried many times to get married overseas during the last year however,all of their attempts failed due to restrictions caused by the COVID-19. About nine months ago, Mr A entered the UK as a visitor and had been living together with his partner, Mr B, at his home. Due to the travel restrictions caused by COVID-19, Mr A wanted to submit his application in the UK to enable him to get married to Mr B in the UK. They then approached us, seeking our help with the application.
How we helped
According to the Appendix FM of Immigration Rules, Mr A actually had to leave the UK and submit his application in his home country. However, Due to the travel restrictions caused by COVID-19, he could not leave the UK. We advised him to apply for the exceptional assurance before the expiry of his visitor visa and he was granted it, which making it possible to submit this type of application in the UK according to the Home Office’s temporary concession, You are also able to apply for permission to stay to remain in the UK if you have been issued with an ‘exceptional assurance’. You must submit your application before the expiry of your ‘exceptional assurance’.
We then prepared a comprehensive checklist outlining all the documents that Mr A needed to provide to prove their relationship, finance, English and accommodation. During the preparation of his application, Mr A and his partner gave the notice to the council of their intention to get married, which Mr A was not permitted to do in the UK as a visitor. We advised them of the potential risk that the application could be refused because that Mr A breached the Immigration Rules during his stay in the UK. We helped them to draft a detailed letter explaining what exactly happened and the reason why it happened. The couple apologised and confirmed that they would not register their partnership until Mr A was allowed to do so.
We helped Mr A to submit his application and booked an appointment for his biometrics enrolment, and paid for the super-priority service. The Home Office accepted our submission without further enquiries and granted the visa within 24 working hours of the time of the biometrics enrolment.
UK Standard Visitor Visa approved after being couple of refusals
Mrs A was over 50 years old. Her son settled in the UK, and she planned to come to the UK to visit her son and his wife. She applied for a UK visitor visa twice before, and both of the applications were refused because the Home Office was not satisfied with her financial circumstances in her home country. In order to get a positive result, her son, Mr B, instructed us to assist with his mother’s application.
How we helped
For the application to be successful, the key points are to show that Mrs A’s purpose of visiting the UK is genuine, she will leave the UK at the end of her trip, and she is able to support herself during her trip. Most importantly, we have to provide sufficient evidence to show that Mrs A has strong social and economic ties in her home country, and she will return at the end of her visit.
During the consultation, Mr B informed us that Mrs Awas running her own business in her home country, and Mr B confirmed that he would pay for his mother’s flights and any other costs during her stay in the UK, and Mrs A could stay with Mr B and his wife at his current house owned by his wife and himself.
After gathering all the information, we prepared a comprehensive checklist outlining all the documents required. Mrs A provided birth certificates showing the genuine relationship between herself and Mr B and her other children in her home country. She also provided her husband’s passport copy and their marriage certificate.
In terms of Mrs A’s economic ties, Mrs A was self-employed; however, she was running her business in cash and her business was not registered. We helped Mrs A to gather all the documents that she could get to prove her income, including the purchase agreement of her shop and relevant tax documents showing that she declared her income from her shop to the government for tax purposes. We also helped Mrs A to provide a detailed explanation in relation to her economic circumstances that would help the Home Office to have a better understanding and strengthen her application.
When we were reviewing Mrs A’s personal bank statements, we came across that there were many transactions paid into her account during the last six months. We helped her to provide a letter of explanation addressing the purpose of each transaction and provided relevant documents to back up her explanation.
There was also another issue in Mrs A’s application. The date of birth in her passport is incorrect, but she did not realise it until a year ago. We advised that the best practice was to obtain a new passport with the correct date of birth. However, Mrs A confirmed that she could not obtain a new passport with the correct date of birth. Also, she did not have a birth certificate to reflect her correct date of birth. Based on Mrs A’s explanation, we helped her to provide a detailed explanation regarding this issue; however, we also informed Mrs A of the potential risk due to the lack of evidence.
We helped Mr B to obtain several documents to show that he could provide financial support and accommodation during his mothers’ stay in the UK. We also helped Mr B to draft the invitation letter confirming the genuine purpose of the trip and that he will pay for the journey.
We helped Mrs A to complete her form, book an appointment to enrol biometrics and upload all the documents beforehand. Her application was approved within three weeks. Now, she could come to the UK to visit her son and his wife.
Successful application for entry clearance to the UK as a sole representative of an overseas business and dependants of a sole representative of an overseas business
Mrs C was a senior employee of an overseas company that wanted to open a wholly-owned subsidiary in the UK to promote its services, and the company selected Mrs C as the sole representative of its wholly-owned subsidiary. Therefore, Mrs C approached us seeking our help with her application.
How we helped
Generally speaking, to apply as a sole representative, Mrs C must prove that she has been recruited and employed outside the UK by an active and trading business (whose headquarters and principal place of business are, and will remain, outside the UK); she has the skills, experience and knowledge to do the role; holds a senior position within the business (but do not own or control the majority of it) and have full authority to make decisions on its behalf; intends to establish the overseas business’s first commercial presence in the UK, either as a registered branch or a wholly-owned subsidiary.
We prepared a comprehensive checklist outlining all the documents required and provided Mrs C with the relevant templates she needed. We helped Mrs C to gather the documents to prove that she was recruited and employed as a senior employee by the overseas company; Mrs C had relevant skills, experience and knowledge. We also gathered documents in relation to the company’s trading and shareholding to prove that Mrs C was not a shareholder of the company and the genuineness of the application. When we were reviewing Mrs C’s evidence of employment, we came across that the salary paid into her account didn’t match her salary as shown on her payslip. It was a serious problem because the Home Office could refuse the application due to the genuineness. We spoke to Mrs C and her employer regarding the issue and helped them to draft a letter explaining why there was a discrepancy based on their explanation.
We also helped Mrs C’s husband to collect the mandatory documents for his application.
We helped Mrs C, and her husband with the submission of their applications and booked an appointment for their biometrics enrolment. A few weeks later, the Home Office invited Mrs C to conduct an interview. Based on our experience, we listed all the potential questions that the Home Office might ask and helped Mrs C to prepare for her interview. We had a few mock interviews with her before her actual interview with the Home Office. Eventually, the Home Office accepted the submission and granted the visa to Mrs C and her husband a few months after her interview with the Home Office.
Successful application for naturalisationas a British Citizen not based on the marriage with a British citizen
Mr B had been living in the UK for more than 10 years and a few years ago he was granted ILR.Now he approached us to assist him with his application for naturalisation as a British Citizen.
How we helped
The necessary for naturalisation as a British citizen
- Are aged 18 or over
- Are of sound mind,
- Intend to continue to live in the UK, or to continue in Crown service, the service of an international organisation of which the UK is a member, or the service of a company or association established in the UK
- Can communicate in English (or Welsh or Scottish Gaelic) to an acceptable level
- Have sufficient knowledge about life in the UK
- Are of good character
- Have lived in the UK for a minimum of 5 years before you apply and meet the following residence requirements.
To be of good character, the applicant should have shown respect for the rights and freedoms of the UK, observe its laws and fulfilled the duties and obligations as a resident of the UK. Checks will be carried out by the Home Office to ensure that the information given is correct. If the applicant was registered on the basis of incorrect or fraudulent information, the Home Office could take away the citizenship granted.
In this case, Mr B was given a caution during the last ten years, and he also had a fixed penalty notice for speeding a few years ago. We advised that Mr B that he had to honestly disclose this information. However, his application should not be refused merely because of these two issues because according to the Home Office’s guidance, Fixed penalty notices (such as speeding or parking tickets) must be disclosed, although will not normally be taken into account unless: you have failed to pay and there were criminal proceedings as a result; you received 3 or more fixed penalty notices at any level; in the past 3 years you received 2 or more fixed penalty notices, at least one of which was at the upper levels (fine of £200 or more). A caution is under the category of ‘a non-custodial offence or other out of court disposal that is recorded on a person’s criminal record’, and the application will not normally be refused if it occurred more than 3 years prior to the date of application.
We helped Mr B to collect all the documents required, complete the form, book an appointment for his biometrics and upload all the documents. With our help, his application was approved without further enquiries from the Home Office.
Successful application for leave to remain for a skilled chef
Mr Xis a Skilled Chef. He had been sponsored to work in an established Restaurant in West London. After only a year or so in the UK, his sponsor made the decision to liquidate the existing business and run the restaurant through a new limited company. This meant that Mr X could no longer continue to work for the restaurant as, under the conditions of his visa, he could only work for his sponsoring employer. Mr X’s visa was now subject to 60 day curtailment, at any time.
Fortunately, Mr X’s sponsor made contact with A Y & J Solicitors to get advice on the situation. A Y & J Solicitors advised the sponsor to surrender the old licence and to apply for a new licence straight away, in order to continue to sponsor and employ Mr X.
Mr X’s sponsor approached A Y & J Solicitors more than a month after liquidating his company. This meant that the surrender/new licence application was made out-of-time (more than 28 days after the liquidation) and the sponsor could not “transfer” sponsorship from the old licence to the new.
One the new licence was granted, Mr X’s sponsor, therefore, needed to assign a new Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) and Mr X would need a Change of Employment application to start work for the new sponsor.
How did A Y & J Solicitors help the Chef?
A Y & J Solicitors’ team of UK immigration lawyers guided and supported Mr X end-to-end from gathering and checking the correct documentation for the visa, preparing the online form and collating the relevant information required for the Skilled Worker application.
Mr X’s sponsor initially assigned his CoS for 4 years, which was sufficient time for Mr X to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain, without a further extension.
With meticulous attention to detail, A Y &J Solicitors identified that Mr X’s dependants had travelled to the UK a year after he did, which meant that the dependants would not qualify for Indefinite Leave to Remain (following a single extension) if he was now granted only 4 years’ leave to remain.
A Y & J Solicitors provided future facing advice to the applicant and sponsor on the relative costs and merits of Mr X applying for a 5 year visa. Taking dependant fees into account, the benefits of sponsoring one additional year (under £1,000) much outweighed the potential financial impact of a second leave to remain application for the dependants in 4 years’ time(which would be required to complete their full5 year qualifying period for Indefinite Leave to Remain, and would cost thousands of pounds).
A Y & J took instructions to assist the sponsor with amending the CoS end date and also ensured that the 1 year top up payments were made in line with the rules, to avoid any impact or disruption to the visa application.
Mr X’s 5 year visa application was approved well within the stated service standards and Mr X can now continue to work for his employer as a specialist chef.
Mr X is looking forward to working with us again with his family’s dependant extensions and on indefinite leave to remain in the future.
Successful application for FLR(M) relying on income from being a director of a UK limited company
We have been with our client Mrs C for a long time. We helped her with her initial application under Appendix FM. This time, she instructed us to assist with her extension under the same category.
How we helped
According to the Appendix FM of Immigration Rules, one of the requirements that the applicant has to meet is the financial requirement. Mrs C’s husband is a director of a UK limited company. According to the Immigration Rules, she needs to provide specified documents to prove her husband’s income. She needs to provide several documents relating to the business plus her husband’s payslips, dividend vouchers and personal bank statements showing that he actually get paid from his company.
Under this category, the Home Office will check the director’s income received from the financial year most recently ended. This means that a person wishing to rely on earnings under this category will need to arrange to file their Company Tax Return CT600to HMRC on a timescale geared to meeting this requirement of the Immigration Rules rather than the deadline set for UK tax purposes.
In this case, Mrs C’s husband was running a shop, and he normally just use the cash received instead of pay the salary to himself. Therefore, he could not provide specified documents to prove his income during the last financial year. We advised that he should start to pay himself a salary, and the salary needs to be transferred from the company’s account to his personal account. Due to the exceptional circumstances in this case, we submitted that the Home Office should rely on credible prospective earnings from the sustainable employment or self-employment of the applicant or their partner according to paragraph 21A of Appendix FM-SE of the Immigration Rules. We gathered all the documents required to prove that Mrs C’s husband will be able to meet the requirement by the end of the current financial year, which means we relied on his future earnings.
We helped Mrs C to submit her application and booked an appointment for her biometrics enrollment. The Home Office accepted our submission and granted her visa within the standard 8-week period without further enquiries.
Application for settlement under the UK sponsorship system
Mr X had been living in the UK for almost 10 years, first entering as a Tier 4 (General) student. Having completed his degree, he secured sponsorship as a Tier 2 (General) migrant and made two further leave to remain applications under the category.
Mr X was aware that he could probably apply for indefinite leave to remain (ILR) on the basis of his residence as a work visa holder, but he was not sure of all the requirements or exactly when he was eligible to submit his ILR application,
Mr X approached A Y & J Solicitors to help with assessing his circumstances and for support with processing his ILR application, if eligible.
How did A Y & J Solicitors help the Tier 2 Migrant?
A Y & J Solicitors’ team of UK immigration lawyers reviewed Mr X’s visa and immigration history in order to establish the start and end of his 5-year qualifying period. It turned out that Mr X’s earliest application date had already passed therefore he could apply at any time, provided he passed the Life in the UK test – which was great news for Mr X.
With careful attention to detail, A Y &J Solicitors prepared Mr X’s SET(O) online application form and provided comprehensive guidance on the process and options for expediting the application through the priority services.
A Y & J Solicitors provided a checklist of documents and relevant templates so that it took minimal effort on Mr X’s part to gather the paperwork. Mr X passed his Life in the UK test, first time, and provided all the other necessary information as guided by his caseworker.
A Y & J prepared the application pack with care and delivered support with securing a suitable UKVCAS appointment, and preparing for the appointment.
Having received his approval, A Y & J Solicitors advised on the validity dates of Mr X’s biometric residence permit and provided a high-level overview of how to prepare for Naturalisation, as the natural next step.
Mr X’s Indefinite Leave to Remain application was approved well within the stated service standards and Mr X is looking forward to working with us againon his Naturalisation application, in the future.
A newsagents applies and obtains Sponsor Licence to sponsor a Manager
Mr X has owned and run one of the oldest newsagents on his local high street for almost a decade. Having recently refurbished the store, he has been working on steadily expanding the range of products available and growing his business.
Mr X’s wife supports him with the day-to-day operations but following an accident she has been unable to work. Mr X is now responsible for all aspects of running the store.
Mr X approached us for assistance to obtain a sponsor licence for his store in order to sponsor a Manager to take over the running of the store; freeing Mr X to focus on other activities.
How did A Y & J Solicitors help the shopkeeper?
As a busy business owner, Mr X required support tailored around his needs and resources. Without an administrative or HR team, all the responsibility of preparing the sponsor licence application fell to Mr X. A Y & J Solicitors were able to make this process as stress-free and straightforward as possible.
As well as helping Mr X every step of the way to prepare his licence paperwork, A Y J & consulted Mr X on the detailed requirements to achieve and maintain sponsor compliance. Having made a thorough assessment of his current HR processes, A Y & J Solicitors delivered a series of handy recommendations.
Mr X was selected for a remote audit by the Home Office. Having worked closely with A Y & J Solicitors to prepare his paperwork in advance, Mr X was ready to gather and submit the further information with confidence and speed.
Mr X passed the compliance audit and his sponsor licence application was approved within the stated service standards. Mr X’s sole trade business is now an A-Rated sponsor.
Mr X is looking forward to working with us again on future sponsorship under the Skilled Worker category.