Mrs X is an experienced retail manager, with experience in her field and a bachelor’s level qualification in Pharmacy.
Her future employer had experienced a lot of difficulty recruiting a senior level shop manager for his small local Kent-based convenience store. His efforts to staff the business had been undermined by unreliable recruits.
Mrs X was known to the employer as she was his sister-in-law. Based on this informal introduction, the employer took detailed steps to interview Mrs X and check out her references before even considering making a job offer for the business.
Having received stunning references from her current employer, Mrs X was successful in her job application.
In order to make a successful application, Mrs X sought support from A Y & J Solicitors to guide through the process.
A Y & J Solicitors’ team of UK immigration lawyers advised Mrs X’s sponsor on making sure that he had the correct evidence of Mrs X’s recruitment on file, ready for any request or inspection.
The employer was keen to run a further recruitment drive, to rule out any possibility that there might be someone available from the domestic labour market, before he proceeded with the time consuming and expensive process of sponsorship.
Having placed an advert in his shop window (the traditional method of recruiting shop staff) and also having placed an advert online, the employer was satisfied that he was not going to find anyone locally who fit the role. He received a couple of applications from overseas, but these candidates were by no means a better fit.
Having proceeded with an official job offer to Mrs X, the employer then instructed A Y & J Solicitors to act as legal representatives and “level 1 users” of his sponsor management system (SMS) online sponsor portal.
Our level 1 user was able to login and request a certificate of sponsorship, which was happily approved within 1 working day of the request being submitted online.
A Y & J Solicitors also worked closely with Mrs X to complete her online form and to check that her evidence was correct for the application, including having obtained a valid tuberculosis test and UK NARIC/ECCTIS certificate for her overseas bachelor’s degree, which she was to use to meet the English language requirement.
During the course of preparing the application, A Y & J Solicitors were advised that Mrs X’s husband would prefer to apply (for a dependant visa) with a view to travelling with Mrs X to the UK at the same time. Therefore, we quickly onboarded the dependant and assessed the application before proceeding with the case.
It came to our attention that Mrs X and her husband appeared, from their documentation, to live at different addresses. We checked in to find out more details, as this discrepancy, in itself, would have been a risk factor for the application.
Having established that the couple lived together in rented accommodation (their registered addresses were their respective family homes), we arranged additional evidence to ensure this did not cause any problems for the application, including reference letters in support of the couple’s genuiness.
Once Mrs X’s CoS had been assigned, we assisted with submitting the visa applications online and booking the necessary biometric appointment at the couple’s preferred location.
Having submitted the application, we were informed that, the application would take longer than the usual 15 working days to be approved.
This was somewhat expected, due to the family relationship between the sponsor and applicant – as a “high risk” application, we helped the sponsor and Mrs X to prepare for what was ahead (interview).
Indeed, Mrs X was called for an interview, which she attended, in person at the visa application centre.
A Y J Solicitors had met with Mrs X and her sponsor remotely on a call to go through the possible questions and also help alleviate some of the stress associated with a Home Office interview.
By the time A Y & J Solicitors had gone through what was required, Mrs X and her sponsor were ready to face the questions from the Home Office.
Mrs X and her sponsor were both interviewed separately. Mrs X attended an in-person interview at the Visa Application Centre and the sponsor was interviewed over the phone. The interviews were lengthy and intense, involving a lot of detailed questions about the business and the owner’s recruitment practices.
Having completed the interviews everyone was happy that they had done their very best and had been well prepared.
After the interview, the Home Office indicated that a decision would be issued in a few days, however, weeks later, Mrs X was still waiting for an update.
A Y J Solicitors again stepped in to help chase up the result both with the Home Office and the Visa Application Centre.
Further to our follow up, the application was approved by the Home Office and Mrs X received her and her husband’s passports containing her visa vignettes and approval letters by courier from the visa application centre.
Thankful for all the support, Mrs X is now planning her move to the UK with her husband and is looking forward to taking up the new opportunity and starting a new life in the UK.