Sunrise Solicitors are specilialist immigration lawyers based in London, UK. As one of the best immigration solicitors, we provide expert immigration advice and legal representations concerning all types of UK immigration matters. Our immigration lawyers have wealth of knowledge and extensive experience of handling immigration applications for UK visa entry clearance, switching into visas from within the UK, renewal of UK visa, indefinite leave to remain (ILR) and applications for naturalisation as a British Citizen.

The high quality of our UK visa and immigration services is self-evident from the reviews of our clients about the excellent UK visa and immigration services provided by our specialist immigration lawyers in London. Ask a question to our expert immigration lawyers for free immigration advice or you can schedule an appointment for detailed immigration advice and consultation concerning your UK visa and immigration matter. You may also find answer to your question in Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about UK visa and Immigration.

As expert immigration lawyers in London, we have successfully helped thousands of clients with their immigration cases. We can represent you in your immigration matter on fixed fee basis. We offer flexible payment terms to our clients allowing them to pay our fixed fees in instalments.

We also provide specialist legal advice and representations from our offices in Manchester and Birmingham. We can also provide specialist legal help and assistnace with divorce and family law matters.

Various immigration services provided by our specialist immigration lawyers are as follows:

Services For Immigration Applications

Our experienced immigration lawyers can prepare and submit your immigration application to the Home Office UKVI and carry out all the immigration casework on your matter until you get a decision on your immigration application from the Home Office UKVI.

As part of our immigration services for your immigration application, we will:

  • assess your eligibility by considering your personal circumstances in the light of the requirements of the Immigration Rules for you to succeed in your immigraiton application;
  • advise you on the relevant documents to be submitted in support of your immigration application;
  • assess all the documents to ensure that the documents you provide are good enough to meet the requirements of the Immigration Rules;
  • advise you on any weaknesses in your immigration application and how you can overcome such weaknesses, if any;
  • complete the online immigration application form, submit your application online and schedule your biometrics appointments with the immigration application centre;
  • prepare a detailed cover letter in support of the immigration application explaining in detail how you meet all the requirements of the Immigration Rules for your application to be approved by the Home Office, UKVI;
  • upload all the supporting documents online in support of the immigration application;
  • dealing with any enquiries received from the Home Office caseworker for any further documents or information in relation to your pending immigration application;
  • doing all the follow up work on your immigration applicaton until a decision is received from the Home Office UKVI on your immigration application.

Our specialist immigration lawyers in London can provide immigration advice and representations for following immigration applications:

UK Visa Entry Clearance Applications
Switching Visas UK
Visa Renewals
ILR Applications
Naturalisation As A British Citizen
Family Visas
Family Members Of British Citizens & Settled Persons
Spouse/Partner Visa UK
UK Work Visas
EEA Nationals & Their Family Members
Sponsor Licence
Private Life Applications
Long Residence Applications
Human Rights & Discretionary Leave Applications
Asylum & Humanitarian Protection Applications
UK Student Visa Applications
UK Visitor Visa Applications
Members Of Armed Forces & Their Family Members
British Citizenship Applications
UK Passport & Travel Document Applications
Stateless Persons Applications
Other Immigration Applications

Immigration Advice Services UK

Our immigration solicitors in London provide best immigration advice services in all types of UK visa and immigration matters. Immigration advice service for UK visa and immigration is provided by our highly experienced immigration lawyers in London who have extensive knwoledge of immigration laws and huge experience of dealing with all types of UK visa and immigration matters. As one of the best immigration lawyers in London, we provide following immigration advice service for UK visa and immigration matters:

Free Immigration Advice Service London

Need free immigration advice? Contact our free immigration solicitors in London for fast, friendly and reliable free immigration advice concerning your UK visa or immigration matter through our online enquiry form and Live Chat. We can also provide free immigration advice for Judicial Review (JR) against the Home Office UKVI. Free immigration advice online is provided 24/7 including outside our office hours. Please be advised that free immigration advice is subject to availability and discretion of our free immigration advice solicitors. 

As part of our free immigration advice service, we can also carry out free assessment of refusal letter of your UK visa and immigration application by the Home Office UKVI. If your UK visa or immigration application has been refused by the Home Office UKVI and you believe the refusal decision is unlawful, you can scan and email your refusal letter to us on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we can do free assessment of refusal decision.

READ MORE

Immigration Advice & Consultation Service London For Just £80

As specialist immigration lawyers in London, our expert team of immigration lawyers provide immigration advice service concerning all UK visa and immigration matters. You can schedule an appointment for detailed immigration advice session concerning your UK visa and immigration matter for just £80 (VAT included) during our office hours. READ MORE

Out Of Hours Immigration Advice Service London

Our out of hours team of immigration solicitors in London can provide out of hours immigration advice and consultation over the phone/Skype outside our office hours for £100 (VAT included where applicable). Such out of hours immigration advice is subject to availability of our out of hours immigration solicitors and the required immigration advice and consultation can be provided by our immigration solicitors any time outside our office hours including late night, early morning or weekends.

To book an out of hours immigration consultation outside our office hours, call our out of hours advice contact numbers: 07940 356 532 / 07900 260 925. If your call is not answered, please send a text message so that out of hours immigration solicitor can call you as soon as possible. READ MORE

Immigration Application/Documents Checking Service London

Our immigration solicitors in London can assess the supporting documents of an immigration case and advise you on the weaknesses and strengths of your immigration case. We provide immigration application / case documents checking service 24/7 including service during office hours and outside office hours. READ MORE

Challenging Home Office Refusal Decisions

Our expert team of immigration solicitors in London can help you challenge the refusal of your immigration application by assessing the reasons for refusal as given in the refusal letter and by filing an Immigration Appeal, Administrative Review, Pre-Action Protocol (PAP) or Judicial Review (JR), as necessary. Our best team of immigration lawyers and solicitors in London will prepare good grounds to challenge the refusal of your UK visa or immigration appliation.

As part of our free immigration advice service, we can carry out free assessment of refusal letter of your UK visa and immigration application by the Home Office UKVI. If your UK visa or immigration application has been refused by the Home Office UKVI and you believe the refusal decision is unlawful, you can scan and email your refusal letter to us on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we can do free assessment of the refusal decision.

Immigration Appeals Against Refusal Of UK Visa Or Immigration Application

Refused UK visa or immigration application by the Home Office UKVI? Our expert team of immigration appeals solicitors in London can help you challenge the refusal decision of the Home Office UKVI. Our appeals lawyers can provide specialist legal help and assistance with your immigration appeal. Ask a question to our best immigration appeals solicitors for free immigration advice concerning your immigration appeal.

Under section 82 of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 a person may appeal to the First Tier Tribunal (FTT) where a decision has been made to either:

  • refuse a protection claim
  • refuse a human rights claim
  • revoke protection status

If you are filing an immigration appeal from inside the UK, the appeal should be filed within 14 days after the receipt of notice of immigration decision and if you are filing an immigration appeal from outside the UK, the appeal should be filed within 28 days after the date of the receipt of the notice of immigration decision. In certain immigration cases, an applicant who made an in-country immigration application may be granted out of country right of appeal which the appellant should file with the First Tier Tribunal (FTT) within 28 days after leaving the UK. READ MORE

Administrative Review (AR) Against Home Office UKVI Decision

An Administrative Review (AR) is a review or reconsideration of your UK visa or immigration application following refusal of the same by the Home Office UKVI. Refusal of certain UK visa and immigration applications known as eligible decisions can only be challenged by way of Administrative Review (AR). If you think that the Home Office, UKVI has made a mistake about the result of your UK visa and immigration application to remain in the UK or in refusing you entry to the UK at the border you can ask the Home Office UKVI to review the decision.

This review will be done by a different UKVI official, but using the same documents and facts sent with your original UK visa or immigration application unless the refusal of the application was under the EU Settlement Scheme in which case you can send new or fresh evidence to be considered by the Home Office UKVI in Administrative Review.

If your application for settled status or pre settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme is refused by the Home Office, UKVI, you can file an Administrative Review against the refusal of your application and send new or fresh evidence to be considered as part of the Administrative Review (AR).

If decision to refuse your UK visa or immigration application is maintained following an Administrative Review (AR), you then have the legal remedy to challenge the immigration decision further by way of Pre-Action Protocol (PAP) For Judicial Review (JR) Against Home Office UKVI and Judicial Review (JR) In The Upper Tribunal (UT).

Our best team of immigration solicitors in London can help you challenge the refusal of your UK visa and immigration application by preparing strong grounds for Administrative Review (AR) and filing an Administrative Review (AR) against the Home Office UKVI decision. READ MORE

Pre-Action Protocol (PAP) For Judicial Review Against Home Office UKVI

Before filing Judicial Review (JR) against the Home Office, UKVI, you should send a Pre-Action Protocol (PAP) to the the Home Office, UKVI. Our speciliast team of Judicial Review (JR) solicitors in London can provide expert legal help and assistance with preparing and filing a Pre-Action Protocol (PAP) letter against the Home Office UKVI with a view to challenge an immigration decision of the Home Office UKVI.

A Pre-Action Protocol (PAP) letter is a letter written to the Home Office, UKVI in order to try and resolve a dispute concerning an immigration matter before court proceedings are started against the Home Office UKVI. A Pre-Action Protocol (PAP) letter may also be called a ’letter before claim’ or a ’letter before action’.  All of these terms refer to the same thing.

The purpose of Pre-Action Protocol (PAP) letter is to identify the issues in dispute and establish whether litigation with the Home Office, UKVI can be avoided. The letter contains the date and details of the immigration decision (the refusal letter), act or omission of the Home Office UKVI being challenged and a clear summary of the facts on which the Judicial Review claim against the Home Office, UKVI is based. It also contains the details of any relevant information that the applicant is seeking from the Home Office, UKVI and an explanation of why this is considered relevant.

Immigration Judicial Review (JR) proceedings against the UKVI are not normally issued until the proposed reply date given in the letter before claim has passed, unless the circumstances of the immigration case require more immediate action to be taken. Home Office UKVI, should normally respond to letter before action (pre-action protocol letter) within 14 days and Home Office UKVI may face cost implications unless there are good reasons for not responding within that period. READ MORE

Immigration Judicial Review (JR) Against Home Office UKVI

Judicial Review (JR) in immigration cases is a process whereby an unlawful immigration decision of the Home Office UKVI or an Immigration Tribunal, as the case may be, can be legally challenged by way of legal proceedings in the court. Through Judicial Review (JR) the court reviews the unlawfulness of an immigration decision and if the decision is found to be unlawful, the decision is set aside by the court so that the Home Office UKVI or the Tribunal, as the case may be, can make a fresh lawful immigration decision.

Immigration Judicial Review (JR) In The Upper Tribunal (UT)
Immigration Judicial Review (JR) In High Court
Challenging Removal from the UK

Need help with challenging Home Office UKVI refusal decision through Judicial Review (JR)? Contact our expert team of Judicial Review solicitors in London for fast, friendly, reliable and fixed fee legal services for immigration Judicial Review (JR) against the Home Office UKVI. Ask a question to our Judicial Review solicitors for free immigration advice concerning your immigration Judicial Review.  READ MORE

Reconsideration Of Naturalisation/Nationality Application

If your application for British Citizenship has been refused by the Home Office UKVI and you believe that the refusal of your application is unlawful, you can file an application for reconsideration of the Naturalisation/Nationality application. An application for reconsideration of naturalisation is made using application form NR. If the Home Office, UKVI maintains decision to refuse the application following reconsideration of the naturalisation/nationality application, such refusal decision can be challenged in court by way of Judicial Review (JR).

Need legal help with reconsideration of naturalisation application? Contact our best team of nationality solicitors in London for fast, friendly, reliable and fixed fee legal services for reconsideration of your naturalisation/nationality application. READ MORE

Challenging Refusal Of Visitor Visa UK

If your application for UK visitor visa has been refused by the Entry Clearance Officer (ECO) and you believe that your visitor visa refusal is based on wrong reasons for refusal, you can challenge the visitor visa refusal by way of Pre-Action Protocol (PAP) and Judicial Review in the Upper Tribunal. Need help with challenging visitor visa refusal? Contact our expert team of visitor visa solicitors for fast, friendly, reliable and fixed fee legal services for challenging your visitor visa refusal for UK. Ask a question to our specialist visitor visa solicitors for free immigration advice concerning the refusal of your UK visitor visa. READ MORE

Why Choose Our Immigration Solicitors In London?

There are a number of reasons why you should choose our immigration solicitors in London to deal with your UK visa, immigration application, immigration appeal or Judicial Review (JR) which include the following:

  • fast, friendly, reliable and fixed fee UK visa and immigration services for your immigration matter;
  • specialist knowledge of UK visa and immigration laws;
  • fixed fees for UK visa and immigration cases with no hidden costs;
  • 15 plus years of experience of our Immigration Solicitors dealing with UK visa and immigration matters;
  • honest and upfront UK visa and immigration advice;
  • super priority service for certain immigration applications to be decided within 24 hours;
  • very high success rate and high quality UK visa and immigration service as self-evident from reviews of our clients;
  • good track record of success in challenging Home Office refusal decisions;
  • very clear, transparent and thorough approach in achieving success in UK visa and immigration matters;
  • high quality control through active supervision by the immigration supervisors;
  • providing remote UK immigration services worldwide through our offices in London, Manchester and Birmingham.

FAQs - Immigration Solicitors London

How much does an immigration solicitor in London cost for helping with an immigration matter?

Fee charged by immigration solicitors in London for providing legal help and assistance with immigration cases varies from case to case depending on the type of immigration matter, complexity of the immigration matter and the volume of work involved in the immigration case. Our expert team of immigration lawyers in London normally charge fixed fee for providing legal help and assistance with the immigration cases.

Can immigration lawyers in London deal with my immigration case whilst I am abroad?

Yes, it is possible to engange immigration solicitors in London for legal help and assistance with an immigration case whilst you are abroad. Our immigration solicitors in London can provide required legal help and assistance using the modern means of communications including via Phone, Emails, Skype and WhatsApp, etc. We often provide immigration legal services to clients with UK visa entry clearance applications and entry clearance appeals. Our expert team of UK visa solicitors can represent you in your application for UK visa entry clearance and carry out all the work on your application until a decision is made by the Entry Clearance Officer (ECO) on your UK visa entry clearance application.

Can immigration lawyers in London help me with challenging UK visa refusal?

Whether you are inside the UK or outside the UK, you can engage immigration lawyers in London to help you challenge the refusal of your immigration application. If your immigration application has been refused by the Home Office UKVI and you believe the refusal is unlawful, you can scan and email your refusal letter to us on enquiries@sunrisesolicitors.co.uk and we can do free assessment of refusal decision.

How can I find best immigration solicitors in London?

As there are many immigration solicitors in London, it is difficult to judge which one is good to deal with your immigration case. An immigration solicitor must be a qualified solicitor regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA). The knowledge and experience of the immigration solicitor is relevant in judging how good the immigration solicitor in London is to handle your case compentently and digligently.

Sunrise Solicitors are recognised as one of the top immigration law firms in London & the UK. We have a team of best immigration solicitors & lawyers with vast knowledge and experience of handling complex immigration matters. We have succcessfully helped thousands of immigration clients for more than a decade. The high quality of our immigration services is self-evident from the clients' reviews about exceptional immigration services rendered by our immigration solicitors in London. Ask a question to our expert team of immigration lawyers in London for free immigration advice.

Immigration Solicitors London: Reviews

As one of the best immigration solicitors in London, we have 4.7 Star Rated Google Reviews from 100s of our clients about our excellent immigration services. This shows the high quality of immigration service provided by our immigration lawyers in London.

How can immigration solicitors in London help with my immigration case?

Our immigration solicitors and lawyers in London are specialists in UK immigration laws and procedures. We can prepare and submit your immigration application to the Home Office UKVI. We provide Super Priority Service for certain immigration applications to get decision within 24 hours. We can fully represent you in your immigration matter at all stages of the immigration applications to the Home Office UKVI including UK visa Entry Clearance applications, switching into UK visa from within the UK, extension/renewal of UK visas, Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) applications, Naturalisation as a British Citizen and application for British passport. 

If your immigration application is refused by the Home Office UKVI, our immigration solicitors in London can help you challenge the refusal decision of your immigration application by way of immigration appeal, Administrative Review (AR), Pre Action Protocol (PAP) and Judicial Review (JR).

Can immigration solicitors in London act for my immigration case on no win no fee basis?

Our immigration law solicitors in London can act for certain immigration matters on win no fee basis. We can assess the merits of an immigration case and advise on taking on the matter on no win no fee basis. We will only consider taking on an immigration case on no win no fee basis if there are realistic prospects of success in an immigration case.

Can immigration solicitors in London give free UK immigration advice?

Our free immigration advice solicitors in London can provide free immigration advice online through our online enquiry form. Ask a question to our immigration law specialists in London for free immigration advice.

How can I contact immigration solicitors in London?

Contact details of our immigration solicitors in London are as follows:

Address:

228 Merton High Street

London

SW19 1AU

Tel: 020 8543 0999

Emergency Contact Numbers:

07900 260 925

07940 356 532

Fax: 020 8543 0900

Email: enquiries@sunrisesolicitors.co.uk

Can immigration solicitors in London work on my immigration case remotely without the need to attend their offices in London?

Our specialist immigration lawyers in London can carry out all the casework on your immigration matter remotely without the need for you to attend our office in London to provide instructions or evidence related to the immigration case. You can scan and email all your supporting documents to our immigration solicitors in London. Alternatively, you can send a colour copy of your original documents to our immigration solicitors in London. We will discuss your immigration case using the moderns means of communications including Skype, WhatsApp, Phone, Emails etc.

Can immigration solicitors in London help me with my immigration case during coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak?

During the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19), our emergency team of immigration solicitors has put in place contingency plans to deal with your UK immigration matter remotely without the need to attend our offices in London.

Due to Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and the closure of public transport facilities in London, we are dealing with most immigration matters of our clients remotely whereby our clients do not have to attend our offices in London and can scan and email their documents to us so that they do not have to unnecessarily put themselves at risk of travelling and having in-person interaction with other people.

FAQs - Free Immigration Advice UK

How can I get free UK immigration advice?

You can get free immigration advice UK by asking a question to our expert team of free immigration advice solicitors through our online enquiry form or live online chat with one of our immigration solicitors.

What will be covered by free UK immigration advice service?

Free immigration advice UK will cover the following:

  • General immigration advice on UK immigration matters;
  • Free immigration advice for Judicial Review matters;
  • Free assessment of the Home Office UKVI refusal decisions.

Can I get free immigration advice if my immigration matter is complicated or urgent?

Free immigration advice is not for those persons who have very complicated immigration case as full assessment of the immigration case needs to be carried out before giving immigration advice in complext immigration matters. You can schedule an appointment for detailed immigration advice session to discuss your immigration matter with one of our immigration solicitors if your immigration case is complex or extremely urgent. 

What is not covered under free immigration advice?

We do not give free immigration advice on documentary evidence or where case is very complicated. Immigration advice in such immigration matters is given upon full assessment of the immigration matter to ensure that immigration advice given is correct and in line with relevant immigration laws and facts.

How long free immigration advice solicitors will take to respond to my free immigration advice enquiry?

Our free immigration advice solicitors aim to respond to all free immigration advice enquiries within 24 hours of receiving such free advice enquiries.

What are useful sources for free online UK immigration advice and information?

You can rely on following useful online sources to find an answer to your question about UK visa and immigration application:

Our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

If you have a question about UK visa and Immigration application, you may be able to fina an answer to your question in our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) page.

Home Office UKVI Website

The Home Office UKVI official website is a useful source online source of advice and information about UK visa and immigration applications.

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UK Visa & Immigration Fees Page

You can find out correct fee for a UK visa or immigration application by visiting Home office UK Visa and Immigration Fees page.

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UK Immigration Rules

UK Immigration Rules set out the requirements an applicant has to meet to succeed in a visa or immigration application. All UK visa and immigration applications are decided in accordance with the criteria as set out in the UK Immigration Rules.

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UK Visa & Immigration Application Forms

The Home Office UKVI visa and immigration application forms page is a useful source to find an application form to apply for UK visa entry clearance, switching from one visa, category to another or to extend your stay in the UK.

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British Citizenship Application Forms

You can visit the Home Office UKVI page for Citizenship Application Forms to find an application form in order to apply for British Citizenship.

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Visa and Immigration Operational Guidance

Home Office Visa and Immigration Operational Guidance also known as Home Office Policy Guidance is an impotant source to learn about the requirements of immigration laws with regards to various UK visa and Immigration applications.

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How To Apply To The EU Settlement Scheme?

Home Office UKVI page on applying for settled or pre-settled status under the EU settlement scheme is an important source of useful information and guidance for EU nationals and their family members who want to apply for pre-settled or settled status under the EU settlement scheme.

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Live Permanently In The UK

Home Office UKVI pae Live Permanently In The UK is an important source of useful information for those who want to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) in the UK.

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Oanda Currency Coverter

Oanda Currency Coverter is the Home Office UKVI approved site for conversion of foreign currency to Great Britain Pound (GBP) for UK visa and immigration purposes.

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FAQs - Fiancé(e) Visa UK

What is the definition of a fiancé(e)?

A fiancé(e) is a person who wishes to enter the UK with a view to marriage to a sponsor who is either:

  • already present and settled in the UK; or
  • will be admitted for settlement in the UK when arriving there, and,
  • intends permanent settlement in the UK.

What is the definition of a sponsor?

In a fiancé(e) visa application the term ‘sponsor’ refers to the person whom the applicant is intending to marry in the UK upon entry in the UK as a fiancé(e).

What is the age requirement for fiancé(e) visa?

Both the applicant and the UK fiancé(e) of the applicant must be aged 18 or over for fiancé(e) visa application to succeed. In cases where the applicant is within a couple of months of their 18th birthday, and the other party is 18 or over, the Entry Clearance Officer (ECO) has discretion to issue UK visa entry clearance but valid only from when the person under 18 has reached their 18th birthday.

What evidence is required of ‘intention to live together’?

Intention to live permanently with the other means an intention to live together, evidenced by a clear commitment from both parties that they will live together permanently in the UK immediately following the outcome of the application in question or as soon as circumstances permit.

In a case considered in the High Court in November 1996, Keen J held that:

‘The concept of intention is no doubt a complex one, but it appears to me that one can indeed have a genuine intention, notwithstanding that the carrying out of that intention is dependent on, or could be frustrated by, some extraneous event.’

He went on to conclude that the requirement of the Rules relating to the intention of the parties to the marriage could be met where the British citizen (or legally resident foreign national) spouse insisted on remaining in the UK. In other words, a conditional intention to live together could be sufficient to meet the ‘intention to live together permanently’ requirement.

Is there a requirement to have met?

Yes, the Immigration Rules for fiancé(e) visa application require that both the applicant and the UK sponsor must have met each other in person otherwise the application for fiancé(e) visa can be refused by the Entry Clearance Oficer (ECO) for this reason.

In case of Abdulmajid Esmail Jaffer, the Tribunal held that ‘to have met’ meant something more than a mutual sighting. They also felt that a mere coming face-to-face followed by telephone or written contact would be insufficient to satisfy the rule, as would a family background together with such a face-to-face meeting. In their view the essential test of whether the rule had been satisfied was whether the couple had had a face-to-face meeting which in itself had resulted in the making of mutual acquaintance.

A relationship that has developed over the Internet would not satisfy the ‘to have met’ requirement unless the relationship included a personal face-to-face meeting between the couple concerned. Evidence of a face-to-face meeting might include a travel history, relevant email exchanges etc.

What evidence is required to prove freedom to marry?

For single adults, the Registrar normally accepts the parties’ declaration that they are free to marry. The ECO may, therefore, accept a similar verbal statement by an applicant, together with any supporting correspondence from the person he / she is going to marry. This is unless there are strong grounds to believe that one of the parties is still married/in a civil partnership or has been married / in a civil partnership previously and is concealing this fact. In such cases the ECO may make whatever enquiries as seem appropriate.

Where the ECO has doubts about an applicant’s intention to marry, the ECO may ask to see evidence of freedom to marry before issuing an entry clearance which may include:

  • Widowed person: death certificate of the late spouse.
  • Surviving civil partner: death certificate of the deceased civil partner.
  • Divorced person: evidence of divorce e.g. a divorce certificate.
  • Dissolved civil partnership: evidence of the dissolution, for example, dissolution certificate.

What is the cost of fiancé(e) visa UK?

The Home Office UKVI fee for fiancé(e) visa UK is £1523.

In addition to the UK visa fee, you will also have to pay the legal costs of solicitors if you are getting professional services for your fiancé(e) visa UK. Fixed fees charged by our expert team of fiancé(e) visa solicitors are given in the table below:

Our Service Our Fee
One-Off immigration consultation for fiancé(e) visa Entry Clearance £80 (no VAT)
One-Off Application Checking Service / Documents Assessment £240 (no VAT)
Full service for fiancé(e) visa Entry Clearance to cover all the work until decision by the Entry Clearance Officer (ECO) From £1,000 To £2,000 (no VAT)

The agreed fixed fee will depend on the complexity of the fiancé(e) visa entry clearance application and the volume of casework involved in the application.

When is the fiancé(e) visa UK fee paid?

Fiancé(e) visa UK fee is paid to the Home Office UKVI at the time of online submissino of the fiancé(e) visa application.

Do I have to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge for fiancé(e) visa UK?

Applicants for fiancé(e) visa UK do not have to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) for their fiancé(e) visa application.

Will I lose the Home Office UKVI fee for fiancé(e) visa if my fiancé(e) visa application is refused by the Entry Clearance Officer (ECO)?

In the event of refusal of fiancé(e) visa application, the applicant will lose his/her UK visa fee because the fiancé(e) visa fee will not be refunded to the applicant. It is therefore important to have proper legal help and assistance with the preparation and submission of the fiancé(e) visa application.

FAQs - Proposed Civil Partner Visa UK

What is the definition of a proposed civil partner?

A proposed civil partner is a person who wishes to legally register his / her partnership with another person of the same sex.

What is the definition of a sponsor?

In an application as a proposed civil partner, the ‘sponsor’ is the person with whom the applicant intends to register a civil partnership.

What is the age requirement for proposed civil partner visa UK?

Both the applicant and the UK proposed civil partner of the applicant must be aged 18 or over for proposed civil partner visa application to succeed. In cases where the applicant is within a couple of months of their 18th birthday, and the other party is 18 or over, the Entry Clearance Officer (ECO) has discretion to issue UK visa entry clearance but valid only from when the person under 18 has reached their 18th birthday.

What evidence is required of ‘intention to live together’?

Intention to live permanently with the other means an intention to live together, evidenced by a clear commitment from both parties that they will live together permanently in the UK immediately following the outcome of the application in question or as soon as circumstances permit.

In a case considered in the High Court in November 1996, Keen J held that:

‘The concept of intention is no doubt a complex one, but it appears to me that one can indeed have a genuine intention, notwithstanding that the carrying out of that intention is dependent on, or could be frustrated by, some extraneous event.’

He went on to conclude that the requirement of the Rules relating to the intention of the parties to the marriage could be met where the British citizen (or legally resident foreign national) spouse insisted on remaining in the UK. In other words, a conditional intention to live together could be sufficient to meet the ‘intention to live together permanently’ requirement.

Is there a requirement to have met?

Yes, the Immigration Rules for proposed civil partner visa application require that both the applicant and the UK sponsor must have met each other in person otherwise the application for proposed civil partner visa can be refused by the Entry Clearance Oficer (ECO) for this reason.

In case of Abdulmajid Esmail Jaffer, the Tribunal held that ‘to have met’ meant something more than a mutual sighting. They also felt that a mere coming face-to-face followed by telephone or written contact would be insufficient to satisfy the rule, as would a family background together with such a face-to-face meeting. In their view the essential test of whether the rule had been satisfied was whether the couple had had a face-to-face meeting which in itself had resulted in the making of mutual acquaintance.

A relationship that has developed over the Internet would not satisfy the ‘to have met’ requirement unless the relationship included a personal face-to-face meeting between the couple concerned. Evidence of a face-to-face meeting might include a travel history, relevant email exchanges etc.

What evidence is required to prove freedom to marry?

For single adults, the Registrar normally accepts the parties’ declaration that they are free to marry. The ECO may, therefore, accept a similar verbal statement by an applicant, together with any supporting correspondence from the person he / she is going to marry. This is unless there are strong grounds to believe that one of the parties is still married/in a civil partnership or has been married / in a civil partnership previously and is concealing this fact. In such cases the ECO may make whatever enquiries as seem appropriate.

Where the ECO has doubts about an applicant’s intention to marry, the ECO may ask to see evidence of freedom to marry before issuing an entry clearance which may include:

  • Widowed person: death certificate of the late spouse.
  • Surviving civil partner: death certificate of the deceased civil partner.
  • Divorced person: evidence of divorce e.g. a divorce certificate.
  • Dissolved civil partnership: evidence of the dissolution, for example, dissolution certificate.

What is the cost of proposed civil partner visa UK?

The Home Office UKVI fee for proposed civil partner visa UK is £1523.

In addition to the UK visa fee, you will also have to pay the legal costs of solicitors if you are getting professional services for your proposed civil partner visa UK. Fixed fees charged by our expert team of proposed civil partner visa solicitors are given in the table below:

Our Service Our Fee
One-Off immigration consultation for proposed civil partner visa Entry Clearance £80 (no VAT)
One-Off Application Checking Service / Documents Assessment £240 (no VAT)
Full service for proposed civil partner visa Entry Clearance to cover all the work until decision by the Entry Clearance Officer (ECO) From £1,000 To £2,000 (no VAT)

The agreed fixed fee will depend on the complexity of the proposed civil partner visa entry clearance application and the volume of casework involved in the application.

When is the proposed civil partner visa UK fee paid?

Proposed civil partner visa UK fee is paid to the Home Office UKVI at the time of online submissino of the proposed civil partner visa application.

Do I have to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge for proposed civil partner visa UK?

Applicants for proposed civil partner visa UK do not have to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) for their proposed civil partner visa application.

Will I lose the Home Office UKVI fee for proposed civil partner visa if my proposed civil partner visa application is refused by the Entry Clearance Officer (ECO)?

In the event of refusal of proposed civil partner visa application, the applicant will lose his/her UK visa fee because the proposed civil partner visa fee will not be refunded to the applicant. It is therefore important to have proper legal help and assistance with the preparation and submission of the proposed civil partner visa application.

FAQs - Spouse Visa Entry Clearance UK

What are the useful online sources for information about spouse visa entry clearance for UK?

 You can rely on following useful online sources to find an answer to your question about UK spouse visa entry clearance application:

How To Apply For Switching Into Spouse Visa Online

The Home Office UKVI website gives you access to the online application form to apply for switching into spouse visa online from inside the UK.

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Appendix FM: Immigration Rules

Appendix FM to the UK Immigration Rules sets out the requirements an applicant has to meet for switching into spouse visa from inside the UK.

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Appendix FM SE: Immigration Rules

Appendix FM SE to the Immigration Rules sets out the specified documents to meet the financial requirement for switching into spouse visa from inside the UK.

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Appendix FM Financial Requirement: Home Office Guidance

The Home Office UKVI guidance on meeting the financial requirement is a useful source of information and guidance on how to meet the financial requirement for switching into spouse visa from inside the UK.

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Approved English Language Tests For Switching Into Spouse Visa

The Home Office UKVI page Applying for a UK visa: approved English language tests is a useful source of information about approved English language test centres in the UK and around the world for spouse visa application.

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Partner, Divorce & Dissolution Guidance UKVI

The Home Office UKVI guidance: Partner, Divorce & Dissolution Guidance UKVI is a useful source of information and guidance about the validity of marriage, divorce, civil partnership or dissolution of civil partnership.

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Upper Tribunal decision in CB (Brazil) (validity of marriage: proxy marriage) [2008] UKAIT 00080 on the recognition of proxy marriages in the UK

This case law deals with the validity of proxy marriages and whether or not such marriages are considered as legally recognised in the UK.

What documents do I need to apply for UK spouse visa entry clearance?

The documentary evidence to be submitted in support of the spouse visa entry clearance for UK varies from case to case depending on the personal circumstances of the applicant and the sponsor. Our specialist spouse visa solicitors can provide you a comprehensive list of supporting documents after fully assessing the personal circumstances of the applicant and the UK sponsor.

Can I track my UK spouse visa application online?

It is no longer possible to track the status of your spouse visa application online. To know the current status of your spouse visa application, you must use Home Office UKVI email or phone option, which unfortunately is NOT FREE. You must provide your GWF number when calling or emailing them.

For how long the UK visa is granted if my application for spouse visa entry clearance is successful?

As a result of your spouse visa entry clearance application being successful, you will be issued with vigenette endorsed on your passport valid for 30 days to facilitate your entry in the UK.

Within 10 working days after your entry in the UK during the given 30 days, you should collect your Biometric Resident Permit (BRP) card from the designated pre-selected post office. Your UK visa entry clearance will be valid for 33 months on your Biometric Resident Permit (BRP) card.

How long does a UK spouse visa entry clearance application take?

The processing time of the spouse visa entry clearance application are as follows:

Standard Service

An application under standard service is decided normally within 12 weeks after the enrolment of biometrics at the UK visa application centre.

Priority Service

An application under Priority Service is normally decided within 6 to 8 weeks after the enrolment of biometrics at the UK visa application centre.

Super Priority Service

An applicaton for spouse visa entry clearance under Super Priority Service is normally decided within 24 hours after the enrolment of biometrics at the UK visa application centre. The Super Priority Service is not available from most of the countries at present.

How much do you have to earn to bring your spouse to the UK on spouse visa?

Your sponsor must be earning not less than £18,600 gross per year if you are applying for spouse visa with no dependent children.

Will I get right to appeal against the refusal decision if my spouse visa entry clearance application is refused by the Entry Clearance Officer (ECO)?

If your spouse visa entry clearance application is refused by the Entry Clearance Officer (ECO) of the Home Office UKVI, you will get a right of appeal to challenge the refusal of your spouse visa entry clearance application. You should file appeal against spouse visa entry clearance refusal within 28 days after receiving the refusal decision.

Am I allowed to work in the UK on spouse visa?

Yes, you will have right to work full time whilst living in the UK on spouse visa.

FAQs - Switching Into Spouse Visa UK (5 Years Route)

What are useful online sources of information and guidance for switching into spouse visa under 5 years route?

You can rely on following useful online sources to find an answer to your question about switching into spouse visa 5 years route from inside the UK:

Apply Online For Switching Into Spouse Visa

The Home Office UKVI website gives you access to the online application form FLR (M) to apply for switching into spouse visa under 5 years route.

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Appendix FM: Immigration Rules

Appendix FM to the UK Immigration Rules sets out the requirements an applicant for switching into spouse visa under 5 years route from inside the UK.

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Appendix FM SE: Immigration Rules

Appendix FM SE to the Immigration Rules sets out the specified documents to meet the financial requirement for switching into spouse visa from inside the UK.

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Appendix FM Financial Requirement: Home Office Guidance

The Home Office UKVI guidance on meeting the financial requirement is a useful source of information and guidance on how to meet the financial requirement for switching into spouse visa from inside the UK.

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Approved English Language Tests

The Home Office UKVI page Applying for a UK visa: approved English language tests is a useful source of information about approved English language test centres in the UK and around the world for spouse visa application.

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Partner, Divorce & Dissolution Guidance UKVI

The Home Office UKVI guidance: Partner, Divorce & Dissolution Guidance UKVI is a useful source of information and guidance about the validity of marriage, divorce, civil partnership or dissolution of civil partnership.

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Upper Tribunal decision in CB (Brazil) (validity of marriage: proxy marriage) [2008] UKAIT 00080 on the recognition of proxy marriages in the UK

This case law deals with the validity of proxy marriages and whether or not such marriages are considered as legally recognised in the UK.

How soon can I apply for switching into spouse visa from inside the UK?

You can apply for switching into spouse visa from inside the UK any time during the validity of your current leave to remain or visa. You do not necessarily have to wait until 28 days before the expiry of your current leave rather it is better to switch earlier, if possible so that your qualifying time for ILR can start as soon you have switched into 5 years route.

How much does it cost to switch into spouse visa?

The Home Office UKVI fees for switching into spouse visa 5 years route are as follows:

  • Application fee: £1033
  • Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS): £1,000
  • Biometrics Enrolment Fee: £19.20
  • Super Priority Service for decision within 24 hours (Optional): £800

In addition to the Home Office UKVI fees for spouse visa under 5 years route, you will also have to pay the solicitors legal costs if you are getting legal help and assistance of a solicitor for switcing into spouse visa under 5 years route. Click here to check our fixed fee for switching into spouse visa 5 years route.

Can I switch from student visa to spouse visa (5 years route) from inside the UK?

Yes, you can apply for switching from Tier 4 General Student visa to spouse visa (5 years route) from inside the UK after you are married to a British Citizen or settled person. UK immigration Rules require that you must not be in breach of immigration laws to be able to switch from Tier 4 General student visa to spouse visa (5 years route).

Can I switch from Tier 2 to spouse visa from inside the UK?

Yes, a Tier 2 Migrant who is married to a British Citizen or settled person can switch from Tier 2 visa to spouse visa (5 years route) from inside the UK.

Can I switch from Tier 5 to Spouse visa?

Yes, a Tier 5 Migrant who is married to a British Citizen or settled person can switch from Tier 5 visa to spouse visa (5 years route) from inside the UK.

What is the processing time for switching into spouse visa (5 years route)?

The processing time for switching into spouse visa (5 years route) is dependent on the type of service you use to apply for switching into spouse visa. The processing times for switching into spouse visa (5 years route) are as follows:

Standard Service

An application for switching into spouse visa under standard service is likely to be decided by the Home Office UKVI within 3 to 6 months.

Priority Service

An application for switching into spouse visa under priority service is likely to be decided within 5 working days.

Super Priority Service

An application for switching into spouse visa under the Super Priority Service is likely to be decided within 24 hours.

FAQs - Renewal Of Spouse Visa (5 Years Route)

What are useful online sources of information and guidance for renewal of spouse visa under 5 years route?

You can rely on following useful online sources to find an answer to your question about extension of spouse visa 5 years route:

Apply Online For Renewal Of Spouse Visa

The Home Office UKVI website gives you access to the online application form FLR (M) to apply for renewal of spouse visa under 5 years route.

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Appendix FM: Immigration Rules

Appendix FM to the UK Immigration Rules sets out the requirements an applicant for renewal of spouse visa under 5 years route.

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Appendix FM SE: Immigration Rules

Appendix FM SE to the Immigration Rules sets out the specified documents to meet the financial requirement for renewal of spouse visa.

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Appendix FM Financial Requirement: Home Office Guidance

The Home Office UKVI guidance on meeting the financial requirement is a useful source of information and guidance on how to meet the financial requirement for extension/renewal of spouse visa.

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Approved English Language Tests

The Home Office UKVI page Applying for a UK visa: approved English language tests is a useful source of information about approved English language test centres in the UK and around the world for spouse visa application.

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Partner, Divorce & Dissolution Guidance UKVI

The Home Office UKVI guidance: Partner, Divorce & Dissolution Guidance UKVI is a useful source of information and guidance about the validity of marriage, divorce, civil partnership or dissolution of civil partnership.

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What if my spouse visa renewal/extension application is not successful?

If your spouse visa renewal application is unsuccessful, you may have one of the two options available to you:

Option to re-apply within 14 days

You can re-apply for spouse visa renewal within 14 days of the deadline for filing an appeal against the refusal has expired. Our expert team of spouse visa solicitors can provide the required legal help and assistance for re-applying for spouse visa renewal after refusal.

Option to file an appeal against the refusal

You can file an appeal against the refusal of your spouse visa renewal within 14 days of the refusal decision. Our specialist appeal lawyers can provide expert legal help and assistance with your appeal to the First Tier Tribunal (FTT) to challenge the refusal of  your spouse visa renewal.

You should take appropriate legal advice before choosing the right option for you in your given circumstances.

What are the most common reasons for refusal of spouse visa renewal application under 5 years route?

The most common reasons for refusal of spouse visa renewal under 5 years route include the following:

  • not meeting the financial requirement;
  • not meeting the English language requirement;
  • Home Office UKVI not satisfied that the relationship with the British or settled spouse is still subsisting;
  • general grounds for refusal such as allegation by the Home Office UKVI of applicant using proxy for TOEIC test previously, making false representations, etc.

Can Home Office grant me leave under 10 years route if I do not meet the requirements under 5 years route?

Yes, it is very common for the Home Office UKVI to grant leave to remain under 10 years route where the applicant allegedly does not meet the requirements for grant of leave under the 5 years route.

In the event of Home Office granting leave under 10 years route, the applicant will not be given appeal right to challenge the refusal in the First Tier Tribunal. Such decision of the Home Office UKVI can only be challenged by way of Judicial Review in the Upper Tribunal.

Our expert team of Judicial Review solicitors can help you with your Judicial Review against the Home Office UKVI decision to grant you leave under 10 years route instead of 5 years route if you believe that the decision not to grant under 5 years route is wrong and unlawful.

How long does spouse visa extension/renewal take?

The processing time for renewal of spouse visa (5 years route) is dependent on the type of service you use to apply for extension of your spouse visa. The processing times for renewal of spouse visa (5 years route) are as follows:

Standard Service

An application for spouse visa renewal under standard service is likely to be decided by the Home Office UKVI within 3 to 6 months.

Priority Service

An application for extension of spouse visa under priority service is likely to be decided within 5 working days.

Super Priority Service

An application for spouse visa renewal under the Super Priority Service is likely to be decided within 24 hours.

How much does it cost to renew spouse visa UK?

The Home Office UKVI fees for renewal of spouse visa 5 years route are as follows:

  • Application fee: £1033
  • Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS): £1,000
  • Biometrics Enrolment Fee: £19.20
  • Super Priority Service for decision within 24 hours (Optional): £800

In addition to the Home Office UKVI fees for renewal of spouse visa under 5 years route, you will also have to pay the solicitors legal costs if you are getting legal help and assistance of a solicitor for renewal of spouse visa under 5 years route. Click here to check our fixed fees for spouse visa renewal under 5 years route.

Which English test is required for spouse visa extension under 5 years route?

You will need to pass the Home Office UKVI approved English test known as IELTS Life Skills at level A2 (listening and speaking only) for the renewal of your spouse visa under 5 years route.

How soon can I apply for spouse visa extension/renewal?

You can apply for spouse visa renewal any time within 28 days before completing 30 months residence in the UK on spouse visa OR before your spouse visa expires.

Is there a residence requirement for spouse visa renewal under 5 years route?

Under the UK immigration Rules, there is no specified residence requirement for renewal of spouse visa. However, as the spouse visa category is a settlement category, it is expected that the applicant has intention to live permanently in the UK with the UK sponsor in order to settle in the UK. Long absences from the UK may raise a question mark on the applicant's intention to live permanently in the UK with the UK sponsor.

What documents are required for spouse visa extension/renewal under 5 years route?

The documents to be submitted in support of the spouse visa renewal will vary depending on the personal circumstances of the applicant and the UK sponsor. Generally spaking, you may need to provide various documents in support of your spouse visa renewal under 5 years which may include the following:

  • your current and previous passports
  • your biometric residence permit
  • your spouse's immigration status documents e.g. British passport or ILR BRP card
  • evidence of relationship with your spouse including marriage certificate and evidence of cohabitation with your spouse
  • evidence to show how you meet the financial requirement of earning £18,600 or mroe e.g. pay slips, bank statements and other relevant documents as per your circumstances
  • evidence of your accommodation in the UK
  • evidence of meeting English language requirement e.g. English test certificate or degree certificate etc
  • if either the applicant or the UK sponsor was previously married, the divorce certificate of the applicant or the sponsor, as the case may be

It is pertinent to note that the supporting document to meet the financial requirement will vary from case to case depending on how the financial requirement is being met. Our expert team of solicitors for spouse visa renewal can assess your personal circumstances fully and give you a complete list of all the documents required to be submitted in your application as per your personal circumstances.

FAQs - ILR Spouse Visa (5 Years Route)

How can I apply for ILR as a spouse under 5 years route?

You can apply for ILR as a spouse under 5 years route by completing application form SET (M) online.

When can I apply for ILR as a spouse under 5 years route?

You can apply for ILR as a spouse under 5 year within 28 days before completion of 5 years residence with leave to remain as a spouse under 5 years route.

Can I apply for ILR as a spouse after 2.5 years?

No, you cannot apply for ILR until you have completed 5 years residence in the UK unde 5 years spouse visa route. Prior to 9 July 2012, it was possible to apply for ILR after 2 years residence in the UK on spouse visa but as a result of change in Immigration Rules in 2012 the ILR qualifying period for spouse visa was changed to 5 years under the 5 years route.

How much does spouse visa ILR cost?

The Home Office UKVI fees for ILR as a spouse under 5 years route are as follows:

  • Application fee: £2389
  • Biometrics Enrolment Fee: £19.20
  • Super Priority Service for decision within 24 hours (Optional): £800

In addition to the Home Office UKVI fees for ILR as a spouse under 5 years route, you will also have to pay the solicitors legal costs if you are getting legal help and assistance of a solicitor for ILR as a spouse under 5 years route. Our fixed fees for spouse visa ILR under 5 years route are given in the table below:

Our Service Our Fee
One-off immigration consultation/advice for spouse visa ILR under 5 years route £80 (inclusive of VAT)
One-Off Spouse Visa Application Checking Service / Documents Assessment £240 (inclusive of VAT)
Full service for spouse visa ILR (5 years route) to  cover all the work until decision by the Home Office UKVI From £800 + VAT To £2,000 + VAT

The agreed fixed fee will depend on the complexity of the application and the volume of casework involved in the application.

Which English test is required for spouse visa ILR under 5 years route?

You will need to pass the Home Office UKVI approved English test known as IELTS Life Skills at level B1 (listening and speaking only) for your spouse visa ILR under 5 years route.

Is there absences criteria for ILR as a spouse under 5 years route?

Under the UK immigration Rules, there is no specific provisions with regards to absences from the UK whilst on spouse visa. However, as the spouse visa category is a settlement category, it is expected that the applicant has intention to live permanently in the UK with the UK sponsor in order to settle in the UK. Long absences from the UK may raise a question mark on the applicant's intention to live permanently in the UK with the UK sponsor.

The requirement of not being absent for more than 180 days in each year does not apply to spouse visa ILR applications.

What is spouse visa ILR salary requirement?

The immigration rules require that an applicant who is applying for ILR as a spouse with no dependent children should have a combined (applicant's and sponsor's) salaried  income of not less than £18,600 gross per year.

FAQs - 20 Years Long Residence

I have lived in the UK for 20 years continously but was in prison for 4 months as a result of a criminal conviction. Can I apply for leave to remain on the basis of 20 years long residence?

Your application for 20 years long residence may not succeed becuase as a result of prison sentence, the continuity of 20 years long residence is broken.

FAQs - Tier 2 General Visa Entry Clearance UK

How can I apply for Tier 2 General Visa Entry Clearance from outside the UK?

You can apply for Tier 2 General visa entry clearance for UK online. You’ll need to have your fingerprints and photograph taken at a visa application centre (to get a biometric residence permit) as part of your Tier 2 General visa entry clearance application.

You’ll have to collect your biometric residence permit within 10 days of when you said you’d arrive in the UK.

What is the job skill level required for Tier 2 General visa entry clearance?

For Tier 2 General visa entry clearance, the Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) assigned by your prospective employer must confirm that:

What is Shortage Occupations List (SOL) for Tier 2 General visa for UK?

The shortage occupation list is an official list of occupations as given in Appendix K of the Immigration Rules for which there are not enough resident workers to fill job vacancies. The shortage occupation lists are recommended by the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) and are revised periodically.

You will be awarded 30 points if your job was on a shortage occupation list at the time your Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) was assigned by your Tier 2 General sponsor.

There is one list for the whole of the UK and a further additional list for Scotland. If you want to be awarded points for a job on the shortage occupation list in Scotland, you must be undertaking that job in Scotland.

You should confirm with your Tier 2 General sponsor that they have indicated that your job is a shortage occupation in the relevant field on the Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS). You should also confirm with your Tier 2 General sponsor that the SOC code and job description on the Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) show that the job is one of those included on the shortage occupation list.

In general, if a role is on the shortage occupation list, your sponsor is not required to advertise the position.

Can I apply for Tier 2 General visa entry clearance as a New Entrant?

Yes, it is possible to apply for Tier 2 General visa entry clearance from outside the UK as a New Entrant. According to Appendix J of the Immigration Ruels, new entrant salary rate will apply if the Tier 2 General applicant:

  • was under the age of 26 on the date the application was made; and
  • is applying for entry clearance or leave to remain (not for indefinite leave to remain); and
  • is not applying for a grant of leave that would extend his total stay in Tier 2 beyond 3 years and 1 month.

What is the processing time for Tier 2 General visa entry clearance application?

If you apply for Tier 2 General visa entry clearance using standard service, your Tier 2 General visa application is likely to be decided in about 3 weeks.

If you apply for Tier 2 General visa entry clearance using priority service, your Tier 2 General visa application is likely to be decided within 5 working days.

What if my prospective employer does not have the Tier 2 General sponsor licence to sponsor me for Tier 2 General visa for UK?

If your prospective employer does not have the Tier 2 General sponsor licence to sponsor you for your Tier 2 General visa entry clearance, our expert team of sponsor licence solicitors can help your prospective employer to apply for Tier 2 General sponsor licence so that your employer is able to sponsor you for Tier 2 General visa entry clearance for UK.

What is the minimum salary requirement for Tier 2 General visa entry clearance application?

You’ll usually need to be paid at least £30,000 per year or the ‘appropriate rate’ for the job you’re offered - whichever is higher. Check the appropriate rate for the job you’ve been offered.

Check the Tier 2 General Policy Guidance for situations when you can be paid less - for example if:

  • you’ll work as a medical radiographer, nurse, paramedic or secondary school teacher in some subjects
  • you’ll work as a pre-registration nurse or midwife

What is a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) for Tier 2 General visa for UK?

A certificate of sponsorship (CoS) holds your personal details and information about the job you’ve been offered. It’s an electronic record, not a paper document. Your sponsor will give you a certificate of sponsorship (CoS) reference number to add to your Tier 2 General visa application.

You can only use your certificate of sponsorship (CoS) reference number once. You must use your Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) within 3 months of the date it is assigned to you.

Can I sponsor my dependants to accompany me to the UK or join me in the UK?

Your dependants i.e. spouse or children under the age  of 18 can either apply at same time when you apply for Tier 2 General visa entry clearance to accompany you to the UK OR they can apply for entry clearance separately to join you in the UK later on.

How can I find a list of licenced Tier 2 General sponsors?

The Home Office UKVI maintains a list of licenced Tier 2 General sponsors. The list of Tier 2 sponsors is also known as register of Tier 2 sponsors.

What is Tier 2 General annual limit?

There is an annual limit on the number of Certificates of Sponsorship (CoS) available under Tier 2 (General). This limit applies to Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) for those nationals seeking entry clearance to the UK under the Tier 2 (General) category and those who are applying to switch into the Tier 2 (General) category from within the UK as a dependant of a Tier 4 (General) student. Home Office UKVI refer to these as “restricted” Certificates of Sponsorship (CoS).

The applications below are not subject to annual limit. Certificates of Sponsorship (CoS) for these applications are known as “unrestricted” and sponsors can assign these without first applying for permission:

  • if you are sponsored for a job as a doctor or nurse (SOC codes 2211 and 2231)
  • if you are sponsored for a job at PhD level listed in table 1 of Appendix J to the Immigration Rules
  • if you are sponsored for a job with a salary of £159,600 or above
  • if you are sponsored for a job connected with the inward investment provisions
  • all in-country applications (with the exception of Tier 4 dependant switchers).

The annual limit on the number of Certificates of Sponsorship (CoS) is applied by the Home Office UKVI through monthly allocation of restricted Certificates of Sponsorship (CoS).

How do you satisfy inward investment criteria for using unrestricted Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) for Tier 2 General visa Entry Clearance application?

Your job will satisfy the inward investment provisions if:

  • it is connected with the relocation of a high value business to the UK or a significant new inward investment project, and
  • your sponsor was registered in the UK with Companies House no earlier than three years before the date the Certificate of Sponsorship was assigned, and
  • your sponsor is the registered branch or wholly owned subsidiary of a business which has its headquarters and principal place of business outside the UK, and
  • the relocation or inward investment involves new capital expenditure of £27 million or the creation of at least 21 new UK jobs, and
  • your job does not involve the supply of services to a third party client.

Can I apply for Tier 2 General visa entry clearance as an uregistered nurse or midwife?

If you are applying for Tier 2 General worker visa to work in the UK as a nurse or midwife and are not yet registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), you must have passed the NMC’s Computer Based Test (CBT) or your Tier 2 General visa entry clearance application will be refused. You must provide evidence from the NMC to demonstrate this.

Furthermore, your Tier 2 General sponsor must also confirm that you will sit an Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) within 3 months of your stated employment start date.

If you need to pass your OSCE, your Tier 2 General sponsor must tell the Home Office UKVI within 10 working days:

  • If you fail your OSCE but arrange a re-sit and they still want to sponsor you if you pass. They must tell the Home Office UKVI the date of your re-sit.
  • If you re-sit your OSCE and fail for the second time, they must tell the Home Office UKVI. They must also stop sponsoring you if you do not obtain full NMC registration within 8 months of the start date on your Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS). If you have moved sponsors but were previously granted Tier 2 General leave as a nurse or midwife, the 8 months will start from the start date of your previous employment.
  • If you pass your OSCE, they must tell Home Office UKVI the date you will start working for them as a registered nurse or midwife.
  • If they decide at any point that they no longer wish to sponsor you. For example, if you fail your first OSCE and they do not want to wait until you have done a re-sit.

You are able to make 3 attempts to pass the OSCE. If you fail your first attempt at OSCE, you can re-sit it after ten days. If you fail it a second time, you will have the opportunity to sit for a third time, waiting 3 months to allow for further preparation. If you fail for a third time, you will be unable to re-sit the OSCE until 6 months have passed since your previous unsuccessful test and will have to re-apply to the NMC.

If you are already in the UK with entry clearance or leave to remain and your sponsor stops sponsoring you, Home Office UKVI will reduce (curtail) your leave.

For how long will I be granted Entry Clearance for Tier 2 General visa for UK?

You will be granted Tier 2 General visa entry clearance according to the start date and end date of your job as given in your Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS). The maximum period for which your employer can sponsor you for your Tier 2 Geneal visa entry clearance application is 5 years. You can extend your Tier 2 General visa further for one more year after 5 years which means the maximum time a person can spend in the UK under Tier 2 General visa category is 6 years in total.

Normally, most applicants are able to apply for ILR as Tier 2 General Migrants 28 days before completion of 5 years in the UK with leave to remain as Tier 2 General Migrant.

What is the cooling off period for Tier 2 General visa entry clearance?

Cooling off period for Tier 2 General for someone who has been in the UK in the past with Tier 2 visa is normally 12 months.

According to Home Office UKVI Tier 2 Policy Guidance, if you have had a grant of leave for entry clearance, leave to enter or remain as a Tier 2 Migrant at any time during the 12 months immediately before your date of application, unless you were only being sponsored in Tier 2 (as recorded by the Certificate of Sponsorship) for a period of 3 months or less, you will not be able to apply for further leave under Tier 2 unless one of the following applies:

  • you were not in the UK with leave as a Tier 2 Migrant at any time during the above 12 month period immediately before your date of application and you can provide evidence to prove this; or
  • the salary for the job that the Certificate of Sponsorship Checking Service shows you are being sponsored to do (including any allowances listed as acceptable for this purpose in paragraph 79 of Appendix A to the Immigration Rules) is £159,600 or higher.

In all cases where the Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS)) was assigned for longer than 3 months, the cooling off period will apply, even in cases where your length of stay in the UK is less than 3 months. For instance, where you were assigned a Certificate of Sponsorship of 6 months in length and the Home Office UKVI were notified that you ceased working in the UK after 2 months, the cooling-off period will apply as the Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) was assigned for more than 3 months.

Do I have to provide the Overseas Criminal Record Certificate for my Tier 2 General visa entry clearance for UK?

If you are applying for Tier 2 (General) entry clearance and are coming to work in the education, health and social care sectors, you must provide an Overseas criminal Record Certificate as part of your application.

Overseas criminal Record Certificates must be provided for any country in which you have resided for 12 months or more (whether continuously or in total) in the last 10 years prior to your Tier 2 General entry clearance application, while aged 18 or over.

The requirement to provide Overseas criminal Record Certificate applies where your occupation is defined by one of the following Standard Occupation Classification (SOC) codes:

  • 1181 - Health services and public health managers and directors
  • 1184 - Social services managers and directors
  • 2211 - Medical practitioners
  • 2212 - Psychologists
  • 2213 - Pharmacists
  • 2214 - Ophthalmic opticians
  • 2215 - Dental practitioners
  • 2217 - Medical radiographers
  • 2218 - Podiatrists
  • 2219 - Health professionals not elsewhere classified
  • 2221 - Physiotherapists
  • 2222 - Occupational therapists
  • 2223 - Speech and language therapists
  • 2229 - Therapy professionals not elsewhere classified
  • 2231 - Nurses
  • 2232 - Midwives
  • 2312 - Further education teaching professionals
  • 2314 - Secondary education teaching professionals
  • 2315 - Primary and nursery education teaching professionals
  • 2316 - Special needs education teaching professionals
  • 2317 - Senior professionals of educational establishments
  • 2318 - Education advisers and school inspectors
  • 2319 - Teaching and other educational professionals not elsewhere classified
  • 2442 - Social workers
  • 2443 - Probation officers
  • 2449 - Welfare professionals not elsewhere classified

If the requirement to provide Overseas criminal Record Certificate is applicable, you must provide:

  • a criminal record certificate for each country (excluding the UK) where you have resided for 12 months or more in the last 10 years (whether continuously or in total), while aged 18 or over, issued by the relevant overseas authority;
  • a translated copy of any certificate that is not in English, in line with Home Office UKVI requirements.

Guidance on how you can obtain certificates is available at: www.gov.uk/government/publications/criminal-records-checks-for-overseas-applicants

Where a country is not included in the above guidance, you should not assume that there is no process for obtaining a certificate. You should contact the Embassy or High Commission in the relevant country for more information.

Certificates from your most recent country of residence will normally only be considered valid if they have been issued no earlier than 6 months before your application date. Certificates from countries prior to your most recent country of residence must normally cover the entire period of residency (up to 10 years prior the application date) but will otherwise be considered valid indefinitely.

If you are unable to obtain a certificate covering the required period, you must explain in your Tier 2 General entry clearance application what attempts you have made to obtain a certificate and why this has not been possible.

If you do not explain why you are unable to provide a certificate, the Entry Clearance Officer (ECO) may contact you or your legal representative in writing and you must provide any further evidence within 28 calendar days.

How are the points awarded for appropriate salary in an application for Tier 2 General visa entry clearance?

You will be awarded the following points for the appropriate salary offered by your sponsor. These bands are before tax (gross) and yearly.

Salary Points
£30,000 or the appropriate rate for the job, whichever is the higher 20
If you are considered to be a “new entrant”:
£20,800 or the appropriate rate for the job, whichever is the higher
20

If your Certificate of Sponsorship is for one of the following occupations:

  • Medical radiographers (2217)
  • Nurses (2231) – please see below for nurses in a supervised practice placement
  • Secondary education teaching professionals – subject teachers in maths, physics, chemistry, computer science and Mandarin only (2314)
  • Paramedics (3213)

£20,800 or the appropriate rate for the job, whichever is the higher

20

You are being sponsored as a pre-registration candidate nurse or midwife and:

  • you will be paid at least Agenda for Change Band 3 rate (the appropriate rate for a pre-registration nurse);
  • you will continue to be sponsored as a nurse or midwife by the sponsor after achieving Nursing and Midwifery Council registration;
  • your salary will not be less than Agenda for Change Band 5 rate (the appropriate rate for a registered nurse or midwife) once that registration is achieved.

In addition, you must be paid at or above the relevant salary threshold once you have your registration confirmed – nurses are exempt from the £30,000 threshold, but midwives are not.

20
Under £30,000 and none of the above apply 0

When does an exemption from the Resident Labour Market Test (RLMT) apply for Tier 2 General visa entry clearance application?

The Resident Labour Market Test does not apply if the job offer is:

  • in a supernumerary research position where you have been issued a non-transferrable scientific research Award or Fellowship either:
    • by a third party organisation, and the Award or Fellowship cannot be transferred to anyone else; or
    • by your Sponsor if the following requirements are met:
      • you have been selected through a competitive process on the basis of your own research proposal; and
      • the funding of the research is secured in an agreement between your Sponsor and a third party organisation, which includes objectively justified requirements that effectively prohibit any settled worker from undertaking the role.

This exemption continues to apply after the relevant third party funding has ended, as long as you are being sponsored to continue to undertake the same research; or

  • to continue working as a Doctor or Dentist in training, under the same NHS Training Number which was assigned to you for previous lawful employment as a Doctor or Dentist in Training in the UK, including where you are applying to return to your training after an out of programme experience; or
  • as a Doctor in Speciality Training and your salary and the costs of your training are being met by the government of another country under an agreement with that country and the UK Government; or
  • to resume a post in a Higher Education Institution, working for the same Sponsor as in a previous grant of entry clearance or leave to remain as a Tier 2 (General) Migrant, where the break in employment is due solely to a period of academic leave.
  • to continue working as a member of an existing research team and:
    • the Sponsor is a Higher Education Institution or a Research Council, and
    • you have previously worked with the lead researcher as part of their team for a continuous 12 month period immediately before the date of the application (or for 12 months during the 24 months immediately before the date of the application, if you have been absent due to the reasons shown in paragraph 234 of the Tier 2 Policy Guidance during that time)
  • connected with the inward investment provisions
  • to do a job for which salary is not less than £159,600 gross per annum
  • to do a job which is in the list of shortage occupations list.

Your sponsor must include full details of the why the exemption applies on the Certificate of Sponsorship.

What is genuine job vacancy requirement for Tier 2 General visa entry clearance application?

When applying for Tier 2 General visa entry clearance, the Entry Clearance Officer (ECO) must be satisfied that you are being sponsored to undertake a genuine vacancy and are capable of undertaking the role for which your Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) was assigned. The Home Office UKVI Guidance states that the requirements of the job must be reasonable and not have been tailored to exclude resident workers from being recruited.

In order to assess the genuineness of job vacancy, the Entry Clearance Officer (ECO) may request additional information and evidence from you or your Tier 2 General sponsor, and refuse your Tier 2 General entry clearance application if the information or evidence is not provided. Any requested documents must be received by the Entry Clearance Officer (ECO) at the address specified in the request within 10 business days of the date of the request.

Issues of genuineness of job vacancy normally arise only after the applicant has been interviewed by the Entry Clearance Officer (ECO) and the applicant has failed to give satisfactory answers to address the concerns of the Entry Clearance Officer (ECO).

FAQs - Switching Into Tier 2 General Visa

Does RLMT exemption apply when switching from start-up visa to Tier 2 General visa?

No, the exemption from Resident Labour Market Test (RLMT) does not apply when switching from start-up visa to Tier 2 General visa from inside the UK.

What is the processing time for switching into Tier 2 General visa?

The processing time for an application for switching into Tier 2 General visa from inside the UK is dependent on the type of service you use for your application.

Standard Service

An application for switching into Tier 2 General visa is normally decided within 8 weeks if you apply using standard service.

Priority Service

If you apply for switching into Tier 2 General visa using Priority Service, you will normally get a decision on your application within 5 working days.

Super Priority Service

If you apply for switching into Tier 2 General visa using Super Priority Service, you will normally get decision on your application within 24 hours.

Can I switch from spouse visa to Tier 2 General visa from inside the UK?

No, you cannot switch from spouse visa to Tier 2 General visa from inside the UK. You will have to leave the UK and apply for Tier 2 General visa entry clearance from your country of nationality.

Can I switch from Tier 2 ICT to Tier 2 General visa from inside the UK?

You can switch from Tier 2 Intra Company Transfer (ICT) to Tier 2 General visa from inside the UK only if you applied for your initial Tier 2 ICT entry clearance under the rules in place before 6 April 2011. A person who applied for initial Tier 2 ICT visa after 6 April 2011 is not eligible to switch into Tier 2 General visa from inside the UK.

Who can switch to Tier 2 General visa from inside the UK?

You can apply for switching into Tier 2 General visa from inside the UK if you have, or were last granted, leave in one of the categories listed below:

  • Tier 1 visa
  • Tier 2 (Sportsperson) visa
  • Tier 2 (Minister of religion) visa
  • Tier 2 (Intra company Transfer) visa under the Immigration Rules in place before 6 April 2010 and you’re applying to change sponsor
  • Tier 4 visa - if you have an eligible qualification, will complete your course in 3 months, or you’ve done at least 12 months of a PhD
  • Start-up visa
  • Innovator visa
  • Tier 4 Dependent Partner
  • Representative of an overseas business

Can Tier 2 ICT Dependant switch to Tier 2 General visa from inside the UK?

No, you cannot switch from Tier 2 ICT Dependant visa to Tier 2 General from inside the UK. You will have to leave the UK and apply for Tier 2 General visa entry clearance from your country of nationality. There will be no cooling-off period for Tier 2 ICT Dependant to apply for Tier 2 General visa entry clearance from outside the UK.

What is the minimum salary for switching from Tier 4 to Tier 2 General visa from inside the UK?

If you are a Tier 4 Graduate switching from Tier 4 to Tier 2 General visa, you can be paid "New Entrant" salary for your Tier 2 job which should be either £20,800 or as specified in the relevant code of practice in Appendix J to the Immigration Rules, whichever is higher.

How can I change from Tier 4 to Tier 2 General from inside the UK?

A Tier 4 Graduate can switch from Tier 4 visa to Tier 2 General visa from inside the UK. You can only switch into Tier 2 General if you meet the following criteria:

  • You are currently, or have last been, sponsored by a Tier 4 sponsor which is either:
    • a higher education provider with a track record of compliance; or
    • an overseas higher education institution, and were sponsored to undertake a short-term study abroad programme in the United Kingdom, and
  • you have
    • completed, or are applying no more than 3 months before the expected completion date for, a course leading to a UK recognised bachelor’s or master’s degree;
    • completed, or are applying no more than 3 months before the expected completion date for a course leading to a Postgraduate Certificate in Education or Professional Graduate Diploma of Education; or
    • completed a minimum of 12 months’ study in the UK towards a UK PhD during your current period of leave or a period of continuous leave which includes your last grant of leave; and
  • you studied for, or are studying, the eligible award at a UK institution that is a UK recognised or listed body, or an education provider which holds a licence for sponsoring students under Tier 4 of the Points-Based System; and
  • your periods of UK study and/or research towards your course ‘have been undertaken whilst you had entry clearance, leave to enter or leave to remain in the UK that was not subject to a restriction preventing you from undertaking it; and
  • if you undertook or are still undertaking, the study for the qualification whilst holding leave as a Tier 4 student, you have undertaken the study at the institution which is the Tier 4 sponsor, and not through supplementary study; and
  • you are applying from inside the UK.

You must provide a degree certificate, academic transcript or an academic reference on official headed paper of the institution. You may have been sponsored in your studies by Her Majesty’s Government, your home government or any international scholarship agency. If you have had such sponsorship within the past 12 months, you must provide Home Office UKVI with the Government or international scholarship agency’s unconditional consent in writing, giving you their permission to remain in, or re-enter, the UK.

The Tier 2 sponsor is exempt from meeting the Resident Labour Market Test (RLMT) if the applicant meets the above referred switching criteria. The employer needs to issue an unrestricted Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) which the applicant will use to make an application for switching into Tier 2 General leave. The applicant's job and salary level should comply with the requirements of the Code of Practice in Appendix J to the Immigration Rules.

Can I switch from Tier 4 Dependant Partner visa to Tier 2 General visa from inside the UK?

Yes, you can switch from Tier 4 Dependant partner visa to Tier 2 General visa from inside the UK. Your Tier 2 sponsor should assign a restricted Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) for you to apply for switching from Tier 4 Dependant Partner vsia to Tier 2 General visa.

How can I apply for switching into Tier 2 General visa from inside the UK?

You can apply online for switching into Tier 2 General visa from inside the UK. You can only submit your online application after your Tier 2 sponsor has assigned you a valid Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS). Upon submission of the online application, you have to pay the Home Office UKVI fees online, book the appointment online with the UKVCAS application centre for enrolment of biometrics, upload all the documents online and attend the biometrics centre for enrolment of biometrics.

What is the job skill level required for switching into Tier 2 General visa?

For switching into Tier 2 General visa from inside the UK, the Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) assigned by your prospective employer must confirm that:

What is Shortage Occupations List (SOL) for switching into Tier 2 General visa?

The shortage occupation list is an official list of occupations as given in Appendix K of the Immigration Rules for which there are not enough resident workers to fill job vacancies. The shortage occupation lists are recommended by the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) and are revised periodically.

You will be awarded 30 points if your job was on a shortage occupation list at the time your Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) was assigned by your Tier 2 General sponsor.

There is one list for the whole of the UK and a further additional list for Scotland. If you want to be awarded points for a job on the shortage occupation list in Scotland, you must be undertaking that job in Scotland.

You should confirm with your Tier 2 General sponsor that they have indicated that your job is a shortage occupation in the relevant field on the Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS). You should also confirm with your Tier 2 General sponsor that the SOC code and job description on the Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) show that the job is one of those included on the shortage occupation list.

In general, if a role is on the shortage occupation list, your sponsor is not required to advertise the position.

Can I apply for switching into Tier 2 General visa as a New Entrant?

According to Appendix J to the Immigration Rules, New Entrant” rate will only apply if:

 the applicant:

  • is applying as a Tier 2 (General) Migrant and scores points from the Post-Study Work provisions of Appendix A,
  • is applying as a Tier 2 (General) Migrant and scores points from the Resident Labour Market Test provisions of Appendix A, on the basis that his Sponsor has carried out a university milkround,
  • is applying as a Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer) Migrant in the Graduate Trainee sub-category,

OR

  • was under the age of 26 on the date the application was made; and
  • the applicant is applying for entry clearance or leave to remain (not for indefinite leave to remain); and
  • the applicant is not applying for a grant of leave that would extend his total stay in Tier 2 and/or as a Work Permit Holder beyond 3 years and 1 month.

What if my prospective employer does not have the Tier 2 General sponsor licence to sponsor me for switching into Tier 2 General visa?

If your prospective employer does not have the Tier 2 General sponsor licence to sponsor you for switching into Tier 2 General visa, our expert team of sponsor licence solicitors can help your prospective employer to apply for Tier 2 General sponsor licence so that your employer is able to sponsor you for switching into Tier 2 General visa.

What is the minimum salary requirement for switching into Tier 2 General visa?

The salary to be paid to a Tier 2 General Migrant should not be less than the minimum salary threshold as set out in Table 11CA in paragraph 79A to Appendix A of the Immigration Rules. The minimum salary threshold for Tier 2 General visa is as given in the table below:

Circumstances Minimum Salary
None of the exceptions below apply. £30,000 per year or the appropriate rate for the job as stated in Appendix J, whichever is higher

The applicant is considered to be a “New Entrant”.

£20,800 per year or the appropriate rate for the job as stated in Appendix J, whichever is higher

The job is one of the following public service occupations:

  • 2217 Medical radiographers
  • 2231 Nurses
  • 2314 Secondary education teaching professionals – subject teachers in maths, physics, chemistry, computer science and Mandarin only
  • 3213 Paramedics.
£20,800 per year or the appropriate rate for the job as stated in Appendix J, whichever is higher
The occupation is either 2231 Nurses or 2232 Midwives and meets the requirements of paragraph 77K for applicants undertaking the Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) to obtain Nursing and Midwifery Council registration. At least the appropriate rate for a Band 3 and equivalent nurse or midwife, as stated in Table 9 of Appendix J until registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Council Registration is either successfully completed, otherwise closed, or after 8 months of the stated employment date, whichever is earlier.

What is a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) for switching into Tier 2 General visa?

A certificate of sponsorship (CoS) holds your personal details and information about the job you’ve been offered. It’s an electronic record, not a paper document. Your sponsor will give you a certificate of sponsorship (CoS) reference number to add to your Tier 2 General visa application.

You can only use your certificate of sponsorship (CoS) reference number once. You must use your Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) within 3 months of the date it is assigned to you.

How can I find a list of licenced Tier 2 General sponsors?

The Home Office UKVI maintains a list of licenced Tier 2 General sponsors. The list of Tier 2 sponsors is also known as register of Tier 2 sponsors.

Can I switch into Tier 2 General visa as an uregistered nurse or midwife?

If you are applying for switching into Tier 2 General worker visa to work in the UK as a nurse or midwife and are not yet registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), you must have passed the NMC’s Computer Based Test (CBT) or your application for switching into Tier 2 General visa will be refused. You must provide evidence from the NMC to demonstrate this.

Furthermore, your Tier 2 General sponsor must also confirm that you will sit an Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) within 3 months of your stated employment start date.

If you need to pass your OSCE, your Tier 2 General sponsor must tell the Home Office UKVI within 10 working days:

  • If you fail your OSCE but arrange a re-sit and they still want to sponsor you if you pass. They must tell the Home Office UKVI the date of your re-sit.
  • If you re-sit your OSCE and fail for the second time, they must tell the Home Office UKVI. They must also stop sponsoring you if you do not obtain full NMC registration within 8 months of the start date on your Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS). If you have moved sponsors but were previously granted Tier 2 General leave as a nurse or midwife, the 8 months will start from the start date of your previous employment.
  • If you pass your OSCE, they must tell Home Office UKVI the date you will start working for them as a registered nurse or midwife.
  • If they decide at any point that they no longer wish to sponsor you. For example, if you fail your first OSCE and they do not want to wait until you have done a re-sit.

You are able to make 3 attempts to pass the OSCE. If you fail your first attempt at OSCE, you can re-sit it after ten days. If you fail it a second time, you will have the opportunity to sit for a third time, waiting 3 months to allow for further preparation. If you fail for a third time, you will be unable to re-sit the OSCE until 6 months have passed since your previous unsuccessful test and will have to re-apply to the NMC.

If you are already in the UK with entry clearance or leave to remain and your sponsor stops sponsoring you, Home Office UKVI will reduce (curtail) your leave.

For how long will I be granted leave to remain as a result of successful application for switching into Tier 2 General visa?

You will be granted Tier 2 General leave according to the start date and end date of your job as given in your Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS). The maximum period for which your employer can sponsor you for your Tier 2 Geneal visa is 5 years. You can extend your Tier 2 General visa further for one more year after 5 years which means the maximum time a person can spend in the UK under Tier 2 General visa category is 6 years in total.

Normally, most applicants are able to apply for ILR as Tier 2 General Migrants 28 days before completion of 5 years in the UK with leave to remain as Tier 2 General Migrant.

When does an exemption from the Resident Labour Market Test (RLMT) apply for switching into Tier 2 General visa?

The Resident Labour Market Test does not apply if the job offer is:

  • in a supernumerary research position where you have been issued a non-transferrable scientific research Award or Fellowship either:
    • by a third party organisation, and the Award or Fellowship cannot be transferred to anyone else; or
    • by your Sponsor if the following requirements are met:
      • you have been selected through a competitive process on the basis of your own research proposal; and
      • the funding of the research is secured in an agreement between your Sponsor and a third party organisation, which includes objectively justified requirements that effectively prohibit any settled worker from undertaking the role.

This exemption continues to apply after the relevant third party funding has ended, as long as you are being sponsored to continue to undertake the same research; or

  • to continue working as a Doctor or Dentist in training, under the same NHS Training Number which was assigned to you for previous lawful employment as a Doctor or Dentist in Training in the UK, including where you are applying to return to your training after an out of programme experience; or
  • as a Doctor in Speciality Training and your salary and the costs of your training are being met by the government of another country under an agreement with that country and the UK Government; or
  • to resume a post in a Higher Education Institution, working for the same Sponsor as in a previous grant of entry clearance or leave to remain as a Tier 2 (General) Migrant, where the break in employment is due solely to a period of academic leave.
  • to continue working as a member of an existing research team and:
    • the Sponsor is a Higher Education Institution or a Research Council, and
    • you have previously worked with the lead researcher as part of their team for a continuous 12 month period immediately before the date of the application (or for 12 months during the 24 months immediately before the date of the application, if you have been absent due to the reasons shown in paragraph 234 of the Tier 2 Policy Guidance during that time)
  • connected with the inward investment provisions
  • to do a job for which salary is not less than £159,600 gross per annum
  • to do a job which is in the list of shortage occupations list.

Your sponsor must include full details of the why the exemption applies on the Certificate of Sponsorship.

FAQs - Tier 2 General Visa Extension

How early can I apply for Tier 2 General visa extension?

You can normally apply for extension of your Tier 2 General visa 28 days before the expiry of your current Tier 2 General visa. Exceptionally, you can also apply for Tier 2 General visa renewal up to 3 months before the expiry of your current Tier 2 General visa.

In case of change of employment, you can apply for Tier 2 General visa extension at any time during the validity of your current Tier 2 General visa but within 3 months of the date your CoS has been assigned to you by your new Tier 2 sponsor.

How many times can I extend my Tier 2 General visa?

There is no limit on the number of times you can apply for extension of your Tier 2 General visa. You can extend your Tier 2 General visa either before it expires or when you change Tier 2 sponsor (change of employment application). There is no limit on number of times you can change your Tier 2 sponsor. However, you cannot be in the UK for more than 6 years in total under Tier 2 General visa category.

It is very common for applicants to apply for initial Tier 2 General visa for either 5 years in one go or initial application for 3 years followed by an extension for 2 or 3 years.

Can I apply for Tier 2 General visa renewal after the expiry of my current Tier 2 General visa?

By virtue of paragraph 39E of the Immigration Rules, an applicant can apply for Tier 2 General visa extension within 14 days of the expiry of his Tier 2 General leave or within 14 days of Section 3C leave expiring. The applicant must give good reasons as to why he could not apply for extension before the expiry of his Tier 2 General leave.

Can I re-apply for Tier 2 General extension if my application for Tier 2 General visa renewal has been refused by the Home Office UKVI?

Subject to meeting the requirements of paragraph 39E of the Immigration Rules, you can re-apply for Tier 2 General visa extension within 14 days of the refusal of your Tier 2 General extension application or within 14 days of the Administrative Review (AR) refusal decision of your Tier 2 General visa extension application.

How can I apply for Tier 2 General visa extension?

An application for Tier 2 General visa extension is made online. You will need a valid Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) assigned to you by your Tier 2 sponsor for you to be able to complete and submit your online Tier 2 General extension application.

Once the Tier 2 General extension application has been completed and submitted online, you can pay the Home Office UKVI fee for Tier 2 General visa extenson online and book the biometrics appointment online with the UKVCAS biometrics centre. You must upload all your supporting documents online before you attend the UKVCAS biometrics centre.

What is the processing time of Tier 2 General visa extension application?

The processing time of Tier 2 General visa extension application depends on the type of service you use to submit your Tier 2 General visa extension application. The service standards for Tier 2 General visa extension application processing are as follows:

Standard Service

A Tier 2 General extension application submitted through standard service is normally decided within 8 weeks.

Priority Service

A Tier 2 General extension application submitted through priority service is normally decided within 5 working days.

Super Priority Service

A Tier 2 General extension application submitted through super priority service is normally decided within 24 hours.

Can I start working for my new employer before my application for Tier 2 General visa based on change of employment is approved by the Home Office?

It is recommended that you do not start work for your sponsor until you have received your biometric residence permit (BRP). However, on the basis of your approval letter, if you and your sponsor agree you can start work before you have your BRP, both you and your sponsor carry the risk of having no statutory excuse against a civil penalty if the BRP card is incorrect or withdrawn by the Home Office UKVI. You can continue working for your previous sponsor until the start date on your new Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS), provided your previous leave has not expired.

Can I apply for Tier 2 General extension application from outside the UK?

You cannot apply for an extension if you are applying from outside the UK.

Is Resident Labour Market Test (RLMT) required if I am continuing my job with the same employer under the same job role?

A Resident Labour Market Test (RLMT) is not required for extension applications if you are continuing with the same Tier 2 sponsor under the same job role.

Can I continue working for my current sponsor while my application for Tier 2 General extension is pending with the Home Office UKVI?

You can continue working while we are considering your extension application, provided you submitted the application before your previous leave expired.

What is the job skill level required for extension of Tier 2 General visa?

For extension of Tier 2 General visa, the Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) assigned by your Tier 2 General sponsor must confirm that:

What is Shortage Occupations List (SOL) for extension of Tier 2 General visa?

The shortage occupation list is an official list of occupations as given in Appendix K of the Immigration Rules for which there are not enough resident workers to fill job vacancies. The shortage occupation lists are recommended by the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) and are revised periodically.

You will be awarded 30 points if your job was on a shortage occupation list at the time your Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) was assigned by your Tier 2 General sponsor.

There is one list for the whole of the UK and a further additional list for Scotland. If you want to be awarded points for a job on the shortage occupation list in Scotland, you must be undertaking that job in Scotland.

You should confirm with your Tier 2 General sponsor that they have indicated that your job is a shortage occupation in the relevant field on the Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS). You should also confirm with your Tier 2 General sponsor that the SOC code and job description on the Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) show that the job is one of those included on the shortage occupation list.

In general, if a role is on the shortage occupation list, your sponsor is not required to advertise the position.

What if I am changing employer but my prospective employer does not have the Tier 2 General sponsor licence to sponsor me for extension of my Tier 2 General visa?

If you are changing employment and your new prospective employer does not have the Tier 2 General sponsor licence to sponsor you for extension of your Tier 2 General visa, our expert team of sponsor licence solicitors can help your new employer to apply for Tier 2 General sponsor licence so that your employer is able to sponsor you for change of employment and extension of your Tier 2 General visa.

For how long will I be granted leave to remain as a result of successful application for Tier 2 General visa extension?

You can apply to extend your Tier 2 General visa for up to another 5 years, as long as your total stay under Tier 2 General visa category is not more than 6 years.

FAQs - ILR Tier 2 General

How can I apply for ILR as a Tier 2 General Migrant?

You can apply for ILR as a Tier 2 General Migrant by completing application form SET (O) online.

When can I apply for ILR as a Tier 2 General Migrant?

You can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) as a Tier 2 General migrant after you have been resident in the UK for 5 years with leave to remain as a Tier 2 General or in combination with other permitted work visa categories.

Can I apply for ILR as a Tier 2 General 28 days before completing 5 years?

Yes, according to Home Office UKVI Guidance on Tier 2 General visa category, you can apply for ILR as Tier 2 General 28 days before completing the 5 years qualifying period.

When does my 5 years qualifying period for ILR as a Tier 2 General start?

Your qualifying period can include time from the date your initial application (for entry clearance or leave to remain) was approved. You can include the time between your entry clearance being granted and you entering the United Kingdom as part of your continuous period. Absences between the date entry clearance is granted and the date you enter the United Kingdom are treated as an absence from the United Kingdom and will form part of the 180 days allowed within a continuous 12-month period. You do not need to provide evidence to demonstrate a period of absence between obtaining entry clearance and entering the United Kingdom.

Can I apply for ILR as a Tier 2 General Migrant if my Tier 2 sponsor's licence is revoked?

You cannot successfully apply for ILR as a Tier 2 General Migrant if your sponsor's Tier 2 General sponsor licence is revoked before your ILR application. In such circumstances, you should make a Tier 2 General exetension application based on change of employment by seeking sponsorship for your Tier 2 leave through a different Tier 2 sponsor.

Do I need a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) assigned by my Tier 2 General sponsor for me to apply for ILR as a Tier 2 General?

No, your Tier 2 sponsor does not need to assign you a certificate of sponsorship (CoS) for you to apply for ILR as a Tier 2 General Migrant. However, you will need a letter from your Tier 2 sponsor to support your application for ILR as a Tier 2 General Migrant. As your legal representtive, we can provide you the required template of the letter from your employer as per Home Office UKVI requirements.

What are the eligibility requirements for ILR as a Tier 2 General Migrant?

You can apply for ILR as a Tier 2 General Migrant if:

  • you have a Tier 2 (General) visa
  • you’ve been living and working in the UK for 5 years and spent no more than 180 days outside the UK in any 12 months (‘continuous residence’)
  • your employer (sponsor) still needs you for your job - they’ll need to provide a document confirming this
  • your job pays £35,800 or more (unless you’re exempt from the ‘minimum earnings threshold’)
  • you get paid the relevant salary listed in the Codes of Practice (Appendix J)

You should also:

Can I combine time spent on other visa categories with Tier 2 General to apply for ILR as a Tier 2 General Migrant?

Yes, you can combine time spent on certain other visa categories with Tier 2 General leave in order to complete 5 years qualifying period for ILR.

The applicant must have spent a continuous period of 5 years lawfully in the UK, of which the most recent period must have been spent with leave as a Tier 2 (General) Migrant in any combination of the following categories:

  • as a Tier 1 Migrant, other than a Tier 1 (Post Study Work) Migrant or a Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) Migrant,
  • as a Tier 2 (General) Migrant, a Tier 2 (Minister of Religion) Migrant or a Tier 2 (Sportsperson) Migrant,
  • as a Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer) Migrant, provided the continuous period of 5 years spent lawfully in the UK includes a period of leave as:
    • a Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer) Migrant granted under the Rules in place before 6 April 2010, or
    • a Work Permit Holder, provided that the work permit was granted because the applicant was the subject of an Intra-Company Transfer,
  • as a Representative of an Overseas Business,
  • as a Highly Skilled Migrant,
  • as a Work Permit Holder, or
  • as an Innovator, or
  • as a Global Talent migrant.

What is the salary requirement for ILR Tier 2 General?

To apply for ILR as a Tier 2 General Migrant, you must be earning at least the appropriate rate for the job, as stated in the Codes of Practice in Appendix J OR a gross annual salary of at least the minimum earnings threshold, whichever is the higher. The minimum earnings threshold is £35,800 gross per annum, if you apply for ILR as a Tier 2 General on or after 6 April 2019.

Exemption From Minimum Salary Requirement

You do not have to earn £35,800 if the main job you’re sponsored for:

Appendix K provides a list of all posts that have been listed as in shortage since 6 April 2015. You can confirm whether any of your previous Certificates of Sponsorship were issued for a shortage occupation by checking your previous applications or by speaking to your current and/or previous employer.

How many days can you stay outside the UK to apply for ILR as a Tier 2 General Migrant?

You cannot have had more than 180 days’ absence from the United Kingdom during any consecutive 12 month period within the 5 year period. You will need to list details of your absences from the United Kingdom, including the reasons for those absences, on your application form for ILR as a Tier 2 General Migrant. You can include the time between your entry clearance being granted and you entering the United Kingdom as part of your continuous period. Absences between the date entry clearance is granted and the date you enter the United Kingdom are treated as an absence from the United Kingdom and will form part of the 180 days allowed within a continuous 12-month period. You do not need to provide evidence to demonstrate a period of absence between obtaining entry clearance and entering the United Kingdom.

For Tier 2 General ILR applications made after 11 January 2018, Home Office would consider absences from the UK on a rolling basis, rather than in separate consecutive 12-month periods. If your qualifying period includes leave granted before this date, any absences during that leave will be considered under the previous rules – in separate 12-month periods, ending on the same date as you make your ILR Tie 2 General application.

For example, you apply for ILR as Tier 2 General on 30 June 2020. Your continuous period includes the following grants of leave:

  • One grant of leave from 1 July 2015 to 28 July 2018 – Any absences during this grant of leave will be considered in separate 12 month periods, ending on 30 June each year.
  • One grant of leave from 29 July 2018 to 30 June 2020 – Any absences during this grant of leave will be considered on a rolling basis. Home Office UKVI will not include any absences from the previous grant of leave when they assess this.

What evidence should I provide for any absences which are work related or in line with annual paid leave?

If any of your absences are in connection with employment or in line with annual paid leave you will need to provide a letter from the relevant employer detailing the purpose and period of absences, including periods of annual paid leave.

You will need to provide this information for the full 5 year continuous period. Therefore, if you are moving employers and are considering applying for settlement in the future, you may wish to request a letter detailing your absences before you move to your new post. If you are unable to obtain a letter as specified in the Immigration Rules, because your previous employer has ceased to exist for example, you should confirm this in writing when you make your application. The caseworker who considers your application will assess this on a case by case basis.

What evidence should I provide for any absences which are due to serious or compelling reasons?

If any of your absences are due to a serious or compelling reasons, you must provide a personal letter which includes full details of the reason(s) for the absences and all relevant supporting documents in relation to those reasons - e.g. medical certificates, birth/death certificates, other information about the reasons which led to the absence from the United Kingdom.

Whatever the reason for absences from the United Kingdom, they will still be counted towards the maximum 180 days unless they fall under a specific exemption. This includes any absences for work reasons, or serious and compelling reasons.

Which absences are exempt from consideration as part of the maximum 180 days?

There are two exemptions where absences are not considered as part of the maximum 180 days:

  • where you have been absent from the United Kingdom assisting with a national or international humanitarian or environmental crisis, or
  • where you are working in a PhD level occupation and you have been absent from the UK because you are undertaking overseas research.

What is the processing time of Tier 2 General ILR application?

The processing time of ILR Tier 2 General application depends on the type of service you use to submit your ILR Tier 2 General application. The service standards for ILR Tier 2 General application processing are as follows:

Standard Service

ILR Tier 2 General application submitted through standard service is normally decided within 8 weeks.

Priority Service

ILR Tier 2 General application submitted through priority service is normally decided within 5 working days.

Super Priority Service

ILR Tier 2 General application submitted through super priority service is normally decided within 24 hours.

Can I apply for ILR Tier 2 General from outisde the UK?

No, you can only apply for ILR as Tier 2 General Migrant from inside the UK.

FAQs - Parent Of A British Child

I am living outside the UK with my British son who is under the age of 18. I am having the sole responsibility of the child and child is living with me. Can I apply for UK visa as a parent of a British child?

You can apply for UK visa as a parent of a British child. Your application may not succeed within the Immigration Rules because the Immigration Rules require that your child must be in the UK at the time of your entry clearance application. Based on the best intersts of your British child, your application as a parent of a British child may be successful outside the Immigration Rules.

Can I switch from visitor to parent of a British child visa from inside the UK?

Uder the UK immigration Rules, it is not possibel to change from visitor visa to parent of British child visa from inside the UK. However, outside the Immigration Ruels and based on compelling and compassionate circumstances, an application for parent visa may succeed under the 10 years parent route.

Can I switch from 10 years parent route to 5 years parent route?

You can switch into 5 years parent from out 10 years parent route category from inside the UK. Your time to qualify for ILR under the 5 years route will start from scratch and you will be able to apply for ILR once you have spent 5 continuous years in the UK with leave to emain granted under the 5 years route. We can provide Super Priority Service (decision within 24 hours) for your application for switching from 10 years parent route to 5 years parent route.

FAQs - ILR 10 Years Long Residence

How can I apply for ILR on the basis of 10 years long residence?

You can apply for ILR on the basis of 10 years long residence by using online application form SET (LR).

Can I apply for ILR after 9 years residence in the UK?

No, you can only apply for ILR on the basis of 10 years long residence 28 days before completing 10 years long residence. Your application for ILR on the basis of 10 years long residence may be refused by the Home Office if at the time of decision on your ILR application you have not completed the qualifying period for ILR.

If you are short by few months in completion of 10 years long residence, it may be possible to extend your leave temporarily by virtue of Section 3C through an appropriate immigration application in your given circumstances so that you are able to complete your 10 years long residence in the UK to be eligible for ILR on the basis of 10 years long residence in the UK.

When can I apply for ILR on the basis of 10 years long residence?

You can apply for ILR on the basis of 10 years long residence within 28 days before completing 10 years long residence in the UK whether applying through standard service or through Super Priority Service (decision within 24 hours).

Once you have built up a period of 10 years’ continuous lawful residence, there is no limit on the length of time afterwards when you can apply for ILR on the basis of 10 years continuous and lawful residence in the UK. This means you could leave the UK, re-enter on any lawful basis, and apply for ILR from within the UK based on a 10 year period of continuous lawful residence you built up in the past. There is also nothing to prevent a person relying on a 10 year period that they may have relied on in a previous application or grant.

What is continuous residence for the purposes of ILR on the basis of 10 years long residence?

Continuous residence is defined in paragraph 276A of the Immigration Rules. Continuous residence means residence in the UK for an unbroken period i.e. without gaps. For the purposes of long residence, a period is not considered broken if the applicant:

  • was absent from the UK for six months or less at any one time, and
  • had existing leave to enter or remain upon their departure and return.

You can leave the UK during the continuous residence for up to:

  • 180 days at a time;
  • 540 days in total.

You cannot count time spent in:

  • a prison, young offender institution or secure hospital
  • Ireland, the Isle of Man or Channel Islands

What is lawful residence for the purposes of ILR on the basis of 10 years long residence?

Lawful residence is defined in paragraph 276A of the Immigration Rules as a period of continuous residence in which the applicant had one of the following:

  • existing leave to enter or remain
  • temporary admission within section 11 of the 1971 Immigration Act where leave to enter or remain is subsequently granted
  • an exemption from immigration control, including where an exemption ceases to apply if it is immediately followed by a grant of leave to enter or remain.

What events break continuous residence for the purposes of 10 years long residence ILR?

Continuous residence is considered to be broken if the applicant has:

  • been absent from the UK for a period of more than six months (180 days) at any one time, or is absent from the UK for a shorter period but does not have valid leave to enter the UK on their return, or valid leave to remain on their departure from the UK
  • been removed or deported from the UK, or has left the UK following refusal of leave to enter or remain
  • left the UK before 24 November 2016 with no valid leave to remain on their departure from the UK, and failed to apply for entry clearance within 28 days of their previous leave expiring (even if they returned to the UK within 6 months)
  • been convicted of an offence and been given a custodial sentence, or ordered to be detained in an institution other than a prison, such as a hospital or young offenders institute, not including suspended sentences
  • spent a total of 18 months (540 days) outside the UK throughout the whole 10 year period.

How can I challenge the refusal of ILR 10 years long residence application?

Appeal against refusal of SET (LR) application:

If your ILR long residence application is refused by the Home Office, UKVI and you believe that the refusal decision is unlawful, you can challenge the refusal of your SET (LR) application by filing an Appeal Against Refusal Of SET(LR) 10 Years Long Residence Application with the First Tier Tribunal (FTT) within 14 days of receiving the refusal letter.

Pre Action Protocol (PAP) & Judicial Review (JR) against refusal of SET(LR) application:

If you have not been given an in-country right to appeal agaisnt the refusal of your SET(LR) application, you can still challenge the refusal of your application by way of Pre Action protocol (PAP) and Judicial Review (JR) against the Home Office UKVI decision to refuse your SET (LR) application.

Can I re-apply for ILR on the basis of 10 years long residence after the refusal?

If your application for ILR 10 years long residence - SET(LR) application has been refused by the Home Office, UKVI and you believe that the decision to refuse your application is valid and lawful and therefore cannot be challenged successfully by way of appeal, you may have the option to re-apply for ILR 10 years long residence within 14 days of your section 3C leave ending. We can provide the required legal help and assistance with re-applying for your ILR 10 years long residence through our Super Priority Service.

Can I apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) after 10 years?

You can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) in the UK if you've been in the UK legally for 10 continuous years (known as 'long residence').

How early can I apply for ILR on the basis of 10 years long residence?

You can apply for ILR 28 days before you complete 10 years continuous and lawful residence in the UK starting from your date of very first entry in the UK.

Can Home Office UKVI exercise discretion for absences exceeding 540 days in total or 180 days at a time?

If the applicant has been absent from the UK for more than 6 months in one period or more than 18 months in total, the application would normally be refused. However, it may be appropriate to exercise discretion over excess absences in compelling or compassionate circumstances, for example where the applicant was prevented from returning to the UK through unavoidable circumstances.

Things for the Home Office caseworker to consider when assessing if the absence was compelling or compassionate are:

For all cases

The Home Office caseworker should consider whether the applicant returned to the UK within a reasonable time once he was able to do so

For the single absence of over 180 days

The Home Office caseworker should consider:

  • how much of the absence was due to compelling circumstances and whether the applicant returned to the UK as soon as they were able to do so;
  • the reasons for the absence

For overall absences exceeding 540 days in the 10 year period

The Home Office caseworker should consider:

  • whether the long absence (or absences) that pushed the applicant over the limit happened towards the start or end of the 10 year residence period, and how soon they will be able to meet that requirement
  • if the absences were towards the start of that period, the person may be able to meet the requirements in the near future, and so could be expected to apply when they meet the requirements
  • however, if the absences were recent, the person will not qualify for a long time, and so Home Office case worker should consider whether there are particularly compelling circumstances

All of these factors must be considered together when determining whether it is reasonable to exercise discretion.

Does any overstaying rule out ILR on the basis of 10 years long residence?

According to paragraph 276B(V), any previous period of overstaying (gap) between periods of leave will be disregarded where –

  • the previous application was made before 24 November 2016 and within 28 days of the expiry of leave; or
  • the further application was made on or after 24 November 2016 and paragraph 39E of the Immigration Rules applied.

FAQs - Naturalisation As A British Citizen

How criminal convictions in the UK can affect the good character requirement?

An applicant will normally be refused if they:

  • have a criminal conviction which falls within the sentence-based thresholds
  • are a persistent offender
  • have committed an offence which has caused serious harm
  • have committed a sexual offence or their details are recorded by the police on a register

What is setnence based threshold for good character requirement for naturalisation as a British Citizen?

An applicant will normally be refused if they have received:

  • a custodial sentence of at least 4 years
  • a custodial sentence of at least 12 months but less than 4 years unless a period of 15 years has passed since the end of the sentence
  • a custodial sentence of less than 12 months unless a period of 10 years has passed since the end of the sentence
  • a non-custodial sentence or other out-of-court disposal that is recorded on their criminal record which occurred in the 3 years prior to the date of application

It is pertinent to note that the whole sentence imposed by the court that counts, not the time served by the applicant. The Rehabilitation of Offenders (Northern Ireland) Order 1978 still applies to applicants who reside in Northern Ireland. This means that the fact a conviction is spent will be relevant to these applications.

Do convictions and sentences imposed outside the UK affect naturalisation application?

Yes, overseas convictions and sentences can result in refusal of a naturalisation application on good character grounds. Any overseas conviction or non-custodial sentence will be treated by the Home Office in the same way as one imposed in the UK. The starting point will always be the sentence imposed.

Does being a persistent offender affect the naturalisation application?

According to Home Office Guidance, the overall pattern of behaviour may justify refusing an application, even if the individual sentences imposed would not normally in themselves be a reason for refusal. When considering whether the applicant falls to be refused because they are a persistent offender, the Home Office will consider:

  • the number of offences committed, the seriousness of those offences and the timescale over which they were committed
  • the impact of the offences on the public
  • whether the offences have escalated in seriousness

Can my naturalisation application be refused on the grounds of committing an offence which has caused serious harm?

It is at the discretion of the Secretary of State whether he/she considers an offence to have caused serious harm. When considering whether the applicant falls to be refused because they have committed an offence which has caused serious harm, the Home Office will take into account any offender management reports and any sentencing remarks made by the judge relating to the impact on the victim. Where a person has been convicted of one or more violent, drugs or sex offences, or hate crime or racially/religiously motivated offences, they will usually be considered to have been convicted of an offence that has caused serious harm. However, the Home Office must balance these considerations with the length of time passed since the offence occurred.

Will my naturalisation application be refused if I am on register of sex offenders?

The Sexual Offences Act 2003 requires a person to notify their local police force of their name, address and other details, including any changes to those details, if, in respect of certain sexual offences. Details are recorded by the police on a register (commonly known as the Sex Offenders Register).

Any application for British Citizenship from a person who is subject to reporting notifications or to one of the orders for sexual offences will normally be refused for as long as the order remains in force. This is regardless of whether their conviction or convictions still come within the sentence-based thresholds. A person’s inclusion on the register will cease after a set period of time. This depends on how long they were sentenced to be on the register.

How would non-custodial sentences and other out of court disposals affect my naturalisation application?

Various types of non-custodial sentences and penalties a person may receive can reflect negatively on a person’s character. A person's application for naturalisation as a British may not succeed if he has received non-custodian sentence or has had other out of court disposal within last 3 years before decision on the application.

Absolute and conditional discharges

Absolute and conditional discharges are considered as non-custodial offences or other out of court disposals, recorded on a person’s criminal record. The exception to this is where the person is given a conditional discharge but commits a further offence during the period of conditional discharge and is re-sentenced. In such a case the order conditionally discharging the person will be considered as a conviction when assessing the good character requirement.

Fines

A fine counts as a criminal conviction and forms part of someone’s criminal record. Fines must be declared and may result in refusal if received within the last three years.

Fixed Penalty Notices

A fixed penalty notice will not normally result in refusal unless the person has failed to pay or has unsuccessfully challenged the notice and there were subsequent criminal proceedings resulting in a conviction. In such instances, they would be treated in line with the sentence imposed by the court. However, multiple fixed penalty notices over a short period of time could demonstrate a disregard for the law and therefore demonstrate that someone is not of good character.

Cautions, Warnings And Reprimands

A caution (simple or conditional), youth caution, warning or reprimand, are all examples of an ‘out of court disposal’ which are recorded on a person’s criminal record. Youth cautions are a formal out of court disposal that can be used as an alternative to prosecution for young offenders (aged 10 to 17) in certain circumstances.

A reprimand is issued for a minor first offence and where there is sufficient evidence for prosecution. A final warning is issued by the police for a second offence, no matter how minor. It is also possible to get a final warning for a serious first offence.

A reprimand and a final warning are non-custodial sentences and would be treated in the same way as a caution when considering whether an applicant meets the good character requirement. Even where a person does not have a caution, warning or reprimand within the last 3 years, an application may still be refused if the person has received multiple disposals of this kind that show a pattern of offending.

Community Resolutions

A community resolution is used for less serious offences or anti-social behaviour. It is a tool which enables the police to make decisions about how to deal more proportionately with lower level crime and is primarily aimed at first time offenders where genuine remorse has been expressed and where the victim has agreed that they do not want the police to take more formal action. In establishing whether the good character requirement is met, Home Office would consider the seriousness of the offence and whether it was a first-time offence.

Community Sentences

Where a person is convicted of a crime by a court they may receive a variety of sentences other than custody. These are often referred to as community sentences.
They are designed to allow offenders to follow programmes to rehabilitate them, or to do work for the community.

Having one or more of the community sentences is a non-custodial sentence or other out of court disposal that is recorded on a person’s criminal record. Even where a person does not have a community sentence within the last 3 years, Home Office may still conclude that a person is not of good character, and therefore refuse an application, if they have received multiple disposals of this kind that show a pattern of offending.

Detention And Training Orders

A detention or training order (DTO) applies to young people aged between 12 and 17 who have been given a sentence of between four months and two years. The first half of the sentence is spent in custody and the second half in the community. The seriousness of the offence is always taken into account when a young person is sentenced to a DTO.

Confiscation And Forfeiture Orders

A confiscation order is made after conviction to deprive a person of the financial benefit or benefits they have obtained from criminal conduct. This is similar to a fine, with the person against whom the order has been made having to pay the amount within a set period. However, it is not treated as a fine for the purposes of a conviction and it does not count as a non-custodial sentence.

Instead, where a person has had a confiscation or forfeiture order made against them, Home Office would consider whether that indicates a person is not of good character (either on its own or in combination with other factors) even if the sentence they received alongside the order would not in itself lead to a refusal.

Civil Orders

The criminal and civil courts have numerous powers to make orders relating to a person’s conduct, and whilst the making of such an order does not result in a conviction being recorded against the individual concerned, this will have a bearing on any assessment of that person’s character. Some orders follow automatically on conviction. For example, a restraining order may follow on from a conviction for assault. Others may be applied for by the police, the CPS or the alleged victim.

An order may contain conditions prohibiting an individual from carrying out specific anti-social acts or, for example, entering defined areas. A civil order will not normally result in refusal unless the person has:

  • violated or broken the civil order and there were criminal proceedings as a result, or
  • received an order or orders which would suggest a pattern of behaviour that calls into question their character, or
  • there are other factors to suggest the individual is not of good character.
    In cases where a person has violated or broken the civil order and there were criminal proceedings as a result, you must consider this as a conviction and assess it in line with the new sentence imposed.

Hospital Orders And Restriction Orders

Hospital orders are different to civil orders. A crown court or magistrate’s court in England or Wales may authorise detention in a hospital for treatment where a person has committed an offence (for example, a hospital order under section 37 of the Mental Health Act 1983). To do this the court should be satisfied that the offender is suffering from mental illness, psychopathic disorder, or some degree of mental impairment.

In addition to a hospital order, the court may impose a restriction order under section 41 of the 1983 Act. The court will take into account the nature of the offence, the person’s history, and the risk of the person offending in the future. Where a person is the subject of a hospital order, it is important to find out whether there is a restriction order too.

A hospital order will usually cease to have effect on the date the person is discharged from hospital. This will happen unless the person has been recalled to hospital. In these cases, the order remains in effect until fully discharged.

Being subject to a hospital order is a non-custodial offence or other out of court disposal that is recorded on a person’s criminal record. However, if the hospital order or restricted hospital order has not been fully discharged, Home Office would normally refuse the application irrespective of when the person was subject to the order.

How would Home Office UKVI consider cumulative non-custodial sentences in my application for naturalisation as a British Citizen?

Home Office, UKVI may still refuse an application where a person’s record shows a ‘non-custodial offence or other out of court disposal’ older than 3 years, if the circumstances of the conviction or disposal call the person’s character into question. This will be a case specific consideration, taking account of the following factors:

  • Number of non-custodial sentences: Home Office will consider the number of non-custodial sentences or other out of court disposals on the applicant’s record. There is no set number of non-custodial sentences or other out of court disposals that would lead to an application being refused; however, the higher the number the more likely it is the application will be refused.
  • Period over which offences were committed: Home Office will consider the period over which offences were committed or other disposals occurred. For example, a series of minor offences or disposals in a short space of time may indicate a pattern of sustained anti-social behaviour or disregard for the law which will be relevant to the assessment of the person’s character.
  • Older non-custodial sentences or out of court disposals may be relevant if there are other serious factors.
  • Nature of the offences: Home Office will consider the nature of the offences or the behaviour that led to other disposals. For example, anti-social behaviour, drug use, or violence may indicate that a person’s character is such that their application should be refused (particularly if there is a pattern of such behaviour)
  • Applicant’s age at the date of conviction: Home Office will consider the applicant’s age at the time older non-custodial sentences were imposed or other out of court disposals took place. Isolated youthful indiscretions will not generally indicate a person is of bad character if that individual has clearly been of good character since that time.
  • Exceptional or other circumstances: Home Office will consider the relevance of particular circumstances in someone’s life when they received the non-custodial sentence or the other out of court disposal.

    The list of factors above is not exhaustive.

Do pending prosecutions affect application for naturalisation as a British?

Pending prosecutions may be discovered through criminality checks or because they are self-declared by the person. British Citizenship will not normally be granted to a person who has a pending prosecution and the Home Office will normally place the application on hold until the outcome of judicial proceedings.

What be the effect of international crimes, terrorism and other non-condusive activities on a person's naturalisation application?

A person's application for naturalisation as a British Citizen may be refused by the Home Office UKVI if the person has been involved in activity or behaviour that are not conducive to the public good and where the person poses or has posed a threat to the public, or particular sections of society, whether in the UK or elsewhere.

Also, if there is information to suggest that the person has been involved in international crimes or serious human rights violations, they will not normally be considered to be of good character and the application for naturalisation as a British Citizen will fall to be refused.

Can a person's financial soundness have any effect on meeting the good character requirement for naturalisation as a British Citizen?

The financial situations of a person can affect his good character when deciding an application for naturalisation as a British Citizen.

Bankruptcy And Liquidation

The Home Office UKVI will consider whether the person was reckless or irresponsible in their financial affairs leading to their bankruptcy or their company’s liquidation. If so, it is likely to be reflected by a disqualification order which prevents a person from being a Director or taking part in the management of a limited company for a period of up to 15 years. Details of all disqualifications will be on the Companies House website. Where a person has a disqualification order, an application for British Citizenship will normally be refused.

An application will also normally be refused where the person has deliberately relied on a recession to avoid payment of taxes or payment to creditors. However, where the person was made bankrupt or their company went into liquidation through little or no fault of their own, the application will not normally be refused. For example, they may have simply been a victim of the poor business decisions of others or their business has been severely affected by an economic downturn.

Debt

An application will not normally be refused simply because the person is in debt, especially if loan repayments have been made as agreed or if acceptable efforts are being made to pay off accumulated debts. However, where a person deliberately and recklessly builds up debts and there is no evidence of a serious intention to pay them off, the application will normally be refused.

NHS Debt

A person will not normally be considered to be of good character if they have outstanding debts to the NHS in accordance with the relevant NHS regulations on charges to overseas visitors. The Home Office will write to the applicant in all cases where checks have identified there is an outstanding NHS debt and ask them to demonstrate they have paid their debt. Once an NHS debt has been cleared, Home Office UKVI will not count it when assessing whether an applicant is of good character.

Fraud in relation to public funds

An application will not be refused simply because the person is reliant on public funds. However, an applicant may be knowingly drawing or has knowingly drawn public funds to which they are not entitled. Where this is the case, the application for citizenship will normally be refused.

Non-payment of council tax

An application will not normally be refused where the person has been unable to pay council tax because of their financial position, particularly if an arrangement is being, or has been, negotiated with the relevant authority. However, payment of council tax is a legal requirement and non-compliance is a punishable offence. Therefore, an application will normally be refused where a person has either:

  • unreasonably failed to pay
  • provided a false statement or statements, including failing to declare their full circumstances, to avoid paying the correct rate

Can I be refused naturalisation as a British Citizen based on allegations of deception and dishonesty?

Concealment of information or lack of frankness will raise doubt about, and therefore reflect poorly on, the applicant’s character. An application will normally be refused only where the person has attempted to lie or conceal the truth about an aspect of their application, whether on the application form or in the course of enquiries, including where they have knowingly provided false personal details, for example date of birth, name or nationality.

Deceitful or dishonest dealings with Her Majesty’s Government

An application will normally be refused where the person has attempted to deceive or otherwise been clearly dishonest in their dealings with another government department. Where false or deliberately misleading information was provided in an earlier immigration application, Home Office will consider whether it is also appropriate to refuse on grounds of deception. The extent to which false information was provided would be be assessed and what, if anything, was intended or actually gained as a result.

The Home Office UKVI should not refuse an application if they are satisfied that the person made a genuine mistake on an application form or claimed something to which they reasonably believed or were advised they were entitled to and there are no other adverse factors impacting on the applicant’s good character.

Failure to disclose information required in a nationality application

Where the applicant fails to disclose information that would result in the application being refused on good character grounds, the application will be refused and any further application for citizenship will normally be refused for the next 10 years. This applies unless it is accepted that the failure to disclose was unintentional and a genuine error.

Deception in previous applications

An application will normally be refused where there is evidence that a person has employed deception either:

  • during the citizenship application process
  • in a previous immigration application in the previous 10 years

An application will normally be refused if there has been any deception in the 10 years prior to the application for citizenship. For these purposes, the deception is regarded as continuing until the date on which it is discovered or admitted. For example, if a person used deception in an application in 2008, but that was discovered or admitted to in 2010, the 10-year period would start in 2010.

Can immigration related issues affect good character requirement for naturalisation as a British Citizen?

The immigration abuses by a person can be relevant when assessing the good character requirement in citizenship applications.

Deportation order

If the applicant is the subject of an extant deportation order, they will normally fall to be refused. If a decision is made to revoke the deportation order Home Office will proceed to consider the application in the usual manner.

Sham marriages or civil partnerships and marriages or civil partnerships of convenience

An application will normally be refused where there is evidence that a person has entered or attempted to enter into a sham marriage or civil partnership or a marriage or civil partnership of convenience in the 10 years prior to the application. For these purposes, the 10-year period starts from the point the deception is discovered or admitted.

Abuse of the English language or Knowledge of Life tests

An application will normally be refused where there is evidence that a person has practised deception in a Knowledge of Life, Life in the UK or English language test in the 10 years prior to the application.

Prosecution for false statements (applications for citizenship)

Under section 46(1) of the British Nationality Act 1981 (BNA 1981), a person who knowingly or recklessly makes a false statement, either in the application or during an interview, is liable to prosecution. In cases where a false statement is made, Home Office will consider referring the evidence to the police. If the CPS decides to prosecute a person, a decision on the application will be deferred until the outcome of the proceedings is known. Any subsequent application for citizenship will also normally be refused if it is made within 10 years from the date of the refusal on these grounds.

False statements by referees

Referees may also be liable to prosecution under section 46(1) where they have been involved in attempts to deceive, for example, by deliberately making false statements about the length and nature of their acquaintance with the person. An application will normally be refused if there has been any deception by a referee in the 10 years prior to the application for citizenship. For these purposes, the deception is regarded as continuing until the date on which it is discovered or admitted.

Failing to pay litigation costs

Litigation debt is a debt owed to the Home Office where the court or Tribunal has ordered another party to pay Home Office legal costs. Failing to pay litigation costs owed to the Home Office may demonstrate that a person is not of good character.

Non-compliance with immigration requirements

An application will normally be refused if, within the previous 10 years (before the date of decision), the person has not complied with immigration requirements, including having:

  • failed to comply with (breached) conditions imposed under the Immigration Acts, for example:
    • accessed public funds when prohibited from doing so
    • worked in the UK without permission to do so
    • studied in the UK in contravention of any restrictions on studying
    • failed, without reasonable excuse, to report when required to do so
  • remained in the UK after their leave, including when leave extended by virtue of section 3C or 3D of the Immigration Act 1971 has expired.

Abuse of immigration requirements may also occur if a person enters or remains in the UK for a purpose other than that for which they were given leave to enter or remain. For example, where a person is found to be working full time in the UK having entered the UK as a Tier 4 student and having failed to undertake or complete the course of study for which the leave was given.

Overstaying

Where a person overstayed at some point in the 10 years prior to an application for citizenship, discretion to overlook this breach will normally only be considered if it is the sole adverse factor weighing against the person’s good character; and

  • the person’s application for leave to remain was made before 24 November 2016 and within 28 days of the expiry of their previous leave, or
  • the person’s application for leave to remain was made on or after 24 November 2016, and the application did not fall for refusal on the grounds of overstaying because an exception under paragraph 39E of the Immigration Rules applied, or
  • the period without leave was not the fault of the applicant, for example where it arose from a Home Office decision to refuse which is subsequently withdrawn or quashed or which the courts have required the Home Office to reconsider.

Illegal Entry

If an applicant entered the UK illegally, an application for citizenship will normally be refused if the illegal entry is confirmed as having occurred during the preceding 10 years. However, Article 31 states that refugees should not have any penalties imposed upon them as a consequence of illegally entering or being present in the country of refuge illegally in order to seek sanctuary, provided that they:

  • travelled to the country of refuge directly from the territory where they fear persecution
  • presented themselves to the domestic authorities without delay
  • showed good cause for their illegal entry or presence

An applicant who, having entered illegally, delayed claiming asylum beyond this period will normally be refused citizenship unless there is a reasonable explanation for the delay.

Absconders

A person given temporary admission, temporary release, bail or release on a restriction order may be required to report at stipulated intervals to a port of entry or to an immigration reporting centre. A person who fails to comply with any reporting restrictions, thus no longer maintaining contact with the Home Office so that their whereabouts are unknown, may become subject to absconder action. A person who has previously absconded will normally be refused citizenship for a period of 10 years from the date they last brought themselves or came to the attention of the Home Office after having absconded.

Assisting illegal migration

An application for citizenship will normally be refused if there are grounds for believing that the person is currently, or has previously been, involved in an attempt to assist someone in the evasion of immigration control. This includes a person who has assisted another person to enter or attempt to enter into a sham marriage or civil partnership. In such cases refusal will normally be indefinite.

Illegal working

An application will normally be refused if, within the previous 10 years (before the date of decision), the person has worked in the UK when their conditions of leave prohibited employment.

Hiring illegal workers

Where there is reliable evidence to suggest that a person has employed illegal workers, their application for citizenship will normally be refused. In such cases refusal will normally be indefinite.

Deprivation of citizenship

In cases where the deprivation was based on fraud, false representation or the concealment of material fact under section 40(3) of the BNA 1981, any further application made within a period of 10 years from the date the deprivation order was issued will normally be refused. For cases where the deprivation decision was made on ‘conducive to the public good’ grounds under section 40(2) of the BNA 1981, any further application will normally be refused. For example, deprivation on the grounds that someone has committed a serious criminal offence may also involve a conviction that will mean a person would never normally be eligible to re-acquire citizenship. If a person re-applies for citizenship after having been deprived and asks for discretion to be exercised in their favour, applications should be referred to the Chief Caseworker.

How does the Home Office UKVI apply the good character requirement to young persons?

The good character requirement applies to a person who is aged 10 or over at the date of application. When assessing whether a child is of good character, the Home Office caseworker must take account of any mitigation relevant to the child’s particular circumstances. Consideration must also be given by Home Office caseworkers to any subsequent mitigation put forward by the applicant that was not taken into account at the time of sentencing.

The Home Office caseworker may exercise discretion where a child’s criminality would result in a lifetime refusal of any citizenship application (i.e. over 4 years in prison). In these cases the amount of time passed since the crime should be weighed up against any evidence of rehabilitation.

FAQs - Extension Of Overseas Media Representative Visa UK

How can I apply for extension of my overseas media representative visa?

If you are already in the UK with an overseas media representative visa, you can apply for extension/renewal of your overseas media representative visa by completing online application form FLR (IR).

Can I use Super Priority Service (decision within 24 hours) for my overseas media representative visa renewal?

No, you cannot use Super Priority Service for renewal of your overseas media representative visa as Super Priority Service is not available for overseas media representative visa extension application. You can only use standard service for extension of your overseas media representative visa.

For how long will I be granted further extension if my application for overseas media representative visa renewal is successful?

As a result of a successful application for renewal of your overseas media representative visa, you will be granted further leave to remain for 2 years as a representative of an overseas media organisation.

Do I need a letter from my employer to renew my overseas media representative visa?

Yes, you will need a certification letter from your employer to support your application for renewal of your overseas media representative visa.

What are the eligibility requirements for overseas media representative visa extension?

To succeed in your application for overseas media representative visa extension application, you must satisfy the following eligibility criteria:

  • You must be in the UK as a representative an overseas business and working in the UK as an overseas media representative;
  • You must still be working for the same employer as when you were issued your previous overseas media representative visa for UK. You must show that you are in receipt of a salary from your employer by evidence of the salary paid in the previous 12 months and confirmation of how that salary was paid - for example, whether it was paid as basic or commission and the numbers of hours paid;
  • You are still required by your employer for the same job and this is certified by your employer way of a letter issued by your employer;
  • You only intend to work for the same employer in the same job as your entry clearance was granted for;
  • Your employer's principal place of business is still outside the UK;
  • You can maintain and accommodate yourself and your dependants adequately without recourse to public funds;
  • You must not be in breach of immigration laws, except that any periods of overstaying allowed by the Immigration Rules which will be disregarded.

How can I challenge the refusal of my overseas media representative visa extension application?

If your application for renewal of overseas media representative visa is refused by the Home Office UKVI, you can file an Administrative Review (AR) of the Home Office refusal decision within 14 days of the refusal decision date. The Home Office UKVI will consider and decide your Administrative Review (AR) within 28 days of receiving the Administrative Review (AR).

Can I re-apply for overseas media representative visa extension after the refusal of my visa renewal application?

You can re-apply for extension of your overseas media representative visa after the refusal of your renewal application within 14 days of either the refusal of your application or within 14 days of the Administrative Review (AR) decision against the refusal of your application. Our expert team of immigration solicitors can help you prepare and file a fresh application for overseas media representative visa extension after the refusal of your visa renewal application.

What is the processing time of overseas media representative visa extension application?

According to the Home Office UKVI website, a decision on your overseas media representative visa extension application will be made within 8 weeks.

You’ll be contacted if your application is complex and will take longer, for example:

  • if your supporting documents need to be verified
  • if you need to attend an interview
  • because of your personal circumstances (for example if you have a criminal conviction)

 

FAQs - Sole Represenative Visa Entry Clearance UK

Can I switch into sole representative visa from inside the UK?

You cannot switch into representative of an overseas business visa from inside the UK and the initial application can only be made through an entry clearance from outside the UK.

For how long will I be granted UK visa as a result of a successful application for entry clearance as a sole representative of an overseas business?

As a result of successful entry clearance for sole representative visa UK, you will be granted UK visa as a sole representative of an overseas business for 3 years with an option to extend it for further 2 years to be eligible for ILR after 5 years.

What is a sole representative?

The Home Office UKVI will take into account the following factors when considering whether the applicant can be treated as a sole representative under the representative of an overseas business category:

The sole representative must have:

  • been employed by the parent company in a senior job role within the company
  • a track record of setting up branches for other companies, if they have been employed specifically to undertake this role
  • authority to take operational decisions once in the UK, as indicated by the role in the company hierarchy

Majority shareholders in the parent company are not eligible for entry as sole representatives. The Entry Clearance Officer (ECO) will refuse an application when an applicant’s shareholding is over 50 per cent.

What are the eligibility requirements for sole representative visa entry clearance?

You can apply for entry clearance as sole representative of an overseas employer who intends to establish a commercial presence by operating a registered branch or wholly-owned subsidiary of that overseas business in the UK: that branch or subsidiary will operate in the same type of business activity as the overseas business.

For you to make a successful application as a sole representative of an overseas business, you must:

  • be recruited and employed outside the UK by the employer they intend to represent in the UK
  • intend to work full-time for the organisation
  • not intend to take any other employment
  • be applying to be the sole representative in the UK of an overseas employer who intends to establish and operate a registered branch or wholly-owned subsidiary of that overseas business in the UK: that branch or subsidiary will operate in the same type of business activity as the overseas business
  • not be a majority shareholder in that overseas business
  • be a senior employee of the overseas company
  • have full authority to take operational decisions on behalf of the overseas business for the purpose of representing it in the UK
  • obtain entry clearance in this category before arrival in the UK and present it to an border force officer on arrival
  • provide evidence that you can maintain and accommodate yourself and any dependants adequately without recourse to public funds
  • meet the required standard in English language

You employer must have:

  • its headquarters and principal place of business outside the UK
  • no branch, subsidiary or other representative in the UK

If there is already a branch, subsidiary or other representative in the UK, employees must apply under the points-based system.

What the conditions of grant of UK visa entry clearance as a sole representative of an overseas business?

Leave to enter or remain under this route is subject to the following conditions:

  • no recourse to public funds;
  • must register with the police, if required by paragraph 326 of the Immigration Rules;
  • work only as a representative for the business which they have been admitted to represent;
  • study (with no limit on the number of study hours if it doesn’t interfere with the job they have been sponsored to do).

Can I sponsor my dependants to join me or accompany me to the UK?

You can sponsor your dependants (spouse/partner and children under the age of 18) to accompany you to the UK or to join you later in the UK as your dependants.

What is difference between a branch and subsidiary of an overseas compnay in the UK?

You must consider the following information for a branch or subsidiary to meet the requirements of the representative of an overseas business category:

Branch Of An Overseas Company

A registered branch is part of a company organised to conduct business on behalf of the parent company. This enables someone in the UK to deal direct with the branch here instead of the company in its home country.

The sole representative must intend to, and then actually, establish the new branch in the UK. This must be the same type of business as the parent company overseas. For example, it must supply a similar product or service. An overseas manufacturing company can establish a UK branch for the sale or servicing of their products in the UK.
The UK branch must register with Companies House as a UK establishment within one month of opening.

You can apply for sole representative representative visa entry clearance after a branch is established in the UK, as long as that branch:

  • exists only as a legal entity;
  • has set up a bank account;
  • has identified, and set up, premises.

Entry clearance as a sole representative will only be granted where:

  • no staff are employed;
  • the branch has not yet transacted any business.

An example might be when the company has set up as a legal entity in advance of the company’s expansion into the UK.

A Wholly-owned Subsidiary

If a parent company or holding company owns 100% of another company, that company is called a "wholly-owned subsidiary." Wholly-owned subsidiaries are 100 percent owned by the parent company.

Advantages of using wholly owned subsidiaries include vertical integration of supply chains, diversification, risk management, and favorable tax treatment abroad. Disadvantages include the possibility of multiple taxation, lack of business focus, and conflicting interest between subsidiaries and the parent company.

While a branch has no separate legal standing, a subsidiary company is a separate legal entity and has an identity different from its holding company. In case of branches, there may be the joint or separate maintenance of accounts, whereas the subsidiaries maintain their own separate accounts.

The most common form of company for a UK subsidiary is the private limited company, and setting up a company of that type involves going through the standard UK company registration process and applying to Companies House. A UK subsidiary has to have at least one named director.

What should the terms of employment of a sole representative entail?

The applicant must provide an employment contract which should lay down all the terms and conditions of employment of the sole representative. The terms and conditions of employment should entail, among other factors, the authority (job description) of the sole representative and the salary and hours of the sole representative.

 

What is the processing time for sole representative visa entry clearance appliation?

Standard Service

An application for sole representative visa entry clearance made using standard service is normally granted within 3 to 4 weeks.

Priority Service

If the Prioirty Service is available in the country you’re applying from you can choose the ‘priority service’ when you apply. There will be an additional cost for this service. A decision will be made within 5 working days of your appointment at the visa application centre.

Check with your visa application centre to see if the priority visa service is available in the country you’re applying from. The priority visa service is available in most countries.

You might wait longer for a decision if your application is not straightforward and more information is required before a decision is made. If your application is delayed, you will be informed by the Entry Clearance Officer (ECO) within the standard timescales for your visa.

FAQs - ILR Overseas Media Representative

How can I apply for ILR as a representative of an overseas media organisation?

You can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) as an overseas media representative by completing an online application form.

Can I apply for ILR as an overseas media representative using Super Priority Service?

No, you cannot use Super Priority Service for ILR as an overseas media representative because Super Priority Service is not available for ILR as an overseas media representative. You can only use standard service for ILR as an overseas media representative.

When can I apply for ILR as an overseas media representative?

You can apply for ILR as an overseas media representative 28 days before completing 5 years residence in the UK with leave to remain as an overseas media representative. Your qualifying period can include time from the date your initial application for entry clearance was approved.

What are the eligibility requiremets for ILR as an overseas media representative?

You can apply for ILR as an overseas media representative if you meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • You have completed 5 years in the UK with UK visa as an overseas media representative;
  • You have met the requirements of an overseas media representative throughout the 5 year period and you should still meet all the requirements - this includes being employed throughout the period, for example by providing P60s for the last 5 years and pay slips for the last 3 months;
  • You should provide evidence to show that your employer is still be actively trading and remains centred overseas;
  • You have no more than 180 days outside the UK in any 12 months (known as ‘continuous residence’);
  • You provide proof that your employer still needs you to do your job;
  • You must not be in breach of immigration laws, except that any period of overstaying allowed under the Immigration Rules will be disregarded.

You should also:

Can I re-apply for ILR as an overseas media representative after the refusal of my ILR application?

You can re-apply for ILR as an overseas media representative after the refusal of your ILR application within 14 days of either the refusal of your ILR application or within 14 days of the Administrative Review (AR) decision against the refusal of your ILR application. Our expert team of immigration solicitors can help you prepare and file a fresh application for ILR as an overseas media representative after the refusal of your ILR application.

What is the absences criteria for ILR as an overseas media representative?

You cannot have had more than 180 days’ absences from the United Kingdom during any consecutive 12 month period within the 5 year period. You will need to list details of your absences from the United Kingdom, including the reasons for those absences, on your application form for ILR as an overseas media employee. You can include the time between your entry clearance being granted and you entering the United Kingdom as part of your continuous period. Absences between the date entry clearance is granted and the date you enter the United Kingdom are treated as an absence from the United Kingdom and will form part of the 180 days allowed within a continuous 12-month period. You do not need to provide evidence to demonstrate a period of absence between obtaining entry clearance and entering the United Kingdom.

For ILR application as an overseas media representative made after 11 January 2018, Home Office would consider absences from the UK on a rolling basis, rather than in separate consecutive 12-month periods. If your qualifying period includes leave granted before this date, any absences during that leave will be considered under the previous rules – in separate 12-month periods, ending on the same date as you make your ILR as a sole representative application.

For example, you apply for ILR as an overseas media representative on 30 June 2020. Your continuous period includes the following grants of leave:

  • One grant of leave from 1 July 2015 to 28 July 2018 – Any absences during this grant of leave will be considered in separate 12 month periods, ending on 30 June each year.
  • One grant of leave from 29 July 2018 to 30 June 2020 – Any absences during this grant of leave will be considered on a rolling basis. Home Office UKVI will not include any absences from the previous grant of leave when they assess this.

Work Related Absences Or Absences In Line With Annual Paid Leave

If any of your absences are in connection with employment or in line with annual paid leave you will need to provide a letter from the relevant employer detailing the purpose and period of absences, including periods of annual paid leave. You will need to provide this information for the full 5 year continuous period.

Absences Due To Serious Or Compelling Reasons

If any of your absences are due to a serious or compelling reasons, you must provide a personal letter which includes full details of the reason(s) for the absences and all relevant supporting documents in relation to those reasons - e.g. medical certificates, birth/death certificates, other information about the reasons which led to the absence from the United Kingdom.

Whatever the reason for absences from the United Kingdom, they will still be counted towards the maximum 180 days unless they fall under a specific exemption. This includes any absences for work reasons, or serious and compelling reasons.

Exemption Where Absences Are Not Considered

Your absences are not considered as part of the maximum 180 days where you have been absent from the United Kingdom assisting with a national or international humanitarian or environmental crisis.

What is the processing time of ILR application as an overseas media representative?

According to the Home Office UKVI website, a decision on your ILR application as an overseas media representative will be made within 6 months.

You’ll be contacted if your ILR application is complex and will take longer, for example:

  • if your supporting documents need to be verified
  • if you need to attend an interview
  • because of your personal circumstances (for example if you have a criminal conviction)

How can I challenge the refusal of my ILR as an overseas media representative?

If your application for ILR as an overseas media representative has been refused by the Home Office, UKVI, you can file an Administrative Review (AR) of the Home Office refusal decision within 14 days of the refusal decision date. The Home Office UKVI will review the refusal decision and decide the Administrative Review (AR) request within 28 days of receiving the Administrative Review (AR) request.

FAQs - Overseas Media Representative UK - Entry Clearance

Can I switch into overseas media representative visa from inside the UK?

You cannot switch into overseas media representative visa from inside the UK and the initial application can only be made through an entry clearance from outside the UK.

For how long will I be granted UK visa as a result of a successful application for entry clearance as a representative of an overseas media organisation?

As a result of successful entry clearance for overseas media representative visa UK, you will be granted UK visa as a representative of an overseas media company for 3 years with an option to extend it for further 2 years to be eligible for ILR after 5 years.

What is the processing time for overseas media representative visa entry clearance appliation?

Standard Service

An application for overseas media representative visa entry clearance made using standard service is normally granted within 3 to 4 weeks.

Priority Service

If the Prioirty Service is available in the country you’re applying from you can choose the ‘priority service’ when you apply. There will be an additional cost for this service. A decision will be made within 5 working days of your appointment at the visa application centre.

Check with your visa application centre to see if the priority visa service is available in the country you’re applying from. The priority visa service is available in most countries.

You might wait longer for a decision if your application is not straightforward and more information is required before a decision is made. If your application is delayed, you will be informed by the Entry Clearance Officer (ECO) within the standard timescales for your visa.

What are the eligibility requirements for overseas media representative visa entry clearance?

You can apply for UK visa entry clearance if you are a representative of an overseas newspaper, news agency or broadcasting organisation and you are being posted by your overseas employer on a long-term assignment in the UK.

For you to make a successful application as a representative of an overseas newspaper, news agency or broadcasting organisation, you must:

  • be recruited and employed outside the UK by the employer you intend to represent in the UK
  • intend to work full-time for the organisation
  • not intend to take any other employment
  • be based mainly in the UK and working on a UK long-term assignment
  • obtain entry clearance in this category before arrival in the UK and present it to a border force officer on arrival
  • provide evidence you can maintain and accommodate yourself and any dependants adequately without recourse to public funds
  • meet the required standard in English language

What the conditions of grant of UK visa entry clearance as an overseas media representative?

Leave to enter or remain under this route is subject to the following conditions:

  • no recourse to public funds;
  • must register with the police, if required by paragraph 326 of the Immigration Rules;
  • work only as a representative for the business which they have been admitted to represent;
  • study (with no limit on the number of study hours if it doesn’t interfere with the job they have been sponsored to do).

Can I sponsor my dependants to join me or accompany me to the UK?

You can sponsor your dependants (spouse/partner and children under the age of 18) to accompany you to the UK or to join you later in the UK as your dependants.

FAQs - Extension/Renewal Of Sole Representative Visa UK

How can I apply for extension of my sole representative visa?

If you are already in the UK with sole representative visa, you can apply for extension/renewal of your sole representative visa by completing online application form FLR (IR).

Can I use Super Priority Service (decision within 24 hours) for my sole representative visa renewal?

No, you cannot use Super Priority Service for renewal of your sole representative visa as Super Priority Service is not available for sole representative visa extension application. You can only use standard service for extension of your sole representative visa .

For how long will I be granted further extension if my application for sole representative visa renewal is successful?

As a result of a successful application for renewal of your sole representative visa, you will be granted further leave to remain for 2 years as a sole representative.

Do I need a letter from my employer to renew my sole representative visa?

Yes, you will need a certification letter from your employer to support your application for renewal of your sole representative visa.

What are the eligibility requirements for sole representative visa extension?

To succeed in your application for sole representative visa extension application, you must satisfy the following eligibility criteria:

  • You must be in the UK with sole representative visa as a representative of an overseas business;
  • You must still be working for the same employer in the UK branch or subsidiary of the overseas parent company;
  • You must only intend to work for the same employer full time and in the same job as a representative of an overseas business;
  • You must show that you have been in receipt of salary from your employer by providing evidence of the salary paid in the previous 12 months and confirmation of how that salary was paid: for example, whether basic or commission, and the number of hours paid;
  • You should provide confirmation from your employer that you are still required for your job as a sole representative;
  • Your employer's principal place of business and business head quarter is still outside the UK;
  • You must show that you have established and are in charge of a branch or subsidiary in the same type of activity as the parent company;
  • You must provide evidence that you have generated business, principally with firms in the UK, on behalf of your employer since entry to the UK or your last extension of stay: the evidence must be in the form of accounts, copies of invoices or letters from firms who you have done business with, including indications of the value of transactions;
  • You must provide a Companies House certificate of registration as a UK establishment (for a branch) OR a certificate of incorporation (for a subsidiary) with either a copy of the share register or a letter from the company’s accountants confirming that all shares are held by the parent company;
  • You must be able to maintain and accommodate yourself and any dependants adequately without recourse to public funds;
  • You must not be in breach of immigration laws, except that any period of overstaying allowed under the Immigration Rules will be disregarded.

How can I challenge the refusal of my sole representative visa extension application?

If your application for renewal of sole representative visa is refused by the Home Office UKVI, you can file an Administrative Review (AR) of the Home Office refusal decision within 14 days of the refusal decision date. The Home Office UKVI will consider and decide your Administrative Review (AR) within 28 days of receiving the Administrative Review (AR).

Can I re-apply for sole representative visa extension after the refusal of my visa renewal application?

You can re-apply for extension of your sole representative visa after the refusal of your renewal application within 14 days of either the refusal of your application or within 14 days of the Administrative Review (AR) decision against the refusal of your application. Our expert team of immigration solicitors can help you prepare and file a fresh application for sole representative visa extension after the refusal of your visa renewal application.

What is the processing time of sole representative visa extension application?

According to the Home Office UKVI website, a decision on your sole representative visa extension application will be made within 8 weeks.

You’ll be contacted if your application is complex and will take longer, for example:

  • if your supporting documents need to be verified
  • if you need to attend an interview
  • because of your personal circumstances (for example if you have a criminal conviction)

 

FAQs - Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa UK - Entry Clearance

What are the useful online sources for information about Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa UK entry clearance?

Following are the useful online sources of information and advice relating to Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa entry clearance:

Home Office UKVI Guidance On Application For UK Visa As Tier 1 Entrepreneur

The Home Office UKVI guidance on application for UK visa as Tier 1 Entrepreneur is a useful source of information for applicants who are considering to apply for UK visa entry clearance as Tier 1 Entrepreneur.

gov.uk logo

245DB. Requirements For Entry Clearance

Paragraph 245DB in part 6A of the Immigration Rules lays down the requirements an applicant has to meet for UK visa entry clearance as Tier 1 Entrepreneur.

gov.uk logo

OANDA Currency Coverter

OANDA Currency Coverter is the Home Officer UKVI approved currency converter to convert foreign currency to Great Britain Pounds (GBP).

Can I apply for Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa entry clearance from outside the UK.

The Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa category has been closed by the Home Office UKVI from 30 March 2019 for initial applications and has been replaced by Innovator visa category. However, a person with Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur leave or someone who switched from Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur to Start-up visa can still make initial application for Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa. Also, a person who previously had Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur visa in last 12 months can apply for Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa entry clearance from outside the UK.

What is the processing time of Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa entry clearance application?

Standard Service

An application for Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa entry clearance made using standard service is normally granted within 3 to 4 weeks.

Priority Service

If the Prioirty Service is available in the country you’re applying from you can choose the ‘priority service’ when you apply. There will be an additional cost for this service. A decision will be made within 5 working days of your appointment at the visa application centre.

Check with your visa application centre to see if the priority visa service is available in the country you’re applying from. The priority visa service is available in most countries.

You might wait longer for a decision if your application is not straightforward and more information is required before a decision is made. If your application is delayed, you will be informed by the Entry Clearance Officer (ECO) within the standard timescales for your visa.

What are the eligibility requirements for Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa entry clearance?

You can apply for UK visa entry clearance for Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa if you have:

  • a valid Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) visa
  • a valid Start-up visa, and you switched from a Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) visa for your second year
  • a Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) visa that expired less than 12 months ago
  • a Start-up visa that expired less than 12 months ago, and you switched from a Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) visa for your second year

What are the conditions of grant of UK visa entry clearance as a Tier 1 Entrepreneur?

Permission to stay under Tier 1 Entrepreneur route will be subject to the following conditions:

  • no recourse to public funds (which means you will not be able to claim most benefits paid by the state);
  • registration with the police, if this is required by paragraph 326 of the Immigration Rules;
  • no employment other than working for the business or businesses that you have established, joined or taken over, but working for such business(es) does not include any work you do which is effectively employment with another business;
  • no employment as a professional sportsperson (including as a sports coach); and
  • study subject to getting ATAS certificate, where required by the Rules.

Can I sponsor my dependants to join me or accompany me to the UK?

You can sponsor your dependants (spouse/partner and children under the age of 18) to accompany you to the UK or to join you later in the UK as your dependants.

What Is The Points Based Criteria For Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa Entry Clearance?

Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa is a Points Based visa category and points can be awarded for the Attributes Section, English language and funds for maintenance. A Tier 1 Entrepreneur migrant should score 95 points in total to qualify for entry clearance as a Tier 1 Entrepreneur migrant. The breakdown of the required points for Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa entry clearance is given in the table below:

Criterion Points
The applicant must demonstrate that they have access to funds of at least £50,000 which is available to them or their business. 25
The applicant’s money is held in one or more regulated financial institution 25
The applicant’s money is disposable in the UK. If the applicant is applying for leave to remain the money must be held in the UK. 25
Funds for maintenance 10
English language 10
Total Points 95

Do I need a business plan to apply for Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa for the UK?

If the applicant is making an initial Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa entry clearance application, they must provide a business plan, setting out their proposed business activities in the UK and how they expect to make their business succeed.

Do I need overseas criminal record certificate to apply for my Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa entry clearance?

If you are applying for entry clearance as a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) migrant or as an adult dependant (over 18 years old) of the main applicant in this route, you must provide an overseas criminal record certificate for any country you have been present in continuously or cumulatively for 12 months or more, in the 10 years prior to your application.

You must provide the following specified documents:

  • The certificate, for each country (excluding the UK) where you resided continuously or cumulatively for 12 months or more in the last 10 years, since aged 18 years old, issued by the overseas authority, and
  • If the original is not in English, then you must provide a translated copy of certificate, in line with the requirements set out in the criminal records checks guidance on GOV.UK.

Certificates will only be considered valid if they have been issued within 6 months of the visa application or within the expressed validity period of the document, whichever is shorter. Current information on how to obtain certificates from various countries can be found in the criminal records checks guidance on GOV.UK.

If you are unable to obtain a certificate, for example, because the country does not produce such documents or because of any other reasons, you must provide a letter which details your attempts to obtain a certificate and confirm why this has not been possible. You should submit this letter with your other supporting documents when you apply. UKVI will consider your explanation against the situation in those countries and decide whether to waive the requirement. If UKVI concludes that it is possible for you to obtain a certificate but you have failed to do so, you will be asked again to provide a certificate.

If you fail to provide any certificates or an acceptable explanation, your application will be refused under paragraph 320 (2A) of the General Grounds for Refusal in Part 9 of the Immigration Rules. If you provide false or fraudulently obtained certificates your application will be refused. You may also be subject to a 10 year ban for any future entry clearance applications.

How can I challenge the refusal of my Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa entry clearance application?

If your application for Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa is refused by the Entry Clearance Officer (ECO), you can apply for Administrative Review (AR) of the refusal decision within 28 days of receiving the refusal decision.

The Entry Clearance Manager (ECM) will consider your request for Administrative Review (AR) and give a decision on your request within 28 days of receiving the same. If the Entry Clearance Manager (ECM) maintains the decision to refuse your application in the Administrative Review decision, you then have the option of either re-applying for Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa or challenge the refusal decision by way of Pre Action Protocol (PAP) and Judicial Review (JR).

FAQs - ILR Sole Representative

How can I apply for ILR as a sole representative of an overseas business?

You can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) as a sole representative by completing an online application form.

Can I apply for ILR as a sole representative using Super Priority Service?

No, you cannot use Super Priority Service for ILR as a sole representative as Super Priority Service is not available for ILR as a sole representative. You can only use standard service for ILR as a sole representative.

When can I apply for ILR as a sole representative?

You can apply for ILR as a sole representative 28 days before completing 5 years residence in the UK with leave to remain as a sole representative. Your qualifying period can include time from the date your initial application for entry clearance was approved.

What are the eligibility requiremets for ILR as a sole representative?

You can apply for ILR as a sole representative of an overseas business if you meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • You have completed 5 years in the UK with UK visa as a sole representative of an overseas business;
  • You have met the requirements of a representative of an overseas business throughout the 5 year period and you should still meet all the requirements - this includes being employed throughout the period, for example by providing P60s for the last 5 years and pay slips for the last 3 months;
  • You should provide evidence to show you have established a branch registered as a UK establishment or subsidiary and generated business;
  • You should provide evidence to show that your employer is still be actively trading and remains centred overseas;
  • You have no more than 180 days outside the UK in any 12 months (known as ‘continuous residence’);
  • You provide proof that your employer still needs you to do your job;
  • You must not be in breach of immigration laws, except that any period of overstaying allowed under the Immigration Rules will be disregarded.

You should also:

Can I re-apply for ILR as a sole representative after the refusal of my ILR application?

You can re-apply for ILR as a sole representative after the refusal of your ILR application within 14 days of either the refusal of your ILR application or within 14 days of the Administrative Review (AR) decision against the refusal of your ILR application. Our expert team of immigration solicitors can help you prepare and file a fresh application for ILR as a sole representative after the refusal of your ILR application.

What is the absences criteria for ILR as a sole representative?

You cannot have had more than 180 days’ absences from the United Kingdom during any consecutive 12 month period within the 5 year period. You will need to list details of your absences from the United Kingdom, including the reasons for those absences, on your application form for ILR as a sole representative. You can include the time between your entry clearance being granted and you entering the United Kingdom as part of your continuous period. Absences between the date entry clearance is granted and the date you enter the United Kingdom are treated as an absence from the United Kingdom and will form part of the 180 days allowed within a continuous 12-month period. You do not need to provide evidence to demonstrate a period of absence between obtaining entry clearance and entering the United Kingdom.

For ILR application as a sole representative made after 11 January 2018, Home Office would consider absences from the UK on a rolling basis, rather than in separate consecutive 12-month periods. If your qualifying period includes leave granted before this date, any absences during that leave will be considered under the previous rules – in separate 12-month periods, ending on the same date as you make your ILR as a sole representative application.

For example, you apply for ILR as a sole representative on 30 June 2020. Your continuous period includes the following grants of leave:

  • One grant of leave from 1 July 2015 to 28 July 2018 – Any absences during this grant of leave will be considered in separate 12 month periods, ending on 30 June each year.
  • One grant of leave from 29 July 2018 to 30 June 2020 – Any absences during this grant of leave will be considered on a rolling basis. Home Office UKVI will not include any absences from the previous grant of leave when they assess this.

Work Related Absences Or Absences In Line With Annual Paid Leave

If any of your absences are in connection with employment or in line with annual paid leave you will need to provide a letter from the relevant employer detailing the purpose and period of absences, including periods of annual paid leave. You will need to provide this information for the full 5 year continuous period.

Absences Due To Serious Or Compelling Reasons

If any of your absences are due to a serious or compelling reasons, you must provide a personal letter which includes full details of the reason(s) for the absences and all relevant supporting documents in relation to those reasons - e.g. medical certificates, birth/death certificates, other information about the reasons which led to the absence from the United Kingdom.

Whatever the reason for absences from the United Kingdom, they will still be counted towards the maximum 180 days unless they fall under a specific exemption. This includes any absences for work reasons, or serious and compelling reasons.

Exemption Where Absences Are Not Considered

Your absences are not considered as part of the maximum 180 days where you have been absent from the United Kingdom assisting with a national or international humanitarian or environmental crisis.

What is the processing time of ILR application as a sole representative?

According to the Home Office UKVI website, a decision on your ILR application as a sole representative will be made within 6 months.

You’ll be contacted if your ILR application is complex and will take longer, for example:

  • if your supporting documents need to be verified
  • if you need to attend an interview
  • because of your personal circumstances (for example if you have a criminal conviction)

How can I challenge the refusal of my ILR as a sole representative?

If your application for ILR as a sole representative has been refused by the Home Office, UKVI, you can file an Administrative Review (AR) of the Home Office refusal decision within 14 days of the refusal decision date. The Home Office UKVI will review the refusal decision and decide the Administrative Review (AR) request within 28 days of receiving the Administrative Review (AR) request.

FAQs - Switching Into Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa

What are the useful online sources for information about switching into Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa?

Following are the useful online sources of information for switching into Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa from inside the UK:

Home Office UKVI Guidance On Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa

The Home Office UKVI guidance on application for UK visa as Tier 1 Entrepreneur is a useful source of information for applicants who are considering to apply for switching into Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa from inside the UK.

gov.uk logo

245DD. Requirements For Leave To Remain

Paragraph 245DD in part 6A of the Immigration Rules lays down the requirements an applicant has to meet for switching into Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa from inside the UK.

gov.uk logo

OANDA Currency Coverter

OANDA Currency Coverter is the Home Officer UKVI approved currency converter to convert foreign currency to Great Britain Pounds (GBP).

Can I apply for switching into Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa from inside the UK.

The Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa category has been closed by the Home Office UKVI from 30 March 2019 for initial applications and has been replaced by Innovator visa category. However, a person with Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur leave or someone who switched from Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur to Start-up visa can still make initial application for switching into Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa.

What is the processing time for switching into Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa from inside the UK?

An application for switching into Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa from inside the UK can only be made using standard service and is normally granted within 3 to 4 weeks.

Priority Service or Super Priority Service is not available to applicants applying for switching into Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa from inside the UK.

What are the eligibility requirements for switching into Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa from inside the UK?

If you’re already in the UK you may be able to switch to a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa if:

  • you’re on a Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) visa
  • you switched to a Start-up visa from a Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) visa for your second year

You must meet the eligibility requirements for a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa. You must have:

  • £50,000 in funds to spend in the UK
  • a viable business plan

Additionally, you should also meet the English language requirment and the funds for maintenance requirement.

What are the conditions of grant of leave to remain as a Tier 1 Entrepreneur?

Permission to stay under Tier 1 Entrepreneur route will be subject to the following conditions:

  • no recourse to public funds (which means you will not be able to claim most benefits paid by the state);
  • registration with the police, if this is required by paragraph 326 of the Immigration Rules;
  • no employment other than working for the business or businesses that you have established, joined or taken over, but working for such business(es) does not include any work you do which is effectively employment with another business;
  • no employment as a professional sportsperson (including as a sports coach); and
  • study subject to getting ATAS certificate, where required by the Rules.

Can I sponsor my dependants to stay with me to the UK?

You can sponsor your dependants (spouse/partner and children under the age of 18) to stay with you in the UK as your dependants.

What is the points based criteria for switching into Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa from inside the UK?

Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa is a Points Based visa category and points can be awarded for the Attributes Section, English language and funds for maintenance. A Tier 1 Entrepreneur migrant should score 95 points in total to qualify for switching into Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa. The breakdown of the required points for switching into Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa is given in the table below:

Criterion Points
The applicant must demonstrate that they have access to funds of at least £50,000 which is available to them or their business. 25
The applicant’s money is held in one or more regulated financial institution 25
The applicant’s money is disposable in the UK. If the applicant is applying for leave to remain the money must be held in the UK. 25
Funds for maintenance 10
English language 10
Total Points 95

Do I need a business plan to apply for switching into Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa?

If the applicant is making an initial application for switching into Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa, they must provide a business plan, setting out their proposed business activities in the UK and how they expect to make their business succeed.

FAQs - Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa Extension

What are the useful online sources for information about Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa extension?

Following are the useful online sources of information relating to Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa extension:

Home Office UKVI Guidance On Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa Extension

The Home Office UKVI guidance on application for Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa extension is a useful source of information for applicants who are considering to apply for UK Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa extension.

gov.uk logo

245DD. Requirements For Leave To Remain

Paragraph 245DD in part 6A of the Immigration Rules lays down the requirements an applicant has to meet for extension of Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa.

gov.uk logo

OANDA Currency Coverter

OANDA Currency Coverter is the Home Officer UKVI approved currency converter to convert foreign currency to Great Britain Pounds (GBP).

Can I apply for Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa extension from outside the UK.

Yes, you can apply for extension/renewal of your Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa from outside the UK by making an application for entry clearance. An application for extension of Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa from outside the UK can be made using Priority Service which can be decided by the Home Office UKVI within 5 working days.

What is the processing time of Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa extension application?

Standard Service

An application for Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa extension made from inside the UK using standard service is normally granted within 8 weeks. If your application is complicated, it may take longer.

Priority Service

If you apply for extension of your application from outside the UK through an entry clearance application, you may be able to use the Priority Service. If the Prioirty Service is available in the country you’re applying from you can choose the ‘priority service’ when you apply. There will be an additional cost for this service. A decision will be made within 5 working days of your appointment at the visa application centre.

Check with your visa application centre to see if the priority visa service is available in the country you’re applying from. The priority visa service is available in most countries.

You might wait longer for a decision if your application is not straightforward and more information is required before a decision is made. If your application is delayed, you will be informed by the Entry Clearance Officer (ECO) within the standard timescales for your visa.

What are the eligibility requirements for Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa extension?

You can apply to extend or renew your Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa if you:

  • registered as a director or as self-employed no more than 6 months after the date you were given permission to stay in the UK under a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa
  • can prove you’ve been self-employed, a member of a partnership or working as a director of a business 3 months before you apply
  • created at least 2 full time jobs that have existed for at least 12 months
  • can continue to support yourself

You must also have invested into 1 or more UK businesses either:

  • £200,000 in cash
  • £50,000 in cash

The amount of investment depends on the level of funds your initial application was based on.

What is the deadline to apply for extension/renewal of Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa?

Existing Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) migrants can submit applications to extend their stay before 6 April 2023. If you switched from Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) to Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa, you can extend your Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa before 6 July 2025.

Can my dependants apply for their extension at the same time when I apply extension of my Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa?

If you have dependants in the UK on Tier 1 Entrepreneur dependant visa, you can include your dependants in your extension application so that you and your dependants are granted extension of stay at same time.

What is the points based criteria for Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa extension?

Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa is a Points Based visa category and points can be awarded for the Attributes Section, English language and funds for maintenance. A Tier 1 Entrepreneur migrant should score 95 points in total to qualify for extension of Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa. The breakdown of the required points for Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa extension is given in the table below:

Criterion Points
The applicant has invested, or had invested on their behalf, not less than £200,000 (or £50,000 if, in their last grant of leave, they were awarded points for funds of £50,000) in cash directly into one or more businesses in the UK. 20

Within 6 months of entry clearance, leave to enter or leave to remain as Tier 1 Entrepreneur, the applicant has registered with:

  • HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) as self-employed
  • Companies House as a director of a new or an existing company or a member of a new or existing partnership
20

On a date no earlier than 3 months before the date of application, the applicant was registered with:

  • HMRC as self-employed
  • Companies House as a director of a new or an existing company or member of a new or an existing partnership
15

The applicant has:

  • established a new business or businesses that has or have created the equivalent of at least 2 new full-time jobs for persons settled in the UK
  • taken over or joined an existing business or businesses and their services or investment have resulted in a net increase in the employment provided by the business or businesses for persons settled in the UK by creating the equivalent of at least 2 new full-time jobs

The jobs must have existed for at least 12 months of the period for which the most recent leave was granted or, where that leave was granted less than 12 months ago, for at least the 12 months immediately before the date of the current application.

20
Funds for maintenance 10
English language 10
Total Points

 

How many jobs do I have to create for extension of my Tier 1 Entreprneur visa?

To succeed in an application for Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa extension, the applicant must show that he has created at least 2 new jobs. If the applicant established a new business or businesses or invested in an existing business, they must have created the equivalent of 2 extra full-time paid jobs for at least 2 people who are settled in the UK. Each job must have existed for at least 12 months. Both team members of an entrepreneurial team can use the same evidence for creating employment.

A single job need not consist of 12 consecutive months (for example it could exist for 6 months in one year and 6 months the following year), providing it is the same job (different jobs that have existed for less than 12 months cannot be combined together to make up a 12 month period). The jobs need not exist at the date of application, provided they have existed for 12 months.

The jobs must comply with the UK regulations, including the working time directive. The Home Office defines full-time as a 30-hour working week.

What is meant by "the equivalent of" a full time job?

“The equivalent of” a full time job means two or more part time jobs which add up to 30 hours a week will count as one full time job, if both jobs exist for at least 12 months. However, one full time job of more than 30 hours work a week will not count as more than one full time job.

How can I apply for extension of my Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa?

You can apply for extension of your TIer 1 Entrepreneur visa online. When you apply, you’ll be asked to make an appointment at a UK Visa and Citizenship Application Services (UKVCAS) service point to provide your biometric information (your fingerprints and a photo).

You’ll also need to submit your supporting documents. You can:

  • upload them into the online service
  • have them scanned at your UKVCAS appointment

How can I apply for extension of my Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa from outside the UK?

If you’re outside the UK, you must apply online to extend a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa.

What is the genuine Entrepreneur test for Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa extension?

Migrants making an extension application are subject to a genuine entrepreneur test.

To meet the requirements of genuine Entrepreneur test, Home Office UKVI must be satisfied that the migrant:

  • has established, taken over or become a director of one or more genuine businesses in the UK, and has genuinely operated that business
  • has genuinely invested the required investment funds into one or more genuine businesses in the UK
  • intends to continue operating one or more businesses in the UK
  • does not intend to take employment other than under the terms of paragraph 245DE

For genuine Entrepreneur test, the Home Office UKVI will take into account the following:

  • the evidence submitted by the applicant;
  • the viability and credibility of the source of funds for investment;
  • the credibility of the financial accounts of the applicant's business or businesses;
  • the credibility of the applicant's business activity in the UK;
  • the credibility of the job creation for which the applicant is claiming points if the nature of the business requires mandatory accreditation, registration and/or insurance, whether that accreditation, registration and/or insurance has been obtained;
  • any other relevant information.

Will Home Office UKVI ask me to attend an interview to decide my Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa extension application?

The Home Office UKVI may ask you to attend an interview in relation to your Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa extension application. The purpose of the interview is for the Home Office UKVI to be fully satisfied with the genuineness of your buinsess in the UK as a Tier 1 Entrepreneur including genuineness of job creation and genuineness of investment of funds in the UK business.

The Home Office UKVI may refuse your Tier 1 Entrepreneur extension application if you do not comply with any request for you to attend an interview, unless a reasonable explanation is provided as to why you cannot comply.

What is the definition of a new business?

A business will only be considered a “new” business if you established it no earlier than 12 months (or 24 months if you were previously granted leave as a Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) migrant) before the date of the application which led to your first grant of leave as a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) migrant.

What is the definition of a full time for the purposes of creating jobs for Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa extension?

A full time job is one involving at least 30 hours of paid work a week. "The equivalent of” a full time job means two or more part time jobs which add up to 30 hours a week will count as one full time job, if both jobs exist for at least 12 months. However, one full time job of more than 30 hours work a week will not count as more than one full time job.

FAQs - ILR Tier 1 Entrepreneur

What are the useful online sources for information about ILR as Tier 1 Entrepreneur?

Following are the useful online sources of information for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) as Tier 1 Entrepreneur:

Home Office UKVI Guidance On ILR As Tier 1 Entrepreneur

The Home Office UKVI guidance on Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa is a useful source of information for applicants who are considering to apply for ILR as Tier 1 Entrepreneur.

gov.uk logo

245F. Requirements For Indefinite Leave To Remain (ILR)

Paragraph 245DF in part 6A of the Immigration Rules lays down the requirements an applicant has to meet for ILR as a Tier 1 Entrepreneur.

gov.uk logo

OANDA Currency Coverter

OANDA Currency Coverter is the Home Officer UKVI approved currency converter to convert foreign currency to Great Britain Pounds (GBP).

Can I apply for ILR as Tier 1 Entrepreneur from outside the UK?

No, you cannot apply for ILR as Tier 1 Entrepreneur from outside the UK and an ILR application application can only be made from inside the UK.

What is the processing time of ILR application as Tier 1 Entrepreneur?

An application for ILR as Tier 1 Entrepreneur can only be made using a standard service under which an application for ILR as Tier 1 Entrepreneur is normally decided within 3 to 6 months. If your application is complicated, it may take longer.

What are the eligibility requirements for ILR as Tier 1 Entrepreneur?

You can apply Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) as Tier 1 Entrepreneur Migrant if:

  • You currently have a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa
  • You must have created 2 jobs during your last grant of leave (10 jobs if you are applying under the accelerated route to settlement)
  • You must be a genuine entrepreneur
  • you’ve been living in the UK for 5 years, (or 3 years if are applying under the accelerated route to settlement)
  • You must not have been absent from the UK for more than 180 days in any 12 months
  • You must have passed the Life in the UK test
  • You must meet the English language requirement
  • Your application must not fall for refusal under the general grounds for refusal
  • You must mut not be in breach of UK immigration laws except where paragraph 39E of the Immigration Rules applies

What is the deadline to apply for ILR as Tier 1 Entrepreneur?

Existing Tier 1 Entrepreneur applicants can apply for ILR as Tier 1 Entrepreneur before 6 April 2025. However, Tier 1 Entrepreneur Migrant who switched from Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur can apply for ILR as Tier 1 Entrepreneur Migrant before 6 July 2027.

What is the points based criteria for ILR as a Tier 1 Entrepreneur?

Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa is a Points Based visa category and points can be awarded for the Attributes Section for the grant of ILR to the Tier 1 Entrepreneur Migrant. A Tier 1 Entrepreneur migrant should score 75 points in total from Attributes Section to qualify for ILR as a Tier 1 Entrepreneur. The breakdown of the required points for Tier 1 Entrepreneur ILR application is given in the table below:

Criterion Points

The applicant has invested, or had invested on his behalf, not less than £200,000 (or £50,000 if, in his last grant of leave, he was awarded points for funds of £50,000) in cash directly into one or more businesses in the UK.

The applicant will not need to provide evidence of this investment if they were awarded points for it in their previous grant of entry clearance or leave to remain as a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) migrant (this includes the evidence to demonstrate that the investment was in a UK business).

20

On a date no earlier than 3 months before the date of application, the applicant was registered with:

  • HMRC as self-employed
  • Companies House as a director of a new or an existing company or member of a new or an existing partnership
20

The applicant has:

  • established a new business or businesses that has or have created the equivalent of at least 2 new full-time jobs for persons settled in the UK
  • taken over or joined an existing business or businesses and their services or investment have resulted in a net increase in the employment provided by the business or businesses for persons settled in the UK by creating the equivalent of at least 2 new full-time jobs

The jobs must have existed for at least 12 months of the period for which the most recent leave was granted or, where that leave was granted less than 12 months ago, for at least the 12 months immediately before the date of the current application.

20

The applicant has spent the specified continuous period lawfully in the UK, with absences from the UK of no more than 180 days in any 12 calendar months during that period. The specified period must have been spent with leave as a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) migrant. The specified continuous period is:

  • 3 years, if the number of new full-time jobs created is at least 10
  • 3 years, if the applicant has:
    • established a new UK business with an income from business activity of at least £5 million during a 3 year period in which the applicant has had leave as a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) migrant
    • taken over or invested in an existing UK business and their services or investment have resulted in a net increase in income from business activity to that business of £5 million during a 3 year period in which the applicant has had leave as a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) migrant, when compared to the immediate preceding 3 year period
  • 5 years in all other cases
15
Total Points 75

 

How many jobs do I have to create for ILR as Tier 1 Entreprneur?

To succeed in an application for ILR as Tier 1 Entrepreneur, the applicant must show that he has created at least 2 new jobs. If the applicant established a new business or businesses or invested in an existing business, they must have created the equivalent of 2 extra full-time paid jobs for at least 2 people who are settled in the UK. Each job must have existed for at least 12 months. where the applicant is applying for ILR as a part of an Entrepreneurial Team, both team members can use the same evidence for creating employment.

A single job need not consist of 12 consecutive months (for example it could exist for 6 months in one year and 6 months the following year), providing it is the same job (different jobs that have existed for less than 12 months cannot be combined together to make up a 12 month period). The jobs need not exist at the date of application, provided they have existed for 12 months.

The jobs must comply with the UK regulations, including the working time directive. The Home Office defines full-time as a 30-hour working week.

What is meant by "the equivalent of" a full time job?

“The equivalent of” a full time job means two or more part time jobs which add up to 30 hours a week will count as one full time job, if both jobs exist for at least 12 months. However, one full time job of more than 30 hours work a week will not count as more than one full time job.

FAQs - Visitor Visa UK

I have pending Judicial Review (JR) against the refusal of my visitor visa application which is taking too long. Can I submit a fresh application whilst the Judicial Review (JR) is pending in the court?

You can make a fresh application whilst you have pending Judicial Review in the Upper Tribunal against the refusal of your previous visitor visa application. However, if you are granted visitor visa as a result of fresh application, you will have to withdraw the Judicial Review from the Upper Tribunal (UT) and you may have some legal costs implications.

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