Our focus is you

You might be moving to the UK for work or family reasons. Maybe you are already in the UK but need advice on extending, changing or challenging your immigration status. We are here to provide comprehensive legal advice and support. We offer bespoke guidance not just on initial visa applications but also on longer term issues, including settlement and naturalisation in the UK, estate planning and how best to structure your financial and legal affairs across borders.

Frequently asked questions

I want to move to the UK. Which UK visa should I apply for?

There are a large number of visa categories in the UK, and for many the process can appear confusing from the start. Getting expert legal advice on the most appropriate visa route for you before submitting any visa application to the UK Visa and Immigration (UKVI) section of the Home Office can be very valuable. The visa you require will depend on a number of factors, including your nationality, how long you want to come to the UK for, what you intend to do here, your personal circumstances, and your financial status and professional skills.

Can I appeal if my visa application has been refused?

A refusal may be challenged in a number of different ways depending on the type of visa that has been refused. In some circumstances it may be possible to challenge a refusal outside of the formal process. This is usually the case where the Home Office has made an obvious error. More commonly, though, decisions are challenged through the administrative review process, which involves a more senior Home Office official reassessing the application. However, this is not the only option. Depending on circumstances, a refusal may also be overcome by submitting a fresh application, making sure that the reasons for the refusal of the initial application have been adequately addressed. This is often the quickest and the most cost-effective solution.

In some circumstances, it may be possible to appeal an immigration decision to the Immigration Tribunal. Whether you can Home do this the immigration status you sought depends on the reasons for that refusal. We can evaluate the merits of your original application and assess whether the reason for the refusal can be challenged by way of an appeal and advise on the best course of action. This may include consideration of whether the decision infringes on your human rights. Working closely with specialist immigration barristers, we can take you through the appeals process and can handle matters in the First Tier Tribunal through to the Court of Appeal. Note that there are often strict time limits to observe when challenging a visa refusal so you should carefully consider your options as soon as you receive notification of a refusal.

Can I bring my foreign spouse to the UK if I am British?

Yes. It is possible to apply for a Family Visa provided that they are able to satisfy the immigration criteria. There are strict eligibility requirements for this type of visa, including assessments relating to finances and accommodation. You must also show that your relationship -is genuine. We can assist with preparing your application and ensuring that all supporting documentation is in order, so that you avoid the expense and delay of submitting an application without all the necessary information in the correct format.

How long does it take to become a British citizen? What are the main requirements?

Citizenship (naturalization) applications currently take between 3 and 6 months to be processed. An application can be made once you have been in the UK for 5 years, including at least 12 months with indefinite leave to remain. For the majority of adult applicants this means living in the UK for 6 years in total, i.e. 5 years to attain indefinite leave to remain and a further year with indefinite leave to remain. and subject to you having had /enter, or. If you are married to a British citizen, you do not need to wait for 12 months and can make your application as soon as you are granted indefinite leave to remain. The other main requirements for a successful UK citizenship application are that you must:

  • be over 18
  • prove your knowledge of English
  • complete a ‘Life in the UK’ test
  • intend to continue living here (unless you are married to a British national) in the UK
  • demonstrate evidence of good character

The requirements for minors are different. In many cases children are able to apply together with their parents but each case must be assessed individually to identify the exact section of the British Nationality act under which a child can qualify to be registered as a British citizen.

My child was born in the UK but I am not a British citizen. What is the child’s immigration status?

The precise rules about automatic citizenship vary according to when your child was born, and we can advise you on your child’s status depending on your particular circumstances.

Under current rules, your child does not automatically become a British citizen even if born in the UK. Only children whose parents (or at least one parent) are British citizens or who have settled status here acquire citizenship at birth. Even if you don’t have settled status when your child is born, the child may obtain citizenship if you are granted settled status later in the child’s life.

Can a travel ban or immigration sanction be overturned?

Travel bans or ‘immigration sanctions’ are implemented and enforced by the Home Office. If you are subject to a travel ban you will be refused leave to enter or remain in the UK. If you wish to challenge a ban you should seek specialist legal advice – this is a technical, highly complex area of immigration law where we can use limited legal exceptions to overturn travel bans; put forward human rights arguments on your behalf; or make judicial review applications on the basis that the decision to oppose the ban was unlawful.

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Legal500 2024 Recommended Lawyer Award
Adam Williams

Recent work

Successful challenge to Home Office travel ban

In a complex case with significant personal repercussions for the client we challenged a 10-year Home Office-imposed travel ban. We successfully established that the ban had been implemented on the basis of a defective curtailment letter (the letter notifying an individual of the reasons for their ban) and that erroneous allegations that the client had overstayed beyond the expiry of their previous visa had been made.

Direct intervention to secure UK citizenship

We used our experience and understanding of the approach taken by Home Office in particular cases to persuade the Home Office to exercise its discretion to grant a client’s citizenship application, despite significant absences from the UK caused by the Covid19 travel disruptions.

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