Category: Latest News

Airport Asylum Claim

UK Visas Scam in the Philippines

Filipinos are continuously being targeted and victimised of the UK Visa scam in the Philippines, an ongoing epidemic for many years.

The British Embassy in Manila released a statement warning Filipinos how to suspect a scam.

Some individuals may claim to be a member or an officer of the Immigration department in the UK, or will result to social media for communication such as, emails, skype or Facebook. The scam is often composed of false employment contracts and client care letters explaining the procedure and their fees.

After being persuaded via Skype or telephone calls discussing the fake job vacancies, the fraudsters will explain how you will be required to pay the necessary fees. The scam becomes successful unless caught, as soon as the victims have made a deposit, often via Western Union or Money gram and the rest is history. Fake documents such as, British Passports, letter from Home Office or Entry Clearance Visa are released to the victims for re-assurance and to portray a realistic approach.

Sterling & Law Associates LLP were approached by individuals in the Philippines enquiring the validity of the documents they were given. These documents were reviewed and assessed, it was apparent that the contract of employment, emails, British Passport and Entry Clearance visas were fake, as they did not go through the necessary procedure.

It is strongly advised for Filipinos to seek assistance from the British Embassy in Manila before any further actions are to be taken, and especially when you are being required to deposit sum of money.

Alternatively, you can find out the legitimacy of the job in the gov.uk website.

If you would like to check whether a company in the UK is willing to employ you, you can check on Companies House whether the company is registered and legitimate.

Companies House: https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/search/companies?q=

Once you are satisfied that you found your employer on Companies House, you need to check whether they have a Sponsor License. The Sponsor License allows a company to issue a certificate of sponsorship as part of the requirement in applying for your work permit.

Registered of licensed sponsors: workers:  https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/register-of-licensed-sponsors-workers

There are only two locations in the Philippines where you can go to submit your application for visas to the UK, in Manila and Cebu.

VFS Global: https://www.vfsglobal.co.uk/philippines/applicationcentre.html

For more details and assistance please contact Nollienne Alparaque by e-mail: nollienne@sterling-law.co.uk or call on 078 1276 9389 or 020 7822 8535.

Refusal Human Rights Immigration UK - photo by www.stillmiracle.com

Two refusals yet not a final decision: Successful appeal on the basis of Article 8 of the ECHR

Sterling & Law Associates LLP were successful in the appeal at the First Tier Tribunal challenging a refusal of a clients application for a leave to remain.

The appellant, a citizen of Uzbekistan, entered the United Kingdom as a student in 2006 and she was granted further leave to remain in that capacity until 2013 when she was unable to demonstrate that she met English language requirements. The reason for this was that Home Office believed that the appellant used deception to pass her English language test.

She appealed against that decision and it resulted to be a further refusal with no right of appeal. She applied for permission to remain in the UK on the grounds of her family life with her husband, the UK citizen. She had been in the UK for 10 years, working, living a family life and also doing charitable work in her area together with her husband. Upon consideration of the appeal lodged by Sterling & Law Associates LLP on behalf of the client, the Judge held that despite the fact that she used deception in her previous application for a student visa, it would be unreasonable and unjust for the appellant to be forced to come back to Uzbekistan. It would be wrong to intervene the family life of this couple.

Therefore, the appeal was allowed on the grounds of Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

London Skyline Tower Bridge www.sterling-law.co.uk

EU Exit Negotiations Update from the Home Office

Following the latest round of negotiations between the UK and EU concluded on 31 August 2017 in Brussels, the Home Office circulated the following update.

Progress was made on several fronts – including on the rights of EU citizens living in the UK and UK nationals in the EU.

On healthcare, for example, we agreed to protect the rights to reciprocal healthcare, including European Health Insurance Cards (EHICs), for EU citizens in the UK and UK nationals in the EU who are present on the day of exit.

Both sides also agreed that the rights of cross border workers should be protected.

On economic rights, we have confirmed the right of EU citizens to set up and manage a business in the UK, and the same applies to British citizens in their Member State of residence.

These points of agreement are good news but the discussions also highlighted where more work is needed.

This includes several areas where the UK wants to go further than the EU, such as posted workers (raised in the July round) and the mutual recognition of professional qualifications. The UK will also continue to seek clarification on how the EU’s stance on various issues would work in practice and be implemented within the EU27.

The next round of negotiations in September will build on progress to date with a view to reaching a future agreement on citizens’ rights. This table provides a comparison of the EU-UK positions on citizens’ rights and where outstanding issues remain.

As Secretary of State for Exiting the EU David Davis said yesterday, the UK government remains absolutely committed during the negotiation process to delivering the best outcome for the people of the EU and the UK.

We also recognise that EU citizens in the UK and UK citizens living in the EU would like certainty about future arrangements as soon as possible.”

Please visit Status of EU citizens in the UK: what you need to know for further details about the government’s proposal to protect the position of EU citizens in the UK – and UK nationals in the EU – published on 26 June. It contained these commitments:

  • EU citizens with settled status will continue be treated as if they were UK nationals for education, healthcare, benefits, pensions and social housing after we leave the EU.
  • No EU citizen currently in the UK lawfully will be asked to leave at the point we leave the EU. EU citizens will have at least two years to regularise their status.
  • The process to apply for settled status will be streamlined and user friendly, including for those who already hold a permanent residence document under current free movement rules. We expect the system to be up and running in 2018.

As the negotiations in Brussels progress, Home Office’s advice to EU citizens remains the same: you do not need to apply for documentation confirming your status now.

The rights of EU citizens have not changed. Last week, around 100 EU citizens received letters in error stating they were liable for removal from the UK. For the avoidance of doubt, these letters were sent in error and will have caused understandable distress. The Department has apologised to the individuals affected and they are being reassured that they should disregard the letters. The Home Office statement is here.

Home Office will continue to update on the negotiations and wider citizens’ rights issues over the coming months.

Brexit London Westminster Migrants

The “Great” Repeal Bill – and the implications for European Citizens

Some say the Great Repeal Bill will be a milestone on Britain’s journey to being a modern democracy. Some say not. One thing for sure is that the Great Repeal Bill will be the most influential single act of regulation in UK history.

The European Communities Act (ECA) 1972 is a crucial legislation as it makes European Union law automatically binding in the UK. In the cases of any clashes with British law, the European Union law takes precedence. With Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union, the Great Repeal Bill will transfer, copy or amend all existing European Union legislations into domestic UK law. Simultaneously, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) will end its jurisdiction power in the UK.

The fundamental problem arises: when we go deeper into the discussion of Brexit, it seems more evident that there is no plan at all. Simply transposing all EU law into UK legislation will not be enough.

Theresa May published the Great Repeal Bill on July 13, 2017. David Davis, who is the Brexit Secretary, introduced the document and said: “this bill means that we will be able to exit the European Union with maximum certainty, continuity and control”.

However, ironically, the Great Repeal Bill grants the ministers with the powers to bypass the Parliament, the so-called Henry VIII powers which should not be acceptable in a democratic society. Parliamentary sovereignty is a fundamental principle in UK constitution.  Parliament must have a say in the progress of the Brexit negotiations.  It is argued that the government cannot be given the wide powers to alter the legislation without the scrutiny from Parliament.

Workers’ rights would be considered as the most crucial aspect which everyone concerns about the Great Repeal Bill. The government still retains the final right to amend or remove basic employment laws, for example, equal treatment for workers disregarding gender or ethnicity, excessive working hours, and redundancy protections.

Theresa May confirmed all EU citizens who have lived here for five years could apply for a “settled status”. This includes equal rights on healthcare, education and pensions. But here is the problem.

What about those EU nationals who have lived in the UK less than five years, but are currently working in the UK now? Does that mean they need to go back to their home countries and look for new jobs? What about the life they already settle here in the UK and already considered the UK as their homes?

It is necessary for the government to reassure the EU nationals which they would not be replaced if, in the future, they are required to obtain a visa to work in the UK.  They need to be given the confidence by the government which they would be still entitled to the same rights as the UK citizens. The implications of the rights for EU nationals further extend to equal pay, full holiday pay, anti-discrimination against sex, race, and disability, as well as agency workers protections. The proposals for the Great Repeal Bill did fall short of the promise made by Theresa May. No specific guidelines are being set out to adequately protect and maintain all workers’ rights that came from the EU.

Workers’ rights are not the only crucial aspect. The pharmaceutical industry is also at risk with Britain’s withdrawing from the European Union. With the toughening of immigration control, border checks for goods importing into the UK might create delays. Consequently, the supply of life-saving medicines could be severely disrupted.  For the pharmaceutical products which have a short expiration date, the cost might be significantly increased as well.  The negotiation of a new trade agreement between the UK and the EU would take several years beyond 2019. The two-year period is a tight period for Britain to reach a new trade agreement and smoothly exit from the EU.

Therefore, even if the Great Repeal Bill converts all EU law into UK law, there would be still a legal black hole the day Britain withdrawing from the European Union. People voted in the referendum was in the hope of making the UK better, but they did not vote to be worse off.  Assessing the potential problems facing right now, it seems that the Great Repeal Bill cannot actually guarantee “a maximum certainty, continuity and control within Britain”.  This will not be the desirable outcome as suggested by David Davis.

The question to be asked is: can the Great Repeal Bill really ensure a smooth transition as well as a thoroughly functioning legal system on the day Britain leaves the European Union.  The harsh truth is no.  According to the report issued by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the latest recorded Consumer Prices Index (CPI) 12-month rate was 2.6% in June 2017. This figure is still above the Bank of England’s 2% target. With Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union, for example, the export of livestock will be prohibited. Consequently, the inflation rate is bound to keep going up.  The living standards for UK citizens will be squeezed.

After all, the Great Repeal Bill is only the first Brexit-related bills. The remaining seven bills yet to be set out to put Brexit into practice are customs, trade, immigration, fisheries, agriculture, nuclear safeguards, and international sanctions. At this stage, it is still unclear how the negotiations will unfold.

London Immigration Time

Online Forms to Deal with Biometric Cards Issues

The Home Office recently introduced online forms for dealing with various types of issues with the biometric cards. The forms are publicly available and can be used by the applicants and their legal representatives to deal with following most common problems.

If you have received a decision from the Home Office but your biometric card or an EEA Treaty Rights document has not arrived within 10 working days after the decision was issued please complete the form at www.gov.uk/biometric-residence-permits/not-arrived

If you were expecting to collect a BRP from a Post Office branch please complete the form at www.gov.uk/biometric-residence-permits/collect

If you have received a biometric card but it contains a mistake please complete the form at www.gov.uk/biometric-residence-permits/report-problem

If you have lost your biometric card, or it has been stolen please complete the form at www.gov.uk/biometric-residence-permits/lost-stolen-damaged

If you have made an application that has not yet been decided by the Home Office and you have not received a biometric enrolment (barcode) letter to use at the Post Office, please send an e-mail to AppointmentExceptions@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk

If you would like to ask the Home Office for your documents to be returned see the relevant guidance at www.gov.uk/visa-documents-returned

To obtain an update on the progress of your case or if you have a general immigration enquiry see the guidance at www.gov.uk/contact-ukvi

To notify the Home Office of a change of address for you or your representative please complete the form at https://eforms.homeoffice.gov.uk/outreach/AddressUpdate.ofml

DSC_4030-768x513

Appeal to be Allowed on Human Right Grounds (Article 8 ECHR)

Sterling & Law Associates LLP have been instructed by the clients to handle their appeal case two months before the hearing.

Aliya Rimshelis was appointed as a caseworker on this matter under the supervision of Ruslan Kosarenko and Shakir Hussain, Lever 3 OISC Immigration Lawyers.

Two appellants, a mother and daughter, have resided in the UK for a long time without legal status. While each of the appellants has a separate claim under Article 8 ECHR, both appeals were heard together as their matters raised similar Human Rights grounds and the outcome of one appeal would affect the decision on the other.

The first appellant was the mother who formed an unmarried relationship with the British partner and the second appellant was her daughter who is married to a British citizen. They applied for a spouse visas in-country which was subsequently refused. In the refusal letter the Home Office stated that there are no any exceptional circumstances and insurmountable obstacles for the family to relocate to Russia as they are familiar with the language and culture to a reasonable extent, and they have extended family members in Russia so it would not create a significant degree of hardship to relocate to the country they are from.

However, they failed to take into account that the family resided in the UK for almost 18 years and NEVER left the UK since then. The daughter has completed her secondary and university education in the UK. All their friends and family are in the UK. They established their private and family life in the UK. Another significant point which was raised in court was that the clients own a business in the UK. They are registered with HM Revenue & Customs and regularly pay taxes. So they were under the radar all the time and never hide from the Home Office. The question which was raised by the Immigration Judge was “Why the Home Office failed to remove them before?”. The Home Office could not answer this question.

Consequently, it follows that the appeal should be allowed on Human Rights grounds even if appellants failed to meet the requirements of Appendix FM of Immigration Rules which was not yet confirmed. The Immigration Judge formally reserved the decision at the hearing and proclaimed that he would try not to make any errors of law to make it hard to the Home office to appeal.

“The preparation for the appeal has not been straightforward as the clients had difficulties in obtaining requested financial documentation and fresh evidence of their relationship. We relied mostly on the documents which were provided with the submission of the case and eventually made a strong case and at the end achieved the successful result ” – said Aliya Rimshelis who was assisting senior caseworkers with the bundle preparation.

If you feel that you have similar circumstances do not hesitate to contact our lawyers who are ready to find a way out of any complex situation.

King's College London

Updated List of Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) Authorised Endorsing Bodies – June 2017

In June 2017, the list of authorised institutions for Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) visa applications was updated by the Home Office.

The Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) route is for graduates who have an outstanding business idea that they wish to put into practice in the UK. Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) will have a central role in identifying graduates who have developed genuine and credible business ideas or entrepreneurial skills, and in endorsing and supporting them.

Only those institutions listed below are able to endorse graduates wishing to apply under this route:

  • Anglia Ruskin University
  • Arts University Bournemouth
  • Ashridge (Bonar Law Memorial) Trust
  • Aston University
  • Bangor University
  • Birmingham City University
  • Bishop Grosseteste University
  • Bournemouth University
  • BPP University Limited
  • Brunel University
  • Cardiff University
  • City University London
  • Coventry University
  • Cranfield University
  • De Montfort University
  • Edinburgh Napier University
  • Glasgow Caledonian University
  • Goldsmiths University of London
  • Heriot-Watt University
  • Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine
  • King’s College London
  • Kingston University
  • Lancaster University
  • Leeds Beckett University
  • Liverpool Hope University
  • Liverpool John Moores University
  • London Business School
  • London Metropolitan University
  • London School of Economics and Political Science London
  • South Bank University Loughborough University
  • Middlesex University
  • Newcastle University
  • Northumbria University
  • Newcastle Norwich University of the Arts Nottingham
  • Trent University
  • Oxford Brookes University
  • Plymouth University
  • Queen Mary University of London
  • Queen’s University of Belfast
  • Regent’s University
  • London Royal Academy of Music
  • Royal Agricultural University Royal Central School of Speech and Drama
  • Royal College of Art
  • Sheffield Hallam University
  • SOAS, University of London
  • Southampton Solent University
  • Swansea University
  • Teesside University
  • University College London
  • University for the Creative Arts
  • University of Aberdeen
  • University of Bath
  • University of Birmingham
  • University of Brighton
  • University of Bristol
  • University of Buckingham
  • University of Cambridge
  • University of Derby
  • University of Dundee
  • University of East Anglia
  • University of East London
  • University of Edinburgh
  • University of Essex
  • University of Exeter U
  • niversity of Glasgow
  • University of Greenwich
  • University of Hertfordshire
  • University of Huddersfield
  • University of Hull
  • University of Kent
  • University of Leeds
  • University of Leicester
  • University of Lincoln
  • University of Liverpool
  • University of Manchester
  • University of Northampton
  • University of Nottingham
  • University of Oxford
  • University of Portsmouth
  • University of Reading
  • University of Roehampton
  • University of Salford
  • University Of Sheffield
  • University of South Wales
  • University of Southampton
  • University of St Andrews
  • University of Stirling
  • University of Strathclyde
  • University of Sunderland
  • University of Surrey
  • University of Sussex
  • University of the Arts London
  • University of the West of England
  • University of the West of Scotland
  • University of Warwick
  • University of Westminster
  • University of Worcester
  • Guildhall School of Music & Drama

Full information is available on the UKVI web-site.

UK border

May’s proposal – Analysis of the policy paper on the safeguarding the position of EU citizens in the UK and UK nationals in the EU

The recent proposal of Theresa May from June 26th, 2017 has been quoted as a ‘generous offer’ to EU citizens offering everyone who had acquired permanent residence a new ‘settled status’.

 

At the face value, it appears to be a good deal, however when one reads the small print it becomes apparent that there is no value in the offer, and it lacks the certainty that Theresa May continuously refers to. The offer has come after the EU Council Decision of 22nd May proposing their policy on safeguarding the position of EU citizens in the UK and UK nationals in the EU, therefore both sides have now adopted their position. However, the UK’s offer is nowhere close to what EU would like to secure as a part of the exit deal.

 

The Government website provides a short summary of their ‘promise’.

 

“Since the result of the referendum last summer, the UK Government has made it absolutely clear how important it is that we secure as early as possible both the rights of EU citizens in the UK and UK nationals in EU member states. We are now seeking to provide EU citizens with certainty about their future by publishing a policy paper which sets out our offer to them.“

 

Theresa May has since triggering Article 50 made it clear that she wants nothing else but to provide the certainty for all EU citizens in the UK and for those Brits living in the Member States. However, the proposal offers no certainty and is lacking definitive answers and dates.

 

The UK continues to affirm that the rights of the EU nationals are protected and are to be complied with under the EU law until the official day of Brexit.

However, this gives little certainty as to the future rights of over 3 million EU citizens living in the UK even though the UK has proposed a new streamlined process for the European citizens to register in order to gain their new ‘settled status’ as per the generous offer of Theresa May.

 

This online application will apply to all EU citizens who have been continuously living in the UK for over 5 years. This requirement is the same as under current EU law where those with over 5 years of residence can apply for a document certifying permanent residence. Moreover, since the criteria that will apply are national, not based on EU law, the calculation of this period might differ. The proposals says ‘The type of application you’ll need to make will depend on your circumstances, when you moved to the UK and how long you’ve lived here’. The questions arise in terms of what type of circumstances an EU citizen needs to have in order to be able to stay?

 

While the UK promises to make the process as streamlined as possible for the EU citizens who already have the Permanent Residence Status, they will still need to apply for ‘settled status’ after Brexit in order to be able to remain in the UK. The UK position is that a document certifying permanent residence may mean nothing in the future. What is the reason for this? Does it mean that the future criteria will be certainty stricter?

 

Moreover, why the current permanent residence document under free movement rules is not sufficient to prove (for example, to employers or public service providers) that you have permission to continue living and working legally in the UK after Brexit. It seems that the criteria that are to be applied for the new ‘settled status’ will be much more stricter than under EU law if the Home Office cannot respect the now issued documents certifying permanent residence rights.

 

Further questions arise as to the cost of the new ‘settled status’.

Theresa May refers to a ‘reasonable’ cost but under the current British Immigration Rules the fee for indefinite leave to remain which is equivalent to the ‘settled status’ is set at £2,297. Will this be the price the EU nationals would have to pay in order to stay?

 

The offer gives some consideration to those citizens who will not qualify for ‘settled status’ as they will not complete their 5 years period before the ‘cut-off date’. However, nowhere in the proposal the date is mention. It may be the date of triggering Article 50 or the Brexit Day, but it could also potentially be historic.

If Theresa May wanted to give certainty to EU citizens she would have set the ‘cut-off date’. Those EU citizens who arrived and became resident before [un]specific date but who have not accrued five years’ will be able to apply for a temporary status. Moreover, those EU citizens that arrive after the [un]specified date will be allowed to remain in the UK at least temporary and may become eligible, however there should not have expectations of guaranteed settled status.

The proposal mentions ‘People who arrive after the cut-off date will be able to apply for a permission to remain after the UK leaves the EU, under the future immigration arrangements for EU citizens’.

What are the future immigration arrangements? Where is the certainty that Theresa May was offering?

 

The most troublesome part of the proposal is the lack of consideration for a Non-EU family members of EU nationals. What will happen with them since they no longer be able to live in the UK under the more lenient regulations of the EU. Those Non-EU nationals who have divorced their EU partners may also not be eligible to stay. The offer also fails to consider whether a UK citizen who currently is residing in Spain will retain their full free movement rights to move to Germany for example in the future.

 

Moreover, there is also no certainty as to what the ‘grace period’ will be for the EU citizens to apply for their new status. This will ‘be confirmed during negotiations’ and ‘if you haven’t received a document confirming your new immigration status by the end of this [again unspecified] period you will no longer have permission to remain in the UK. What if some EU citizens do not meet their future immigration requirements of which we have no mention whatsoever?

 

The UK offer fails to discuss the judicial enforcement, and while the EU wants the rights of EU nationals to be enforced by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), and the rules in the withdrawal agreement in accordance with pre-Brexit case law of the Court, the UK rules out the jurisdiction of the CJEU.

 

Much of the proposal uses words like ‘seek to ensure’ or ‘akin’ which does not by definition refer to certainty. It is clear that the UK position indisputably offers worse terms both for EU citizens in the UK and UK citizens in the EU. The EU proposal asked for the permanent residence documents to be respected without the need of ‘transferring’ of the status.

 

While the UK will exempt people from the requirement to have Comprehensive Sickness Insurance, it has been argued that the current UK law breaches EU law anyway. Therefore, it may seem like a ‘generous offer’ but in reality is nowhere close.

 

The proposal also is silent on British Citizenship, it does not mention anywhere how a ‘settled person’ can acquire British citizenship in the future. It only mentions that it will be possible. Does it mean that the criteria will be different and/or more expensive to those currently under EU law?

 

At the moment, it seems that the only way to completely guarantee your continued right to live and work in the United Kingdom is to become a British citizen. In order to do this, the first step is to acquire Permanent Residence.  Although, becoming a British citizen may also be a disadvantage for some nationals or if you have non-British family members living with you in the UK who are relying on your status under EU law. While, we are still awaiting a decision of CJEU in Lounes, the Advocate-General has said that non-EU nationals may be given the right to reside in a Member State in which an EU family member lived before the family member acquired the nationality of that country. However, since the UK wants to rule out the jurisdiction of the CJEU, there would be little time to benefit from any positive upcoming decision.

By Ilovetheeu (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Theresa May’s proposal – Analysis of the policy paper on the safeguarding the position of EU citizens in the UK and UK nationals in the EU

The proposal of Theresa May was quoted as a ‘generous offer’ to EU citizens offering everyone who had acquired permanent residence a new ‘settled status’.

At the face value, it appears to be a good deal, however when one reads the small print it becomes apparent that there is no value in the offer, and it lacks the certainty that Theresa May continuously refers to. The offer has came after the EU Council Decision of 22nd May proposing their policy on safeguarding the position of EU citizens in the UK and UK nationals in the EU, therefore both sides have now adopted their position. However, the UK’s offer is nowhere close to what EU would like to secure as a part of the exit deal.

The Government website provides a short summary of their ‘promise’.

Since the result of the referendum last summer, the UK Government has made it absolutely clear how important it is that we secure as early as possible both the rights of EU citizens in the UK and UK nationals in EU member states. We are now seeking to provide EU citizens with certainty about their future by publishing a policy paper which sets out our offer to them.

Theresa May has, since triggering Article 50, made it clear that she wants nothing else but to provide certainty for all EU citizens in the UK and for those Brits living in other Member States. However, the proposal offers no certainty and is lacking definitive answers and dates.

The UK continues to affirm that the rights of the EU nationals are protected and are to be complied with under the EU law until the official day of Brexit.

However, this gives little certainty as to the future rights of over 3 millions EU citizens living in the UK even though the UK has proposed a new streamlined process for the European citizens to register in order to gain their new ‘settled status’ according to the ‘generous’ offer of Theresa May.

This online application will apply to all EU citizens who have been continuously living in the UK for over 5 years. This requirement is the same as under current EU law where those with over 5 years of residence can apply for a document certifying permanent residence. Moreover, since the criteria that will apply are national, not based on EU law, the calculation of this period might differ. The proposal says ‘The type of application you’ll need to make will depend on your circumstances, when you moved to the UK and how long you’ve lived here’. The questions arise in terms of what type of circumstances an EU citizen needs to have in order to be able to stay?

While, the UK promises to make the process as streamlined as possible for the EU citizens who already have Permanent Residence Status, they will still need to apply in order to be able to remain in the UK. The UK position is that anyone with the document certifying permanent residence may mean nothing in the future. What is the reason for this? Does it mean that the future criteria will be certainty more stricter?

Moreover, why the current permanent residence document under free movement rules is not sufficient to prove (for example, to employers or public service providers) that you have permission to continue living and working legally in the UK after Brexit. It seems that the criteria that are to be applied for the new ‘settled status’ will be much more stricter than under EU law if the Home Office cannot respect the now issued documents certifying permanent residence rights.

Also, what will be the cost of the new ‘settled status’? Theresa May refers to a ‘reasonable’ cost but under the current British Immigration Rules the fee for indefinite leave to remain which is equivalent to the ‘settled status’ is set at £2,297. Will this be the price the EU nationals would have to pay in order to stay?

The offer gives some consideration to those citizens who will not qualify for ‘settled status’ as they will not complete their 5 years period before the ‘cut-off date’. However, nowhere in the proposal the date is mention. It may be the date of triggering Article 50 or the Brexit Day, but it could also potentially be historic.

If Theresa May wanted to give certainty to EU citizens she would have set the ‘cut-off date’.

Those EU citizens who arrived and became resident before [un]specific date but who have not accrued five years’ will be able to apply for a temporary status. Moreover, those EU citizens that arrive after the [un]specified date will be allowed to remain in the UK at least temporary and may become eligible, however there should not have expectations of guaranteed settled status.

The proposal mentions ‘People who arrive after the cut-off date will be able to apply for a permission to remain after the UK leaves the EU, under the future immigration arrangements for EU citizens’. What are the future immigration arrangements? Where is the certainty that Theresa May was offering?

The most troublesome part of the proposal is the lack of consideration for a Non-EU family members of EU nationals. What will happen with them since they will no longer be able to live in the UK under the more lenient regulations of the EU. Those Non-EU nationals who have divorced their EU partners will also not be eligible to stay. The offer also fails to consider whether the UK citizen who currently is residing in Spain will retain their full free movement rights to move to Germany in the future.

Moreover, there is also no certainty as to what the ‘grace period’ will be for the EU citizens to apply for their new status. This will ‘be confirmed during negotiations’ and ‘if you haven’t received a document confirming your new immigration status by the end of this [again unspecified] period you will no longer have permission to remain in the UK.’ What if some EU citizens do not meet the future immigration requirements of which we have no mention whatsoever?

The UK offer fails to discuss the judicial enforcement, and while the EU wants the rights of EU nationals to be enforced by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), and the rules in the withdrawal agreement in accordance with pre-Brexit case law of the Court, the UK rules out the jurisdiction of the CJEU.

Much of the proposal uses words like ‘seek to ensure’ or ‘akin’ which does not by definition refer to certainty. It is clear that the UK position indisputably offers worse terms both for EU citizens in the UK and UK citizens in the EU. The EU proposal asked for the permanent residence documents to be respected without the need of ‘transferring’ of the status.

While the UK will exempt people from the requirement to have Comprehensive Sickness Insurance, it has been argued that the current UK law breaches EU law anyway. Therefore, it may seem like a ‘generous offer’ but in reality is nowhere close.

The proposal also is silent on British Citizenship, it does not mention anywhere how a ‘settled person’ can acquire British Citizenship in the future. It only mentions that it will be possible. Does it mean that the criteria will be different and/or more expensive to those currently under EU law?

At the moment, it seems that the only way to completely guarantee your continued right to live and work in the United Kingdom is to become a British citizen. In order to do this, the first step is to acquire Permanent Residence.  However, becoming a British citizen may also be a disadvantage for some nationals or if you have non-British family members living with you in the UK who are relying on your status under EU law. While, we are still awaiting a decision of CJEU in Lounes, the Advocate-General has said that non-EU nationals may be given the right to reside in a Member State in which an EU family member lived before the family member acquired the nationality of that country. However, since the UK wants to rule out the jurisdiction of the CJEU, there is a little time to benefit from the upcoming decision.

If you would like to find out more about your rights in the UK or apply for the Permanent Residence/British Citizenship you can contact Angelika at 020 7822 1866 or email: angelika@sterling-law.co.uk

AFTER 6 ATTEMPTS WITHOUT REPRESENTATION, FINALLY ISSUED A EEA FAMILY PERMIT

The Applicant, a citizen of Georgia, who has been married to an EEA National, was refused not once, but six times EEA Family Permit visa which he made without legal representation over the course of nearly two years. He had left the United Kingdom voluntary in 2015.

The first application was refused by the Home Office after they conducted a phone interview with the applicant. The first and then other 5 applications were refused based on the interview evidence provided during client’s first application.

Even though Entry Clearance officer had to consider each new application on its own merits, they failed to do so and refused all subsequent applications on the same ground.

Sterling & Law Associates LLP were instructed to make a seventh application of behalf of the client which was successful. After considering the facts and evidence provided by the client and six reasons for refusals Sterling & Law Associates LLP suggested the Georgian national to seek a Residence Permit in Estonia as a family member of a European Union national.

After a successful application, fresh compelling evidence and arguments brought by Sterling & Law Associates LLP, the Home Office issued a Family Permit to our client to join his wife in the UK.

“It was a huge task to challenge the Entry Clearance Officers after they have refused our client’s application six times and it was awarding not only for the client but for myself to “fight” for the visa for our client.” Daiga Barzdina

Daiga Barzdina