Category: Company News

Immigration Law

Applying for a Sponsor Licence

Unfortunately, very often applicants do not pay the necessary attention to the accuracy of the submitted documentation, avoiding the required procedures and rules. However, this can be a turning point in a decision-making process – and this is what happened to our Client.

One of the Sterling Law clients – an active company incorporated in London sought to employ a foreign worker (outside the EEA). The reason being that the foreign candidate possessed specific skills and knowledge required for a new project launched by the company. According to the British immigration law, in order to employ a foreign worker, a company has to have a Sponsor Licence. This is an obligatory rule which will enable the company to sponsor Tier 2 (work) visa.

Following this rule, our Client firstly applied for a Sponsor Licence on their own, without legal assistance. The application was rejected due to the reason that not all necessary documentation was provided and not in the correct format.

Our Client launched a start-up with a focus on medicine development, so they were not ready to give up that easily. The new application was made with the assistance of Sterling Law Immigration Lawyer Nataliya Varahash. Nataliya addressed and corrected all the issues raised in the rejection letter.

Nataliya, therefore, managed to achieve a positive decision for the business.

We are glad to announce that now our Client can develop their newly launched projects with the help of skillful foreign workers. We believe, that not only British society but the rest of the world will benefit from it, which would be impossible without the right people on board.


UK Immigration & Legal Assistance

For expert advice and assistance in relation to your particular case and to enquire about the legal fees, please contact our lawyers on

Tel. +44(0) 20 7822 8599

Mobile / Viber: +44 (0) 73 0584 8477


or via our online appointment booking form.


Natalia Varahash, Immigration Lawyer (OISC Level 2)


Tel. +44 (0) 20 7822 8535

Mob. +44 (0) 73 0598 9936


LEGAL COSTS – can you recover them from your opponent after winning a legal dispute?

Kuldeep S. Clair, our senior Consultant Solicitor in Dispute Resolution and Employment Law offers his views on this important topic: 

This question is understandably a common initial concern for many clients when they are deciding whether to issue court / tribunal proceedings, and  also when they are defending proceedings against them. 

The rules are complex and not automatic. They depend on the discretion of the Judge, and on things like the nature of the claim and the particular court or tribunal that you are in. Let’s go through a few guidelines but please remember to refer to the exceptions I have outlined later as well: 

  1. Employment tribunals – you will not recover your legal costs if you win, and will not have to pay the other side’s legal costs if you lose either. 
  • Civil money claims of less than £10,000 – as above, apart from relatively nominal fixed amounts totaling probably a few hundred pounds in most cases. (The other side will pay your court fees.)
  • Civil money claims above £10,000 – You will usually be able to recover a large proportion of legal costs which are reasonably incurred. What that means is that there is still a duty on your solicitors to act reasonably in the conduct of a claim so that whatever shortfall payable by you is as small as possible.   
  • Other civil claims, such as landlord/tenant, employment, commercial claims, company disputes – as per 3 above. The court is more likely to award you costs in a matter which is of higher value, since judges do not want to encourage people to clog up the courts with low-value disputes. But the value of the claim is only one factor, and of course, disputes can concern many other issues than just money. 

All of these principles can be overridden by the basic exception which is that a court or tribunal may award costs against a party if he/she has behaved in a manner which is regarded by the Judge as appalling or un-co-operative, and which has increased the legal costs incurred by the other side. It is important to appreciate that this does not mean just by losing the case. Clearly someone always has to lose. It means seriously inappropriate behavior, such as pursuing a utterly hopeless or dishonest case which was absolutely bound to fail. Or using litigation as a device to abuse or harass an opponent. 

If you are advised by your lawyer that all your legal costs will definitely be covered or recovered from the other side, you should remain skeptical. I always advise my clients honestly and fully about the merits of their case and also about the position on costs.  There are no guarantees concerning costs, other than through certain kinds of legal insurance. The problem with that kind of ‘after-the-event’ insurance is that it is only suitable for certain kinds of situations and cases, and it is also quite expensive. I can discuss those options with you in detail. 

Your best bet is to have a solicitor who has the experience and perspective to give you honest, forthright advice about the positive and negative aspects of your case, to prepare your case thoroughly, and fight your case vigorously once you have given clear instructions.  

If you have any queries about a dispute, please feel free to contact me initially without obligation. 

Kuldeep S. Clair 

Consultant Solicitor

Employment, Dispute Resolution and Litigation

+44 (0) 7484 61 4090

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EU Settlement Scheme will Open to Public from 21 January 2019

EU citizens living in the UK who have a valid passport will be able to take part in a public test phase of the EU Settlement Scheme.

From 21 January 2019, EU citizens, as well as their non-EU citizen family members who hold a valid biometric residence card, will be able to apply for the immigration status they will need once the UK has left the EU. By applying during this test phase, they will also provide valuable insight into how the system is performing so that further improvements can be made before the scheme is fully rolled out from March 2019.

EU Settlement Scheme Details

The public testing follows a successful private beta phase with employees in higher education, health and social care sectors.

The EU Settlement Scheme will be fully open by 30 March 2019, and EU citizens will have until 30 June 2021 to apply, in line with the draft Withdrawal Agreement.

The expansion has been announced through changes to the Immigration Rules. The Rules are accompanied by some initial findings of how the scheme performed during the second private beta test phase. Feedback during that phase, which ends on 21 December 2018, has so far been positive.

By 13 December 2018, more than 15,500 applications had been made and more than 12,400 of these had been concluded. 71% of the concluded applications were granted settled status and the rest were granted pre-settled status. Many of the applicants received their decision within 24 hours. We will publish a full report in January 2019.

The new, wider test phase will again require applicants to prove their identity by using the EU Exit: Identity Document Check app which is part of the integrated online application process. There will also be support for EU citizens who might need additional help in making their application.

Read further information on the EU Settlement Scheme.

End of Free Movement: New Skills-based Immigration System Announced

Today, Wednesday, 19 December 2018, The Home Secretary Sajid Javid announced a new route for skilled workers, strengthened border security and an end to free movement as part of a new immigration system.

The new immigration system will introduce a new route for skilled workers which favours experience and talent over nationality. It will enable employers to have access to the skills they need from around the world, while ensuring net migration is reduced to sustainable levels.

Read the full text of the White Paper.

Read the executive summary.

Key Changes & Proposals:

  • remove the annual cap on the number of work visas issued
  • widen the skills threshold to include people with qualifications equivalent of A levels
  • ends the requirements for labour market tests by employers wanting to sponsor a worker.

Home Secretary Sajid Javid said:

Today’s proposals are the biggest change to our immigration system in a generation.

We are taking a skills-based approach to ensure we can attract the brightest and best migrants to the UK.

These measures will boost our economy and benefit the British people.

There will also be a new route for workers at any skill level for a temporary period. This will allow all businesses to have the staff they need as we move to the new immigration system but ensure they have the incentive to train young people in the future.

The 12-month visa will provide access to the labour market, but no access to benefits. People arriving on this route will not be able to bring family members with them, won’t accrue rights to settle in the UK and will have a 12-month cooling off period once their visa expires. These proposals will be discussed with business as part of the extensive engagement programme planned.

The White Paper proposals will also ensure there is no limit on the number of genuine international students, who can come to the UK to study. Proposals extend the time they can stay post-study to find employment to six months for those who have completed a bachelor’s or master’s degree and 12 months for those who have completed a PhD.

Proposed measures to improve border security checks and support a frictionless flow of legitimate passengers’ checks:

  • creating a single, consistent approach to criminality by aligning both EU and non-EU criminality thresholds
  • ending the use national ID cards as a form of travel documentation for EU citizens as soon as is practicable, given these documents are more insecure and open to abuse than passports
  • introducing an Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) scheme to allow vital information to be collected at an earlier stage before visitors, who does not require a visa, travel. This will give visitors greater certainty that they will be able to enter the UK on arrival
  • allowing citizens from Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, USA, Singapore and South Korea to use e-gates to pass through the border on arrival, alongside EU and UK citizens

The Immigration and Social Security Coordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill to be published on Thursday 20 December ends free movement and creates the legal framework for the future borders and immigration system. It also creates the legal framework for a future, single benefits system that will apply to both EU and non-EU nationals and maintains the Common Travel Area between the UK and Ireland.

The new immigration and borders system will be implemented in a phased approach from 2021 following an extensive 12-month programme of engagement with businesses, stakeholders and the public by the Home Office.

Changes to the Immigration Rules effective from January 2019

A new statement of changes to the Immigration Rules has been laid down recently. These changes are set to take effect from the 10th January 2019.

The main changes are set out as follows. 

Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent)

This category usually requires prospective applicants to be endorsed by a Designated Competent Body. The endorsement of arts applicants is being widened to include those in the field of architecture. The Royal Institute of British Architects operating within the endorsement remit of Arts Council England will assess the applicants.

Currently, only applicants who request 5 years’ leave qualify for the additional 4-month period. In the recent change, the grant periods for entry clearance applicants have been amended to include an additional 4-month period for each potential grant of leave.

Moreover, digital technology applicants who as a result of the Tech Nation online application form, will no longer be required to supply paper copies of their specified evidence to Home Office.

Tier 2 (Points Based System)

There is now an Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) requirement for Tier 2 (ICT) applicants extending leave in the United Kingdom. Applicants are required to obtain an ATAS certificate before studying a postgraduate qualification in certain sensitive subjects, knowledge of which could be used in programmes to develop weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) or their means of delivery.

Tier 4 (Points Bases System)

This route consists of Tier 4 (General) and Tier 4 (Child). It is often used by non-EEA nationals wishing to study in the UK.

Changes are being made to students who rely on student loans or funds from official financial sponsors. They are not required to demonstrate that the funds have been held for a period of 28 consecutive days. Instead, Tier 4 migrant must have the funds available to them on the date of application. The only exception is where the funds are being provided as a financial loan and the student separately confirms when the funds will be available to them.

Moreover, another important change is that if the applicant is a Tier 4 (Child) Student, the specified documents submitted with their application must confirm who is providing the maintenance funds for their use in studying and living in the UK and that the funds will remain available to them unless used to pay for course fees and living costs.

Tier 5 (Point Based System)

Currently, Tier 5 Religious Workers are permitted to fill roles, which ‘may include preaching, pastoral work and non-pastoral work’. A migrant is allowed to come to the UK and fill roles without having to demonstrate an ability to speak English. The new change now directs these applicants towards the appropriate (existing) category of Tier 2. The new requirement for Tier 5 Religious Workers will prohibit employers from assigning a certificate of sponsorship when the role is that of a Minister of Religion. This is to ensure that the needs of religious establishments are still catered for under Tier 2.

The “cooling off” period requirement requires the Tier 5 Religious Workers and Charity Workers to spend a minimum of 12 months outside the UK before returning to the UK either under a Tier 5 or Tier 2 visa. This will prevent migrants from applying for consecutive visas, thereby using the routes to live in the UK for extended periods, so as to reflect the temporary purpose of the routes better.

 Seasonal workers scheme

A new pilot scheme is due to come into effect in 2019. This scheme is to enable non-EEA migrant workers to come to the UK to undertake seasonal employment in the horticultural sector. The formal date of implementation of this scheme will be announced in due course.

Domestic violence provisions – Partnership visa

Victims of abuse who are in the UK under a partner visa or sponsorship by a British citizen or settled citizen will be granted indefinite leave to remain if their relationship breaks down. These include partners of people with refugee status who have not yet been granted indefinite leave to remain.

Upper Tribunal establishes a new Derivative Right of Residence under EU Law for Family Members of British Citizens

In the recently reported case of LS v SSHD (Article 45 TFEU – derivative rights) [2018] UKUT 00426 (IAC) concerning the free movement rights of British citizens who live in the UK but travel frequently to other Member States of the EU for business purposes, the Upper Tribunal held that a third country national family member of such British citizens may be able to establish a derivative right of residence under Article 45 of the TFEU.

Ultimately in this case, it was found that two British citizens would be realistically in danger of being unable to continue their employment in the UK which required them to travel frequently in the EU should their family member, a third country national, be unable to provide childcare.

New Derivative Right

This is a significant step in the interpretation of EU rights to free movement in the UK. The derivative right which is established by this judgment sets a precedent in upholding the rights of British citizens to exercise free movement rights in the EU.

The appellant in this case is a Russian national who entered the UK for the purpose of visiting her daughter and son-in-law, both British citizens, who had recently had their first child. The employment of both British citizens required them to travel very frequently to other EU countries. Several months into the appellant’s visit, when her daughter was looking to return to work but struggling to make alternative childcare arrangements, it became evident that the appellant’s presence was indispensable due to the child’s complex care needs. Without the appellant fulfilling the role of caring for her grandchild, neither her daughter nor her son-in-law could continue to travel as required by their respective employments.

The Upper Tribunal accepted the position set out in the ECJ’s judgment in S & G (C-457/12)(S v Minister voor Immigratie, Integratie en Asiel and Minister voor Immigratie, Integratie en Asiel v G), that a third country national could establish a derivative right of residence in the Member State of which their family member is a national, if they meet the following criteria:

  • They are a family member of a Member State national within the terms of the Citizens’ Directive
  • Their family member must be exercising treaty rights (travelling regularly to other Member States for professional purposes falls within the scope of exercising treaty rights under Article 45 of the TFEU)
  • If it were not for the presence of the third country national family member, an absence of adequate childcare for the child of the Member State national would discourage them from exercising treaty rights

The Upper Tribunal noted particularly the threshold of the requirement that the British citizen would be dissuaded from exercising treaty rights.

In many such cases, it would clearly be preferable for the child to be cared for by a family member rather than any alternative such as a nanny or au pair, not least because it would be in the best interests of the child. However, it was held that this would not be enough to establish the dissuasive element. The Tribunal would need to undertake a wide evaluative assessment of the particular childcare needs. Moreover, adequate and reasonable steps would need to have been taken to obtain alternative childcare. The interference with the British citizen’s exercise of treaty rights must be real and there must be a causal link between the absence of adequate childcare and such interference.

Reported so soon before the UK is expected to leave the EU, this judgment throws up an interesting point regarding the current rights of British citizens which are afforded by EU free movement.

It is difficult to conceive of domestic UK legislation upholding the rights of British citizens to undertake professional activities abroad in order to maintain their UK employment, where they are at risk of being discouraged from doing so by difficult family circumstances, such as an absence of adequate childcare arrangements.

It is suggested that perhaps some more progressive immigration provisions will be required in future to address the problem that British families may face an economic crisis or be prevented from engaging in an increasingly global workplace in order to uphold the safety or security of their children. Perhaps these measures are needed even to provide sufficient motivation for such British families to continue living in the UK.

For more details and comments please on this case and its implications, please feel free to get in touch directly with Josephine Smith and Ruslan Kosarenko


UK Immigration & Legal Assistance

For expert advice and assistance in relation to your particular immigration case and to inquire about the immigration and legal fees, please contact our immigration lawyers on Tel. +44(0) 20 7822 8599, Mobile / Viber: +44 (0) 73 0584 8477, e-mail: or via our online appointment booking form.

Law Student Internship (Ukrainian / Russian Speaker) – London

Sterling & Law Associates LLP, London-based OISC regulated law firm is offering an internship opportunity for undergraduate/postgraduate law students willing to gain practical experience in the field of UK Immigration law, EEA regulations and human rights.

Responsibilities and Duties

During the internship, we try to expose interns as much as possible to the working practices of the firm in the area of immigration law and human rights. This will include administrative assignments, filing, contacting clients, legal research, and assisting immigration lawyers and partners of the firm with current casework.

A full-time job offer may result from a successfully completed internship. References will be provided at the end of the internship.

The internships are unpaid and last for 2-3 months.

Law Student Internship Applications

In order to apply for the internship please send your CV by email

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted for an interview.

About us

Sterling & Law Associates LLP is regulated by the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC). The firm has a level 3 registration allowing to work on the most complex immigration and visa cases. The firm assists corporates and individuals on all immigration law cases, including visa refusals and appeals.

Sterling Law to Exhibit at Moscow International Emigration & Luxury Property Expo

Sterling Law are delighted to take part in the The Moscow International Emigration and Luxury Property Expo 2018, a large-scale conference and exhibition dedicated to immigration and international real estate, that will be held 29-30 November 2018 at The Ritz-Carlton Moscow.
The event will be attended by leading companies from more than 30 countries.
The delegation of Sterling Law will join other leading international law firms, developers, personal financial consultancies, as well as  immigration services and real estate industry professionals from all over the world.

Find us in Moscow:

We invite invite you to join us at Conference & Exhibition at The Ritz-Carlton Moscow during 29-30 November 2018. This is a brilliant opportunity to ask all the questions you have about immigration and other legal services in the UK.
To arrange a meeting please contact: 
We look forward to share our experience with you and answer all your questions.

Moscow International Emigration & Luxury Property Expo 2018

AGENDA: Full programme for 29-30 November 2018

The Expo combines a conference on the first day (29 November), with an exhibition, workshops, and networking opportunities on the second day (30 November).

The conference will be held on the first day of the Moscow International Emigration and Luxury Property Expo (IELPE). It will feature keynote speakers from 30 countries, including representatives of immigration companies, property developers, and governmental authorities from EU countries, the USA, Canada, and the Caribbean.

The speakers will share exclusive insights into the latest legislative developments and provide hands-on advice based on actual cases.

Sterling Law team will present on 29 November at 18.35 on the UK Investor, Entrepreneur and Exceptional Talent visas. Our representatives will be happy to see all visitors and advise at the stand during the 2nd day of the event on 30 November. 


Registration is open for individual and professional visitors with special packages available. To apply for a two-day pass please click here.

UK Immigration & Legal Assistance

For expert advice and assistance in relation to your particular immigration case and to inquire about the immigration and legal fees, please contact our immigration lawyers on Tel. +44(0) 20 7822 8599, Mobile / Viber: +44 (0) 73 0584 8477, e-mail: or via our online appointment booking form.

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Sterling Law supports Startup Pitching Competition at the University of Westminster

We are delighted to be an official partner of the Startup Pitch Competition held on 25 October 2018 at the University of Westminster. The event is organised by the Marylebone Entrepreneurial Club whose members will be pitching their businesses to a panel of investors, aiming to raise a total of £1,000,000.


Pitch day – 25 October 2018 

Time: 12.00 – 18.00 at Regent Street Cinema, 309 Regent Street, Marylebone, London, W1B 2UW

Up to 15 startups will be pitching this day with investment needs from £50K to £1M in e-commerce, AI, machine learning, blockchain, big data and other areas.

  • 12.00  – 1.00 pm: Registration, networking
  • 1.00 – 2.00 pm: Organisers and partners speech
  • 2.00 – 5.00 pm: Pitch Session
  • 5.00 – 6.00 pm: Networking session

Full details of the event and list of participating start-ups. 

Tickets & registration:

To book your place please visit this web-page.


The panel of judges will include Stepan Galaev, Investment Director at Galaev & Co whose firm manages angel portfolios for Dragons Den’s investors, amongst others.

Professor Malcolm Kirkup, Head of College at Westminster Business School will open the event with an opening address.

The Marylebone Entrepreneurial Club was founded by two University of Westminster graduates, Dennis G. Lucan and Slava Baranoskiy to create a startup community to bridge academic knowledge and practical application, from business concept to market.

Vacancy: Chief Technology Officer (CTO) London

Sterling Law Group is looking for a Chief Technology Officer (CTO) to provide technical leadership in all aspects of our business.

Strategic thinking and strong IT knowledge are essential in this role. We expect a candidate to be well-versed in current technological trends and familiar with a variety of business concepts.


  • Knowing the legal tech market, keeping up with emerging trends
  • Responsible for ensuring high level of usability and positive user experiences
  • Provide deskside technical support to all staff of the firm including troubleshooting hardware and software issues
  • Install software applications and perform system upgrades to desktop and laptop computers
  • Coordinate the day to day operational IT activities including new hire set up, audio and video conference presentations, office moves, departures
  • Work with the management and other departments of the firm to handle confidential matters, personal data and cyber security issues; Build quality assurance and data protection processes
  • Work with the management and other departments to use new technologies to streamline company policies and rules
  • Uses technological assets to help ease use for employees and clients
  • Implement and monitor security measures for communication systems, networks, and provide advice that systems and personnel adhere to established security standards and Governmental requirements for security on these systems
  • Conduct research to improve the technological assets of a company, evaluate new technology and makes recommendations on technological solutions
  • Identifies competitive advantages and technological trends for the benefit of a company
  • Directs the development and possible implementation of policies in instances of a breach, also known as disaster recovery plans
  • Managing 3rd party suppliers
  • Help departments use technology profitably
  • Supervise system infrastructure to ensure functionality and efficiency
  • Monitor KPIs and IT budgets to assess technological performance

Required skills & qualifications:

  • BSc/BA in Computer Science, Engineering or a related field
  • At least 2 years of related work experience
  • Must have knowledge of legal technology, ideally from law firm; legal tech consultancy; or legal software supplier
  • Advanced IT Knowledge
  • Must have a good understanding of computer network development and maintenance, technology and products, solutions and architecture
  • Ability to conduct technological analyses and research
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Leadership and organizational abilities
  • Strategic thinking
  • Problem-solving aptitude
  • Strong motivational and leadership skills
  • Industry Knowledge
  • Knowledge of Russian and/or Ukrainian language will be an advantage




In order to apply for this role please send your CV by email:

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted for an interview.

About us

Sterling Law Group is based in London, United Kingdom.

Our practice areas cover a large variety of fields including immigration, employment law, all civil disputes, commercial, family and criminal law cases. We provide full-scope assistance to corporates and individuals safeguarding their legal rights and access to justice. Our clients are based both in London and internationally.

Sterling Law Group is comprised of Sterling & Law Associates LLP, Sterling Lawyers Ltd., Sterling and Beanland Limited and Sterling AI Solutions Ltd .

More details:

Our address: Fleet House, 8-12 New Bridge Street, London, EC4V 6AL, United Kingdom.