Tag: Home Office


Applicants under the Points-based system

  • Tier 4 students,
  • Tier 2 and Tier 5 workers,
  • Tier 1 visa holders,

must strictly comply with all visa requirements and supply certain specified documents in support of their applications. It is clear in “stark terms” under paragraph 39B of the Immigration Rules that ‘if the necessary documents are not provided, an applicant will not meet the requirement for which those documents are required as evidence.’ As a result, an application will not be successful.


However, in case of exceptional circumstances the Home Office should exercise discretion. Moreover, since R (Behary & Ullah) v SSHD [2016] EWCA Civ 702, it has been good law that the Home Office is obliged to consider discretional grant [outside of the Rules] ‘when expressly asked to do so’. The categories of exceptional circumstances are not closed. In the guidance, examples are given of what could constitute such circumstances, but each case depends on its facts.


For example, discretional leave can be granted if educational provider has its licence withdrawn or revoked during the period between an application for extension of leave as a Tier 4 (General) Student and the Secretary of State’s decision on the application (see Patel (revocation of sponsor licence – fairness) India [2011] UKUT 00211 (IAC)).


However, the Home Office is quite strict in exercising discretion, especially, in case of Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) extensions. Recent cases of:

  • R (Prathipati) v SSHD (Discretion – Exceptional Circumstances) [2018] UKUT 427 (IAC);
  • R (Sajjad) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2019] EWCA Civ 720;
  • Khajuria, R (on the application of) v The Secretary of State for the Home Department [2019] EWHC 1226 (Admin)
  • Asiweh v The Secretary of State for the Home Department [2019] EWCA Civ 13

are good examples.


Thus, it is crucial to seek an immigration advice if not before submitting an application straight after receiving refusal. Our experienced Lawyers can assess the merits of bringing a judicial review claim and provide the best Immigration solution in case a judicial review would be waste of your time and financial resources.


I cannot provide all the documents to support my visa application, what do I do?


Are you currently on student, work, entrepreneur or any other point-based system visa and looking to extend it?

Or are you looking to apply for the first time?

You must strictly comply with the document list to support your application. Usually, the Home Office is very strict on this while they are evaluating your case, and if you do not provide a required document, your application may be refused.

However, sometimes, in case of exceptional circumstances, the Home Office may exercise discretion, and consider a grant.

There are several categories described in the guidance of such exceptional circumstances. However, each case should be evaluated on an individual basis.

Moreover, the Home Office is quite strict in exercising discretion, especially in case of Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) extensions.

We strongly suggest to seek legal advice before submitting such an application.

We can assess your case and evaluate your chances of getting visa.

However, if you already received a refusal, we still can help. Our lawyers will assess the merits of taking your case to the judicial review claim stage. If we think judicial review will not be successful, we’ll provide you other immigration solution.

The case was successful due to efforts of our Immigration Lawyer Oksana Demyanchuk and her team.


+44 020 7822 8535

+44 7 305 966 531




Excellent news! The appeal regarding removal directions for our client was allowed!

Our client, a national of Pakistan, married an EU national who is exercising treaty rights in the UK and has a permanent residence here. After entering the UK with an EEA family permit our client successfully obtained an EEA residence card. A year into the marriage, the wife’s sister tragically passed away in Brazil leaving behind four minor children. Deeply affected by this loss, our client and his spouse decided to adopt these children. So our client’s wife went to Brazil for around 6 months to resolve various matters regarding the adoption.

At the date his wife was returning to the UK Immigration Officers came to our client’s home and interviewed him.

  • His request to postpone the interview (he was not feeling well) was ignored.
  • The immigration Officers did not make any notes regarding this request.
  • They did not pay attention to the fact that our client’s wife returned to the UK on the interview date and it would be useful to interview her as well before making any immigration decision.
  • Moreover, Immigration Officers even made several offensive Islamophobic remarks regarding our client’s appearance.

Relying on the interview records the Home Office made removal directions for our client on the grounds that

he misused the right to reside in the UK since his EEA sponsor left the UK just one month after his arrival in the UK and has not returned since (that was wrong).


Sterling Law successfully appealed this decision pointing out that there was a specific reason for the wife’s absence (adoption). The judge allowed the appeal and found that the Home Office decision was disproportionate.

Thanks to our lawyers Jekaterina Trubina and Shakir Hussain our clients are able to continue their family life in the UK and care for the wife’s sister children after adoption.


Similar immigration problem? Do you believe the Home Office made a wrong decision? Contact our experienced lawyers for professional advice.

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Police Registration for Overseas Visitors in London

It is traditionally busy time during August-November at the Overseas Visitors Records Office (OVRO) in London which conducts police registration for those who arrive or live in London and have been required to register with the police, an essential part of the visa conditions.

If you need to register your visa or any changes of your personal details, it is advisable to plan your visit to the OVRO in advance and to come early to avoid long queues and disappointment of being asked to come on another date.

OVRO opening times:

  • Monday to Wednesday: 9am to 4pm
  • Thursday: closed
  • Friday: 9am to 4pm
  • Saturday and Sunday: closed
  • UK public holidays and bank holidays: closed

Police Registration Office Address in London:

Overseas Visitors Records Office (OVRO)

323 Borough High Street

Police Registration Requirement

Some migrants are required to undertake police registration after arriving in the UK with a visa, or after getting permission to stay for longer in the UK.

If you need to register, you must go to the police within 7 days of you:

  • arriving in the UK if you applied for a visa from outside the UK
  • getting your biometric residence permit if you applied to stay for longer from inside the UK

Police registration is usually needed if all of the following apply:

  • you’re 16 or older
  • your visa (or permission to stay in the UK) is for longer than 6 months
  • your nationality means you must register
  • you’re not exempt

Check if police registration is required in your case.

Police registration in case of change of personal details

If you change any of your personal or contact details whilst studying or working in London, you will have to come to the OVRO and register new details .

You must report any of the following changes:

  • change of address
  • change of college/university/work
  • change of occupation
  • change in marital status
  • new landing conditions (re-entry or extended visa)
  • new passport details
  • exemption from Police Registration

Police Registration Regulations – OVRO London

The Police Registration Certificate (PRC) may be used as an identity document in the United Kingdom (UK). You are advised not to carry it with you but keep it in a safe place together with your passport/travel document.

If you are asked to produce the PRC, you will be given 48 hours in which to do so at a police station.

Some changes must be reported to the local police stations: 

  • Any change of residential address must be reported to the nearest police station no later than 7 days of the change.
  • Any change of work address or occupation must be reported to any police station within 8 days of the change.
  • Any change of school, college or university should also be reported to any police station.

Any other changes, including change of name, nationality, passport/travel document or marital status must be reported to the OVRO office only within 8 days of the change. You must bring the appropriate documentation for examination, for example, your passport, visa, marriage certificate and/or Home Office letter.

If you have another requirement to register/report to the police endorsed in your passport/travel document or Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) at any time, you must attend the OVRO office within 7 days of re-entry into the UK or receipt of your BRP.

If you leave the UK for more than 12 months and are required to register with the police again upon your return, you will need to obtain a new PRC from this office and pay the current registration fee.

If you wish to remain in the UK after the visa in your passport/travel document has expired, an application should be made to the Home Office, supported by the appropriate documentation.

If your PRC is lost or stolen, a replacement must be obtained from this office. You will be required to pay the current registration fee for the replacement certificate. A police report is not required.

Consequences and Responsibility for Non-Compliance with Police Registration Requirements

Failure to register with police within the time specified or to comply with post registration reporting requirements, without reasonable excuse, is a criminal offence under Section 26(1) (f) of the Immigration Act 1971. If convicted, you can face a fine of up to £5,000 or you could be imprisoned for up to 6 months.

As non-compliance is a breach of a condition of leave (visa), a person may have their leave curtailed under the curtailment provisions applicable to their immigration category. Once leave has been curtailed, they will then be subject to removal from the UK.

A breach of condition can also result in the refusal of a subsequent immigration application, and for overseas and on-entry applications, a mandatory re-entry ban.

In the Home Office’s Modernised Guidance on police registration, immigration officers are advised to inform the police as soon as they become aware that a person required to register:

  • fails to register with the police; 
  • is known to have moved from, or into, their area;
  • has had changes to the conditions of their leave, or
  • becomes exempt from the requirement.

The guidance provides that where a person who has failed to register applies for leave, the application should be put on hold before it is processed. The applicant should be told they must register and then re-submit their passport and supporting documents so that the application can be processed ‘as normal’.

If the applicant still fails to register, consideration will be given to refusing future leave applications and/or to curtailing existing leave. The guidance only refers to the provisions under the Immigration Rules, Part 9 that apply when refusing or curtailing leave. But it should be noted that different refusal and/or curtailment provisions may be relevant where the person is applying for or has leave under other  immigration categories:

  • the private life provisions in the Immigration Rules, Part 7, paras 276ADE–276DH
  • Immigration Rules, Appendix Armed Forces
  • Immigration Rules, Appendix FM
  • Immigration Rules, Appendix V

For more details on the police registration procedure, fees and application forms, please visit the web-page of the Metropolitan Police. 

UK Legal & Immigration Assistance

New Fees: British Passport Applications
How to Apply for British Passport Online 
Apostille and Document Certification in London
Employment Rights in the UK

For expert advice and assistance in relation to your particular case and relevant immigration law requirements, please contact our immigration lawyers on tel. +44(0) 20 7822 8535, mobile: 07305848477 or by e-mail: contact@sterling-law.co.uk or via our online appointment booking form.

Flawed UK Immigration System: State of Decision Making by the Home Office

There is a clear problem with the UK Immigration System with bad decision-making being made by the Home Office, often leading to lengthy delays, unreasonable refusals and having a distressing impact on applicants, their families and businesses.

As Joe Egan, President of The Law Society, elaborated “Almost 50% of UK immigration and asylum appeals are upheld – clear evidence of serious flaws in the way visa and asylum applications are being dealt with.

We understand that the Home Office is faced with a large workload that is disproportionate to the time and resources that have been allocated to them. Moreover, as the Home Office spokesman explained, some appeals are frequently allowed because of new evidence being brought to light that was not available beforehand.

The errors and delays are issues that need to be addressed as the UK Visa and Immigration service is currently being faced with a flood of applications due to Brexit.

Sterling & Law Associates LLP has dealt with numerous immigration cases across the different practice areas, as such we have seen many circumstances that demonstrate the irresponsible decision-making of the Home Office in their refusals and litigation.

Home Office’s Mistakes

Here are some examples of the typical mistakes summarised on the basis of our previous casework:

  • Our client had already left the UK, due to a removal order from the Home Office, and was applying for a Spouse visa from abroad as she had an appointment scheduled in the middle of January at the visa application centre. However, the Home Office decided to make a visit to our client’s husband’s address, while his two children were home, at around 6 in the morning on 2 January with two vans and one car filled with immigration officers to search and remove our client from the UK. Records should have shown that our client was no longer in UK, however this was not the case. Moreover, our client’s subsequent application was then refused even though they admitted that all the requirements were met because the Home Office stated that they were uncertain of our client’s nationality, despite an original valid passport being provided.
  • Similarly, another application was refused on the basis that the passport was not enclosed however the Home Office had previously retained the passport therefore the passport was in their possession.
  • On another occasion, an applicant was applying for a Spouse Entry Clearance Visa to allow her to enter the UK to pick up her Biometric Residence Card. The Home Office had issued her the visa but failed to inform our client and as a result the Visa application centre had held her passport for three months. They only contacted our client to inform her that if our client does not pick up her passport, they would throw it away. Our client was overjoyed because she was issued with her visa however, we soon realised that the visa she was issued with was already expired. Spouse Entry Clearance Visas are only valid for 30 days and as 3 months had passed, we had to request the Home Office to re-issue the visa.
  • Likewise, the Home Office had issued our client with their Biometric Residence card however the Home Office had mistakenly sent it to the wrong address. The letter and the card were received at the client’s sponsor’s employer’s address.
  • Another common example that we have been faced with is inattention to the documentation that was sent with the application. For instance, the Home Office refused a family permit stating that there was lack of evidence that the applicant and the sponsor was related, despite a birth certificate being provided to prove their relationship. Alternatively, the Home Office refused a family permit due to lack of evidence of financial dependency, however regular receipts of money transfers were provided with the application. These cases are currently going through the appeal process to ensure our clients receive a successful result.

These situations reveal a number of flaws in the UK immigration system.  The applications are not being given sufficient consideration, often due to severe time constraints from lack of resources.

The Home Office needs to be given more help through greater number of staff and funds. This in turn would enable the Home Office to take greater care in considering applications, provide better record keeping and updates with regards to our clients and their applications. This ensures that mistakes in refusals, informing clients of the results and administrative errors are minimised.

Home Office & Refusals

A summary of these cases has been provided by the the Immigration Law Practitioners’ Association to show how the Home Office causes careless and unreasonable decisions.

  • Firstly, there have been cases of clients facing deportation who asserted that they were British but unable to prove this to the Home Office. Despite the Home Office holding information with regards to these applicants on file, for instance information that proves that they are British, the Home Office forgot to consider this and instead subjected them to unlawful detention and deportation. Subsequently, using Subject Access Requests (SARs), such information was brought to light therefore their status was confirmed, and they received compensation.
  • Secondly, there have been cases where clients made an immigration application only to have the Home Office make a mistake on their identity such as mixing them up with another applicant with similar names, similar details and/or similar nationalities. The cases were often resolved with the use of a SAR to demonstrate that the details have been mixed up, although despite complaints being made, the Home Office often repeated the mistake in a further application.
  • Thirdly, the Home Office has often made wrong assumptions or declarations on the facts of an applicant’s case. For example, the Home Office had wrongly declared that an applicant was an illegal entrant less than 10 years before his application therefore refusing his application to naturalise as a British citizen. Another example is where the Home Office refused an application stating that the applicant had failed to notify them of a change of sponsor however an SAR proved that there were records of such a letter being received. The Home Office failed to look at the documents available to them, leading them to hold incorrect notions regarding the applicant.
  • Fourthly, there has been several evidences of the Home Office’s bad conduct such as tampering with documents to remove information that was contrary to their arguments or refusing an asylum claim even though investigations for the case was still ongoing at the time of the decision. Moreover, there have been cases where the SAR revealed that one immigration officer had decided to grant a positive decision only to have the opposing decision being made the following day. This shows the unpredictability and unreliable nature of the decision-making.
  • Finally, the Home Office often fails to act on a decision that may have been pending for several years. For instance, applications simply were not actioned at the Home Office, the Home Office failed to implement the decision or failed to inform the client regarding the decision. More often than not, the Home Office may have forgotten about a particular case.

If you want further illustration, the Immigration Law Practitioners’ Association has written a briefing document where pages 8-12 elaborates on various case studies of bad conduct on behalf of the Home Office.

Subject Access Requests

Many of the cases above were resolved following the use of subject access requests (SARs), which allow legal representatives to request, on behalf of their clients, the details and information held by the Home Office with regards to their client. It often reveals mistakes made by the Home Office, therefore it is important that the right to SARs is not removed. It is therefore of significance that the immigration control exemption be removed from the Data Protection Bill 2017.

In conclusion, the Home Office often makes errors. This frequently leads to a refusal in the first instance and the appeal being upheld. The fact that around 50% of appeals are upheld demonstrates that the Home Office needs to address their faults.  It is important to shed a light on the miscarriages of process and justice caused by the Home Office to force them to make changes to their flawed immigration system.

Immigration Assistance

For expert advice and assistance in relation to your particular immigration case, please contact our immigration lawyers on Tel. +44(0)20 7822 8535, Mobile / Viber: 074 6338 2838, by e-mail: contact@sterling-law.co.uk or via our online appointment booking form.

UK Visa Fees

UK Visa Fees from 6 April 2018

A number of changes to the UK visa fees will come into effect from 6 April 2018.

The key changes to the Home Office fees are outlined below:

  • Increased UK visa fees on growth routes (work, study and visit) by 4%.
  • Increased fees on most non-growth routes (nationality, settlement, family) and most associated premium services by 4%.
  • The fee for the overseas optional ‘Priority Visa’ service for entry clearance will increase by 15%.

The government has not made any changes to fees under the sponsorship system. UK visa fees for entry clearance to enter the Channel Islands and Isle of Man will rise in line with fee changes seen in the rest of the UK.

UK visa fees for all applications made from outside and within the UK



Outside / Inside UK before 6 April 2018


Outside / Inside UK after 6 April 2018

Tier 1 Investor £1,561 £1,623
Tier 1 Entrepreneur £982 / £1,228 £1,021 / £1,277
Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur £349 / £474 £363 / £493
Tier 2 – 3 years £587 / £677 £610 / £704
Tier 2 – 5 years £1,174 / £1,354 £1,220 / £1,408
Sponsorship License Application  £536 £536
Tier 4 £335 / £457 £348 / £475
Tier 5 £235 £244
Family Settlement (Spouse Visa) £1,464 / NA £1,523 / NA
FLR (FP, O, M, S) NA / £993 NA / £1,033
MN-1 (Registration child – British Citizenship) £973 £1,012
AN (Naturalisation – British Citizenship) £1,282 £1,330
Indefinite Leave to Remain (Settlement) £1,464 / £2,297 £1,523 / £2,389
Other dependant relative £3,250 / NA £3,250 / NA
Visit visa – short up to 6 months £89 / NA £93 / NA
Visit visa – long up to 2 years £337 / NA £350 / NA
Visit visa – long up to 5 years £612 / NA £636 / NA
Visit visa – long up to 10 years

£767 / NA

 £798 / NA
EEA Applications (all forms)

free / £65

free / £65

A full list of the new UK Immigration, Visa and Nationality Fees can be found on www.gov.uk

Other relevant changes and updates

NHS Immigration Health Surcharge will increase to £400 a year in 2018

New Fees 2018: British Passport Applications

Deadline for employers (Tier 2 sponsors) – 5 April 2018

New Online Application System launched for Tier 2 migrants and PBS dependants

Changes to the Immigration Rules 2018

Immigration Assistance

For expert advice and assistance in relation to your particular case, applicable fees and relevant immigration law requirements, please contact our immigration lawyers on Tel. +44(0)20 7822 8535, Mobile/Viber: 074 6338 2838, by e-mail: contact@sterling-law.co.uk or via our online appointment booking form.

Home Office launched new online application system for Tier 2 migrants and PBS dependants

On 6 March 2018, the Home Office announced launch of a new online application system – Access UK which is now available to Tier 2 customers and PBS dependants.

The new service will enable workers and their partner or child to follow a more modern, intuitive and straight forward visa application process and, for the first time, they will apply to come to the UK using the same application system as those seeking to remain in the UK for work.

The benefits of Access UK include:

  • A shorter application form, with questions ordered based on customer feedback
  • Relevant questions based on a customer’s previous answers
  • The application fee displayed in the relevant currency
  • The ability to apply, book a Visa Application Centre (VAC) appointment, and pay for the relevant service standard seamlessly
  • The ability to review, edit and download a partially completed application at any point before submission
  • Availability on mobile devices

Tier 2 Applications

Visa4UK will remain available to customers for now, however, all Tier 2 visa customers and their dependants should now be encouraged to use Access UK to complete and submit their application. The Home Office will make a separate announcement before Visa4UK is turned off, but it is important that new applications are submitted through the new system now.

It must be noted that the main guidance page www.gov.uk/apply-uk-visa will continue to link to Visa4uk for a short period so it’s important that the direct links above are used. This will take applicants directly to Access UK.

Other applications

For the detailed information and FAQs on Access UK for visit visa, Short-term student, Tier 4 (Student), Tier 2 (WORK), Tier 5 (work) and Points Based System Dependants please click here.


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