Tag: UK Immigration

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

On 11 October 2018, the Home Office laid an order before Parliament in accordance with section 38 of the Immigration Act 2014, ‘The Immigration (Health Charge) (Amendment) Order 2018’  seeking to double the NHS immigration health surcharge paid by temporary migrants to the UK.

The surcharge will rise from £200 to £400 per year. The discounted rate for students and those on the Youth Mobility Scheme will increase from £150 to £300.

The increase is set to come into effect in December 2018 subject to Parliamentary approval.

The annual charge is paid by people from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) who are seeking to live in the UK for 6 months or more to work, study or join family.

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) estimates that the NHS spends £470 on average per person per year on treating surcharge payers. Projections suggest that the increased charges may provide around £220m extra every year, with this money going to NHS services.

Current NHS Immigration Health Surcharge Requirements

Some immigration applications are subject to the payment of the immigration health surcharge (IHS).

The applicants who are making immigration application online or through a premium service centre, have to pay the IHS as part of the application or when booking an appointment.

If application is made by post, healthcare surcharge is paid online before the application is sent (the IHS reference number must be indicated in the application form).

Amount of NHS Immigration Health Surcharge

  • £150 per year for a student or Tier 5 (Youth Mobility Scheme) visa, eg £300 for a 2-year visa
  • £200 per year for all other visa and immigration applications, eg £1,000 for a 5-year visa
  • Dependants usually need to pay the same amount as the main applicants.

Only half of the yearly amount should be paid if the application includes part of a year that is less than 6 months. The migrant will have to pay for a whole year if the application includes part of a year that is more than 6 months.

UK Visa Requirements: Who needs a visa to enter or transit the UK

The Home Office issued a guidance to help carriers check their passengers’ travel documents and decide whether a passenger needs a visa to enter or transit the United Kingdom. There are different UK visa rules applied for the airside and landside tansit passengers .

The lists below indicate the countries and territories of citizens who need a visa for the UK.

Airside Transit

Airside transit passengers are those who do not need to change airports and do not need to pass through the UK border. Passengers cannot transit ‘airside’ to the Republic of Ireland or anywhere within the common travel area.

Landside Transit

Landside transit passengers are those who need or wish to pass through the UK border and enter the UK (for example, to change airport, to collect baggage or arrive at airports where no airside transfer is possible).

AIRSIDE: Transit without UK visa (TWOV)

All visa nationals seeking to transit the United Kingdom ‘airside’ without a visa must:

  • arrive and depart by air
  • have a confirmed onward flight departing the same day from the same airport
  • hold the correct documents for their destination (for example, a visa for that country if required)

Nationals of the countries and territories who need a visa to enter or transit the UK listed below need a visa to transit ‘airside’ unless they hold one of the following:

  1. a valid visa for entry to Australia, Canada, New Zealand or the USA (whether or not the holder is travelling to or from these countries).
  2. a visa for entry to Australia, Canada, New Zealand or the USA as part of a reasonable journey from the country in respect of which the visa is held and it is less than 6 months since the holder last entered that country with a valid entry visa.
  3. a valid permanent residence permit issued by:
  • Australia
  • Canada, issued after 28 June 2002
  • New Zealand
  • USA issued after 21 April 1998; or a valid US Immigrant visa endorsed with a US arrival stamp (a wet-ink/ADIT stamp version will not be accepted by UK border control); or an expired I-551 Permanent Residence card provided it is accompanied by a valid I-797 letter authorising extension; or a standalone US Immigration Form 155A/155B (attached to a sealed brown envelope)

4. a valid common format residence permit issued by an EEA state or Switzerland

5. a valid common format category D visa for entry to an EEA state or Switzerland

6. a valid Irish biometric visa endorsed BC or BC BIVS (in order to transit to a destination other than the Republic of Ireland or the Common Travel Area)

7. a valid Schengen Approved Destination Scheme (ADS) group tourism visa where the holder is travelling to the country that issued it

8. a valid airline ticket from the Schengen area; provided the holder can demonstrate they entered there no more than 30 days previously on the basis of a valid Schengen ADS visa

E-visas or e-residence permits are not acceptable unless the airline is able to verify it with the issuing country.

LANDSIDE: Transit without UK visa (TWOV)

All visa nationals seeking to transit the United Kingdom ‘landside’ without a visa must:

  • arrive and depart by air
  • have a confirmed onward flight that departs before 23:59 the following day
  • hold the correct documents for their destination (for example, a visa for that country if required)

Nationals of the countries and territories who need a visa to enter or transit the UK listed below need a visa to transit ‘landside’ unless they hold one of the following:

  1. a valid visa for entry to Australia, Canada, New Zealand or the USA and a valid airline ticket via the UK as part of a reasonable journey to that country
  2. a valid visa for entry to Australia, Canada, New Zealand or the USA and a valid airline ticket via the UK as part of a reasonable journey from that country
  3. a visa for entry to Australia, Canada, New Zealand or the USA as part of a reasonable journey from the country in respect of which the visa is held and it is less than 6 months since the holder last entered that country with a valid entry visa
  4. a valid permanent residence permit issued by:
  • Australia (b)
  • Canada, issued after 28 June 2002 (c)
  • New Zealand (d)
  • USA issued after 21 April 1998; or a valid US Immigrant visa endorsed with a US arrival stamp (a wet-ink/ADIT stamp version will not be accepted by UK border control); or an expired I-551 Permanent Residence card provided it is accompanied by a valid I-797 letter authorising extension; or a standalone US Immigration Form 155A/155B (attached to a sealed brown envelope)

5. a valid common format residence permit issued by an EEA state or Switzerland

6. a valid common format category D visa for entry to an EEA state or Switzerland

7. a valid Irish biometric visa endorsed BC or BC BIVS and travelling to the Republic of Ireland

8. an Irish biometric visa endorsed BC or BC BIVS and travelling FROM the Republic of Ireland provided it is less than 3 months since the holder last entered there

E-visas or e-residence permits are not acceptable for landside transit.

The decision to allow a passenger to transit without a visa (TWOV) under the scheme is decided by an immigration officer at the UK border.

UK permanent residents

If a visa national is permanently resident in the UK they do not need a visa, as long as they return to the UK within 2 years of their last departure.

Passengers with the right of abode in the UK

If a visa national has a ‘certificate of entitlement to the right of abode’ label in their valid passport they do not need a UK visa.

Holders of non-national and refugee travel documents

  • If the passenger holds a refugee travel document issued by the UK they do not need a visa.
  • If the passenger holds any other non-national or refugee travel document they need a visa to enter the UK.
  • Whether holders of non-national and refugee travel documents require a direct airside transit visa (DATV) depends on their original nationality, and whether they qualify for one of the exemptions listed above. Persons recognised as stateless under the 1954 UN Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons are not required to hold a DATV and may transit airside without a visa.

Nationals of countries and territories who need a visa to enter or transit the UK

  • Afghanistan
  • Albania
  • Algeria
  • Angola
  • Bangladesh
  • Belarus
  • Burma (Myanmar)
  • Burundi
  • Cameroon
  • China (People’s Republic of) 1
  • Congo
  • Democratic Republic of Congo (Zaire)
  • Cyprus (northern part of) 2
  • Egypt
  • Eritrea
  • Ethiopia
  • Gambia
  • Ghana
  • Guinea
  • Guinea-Bissau
  • India 3
  • Iran
  • Iraq
  • Ivory Coast
  • Jamaica
  • Kenya
  • Kosovo
  • Lebanon
  • Lesotho
  • Liberia
  • Libya
  • Macedonia (F.Y.R of)
  • Malawi
  • Moldova
  • Mongolia
  • Nepal
  • Nigeria
  • Pakistan
  • Palestinian Territories
  • Rwanda
  • Senegal
  • Serbia
  • Sierra Leone
  • Somalia 2
  • South Africa 4
  • South Sudan
  • Sri Lanka
  • Sudan
  • Swaziland
  • Syria 5
  • Tanzania
  • Turkey 4
  • Uganda
  • Venezuela (non biometric)
  • Vietnam 3 4
  • Yemen
  • Zimbabwe

Nationals of the countries and territories who need a visa to enter or transit the UK landside

  • Armenia
  • Azerbaijan
  • Bahrain 6
  • Benin
  • Bhutan
  • Bolivia
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Burkina Faso
  • Cape Verde
  • Central African
  • Republic of Chad
  • Colombia
  • Comoros
  • Cuba
  • Djibouti
  • Dominican Republic
  • Ecuador
  • Equatorial Guinea
  • Fiji
  • Gabon
  • Georgia
  • Guyana
  • Haiti
  • Indonesia 4
  • Jordan
  • Kazakhstan
  • Kuwait 7
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Laos
  • Madagascar (Malagasy)
  • Malawi
  • Mauritania
  • Montenegro
  • Morocco
  • Mozambique
  • Niger
  • Oman 7
  • Peru
  • Philippines
  • Qatar 7
  • Russia
  • Sao Tome e Principe
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Surinam
  • Taiwan 8
  • Tajikistan
  • Thailand
  • Togo
  • Tunisia
  • Turkmenistan
  • Ukraine
  • United Arab Emirates 7
  • Uzbekistan
  • Venezuela (biometric)
  • Zambia

Seamen

A seaman travelling on duty, who is a visa national (including those in transit through the UK) does not need a UK visa if he holds a valid seaman’s book issued by one of these countries which also contains a statement that it is issued under ILO108 (or convention of 1958) or ILO185, having previously ratified ILO108 (or convention of 2003):

  • Algeria
  • Anguilla
  • Angola
  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Azerbaijan
  • Barbados
  • Belarus
  • Belize
  • Bermuda
  • Brazil
  • British Virgin Isles
  • Bulgaria
  • Cameroon
  • Canada
  • Cuba
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Djibouti
  • Dominica
  • Estonia
  • Fiji
  • Finland
  • France
  • Ghana
  • Greece
  • Grenada
  • Guatemala
  • Guinea-Bissau
  • Guyana
  • Honduras
  • Iceland
  • India
  • Iran
  • Iraq
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Latvia
  • Liberia
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Mauritius
  • Mexico
  • Moldova (Republic of)
  • Montserrat
  • Morocco
  • Norway
  • Panama
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • The Russian Federation
  • Seychelles
  • Slovenia
  • Solomon Islands
  • Spain
  • Sri Lanka
  • St Lucia
  • St Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Sweden
  • Tajikistan
  • Tanzania
  • Tunisia
  • Turkey
  • Ukraine
  • United Kingdom (including the Falkland Islands and Gibraltar)
  • Uruguay

A seaman does not need to be a national of the country that issued the document.

NOTES:

  1. Holders of diplomatic passports do not require a visa. Service passport holders may transit without a visa. Holders of a public affairs passport may not transit without a visa. Service and public affairs passport holders do not require a visa if travelling with a serving Chinese government minister on an official visit to the UK. 
  2. Passport not recognised by HM Government – the visa should be issued on a uniform format form (UFF).  2
  3. Holders of diplomatic or official passports may transit without a UK visa.  2
  4. Holders of diplomatic passports do not require a visa for official visits, tourist visits or transit.  2 3 4
  5. Holders may not use a B1/B2 USA visa to transit the UK. 
  6. Holders of diplomatic and special passports do not require a UK visa for official visits, tourist visits or transit. 
  7. Holders of diplomatic and special passports do not require a visa for official visits, tourist visits or transit. Holders of ordinary passports do not require a visa if they hold a valid electronic visa waiver (EVW) document.  2 3 4
  8. Passports that include a personal ID number on the biodata page are exempt from the visa requirement. 

UK Airports – Contact details

Area Telephone
Belfast Airport +44 28 944 84323
Birmingham Airport +44 121 606 7357/7368
Bournemouth +44 1202 579233
Bristol Airport +44 1275 472 843
Cardiff +44 1446 712920
East Midlands Airport +44 1332 442050
Edinburgh Airport +44 131 3443113
Exeter Airport +44 1392 366492
Gatwick Airport +44 1293 501880
Glasgow Airport +44 141 847 5300
Harwich Docks +44 1255 509700
Heathrow Airport Terminal 2 +44 20 8929 3824/25
Heathrow Airport Terminal 3 +44 20 8745 6920/21
Heathrow Airport Terminal 4 +44 20 8745 4740
Heathrow Airport Terminal 5 +44 20 8196 2490
Leeds Bradford Airport +44 113 391 1920
Liverpool Airport +44 151 448 1448
London City Airport +44 20 7055 5912
Luton Airport +44 1582 878700
Manchester Airport Terminal 1 +44 161 489 2456
Manchester Airport Terminal 2 +44 161 489 6001
Manchester Airport Terminal 3 +44 161 489 2399
Newcastle Airport +44 191 214 4580 / 4582
Newhaven Docks +44 1273 865936
Norwich +44 1603 268960
Plymouth +44 1752 689200
Poole +44 1202 634555
Prestwick +44 01292 478675
Portsmouth Docks +44 2392 952749
Robin Hood Airport +44 1302 522300
Southampton Airport +44 23 8062 7107
Southend Airport +44 1702 538574
Stansted Airport +44 1279 338809
CARRIERS LIAISON SECTION
HOME OFFICE
TEL: +44 20 3014 8282 (FAX 8221)
E-mail: CarriersLiaisonSection@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk

Other updates:

Illegality of Employment Contracts

Employment Rights

Changes to the Immigration Rules 2018

UK Visa Fees 2018 

New Fees: British Passport Applications

Apostille and Document Certification in London

How to Apply for British Passport Online 

Case Studies & Successful Cases 


UK Immigration & Legal Assistance

For expert advice and assistance in relation to your particular immigration case and to enquire 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: contact@sterling-law.co.uk or via our online appointment booking form.

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
London
SE1 1JL

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

EU SETTLEMENT SCHEME DETAILS
BREXIT UPDATES
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.

UK right of residence granted to Belarusian national after he divorced his EEA partner

Refusal rate seems to be particularly high in the immigration cases. This includes right of residence applications. Applicants then need to appeal against the Home Office decision, which is another procedural nightmare.

Retained Right of Residence in the UK after Divorce

Belarussian national divorced from his EEA National spouse in 2014. He still, however, had family ties in the UK (his brother was settled in the country).

Our client sought to retain his right of residence after separation from his partner – EU national. He had been fighting for 4 years before positive decision was achieved.

After the divorce was finalised in 2014, the client submitted an application to retain his right of residence (as per Regulation 10 of the EEA Regulations 2016). It was, however, refused because there was no enough evidence confirming that his ex-partner was working in the UK from the date the divorce petition was sent until the date his divorce was finalised.

He appealed against this decision and the appeal was dismissed as how the Judge said

“the Appellant had not shown he had made every effort to provide the required documents”

of his partner exercising the Treaty Rights at the date of the divorce. He only provided evidence up to the date the petition was sent.

Therefore, our client submitted another retain right of residence application in 2016 which was refused. The Home Office repeated the previously made decision as they still did not believe the EEA National to be exercising free-movement rights in the UK at the time of divorce. Then, we submitted EEA PR application in 2017 which was also refused based on the same grounds.

Senior solicitor, Shakir Hussain, assisted by immigration lawyer, Aliya Rimshelis, appealed against this decision and submitted evidence to court as

the refusal was contrary to the determination in our precedent-setting case Baigazieva vs Secretary of State for the Home Department [2018] EWCA. There it was provided that the EEA National ex-spouse need only be exercising treaty rights until the date of the initiation of the divorce proceedings.

Right of residence appeal, however, was complicated by difficult family circumstances our client faced.

In the midst of his appeal he had to leave the UK to support his mother in Belarus, who was undergoing cancer treatment. He, however, needed to return to the UK, to be present as a witness to his own appeal hearing. Our client applied for a Visitor visa, which was also refused.

Nevertheless, the judge was satisfied with the provided evidence and submissions that we helped to obtain, and the appeal was successful.

For more details on application of the UK immigration rules and EEA Regulations, please contact us directly:

Shakir Hussain, Senior solicitor

Email: shakir@sterling-law.co.uk

Phone: +44 (0) 20 7822 8535

 

Aliya Rimshelis, Corporate Immigration Lawyer

Email: aliya@sterling-law.co.uk

Phone: +44 (0) 20 7822 8535

 

UK Immigration Assistance

For expert advice and assistance in relation to your particular immigration case and to enquire about the immigration and legal fees, please contact our immigration lawyers on Tel. +44(0)20 7822 8535, Mobile / Viber: +447463382838, or via our online appointment booking form.

Law Society Immigration and Asylum Accreditation Achieved

We are delighted to announce that several members of Sterling Law team successfully completed assessment under the Immigration and Asylum Accreditation Scheme (IAAS) which covers all immigration and asylum advice and services work.

Our lawyers Josephine Smith, Jelena Ivanova, Nozima Rakhimjonova, Inna Semeniuk and Solomiya Boyar received their successful exam results from Central Law Training in August 2018 and now are in process of completing their membership registrations with the Law Society.

 

What is the Immigration and Asylum Accreditation?

This accreditation was introduced by the Law Society and is a mandatory requirement for immigration practitioners who wish to undertake publicly funded advice and receive payment under a Legal Aid Agency (LAA) contract in the immigration and asylum category.

The immigration and asylum law accreditation provides recognised quality standards for asylum practitioners. It is designed to cover all aspects of asylum law. Accreditation covers all practitioners providing advice under a legal aid contract and can be used as a quality mark for privately funded work.

By completing the assessment, the practitioners showed that they have achieved the required level of competence and knowledge in this area of law as defined by the Law Society.

Please follow our further updates on the immigration and asylum practice on our web-site and Facebook page.

Success Under the new Windrush Scheme

Sterling Law has been consistently fighting against the cruelty of the government’s immigration policy and has come headstrong in the many cases we have fought. We are thus very proud of our involvement in the Windrush cases bought to us and have successfully assisted our client obtain British Citizenship through the new Windrush Scheme (introduced on 24 May 2018).

Introduction –  WINDRUSH SCANDAL

In the past couple of months there has been much controversy surrounding Windrush, what it is, what is the nature of the scandal that has ensued, and why the government has been at the very centre of the Windrush scandal that has been so problematic and contrary to fundamental human rights.

Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights establishes this fundamentality with clear resonance where all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.

Article 15, which states that everyone has a right to nationality also becomes intimately engaged upon the issues of the government’s Windrush scandal.

Windrush or rather the “Windrush Generation” refers to migrants who were invited to the UK between 1948 and 1971 from the Caribbean on aboard a ship called ‘MV Empire Windrush.’ These people were brought to the UK to work to address labour shortages brought by the destruction of the Second World War. As such, this scandal is the epitome of Home Office brutality, where not only were members of the Windrush generation(s) told they were here illegally despite having lived and worked in the country for decades, the Home Office has also been criticised for the mistreatment of retirement-age citizens of the Windrush generation who have been detained,  made homeless, sacked or denied benefits and NHS treatment because they have struggled to prove they are British. This is all notwithstanding an even greater scandal that the Home Office were alleged to have destroyed Windrush landing cards, thereby, destroying critical evidence enabling one to prove legal entry into the UK.

After a series of political setbacks and changes to the position of the Secretary of the Home Department because of this scandal, the government, in May 2018, introduced new legislation that now enables the government to appropriately process citizenship applications for this generation – free of charge.

OUR CASE

Our client came to us to reassert his eligibility for British citizenship as a member of the Windrush generations. Our client first arrived in the UK on 12 July 1967 from Barbados by being included in his mother’s passport. He stayed to reside in the UK ever since that date, working, earning and paying taxes the same as any British citizen. As such having arrived from the Caribbean prior to 1973, he was the child (under 18) of a parent who came to the UK on MV Empire Windrush between 1948 and 1973.

Sterling Law team had taken on this case with much vigour and helped this client to obtain free citizenship from the British government, a right he was duly owed after living in the UK for decades as equal to any other British citizen residing in the country.

 

Legal Assistance in the UK

For expert advice and assistance in relation to your particular case and relevant immigration law requirements, please send your enquiry by e-mail: contact@sterling-law.co.uk or via our online appointment booking form.

National Insurance Number Application Status Check

A National Insurance Number (NIN) is unique to an individual and a personal account number used throughout someone’s life to ensure National Insurance Contributions (NICs) and tax are accurately recorded. It is also a reference number for Social Security benefits and Tax Credits. Currently, there is no online system available for the National Insurance Number application status check.

However, the status of your application can be checked directly with the JobCentre Plus Office as described below.

When to Apply for National Insurance Number

A person must register for a NINo if they:

  • have never registered before, and
  • are aged 16 or over, and
  • are either:

(i) resident in the United Kingdom, and

(ii) are employed and/or self-employed, or

(iii) are likely to have some NI involvement in the near future for example, pay or be credited with NI contributions

(iv) are aged 18 or over and undertaking a course of training which has been approved by the Secretary of State for example, Work Based Learning for Adults, Work Based Learning in Wales, courses arranged by Local Enterprise Councils (LECs) in Scotland

(v) have claimed or are a partner in a claim to:

  • Attendance Allowance
  • Bereavement Benefit
  • Carer’s Allowance
  • Child Benefit
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Disability Living Allowance (except special rules cases)
  • Disabled Persons Tax Credit
  • Incapacity Benefit
  • Income Support
  • Jobseekers Allowance
  • Retirement Pension
  • Note: This list is not exhaustive

(vi) or are not resident in the UK, and

  • are liable or entitled to pay Class 1 or Class 2 contributions, or
  • want to and would benefit from paying Class 3 voluntary contributions.

Why to Apply for National Insurance Number

Although all NIN applications, and subsequent decisions, will be based on the applicant’s entitlement and their business need for a NIN, the applicant might state that they need a NIN for a particular purpose.

Reasons for application: 

  • employment
  • benefit claims
  • student loan applications
  • Personal Equity Plans
  • Individual Savings Accounts (ISA)
  • payment of tax on bank or building society interest
  • stakeholder pensions
  • being able to pay voluntary contributions.

National Insurance Number Application Status Check

After the interview held at the JobCentre Plus the application will be processed by the Decision Making Unit of the Department for Work and Pensions based in Glasgow. If there is a doubt about the application, a doubt notification will be sent and the National Identity Unit who will then decide to allocate or refuse a National Insurance Number to the applicant.

The application review process usually takes up to 4 weeks. If you have not heard from the JobCentre Plus for more than one month, it is recommended to contact the Decision Making Unit directly for the National Insurance Number application status check.

Contact JobCentre Plus in Glasgow to check your application status:

Phone: 080 0141 2079

Hotline: 0345 600 0643

Text tel: 0845 0608 8551

Fax: 0845 641 5075

Address: 

Glasgow Portcullis (LN) JobCentre Plus Office

5th Floor, Portcullis House, 21 India Street,

Glasgow, G2 4PH

For more information on the National Insurance Number please visit the Government’s web-page.

 

UK 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.

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.