Immigration

 

We can assist with different types of UK visas available to foreign nationals. We provide up to date information about changes in immigration rules and opportunities available to immigrate to the UK.

Law Firm Limited immigration advisors can assist in all areas of immigration matters in the UK.  

Law Firm Limited immigration advisors are registered with the Office of Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC) in all categories of immigration work, including applications under the Points Based System, European law, nationality & citizenship, asylum, appeal, bail applications and other complex immigration casework.

Please note that SOME FIRMS OR INDIVIDUALS PURPORT TO OFFER IMMIGRATION ADVICE AND SERVICES WITHOUT BEING APPROPRIATELY QUALIFIED.  Any firm or individual whom you decide to instruct for your immigration matter must be a qualified solicitor, regulated by Solicitor Regulation Authority (SRA), barrister, regulated by Bar Council or are registered as Immigration Advisors with OISC or Law Society. IF THEY ARE NOT PROPERLY QUALIFIED TO GIVE IMMIGRATION ADVICE DO NOT USE THEM.

We have a team of registered Immigration Advisors working for our clients providing immigration advice and services within their respective levels of registration with the OISC.

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IMMIGRATION CATEGORIES

Points Based System (PBS)

Introduction of TIER

On 30th June, 2008, Tier 1 was launched in full for highly skilled professionals to migrate to the UK. There are number of changes since the scheme was launched.  There are now four sub-categories of Tier 1. 

Please note that Tier 1 (General) application route is closed since 6th April, 2015.

1. TIER 1 (Investor)

TIER 1 (Investor) replaced the Investor category and is for those applicants who wish to invest £2 million and over in the UK.

2. TIER 1 (Entrepreneur)

TIER 1 (Entrepreneur) replaced the Business persons category and is for those applicants who would like to set up or buy an existing business in the UK.

3. TIER 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur)

TIER 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) This route is for graduates who have been identified by participating Higher Education Institutions, having developed world-class entrepreneurial ideas or skills to extend their stay in the UK after graduation in order to set up a business in the UK. From 6 April 2013 this category has been expanded to include the UK Trade and Investment’s elite global graduate entrepreneur scheme, which includes entrepreneurs from overseas Higher Education Institutions (HEIs).

4. TIER 1 (Exceptional Talent)

TIER 1 (Exceptional Talent) This new category was introduced in summer 2011 and is designed for applicants who have been endorsed by the Designated Competent Body and are considered to be exceptionally talented in their area of expertise. 

TIER 2

The Point Based System was launched in full from 27th of November 2008.

Once a sponsorship certificate is issued, the prospective employee of the sponsor (employer) will be required to submit his or her visa application that can be made in or outside the UK, provided the applicant is able to ‘switch’ to this category.

The UKBA has divided Tier 2 into four categories, which require sponsorship certificate:

1. TIER 2 (General)

2. TIER 2 (Minister of Religion)

3. TIER 2 (Sportsperson)

4. TIER 2 (Intra-Company Transfer)

TIER4

Tier 4 (Students) was launched on 31 March 2009 and has undergone some major changes.

This category includes two sub-categories:

  • General Student – for those who are coming to the United Kingdom for post-16 education.
  • Child Student – for children between 4 and 17 years old coming to the UK for their education to study at independent schools. Parents of Tier 4 child aged betwen 4 and 12, can apply to accompany them under different category, namely under paragraph 276BT1 of the Immigration Rules. 

Educational provider means any educational establishment in the UK that is approved by the UKBA and has been given a licence to bring overseas students to the United Kingdom under Tier 4 of the PBS.

TIER 5

Tier 5 came into force on 27th November 2008. Tier 5 enables young nationals to experience life and culture in the UK and also permit workers to undertake short-term or temporary employment in the UK. Tier 5 replaced the following existing immigration categories:

  • Au pairs
  • Domestic workers in Diplomatic Households
  • Gap year
  • China Graduate Work Experience
  • General Agreement on Trade in services (GATS)
  • Japan: Youth Exchange Scheme
  • MP’s Research Assistants
  • Ministers of religion, missionaries and members of religious orders
  • Overseas government employees
  • Sportspeople
  • Training and Work Experience Scheme
  • Voluntary workers
  • Working holidaymakers

Tier 5 consists of two main categories under the Points Based System: the Youth Mobility Scheme (YMS) and the Tier 5 (Temporary Workers) which consists of five sub-categories, set out below:

VISITOR VISAS

The visitor visa is the most popular single route for individuals coming to the UK for tourism, family visit or for business or under categories noted below. 

As of 24 April 2015 applicants can apply Standard Visitor visa if they wish to visit the UK for the purpose of:

  • Transit
  • Business 
  • Permitted paid engagements
  • Marriage and
  • Visitor 

The Standard Visitor visa has replaced the:

  • Family Visitor visa
  • General Visitor visa
  • Child Visitor visa
  • Business Visitor visa, including visas for academics, doctors and dentists
  • Sports Visitor visa
  • Entertainer Visitor visa
  • Prospective Entrepreneur visa
  • Private Medical Treatment Visitor visa
  • Approved Destination Status (ADS) visa

Reasons why you may wish to visit the UK 

There are numerous reasons why an individual may wish to come to the UK for a short period. In addition to visiting family, sightseeing or visiting on business, people may wish to visit the UK to get married or undertake a civil partnership ceremony, arrange plans for studying in the UK, undertake a short course, attend important events, visit the UK as a representative of a company or conduct research or sit a test/exam in the UK. 

General requirements for coming to the UK as a visitor 

Individuals intending to visit the UK must be able to demonstrate that they are genuine visitors and wish to visit the UK for no more than six months and that they will be leaving the UK at the end of the visit. In addition, individuals must be able to show that they have sufficient funds to maintain and accommodate themselves (and any dependants) without recourse to UK public funds. 

The exceptions to this general rule are:

  • ‘academic visitors’ may be granted a visa for up to 12 months
  • ‘medical visitors’ may be granted a visa for no more than 11 months 
  • a visitor under the Approved Destination Status Agreement (ADS Agreement) may be granted a visit visa for a period of up to 30 days

It is important that if you intend to visit the UK you should apply for the correct category of visitor visa before entering the country as you are required to comply with different conditions of your visa. Any breach of visa conditions during your stay in the UK may result in adverse consequences and it is therefore recommended to ensure that your intentions for coming to the UK are in line with the type of visitor visa you apply for. Additionaly, you should be aware that under the visitor visa in the UK you are not entitled to switch categories. 

 
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