Tag Archives: urgent

Travelling without BRP

November 2016 –  The lack of clear published guidance on this particular problem has recently led us to approach the Home Office to seek clarification.

Below you will find verbatim extracts from their answers to our questions.

When asked about re-entering the UK without a BRP after the expiry of the temporary vignette, the Home Office stated: ‘The Border Force Officer (BFO) will undertake various mandatory checks including confirming the passenger’s nationality and identity as stated in a valid passport. The BFO, in absence of a BRP, can verify the immigration status of the passenger using the government database. It the officer is satisfied the passenger can be granted entry and the passport endorsed with an open date stamp and a manual annotation of the BRP’s unique number above the endorsement’…’the passenger will normally be encouraged to collect their BRP before travelling again’.

 Although this seems to indicate that travelling without BRP in these circumstances might be possible, in our experience most BFOs will strongly advise against it.

As airlines are not supposed to carry visa nationals without a valid visa, the guidance states that: ‘ visa nationals are likely to experience significant barriers to returning to the UK as carriers will be reluctant to provide carriage to an individual for whom they may be liable to a penalty. In the case of a isa national who arrives without their card or any other evidence of their continuing leve, unless there has been prior agreement by the port Border Force Higher officer or the Immigration Liaison Managers (ILM) for them to travel, carriers liability action must be considered.

If you need Immigration legal assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us.

 

The ‘Right to Rent’ comes to London

Februar 2016 – From tomorrow, private landlords are required to conduct immigration status checks on their tenants.

The Home Office has published a Code of Practice, which lists in detail the landlord’s new obligations.

Failing to comply could result in financial penalties of up to £3000 per tenant.

Landlords who fail to undertake the compulsory immigration checks, or who rent a property to a person whose immigration status does not confer them the “right to rent” run the risk of being fined.

The new rules provide that the immigration status checks must be carried out before the landlord enters into the residential tenancy agreement with any adult who is to occupy the premises as their only or main home.

To whom do the checks apply?

Landlords (or their agents) must check the status of all adults, who intend to live in the property, as opposed to only the individuals listed on the lease.

The checks apply to all residential tenancies, including leases and licences.

Occupiers subletting must also undertake the checks.

The regulations go as far as including every day Joe Blogs wishing to rent his spare room to a lodger.

There are some exceptions, such as those applicable to accommodation involving Local Authorities, social housing, care homes, hospitals, hospices, hostels, refuges, mobile homes, student accommodation and long leases.

The checks do not apply to tenants under the age of 18 either
and where tenants turn 18 during the course of the tenancy
additional follow up checks are not required.

Only specific documents to demonstrate the ‘right to rent’ are acceptable. Copies of the said documents must be kept.

Fortunately the new requirements will not apply retrospectively (ie it will not apply for renewal of lease after the implementation of the new rules)

The new requirement will not apply to a property rented temporarily, e.g.  holiday accommodation – having said that if the property is to be rented for 3/4 months the Home Office is likely to expect the checks to have been carried out.

Who has the ‘Righ to Rent’?

As part of the checks the landlord must be satisfied that each person living in the property is one of the following:

– a British National;

– a National of a country within the European Economic Area;

– a Swiss national; or

– some other national with the Right to Rent.

An individual with “a right to rent” will normally be someone who holds an official permission to be in the UK, for instance someone with permission to work or someone with permanent residence/ indefinite leave to remain or someone with leave to remain as the dependant / spouse of an EEA national etc.

UK immigration law is complex. There are a very large number of immigration status and documents, which confirm the said status and by extension the right to rent of any given individual.

The rules provide that if a landlord appoints a letting agent, the agent in question can, by written agreement with the landlord, be responsible for carrying out the checks.

The agreement between the landlord and agent must confirm the timescale within which the checks must be carried out and reported to the landlord.

If the agent informs the landlord that there is no right to rent and a tenancy agreement is still entered into, the landlord will be liable.

In all other cases the agent will be liable.

The Home Office have set up a landlord’s helpline and an online service, which will assist the landlords to check a prospective tenant’s right to rent in the UK. When using the system, they should receive a response within two working days.

In today’s rental market, landlords may not be in a position to wait this period of time to have their properties let.

We have therefore set up a “an express checking service” to meet the needs of landlords across London. Alternatively we have put together a 3 stage guideline which we hope will be helpful to those going in on their own. Finally we offer a bespoke training session for letting professionals starting at £250 per session.

Entry Clearance Services Ltd is a leading specialist immigration law advisory firm, formed in 2007, with extensive experience of advising on all aspects of UK immigration law.  Please contact us for further information.

June 2013 – Indefinite Leave to Remain – the 15 most frequently asked questions

Whether you are trying to figure out how to count your days out of the country, or are ensure as to when your 5 year qualifying period starts, our Q&A ILR should address most of your queries.

Q1 – When does my indefinite leave to remain (ILR / settlement) qualifying period start?

If you switch into a qualifying category within the UK, the qualifying period starts on the day your leave was extended. If you obtained entry clearance abroad, the qualifying period start on the day you entered the UK or the day you were granted your visa providing you entered the UK within 3 months of your visa being endorsed in your passport.

So for instance if you delayed your entry to the UK by 2 months, the UKBA will count the time between you being granted entry clearance and coming to the UK towards the continuous period for ILR.

 

Q2 – What is the earliest day I can apply for ILR?

No more than 28 days before the 5th anniversary (4th for HSMP issued before 3rd April 06) of your date of arrival / date your visa or leave was endorsed in your passport.

One can apply no earlier than 28 days before the 4th (HSMP before 03-Apr-06) / 5th (other economic migrants) anniversary of either date of entry in the UK (overseas applications) or date of switching (in-country applications) as a economic migrant in a category that leads to settlement. In all cases, one must apply for ILR or for another visa before expiry of current visa.

 

Q3 – My current leave expires before I complete the qualifying residential period. Can I apply for ILR?

You must apply for ILR before your current leave expires.

 

Q4 – Who is covered by HSMP Judicial Review?

HSMP filed before 07-Nov-06.

 

Q5 – I qualify under the HSMP Judicial Review. How does this affect my application for indefinite leave to remain?

1. You do not have to me the point based criteria;

2. Your dependant(s) are exempt from the “(2 year) qualifying residential period” requirement;

3. You (and dependant(s), if any) do not have to take and pass the Life in the UK test.

4. You (and dependant(s), if any) are exempt from new criminality threshold requirement.

 

Q6 – What is the minimum salary requirements to qualify for indefinite leave to remain?

It will depends on the category you are applying under. Tier 2 migrants must be paid in line with the relevant codes of practice. Tier 1 General migrants must rely on their earnings over a period of 12 months within the 15 months immediately preceding the filing of their application.  How much earnings will be required will depend on the date of your initial application.

 

Q7 – I am a Work Permit holder / Tier 2 migrant. How do I show that my salary is in line with the relevant code of practice?

In addition to a letter of support from your employer, you must provide at least one pay-slip and a corroborating bank statement showing your salary.

 

Q8 – I am presently a Tier 2 (ICT) migrant. Am I eligible for settlement after having lived and worked in the UK for the required qualifying residential period?

If you entered UK as a WP holder (Intra Company Transferee) and switched to Tier 2 (ICT) at any time, or you applied for Tier 2 (ICT) before 06-Apr-2010, then you are eligible for settlement under current legislation.

 

Q9 – Will my spouse / partner qualify with me for ILR?

It will depend on when and under which category they filed their initial application.

If the initial application for leave as a dependant was made before 09-Jul-12:

Spouse / partner must be in the UK as “dependant” on the date of the settlement application to be included as a dependant.

For Work Permit holders (pre-PBS) and HSMP Judicial Review migrants covered by HSMP Judicial Review case, all dependants will qualify for ILR along with main applicant irrespective of length of stay in UK and can apply for settlement simultaneously.

For all other economic migrants (Tier 1 (General), Tier 2), (spouse/partner) dependants must have lived with the main applicant in the UK for at least 2 years as their dependant (as a spouse, civil partner or de facto).

If the initial application for leave as a PBS dependant was made after 08-Jul-12:

The PBS dependant will be eligible for settlement only after completing “5 year probationary period as a dependant of the principal migrant”.

 

Q10 – Do I require P60s for the 5 year period?

P60s are a very reliable source when it comes to demonstrating 5 years of continuous employment and level of earnings. If you no longer have your original P60s you may want to contact the HMRC to obtain duplicates. Payslips may be used as an alternative.

 

Q11 – Do I need employer letter from my current employer?

For Tier 2 and WP holder, the letter is mandatory. It must be drafted so that it contains all the information required by the guidance.

For HSMP / Tier 1 (General) visa holders, albeit not compulsory the letter can only help.

 

Q12 – Absences during the 5 year qualifying period – how many days can I spend abroad? How do I calculate the number of days spent abroad?

Maximum allowable days out of UK used to be a total 180 days over 5 years and not more than 90 days in a single trip.

Under the new rules, applicants are allowed up to 180 days for every 12 months of the 5 year qualifying period.

On the face of it, these new rules appear to be much more generous than what was allowed under the previous rules. However it is important to note that each absence will now have to be justified. This may be problematic, especially when an applicant has had several previous employers, some of which may no longer be trading or may no longer have record of the applicant’s absences.

Those who were initially work permit holders but who are now applying for settlement as Tier 1 (General) migrant, also need to provide evidence of their work related absences in both categories of leave.

As it stands only the main applicant has to declare his/her absences.

When counting the days spent out of the UK, ignore the days spent travelling in and out of the country (ie if you went to Madrid on Monday 1st of June and returned on Tuesday 2nd of June, you will have spent Zero day out of the UK).

Any absence from the UK which has exceeded the 180 day limit over one of more of the 12 consecutive month periods will constitute a break of the continuous period. There is no discretion applied to any absences exceeding 180 days in any consecutive 12 month period of the continuous period, even if they are as the results of prolonged business trips or internships.

Q13 – What documentary evidence(s) should I use to prove cohabitation?

Unfortunately the SET (O) form and guidance do not provide a list of acceptable documentation or give any indication as to how many documents should be submitted.

The FLR (M) and SET (M) forms both contain a section listing the documentary evidence accepted by the UKBA as proof of cohabitation.

 

Q14 – When can I sit my Life in UK test?

Life in the UK test can be taken at any time prior to applying for ILR.  It is granted for life (i.e. it does not expire)

However please bear in mind that you will need to allow for at least 2 working days between taking the test and filing at the PEO in person.

 

Q15 – Does a premium appointment at PEO guarantee same day service?

Although the vast majority of cases are decided on the same day, it is not guaranteed that your application will be case-worked on the day of the appointment.

There may be delays as the result of IT problems at the PEO in which case you may be asked to attend again.

If the caseworker is of the opinion that further checks need to be carried out before a decision can be reached your case will be referred. In these circumstances the process could either take a few weeks or in the worst case scenario as long as a postal application.

If you need further information on how to apply for indefinite leave to remain in the UK, or assistance with  the filing of your settlement application via the PEO premium, please contact us. TIMING: For your information to secure a representative premium appointment at the PEO we need 6 to 7 week notice.