Last week we received the amazing news that one of our clients (“the Applicant”) was finally granted further leave to remain in the UK on the 10-year settlement route, after a year of battling with the Home Office. The Applicant can now stop worrying about her status in the UK and enjoy the next two and a half years on her visa with the Sponsor and their child, before having to apply for her extension. LEXVISA often delays with applications for leave to remain under Appendix FM to the Immigration Rules, so we have the experience and expertise to deal with and overcome complex issues to eventually get the right result for our clients. Please contact our immigration team today to arrange a consultation with our specialist solicitors to discuss your case.
The case for Further Leave to Remain on the 10-year Settlement Route
The Applicant was a national of Vietnam who was in the UK on a Tier 4 (General) student visa. Whilst she was studying, she began a relationship with a British national and their relationship developed over a couple of years; however, they had only began living together for several months. The couple decided they wanted to get married in the UK; however the Sponsor was in the process of getting a divorce, so they could not give notice of intention to marry until his divorce was finalised. The Applicant’s student visa was then coming to an end, but she did not want to leave the UK and be apart from the Sponsor, so she applied for further leave to remain as an unmarried partner. The Home office refused her application the following month on the basis they did not meet the 2-year cohabitation requirement, although they did accept their relationship was genuine. Rather harshly, the Home Office decided to certify the refusal under section 94 of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002, meaning she had no in-country right of appeal.
In the month between the Applicant submitting her Application and receiving the decision, the Applicant and Sponsor found out that they were expecting their first child. We then wrote to the Home Office updating them on the Applicant’s change in circumstances and asked that the Secretary of State for the Home Department (“SSHD”) reconsider her application to certify the decision. The Home Office responded saying that they would not reconsider, however they invited the Applicant to submit a fresh further leave to remain application, including evidence of her pregnancy. We prepared and submitted a fresh further leave to remain application as the partner of a British citizen which was again refused as they still did not have 2 years cohabitation. However, the Applicant was given an in-country right of appeal so we appealed against the SSHD’s decision to refuse the application. Due to major backlogs within the Immigration and Asylum Tribunal the Applicant’s hearing date was set after the birth of her and the Sponsor’s child, who was registered as British, so we again wrote to the Home Office urging for them to reconsider the Application.
The Home Office considered all of the evidence and decided to withdraw from the appeal and reconsider the application for further leave to remain. We were then contacted by the Post Decision Team at the Home Office to confirm that the Applicant had been granted leave to remain in the UK. The Applicant was granted a 30-month visa on the 10-year settlement route as the parent of a British child.
Options for extending or switching your 10-year Settlement Route visa
For most migrants, the main goal is to get indefinite leave to remain (settlement) in the UK and then possibly a British passport. This is so that they will then be free from immigration control and can enjoy other benefits in the UK which they may not have been entitled to before (i.e. most visas are no recourse to public funds). For most, the aim is to also get indefinite leave to remain as quickly as possible so not to be stuck with the bureaucracy and cost of having to extend the visa every 2 and a half years. For those who are on a 10-year settlement route, this means having to successfully apply for an extension 3 times before being eligible to apply for settlement. This means having to pay the Home Office application fee and Immigration Health Surcharge a further 3 times.
Depending on the Applicant’s circumstances, it may be possible to switch to the 5-year settlement route. For example, most Applicants who applied as a family member of a British national under Appendix FM but do not meet all of the eligibility requirements for whatever reason may still be granted further leave to remain, but on the longer settlement route. If the Applicant is then in the position to satisfy all of the requirements for further leave to remain as a family member, they may then apply for further leave to remain and be placed on the 5-year route. It is important to note that time spent on the 10-year route cannot be combined with the 5-year route. Once granted leave to remain on the 5-year route then the clock to settlement will begin.
Using Legal Representation to submit an application for further leave to remain in the UK
Legal representatives, such as our specialist immigration and visa law firm, are qualified to advise you on the law and your immigration matter. You can instruct one of our immigration and visa legal representatives to successfully assist you with an application for further leave. Our solicitors and Barristers will help you comply with the Home Office’s requirements and meet the Immigration Rules.
Caseworkers at the Home Office are trained to reject visa applications which are improperly prepared, for example by failing to provide the correct supporting evidence. In order to ensure your application succeeds, our solicitors and barristers will ensure all specified documents must be provided.
The UK Immigration Rules are complex and a legal representative can help ensure that your application meets the Immigration Rules.
Successful further leave to remain applications
Our team of solicitors and barristers are specialist immigration lawyers who act in your best interest. We offer a client-tailored approach from the outset. From the very first meeting, we will be able to advise you in respect of your prospects of submitting an application for further leave to remain before it even reaches the Home Office UK Visa & Immigration department. We can assist you with the preparation and submission of a further leave to remain application and are able to advise you in respect of your prospects and to ensure that you meet all the requirements of the relevant rules.
Our offices are based in the legal epicentre of London, just across the road from the Royal Courts of Justice in order to ensure we get the best results for our clients. We are minutes away from the Immigration and Asylum Tribunal, the Royal Courts of Justice and other central London courts.