What is lawful residence in the UK?

Having lawful residence or lawful ‘status’ in the UK means that a person has a valid visa and permission to be in the country. Visas can be issued for a number of different reasons such as for work, study, family reunion and asylum. Different visas have certain restrictions and entitlements attached to them. Migrants who are subject to immigration control must have indefinite leave to enter or indefinite leave to remain in the UK (or Settled Status for EEA and Swiss nationals and their family members) in order to be considered “ordinarily resident”. Ordinary residents have different rights than migrants on a visa. Our immigration solicitors in London can let you know your rights in the UK and can assist with your visa application as well as applications for indefinite leave to remain and naturalisation so please get in touch with our legal team to arrange a consultation.  

What is an ordinary resident?

Someone who is considered ordinarily resident in the UK is either a British national or a migrant who has settled in the UK having been granted indefinite leave to enter or remain or settled status. EEA and Swiss nationals, as well as their family members, who do not have settled status are able to be considered ordinarily resident if:

  1. they have been granted limited leave to enter or remain (known as pre-settled status) under the EU Settlement Scheme; or
  2. they are lawfully resident in the UK for the time being, during the Brexit grace period of 1 January 2021 to 30 June 2021 having been lawfully resident in the UK by the end of the transition period (31 December 2020).

Ordinary residents of the UK have the UK as their primary home. Therefore, they are entitled to public funds such as universal credit and other income and housing support. Migrants who have not yet settled in the UK usually have the no recourse to public funds condition attached to their visa.

Migrants who have refugee status or humanitarian protection are exempt from having to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge (“IHS”) and are therefore entitled to free NHS treatment under an exemption. Once they have indefinite leave to remain, they will then be able to meet the ordinary residence test.

How can I show I am lawfully resident in the UK?

The easiest way for a migrant to prove they have lawful residence is by the biometric residence permit or card (“BRP/BRC”). EEA and Swiss nationals who have settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme will have electronic confirmation of their status as opposed to a physical card.

Migrants will usually be required to prove their lawful residence before renting a property, opening a UK bank account or starting a new job etc. This is because, landlords, banks and employers have a duty to conduct the necessary checks and can face substantial fines and consequences for not doing so.

The Home Office has updated its policy guidance explaining lawful residence in the UK.

What are derivative rights of residence?

Derivative rights of residence was a provision for non-EEA national family members under Regulation 16 of the EEA Regulations. Anyone who was residing in the UK as a “Chen” or “Ibrahim and Teixeira” case by 31 December 2020 will be protected by the Withdrawal Agreements and therefore must apply to the EU Settlement Scheme in order to secure their status in the UK. “Zambrano” migrants who were in the UK by 31 December 2020 can also apply to the EU Settlement Scheme, however they are not protected by the Withdrawal Agreements. In this instance there will need to apply by 30 June 2021 or else they will become chargeable; unless:

  1. an exemption applies; or
  2. until that person has lawful residence and can be deemed to be ordinarily resident in the UK; or
  3. they have paid the surcharge.

How our immigration solicitors can help submit a UK visa application

Our immigration solicitors in London specialise in a variety of different UK visa applications. Our immigration team prepares applications to the highest standard. We have an impeccable track history of submitting successful visa applications for a range of clients. The key to submitting a successful visa application is being aware of the relevant Immigration Rules and submitting the correct supporting documents. Our immigration solicitors in London guide Applicants through the requirements and prepare detailed legal submissions in support of the application. In addition to the legal representations, our team of solicitors also provides multiple substantial reviews of the application bundle to ensure that the correct documentary evidence is submitted. We also prepare and assist with the submission of the application and booking of the biometric appointment and document upload.

Using our Immigration Solicitors in London to submit a 10 year ILR application

Legal representatives, such as our specialist immigration and visa law firm, are qualified to advise you on immigration law and your immigration status. It is possible to instruct an immigration and visa legal representative to submit a residence application.

Caseworkers at the Home Office are trained to reject applications which are improperly prepared, for example by failing to provide the correct supporting evidence. In order to ensure your residence application succeeds, all necessary documents must be provided.

This can be a significant administrative task and you will need to submit the correct documentary evidence. The UK Immigration Rules are complex and a legal representative can help ensure that your application meets the Immigration Rules.

Successful residence applications with our Immigration Solicitors in London

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 immigration status and the merit of your long residence application before your matter even reaches the Home Office UK Visa & Immigration department. We can assist you with the preparation and submission of your residence application and ensure that you meet all the requirements of the relevant rules.

We 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. LEXVISA is just minutes away from the Immigration and Asylum Tribunal, the Royal Courts of Justice and other central London courts.

Preparation is the key to a successful residence application. Our UK immigration and visa solicitors are here to guide you through the complex immigration rules and requirements. If you wish to meet one of our lawyers, please call our Immigration Team so we can assess your case and arrange your legal consultation.

Contact our London immigration solicitors on 02071830570 or complete our contact form.

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