Changes to the immigration application process and the amended Immigration Rules in 2019 have made travel outside the UK now possible, while you wait for the outcome of a visa application. Our Immigration Team has been consulted by numerous clients on whether doing so is advisable. This article clarifies the matter and sets out actions you can take to ensure that you comply with the relevant rules and regulations.
What Changes Have Been Made?
The UK Visa and Citizen Application Service (UKCVAS) has allowed online applications for quite some time now. Under this system, electronic copies of passports are now provided in place of physical passports. It is of the utmost importance to note that you are required to bring your physical passport at your appointment with the UKCVAS.
Beyond that, as an applicant, you can retain your passport while you wait for your application to be decided. A number of our clients have sought clarity from our Immigration Team on whether travel should be undertaken in such a scenario. Many of our clients are frequently unaware of the fact that amendments to the Immigration Rules have made such a risky affair that could serve to threaten their visa application.
What Could Happen If I Travel Before the Outcome of My Application?
Under the amended Rules, if you travel abroad, (outside the Common Area: that is, the UK, the Republic of Ireland, the Isle of Man, and the Channel Islands) before a decision is reached on your visa applications, your application will be automatically withdrawn. This essentially means that you will be seen as no longer having any application pending before the Home Office. With no effective visa application pending, you may find that you no longer have the right to re-enter the UK if you have gone abroad. This may negatively affect the continuous residence requirement if you aspire to eventually settle in the UK through such a route.
Our experienced UK immigration team ensures that this never happens. Comprising specialising immigration barristers and solicitors, advise you on the merits of your case and what the best way to proceed going forward is. We deal with cases of a similar nature frequently and can accurately assess whether your case falls within the exceptions to the automatic withdrawal rule (such as when the case at hand concerns the naturalisation of a citizen or applications under the EU Settlement Scheme) or if you can make use of the Priority Service the Home Office offers to fast-track any pending outcome of your visa applications.
Successful Streamlining of Pending Visa Applications and the Halting of Their Withdrawal
The key ingredient to success is having the right support. 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 the merit of your case before your matter even reaches the Home Office UK Visa & Immigration department. Our team holds considerable experience in streamlining the time taken for visa applications, ensuring that you spend as little time as possible waiting before you can freely travel. Our immigration solicitors and barristers can also assist you in identifying where your case falls under the relevant rules and regulations and if such a classification can be used to protect the potential withdrawal of your visa applications.
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 and LEXLAW are just minutes away from the Immigration and Asylum Tribunal, the Royal Courts of Justice and other central London courts.
Preparation is integral to success. 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 develop a timely strategy for your successful application.
Contact our London immigration solicitors on 02030110276 or complete our contact form.