LEXVISA Weekly Immigration Update 8 September 2017

Overseas nationals may apply for a Marriage Visitor Visa if they wish to marry in the UK because of the attraction of marrying at one of the UK’s historic or famous wedding locations. A Marriage Visitor Visa comes under the Standard Visitor Visa bracket, as does a Visitor in Transit Visa, which therefore shares the basic Standard Visitor Visa requirements, however, each sub-category of the Standard UK Visitor Visa comes with its own permitted and prohibited activities. During the week, we made it known that if you are a Parent of a Tier 4 Child, there may be ways to join your child in the UK, despite the visa rules set out by the UK Home Office seeming complex. The UK Government’s leaked Brexit Proposals made the headlines this week, which has done little to reassure the thousands of EEA nationals of their future in the UK. 

1. Marrying in the UK on a Marriage Visitor Visa

The primary purpose of the Marriage Visitor Visa is to allow overseas citizens to marry or register their civil partnership in the UK. One of the main reasons why Applicants choose to marry in the UK is due to the historic and famous wedding locations. Applicants who marry on the Marriage Visitor Visa are required to leave the UK straight after however Applicants who wish to marry and then settle in the UK usually opt for the Fiancé visa as it is an easier route to settlement in the UK.

It is not uncommon for Applicants to confuse the Marriage Visitor Visa with the UK Fiancé visa. Whilst both visas allow Applicants to marry in the UK, there are noteworthy differences between the two visa categories. The main difference being that the Marriage Visitor Visa only allows Applicants to marry in the UK and would require Applicants to leave the UK and apply for a UK Spouse Visa following their marriage. The benefit of applying for a Fiancé visa is that Applicants can apply within the UK to switch their Fiancé visa to a Spouse visa. Under the Marriage Visitor Visa Applicants cannot get public funds or apply to switch their visa within the UK.

2. Understanding Visitor in Transit Visa Applications UK

A person who is a Visitor in Transit Visa is defined as a person who seeks to travel via the UK en route to another destination country outside the common travel area (Appendix V, part 7 of the Immigration Rules). It is important to understand the requirements of Visitor in Transit Visa before making a Visitor in Transit Visa application, such as:

  • Applicants must be in genuine transit to another country outside the common travel area, meaning that the main purpose of their visit is to transit the UK; and
  • Applicants must prove that they are taking a reasonable transit route to their destination.

Only non-EEA nationals can apply for a Visitor in Transit Visa and Visitor in Transit Visa applications must be made from outside of the UK.

It is possible to obtain a long-term Visitor in Transit Visa if an individual can prove that they regularly transit through the UK and will be doing so for a long period of time. The maximum stay on each Visitor in Transit Visa is still 48 hours; however, the visa can be valid for either 1, 2, 5 or 10 years.

3. Join your child in the UK on Parent of a Tier 4 Child Visa

Parents who wish to send their children to an Independent Fee Paying School in the UK on a Tier 4 Child visa can apply to join them in the UK. The Parent of a Tier 4 Child Visa was specifically introduced for this purpose. The UK Home Office recognises that it is difficult for young children to come to the UK to study on a Tier 4 Child visa without the support and care of their parents. Therefore, the UK Home Office has introduced the Parent of a Tier 4 Child Visa category in an attempt to encourage parents to send their children to the best independent educational institutions in the UK. The UK is well renowned for its high level of education with popular independent schools such as Concord College and Eton College.

Applicants who are issued with a Parent of a Tier 4 Child Visa can reside in the UK for either 6 or 12 months. However, there is an option for Applicants to apply for extensions for up to 12 months to extend their stay in the UK. Applicants can keep on submitting extension applications until their child reaches the age of 12. A child on the Tier 4 Child visa can continue to study until the age of 17 and can then apply for a Tier 4 General Student visa.

4. Leaked Home Office Brexit Proposals Reveal the Upcoming Harsh Rules for EU citizens

A Home Office document named ‘Border, Immigration and Citizenship System After the UK Leaves the European Union’ has been leaked which reveals the Government’s Brexit Proposals. The document is 82 pages and covers many changes the government intends to carry out when Britain leaves the European Union. It plans to lower the number of low paid EU migrants and toughen the rules that enable EU citizen’s family members to reside in the UK. The leaked document contains many changes the UK Government wishes to achieve after Britain leaves the European Union.

The Brexit Proposals plan is the following:

  • Preference will be given to workers who are British nationals, rather than EU workers in the job market;
  • High-skilled workers will be able to stay for more than 3 years but low skilled workers will be permitted to stay for up to two years in the UK;
  • Harsher restrictions on EU citizens bringing their families to the UK. EU citizens will need a minimum income of £18,600;
  • Definition of family member will also be stricter, therefore, EU citizens may not be able to bring relatives to the UK;
  • No change to border checks, EU nationals who wish to come to the UK will be required to travel on a passport rather than a national identity card; and
  • Biometric residence permit which may include fingerprints may also be required for EU citizens wanting to stay for longer periods in the UK.

The document indicates that the Brexit Proposals will only be enforced at the end of a transition period, which could take up to three years. However, the document is only a proposal and will need to be approved by minister’s first.

Using Legal Representation to Submit a Visa Application to the UK Home Office

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 making a Visa application to the UK Home Office. Our solicitors and Barristers will help you comply with the UK Home Office requirements and meet the UK Immigration Rules.

Caseworkers at the UK 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 Immigration & Visa 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.

Successfully Submit a Visa Application to the UK Home Office

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 a UK Immigration & Visa application before your application even reaches the UK Home Office Visa & Immigration department. We can assist you with the preparation and submission of a UK Immigration & Visa application and 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.

Preparation is the key to successful immigration applications. 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 to discuss a UK Immigration & Visa application.

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

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