The UK is one of the most popular immigration destinations, seeing, on average, a 10% increase in foreign nationals becoming British citizens each year. As UK immigration numbers increase the rules and laws on immigration also change.
Sometimes this change is spurred on by political reasons but most recently immigration laws have been consolidated for ease of use. The frequent modifications can cause immigration to become a complex process which is why specialist legal advice should be sought on all matters.
Common immigration questions
There are many problems surrounding UK immigration. Some are very serious in nature whilst other issues people face, refer to their lifestyle and the choices available to them as foreign nationals. Some typical UK immigration queries include:
- Whether or not public health service can be used
- Entitlement to benefits
- Whether foreign nationals have the right to vote
The UK Border Agency is the official information source which can answer some of the simpler questions, but in order to apply for the right to vote, for example, it is necessary to address a legal professional who can assist you on how to go about becoming a naturalised UK citizen.
Many foreign nationals have legal problems when encountering UK immigration authorities in some capacity or another. Typically this is when the foreign national wished to leave the UK or has invited friends or relatives to stay with them in the UK.
Sometimes, foreign nationals not granted immigration rights in the UK will be detained at the border (e.g. ports and airports) which can be a distressing and difficult situation. Specialist border control immigration lawyers are available through immigration services and can assist on these urgent problems.
Student and work visas
Coming to the UK to work, live or study will mean you must comply with all the current immigration laws and regulations. Immigration advice is available from a wide range of sources. The organisation that can give you the best advice will depend on your particular circumstances.
One of the best sources of advice is on the UK Border Agency website. This is a new agency that is part of the Home Office. It now has responsibility for all immigration into the UK. If you are intending to work in the UK, it is vitally important that you do so legally. The penalties for illegally working in the UK can be high, and if you are in any doubt about your status, always take immigration advice as early as you can.
If you intend to come to the UK to study at school or university, you must have the correct visa before you start your course. If you do not know what type of visa you need, contact the university’s student service for advice. It is important to get immigration advice about your course as children and adults need different visas.
Anyone that intends to come to the UK to live either temporarily or permanently must ensure they have the correct immigration status. The UK Border Agency can give you advice about who does, and doesn’t, have the right to visit or settle in the UK.
Limited and indefinite leave to remain
It is important to get immigration advice if you currently have ‘limited leave to remain’ status. If you want to stay longer you must make a formal application to do so. You can also apply for ‘indefinite leave to remain’, which will normally mean obtaining UK citizenship.
Any application you make to indefinitely remain, or to extend your existing limited leave to remain could be turned down. If your application is refused you have the right to appeal. You can do this yourself, but your case will have a much better chance of success if you have legal representation.
The services of an immigration solicitor can be very helpful if your case has any special circumstances you want the appeal to consider. Note that any solicitor you do use should be approved by the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC).
Are you experiencing an immigration issue relating to UK immigration? Contact Law can recommend a specialist in UK immigration law to advise you on the best course of action to resolve your legal issue. Please call us on 0800 433 4846 or complete the web-form above.
Last Updated on 04/09/2013