Immigration

We are Leicester’s leading immigration solicitors with a consistently strong success rate in complex immigration applications and appeals. Immigration law is complicated and constantly changing, often at short notice, so it is essential that you seek legal advice from a specialist immigration solicitor as soon as possible. We offer straightforward advice and practical solutions to your individual circumstances.

For companies and individuals alike, we help make applications for permission to live and work in the UK clear and manageable. We work at all stages in the process, preparing initial applications and challenging refusals by way of appeal or Judicial Review. Whether you want to enter the UK to work, to set up your own business, to study at university or to settle with family members, you need the very best legal advice. If you are in the UK and need to regularise your stay or switch your immigration category but are not sure what to do, we can offer the advice you need whichever stage of the immigration process you are at.

Our Services include:

  • – Nationality, naturalisation and registration as a British citizen
  • – Human Rights Claims
  • – Deportation and Removals
  • – Points Based System applications
  • – Tier 1 – Applications for individuals: Investor, Entrepreneur and Exceptional Talent
  • – Tier 2 – Sponsored workers (Business)
  • – Tier 2 – Sponsored workers (Personal)
  • – Tier 4 – Students
  • – Tier 5 – Temporary workers
  • – Spouses, civil partners, unmarried partners, children and other family dependants
  • – Appeals & Judicial Review Process
  • – European Nationals and EEA Law
  • – UK ancestry
  • – Visit visas
  • – Further Leave and Indefinite Leave to remain (settlement) applications

European Nationals and EEA Law

If you are a citizen of a country in the European Union then you can enter and remain in the UK as an EEA citizen in certain circumstances. Understanding EEA law can be difficult, with differing ways in which you can maintain your stay in the UK under EEA Regulations. The applications can be complex, the requirements strict and the evidence you need to supply can be extensive. At Bright Legal Solicitors, we are experts in immigration services, policies and procedures and this experience allows us to provide the best support to everyone seeking to understand and make EEA based applications.

Family Members

Family members, EEA national and non-EEA national, can accompany, or join and reside with an EEA national who has a right to reside in the UK.

Family members can include:

  • – Spouses and civil partners
  • – Partner in a durable relationship, normally with two years cohabitation
  • – Children under 21 or dependent children
  • – Grandchildren under 21 or dependent grandchildren
  • – Dependent parent
  • – Dependent grandparents
  • – Any other dependent relative

In some cases you will have to apply for an entry or residence document in order to reside in the UK. Our immigration specialists can advise you on whether you are eligible to enter or remain in the UK as a family member of an EEA national.

Rights of Residence

EEA citizens and their family members can travel to the UK and stay here for up to three months

Initial Right of Residence

EEA citizens and their family members can remain in the UK as long as they continue to ‘exercise Treaty rights’ in the UK. You can exercise Treaty rights in five ways:

Extended Right of Residence

  • – As a worker
  • – Job seeker
  • – Self-employed
  • – Self-sufficient
  • – Student

There are different requirements for each method of exercising Treaty rights; these can often be extensive and strict. Bright Legal Solicitors will guide you through the process and explain how you can meet these requirements.

Permanent Residence

EEA citizens and their family members automatically acquire a permanent right of residence in the UK after five years continuous residence exercising Treaty rights.

A permanent resident will have the status unconditionally. Your stay in the UK will not depend on whether you are exercising Treaty rights or not. An EEA citizen can apply for a Document certifying Permanent Residence and the non-EEA family member, a Permanent Residence Card.

Evidencing Permanent Residence is not straightforward, we can give your application for a Residence Card the greatest chance of success by guiding you through the process and highlighting what evidence should be provided.

Retained Rights of Residence

In some circumstances, family members of EEA citizens might acquire independent rights of residence in the UK where they have lost the family connection to the EEA national through death, divorce or the EEA national leaving the UK.

To determine if you are eligible to apply for retained rights of residence in these circumstances then please contact us for a free consultation.

Family Dependants

Understanding Immigration legislation can often be tricky and keeping track of the variances and changes that accompany spouses, civil partners, unmarried partners, children and other family dependents can be even more difficult. Bright Legal Solicitors are experts in Immigration policies and procedures and our advice and support can help you understand the relevant legislation and any changes that have been made, allowing you to address them in your application, thus increasing your chances of success.

Spouses, civil partners and unmarried partners

For the partner of a British citizen, which includes spouses, civil partners, unmarried partners of either sex and a fiancé(e), there are different rules that need to be followed to ensure you are able to join them in the UK.

The regulations changed on the 8th July 2012, so depending on when you made the application will depend on which rules you must follow and our experts can help you through the process regardless of when you applied. There are some situations where you should not apply under this category:

  • – You are a national of a country in the EEA (European Economic Area) or Switzerland
  • – You are the non-European family member of an EEA or Swiss national
  • – You have no time limit attached to your stay
  • – You are a British overseas territory citizen

For a fiancée, the above rules apply and you must plan to get married with six months of arrival and settle afterwards. You should not apply if:

  • – You want to come to the UK to get married or register a civil partnership but do not plan to stay for more than six months
  • – You intend to settle with your partner but not get married

Children and other family dependants

For children to join you in the UK, you and they must meet certain criteria. This will depend on both parents being in the UK, or the parent who takes sole care due to absence or death being granted permission to settle in the UK.  The child must be under 18 and:

  • – Not leading an independent life
  • – Not formed an independent family unit
  • – Not married or in a civil partnership

Other family dependants need to prove they require long-term care that is not available or too expensive in their home country. The carer must also be able to prove they can provide this care without relying on public funds for a period of at least five years. You will need a family member already settled in the UK and must be over the age of 18 on applying.

To find out more about the varying conditions that might affect your application for permission to live in the UK, talk to Bright Legal Solicitors now for expert advice and support on your application.

Further Leave & Indefinite Leave

Leave to remain is the permission granted by UK authorities for you to stay in the United Kingdom for a certain period of time. It is granted in country once you have entered the UK. You may have been granted leave to enter the UK and are seeking permission to extend your stay or you could be seeking to regularise your stay.

Alternately you may be applying for permission to stay in the UK permanently without any restrictions or time limits. This is called indefinite leave to remain and may also be referred to as settlement. There are very few immigration categories for which indefinite leave is granted at the outset, most migrants will need one or more periods of limited leave before applying for settlement.

Where leave to remain is sought it must be for a specific purpose such as to visit, study, work or live with a family member in the UK. There are many different routes in which you can be granted leave to remain in the UK. The most common categories of migrant who can obtain leave include:

  • – Partners of a person settled in the UK or any other relevant person
  • – Parents of a child in the UK
  • – Students
  • – Workers
  • – Investors and business
  • – Asylum claims

Understanding whether you can apply for leave to remain can be difficult with a number of categories, conditions and application forms to take into account. The process can often be long and drawn out. If you feel that you are eligible to be granted leave to remain but are having any trouble with an application and would appreciate some specialist advice do not hesitate to contact our Immigration Department. Our specialists can provide the best support to anyone seeking to understand and apply for leave to remain.

Nationality, Naturalisation & Registration

We can assist you with entry clearance, naturalisation, complex queries and “Life in the UK” test and much more.

Understanding the rules regarding British citizenship and nationality can be difficult. There are a number of nationality types, conditions and application forms to take into account. At Bright Legal Solicitors, we are experts in immigration services, policies and procedures and this experience allows us to provide the best support and guidance to anyone seeking to apply for British citizenship.

Nationality

There are several forms of British nationality that arise in different circumstances and situations. These are:

  • – British citizenship
  • – British overseas citizenship
  • – British overseas territory citizenship
  • – British national (overseas)
  • – British protected person
  • – British subject

For any application made for British citizenship, it’s important to know which of these might apply in your case and what sort of application you need to make.

Naturalisation

Naturalisation is the process of applying to become a British citizen after meeting a specific set of criteria. This criteria stipulates you:

  • – Are 18 or over
  • – Will continue to live in the UK
  • – Are of sound mind
  • – Are of good character
  • – Have passed the ‘Life in the UK’ test and completed a language test
  • – Can communicate in English, Scottish, Gaelic or Welsh
  • – Have not broken any immigration laws while in the UK
  • – Have lived in the UK for at least five years
  • – Have spent no more than 450 days outside of the UK in the last five years, and 90 within the last 12 months
  • – Have been granted indefinite leave to stay in the UK
  • – Have had indefinite leave to stay in the UK for the last 12 months

These criteria can change in certain situations, such as having a British citizen civil partner or spouse and you will need to understand these variances to give your application the best chance of success.

Registration as a British citizen

All applications for children to become British have to be by Registration. Sometimes they are entitled to register as British – if not they can apply to the Home Office asking for permission to register based on their particular circumstances. Adults can also register as British citizens in certain circumstances.

With a number of different forms, criteria and legislation to comprehend, it can be difficult to know where to start to make sure you have the best chance of success. Immigration laws can change very quickly and at short notice, so make sure you seek the best advice and support to make everything as clear as possible for your application. Speak to Bright Legal Solicitors today to make full use of our expertise in this area.

Visa Visits

Whether you want to come to the UK as a tourist or to stay with family, Bright Legal can help with the entire process.  Often the requirements for a visit visa may seem straightforward but they are also one of the easiest applications to get wrong.  With very limited rights of appeal against refusal it is important to get your application right the first time around.

You need to prove that you genuinely intend to come to the UK as a visitor and that you will return home at the end of your visit.  It is also important to make sure you have the appropriate level and evidence of financial support in place to meet the costs of your travel to the UK and your expenses whilst here.  Whether you are acting as the sponsor to someone visiting you in the UK or you are applying for yourself, Bright Legal Solicitors are here to help.

visitor visa may also be for you if you want to come to the UK for a short course of study; for business, sports, and entertainment activities; for private medical treatment; or for a visit to get married or form a civil partnership.