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Immigration rules


Immigration law affects people from countries outside of the UK who come to reside in the UK on a short or long term basis, who may also be studying or working. These immigration rules will not only dictate whether people from other countries are allowed to stay for the length and for the reason they wish to but also:
  • Whether they have access to benefits and the NHS
  • Whether they can invite relatives over to stay with them
Immigration has been, and still is, a matter of great public and parliamentary debate with each changing government forming new immigration rules. The most recent changes in immigration rules occurred in March 2009 and have helped to consolidate the law, but nevertheless there is soon to be another alteration in the law in order to simplify immigration rules further.

Applying for a visa

If you come to the UK there are certain immigration requirements that you must fulfil depending on the type of visit you are making. You could be coming to the UK to: 
  • Work
  • Study
  • Get married
  • Have a holiday
  • Become a UK citizen
  • Request asylum
Any of these types of visit will have their own immigration requirements, and it is important to understand the law regarding these before you come to the UK. The UK Border Agency (part of the Home Office) has responsibility for all immigration into Britain.
In many cases you will require a visa to enter the UK legally. If your business often brings you to the UK, you can apply for a multiple-entry visitor visa to make entering the UK easier and faster.
If you are not coming to Britain to get married or become a UK citizen there will often be a time limit on how long you can stay. This is usually six months, but these time limits vary, and you can apply to have it extended. Your visa will clearly state the time element of your immigration requirements.

EU nationals

The various immigration rules depend largely on which country the person immigrating originates from. Since the UK is a member of the European Union, which has practiced free movement of persons since the 1990s, European citizens will find it much easier to immigrate to the UK than those outside the EU, because:
  • An EU citizen has what is known as an ‘Article 18 right’ (from the specific article in the Treaty of Rome 1957) to move and reside in any other EU state, which includes the UK
  • The ‘Article 39 right’ is the right of all EU citizens to work in the country they have moved to
  • It is therefore simple and easy for EU members to immigrate to the UK
Nevertheless, immigration rules currently restrict nationals from outside of Europe from having the same opportunities as EU citizens. For example, the immigration rules for non-EU citizens currently include a necessity to comply with biometric regulations; refusal of which can lead to an immigrant being ejected from the UK or facing a civil penalty.
As immigration law solicitors have detailed knowledge of all UK immigration regulations, they can give you help, advice and support with any contact you have with the UK immigration authorities. Note that any solicitor you do use should be registered with the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC).
Want to know more about getting legal representation? See our page on using an immigration lawyer.
Are you looking for an immigration solicitor to help you file the right visa application and ensure you are following the correct immigration rules and regulations in the UK? Caven can make a free recommendation of an immigration lawyer who specialises in UK immigration to guide you through the process. Please call us on 0800 433 4846 or complete the web-form above.

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