UK Immigration Legal Services
Immigration solicitors at Chattertons advise individuals and families on their right to live and work in the UK.
Much of what we do is about bringing husbands and wives, parents, grandparents, and the wider family network together, by applying UK immigration law, and European free movement law. We also act on behalf of asylum seekers, and for individuals who are applying for a right to remain in the UK or who are looking to become British nationals or citizens.
Our immigration advice covers:
- Asylum and Humanitarian Protection
- EEA Nationals and free movement
- Work visas
- Investor and Entrepreneur visas
- Family settlement visas
- Human rights applications
- Visit visasAppeals, Reviews and Reconsiderations
- Nationality services.
Immigration is a complex and developing area of law. Clients rely on our knowledge of the rules, our deep understanding of the processes, and our attention to detail. They also count on our ability to listen, and to advise clearly and simply.
Most clients are unfamiliar with the intricacies of the UK immigration system and with the terminology used. So we will work hard to ensure that everything is explained in a way that makes sense to you, and that you understand your options and our recommended course of action.
As lawyers who work day in, day out providing immigration advice and practical support to people here and overseas, ours is expertise that ensures clients’ interests are best represented, and that their rights are upheld.
Clients often ask us.....
How much will immigration advice cost?
This depends on the work that you need us to do. We offer fixed fee consultations for individuals and families thinking of moving to the UK. The consultation would cover the rules on eligibility and the steps that would need to be taken (and the evidence required) in order to secure the right to live in the UK.
In other situations our immigration solicitors charge an hourly rate. The extent of our involvement can vary, depending on what you need from us, but we frequently prepare and file applications on clients’ behalf, get the right paperwork in order and, where it becomes necessary, represent clients at immigration appeals or reviews of decisions.
Whether we propose a fixed fee or an hourly rate arrangement, we will ensure that you know what our likely overall charges will be from the outset.
Do I have to apply for a visa to come and work in the UK?
If you are a European national then you currently benefit from the right of free movement. This means that you are already eligible to live in the UK for as long as your remain economically active or self-sufficient. You may not need to apply for residence documentation at the moment, but it is strongly advised if you have family members living in the UK with you or you want to prepare for Brexit.
If you are not a European national, you would either need a certificate of sponsorship from a UK employer, or proof that you have another visa or residence card that grants you the right to work in the UK.
Do I need a visa to visit the UK, and how long can I stay?
It depends on your nationality. If you are from a country that is on a visa waiver list (the USA, for example) you are normally entitled to come to the UK for a short-term holiday without having to pre-apply for any sort of visa.
However, a citizen of a country that is not on the waiver list can apply for a Standard Visitor visa entitling them to stay for up to six months in any one visit. And it is perfectly possible for a person to visit the UK for six months, return home, and immediately apply to visit again. However if you do intend on doing this regularly we recommend you consider a longer term visa or seek advice on the best way to prepare successive applications to avoid refusals.
Individuals who want to visit the UK regularly over a two, five or 10-year period could apply for a long-term visit visa. This will allow them to come in and go out of the UK as much as they like, provided they do not stay for more than six months in any one stay.
I have lived in the UK for a long time. Can I simply be told to leave?
This will depend on your entitlement to stay here.
Our immigration advice extends to situations in which an individual or a family has difficulty in meeting the Home Office’s strict immigration criteria and they are looking at having to leave the UK. In those situations, our immigration solicitors help clients make applications under human rights law on the basis of one of two criteria. The first is that the individual has made their home and family life in the UK and has little or nothing to return to. In that scenario, we apply human rights law to protect the interests of the individual and of their family.
The second, known as a private life application, would apply where an individual has established their personal and social life in the UK. The thrust of the legal argument would be that it would be unfair, given the level of the individual’s integration into UK life, to require them to leave.
Our immigration lawyers have a strong track record of successful applications.
I live in the UK. My partner is a foreign national who lives abroad. Will I be able to bring them to the UK?
Potentially, depending on the circumstances. If you can show that you are ‘settled’ in the UK, you may be able to act as a ‘sponsor’ to bring your partner to the UK. There are different provisions that apply to married couples (or civil partners), and unmarried partners. However, it is usually the case that a person who wants to join their partner in the UK will need to meet certain requirements relating to:
- immigration status
- English language skill
- suitability (character and criminal record).
What if my visa application is rejected?
Our immigration solicitors will be able to advise you on any possible review or appeal of that decision. We are experienced in preparing review and appeal cases and in representing clients at hearings in the First-tier Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum).