Brexit will affect us all, independently of background, migrants or not, Europeans or Africans. From an immigration lawyer’s perspective, my strong recommendation for EU nationals is to apply for a document certifying permanent right of residence. It was not, and still is not, mandatory to have this document. However, it became of considerable value in November 2015 when a new rule made it mandatory to hold this document before applying for British citizenship.
On 2 December 2015 the Home Office issued a new guidance for decision makers in relation to visitor visa applications. This document confirms the policy of differential treatment of applications on the basis of the applicant’s country of residence or nationality (visitors from the war affected zones are not to be admitted) and visitors with family ties in the UK will find it more difficult to visit if they have no “anchor” in the country of origin. How this new Guidance lies with the provisions of the Race Discrimination Act is probably a matter to be tested.
There is an old saying, “marry in haste, repent at leisure”. Fortunately, this risk will become less likely from March 2 2015. The period for giving Notice of Marriage will extend from 15 to 28 days. And if the Home Office consider there are reasons to suspect a “sham marriage”, you may see your Notice period extended to a full 70 day.
Representing a client in an immigration appeal is a cherished opportunity for immigration solicitors to have a conversation with a learned member of the legal profession. It is similar to our academic seminars at Oxford or Cambridge. In a quiet discussion we are trying to reach for the essence of the problem, and then find the right answer. I recall a few questions from those academic discussions, that baffled me with the simplicity and profundity of message.
My clients often ask me whether in case of early morning visits by the immigration officers probing into the genuineness of their marital relationship it is advisable or not advisable to wear pyjamas. This intensely complex ethical, anthropological and legal question deserves a careful and impartial analysis without which I would be struggling to give a clear and unequivocal answer that one would expect from respectable immigration solicitors: is wearing pyjamas worthwhile?
It might sound ironic, but the Immigration Rules make an express provision that visitor visa will not be issued to those who have the intention of taking up an English language course in the UK. We have discussed this eccentric prohibition with other immigration solicitors, anthropologists and lay people, and have come up with five good reasons that we can offer for public consideration