If you have been settled in the United Kingdom now for some time, you may be preparing to apply for naturalisation as a British Citizen. This is an area of immigration fraught with obstacles, which are surmountable if one knows what the Home Office are looking for. This article is written with the intention of setting out the most common reasons for, and how to avoid, refusal.
“[T]his Court sees too many cases in which applicants for leave or their advisers – particularly in cases depending on article 8 outside the Rules – devote their energies to setting out extracts from the case-law rather than to demonstrating a compelling case based on the details of the applicant’s particular circumstances. The latter exercise may require more work, but it is what the Secretary of State, and if necessary the Tribunal, will be more concerned with. Cases of this kind generally turn on their facts, and the applicable law does not require elaborate exposition.” 
Today the UK Government laid a draft remedial order before Parliament to amend the good character requirement for British citizenship applications. The order will remove the good character requirement for registration applications under the following sections of the British Nationality Act 1981:
Further to yesterday's post about the case of the Advocate General for Scotland v Romein  UKSC 6, we can confirm that the Home Office have updated their guidance on section 4C registrations for children of British citizen mothers.
The Immigration Health Surcharge is a now well known term among applicants and practitioners as it was introduced almost 3 years ago, on 6 April 2015. Unlike application fees, it remained static at £200 per year for non-EEA nationals applying to work, study or join your family in the UK for more than 6 months.
There are two recent changes to the rules on calculating continuous residence which those applying for indefinite leave to remain as a Points Based System Migrant and their partners will need to look out for:
Yesterday (11 January 2018), UK Visas and Immigration issued a number of renewed guidance documents pertaining to a number of application types. This includes visas for students (long and short term), Tier 2, dependants of Tiers 1, 2 , 4, 5, and various Tier 1 categories. See links below:
Last week, the Home Office presented a new Statement of Changes in Immigration Rules (HC309) to Parliament. The changes, accompanied by a detailed explanatory note, will mostly come into force on 11 January 2018, except where otherwise indicated. This article will examine the most notable of these changes, and their effects on certain routes to entry clearance and settlement.
The Home Office issued new guidance yesterday (11 October 2017) entitled “Historical background information on nationality”. As highlighted in a previous blog post here, British nationality law can be particularly complex. The relevant law changes depending on the date of the person’s birth. There are different provisions for: those born before 1915; those born between 1915 and 1948; those born between 1949 and 1983; and those born after 1983. The guidance addresses the position up to the introduction of the British Nationally Act 1981 which came into force on 1 January 1983 and remains in force today. However, due to subsequent amendments to this Act, there is another relevant date which can affect applicants for British citizenship: 1 July 2006. This is the date that the definition of “father” was amended in the 1981 Act to allow, for the first time, children born out of wedlock to acquire citizenship from their father.
Long delays are being faced by a large number of people whose visa applications are being considered at UK Visas and Immigration's Sheffield decision-making hub, pushing consideration time outside the normal service standards adhered to by UKVI. As applications in more and more different visa categories are being diverted to Sheffield, applicants are starting to face increasingly unacceptable delays in receiving a decision on their applications within normal timeframes.
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Amna Ashraf was an incredibly supportive and knowledgeable presence throughout the entirety of our spousal visa application process. Her guidance and instruction were always reassuring and she made what is an opaque and oftentimes intimidating process simple and accessible. We would highly recommend her services, and that of McGill & Co, to anyone seeking immigration counsel.