We are a leading immigration consultancy strongly committed to consistently providing world-class expert services in the areas of migration visas, overseas business establishment, and resettlement. The objective of our immigration consultancy company is to enable clients to realise their plans of migrating to developed countries through a streamlined, structured, and cost-effective process. If you require the professional services of the best immigration consultants, then our highly qualified and experienced team at Berkeley Middle East Consultants are the people who can help you.


IMMIGRATION LAW CHANGES OVERVIEW


IMMIGRATION SOLICITOR SERVICES:

Services for UK Businesses

• Compliance with legislation relating to prevention of illegal working

• ECAA – Ankara Agreement

EU, EEA & Swiss Nationals & Family Members

Visas and Settlements

Visiting the UK

Family Visa

• Settlement (ILR – Indefinite leave to remain)

UK Permanent Residence and UK Citizenship

• Second Citizenship by Investment

• Same Day Visa Service

• UK Nationality


BUSINESS IN THE UK

There are various entry categories that allow foreign nationals into the UK depending on several factors, including the reason for the visit and the individual’s financial status.


SOLE REPRESENTATIVES

A sole representative visa allows an individual to enter the UK for an overseas company if the company does not have a presence in the UK. The purpose of the visit must be for the representative to establish the company and build their reputation in the UK or to register a branch within the UK. They are not permitted to enter the UK for personal gain.

The business the individual is representing must genuinely exist and ordinarily must have been actively trading for over a year. Companies wishing to take advantage of this category must completely understand that it is only for the expansion of their business; companies who wish to move their overseas operations to the UK will be refused.

The sole representative visa is designed to help an overseas company establish/expand its business in the UK. However, the majority of trading must continue in the company’s established country.

An overseas company is not allowed to send more than one person to act as a sole representative in the UK; any additional staff members must apply under the relevant tier for a work visa.

If the application is successful, an initial three-year period of leave is usually granted. Extensions lasting two years are available. After five successive years in the UK, the individual may apply for indefinite leave to remain. The dependants of a sole representative may enter the UK under the same visa.

During the representative’s stay, they will not be granted access to any public funds and must register with the police where necessary.

If the individual has been in the UK for at least two years and the company’s circumstances change, they may continue to remain in the country as a sole representative employee, even if the company appoints a new superior.

To be eligible for this category of visa, evidence must be provided that:

The individual has been employed by the parent company for a certain period of time and in a senior position, with the authority to make operational decisions without consulting the company;
• The individual intends to work full time as a representative of the company in the UK and was recruited outside of the UK;
• The individual is employed directly by the company;
• The individual is not a majority shareholder in the company; and
• The individual possesses the required level of competence in English.


TIER 1 EXCEPTIONAL TALENT

The Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) visa category is for people who wish to work in the UK who are internationally recognised as potential world-leading talent or world leaders in the arts and sciences.

The route for both world leaders and potential world leaders is open to active researchers in academic, government or industry research institutions who are economically active in their chosen field.

Initial applications need to be endorsed by a designated competent body. The designated competent bodies are: the Royal Society, Arts Council England, the British Academy and the Royal Academy of Engineering. It is important to note there is a limit of 1,000 endorsements under this category between 6 April 2012 and 5 April 2013.

To qualify, the following criteria must be met:

Exceptional Talent (World Leader)

Applicants must meet all the following criteria:

• Be able to provide a personal recommendation letter from a renowned person who lives in the UK who knows of the applicant’s work and contribution to the field. They must also be qualified to assess the applicant’s claim to be a world leader in the field;
• Be performing the role of an active researcher in a relevant field (usually within a university or research institute or in industry);
• Have a PhD or corresponding research experience; and
• Must be at least one of the following:
• A member of a national academy or a foreign member of academies of other countries (in particular any of the UK national academies);
• The recipient of a prestigious internationally recognised prize; or Able to offer a written recommendation from a respected UK organisation concerned in the field. This must have been written by an authorised senior member of the organisation on official paper.

Exceptional Talent (Potential World Leader)

Applicants must meet all the following criteria:

• Be able to provide a personal recommendation letter from a renowned person who lives in the UK who knows of the applicant’s work and contribution to the field. They must also be qualified to assess the applicant’s potential to be a world leader in the field;
• Be just starting out in their chosen career;
• Be performing the role of an active researcher in a relevant field (usually within a university or research institute or in industry);
• Have a PhD or corresponding research experience; and
• Have been awarded, hold or have held in the past five years a respected UK-based research fellowship or an international fellowship judged by the competent bodies to be equivalent.


TIER 1 GRADUATE ENTREPRENEUR

The Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) category is for graduates who have been identified by UK higher education institutions as having developed world class innovative ideas or entrepreneurial skills to extend their stay in the UK after graduation to establish one or more businesses in the UK. ‘Business’ here means an enterprise as a sole trader; partnership; or company registered in the UK.

This category is open to all Higher Education Institutions which are Highly Trusted Sponsors. The Institutions will only be able to “endorse” a total of 1000 graduates in a year. You will need to apply directly to your UK higher education institution for a letter of endorsement.

Switching into the Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) category will only be permitted where the applicant has or has last been granted leave as a Tier 4 Migrant; Student; Student Nurse; Student Re-sitting an Examination; Student Writing up a Thesis; Postgraduate Doctor or Dentist; or Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) Migrant.

Applicants must not have previously been granted entry clearance, leave to enter or leave to remain as a Tier 1 (Post Study Work) migrant, a Participant in the Fresh Talent: Working in Scotland Scheme, or a Participant in the International Graduates Scheme (or its predecessor, the Science and Engineering Graduate Scheme).

Initial application for the leave to remain will be granted for a period of one year. Following this you will be able to apply for one further year’s leave to remain. Before the end of this second year they can apply for leave to remain as a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) Migrant. The requirements switching to leave to remain as a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) from Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur are relaxed. Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneurs will only have to show that they have £50,000 to invest as compared with £200,000.

Indefinite Leave to Remain

You cannot apply for settlement in the UK under the Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) category and the time spent in the UK under this category will not count towards the qualifying period for any future applications for settlement in the UK.

Family Members

Family members of Tier 1 Exceptional Talent migrants can apply to join their spouse, civil partner, unmarried or same sex partner or parent (if the applicant is a child under the age of 18 at the time of the application) in the UK.


INVESTOR VISA, TIER 1 VISAS FOR UK INVESTORS

Like the previous investor route, this category permits individuals into the UK if they have access to enough funds to make a substantial financial investment. The Investor Visa applicant must have the capacity to invest £2,000,000 or more in the UK, if so they do not need to have received a job offer. Despite not being required to have a job, applicants under this category are able to undertake employment if they desire. However, they may not become a doctor in training. Points are awarded to Tier 1 (Investor) applicants based on their ability to invest at least £2,000,000 in the UK.

The applicant must be able to prove using documentation as evidence that they have access to £2,000,000 (disposable and in a financial institution).

This category does not require the applicant to meet the English language and maintenance funds requirements under the points-based system.

Investors under this category are initially given a period of three years and four months leave to stay in the UK. Following this, they can apply for an extension of two years.

Indefinite Leave to Remain
In accordance with their level of investment in the UK, a Tier 1 investor must complete an uninterrupted residence period of two, three or five years in the UK before they are eligible to apply for settlement. During this period, they cannot be outside of the UK for longer than 180 days in any 12-month period.
A Tier 1 investor may apply for indefinite leave to remain (settlement in the UK) after:
• Two years for an investment of £10 million;
• Three years for an investment of £5 million; or
• Five years for an investment of £2 million.

After being settled in the UK for 12 months and after at least five years of continuous residence, an investor can submit an application for naturalisation to obtain UK nationality status.

Family Members
The family members of Tier 1 investor migrants can submit an application to join their spouse, civil partner, unmarried or same sex partner, or parent (if the applicant is under the age of 18 at the time of application) in the UK. They may also apply for settlement at the same time as the Tier 1 investor. We can also help you to obtain an investor Visa.


ECAA – EUROPEAN COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION AGREEMENT WITH TURKEY (ANKARA AGREEMENT)

The European Community Association Agreement (ECAA) with Turkey allows Turkish nationals to enter the UK and establish themselves as self-employed businesspeople, i.e. run their own businesses.

Article 13 of the ECAA (also known as the Ankara Agreement) removed restrictions relating to the freedom of establishment, allowing Turkish nationals to establish themselves and provide a service to others. Article 41 of the Additional Protocol to the Turkish ECAA, known as the “standstill clause”,is a supplement to Article 13 of the ECAA. This clause allows Turkish nationals wanting to enter the UK or who are seeking leave to have their applications evaluated under the domestic rules that were in force when the UK joined the EU in 1973. The result of this is that all applications are treated the same and identical rules are applied for all applications.

A leading European Court of Justice case, Tum and Dari v Secretary of State for the Home Department C-16/05, held that EU member states who are party to the Ankara Agreement are prevented from imposing any new limitations on the exercising of the freedom of establishment and the freedom to provide services. This was applicable to the first admission of Turkish nationals into the UK. However, there is an exception to this: the applicant cannot benefit from the standstill clause if fraud/abuse has taken place. Such an application will be subject to any relevant current rules and the application will generally be submitted under the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) category, or on general grounds for refusal, where applicable.

Entry Clearance / Leave to Remain
An applicant can apply for either entry clearance or leave to remain, depending on whether they are already in the UK or intend to enter the UK from another country. An initial period of 12 months from the date of the decision is usually granted for those applicants who are able to prove that they have the sincere intention and required resources to establish a business in the UK.

If the leave is granted under the After Entry 1973 provisions, the applicant will normally apply for an extension of stay if they have satisfied the relevant provisions. The extension will usually last three years.

After having run the business for four years, the businessperson may apply for indefinite leave to remain. This would permit them to settle in the UK and continue with the running of their business. After 12 months under this status, it is possible for the individual to apply for UK nationality.

Family Members
The family members of self-employed Turkish ECAA individuals can also submit an application to join their spouse, civil partner, unmarried or same sex partner, or parent (if the applicant is under 18 at the time of application) in the UK. A dependant can put forward an application with the original applicant or separately by submitting an independent application. A dependant submitting a separate application must satisfy all the requirements necessary to live with the person in the UK and must be lawfully in the UK when making their application. Otherwise, they face the possibility of being penalised.

Dependants are also allowed to apply for the right to settle in the UK.


TURKISH WORKER VISA

As part of the European Community Association Agreement (ECAA) with Turkey (known as the Ankara Agreement), Turkish citizens are able to extend their stay in the UK if they are already legally working there.

A Turkish citizen who is employed legally in the UK may:

• Apply for additional consent to stay after they have been legally working for one year, in order to continue working for the same employer;
• Change employers whilst remaining in the same job role after they have been legally working in the UK for three years; and
• Work for any employer in any role after they have been legally working in the UK for four years.

If an application for this type of visa is successful, permission will be granted for the applicant to stay in the UK as a Turkish ECAA worker. However, this will not be possible if the applicant has contravened United Kingdom Immigration Laws regarding work.

Indefinite Leave to Remain
In Article 6(1) of Decision 1/80 of the Association Council, there is no provision for Turkish workers to be given settlement rights in the UK after completing four years of legal employment under this category: only the freedom to take up employment with any employer.

Family Members
Family members of applicants must be able to demonstrate that they are genuine family members to be given consent to join, or remain with, the applicant. Family members are classed as spouses, civil partners, unmarried and same sex partners, and children.


UK Immigration Law Services

We offer a full range of Immigration Law services to our Clients. Our experienced team provides you with realistic and honest advice specifically tailored to your situation. We have a very well-trained faculty of immigration law experts who offer sound advice based on years of experience.

They are highly respected throughout all areas of Immigration, Asylum, Nationality and EU (Immigration) law and are widely regarded as experts with a known ability to handle longstanding complex issues of Immigration Law. Our team has substantial experience in Immigration matters at Immigration & Asylum Chambers (First Tier and Upper Tribunals) as well as Court of Appeal.

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UK Entry Clearance Guide

Entry clearance is the technical description for obtaining a UK visa. This guide is divided into the sub categories:

  1. UK Entry clearance for visitors
  2. UK Entry clearance for Tier 2 Visa Applicants
  3. UK Entry clearance for the dependants of Tier 2 Visa Applicants
  4. UK Entry clearance for Tier 1 Investors, Tier 1 Entrepreneurs, and their dependants
  5. UK Entry clearance for Representatives of an Overseas Business
  6. Applications

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Tamer Ulay
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Michele Martin
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