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City Legal is a multi award winning law firm specialising in UK Immigration Law, Wills & Estate Planning, Global Citizenship as well as providing Business, Education and HR Consultancy to both individual and corporate clients around the world.
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Pre-Visa Application FAQs

Do I need a visa to come to the UK?

You will not usually need a visa to come to the UK if you are an EU National or Australia, Canada, Hong Kong (SAR), Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea and the USA. You can check if you need a visa by visiting gov.uk.

When should I apply for a visa before coming to the UK?

This depends on the category of visa which you are applying for. However, usually you will be allowed to apply 3 months before your intended travel. Information about how to prepare for a visa can be found here.

How long does it take for the processing of an application?

The processing of an application varies. Applications may take between 3 weeks; to 6 months to process. This can be influenced, by the type of application, the country of application and the type of service selected. You may in fact expedite the processing time of an application for an additional fee. You can find more info on processing times here.

Can I expedite the processing of an application?

Yes. You can expedite the processing time of an application. However, this applied only for limited visa categories, and you must pay an additional fee. You can find more info about expediting UK visa applications here.    

I am an EU national. Can my non-EEA national mother come to the UK?

Yes. A non-EEA national who is the direct family member of an EU national can enter the UK on the grounds of joining the EU national. You can see EUSS Family Members.

Can I study in the UK during my holidays?

Yes. Studies of incidental nature are allowed for a period up to 30 days if you are living in the UK on a visit visa. Specific conditions apply. You can contact us on 0330 058 3929 for further information.

What is an EU Settlement Scheme?

An EU Settlement Scheme is a type of residence permit designed for EU, EEA or Swiss Nationals (and their family members) to continue living in the UK further to 30th June 2021. This will allow them to enjoy the same rights as before Brexit occurred.

Do I need to submit my Biometric Details for any application?

Yes. You must submit your Biometric Details as a part of the processing of your application. If you fail to do so, your visa will be refused.

Do I need to speak English to come to the UK?

Knowledge of the English language is only required in specific types of applications. If you are planning to enter for a visit or as a temporary worker under Tier 5, you are not required to show the ability of speaking the language. However, if you are planning to enter the UK to join a family member, study, work or settle, you must meet specific requirements.

Where do I take an English test as per Home Office requirements?

The Home Office has listed accredited centers which have been approved to examine your knowledge of English Language. A list of those test centers can be found on the English language test centre guidance issued by the Home Office.

Can I work in the UK without a visa?

No. Working in the UK without a permit to do so is a criminal offence, which can be prosecuted.

I was convicted for a minor sentence; will this affect my application to enter the UK?

Yes. A criminal offence, however minor, can have a negative impact on your visa application to enter the UK. Please contact one of our specialists for a detailed consultation before making an application.

What is the difference between removal and deportation?

A person subject to deportation is a foreign national (or his family member) that has committed a criminal offence, and who has been deemed a danger to the public good by the Secretary of State.

A person subject to removal is a foreign national (or his family member) who has been requested to leave the UK as a result of overstaying his leave or being in breach of his immigration rules and conditions.

What is the impact of Brexit on the Immigration Rules?

The UK has left the EU on 31st January 2020 at 11 PM. This has caused a change in the immigration rules, which majorly affect the EU, EEA and Swiss nationals (and their family members). Those nationals are now required to apply for a permission to study, work and live in the UK. However, they will be allowed to enter for tourism purposes for up to 6 months. The PBS system has also been updated. Starting from 01st January 2021, EU nationals, and visa-nationals will be treated equally under this system. More info about the new PBS System can be found on gov.uk.

How much is the Home Office fee?

The Home Office fees are continuously updated. The latest version can be found on gov.uk

How do I extend my visa?

If you wish to extend your visa, you can do so from within the UK. The conditions of your extensions will vary depending on the type of visa you are applying for or switching to. If you are eligible to extend your stay from in-country, you must do so by completing the right application form on the gov.uk website.

What is TLS & VFS?

TLS & VFS are Visa Application Centres that have been designated by the UKVI to accept application submissions and supporting documents, as well as biometric submissions in selected countries. If you are applying for entry clearance, you are very likely to visit a TLS or VFS Centre to submit your visa application.

My visa is expired but I have not left the UK nor made an application for extension.What will happen?

If your current visa has expired and you have not made an application for extensions, you will be considered as an Overstayer. Overstaying is considered a criminal offence, even if done so by one day. Although in some cases the overstay might be disregarded.

Can overstay period of 28 days be disregarded?

An overstay period of 28 days may be disregarded in cases where the overstay has occurred before 24th November 2016 and a subsequent visa application has been granted. However, you must seek immigration advice if you are not sure of how this will affect your immigration history and future applications.
UK Visa Application FAQs

When do I have to pay an Immigration Health Surcharge?

An IHS fee will always apply if you are a non-EEA national who wishes to enter the UK to study, work or join a family member for longer than 6 months. You still need to pay even if you have private medical insurance. Further information can be found on IHS Guidance.

How do I prove I have submitted a visa application?

The copy of online application submission and fee payment can be used as evidence of application submission. In addition to this, the Employers can also make checks via Employer Checking Services for Right to Work checks.

Can I contact the British Embassy in my country in relation to my application?

If you are outside the UK and have a query about your visa application, you can contact the Home Office by visiting here.

Can I cancel my visa application?

Yes. Should you wish to cancel your visa application, may do so by contacting the Home Office either by filling in a form or by direct contact. Please note that once the cancellation request has been forwarded, you cannot stop the cancellation. You can find further info on canceling visas here.

Will I be reimbursed if I cancel my visa application?

If your application was made outside the UK, you will be eligible for a refund only if the processing time has not started yet. If your application was made within the UK, you will not be eligible for a refund. The Home Office normally refunds the fees on variation requests.

What happens if I cannot attend an interview with the Entry Clearance Officer?

If you fail to attend the interview with an Entry Clearance Officer without having notified the Home Office, your application is likely to be refused.

Can I have more than one application pending?

No. You may only have one application pending at once under the UK Immigration rules. If you already have a pending application and you submit a fresh claim, your previous application will be invalid.

My application is taking longer than advised. What do I do?

If your visa is taking longer than expected, it is usually due to the complex nature of your application. If you wish to contact the Home Office in regards to your application, you can do so at gov.uk.

Can I track my application?

You can only track applications pending status, not its processing. You can track an application by contacting the Home Office directly or you may track your application online if submitted via VFS and TLS centers.

How do I contact the Home Office?

The Home Office can be contacted by visiting gov.uk  or by phone at 0300 123 2241.

I forgot to submit my supporting documents. What can I do now?

If you have submitted an application online within the UK, you will be requested to submit your supporting documents on the UKVCAS’s portal prior to attending your biometric appointment. If you have not done so, the officer assisting you at your appointment will advise you to submit the scan of your documents on the same portal before 22:00 hrs on the same day. If you omit the submission of the documents, depending on your circumstances, you might either be requested to post the relevant documents or your leave may be refused.

I have lied on my visa application. Will I be removed?

If you have been granted a visa, obtained by providing false information, and the Home Office finds out, your visa is likely to be cancelled and/or considered as a criminal offence. In addition to this, submitting false information/documentation at the time of application may face an entry-ban up to 10 years.

Do you accept legal aid?

No. We do not assist with legal aid cases. You may find a list of legal aid providers here.

Do I have to pay for an initial consultation?

We provide a free 15 mins complimentary initial phone consultation. If you require any further advice, you may book an appointment with us.

Do I need to come to your office to start the application process?

No. You are not required to attend the office, unless you wish to. We are a fully digital firm and adopt modern technology to communicate with our clients.

What is Sopra Steria?

Sopra Steria is the UKVI’s official website on which you can book an appointment to enroll your biometric information and have your supporting documents checked. You can visit their website here.

Does the format of the scanned document matter for the outcome of an application?

Yes. It is very important for you to read carefully the guidance on the format of the documents which require submission. Not complying with the guidance will be cause of delays in your application processing or may lead to refusal.

Do I need to pay a fee for the submission appointment?

You may be able to attend a free appointment; however, usually, closer dates are provided at additional cost. Unfortunately, there is no way to find out until you have submitted your application and are redirected to book your appointment slot. You may find more info about booking an appointment here.

Where is a submission appointment held?

The Home Office provides numerous Visa Application Centers for you to attend your submission appointment. You may search and select the nearest to you once you have submitted your online application and have been redirected to book your appointment slot. The visa application centers are called UKVCAS and you may find more information about attending an appointment on their website.

What happens if I cannot attend a submission appointment?

If you cannot attend a submission appointment you must notify the Home Office. You can do so on your UKVCAS sopra steria portal. Further guidance is set out on their website.

UK Visa Post Application FAQs

My entry clearance application has been refused. What do I do?

If you have been refused entry clearance, you may be eligible to request an Administrative Review . You must carefully read your refusal letter to find out your next steps. More information is available on gov.uk.

I have been issued with an entry-ban. Why?

Entry bans may be issued for several reasons. You must carefully read the Home Office’s notice of entry ban. Those may be issued at the time of an application refusal or if you have been removed from the UK. Please contact an immigration expert if you need further guidance on your entry-ban.

When can I submit an appeal?

If you don’t agree with the outcome of your visa application, you may be eligible to challenge the Home Office’s decision through an appeal. You must carefully read your decision letter to find out if you can make an appeal claim and the time restrictions which apply. Further guidance can be found on the tribunal page here.

I am an EU national. How do I prove my right to work?

From January 2021, all EU nationals who wish to enter the UK for work purposes must apply for a permit before entry. For all EU nationals who have been residing and working in the UK prior to January 2021, they will be able to prove their right to work via their EUSS Status. In order to do so, they will be able to share a code with their employer through the Gov.uk portal. You can access the portal here to prove right to work.

Can my visa be cancelled?

Yes. Your visa may be cancelled, revoked or curtailed for different reasons. If you believe that there was a mistake and your visa should not be cancelled, you must seek immigration advice before taking any action. If you have had a notice of cancellation, revocation or curtailment and are seeking further advice, please contact us at 0330 058 3929.

My Indefinite Leave is Stamped on my passport, which is now expired. Is the leave still valid?

Yes. Your Indefinite Leave to Remain would still be valid. However, you may be able to apply for a transfer of visa onto your new passport. To find out more you can visit gov.uk.

Will my visa expire if I stop living in the UK?

Your visa may be invalidated if you stop living in the UK for a period of 2 years or longer. This will also apply to foreign nationals holding settled status. Exceptions may apply. If you are unsure whether your visa has lapsed, please contact us at 0330 058 3929.

If my current leave is expired and I made an application on the same day of expiry, and I do not have an outcome yet, am I an overstayer?

No. If you have made an application for extension on the same day of your visa expiry, you will not be considered an overstayer. Your right to remain will be automatically renewed under s3C of the Immigration Act 1971.

Where do I collect a BRP Card?

If you have made an application for Entry Clearance, you will be able to collect your BRP at the designated post office within 10 days from your arrival to the UK. If you have made an application for leave to remain in-country, your BRP will be delivered to your home address.

Can my friend help me to make a Visa Application?

Yes. A family member or friend can help you with your visa application; however, seeking immigration legal advice will improve your chances of success, as the Immigration Rules are complex.

I am a victim of Domestic Violence, but I am a dependent of my husband. Will I be deported?

If you are a victim of Domestic Violence and your relationship has broken down as a result of it, the Home Office provides guidance which could lead to your settlement in the country. You must report the abuse and get to a safe place. If you are struggling with Domestic Abuse and you are in need of Immigration Advice, you must contact an Immigration Adviser before taking any action. Please arrange an appointment by calling 0330 058 3929.

I have changed my address. Do I have to inform the Home Office?

Yes. You must inform the Home Office of any address changes. You must do so by visiting this link here or writing to the Home Office.

Where do I collect my BRP card and how long do I have to do so?

You must collect your BRP card within 10 days of your arrival in the UK or before your 30-day vignette expires, whichever is the later. If you fail to collect your BRP within this time, you may be subject to a fine or even the cancellation of your visa. You will need to pick up your BRP at the UK Post Office branch nearest to your intended UK address, as stated on your application form.

Get in touch

We are a law firm committed to providing excellent client focussed service and expert legal advice in a time efficient manner. If you are thinking about getting legal advice or any of the other services we offer, you can speak to an expert immediately by giving us a call on 0330 058 3929.

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