Requesting personal information held in the borders, immigration and citizenship system

When you request personal information held on the Home Office’s immigration records, this is known as a ‘subject access request’. As there are three types of requests (each with different requirements), this guide will provide further information.

Here’s what you need to know.

(Updated as of 24 March 2020)

Basic request:

  • Electronic summary of your immigration history
  • Visa applications submitted from outside the UK (as part of entry clearance)
  • Entry and exit in and out of the UK

Specific request:

  • A list of your applications
  • A particular decision letter
  • The outcome of an appeal

Detailed:

Here, you can request a copy of your Home Office paper file. Though an electronic summary will be sent initially (as with a basic application), this option allows you to request further information which may not have been included in the basic request.

Applications can be made online via www.visas-immigration.service.gov.uk or by email at subjectaccessrequest@homeoffice.gov.uk. Please be advised that due to coronavirus (COVID-19) disruption, the Home Office are currently unable to respond to requests sent via post or requests for paper records.

As the subject access request service provides personal information, evidence will be required to ensure the identity of the parties involved. Evidence includes but is not limited to:

  • Photo identification – passport/driving licence/bio-metric residence card
  • Written confirmation of a true likeness from: solicitor/chartered legal executive/registered charity
  • Letter of permission
  • Proof of relationship – If the request is being made on behalf of a child under 12

For more information on requesting personal information held in the borders, immigration and citizenship system, send an email to info@compasslaw.org.uk or contact us on 01204 531 535 to book a telephone/Skype consultation. The fee is £30.

To limit the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), until further notice, our drop-in service and all scheduled appointments will be held remotely. Please be advised that whilst our remote drop-in service will be held on Mondays between 10am – 1:30pm, our Friday service (usually held in Preston) has been cancelled for the foreseeable future.

Thank you for your cooperation and stay safe.

Compass Immigration Law LTD:

“The direct route to immigration expertise.”

Visa extension for NHS frontline workers

In a move to keep focus solely on fighting the coronavirus (COVID-19), the Home Secretary, Priti Patel, has made a major announcement which impacts those working on the NHS frontline.

Here’s what you need to know.

(Updated as of 31 March 2020)

  • Doctors, nurses and paramedics employed by the NHS with visas due to expire before 1 October 2020 will have them automatically extended for one year
  • The extension is also applicable to family members
  • Pre-registered overseas nurses who typically must sit their first skills test within 3 months and pass within 8 months will now have the deadline extended to the end of the year
  • Extensions to NHS visas are automatic and exempt from the Immigration Health Surcharge

For more information on visa extensions for frontline NHS workers, send an email to info@compasslaw.org.uk or contact us on 01204 531 535 to book a telephone/skype consultation. The fee is £30.

To limit the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), until further notice, our drop-in service and all scheduled appointments will be held remotely. Please be advised that whilst our remote drop-in service will be held on Mondays between 10am – 1:30pm, our Friday service (usually held in Preston) has been cancelled for the foreseeable future.

Thank you for your cooperation and stay safe.

Compass Immigration Law LTD:

“The direct route to immigration expertise.”

Coronavirus (COVID-19): advice for Tier 2, 4 and 5 visa sponsors

As a Tier 2, 4 and 5 visa sponsor, it is imperative to stay updated on procedures which may impact you. If you are currently sponsoring someone affected by coronavirus (COVID-19), you must ensure you are acting in accordance to the latest legislation.

Here’s what you need to know.

(Updated as of 27 March 2020)

If you student or employee is absent:

  • Enforcement action will not be taken against sponsors who continue to sponsor students/employees despite absences due to coronavirus – absences related to coronavirus do not need to be reported
  • Sponsorship will not be withdrawn if student is unable to attend for more than 60 days / employee is absent from work without pay for more than 4 weeks

This will be kept under continuous review.

If you’re sponsoring a student who is distance learning:

  • Tier 4 students whether in the UK or another country can be sponsored if they are continuing their studies through distance learning
  • If a student defers or permanently withdraws from their studies, this must be reported as usual

These procedures apply until 31 May 2020. They will be reviewed.

For more information on Tier 2, 4 and 5 visa sponsors affected by coronavirus (COVID-19), send an email to info@compasslaw.org.uk or contact us on 01204 531 535 to book a telephone/skype consultation. The fee is £30.

To limit the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), until further notice, our drop-in service and all scheduled appointments will be held remotely. Please be advised that whilst our remote drop-in service will be held on Mondays between 10am – 1:30pm, our Friday service (usually held in Preston) has been cancelled for the foreseeable future.

Thank you for your cooperation and stay safe.

Compass Immigration Law LTD:

“The direct route to immigration expertise.”

EEA FREE MOVEMENT RIGHTS: FAMILY MEMBERS OF BRITISH CITIZENS

Since March 2019, applicants for an EEA residence card can be either a family member or an extended family member of a British citizen, this is in light of the Banger judgement and subsequent changes to the 2016 European Economic Area regulations. If the conditions are met, a family member or an extended family member of a British citizen will be treated as if they are the family member of a European Economic Area (EEA) national under the 2016 regulations.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • If the British citizen exercised free movement rights as a worker, self-employed person, self-sufficient person or student in an EEA host country immediately before returning to the UK, or had acquired the right of permanent residence in the EEA host country
  • If the British citizen would satisfy the conditions for residence if they were an EEA national (that is they are within their first 3 months of residence or are a qualified person)
  • If the family member or extended family member and British citizen resided together in the other EEA member state and that residence was genuine
  • If the extended family member’s residence in the other EEA member state was lawful
  • If the family member or extended family member met these conditions for the entire period being relied upon
  • If the purpose of the residence in the EEA host country was not to avoid any UK immigration law applying to non-EEA nationals (for example the Immigration Rules)

For more information on free movement rights for family members of British citizens, send an email to info@compasslaw.org.uk or contact us on 01204 531 535 to book a telephone/skype consultation. The fee is £30.

To limit the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), until further notice, our drop-in service will be held remotely on Mondays between 10am – 1:30pm (Bolton). Please be advised that our Preston drop-in service held on Fridays have been cancelled for the foreseeable future.

Compass Immigration Law LTD:

“The direct route to immigration expertise.”

ENGLISH LANGUAGE REQUIREMENTS: SKILLED WORKERS

To meet the English language requirements, applicants must have passed a test at or above the level required for the route in which they are applying. To meet the requirements for a qualification taught in English, it must have been taught in English to the appropriate level. Where the language requirements are met, points-based system applications must be awarded 10 points. Appendix W workers are not awarded points – they either pass or fail the English language requirements.

Here’s what you need to know.

  • Tier 1 entrepreneurs and graduate entrepreneurs with entry clearance and leave to remain must have a knowledge of English equivalent to level B1 or above of the Council of Europe’s common European framework for language and learning
  • Tier 2 Minister of religion with entry clearance and leave to remain must have a knowledge of English equivalent to level B2 or above of the Council of Europe’s common European framework for language and learning
  • Tier 2 (general) with entry clearance, leave to remain or any other application not covered elsewhere must have a knowledge of English equivalent to level B1 or above of the Council of Europe’s common European framework for language and learning
  • Tier 2 (sportsperson) with entry clearance and leave to remain must have a knowledge of English equivalent to level A1 or above of the Council of Europe’s common European framework for language and learning
  • Appendix W worker (start up / innovator) with entry clearance and leave to remain must have a knowledge of English equivalent to level B2 or above of the Council of Europe’s common European framework for language and learning

For more information on English language requirements for skilled workers, send an email to info@compasslaw.org.uk to book a telephone/Skype consultation. The fee is £30.

To limit the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), until further notice, our drop-in service will be held remotely on Mondays between 10am – 1:30pm (Bolton). Please be advised that our Preston drop-in service held on Fridays have been cancelled for the foreseeable future.

Compass Immigration Law LTD:

“The direct route to immigration expertise.”

Coronavirus (COVID-19) and the UK immigration system – Where do you stand?

In these testing times of uncertainty, clarity is of the utmost importance. Irrespective of one’s social, political or economic status, we are all impacted by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) in some capacity. To shed some light, here is some advice for UK visa applicants and temporary UK residents.

(Updated as of 25 March 2020)

If you’re in the UK and your leave expires between 24 January 2020 and 31 May 2020:

“your visa will be extended to 31 May 2020 if you cannot leave the UK because of travel restrictions or self-isolation related to coronavirus (COVID-19). You must contact the Coronavirus Immigration Team (CIT).”

Telephone: 0800 678 1767 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm)

Email: CIH@homeoffice.gov.uk. Your email must be in English.

Coronavirus Immigration Help Centre.

You should provide:

  • your full name (include any middle names)
  • date of birth (dd/mm/yyyy)
  • nationality
  • your previous visa reference number
  • why you can’t go back to your home country, for example if the border has closed

You will be notified when your request has been received and when your visa has been extended.

If you’re applying to stay in the UK long term:

“during these unique circumstances you’ll be able to apply from the UK to switch to a long-term UK visa until 31 May. This includes applications where you would usually need to apply for a visa from your home country. You’ll need to meet the same visa requirements and pay the UK application fee. This includes those whose leave has already been automatically extended to 31 March 2020. You can apply online. The terms of your leave will remain the same until your application is decided.”

If you’re outside the UK:

“many UK Visa Application Centres (VACs) are closed or offering limited services. For advice on visa services in your country, contact”:

  • TLS contactif you’re in Europe, Africa and parts of the Middle East
  • VFS globalfor all other countries

“In some areas the UK cannot send visa vignettes across some borders and routes due to border restrictions. If you have an appointment and the VAC is now closed, you’ll be contacted and told your appointment will not take place. English Testing Centres are also affected. Visit the International English Language Testing System (IELTS)’s website or contact your test centre for more information.”

Getting your documents:

“If you’ve paid for courier return, your passport will be returned if courier routes remain open. If your passport is currently held in a VAC and you would like it to be returned by courier, please contact either TLS contact or VFS global directly if you haven’t already paid for courier return. We will prioritise the return of all documents once VACs are open.”

British nationals abroad who need to apply for a passport:

“If your country‘s VAC is closed, you won’t be able to apply for a British passport. If you urgently need to travel to the UK, you can apply for an emergency travel document.”

For more information on how visa (applicants/applications/extensions) will be impacted during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, send an email to info@compasslaw.org.uk to book a telephone/skype consultation. The fee is £30.

To limit the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), until further notice, our drop-in service will be held remotely on Mondays between 10am – 1:30pm (Bolton). Please be advised that our Preston drop-in service held on Fridays have been cancelled for the foreseeable future.

Compass Immigration Law LTD:

“The direct route to immigration expertise.”

Knowledge of Language and Life in the UK

The British Nationality Act 1981 provides that a person applying for naturalisation must have sufficient knowledge of life in the UK, and of English, Welsh or Scottish Gaelic. Regulations specify how a person can demonstrate knowledge of English language. Since 2007, the requirements for certain Indefinite Leave to Remain applications have included knowledge of English and of life in the UK.

This guidance tells you about the knowledge of language and life requirement for those applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain or Naturalisation as a British citizen.

Here’s what you need to know.

  • Applicants must meet the ‘knowledge of language’ requirement by either:
    • having a speaking and listening qualification in English at B1 level or above of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR)
    • having a degree that was taught or researched in English
    • being a national of a majority English-speaking country and knowledge of ‘life in the UK’ requirements
  • Applicants must meet the ‘life in the UK’ requirement by taking the test booked through gov.uk
  • There are exceptions to these requirements (for a definitive list, please get in touch)

For more information on Knowledge of language and life in the UK, send an email to info@compasslaw.org.uk to book a telephone/skype consultation. The fee is £30.

To limit the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), until further notice, our drop-in service will be held remotely on Mondays between 10am – 1:30pm (Bolton). Please be advised that our Preston drop-in service held on Fridays have been cancelled for the foreseeable future.

Compass Immigration Law LTD:

“The direct route to immigration expertise.”

Points-based system: Tier 1 (Exceptional talent)

Closed to new entrants and extensions on 20 February 2020, this route was replaced by Global Talent. This category was for highly skilled people in the fields of science, humanities, engineering, the Arts (encompassing culture, fashion, architecture, film and television), and digital technology who wished to work in the UK. Applicants were already internationally recognised at the highest level as leaders in their particular field or had demonstrated exceptional promise and were likely to become leaders in their particular field. Applications for settlement as a Tier 1 (Exceptional talent) migrant can continue to be submitted after 20 February 2020.

Here’s what you need to know.

  • Applicants must be 18 or over
  • Entry clearance is mandatory
  • Biometric information is required for applications made in the UK
  • Dependants are allowed
  • Knowledge of language and life is required (for indefinite leave to remain applications)

For more information on Points-based system: Tier 1 (Exceptional talent), send an email to info@compasslaw.org.uk to book a telephone/skype consultation. The fee is £30.

To limit the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), until further notice, our drop-in service will be held remotely on Mondays between 10am – 1:30pm (Bolton). Please be advised that our Preston drop-in service held on Fridays have been cancelled for the foreseeable future.

Compass Immigration Law LTD:

“The direct route to immigration expertise.”

 

CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) STATEMENT

At Compass Immigration Law Ltd, the well-being of our staff and clients is of the utmost importance. To limit the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), for the foreseeable future, appointments will only be issued to clients on an ‘urgent’ basis.

As we continue to monitor the latest updates and advice from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), World Health Organisation (WHO) and Public Health England (PHE), we urge you to help us by not attending the office unless you have been instructed to do so by a member of staff.

If you are experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19 such as:

  • A high temperature
  • A new, continuous cough
  • Shortness of breath

Follow the NHS guidelines at https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/ and do NOT attend the office.

Until further notice, our Friday drop-in service held in Preston will be closed. Though our Monday drop-in service in Bolton will remain open, to minimise risk, we urge you to contact us to arrange telephone/skype consultations where necessary.

If you have any queries or require information about the progress of your case, please get in touch using the contact information below.

Compass Immigration Law Ltd

T: 01204 531 535

E: info@compasslaw.org.uk

Global Talent (Appendix W Workers)

Though Global Talent replaced Tier 1 (Exceptional talent) on 20 February 2020, the Tier 1 (Exceptional talent) route remains open for settlement applications. This category is for talented and promising individuals in the fields of science, engineering, medicine, humanities, digital technology and arts and culture (including film and television, fashion design and architecture) wishing to work in the UK. Applicants will be leaders in their field, or have the potential to be leaders, as determined by a Home Office recognised endorsing body. Furthermore, all migrants entering the UK under the Global Talent category must have valid entry clearance under this route. If they do not, entry will be refused.

Here’s what you need to know.

  • Applicants must be 18 or over
  • Entry clearance is mandatory
  • Biometric information is required for applications made in the UK
  • Dependents are allowed
  • Knowledge of language and life is required (for indefinite leave to remain applications)

For more information on Global Talent (Appendix W Workers), send an email to info@compasslaw.org.uk to book a telephone/skype consultation. The fee is £30.

To limit the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), until further notice, our drop-in service will be held remotely on Mondays between 10am – 1:30pm (Bolton). Please be advised that our Preston drop-in service held on Fridays have been cancelled for the foreseeable future.

Compass Immigration Law LTD:

“The direct route to immigration expertise.”