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Article 50 Gears are Greased…

In All, Brexit by Adam

Slowly but surely it is beginning to feel as though the Brexit cogs are turning and all we can hope for now is that they’ve been greased enough not to get stuck. Article 50 has had its nod from the House of Commons vote – an overwhelming 494 to 122 in favour achieved on Wednesday – as a Bill with no amendments. Of course that doesn’t give Theresa May’s target end of March deadline a guarantee until the House of Lords pass it, too. Yes, the “House of Lords” – the unelected Lords who decide on laws that our sovereign Parliament has independent power to enact without EU participation. It might be extremely close to Article 50 being triggered and Brexit becoming a reality, but there are still those who are shaking their heads at the number of lies told …

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Partner Places in the UK – surely not “Sold out”

In All, Brexit, UK Visa Charges by Adam

Sometimes all that matters is getting to be with your partner; the one you love. Getting a visa for your loved one is not a simple task in the UK. The Home Office charges a lot of money for applications and then look for the slightest detail to refuse them.  Brexit is clearly going to make it harder for everyone as the Government becomes more desperate to reduce numbers of immigration. Further controls for partner visa’s could be on the way when Brexit finally begins, too. It’s almost as if “love” is not part of the plan for the UK. The whole system can seem cruel, and you have to be ready to literally prove that your relationship is genuine. A couple might also find it difficult to meet strict financial criteria and documentary evidence requirements. All that Brexit is …

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Permanent Residency: Will Brexit ever let us Settle?

In All, Brexit by Adam

The Brexit mess has left us all very worried about what the future holds for your work and family life. Like so many other hard-working people from the EU, all you want to know is where you can settle and feel “at home.” The situation is not fair – especially when you didn’t even have a vote in the referendum. Under the current rules, you need to have been in the UK for at least five years before applying for Permanent Residency (PR). So even if you and your family have been in the UK for two or three years there isn’t anything you can do to change your situation. But how can you plan for the future until you know where you can settle?  If you already have PR, will you be pressured to register as a British Citizen …

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Settlement for Partners in the UK: a fair deal?

In All, Brexit, Settlement Visa by Adam

As the UK looms ever closer to Brexit, the general feeling towards immigration continues to be negative. Brexit voters might not have what they thought they wanted.  Further stringent controls on applying for settlement visas for partners could be on the way, especially for EU nationals. It appears that “love” is not part of the Brexit plan. What seems very hard to understand is just how cold and calculated the entire matter is. When it comes to trade and business deals it is understandable, but surely more thought should be put into people fighting to get their loved ones to the UK.  It’s a complicated process, too. It might look simple on the surface but currently it costs non-EEA families a small fortune. There is an increasing need to meet high financial criteria, and the Home Office will find any tiny …

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Permanent Residency: Unplanned, Uncertain and Unfair

In All, Brexit, Permanent Residency by Adam

Ever since we were all jolted upright by the Brexit result we have been waiting to hear plans of how it might affect all our lives in the UK. However, when it comes to EU nationals currently living and working in the UK, the uncertainty of their future must be a constant worry. There is still no guarantee that they will even be afforded automatic Permanent Residency (PR). It has been hinted at and suggested, but without any promise on the table millions of people are stuck in limbo. Permanent Residency can only be applied for by an EU national with five or more years living in the UK, under current immigration rules. Even then, PR is not guaranteed and a thorough application has to be made. Under the free movement arrangement EU workers don’t have to opt for or worry …

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Spouse Visa Refusal: Feeling a World Apart

In All, Appeals, Brexit by Adam

One of the most challenging sides of UK immigration law is to understand that no matter how strongly you feel, how much you love, or how hard you work…in the end, a decision is made by someone who will judge your application solely on the basis of the information you provide. When it comes to spouses wanting to live and settle together in the UK, a Spouse Visa Refusal can feel like an exceptionally personal attack. But it isn’t. It is just “business.” And it is a business the UK Home Office is making a lot of money out of. Spouse Visa Refusals – why do they happen? As with a great many visa refusals, Spouse Visa Refusals general occur when the Home Office have found any slight detail on your application that they can claim fails to meet requirements. Often …

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Brexit and British Citizenship: a Compatibility Crisis?

In All, Brexit, British Citizenship by Adam

With Trump’s attitude to immigration ignoring the irony of his own past, there is a great risk that there could be implications for attitudes towards immigration in general. We are no angels either, as I have discussed in previous blogs. Rising visa and appeal prices (and U-turns); increases in salary requirements; guesses on what the EU migration policy will be post-Brexit; all bubbling up tension for what might be coming over the next two years. British Citizenship is looking even more precious than before. In the past we have rubbed shoulders closely with the US quite significantly on many world issues, not least the whole Blair/Bush affair.  Some still blame the current climate of terror on that earlier intervention back in 2001 onwards. The “War On Terror” – as it was named – is still rippling and rumbling, and there are …

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Brexit Shambles: or a cover for Institutional Racism?

In All, Brexit, Brexit Plan, Immigration by Adam

Theresa May is a very different kind of PM to David Cameron and pretty much all recent male PMs since Blair. She isn’t the “PR” washed, personality-bleached usual character we see at the helm, preened and polished by PR, carrying a great big whip.  No: May is more private, slithery and calculating. And that is why I am not sure I believe Brexit Shambles is all it seems. Martin Kettle wrote a compelling article today (“For Theresa May, immigration matters more than the economy”) highlighting many of the reasons how and why May’s focus seems to be skewed in such a way. However, it still feels that somehow a different kind of narrative is being played, and all the pledges to “unite” are not so sincere. After all, the “all in this together” stance from David Cameron proved to be an …

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Brexit Shambles: Why don’t we listen to our Experts?

In All, Brexit, Brexit Plan by Adam

Sir Ivan Rogers is a remarkably experienced, respected and decorated expert in international negotiations – so much so he was knighted in the 2016 honours list. His resignation from his position in Brussels marks another example of the Brexit Shambles we find ourselves in. It is hard to find anything positive that has been said, or could be said, about the process towards triggering Article 50 in March. “March 2017” might still sound a long way off, but it is merely a few months away now.  Small businesses and the self employed are grimacing at their own Tax Returns with a begrudge, but clearer focus than our own Prime Minister seems to have a handle on… the entire independent future of the whole of the UK. Brexit Shambles?  “Shambles” is such a British word – soon it could turn into …

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EU Migrants: Benefits in the Firing Line

In All, Brexit by Adam

It would be hard to be jovial about the new year if your home or job was under threat. However, that is the reality for EU migrants in the UK, welcoming in a new year of uncertainty. Moreover, the cost of EU Migrant benefits is right in the cross-hairs, too. As last year drew to a close, Theresa May was still dodging a commitment to guaranteeing the security of EU migrants in post Brexit UK. For some reason she seems to be clinging onto the stalemate situation of demanding that the EU shows its hand on the issue first. Demanding that UK expats are protected before she will return such a gesture could be a dangerous way to play the EU negotiation game. One of the main problems with the position is that it appears to be entirely political. Both the TUC …