I was recently helping a client with an application for permanent residence. When the application was approved, the client qualified to apply for British citizenship, and I asked if we could help with this next application. To my dismay, he told me that citizenship is easy – why would he need legal help? Or do I think it is complicated?
British citizenship has never been a question of black and white, yes or no, British or not British. There have always been subtleties and nuances and, if we think of Citizens of UK Colonies (CUKCs) or British Overseas Citizens, one may even suspect some form of duplicity about the concept.
There is a number of good reasons not to pass this general election, but we have selected just five most obvious ones, or most important from an immigration lawyer’s perspective. Here are five reasons why WE believe that things should change and your vote can make a difference.
Children born in the UK to migrants who have indefinite leave to remain or to EEA nationals with permanent right of residence are British by birth. But what if the parent’s right of permanent residence is unconfirmed?
Not every child born in the UK is a British citizen by birth. But every child can be registered at the discretion of the Secretary of State. The Home Office should not be confused as to the basis for exercise of discretion. It is not “exceptionality” that has to be addressed, but the child’s best interests and the child’s most probable place of residence in the foreseeable future.
Cost of immigration appeals has increased dramatically overnight. This affects not only migrants, it is a telltale of what is happening with the society in Brexiting Britain. Where the law is uncertain or simply cannot be enforced, political agenda dictates decision without much regard to the law. The next thing that happens is that slogans substitute substance. The increase of immigration appeal fees is introduced under the slogan “justice for all”.
We will still remain a party to the European Convention on Human Rights. When asked what the point would be, the post-Brexit Secretary for Justice says “the British Bill of Rights will protect us in a better way”.
The absurdity of this statement made me wonder if I was reading thedailymash. I wasn’t. It may be worth explaining why it is SO nonsensical, and so fundamentally untrue…
Brexit will affect us all, independently of background, migrants or not, Europeans or Africans. From an immigration lawyer’s perspective, my strong recommendation for EU nationals is to apply for a document certifying permanent right of residence. It was not, and still is not, mandatory to have this document. However, it became of considerable value in November 2015 when a new rule made it mandatory to hold this document before applying for British citizenship.
On 2 December 2015 the Home Office issued a new guidance for decision makers in relation to visitor visa applications. This document confirms the policy of differential treatment of applications on the basis of the applicant’s country of residence or nationality (visitors from the war affected zones are not to be admitted) and visitors with family ties in the UK will find it more difficult to visit if they have no “anchor” in the country of origin. How this new Guidance lies with the provisions of the Race Discrimination Act is probably a matter to be tested.
There is an old saying, “marry in haste, repent at leisure”. Fortunately, this risk will become less likely from March 2 2015. The period for giving Notice of Marriage will extend from 15 to 28 days. And if the Home Office consider there are reasons to suspect a “sham marriage”, you may see your Notice period extended to a full 70 day.