Having come to the UK from outside of the EEA to work on a tier 2 visa, many people each year marry or enter into a civil partnership with a British spouse and have a child. This then opens up a new range of options for the tier 2 visa holder, potentially allowing them to switch to another visa type, or even to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR).
As a tier 2 visa holder, if you have a British partner/spouse and child, you will be able to switch to another visa type, or even for ILR. Your immigration options will depend on your exact circumstances and plans for the future; these options include:
Applying for ILR after five years in the UK on a tier 2 visa
If you have already been working in the UK for five or more years and have been absent from the country for no more than 180 days in any consecutive 12-month period during that time, you may be eligible to apply for ILR. This is possible based on your time in the UK rather than your British partner and/or child. You will also need to prove that you meet the minimum income requirement as follows:
Switch to a family visa - Partner or spouse
Another option is to apply for a family visa as a spouse or partner. The main benefit of a family visa, when compared to a tier 2 visa, is that you will no longer be subject to immigration restrictions on your work (you will not be allowed to access funds, however). You can also apply to switch to a family visa while already in the UK, meaning you will not need to leave your partner and child.
The downside of switching from a tier 2 to a family visa, however, is that the time you have accrued in the UK towards ILR will be reset. Hence if you have spent several years already in the UK, this may be an important consideration.
To switch from a tier 2 visa to a spouse/partner family visa, you will need to meet at least one of the following requirements:
Crucially, if you do not meet one of these requirements, you may still be eligible if:
Under the first of these requirements, if you are ineligible to apply for a family visa on the basis of your relationship with your child's partner, you may be able to apply if your child is registered as a British citizen.
Switch to a family visa - Parent
You can apply for a family visa as a parent, but the current immigration rules make it clear that if you are eligible to apply as a partner, you must do so. To apply for a family visa as a parent of a British child, the child must be either under 18 when you apply or have been under 18 when you were first granted leave to be in the UK and currently not living an independent life (i.e. they still live at home, are not married and do not have children). It is important under this visa route that you have sole or shared parental responsibility for your British child. As part of the application process, you may need to provide evidence that you are currently playing an active role in your child's life. Such evidence may include a letter from the child's school confirming that you drop off / collect your child and attend parent's evenings, or from the child's other parent explaining your contact with your child.
The Home Office will also verify that you meet the English language requirement and can support yourself in the UK without seeking access to public funds.
If your application for a family visa (partner or parent) is successful, you will be given permission to remain in the UK for 2.5 years, after which you can then apply to extend for a further 2.5 years. At this point, you will then be able to apply for ILR.
The decision as to whether you should switch from a tier 2 visa, and if so, which visa you should then apply for will depend on your mix of circumstances. If you are already close to ILR eligibility, remaining on a tier 2 visa may be preferable given that the time you have already been in the UK will not be reset for the purposes of ILR eligibility. Most importantly, if you are unsure of the best option for you and your family, it is highly advisable to speak to immigration Solicitors. They will listen to the details of your case and ask questions that will allow them to recommend the best course of action. This may not only save you money (e.g. by reducing the amount of money you pay towards the healthcare surcharge and application fees) but may also reduce the time needed to secure ILR and citizenship, allowing you to focus on enjoying your family life in the UK.
It's a shame that you dont have an 'Excellent' star rating on here, as my experience with Reiss Edwards is nothing short of an excellent rating. They handled my application for an Indefinite Leave to remain in April 2014 and did my husband's one very recently including my daughter. Every time i have approached them, they have continued to treat me with courtesy, respect and patience. Amar was indeed a very thorough and professional gentleman. He is very knowledgeable, corporative and engaging. He responded to my emails, calls and enquiries promptly. He was always reassuring. I could not have asked for a better Immigration service. I would recommend them over and over again for anyone looking for an immigration advice. They gave me a free immigration advice when i called them, and the quality of the advice was something other charge thousands for. If you need a particular, name, Amar would be it. He exemplifies, for me, the true, professional gentleman. He is a valuable asset to Reiss Edwards.
I am glad that i instructed Reiss Edwards on my visa matter. It started with a 20 minutes free immigration advice. I met with Amar to discuss my ILR refusal. He gave me a great deal of quality advice and decided to take on my messy case. I had doubts on the merits of my case by he was relatively convinced he could win it. That made me quite secure. To be honest, things did not start as quick as I would have wanted, but they kept on communicating the process and state of things to me.A big thank you to Verusha and Foram. They were also very helpful. Brilliant and informative. Their fee was fair and reasonable, especially if you compare them to other law firms and immigration law firms in London; some of whom even told me that i would not be able to get an indefinte leave to remain in this country. The process was long but was worth it. In the end, a big thank you to Reiss Edwards.
Investing over 2 million pounds is defintely not a routine decision. We had to make sure that the Tier 1 investor immigration lawyers that we'd be picking has to be one of the best within the Tier 1 investor category. We contacted Reiss Edwards and they were able to get us not only the Tier 1 investor visa but also suggested profitable investment portfolios in addition to what we already had in mind.
TI have just had British Citizenship application approved. Prior to making the application, i was not sure which law firm i should hire to facilitate the paperwork. After a few hours of research, i decided to go with Reiss Edwards and i must confess that i wasnt disappointed. The immigration lawyers at Reiss Edwards handled my case well and they really knew what they were doing. They were fully aware of what documents I needed and it was easy for them to tell if my case was going to be easy or not. At the end of the day, I have not received my British citizenship within 3 months. If anyone is looking for a good immigration lawyer to handle thier case, contact Reiss Edwards.
My wife's spouse visa extension application was refused by the Home Office and they gave her 14 days to leave the country. We contacted Reiss Edwards and they said "OK don't worry we will sort this out". They put together the list of documents for me to obtain and they prepared a bundle which was as thick as the printer it came out from.We followed everything they asked us to do and in the end we won our appeal and got our spouse visa. We can't recommend them enough and we have promised ourselves never to make any more UK visa applications without them.
The team of lawyers at Reiss Edwards are very professional and friendly people. Their experience in and around UK immigration law is quite extensive; be sure that you application is in safe and competent hands. My immigration matter was an indefinite leave to remain application based on Tier 1 on a self-employment basis. The immigration lawyers at Reiss Edwards made sure that the application was perfect and ready to be accepted. I got a positive decision and I recommend them highly for anyone who needs a UK immigration help.
I contacted Reiss Edwards to help me with my wife's UK settlement visa. They acted with utmost professionalism throughout the entire application. I spoke with Joe Dinh, he is an immigration solicitor and he is one of the best solicitors out there. He ensured that there was little to no room for error. At some point I thought he was over cautious. He remained calmed and continued to assure us on our immigration matter. Most people in his position would have panicked but he was calmed and continued to assure us. We received out positive outcome very quickly.
I have been using Reiss Edwards for three years now for my family's immigration application. Both for my initial application and extension. They are really affordable. The team of solicitors at this firm are probably one of the most efficient and economical in terms of cost. They offered free advice over the phone and spent good time with us before inviting us for consultation.
Reiss Edwards is a top notch immigration service company. The way they handled our documentation and also the list of documents they sent was efficient and top quality. They helped us professionally throughout the process. We are very happy with the immigration advice we received from the team. We highly recommend them.
I used Reiss Edwards immigration lawyers to assist with my immigration matter and that of my family. It was an EX1 application. They dealt with the matter properly and even when complications were coming up from the Home Office, they helped resolve the issue properly. They are very professional and are very popular in London. I am happy to have worked with them.
This is the only firm that i spoke with that didn't ask for money before listening to me, will be using them again.
I used Reiss Edwards for my Tier 2 visa application and it was successful. The team was ever present and happy to answer my question. The caseworker that dealing with my case went on holiday yet by case did not suffer one bit. Another lawyer stepped and took over the case without any hassle.
My Tier 1 Investor Visa was dealt with quickly and without issue. Would recommend Reiss Edwards as an Immigration law firm in London. Thank you to the team.
530 ReviewsREAD ALL REVIEWS