COVID-19 SERVICE UPDATE: Our services remain fully operational with video conferencing and remote working allowing us to offer an uninterrupted and high-quality service.
✔ Call on 0203 744 2797, email email@example.com or use our website chat tool from Monday - Friday 9:00am to 5:30pm. Qualified and knowledgeable lawyers will answer your queries.
For international couples living in the UK, where one person is on a Spouse Visa, Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) equals security. There is a good reason for this as the consequences of not having an ILR can be terrible.
Take the case of Albert Dolbec, 90, a US citizen, who has been married to his wife Dawn, 84, for 25 years. For two and a half years, this elderly couple, who have lived in Britain for over quarter of a century, had to fight to prevent the Home Office sending Mr Dolbec back to America to apply for a visa so he could legally live in the UK. This was because the department believed that Mr Dolbec's ILR had been revoked.
Following a lengthy legal battle, which included contacting the couple's local MP, the Home Office reviewed and reversed its decision, stating:
"It has been determined that your indefinite leave to remain in the UK was never revoked.
"When you entered the UK in 1997, it appears that the ILR stamp in your passport may have been overlooked and you were issued leave to enter as a visitor.
"However ...there was no requirement for you to apply for leave to remain. Please accept our sincerest apologies for any difficulty, stress or inconvenience this may have caused you, your spouse and your family."
Despite the happy ending, we must remember that for over two years, Home Office officials were determined to force a man in his late 80s fly to a country where he had no home and nowhere to stay, just so he could remain in Britain. His wife was too unwell to travel and his family were convinced the journey would kill him.
The told The Guardian that they are the lucky ones.
"... we're only celebrating today because we're educated, persistent and financially able to have fought for all these years. "Despite all that, it was only when we raised public attention, through our MP and the media, that the Home Office began to care enough to really look properly at our case.
"What about all the families without our advantages? They have to accept wrong Home Office decisions and see their families destroyed as a result."
To ensure you do not suffer the emotional and financial distress of having your ILR refused or not recognised in the future, take the following steps when applying.
You're probably thinking "well, of course, they would say that - they are immigration lawyers". Yes, we are, and we would be delighted to have your business. But the important point we are making is that it is crucial to invest in legal advice when making an ILR application as many are refused. When choosing a Solicitor to instruct, make sure the Solicitors Regulation Authority regulates them and the firm specialise in immigration law. The Home Office is known to reject applications for the flimsiest of reasons - a specialist immigration Solicitor will ensure you give them no opportunity to decline your application.
A well-respected immigration Solicitor can attach a letter of Representation to your application, detailing the merits of your case and drawing attention to relevant immigration laws. This will go a long way in positively supporting your application.
Not meeting the continuous residence requirement is a common reason for Settlement refusal. Continuous residence refers to the amount of time you have spent in the UK, allowing you to qualify for ILR. For a Spouse Visa, you must have been living in the UK for five years.
You can leave the UK during the continuous residence for up to:
Note - It is imperative to think ahead if you wish to apply for British Citizenship in the future. When applying for Settlement, you are allowed to be outside of the UK for up to 180 days in any given year. However, you cannot be outside of the UK for more than 90 days in any 12-month period in the five years preceding a British Citizenship application.
Applicants for Settlement in the UK have to pass the Life in the UK Test. Do not underestimate this - many British Citizens would spectacularly fail if they were required to undertake the exam.
There are several practice tests available online. Questions are laid out in a multiple-choice, or true or false format and include:
The Life in the UK Test has been likened to a "bad pub quiz" by Durham University academic Dr Thom Brooks, who commented.
"The biggest surprise is the lack of attention successive governments have paid to ensuring the test is fair and not out of date - a surprise even bigger than the sometimes-shocking questions that can be found on the test.
"Many citizens that were born and bred in the UK would struggle to know the answers to many of these questions.
"Britain will not be more cohesive because more have heard about the Battle of Trafalgar, but rather if future citizens understand better how to participate in daily British life and make a contribution."
Despite its well-known flaws (and frankly ridiculous reason for existence), at present, the Life in the UK Test is mandatory. Ensure you study widely and practice mock tests to prepare. Although you can retake the test as many times as you need, each attempt will cost you £50.
Obtaining your ILR results in a sigh (often tears) of relief for couples together in the UK on a Spouse Visa. Make sure your marriage story has a happy conclusion by seeking expert advice before making your Settlement application.
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