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 firstname.lastname@example.org or use our website chat tool from Monday - Friday 9:00am to 5:30pm. Qualified and knowledgeable lawyers will answer your queries.
Technological development, like any major socio-economic change is both a blessing and a curse. The industrial revolution led to an explosion of wealth and prosperity, but the cost to our planet's health is only now being calculated. The digital revolution, which brought us Skype, WhatsApp, Facebook, and the like, has increased our ability to communicate, but at a cost to our mental health, especially in the case of young people.
The internet has also provided governments around the world, including Britain's, the ability to tighten its immigration system by stealth. After all, if parents and children can see and talk to each other in real-time, is it so important they actually reside in the same country? Or even the same continent?
You may not believe such a cruel attitude could exist in a civilised nation, but separating children from one of their parents happens all the time in the UK. In family law, such an action would see the person denying access hauled before a judge and being made subject to a Court Order, stating that the denied parent must be allowed to spend time with their child.
How can one part of English law, i.e. family, be focused on keeping parents and children together, and their other, immigration law, is willingly tearing them apart?
"Money, money, money … it's a rich man's world"
The above line from the classic ABBA song, Money, Money, Money applies perfectly to obtaining a UK Spouse Visa, especially if the non-EU/EEA migrant has dependent children.
To successfully obtain a Spouse Visa, you must meet the following criteria:
• Your spouse/civil partner must be a British Citizen or settled in the UK
• You must have met each other and be legally married
• You must intend to live with your sponsor and have adequate accommodation
• Your sponsor must meet the minimum income threshold of earning £18,600 per year (plus an additional £3,800 for the first child and £2,400 for each additional child)
• You must meet the English language requirements
The initial Spouse Visa is granted for 33 months. You can then apply for a 30-month extension. The above criteria must be evidenced again when you apply for a UK Spouse Visa extension. Furthermore, to be granted an extension, you will also need to show you have been living together as husband and wife (or as a same-sex married couple). After five years, you can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain.
Meeting the minimum income threshold is the most challenging aspect of obtaining a UK Spouse Visa. It is estimated that over 40 o;f British people could not meet the threshold and this rises to over 50 f;or female sponsoring spouses.
Following a landmark Supreme Court ruling in 2017, decision makers now have to consider the best interests of the child and any alternative sources of funding when deciding whether to grant entry clearance via the Spouse Visa route.
In 2015, the Children's Commissioner for England published a paper produced by Middlesex University and the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants, on the impact of the then recently introduced minimum income threshold.
The study found that the UK had the least family-friendly family reunification policies out of 38 developed countries largely because of the minimum income requirement.
In a statement, the Children's Commissioner for England, Anne Longfield OBE, said:
"There is a wealth of evidence which indicates that children are far more likely to thrive when they are raised by parents in a warm, stable and loving family environment and that is why I am a strong supporter of family-friendly policies.
"I am therefore very concerned that the Immigration Rules introduced in July 2012 actively drive families apart and leave British children able to communicate with one parent only via Skype.
"Many of the children interviewed for this research suffer from stress and anxiety, affecting their well-being and development. It is also likely to have an impact on their educational attainment and outcomes because they have been separated from a parent, due to these inflexible rules which take little account of regional income levels or family support available.
"We are not talking about having unrestricted access but we need to put the heart back into this policy and consider the profound impact the rules have on this group of British children and their families."
Co-author Dr Helena Wray Associate Professor of Law at Middlesex University, said:
"Our research shows that the financial requirements are much more onerous than they need to be to protect the public purse and mean that British families cannot live together in the UK even when this is the only practical option.
"The result has been the separation of parents and children, heartache and misery. Some families cannot see how they can ever meet the rules and separation may be permanent.
"The rules urgently need to be made more flexible so that affected children, the vast majority of whom are British citizens, can grow up in their own country with both their parents."
Although UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) now must consider the best interests of any children involved in any family visa application, there remain many children who are separated from a parent thanks to the minimum income requirement. Some parents have resorted to the "Surinder Singh" route to get their non-EU partners into the country. This involves working in another nation in the European Economic Area (EEA) for a period. When the couple return to the UK, the right of the non-EU/EEA spouse to live in the UK will be determined under European Union (EU) rules rather than UK immigration laws. However, now that Britain has formally left the EU, this route will close at the end of the transition period (currently set at 31 December 2020).
The best course of action to successfully obtaining a Spouse Visa is to work with a Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) registered immigration solicitors. They can examine your application and include a detailed covering letter setting out:
• the fact you have children and the welfare matters that must be considered by the decision-maker
• any alternative sources of funding
• any exceptional circumstances which would result in refusal leading to unjustifiably harsh consequences for you or your family
If you do not meet the minimum income threshold and/or your visa has been refused, don't despair. Take control and seek expert legal advice. In many cases, the UKVI reverses its refusal decision following a challenge from a reputable immigration law firm.
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