Immigration is a very vast topic of discussion and I try to cover something different in every show. A few months ago many short term visitor visa categories were combined and put into one broad visa category which is the standard visitor visa. Initially people applying for a family tourist visa had to put in a different application as compared to those applying for maybe a business visa and also the restrictions of each category was different.

On today’s show,GurpalOppal said that since many of the categories like the ‘’business visa’’ or ‘’family visitor visa’’ have been combined into one, if someone is here on for the purpose of tourism only but all of a sudden needs to attend a meeting in the office or attend a seminar which he would have been allowed to do on a business visa it is still permitted when he or she is here on a standard visitor visa. But Gurpal also stressed that attending a seminar or a meeting is fine but doing any kind of work paid or unpaid is not permitted at all. He also gave the examples of the people who have been caught working at establishments when here on a visitor visa. He said that even if it is a family business like a shop and the relative who is here is manning the shop for some time, even if he is not being paid for it, that is still not permitted and the officials can take action.

Gurpal also spoke about the marriage visa and said that if someone intends to get married in the country then they need to come here on a marriage visa. If someone is here on a standard visitor visa then they are not permitted to get married in the country. Also he said that even though the documentation for the fiancé visa is very similar to the spouse visa, the major difference is that on a fiancé visa the couple intend to get married in the country after coming here but on a spouse visa the couple is already married before coming into the country. When getting married in the country the rule of the land prevails and the couple need to get a civil ceremony done by giving a proper notice, maybe attending an interview to assess the genuineness of the relationship and follow that procedure along with any religious ceremony that they wish to have.

Talking about the student visa Gurpal said that initially there was the option of post study work where students could try and secure a job after competing their course, they had a certain period where they could stay in the country legally to look for a job but that had been scrapped a few years back. But now the rules for the students have become stricter, it is very difficult for a student to get admission into a new course and extend the student visa in country. In most cases the student has to go back to their home country and then apply for a student visa once again. There is also a time limit for which students can stay in the country.

Gurpal said that while making nationality applications in place of the passport of spouse that needs to be submitted, people can submit the copy of the entire passport instead of the original if they are planning to travel out of the country in the near future, as the processing time of these applications is very long. But he said that each and every page copy of the passport needs to be submitted and if the Home office want to then they can at any point as you to submit the original passport at a later stage of the application.

Also when someone has obtained British nationality and needs to travel to India, Gurpal said that they need to surrender their Indian passport at the embassy and then they will need to apply for the OCI card or for a visa to visit India, as India does not support dual nationality.

As usual I had a great time talking to Gurpal and discussing the issues that were requested by many people who called in during the show.