Nowadays if I switch on any news channel or even pick up any newspaper there is always some news related to immigration. This is mostly due to the elections coming up round the corner and every political party having an agenda related to immigration. Whichever party wins the election, some changes are bound to take place. Maybe it’s a change in the existing rules or it is about how everyone is concentrating on reducing immigration overall.

Many people might get worried because there are so many changes taking place that keeping track of all these is quite a task. This rings especially true with the younger generation. People who have come here on work visa with a view of settling down here also face a very difficult situation — they want to live in the country and settle here but are also worried about their parents back home and really want to get them here. However, there have been so many changes in the rules that it has become even more difficult to get your aged parents here. In cases where ones parents are happy back in their home countries or where they might have their support system in place it’s understandable but a lot of people who might have difficulty in letting their parents stay alone in their home country and want to get them here to be able to take care of them as is the tradition in many south Asian cultures. But when the eligibility criteria is made so difficult to reach it becomes a difficult choice for them between their duty as children and their career.

Today I had a great discussion on various aspects of immigration with the very experienced solicitor Shalini Bhargava about various visa categories and their eligibility for applying for an ILR. In the past few years a lot of changes in the rules have taken place and very soon the option of obtaining an ILR may as well be closed down.

Shalini also talked about the changes in the Tier 1 visa category and also suggested that people who might just be due to complete the eligibility for the ILR and are short of a couple of months are better of getting an extension before the last date so as to avoid any risk. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

We spoke about the visitor visa and also about the sponsorship part where the person residing here takes full responsibility for providing for either part of or the entire trip. Shalini also said that people have to be careful when sponsoring someone — they must be aware that if the person whom they are sponsoring faces any problem like if the person falls ill then only the emergency costs will be taken care of by NHS and the cost for the remaining treatment will have to be paid for by the sponsor and that might turn out to be very expensive. So whenever you are planning to sponsor anyone it’s better to be aware of the responsibilities that come along with it.

She also said that in most cases where it’s not just a simple case, it’s always better to take an opinion from the solicitor.