Just recently I watched a debate on television about Immigration and how it’s a major agenda for all the political parties. Many people were of the opinion that immigration has such a positive effect on the economy that the negative effects if any can easily be ignored. Also there are various studies suggesting that increase in the migration has had a Positive Effect Overall.  A lot of changes have been made to the immigration rules many of which people are not happy about especially the strict rules with regards to getting aged parents here on a permanent visa.

Today I had the pleasure of talking to Gurpal Oppal about immigration. He said that before 2012 the rules regarding getting your parents here were very simple and it was comparatively easy to get parents here if they were above the age of 65 and if they were financially dependent on you. But after 2012 there have been major changes and now if someone wants to get their parents here then they need to prove the following

  • they need long-term care to do every day personal and household tasks
  • the care they need is not available or affordable in the country they live in
  • the person they will  be joining in the UK will be able to support, accommodate and care for them  without claiming public funds for at least 5 years
  • they are 18 or over

The eligibility criteria has been made so strict making it difficult for aged parents to come and live in this country. So the only option available to them is to keep coming here on a visitor visa.

Gurpal also explained the meaning of Naturalisation. He said that it’s a procedure by which someone who has come to UK and has lived here for a number of years can obtain British nationality. He said that there are basically 2 ways of obtaining nationality.

  • 5 year Route

Where a person has been here legally for 5 years and out of that 1 year he has had indefinite leave to remain and the person has not been out of the country for more than 450 days and not more than 90 days in last one year. Also he has knowledge of English, passed life in UK test and  good character test.

  • Married to a British Citizen

He said that those who are married to British partners then they need to be here for 3 years before they can apply for nationality. And they need to satisfy all the other conditions like good character and knowledge of English too. Also they should not have been out of the country for more than 270 days in total and not more than 90 days in the last year

Gurpal also said that is someone’s passport has expired and they have applied and a got a new passport but the ILR stamp or all other visa stamps are in the old passport then usually there is no need to pay an extra fee to get the stamp transferred to the need passport. People need to carry both the old and new passport with them when travelling and there will be no problem. But if someone wants to get the visa stamp transferred to the new passport then they need to fill up a form named NTL and pay a small fee and send the application to the home office.

Also Gurpal spoke about the visitor visa. When someone wants to sponsor another person’s visa then these are the documents that need to be submitted

  • sponsorship form needs to submitted
  • passport copy
  • 2-3 months bank statements
  • pay slips or P60
  • home bills like utility bill or council tax bill
  • people need to show that they can sponsor the person coming here and they will not need to use public funds

Also the person who wants to come here needs to submit the following documents when applying

  • passport
  • property details
  • financial details
  • Also he said that the person applying has to show that they intend to go back for which they can show family relations or property etc…

 Gurpal also explained the ‘’Surinder Singh Route’’ as it’s famously called. He said that it’s a very famous ruling that was made many years ago and it’s a way for the European partners to come to UK If there is a European citizen living in the UK and he wants to sponsor his spouse from India or any other 3rd world country then he can do so easily and he does not need to show the £ 18600 income or even the English language test.

Also if a British citizen lives in a European country for a certain amount of time and works there then they can bring their partners in the UK by using the Surinder Singh Route and they will sort of bypass the rules regarding the minimum income or English language test. The EU rules will prevail over the UK rules in this case.

I had a great time talking to Gurpal and learning the different aspects of Immigration!!