A lot of times people move to the UK for a better life and wish for their family to be able to join them here. Especially in the south Asian culture where it is believed that it is the responsibility of the child to take care of his or her parents. The rules pertaining to elderly parent visas were a bit more relaxed a few years ago. But today, people who have moved here are worried about their parents living alone back in their home country.

Today on the show I had the privilege of talking to Paul John who is an expert immigration solicitor He said that that if the people who are applying to get their parents here are on benefits and they can prove that they cannot send money back to their home country to maintain the parents and provide them financial support back in the home country then they might be able to apply for getting their parents to live here with them under exceptional circumstances. But he also said that they will still have to show that they can take care of their parents because they cannot use public funds to support the parents. And at that time it might be helpful to show any assets and other financial options that they might have. Paul said that the decisions are made on a case to case basis.

We also spoke about the tourist visa and what are the documents needed for sponsoring someone’s tourist visa. Paul said that normally people have to send an invitation with 6 month’s pay slips and also proof of accommodation and also he said that if calling parents here on a visitor visa it is important to attach the birth certificate too. Also parents who are coming here have to show their financial status. He said that they can apply for a multiple entry visa. Even though the visa may be valid for few years still the person can stay here for only 6 months at a time and then they can go back to their home country and if they immediately return here then they can stay for 3 months . So in a year a person can stay in the country for maximum 9 months.

Paul also spoke about the family of a settled person visa and about switching from some other visa category to this category. He said that people need to show the financial requirement of £18600 and also the need to pass the English language test. He said that the visa is granted for a period of 2 and half years and after that if the person is still not eligible for an ILR then they can apply for an extension which will again be 2 and half years and after which the person can apply for indefinite leave to remain.

Paul also spoke about the spouse visa. He said that if someone is here on a visa and wants to get married here they need to register to get married here and then the person can apply for extension of leave to remain on the spouse visa. He also said that in case of a divorce the home office will usually first contact the person concerned and then take a decision about the visa. They might also give the person a chance to check if they are eligible under another category

WE also spoke about changing over to a spouse visa from a student visa. Paul said that a person has to complete 5 years on a spouse visa before applying for indefinite leave to remain. If the couple gets divorced then there might be a retained right of residence if the partner was an EEA citizen. Paul also said that if the person marries an European citizen and they have lived together for 1 year and if the marriage lasted for more than 3 years then a person can apply for retained right of residence. The applicant also needs to show that the partner and the applicant themselves was working till the date of divorce to be eligible to apply for retained right of residence.

We also spoke about the Tier 2 visa. And currently a person completing 5 years here can apply for ILR but there is a proposal that aims to put a financial limit for the indefinite leave to remain. So there might be a chance that there will be a £ 32500 limit that might be implemented. They said that only people who earn more than £32500 will be granted indefinite leave to remain but if a person does not earn that much then they will not be granted. Paul feels that this is unfair to people and is a discrimination and might not stand up in courts under human rights. But he said that there is still a chance that the law might be implemented.

Paul also said that if a child is born in the UK and then the parents get Indefinite leave to remain then the parents can apply for citizenship for the child and need to send the MN1 form along with the child’s current passport and the birth certificate.

Paul said that a lot of people who want to get married have to go through the interview process and many times people are worried about what can be done if the current leave or the current visa is about to expire so Paul said that these people can apply for a fiancée visa saying that they are intending to get married and are waiting for the process from the home office. He said that they can be given a 6 months visa.

It was as usual a pleasure talking to Paul about immigration.