Immigration is a topic that affects almost everyone in one way or the other. There might be people who are facing problems with their application and some might not know where to apply or which documents need to be submitted for a successful application.

On the 6th of April 2015 a lot a changes were made to certain immigration rules. The tier 1 extensions were closed and also the NHS charges are going to come into force and anyone coming into the country after the 6th of April will have to pay a fixed amount as NHS charges.

Today on the show we had with us immigration lawyer Shalini Bhargava who gave a detailed description of what changes has been made to the rules. She first and foremost spoke about the visa fees that have been hiked. She said that in some categories the fees have gone up by almost 50 percent.

Also the right of appeal has been removed for a lot of categories and this has been replaced by something called an administrative review. In an administrative review one can ask the home office to review the application if it has been rejected but the option of an appeal is not there anymore for most visa categories except when applying on humanitarian grounds or when applying for asylum.

Also when applying for an administrative review no changes can be made to the application, so if someone forgets to attach a document then that person cannot then try to rectify the mistake and something as simple as that might result in the application being rejected even after the review. So it’s very important to check the application and all the documents that have been attached before submitting it.

These changes might probably make things difficult for the people who apply after the 6th of April because the new rules will apply to them. Initially when anyone’s application was rejected then they could appeal against the decision and they had the permission to legally stay in the country till a decision was given on the appeal but now all they can do is ask for an Administrative Review. So it’s very important to make a correct application and not make any mistakes as there will be no chance to rectify them. It’s important to check and recheck before sending out the application.

Shalini said that along with all the negative news with regards to the changes to the immigration rules there has been one positive thing and that is if you make an application and there is something wrong with the application the home office gives you 28 days to rectify your mistake.

She also suggested that people should plan their applications in advance and consult a solicitor if they have any doubts.

It was a pleasure talking to Shalini about immigration and learning about all the changes to the rules that have come into effect.