Wednesday, 22 August 2012

It's 5 years since Bulgaria & Romanian joined the EU in 2007. Time to apply for Permanent Residency and British Citizenship? But can you find the UKBA Guidance?

If you can't find any Guidance - it's because it has not been properly written. For example, EEA4 form still says 'This info does not apply to Bulgarian/Romanian nationals' but why not? Like nationals of all other EU countries, Bulgarian and Romanian nationals can apply for Permanent Residency after 5 years of 'exercising Treaty rights' in the UK, such as after 5 years of working, studying or being self-employed. The EEA4 guidance has simply not been updated yet. This is because 2012 is the 1st year when such applications are possible, since joining the EU in 2007.

Did you know there is no obligation to apply for Permanent Residency? On one hand, this status comes automatically, after exercising European Treaty rights in the UK for 5 years. There is no 'visa stamp' which comes automatically but status gets achieved without having to apply for a 'visa stamp'.

On the other hand, 1 more year later it is possible to apply straight for British Citizenship, even without applying for a Permanent Residency first. Remember, applicantions for Permanent Residency under European law would take up to 6 months and it is only postal (there is no same- day service) and original passport would be led by the UK Border Agency.

Let's imagine you have worked in the UK for 5 years continuously, it would be called 'exercising Treaty rights as a worker'. You could apply for Permanent Residency stamp but you don't have to. If you do apply, it am take 6 months, as above, with passport held by the UKBA.

Another year later and you could apply for British Citizenship, ie after 6 years in he UK (not 5 years as many people think). So, first applications will be in 2013.

So, when a PR application has been approved, approx 6 months later, it would be only another 6 months and you could apply for British Citizenship, with pretty much the same documents again. It may take another 6 months but there is no need to send an original passport, it is possible to apply without original passport and travel while your application is being considered.

It is perfectly legal to apply straight for British Citizenship, without applying for a Permanent Residency stamp!

You are welcome to book our advice session for a detailed consultation or to make an application with out help. For procedure and service fees please contact us, email or visit .
Authorised by The OISC, ref F200800152

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

When to extend Tier 1 General visa?

We are often asked by the clients when to extend a Tier 1 General visa? When is the earliest? 

Answer: You can extend your Tier 1 General visa anytime, as early as you want (but before it expires).

There is no rule on extending it only within last 3 months or within 28 days on the current visa, as many people tend to think. Tier 1 General extension can be anytime, it just may be more sensible not to extend too early. 

If you extend earlier than 3 months before your visa expires then your new visa will start on the day of decision, in other words, you'd lose some time on your current visa. If you are planning to apply for an ILR based on the two Tier 1 visas then you'd be short of time and would have to do another extension, which in most cases is unnecessary. 
However, if you had other visas before Tier 1 which can be combined with Tier 1, such as HSMP or Work Permit or some (only some!) Tier 2 Intra-Company Transfer visas, then you probably won't need another extension.

If you extend your visa within 3 months before it expires then the UKBA tends to issue a visa, so that you won't be losing any time on your current visa and shouldn't need another extension.

Examples when applicants choose to extend early: those who travel a lot on work and won't be able to extend later; those who are working abroad and it is the only time they can time off or perhaps there are family circumstances which prevent from coming to the UK later; some clients want to apply for a mortgage and banks want a longer visa; some employer want to see a visa for at least f months or at least a year to offer a job. 

Fore more individual advice book our advice session now, over email or at our office at Tower Hill in Central London, email or visit 

Monday, 6 August 2012

Fast SCHENGEN visa!

If you cannot get an appointment we can help, we have worked with the French and Portuguse Embassies in London for years! We submit applications using separate system of appointments for representatives. French visa takes 4 working days from the appointment date for most nationals (S.African, Indian, Russian, Thai, Chinese, Turkish etc), takes 2-3 weeks for some nationals. Portuguese visa takes 1 week from a Tuesday. Contact us:

Saturday, 4 August 2012

Child born in the UK. Does he/she need a visa? Does he/she become a British Citizen?

There are plenty of Rules governing children who are born in the UK, so we'll try to keep the answer simple.

A child born in the UK does NOT automatically become British (unlike in America). Instead, it depends on child's parents status.

1) If child's parent (one or both) is British then the child will be a British citizen too.

2) If child's parent (one or both) is not British but has permanent residency in the UK, ie holds an Indefinite Leave to Remain or Permanent Residency under European law, then the child will be British also (even if both parents aren't British).

3) If the child's parents are both not permanent residents and hold visas, such as Tier 1, Tier 2, Work Permit etc, then the child will NOT be British, even though he/she was born in the UK. In such cases a child can be given a dependant visa on his/her parents. This can be done as a separate application, though it's not compulsory and can be done instead at the time of parents' next application, such as at the time of Tier 1 extension.

3.1) Once child's parent (one or both) gets an ILR, ie becomes a permanent resident in the UK, then the child can be registered as British straight away, even before parent(s) qualify for Citizenship themselves.

For example, mother and father have a Tier 1 General and a dependant visas. They have a child who was just born in the UK. At the time of Tier 1 extension the child gets a Tier 1 dependant visa also while parents get a Tier 1 extension. Later parents apply for an ILR. Once ILR has been granted to the parent(s) this child can be registered as British and then get a UK passport. Parents, however, will be waiting for another year to apply for British Citizenship.

3.2) Does the child need to be included in the ILR application? Costing another £689! Answer: no, he/she doesn't need to be included, saving £689 in UKBA official fees. Instead in the above example, parents can apply for an ILR on their own. Once they have an ILR, child can be registered as British, as above.

4) What is the difference between 'will be British' and 'can be registered as British'?

In points 1) and 2) the child 'will be British' from birth meaning parents can just apply for his/her UK passport, in the same way as British parents apply: sending documents to IPS (Identity and Passport Service), paying a passport fee and getting a passport.

In point 3) the child will need to be registered as British first meaning submitting a Registration application to the UK Border Agency, similar to  a visa application process, paying a fee (£570 on August 2012), waiting for a decision. Once decision has been made - and decision is positive - then parents can apply for a UK passport for the child to IPS, same process as above.

Fore more individual advice book our advice session now, over email or at our office at Tower Hill in Central London, email or visit

Same-day Premium service for UK visas - the benefits

It is useful if you need to travel abroad and cannot be without your passport. But the main benefit in our opinion is, although more expensive, it allows the applicant to know result right on the day, including if there are any problems, rather than waiting for 3-4 months postal service and then possibly being told there is a problem or even that application has been refused.

We at 1st 4Immigration are authorised by The UK Border Agency to submit clients' visa applications using this service in Croydon, south London. The slots (appointments) we use are separate from the ones offerred to the general public, our cases are submitted to a separate Team who deals with cases from representatives.

We can submit the following visa applications every week but need to give the Home Office details of an individual client in advance.

Same-day service is available for applications:
- Indefinite Leave to Remain for those holding Tier 1 General, Tier 2 General, Work Permit, Spouse/Partner , Ancestral visas.
- Tier 1 General extensions.
- Tier 2 General and Intra-Company Transfer.
- Tier 4 Student.
- Extensions for domestic workers.
- Ancestral visa extension.
- Visas for dependants, such as for a child born in the UK whose parents are here on Tier 1 visa or Work Permit.

Book our advice session now, email: or visit