Thursday, 27 June 2013

New testimonial on Spouse visa for an American citizen who applied in the US.

"Thanks so much for your help and reassurance throughout this process. You went above and beyond; always providing prompt responses and meticulous attention to detail. Considering the complexity of recent changes in the law your help has been invaluable – sincere thanks and appreciation to Natalia and all at 1st 4Immigration.” Lucy, applied for a Spouse visa for her American husband.

The couple were using savings to meet the Financial Requirement. Since some of the savings were held in investments in the USA, ie in the funds, we initially advised to transfer the money from investments to a cash savings account and wait for 6 months, as per the Spouse visa rules.
However, on 6 April 2013 the Rules were changed allowing to count the 6 months period, taking into account time the money (savings) was held in investments, providing the money had been transferred from investments to a cash savings account before application date. In this case, the applicant’s savings were held in a ‘fund’ for 4 months, then transferred to a cash savings account for the remaining 2 months. In this case this application was made possible 4 months sooner than if the Rules hasn’t changed before 6 April 2013.

The couple also used Settlement Priority Service, which is a fast-track service available for applications in the USA. It took just over 2 weeks for the UK Border Agency to approve the application.
For more advice please email or visit

If you are an Immigration Adviser or a Solicitor please visit our CDP training website:  

Friday, 21 June 2013

New Testimonial on British Citizenship application from a Romanian citizen (plus a child born in the UK)

“I'm so happy! Thank you ever so much, you don't know how much I appreciate your help!” Greta, Romanian national, applied for British Citizenship based on being self-employed in the UK for at least 6 years.
This application was based on the client being self-employed in the UK since before Romania joined the EU. However, we could only count time spent in the UK under the European Regulations and only since 1 January 2007 when Bulgaria and Romania joined the European Union. We provided evidence of self-employment in the UK for the last 6 years.
The applicant also has a daughter who was born in the UK. The daughter was entitled to be registered as a British citizen, so we submitted both applications together, one for the mother and the other for the daughter. Both applicants did not have to apply for a formal ‘permanent residency stamp’ and instead we advised to apply straight for British Citizenship for both.
Applications were approved by the UKBA after just 2 months.
For more advice please email or visit

If you are an Immigration Adviser or a Solicitor please visit our CDP training website:  

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

How long can a visitor stay in the UK? 6 months from each entry? In a year? In a calendar year?

Visitors can come to the UK for purposes of tourism, visiting friends, business visits and similar.

Visitors can stay for maximum 6 months in each 12 months.
Not 6 months from each entry to the UK. Even if your visitor visa is for 5 or 10 years you can still stay for maximum 180 days in each of those years.

How to count ‘6 months in 12 months’?
A 12 months period starts from ‘now’, date in question or date of entry etc and you need to count backwards (not a calendar year).

If you stayed in the UK for the whole 6 months then you have to stay away for the whole 6 months. If you come and go several times during a year then the total must be 180 days cumulatively in the last 12 months.

Visitor rules are the same for all. Visitor visa rules aren’t.
Visitor rules include: purpose of visits, no right to work, no right to use the NHS, no right to use the public funds (benefits), no right to switch to more serious visas inside the UK, ie no right to switch to a Spouse or work visa.

Visitor visa rules relate to applying for a ‘visa stamp in the passport’ before travel. Some nationals need to apply for a visitor visa before travelling to the UK, such as Indian, Chinese, South African, Russian , Nigerian and many other nationals. 

Some other nationals do not need to apply for a visitor visa before travelling to the UK. Examples include American, Australian, Brazilian and other nationals. These nationals do not need to apply for a ‘visa stamp’ before travelling,  they can just come here, explain their purpose of visit at the border control, prove they have enough funds to support themselves, possibly show a return ticket. Then they would get a stamp in the passport with the date, airport/port name and an endorsement saying he/she is admitted for 6 months without a right to work. This is what people call ‘travelling without a visa’.  

Those who need to have a visitor visa have to apply at the British Embassy (or now usually a visa centre, such as VFS Global or WorldBridge), get a visa stamp in the passport, then travel to the UK. Upon arrival at the border control they would face the same questioning (purpose, proving they can support themselves etc) and get an airport stamp on the visa.  

For more advice please email or visit

If you are an Immigration Adviser or a Solicitor please visit our CDP training website:  

Thursday, 13 June 2013

For the purpose of UK Spouse/Partner visas: what’s the difference between civil partners, unmarried partners and same-sex partners?

Civil Partnership is a registered partnership between the 2 people of the same gender, such as 2 men or 2 women. Civil partnership can be registered at a Register Office and partners have a certificate, similar to a marriage certificate. For the purpose of visas civil partners have the same rights as spouses, ie civil partners have the same rights as a husband and wife do.

If you are a man and a woman but not married then you would be Unmarried Partners, providing you have lived together for at least 2 years in a relationship like a marriage. In other words, you have been married in all but name for at least 2 years. Most importantly, you can prove it, such as providing the documents showing your cohabitation: utility bills, tenancy agreements, bank statements, official letters and so on.

If you are 2 men or 2 women but have not registered a civil partnership then you would be Same-sex Partners, which is the same category as for unmarried partners and have the same conditions as above, eg living together for 2 years.  

For advice or to make an application please contact us: or visit  

If you are an Immigration Adviser or a Solicitor please visit our CDP training website:  

Saturday, 8 June 2013

Immigration solicitor or and Immigration adviser, who to choose?

If you are looking for help with your UK visa application you'd generally find these 2 types of professionals. 

1) Solicitors, ie lawyers in a traditional meaning on the profession. They have formal legal training and are regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) and also have a listing on the Law Society website. 

2) Immigration advisers, like myself and others at our company, who are not solicitors in the traditional meaning of the profession but who are nonetheless fit to advise people on the Immigration Rules and who are regulated by The Office of Immigration Services Commissioner ( OISC). 

What do we have in common? 
We both can advise on the immigration law, we are both appropriately regulated (just by the different regulators) , both have to abide a Code of Practice, have professional insurance, both face penalties and being struck-off for acting against the regulations etc. In fact, most OISC rules are written to be very similar of those of the Regulations for solicitors. we both can do the same work, except perhaps there are no high- reaching positions like QCs for immigration advisers, although for most day-to-day clients it is not necessary anyway. And if an adviser or solicitor gets everything right from the 1st time then there would be no need to go further and argue a case on appeal, for example. 

How do we differ? 
The main difference would be the fact that solicitors can practice all areas of law (many specialise, out of choice) while OISC-regulated immigration advisers can only practice immigration. We, immigration advisers, do not offer help with buying a property or registering a company, for example. If you are buying a property you'd find a similar system: there are solicitors who can practice all areas of law (though many specialise) and there are conveyancers who only practice property law. 

Simply, I would put it this way: solicitors know a bit of everything while immigration advisers know all about one thing (ie immigration). 

Who to choose? 
Of course each would advocate their own system, solicitors would say they have more legal training. While we, immigration advisers, would say we specialise in immigration only on a day-to-day basis and perhaps have lower fees due to a less formal manner of work (we don't post legal letters but email instead and we don't have legal secretaries). 

The proper answer, like with many things, lies "in the middle": there are good and bad professionals in each category. There are good and bad solicitors and there are good and bad immigration advisers. The challenge is to find a good professional, in either category. It depends on a person, his/her talent, experience and also work ethic. 

Perhaps I have not made your choice any easier! But hopefully, I have clarified a few things about this matter. Recommendations of friends is a good source. I estimate about 50% of our custom comes from the word of mouth. We also have a relatively high percentage of returning clients who come back for a next visa, such as an extension or ILR and then Citizenship. 

For advice or to make an application please contact us: or visit 

If you are an Immigration Adviser or a Solicitor please visit our CDP training website: 

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Fast Same-day UK / British passport renewal for summer holidays! No appointments required.

No appointments required! Multi Travel Visas  can submit applications on next working day after receiving your documents, to the Passport Office in London, with authorisation from you as per the government requirements. For an extra charge we can submit on the same day if we receive your documents before 12pm, see below. No need to wait for an appointment, which can be weeks away and no need to travel to a passport office.

We offer practical help when you need a new passport very quickly but cannot get an appointment soon enough. For example, if you are living/working abroad (you can courier documents to our London office) and we can submit them promptly for same-day service, this includes if your passport has run out of pages. Or you don't have time to travel to a Passport Office yourself we can apply on your behalf (you don't have to come to London). Plus we check the documents, help complete the form and advise on requirements.

Official fees of Passport Office (we pass them on to the government):
To renew an adult 10-year 32-page passport costs:
•£103 for the one-week Fast Track Service
•£128 for the same-day Premium service

Multi Travel Visas fees: £152 per application (incl VAT) in London passport office. Appointments are on the next working day.

For an extra charge we can submit on the same day as we receive your documents, if we have all papers before 12pm and they are in order. Our service fee for this is £202 (in addition to official Passport Office fees above).

Contact us now: 0871 472 1468. Email , we reply on the same day! Web-site:  with the visa requirements and clients' feedbacks. Calls to 0871 number cost £0.10 per minute, emails are free.

Our office is based at an iconic building of The Royal Mint in Central London, conveniently located near Tower Hill tube station, Tower Gateway DLR station. Close to the City and Canary Wharf.

Office address: 4 Royal Mint Court, London, EC3N 4JH. Near Tower Hill tube station and DLR Tower Gateway.

Saturday, 1 June 2013

British Nationality, Citizenship and Naturalisation. What does it all mean and what are the differences? 

Naturalisation is a path to Citizenship. And Citizenship is one of the types of British nationality. We'll start from the one with the broadest meaning -Nationality.

1) British nationality. It consists of British Citizenship, which is the most common type. This is what people mean when they say "I want to apply for a British passport". 

A British Citizen has all the rights to live in the UK, to have a British passport etc. 

There are other types of British nationality, usually based on Britain's past as a British Empire. There are British Overseas Citizens, British Citizens (Overseas), British Subjects and British Protected Persons. These are NOT British citizens and do not have a right to live in the UK. Most are subject to the immigration control in the same way as Australian, American or Chinese nationals. Some can register to become British Citizens and get a 'proper' British passport. 

2) British Citizenship. As above, it is the most common (and most desirable) type of British Nationality. 

British Citizenship can be achieved through either Naturalisation or Registration. 

3) Naturalisation. It is a way of acquiring British Citizenship in your own right. After being settled in the UK (having an ILR) and spending a least 5 years in the UK one can become a British citizen through Naturalisation. This is not connected to the person's family at all. Result will be a British Citizen, then a UK passport (a 'passport book'). 

Compare with Registration, the other way of acquiring Citizenship: children under 18 yo become British through Registration, based on their parents' status. For example, when their parents are applying for Naturalisation on AN form, the child(ren) could apply at the same time for Registration on MN1 form (look at the forms and you'll see adults' form says Naturalisation while the children's form says Registration). 

Of a child is born in the UK to parent(s) on a Tier 1 visa can be registered as British once at least one parent gets an ILR. 

The are limited situations when an adult can become British through Registration. For example, those born before 1983 to a British mother. 

For more advice or to make an application please contact us: or visit 

If you are an Immigration Adviser or a Solicitor please visit our CDP training website: