Immigration and Asylum

IMMIGRATION AND ASYLUM: CORONAVIRUS UPDATE

The Law Centre is still open and the immigration team are working slightly differently to adapt to the measures introduced in light of the pandemic. But we’re happy to help with your immigration needs.

WHAT WE CAN HELP WITH:

EU SETTLEMENT SCHEME

· Advice and support to EU Nationals and their family members

· Advising on complex applications for pre-settled and settled status, including:

o Victims/survivors of domestic abuse

o Vulnerable children, including children in care

o People with serious health conditions

· Advice and support to professionals working with EU nationals and their families

IMMIGRATION/ASYLUM

· Asylum claims and human trafficking claims

· Immigration and asylum appeals

· Indefinite leave to remain applications

· Family life and private life leave to remain applications

· British citizenship applications

· Judicial reviews

· Fixed fee service for a range of immigration work, including: applications to the Home Office and appeals

FEE LIST

Consultation and one off advice  (1 hour) £120 + vat
Appeals (preparing bundles, witness statements, including representation at the Tribunal) £1500 + vat  (counsel fees not included)
In country applications to the Home office  –   depending on complexity. £800 – £1200 + vat
Discretionary Leave (No current Leave)/Further Leave to Remain £800+ vat
EEA Applications: EEA (FM) / EEA(EFM) /  EEA(PR) £800 + vat
Entry Clearance (e.g. Spouse Visa) depending on complexity. £960-£1200
Family Reunion £720
Naturalisation: Adult £……../ MN1 £…….. (discretionary decision £……..) / Form T £…….. £850 + vat
Travel documents/Certificate of identity/NTL £120 + vat

The above fees include all consultations, letters, applications and form filling as required. The above fees may be amended subject to the fee earners discretion.

They do not include the following which you will be responsible for in addition to the above fees:

  • The cost of special delivery postage
  • Disbursements
  • Home Office application fees

HOW TO CONTACT US:

We’re available by telephone on the following days between 2-5 pm:

EU Settlement Scheme queries: every Monday on 020 8148 5273.

Immigration & Asylum queries: every Tuesday on 0203 934 8060

Alternatively, you can email hflaw@hflaw.org.uk or call 020 3880 1727 and leave a voicemail with your name and phone number and we’ll call you back.

KEY DEVELOPMENTS

Here is a summary of key developments in the UK’s immigration system in light of the Coronavirus pandemic.

IMMIGRATION

NEW CORONAVIRUS VISA EXTENSION POLICY

The Home Office is granting visa extensions on request to those with leave expiring before 31 May 2020 and who cannot leave the UK because of coronavirus restrictions. To get this extension, those affected must fill in an online form. The Home Office endeavour to respond within 5 working days of the request.

AUTOMATIC ONE-YEAR EXTENSION FOR NHS WORKERS

The Home Office announced on 31 March that around 2,800 doctors, nurses and paramedics with leave due to expire by 1 October 2020 would get a free one-year extension. Family members are included and there are no fees involved.

UK VISA APPLICATION CENTRES

All visa application centres within the UK are closed as of 27 March.

Sopra Steria, which runs the network of Visa and Citizenship Application Centres on behalf of the Home Office, has the following message on its website:

The UKVCAS service is currently suspended

The worldwide response to COVID-19 continues to affect the UK’s Visa and Immigration Service. As a result, the UK Visa and Citizenship Application Services (UKVCAS), led by Sopra Steria on behalf of UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI), has suspended all services to help protect the health and wellbeing of our customers and staff.

This will remain under review with UKVI as the situation evolves.

HOME OFFICE CONTACT DETAILS

The Home Office’s dedicated coronavirus helpline:

Email: CIH@homeoffice.gov.uk. Your email must be in English.

We’ll reply to your email within 5 working days.

You can also call the Coronavirus Immigration Help Centre. If you’ve emailed the help centre already, please do not contact them by phone.

Telephone: 0800 678 1767 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm)

The Home Office’s general immigration helpline is 0300 123 2241.

IMMIGRATION TRIBUNALS

First-tier Tribunal

The [First-tier] tribunal has suspended face to face hearings (other than in exceptional circumstances) until further notice. A notice containing instructions on the next steps in your case will be sent to you. We are working through the listed cases in priority and date order and you should wait until we contact you. Please do not call us unless your enquiry is urgent. Bail applications will be prioritised and where a hearing is required, will be listed to take place by telephone or video. Users are advised to contact the relevant hearing centre on the email addresses below until further notice.

Upper Tribunal

There may be some delays in processing non-urgent work. Please see below different ways in which we are dealing with appeals and judicial reviews.

Appeals and Permission to Appeal applications to UTIAC:

  • Appeals that were listed for hearing have been postponed. All appeals to UTIAC are being judicially case managed. There is also limited monitoring of the appeals email inbox currently taking place.

Judicial Reviews in UTIAC:

Remote Hearings

A New Practice Direction on all tribunal cases, including immigration issued on 19 March says:

Where it is reasonably practicable and in accordance with the overriding objective to hear the case remotely (that is in any way that is not face-to-face, but which complies with the definition of ‘hearing’ in the relevant Chamber’s procedure rules), it should be heard remotely.

ASYLUM

Asylum Interviews

The Home Office have paused interviews for now.

Further Submissions

With effect from 18 March 2020, Applicants wishing to lodge a Further Submission in support of a fresh claim for asylum will be able to submit this via e-mail to a dedicated in-box or through the pre-existing postal route. The in-box for Further Submissions to be e-mailed to is CSUEC@homeoffice.gov.uk.

EU SETTLEMENT SCHEME

The EU Settlement scheme is fully operational again. Applications can be submitted using the online procedure (https://www.gov.uk/settled-status-eu-citizens-families/applying-for-settled-status) or by requesting a paper application to send in the post.

For applicants unable to use the EU Exit ID Document Check mobile phone app to scan your identification document (e.g. EU/EEA passport, biometric residence card, EU/EEA national ID card), you may be required to send your document to the Home Office in the post or book a biometric appointment for your document to be checked in person.

UK Visa and Citizenship Application Services (UKVCAS), led by Sopra Steria on behalf of UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI), have started reopening visa application centres in the UK. Please note that although many visa application centres have reopened, there are still delays for booking new appointment slots. Priority is being given to individuals whose appointments were cancelled or postponed due to the covid-19 lockdown restrictions. If an applicant has provided their biometric information for a prior immigration application, you may be invited to reuse the same biometric information via the UKVCAS IDV mobile phone app. See UKVCAS’ website for more details: https://www.ukvcas.co.uk/flash-message-detail?flashmessageId=74833.