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US immigration law is picking up pace in 2014, says Thalej Vasishta

US immigration law is picking up pace in 2014, says Thalej Vasishta, owner and founder of Paragon Law. The firm initially introduced US immigration services in 2007 through their formal association with Nejame Law based in the US. Here he explains the latest developments.

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UK Immigration- The Knee-Jerk Reactions Which Are Not Needed Thalej Vasishta

Whilst the Conservative Government can rely on favourable statistics with regard to their handling of the UK economy the Office of National Statistics (ONS) on immigration to the UK (see figures below) however would suggest that the government has failed in their immigration policy.


I would argue that the perceived failure is of the government’s own making for pledging to cut immigration to the tens of thousands (which is now an “aim” as opposed to a “promise”) and which was fanciful and unrealistic.  Matters such as a UK aging population, skills shortages in many sectors of the UK economy (which will take generations or more to rectify) and the fact that there are settled communities in the UK who will always have the need to invite loved ones means that a figures of tens of thousands is not going to be achieved and the government needs to be more honest about this.


I did welcome David Cameron’s statement of intent in his speech yesterday where it would appear that there is a shift of focus to “illegal” working and “illegal” immigration.  This will inevitably lead to business owners, employers and landlords contributing to the policing of immigration control in the UK (more about this in the future article). Ultimately it is important that “all” immigration is tarnished with the same brush approach.


Business groups have urged the government to be clear that the UK will continue to welcome the brightest and the best from around the world to study at our universities and to contribute through work, investment or entrepreneurship to the UK economy.  In the previous Term this government tarnished our reputation abroad by giving a perception that UK is not welcoming to migrants. This was as a consequence of too much pandering to the UKIP debate and generally tarnishing “all types” of immigration as being damaging to the UK.  Often, statements of Ministers were picked up negatively by overseas media such as India (from where there has been a reduction in international students by 7%) which consequently is bound to have an effect on the other important stated aim to the UK economy – trade and investment with the rest of the world.


In a future article I will discuss the specific policy changes which are likely to affect you as an employer or as a business owner who relies on overseas workers.  For now you will see below the key figures from the ONS statistics which have resulted in the knee-jerk reactions:


The Key Immigration Figures for 2014 Compared To 2013 at a Glance







Immigration           641,000






         323,000            317,000
Net Migration  


         318,000              209,000
EU Immigration  


         268,000              201,000
Non EU Immigration  


         290,000              248,000
Immigration For Work Purposes




         284,000              214,000
Work Related Visa’s Granted




         119,883              108,876
Immigration For Study


           193,000              177,000
Immigration To Join Family Members


           91,000            71,000
Asylum Applications


           25,020          23,803




A delegation from India – a blog by Thalej Vasishta, Interest Group Chair for India

On 22 April 2015 Nottingham had the honour and pleasure of hosting a delegation who had come to the city to explore business opportunities with India. The blog of Paragon Law MD, Thalej Vasishta, reflects on the visit and what it could bring to the local economy. To read the blog please click here.

Paragon Law MD offers advice to start-ups

Tricks of the Trade: Advice from Those Who’ve Made It Big


Paragon Law MD, Thalej Vasishta, has offered his advice to business start-ups via the website.


To view the full text of this article please click here


How to develop a ‘guanxi machine’

Talk to any business person who has done business with China and one word is certain to crop up and divide opinion every time ‘guanxi’. We don’t have a direct translation in English but in its broadest context it means ‘developing personal connections’. The power of guanxi is underestimated by so many businesses I speak with. In the UK we are lucky; we have a solid legal structure and business conventions that near enough everyone sticks to. This means we can parachute into a meeting, flick over our business card and start talking numbers. In China it is not so easy. Business is built around personal relationship. People would rather trade with their friends because they know what to expect. They are cautious about making business deals with new comers because the conventions we are privileged to enjoy in the UK, that of the hand shake and signing of deals, doesn’t carry much weight. In China, the best business is done between friends.

To read the full article by Paragon Law MD, Thalej Vasishta, please click here

Paragon Lawyer quoted in Guardian Article

Deirdre Sheahan, Associate Solicitor and head of the asylum team at Paragon Law has recently been quoted within a leading article in The Guardian examining the plight of Syrian Refugees.


The full article can be read below and highlights the important work done by Deirdre and her team in this complex and challenging area of law.

Click Here For Link

Paragon Law Solicitor in TV Appearance

Paragon Law’s Head of Asylum, Associate Solicitor Deirdre Sheahan has recently appeared as part of a Notts TV program looking at the situation for asylum seekers from Syria.


To view the footage please click here 

Marriages to Foreign Nationals under the Spotlight

The Marriages and Civil Partnerships Regulations 2015 and associated Orders come into effect on 2 March 2015. Many non-UK nationals who are planning to marry in the UK will face tougher checks by the Home Office in an effort to crack down on sham marriages. The new rules will also apply to civil partnerships.

If one of the parties to a proposed marriage or civil partnership is a non-UK/non-EEA national with limited or no status then the proposed marriage or civil partnership will be referred to the Home Office before the ceremony is allowed to take place. Those present in the UK with indefinite leave to remain, EU right of permanent residence or right of abode will not be referred but they must evidence their status adequately when giving notice.

Key points of the new scheme:

  • All couples in the UK planning to marry must now give notice of their intention to do so 28 days before marrying(previously the notice period was 15 days);
  • Non-UK/non-EEA nationals with limited or no status in the UK who give notice to marry or enter into a civil partnership will be referred to the Home Office;
  • Those couples referred to the Home Office may be required to wait 70 daysbefore marrying if a decision is taken to investigate the relationship;
  • Non-UK/non EEA nationals who wish to marry in the Anglican Church will now be required to give noticeat a register office also.
  • EEA nationals (including British citizens) will need to provide specified evidenceof their citizenship to the Anglican Church prior to being married by the church.
  • All non-UK/non-EEA nationals who are not exempt from immigration control will now need to give notice of their marriage at a designated register office (there will be 75 such designated offices nationwide) rather than at the office in the district in which they reside.

Orders are in place which extend the referral and investigation scheme to Scotland and Northern Ireland and transitional arrangements are in place for couples who have given notice prior to 2 March 2015.


Couples who will be subject to referral may wish to seek immigration advice prior to giving notice of their intention to marry.

For further inormation please contact Nigel Smith at or 0115 9644 132.

Nottingham solicitor joins Legal Aid Agency Review Panel

Nottingham solicitor, Mark Lilley-Tams of Immigration law firm Paragon Law has been selected as an Independent Funding Adjudicator of the Legal Aid Agency.

The Government’s Legal Aid Agency makes decisions on whether a legal case merits legal aid funding. Mr Lilley-Tams’ responsibility as an Adjudicator will be to review decisions taken by The Agency on such matters and he will also review decisions of legal representatives who refuse to represent their client’s on legal aid.

Nationally there are currently 26 Adjudicators with specialist immigration and asylum knowledge.

Mr Lilley-Tams, who heads up Paragon Law’s personal immigration department said that “at a time when legal aid cuts have meant that fewer people will qualify for legal representation I see my role as an incredibly important public function which I hope will ensure that those who are entitled to legal aid funding will receive it and therefore ensuring that justice prevails”.

Paragon Law Has Eyes On Growth in 2015

(Left to Right – Emily Bodden-Burton, Wayne Cartlidge, Stewart MacLachlan, Thalej Vasishta and Monica Kainja)


Immigration law firm Paragon Law have recruited 4 new members to their legal team.


Nottingham Law School graduate Emily Bodden-Burton has been awarded the Paragon Law scholarship which means that she will be funded by the firm to complete a part-time 2 year Masters programme in International Human Rights at the University of Nottingham whilst gaining practical work experience and training with Paragon.


Monica Kainja joins Paragon Law from Yorkshire firm Halliday Reeves and Stewart MacLachlan has moved to Nottingham having previously worked as a solicitor with the Legal Services Agency in Scotland.  Both join the firm’s human rights team working primarily with Social Services departments with regards to unaccompanied asylum seeking children and women who have been victims of trafficking and torture.


Ex-armed forces, Wayne Cartlidge after sustaining injuries was funded by the army to complete his Certificate in Personnel Practice and then worked as a Human Resources Manager with the British Armed Forces for 9 years.  He then held a similar role with Notts NHS Trust before working with Dell Inc as a Senior Immigration Analyst for 5 years.  Wayne joins Paragon Law’s corporate immigration department to assist their clients in employing skilled foreign migrants and sponsorship compliance.


Thalej Vasishta, the firm’s Managing Director said that all the new members of the team will add value to the services that Paragon Law offer to their clients.  He said, “I am particularly delighted that after a period of an inertia, the firm is back on track to growth.   We will be advertising further roles shortly both in our legal and support teams”.