We are delighted to be ranked as one of the best Immigration Law firms in England and the top ranked in Nottingham and the Midlands in the Chambers and Partners Directory to the Legal profession. Please click here to read what the directory says Chambers.
Four of our lawyers (more than any other firm in the UK) have been listed as leading individuals. See who they are here Chambers. All of our lawyers and support team have contributed towards enhancing our expertise and customer focused service. In turn we would like to thank our clients and alliances for trusting us with your work and for your support.
We are particularly proud of this recognition as we did not self nominate and therefore our work has been valued by our peers and clients.
Once again thank you!
The Paragon Law Team
Group Chief Executive/Solicitor
To email Thalej Vasishta click here
DD : 01159 644104
On 03 July 2013, the Home Office published its consultation document “Controlling Immigration – Regulating Migrant Access to Health Services in the UK” and sought the views on the Governments proposals to better regulate migrant access to free NHS services.
In the consultation the Government sought views on the following three proposals:
1. Making permanent residence (Indefinite Leave to Remain) in the UK the new qualifying test for free NHS treatment; and
2. Whether access to the NHS for migrants should be based on a levy/surcharge to be paid at the same time as the immigration application for leave to enter or remain in the UK or to require the migrant to hold medical insurance; and
3. To make the UK a less attractive place for health tourism by extending charging to primary medical care services e.g. GP services.
The consultation ran for eight weeks and the Home Office published their response and the way forward on the 22 October 2013. The Government’s proposals (summarised below) will be included as part of the new Immigration Bill passing through Parliament or through secondary legislation. The proposals are likely to be law by April 2014.
To read the key proposals please click here.
If you require any further advice and assistance in respect of this please do not hesitate to contact us.
Group Chief Executive/Solicitor
To email Thalej Vasishta click here
DD : 01159 644104
To email Aldijana Hoad click here
DD : 01159 644112
Bringing you up to date with UK Immigration Law
(specific for HR Advisors)
There have been a number of changes to the UK Immigration Rules over the last 12 months which have been summarised as follows:
1. For the changes that came into effect in October 2013 please click here:October 2013 Changes
2. For the changes that came into effect on 06 April 2013 please click here:April 2013 Changes
3. For the changes that came into effect on 13 December 2012 please click here: December 2012 Changes
For those of you who came to our immigration law update in November 2012 this briefing will bring you right up to date.
However, do note that there are further changes in the pipeline. This includes a new Immigration Bill that is passing through parliament and there are 3 consultations which have been closed and the Home Office will report back on shortly which include:
1. Migrants to have access to health services through the arrangements of private medical health cover;
2. Landlords and banks to check out the immigration status of migrants; and
3. A review of unskilled occupations.
We will update you as soon as there is more information.
Paragon Law is a niche immigration law firm helping businesses, investors, entrepreneurs and individuals to trade, invest and do business in the UK, China, USA and India. The firm is recognised by the Legal 500 and the Chambers and Partners Directory as leaders in their field of legal practice and “really on top of their game and getting some really good results”.
If we can assist you further please do not hesitate to contact us.
Group Chief Executive/Solicitor
To email Thalej Vasishta click here
DD : 01159 64411
Legal Services Director
To email Kirin Abbas click here
DD : 01159 644110
Applying for Indefinate Leave to Remain or British Citizenship after 27th October 2013?
British Citizenship and Immigration law specialist Aldijana Hoad warns those who will be applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain (permanent residence) or British Citizenship through Naturalisation after 27 October 2013 will no longer be able to choose from either completing the Life in the UK Test or show progression on the ESOL Course.
From 28 October 2013 you will now have to:
1. Pass the Life in the UK Test and;
2. Have a speaking and listening qualification of at least Level B1 of the Common European Framework of Reference or its equivalent. Click here for a list of approved qualifications.
If you are a citizen of a majority English speaking country then you will only have to pass the Life in the UK Test. Click herefor a list of countries.
If you need to discuss this change in the requirements further or need assistance with your Citizenship or permanent residence application contact Aldijana Hoad on 0115 9644104 or click here to email her.
Paragon Law are proud to support MELA 100 – Celebrating 100 years of Indian cinema and poetry through music, dance, arts and entertainment events throughout Nottingham in September
Celebrating 100 years of Indian cinema and the poetry of Tagore, this year’s Nottingham Mela100 – co-produced by New Art Exchange and the Nottingham Asian Arts Council – is set to be one of the biggest yet.
Held across five Nottingham venues during the first two weekends in September, the festival will be a vibrant, colourful celebration of South Asian and World culture which brings together music, dance, visual arts, film, street entertainment, South Asian cuisine, crafts and markets to entertain and engage all ages and communities.
Mela100 opens on Friday 6 September at Primary artist studios with Nadeem Chaudry’s installation and film screening of Pakeezah, one of India’s finest Bollywood films. On the same night Rahat Fateh Ali Khan’s internationally renowned Qawwali group will be performing at the Royal Concert Hall.
Then on Saturday 7 September there will be a magical immersive visual space created with an evening of music curated and composed by MOBO and Mercury award winning jazz pianist Zoe Rahman. Rahman’s work will be inspired by the great Indian writer Rabindranath Tagore.
On Sunday 8 September there will then be a family day at New Art Exchange and a special screening of the film Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge on The Forest Recreational Ground in Chipperfield’s circus tent that evening. Finally Mela100 will culminate on Sunday 15 September in Nottingham Castle’s beautiful gardens as part of Heritage Open Day by creating a picnic in the park environment with market traders and stall.
Skinder Hundal, CEO of New Art Exchange and Creative Producer of Nottingham Mela said: “Nottingham Mela is special as it recognises that South Asian and cultures from across the world play an important part in our city and our lives, and that British Asian artists continue to pioneer practices capturing the traditions of the east and contemporary arts with a British perspective.”
Nottingham Mela is the oldest national Mela in the UK and aims to provide the public with an Asian event with the equivalent artistic content of the Edinburgh Festival, whilst having the carnival atmosphere of the Notting Hill Carnival.
Bhavesh Jani, Nottingham Asian Arts Officer said Mela100 presents fantastic free opportunities for all people to come together and enjoy events and entertainment.
“This year we are particularly thankful to Chipperfields for sponsoring the Cinema Marquee at the Forest Recreation Ground and to the City Council for making the Castle available for the Family Picnic,” he said.
Nottingham Mela100 has been made possible thanks to the support of Nottingham City Homes, Arts Council, England, Nottingham City Council and venue partners Primary, the Royal Concert Hall and Nottingham Castle as well as project partners Chipperfields Circus and TLC events.
For further information please contact: Emma O’Neill, Marketing and Communications Manager here or on: 0115 924 8630
Venues, dates and times of Mela100
Friday 6 September:
• Primary Arts Studios 7.00pm: Nadim Chaudry installation and film screening of Pakeezah
• Royal Centre, 7.30pm: Rahat Fateh Ali Khan in concert
Saturday 7 September
• New Art Exchange, 7.00pm: Zoe Rahman and friends in concert
Sunday 8 September
New Art Exchange 12 to 7pm: Family Day, launch of the Chaiya Chaiya Project and DJ Marathon
Forest Recreational Ground, Circus Tent 7.30pm: Film Screening of Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge
Sunday 15 September
• Nottingham Castle, 11 to 5pm: Picnic in the park with music and markets
New Art Exchange is a contemporary art gallery committed to stimulating new perspectives on the value of diversity within art and society. A stunning, RIBA award winning building, New Art Exchange is the largest space in the UK dedicated to culturally diverse contemporary visual arts, and is rooted in the community with a strong history of working with minority communities.
NAE presents major international exhibitions, launching the British Art Show in 2010, and every season presenting work from the highest quality, world-renowned artists. NAE partners locally, nationally and internationally, connecting audiences and artists from all over the world with new and innovative collaborations and opportunities.
Nottingham Asian Arts Council (NAAC) is a non-for-profit organisation which is dedicated to the promotion of South Asian Arts within the Nottinghamshire region. It is a voluntary organisation formed in October 1986 with the specific aim of promoting South Asian Arts in Nottinghamshire. NAAC began its work directly in Nottingham City with members of the resident Indian sub-continent communities, but later broadened out across the various boroughs of Nottingham. NAAC now works across the County, whilst also developing contacts nationally and internationally to support cultural activities and artists.
MELA – A Brief History -
The Mela scene started off in Nottingham and Bradford over two decades back, and has since enjoyed huge success all over the UK. Mela is a Sanskrit word meaning ‘gathering’, ‘to meet’ or a Fair.
The aim of the first ever outdoor Festival of Asian Arts & Music in 1988 was to provide the public with an event which would go a long way to satisfy the artistic and cultural needs of a diverse Asian community, whilst at the same time providing opportunity for the wider community to enjoy the rich cultural traditions of the Indian Subcontinent.
The festival aimed to increase the general awareness about Asian music within the UK and thus it was felt that Melton Medes could benefit. In the longer term, the aim of the festival has been to provide the public with an Asian event with the equivalent artistic content of the Edinburgh Festival, whilst having the carnival atmosphere of the Notting Hill Carnival.
The formative years’ festivals were two-day events which attracted national and international media attention. Links with activities and events on the European continent were also established, especially within the world music scene. For example, thanks to the first festival, Bhangra band “Pardesi” performed on the continent at huge events such as “Le Printemps de Bourges” (France) and in 1990 at the “Roma-Europa” concert (Italy); and had a video made about them by “Suisse Romand Coleur 3” national TV.
For the fourth annual festival a new environment was chosen to play host to the event – the Victoria Embankment. By this time the educational aspect of the festival was very strong, and growing. In addition to workshops in Sitar and Asian dance, traditional craftwork, mehndi, painting, sculpture and storytelling were some of the activities taking place.
APNA Arts continued to move forward in the 90s with more determination. The annual festival grew from strength to strength on various aspects, including a greater emphasis on visual arts, addressing environment issues and heritage. In later years the emphasis and focus of the festival has changed, looking closer at developing younger people, as well as nurturing the creative arts in an all-inclusive manner.
Britain’s premier Mela festival has consistently showcased live performances by national and international artists including the likes of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Nitin Sawhney, Anup Jalota, Najma Akhtar, Baluji Shrivastav, Aziz Mian Qawwaal, Alaap, DCS, Apna Sangeet, Golden Star and Apache Indian amongst others. The best in performances from the diverse artistic cultures of South Asia such as Bhangra, Ghazal, Qawwali, classical & folk dance and theatre.
The government have revealed a new initiative, being piloted in London boroughs, to encourage illegal immigrants to return voluntarily. This initiative has involved driving a van around Hounslow, Barking & Dagenham, Ealing, Barnet, Brent and Redbridge carrying a large billboard emblazoned with the message ‘GO HOME OR FACE ARREST’.
Further, there were reports of multiple arrests taking place last week, after numerous stop and searches were being carried out to target ‘immigration offenders’ in the UK. Most worryingly there have been reports of these random stops being carried out on the basis of ‘racial profiling’.
These recent trends, in the context of many recent government ‘initiatives’, show that the government is starting to employ more extreme tactics in their immigration policies. Many people have objected strongly to the use of the words ‘Go Home’ on the pilot billboards, due to the inflammatory language being used and the likelihood that it will increase racial tension. The billboards have also been criticised for ignoring the many scenarios in which a person not legally in the UK can regularise their status in the UK rather than ‘Go Home’.
It is further concerning to hear that random stop and searches are taking place of individuals on the street. It appears that as a result of these stop and searches, 130 arrests took place, with a number of people being required to attend an Immigration Reporting Centre with further evidence of their identity.
However, there is no mechanism that the police or the Home Office can use to easily identify whether someone is legally in the UK. There will be many people who have entered the UK without needing to pass through visa controls (eg if they have come from the European Union). In addition, particularly if a person has travelled to the UK a number of years ago, there may be no record of a particular individual in the Home Office database, even though they are legally in the UK. This will mean that many people who are in the UK legally, will also have to fear being arrested whilst going about their daily business.
Essentially this means that to avoid the fear of being arrested, immigrants are being required to carry with them documentation which establishes their right to remain in the UK.
It has been encouraging to see in the media how numerous concerns have been raised over these tactics and their potentially divisive nature, as well as the Liberal Democrats distancing themselves from the Conservatives when it comes to these campaigns. It is to be hoped that the pilots currently being carried out will receive enough negative media attention to show that the new tactics being employed by the Home Office are not supported by the public.
In the UK illegally?
There are many reasons why a person may be in the UK without regularised status at any time, and often they will not be the fault of the individual concerned. If you are not in the UK legally, then it is important that you do take steps to regularise your status. Many parts of the Immigration Rules recognise that applications can be made by people who are not legally in the UK at the current time, and therefore getting legal advice from an experienced legal representative will help you to identify what type of application would be best for you to make to regularise your status or indeed whether your only option is to return home.
For further information or to discuss your case in detail, contact Mark Lilley-Tams : 0115 9644 105 or email@example.com
Niche Immigration Solicitors, Paragon Law are proud to announce that they have become a corporate sponsor of the BLD Foundation. To read more please click here.
Income Thresholds Changed and Home Office Decisions to be put on Hold
The Home Office has announced that they will be putting on hold decisions on applications for spouses, where the only reason that the application would be refused is that the UK based spouse does not meet the current financial requirement of £18,600 introduced on the 9th July 2012.
In the case of R on the application of MM and others v SSHD, Mr Justice Blake found that the various financial requirements of the current rules for spouses, when taken together, made the overall system unfair.
The Court found that if more than one of the following five factors apply, then an application should not be refused by the Home Office.
The five factors are:
i. The setting of the minimum income level to be provided by the sponsor at above £13,400.
ii. The requirement to have more than £16,000 in savings before they can be taken into consideration.
iii. The need to have 2 ½ years worth of savings above £16,000 to make up a shortfall in income, rather than just 1 years worth of savings
iv. The ability to take into account that a third party is willing to sponsor the Applicant where credible evidence of the intention to support is provided in the form of a deed and other documentation.
v. The fact that the Applicant’s own income after entering the UK will not be taken into account in meeting the financial requirement.
In response to the Court’s decision, the Home Office have said as follows:
‘Our family changes were brought in to make sure that spouses coming to live in the UK would not become reliant on the taxpayer for financial support and would be able to integrate effectively. We’re pleased that this judgment supports the basis of our approach.
‘We are looking closely at the judgment and its likely impact on the minimum income threshold before we decide how to respond. In the meantime, where an applicant does not meet the minimum income threshold and there is no other reason to refuse it, the application will be put on hold.’
The High Court’s decision will be very welcome for those wanting to bring their spouses to the UK who are struggling to meet the current financial levels which are set at a level over three times the requirement that was in place before the 9th July 2012.
If you want to rely on the Immigration Rules for spouses coming to the UK, but are not certain whether you can meet the required income threshold of £18,600, then please contact us so that we can arrange for one of our experienced advisors to advise you on whether the High Court’s judgment provides you with scope to make an application under the Immigration Rules.
“Croatia became a member of the European Union (EU) on 1 July 2013.
Croatian nationals no longer need permission under the Immigration Rules to reside lawfully in the United Kingdom. They can remain in the United Kingdom for as long as they wish, providing they are exercising a Treaty right as student, self-employed or as a self-sufficient person.
As with Bulgarian and Romanian nationals, Croatian nationals will not have an automatic right to reside as a worker or jobseeker in the United Kingdom. Croatian nationals wishing to work will need to obtain worker authorization before commencing any employment, unless they are exempt from this requirement. Worker authorization is normally in the form of an accession worker registration certificate (or “purple registration certificate”) which the Croatian national must apply for. This document will contain an endorsement restricting the holder’s employment to a particular employer and category of employment. Those qualifying for a purple registration certificate will generally be skilled workers who meet the criteria for the issue of a certificate of sponsorship under Tier 2 and Tier 5 of the points-based system.
It is an offence to employ a Croatian national who needs worker authorization and does not have it. This could lead to criminal sanctions such as heavy fines and/or imprisonment for both the employer and the employee.
The restriction on access to the labor marker for Bulgarian and Romanian nationals will be lifted on 1 January 2014. Thereafter, Bulgarian and Romanian nationals will not be required to apply for accession worker card before commencing work.
Should you require advice on employing Croatian nationals, or you are a Croatian national wishing to work in the United Kingdom, please contact Aldijana Hoad of Paragon Law.”