insight spring 2013

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  • Background

    The role of the Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration was established by the UK Borders Act 2007 to examine the efficiency and effectiveness of the UK Border Agency. The most recent report examined applications made by foreign nationals to join or remain with a person permanently and lawfully settled in the UK.


    The inspection centred on the quality and consistency of decision-making in cases where people had applied for:

    Leave to enter (LTE) and leave to remain (LTR) on the basis of marriage or civil partnership which could lead to permanent settlement; and

    Permanent settlement (indefinite leave to remain ILR) on the basis of marriage or civil partnership.

    In the year ending March 2011, 42,000 spouse and settlement visa applications were made worldwide.


    Although the Inspectorate found that 87% of decisions made under the Immigration Rules were reasonable, the Agency was advised to extend its good practice overseas on the retention of evidence to its casework functions in the UK. It also recommended that the UK Border Agency ensure that human rights are considered consistently in all relevant

    cases, including those overseas.

    From the file sample taken, it was further noted that the Agency did not adopt a consistent approach in assessing whether an applicant could be maintained without access to public funds. Conversely, the UKBA had been thorough in checking all applicants against the Police National Computer and the Home Office Warnings Index in order to establish whether applicants held previous convictions in the UK and/or adverse immigration histories. The Inspectorate was also pleased to find that there were effective processes in

    place for managing the personal data of applicants and their sponsors.


    The biggest concern raised by the Inspectorate centred on the growing number of cases where applicants had asked the Agency to reconsider its decision to refuse to grant further leave. The figure stood at 14,000 cases at the end of September 2012 and had been rising by approximately 700 a month. This figure did not include an additional 2,100 cases where the Agency had not made an initial decision.

    The Agency was advised that they must deal swiftly and effectively with this backlog of work.

    UKBAs response

    The UKBA welcomed the recommendations made and felt that the new family Immigration Rules, introduced in July 2012, provided a new basis for clear and consistent decision-making in marriage cases whilst also providing individuals with the opportunity to apply on the basis of their family or private life under Article 8.

    In regards to the backlog of work, the UKBA stated that whilst there was no legal obligation to re-consider these completed applications, their contract for services with Capita made provision for the cases accumulating in the Migration Refusal Pool to be systematically worked through.

    spring 13

    Immigration News & Views from Smith Stone WaltersChief Inspectors examination of Spousal Applications



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    on the contents of this publication.

    Smith Stone WaltersThe Capital, C-70 G BlockBKC, Bandra (E)Mumbai, 4000051

    Tel: +91 22 6712 8435Fax: +91 22 6712 8999Email:

    Smith Stone WaltersLevel 21 The Center99 Queens Road CentralCentral, Hong Kong

    Tel: +852 3478 3757Fax: +852 3478 3760Email:

    To give clients clear and concise information every quarter we focus on a key issue of UK immigration law. Our focus for this quarter falls upon...

    India:Hong Kong:

    focusSmith Stone Walters111 John StreetSuite 800New York, NY, 10038

    Tel: +1 646 378 4406Fax: +1 646 378 4409Email: usa@

    USA:Smith Stone Walters LtdTitle House33-39 Elmfield RoadBromley, Kent, BR1 1LT

    Tel: +44 (20) 8461 6660Fax: +44 (20) 8461 6661Email:


    INSiGHT from Smith Stone Walters INSiGHT from Smith Stone Waltersspring 13 spring 13

    Contact Smith Stone Walters today for further information on our UK immigration services

    KiLimANjAro coNquErEd iN SmiTh SToNE WALTErS fuNd rAiSEr Smith Stone Walters recently supported two of their Directors Gary Smith and James Walters in a fund raising effort to climb Kilimanjaro. Both James and Gary made the summit and managed to come back intact! James was raising funds for Compassion UK and we are delighted that his climb has resulted in the purchase of 50 water filters which will go to help families in Togo. The situation in Togo is critical where only 61 per cent of the population has access to a safe water source. Gary was fund raising for beating bowel cancer. This is one of the UKs leading cancer charities who help provide support and raise awareness of the UKs 2nd biggest cancer killer.

    congratulations to both

    PrEmium APPoiNTmENT fAcTS: The demand from UKBAs customers for priority processing appointments continues to grow. The majority of appointment slots are released between midnight and 6am from Monday to Friday. The number of appointments released each day at each Public Enquiry Office is:


    If your employees in-country application needs to be processed urgently, please speak to your Account Manager in relation to the Premium Appointment services offered by the smith stone Walters Team.

    AduLT dEPENdENT rELATivES did you KNoW? The opportunity to live permanently in the UK as an adult dependent relative of someone who is already a permanent resident here are limited. If you are aged 18 or over and are a parent, grandparent, brother, sister, son or daughter of a British citizen or person settled in the UK, the UK Border Agency will only enable you to join a settled person in the UK if:

    You need long-term personal care to perform everyday tasks, such as washing and cooking.

    The care you need is not available in the country where you are living, either because there is no person who can reasonably provide it or because it is not affordable.

    Your sponsor can show that he or she is able to provide adequate maintenance, accommodation and care for you without having to rely on public funds.

    smith stone Walters can advise you and your staff fully on the rules relating to family members seeking entry to the united Kingdom please call 0208 461 6660

    Kilimanjaro conquered in Smith Stone Walters fund raiser

    iN ThiS iSSuEeditorial: Employers Immigration DutiesHave you read chapter & verse?

    latest changes:Entrepreneurs: please take note!Updated Life in the UK Test & Handbook Criminal Record Rule Change

    Shortage Occupation List to be reduced Permitted absences pre & post 13 December 2012

    latest news:Kilimanjaro conquered in Smith Stone Walters fund raiserPremium Appointment FactsAdult Dependent Relatives Did you know?

    focus on:Chief Inspectors examination of Spousal Applications







    We are fully satisfied with your helpful and prompt support. Thank you very much. YT, Medical company

    fantastic job done by connie (ssW Hong Kong) very well executed. Really enjoyed transparency. MS, Engineering company

    Prestina (ssW India) helped a lot for everything, starting from document preparation and verification up through the visa interview. she is a good support & great help for the process. VC, Investment Bank

    Kate (ssW uK) was absolutely helpful throughout the application process. Everything went smoothly and was very well organised. Thumbs up for the service I have received. I would highly recommend you to anyone. MA, Technology Company

    Gary (ssW uK) was a pleasure and supportive to work with. I always knew hed respond to my queries in a timely manner and made me feel relaxed during a quite possibly stressful time! Thanks very much! LS, Technology company

    I had worked with Jack (ssW usA) once before, and the great job he did last time was no fluke. Another solid job and quick turnaround. Thank you! BB, Investment Bank

  • EdiToriAL



    INSiGHT from Smith Stone Walters INSiGHT from Smith Stone Walters INSiGHT from Smith Stone Waltersspring 13 spring 13 spring 1301 02




    ShorTAGE occuPATioN LiST To BE rEducEd The shortage occupation list forms part of the employment based Tier 2 immigration route. Since there are not enough resident workers to fill the jobs in these identified shortage occupations, UK employers are not required to undertake a resident labour market test before hiring migrants for these roles. The types of UK occupations listed as shortage include: actuaries, high integrity pipe welders, environmental scientists, and geochemists.

    In their latest report, the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) has advised that the number of specialist UK jobs which need to be filled by workers from outside the European Economic Area is falling, and it recommends a reduction in employment covered by the UKs shortage occupation list. In reality, the number of migrants taking up jobs via this route each year represents only about 1 in 400 of all immigrants coming to the UK. W