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Important information for the end of the Brexit Transition Period and the EU Settlement Scheme, if you or your close family members are an EU / EEA Citizen

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Gherson Answers Your Questions

Posted by: Gherson Immigration

The Coronavirus pandemic continues to have a significant impact on immigration, employment, study and travel plans for millions of people across the world. Meanwhile the exit of the UK from the European Union has brought significant changes to the country’s immigration system, and these entered into force on 1 January 2021. In these times of transformation and uncertainty our team continues to assist with your enquiries on matters relating to UK ImmigrationNationalityEU Law, and Human Rights (amongst others). Below, we have once again prepared a compilation of the most frequent enquiries and our answers to them.

Stranded outside the UK because of COVID-19

Question: I am unable to return to the UK as all flights have been cancelled for the time being due to COVID-19. I am worried that the Home Office will cancel my ILR (Indefinite Leave to Remain). Can they do that? 

Answer by Adam Hoefel, Solicitor:

You can lose your ILR if you are absent from the UK for a continuous period of two or more years.  If you have been absent for two or more years, you may be able to make a returning resident application before travelling to regain your ILR status. Please contact us for more details.


Question: I am currently abroad and due to have a baby in the next couple of months. What would happen if I am unable to return to the UK because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and my child is born outside the UK? Will I be able to apply for my baby’s British passport from abroad (I have ILR)?

Answer by Adam Hoefel, Solicitor:

Unfortunately not. If the child is born in the UK and you have ILR, the child is British.  If the child is born outside the UK and you have ILR the child is not British (unless the child’s other parent is a British Citizen otherwise than by descent). You can apply for a visa to bring your child with you when you return to the UK, but it will not have an automatic right to British citizenship at birth.


Sole Representative (Representative of an Overseas Business) visa

Question: I plan to relocate to the UK in summer 2021 to facilitate setting up a UK branch of my company. What would be the best visa option for me? 

Answer by Gintare Plistkovaite, Solicitor

A Sole Representative visa (also known as Representative of an Overseas Business) may be the most suitable option for you to immigrate, reside and work in the UK. The requirements to obtain this type of visa include:

  • Being recruited and employed outside the UK by an active and trading business, whose headquarters and principal place of business are, and will remain, outside the UK;
  • Holding a senior position within the business, but not owning or controlling the majority of it, and having full authority to make decisions on its behalf in the UK;
  • Intending to establish the overseas business’s first commercial presence in the UK, either as a registered branch or a wholly owned subsidiary;
  • Being able to maintain and accommodate yourself and your dependants in the UK without recourse to public funds;
  • English language requirements.


Sole Representative visas are normally granted for a period of three years with the possibility to extend for another two years, with a subsequent route to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (provided you satisfy requirements at every step). Please contact us for more information.


Innovator visa

Question: Do you have experience with successful Innovator Visa applications? What documents do I need to prepare? Can you assist me with the application process?

Answer by Spencer Bienvenue, Paralegal

We have assisted with a number of Innovator visas, which have been successful, and we would be delighted to work with you.

In order to apply for this type of visa, you must first obtain endorsement from a designated Endorsing Body, which is given to applicants only if they are able to evidence that their business idea is Innovative, Viable, and Scalable, as defined by the Home Office. In addition, you will have to be in possession of at least £50,000 available to invest in your business in the UK. 

Successful Innovators will be granted leave for three years and can bring their family members to the UK. After three years, Innovators may be able to apply to extend their stay for a further three years, or apply to settle permanently in the UK. Each of these three stages (initial application, extension, settlement) requires endorsement from an Endorsing Body.

Please note that this type of visa requires a thorough assessment of the individual circumstances for every applicant. Please contact us to discuss your case in more detail.


Beware of Limitations of a Short-Term Student visa

Question: I am planning to come to London for six months on a university student exchange programme. Will my student visa allow me to also work part-time? 

Answer by Gintare Plistkovaite, Solicitor

It sounds like you will be coming to the UK on a short-term (six month) student visa. As such, you should not intend to take any paid or unpaid employment (other than as an elective which meets specific provisions of the UK immigration rules i.e. medicine, veterinary medicine and science, or dentistry as your principal course of study). 

You would not be allowed to take any:

  • work placement,
  • work experience in the UK, 

or intend to be:

  • self-employed,
  • involved in business activities or any professional activity in the UK.


You would also not be able to switch to any other visa in the UK, including a work visa, while you are in the UK on a short-term study visa. 

If you want to return to the UK for a longer course of study, you would need to leave the UK and apply for a Student Visa subject to you meeting this visa route’s requirements.

As always, if you have not found an answer to your question, or if you would like to talk to us about your specific circumstances, please do not hesitate to contact us. Gherson has extensive experience in all aspects of UK immigration law and we continue to closely monitor the immigration updates published by the UK Government. 

The information in these blogs is for general information purposes only and does not purport to be comprehensive or to provide legal advice. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the information and law is current as of the date of publication it should be stressed that, due to the passage of time, this does not necessarily reflect the present legal position. Gherson accepts no responsibility for loss, which may arise from accessing, or reliance on information contained in these blogs. For formal advice on the current law please don’t hesitate to contact Gherson. Legal advice is only provided pursuant to a written agreement, identified as such, and signed by the client and by or on behalf of Gherson.

©Gherson 2021

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