If you are a migrant currently residing in the UK with valid leave then you may wish to consider taking the following steps whilst the UK is on lockdown due to the current COVID-19 pandemic:
1. If you are an EU, EEA or Swiss national who has not yet applied for Settled or Pre-Settled status, now is the time to do so. Please see our recent blogs relating to various aspects of the EU Settlement Scheme:
Subject to meeting the relevant requirements, applications can be made without leaving your home using an Android or iPhone and downloading the Home Office’s EU Settlement Scheme app. Gherson can assist and advise on all aspects of the EU Settlement Scheme application process.
2. Where possible, ensure your personal documents are in order. Regardless of your immigration route, or your place on the timeline towards settlement, applications rely on the strength of their supporting documents.
- An audit of your personal records can be undertaken, e.g. checking whether your name appears correctly and in the same form on all identity documents, bank statements, lease agreements, etc.
- Can you collect proof of residence in the UK for the time required for your next visa application? Locate and file such documents in preparation for your next application.
- Track your past travel and make a schedule of your absences from the UK. Your future application may require you to detail a travel history, showing that your UK absences are below a certain number of days within a set period. Showing when you were in or out of the UK may even dictate the date on which a future application can be made. Recording your travel history now, to the best of your recollection and ability, will likely facilitate your application preparation in the future.
Some forward planning and preparation now, with time at home with your personal documents, may save you time and stress with your future application. Should you have any questions in respect of your future immigration matters, Gherson can assist you.
3. Does the Home Office have your most up-to-date information? Have you moved house, recently changed your name, contact information or other personal details? If so, the Home Office must be made aware of this under certain circumstances. More information can be found here. If you are unsure about this requirement or require assistance with updating the Home Office, please do not hesitate to contact us.
4. If you wish to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK (‘ILR’) or British citizenship and you are over 18 years old, in most cases you will be required to pass a Life in the UK test. Whilst test centres are currently closed, you can prepare for the Life in the UK test now by studying the test handbook, which can be ordered online and delivered to you. Further information on the Life in the UK test can be found here.
5. British passports: Her Majesty’s Passport Office currently remains open and is accepting both online and paper applications. Should you wish to renew your passport or apply for a first British passport and meet all relevant requirements then Gherson can assist you with the application process, both domestically and from abroad.
Gherson can advise and assist you on all aspects of your UK immigration matters via telephone call or videoconference.
The information in this blog 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 this blog. 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.
Paralegal in our General Immigration team