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Please select a heading to expand the full range of questions within that topic 

Q: I am not in the UK. How do I apply for a visa? 
A: You need to register for an account and then complete an online application form. Once completed, the application is submitted through the UKVI portal, and an appointment is booked to attend a visa identification appointment. This is where fingerprints and photos (your biometrics) are taken, and supporting documents are submitted. Please note you can only do this in a country that you have nationality or hold residency for. This link provides information to individuals on which application centre to attend. 
Q: Why have I been granted an entry visa which is only valid for 90 days? 
A: The visa is a form of entry clearance , only valid for a month solely for the purpose of crossing the border into the UK. Once you are in the UK you will need to collect a biometric residence permit with the 'full' visa. 
Q: What if I cannot travel to the UK in the 90-day window? 
A: You must travel into the UK within the dates on your initial visa; if you cannot arrive before the expiry date the chances are the airline will not allow boarding the plane. The visa would need to be extended or replaced and the only way of doing this is to return to the visa application centre/ embassy. They may insist on a new application. 
Q: Why do you advise using a windows system (pc, laptop or tablet) for our application? 
A: The UKVI system for applying online is optimised for use with Windows, and some clients have experienced glitches when applying using Apple laptops – in particular when attempting to pay for Immigration Health Surcharge, and also in selecting options for refunds. 
Q: Will I get a biometric residence permit or a digital visa? 
A: This will depend upon both your nationality, and how you submit your biometric information during your visa application. A ‘visa national’ will receive an entry clearance sticker within their passport and then will need to collect a BRP once they are in the UK. A ‘non-visa national’ will receive either: 
Entry clearance sticker/BRP if attend biometric appointment  
Digital status if submit biometrics via UKVI App. 
Q: Will I get a biometric residence permit or a digital visa? 
A: This will depend upon both your nationality, and how you submit your biometric information during your visa application. A ‘visa national’ will receive a BRP. A ‘non-visa national’ will receive either: 
BRP if attend biometric appointment  
Digital status if submit biometrics via UKVI App. 
Q: Why should a visa extension typically be made within the last 28 days of validity? 
A: If an application for an extension is submitted before this time, it is likely to be accepted (there can be good reasons for an early extension), however if someone applies too early they run the risk of losing their time at the end of the current visa. This creates a risk of being short of time resident in the UK, should the individual wish to apply for indefinite leave to remain. To put this into context, if I have a 2.5 year spouse visa, and I apply for an extension after 2 years 3 months and am granted another 2.5 years, then my residency will reach 4 years 8 months. I am only eligible to apply for indefinite leave to remain once I reach five years residency, so I will have to apply for another visa extension. 
Q: Are driving offences going to be a problem for my indefinite leave to remain application? 
A: When applying for ILR, there are 'general grounds for refusal' which apply. Any application for ILR will be refused where the applicant: 
has been convicted of an offence for which they have been sentenced to imprisonment for at least 4 years; or 
has been convicted of an offence for which they have been sentenced to imprisonment for at least 12 months, but less than 4 years, unless a period of 15 years has pased since the end of the sentence; or 
has been convicted of an offence for which they have been sentenced to imprisonment for less than 12 months, unless a period of 7 years has passed since the end of the sentence; or 
has, within the 24 months prior to the date on which the application is decided, been convicted or admitted an offence for which they have received a non-custodial sentence or other out of court disposal that is recorded on their criminal record. 
It is important to note that a fixed penalty notice - the most common penalty received for driving offences - is absent from the list above. Fixed penalty notices are typically disregarded by the Home Office when assessing ILR applications.  
Q: What is Appendix FM? And Appendix FM:SE?? I do not understand the jargon.  
A: Applications made to join or remain with settled family members in the UK are typically made under what is called Appendix FM of the Immigration Rules. Appendix FM deals with four categories of family migration, providing a route to enter and remain in the UK as a partner, a parent, a child or an adult dependent relative. It is important to acknowledge that many relationships between partners may fall outside of Appendix FM. These cases are considered under Article 8 ECHR. One example of when this would occur would be if a couple have not cohabited for two years. 
Appendix FM:SE sets out the specified evidence applicants need to provide to meet the requirements of the rules contained within Appendix FM. It is very detailed and specific! There is stipulated required evidence for all forms of income - employment; self-employment; property rental; dividends/investments; savings interest; maintenance payments; pension etc.  
Q: I am a US citizen here on a Tier 2 visa. If I marry my British partner will I be able to switch into a spouse visa? 
A: If you’re original entry clearance into the UK was on a Tier 2 visa, then wish to move to a spouse visa when you marry a British Citizen, it will restart your clock for your five years residency. This means it will be five years from the new visa before you can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain.  
Q: Regarding savings – Can I include funds within an offshore account, or do I need to transfer the funds to my normal Natwest account. 
A: In general, you can use accounts held in any legal jurisdiction, as long as the funds are immediately available. 
Q: Regarding ‘cash savings’ – am I able to include my pension? Due to my age I am entitled to withdraw up to 25% of this as a PCLS (Pension Commencement Lump Sum). Will this be ok for my application? 
A: The caseworker guidance states that savings may be held in any form of bank/savings account (whether a current, deposit or investment account, provided by a financial institution regulated by the appropriate regulatory body for the country in which that institution is operating), provided that the account allows the savings to be accessed immediately (with or without a penalty for withdrawing funds without notice. This can include savings held in a pension savings account which can be immediately withdrawn. It can be concluded that a pension account does count. It would be wise to get the letter from the provider to confirm the value of the pension; the amount that can be withdrawn immediately and without penalty and the length of time of the investment. The letter also needs to confirm that this is a pension fund. 
Q: With scanning supporting documentation, it asks for “documents showing you and your partner are living together (for example, a utility bill, council tax bill or bank statement)”. How many should I upload and for what time period? 
A: We tend to look for a document per 6 months of residence in the UK to confirm living together. This should be either for two years if applying from outside the UK, or for the duration of the time you have both lived in the UK if this is an extension application.  
Q: When it comes to uploading document copies to support my application, regarding the “passport or travel document”.. is the photo and passport details page enough, or should all pages be scanned cover to cover? 
A: Uploading of documents is not clear at all. For the passport, we recommend you scan the photo page; your UK visa and any other UK entry stamps. You do not need to upload copies of visas / stamps for other countries nor blank pages. 
Q: My husband and I are looking to naturalise, along with our two children. How do we go about the application? 
A: Applications are submitted online. You will need to complete an application form for each of you, but as long as they are all submitted on the same day, UKVI will connect the applications together. You could always add a covering letter to ask for this to happen.  
Q: Please can you summarise the residency requirements for me to naturalise? 
A: The requirements around residency are often perceived to be the most complex part of the process. The five year period under consideration is known as 'the qualifying period'. The requirements are that the applicant: 
Was in the UK at the beginning of the period of five years ending in the date of application 
Must not have been absent from the UK for more than 450 days in that 5 year period 
Must not have been absent from the UK for more than 90 days in the period of 12 months ending with the date of application 
Must have been free from any time restrictions on their stay in the UK at the date of application, and in the 12-month period ending with the date of application 
Must not have been in the UK in breach of immigration laws in the period of 5 years ending with the date of application. 
Q: What is the importance of my presence in the UK 5 years before my application 
A: This is one of the most common avoidable reasons for naturalisation applications to fail. It is a requirement for applicants to have been physically present in the UK on the actual date, and not just living in the UK at the time. You therefore must work out the 'date of application' for when you will likely submit your application, and count back five years from that date. You must have been in the UK, physically, on that date. This can be proved via your passport.  
Q: So what is the date of application? 
A: Your date of application is the date the application is paid for online. This is regardless of when any supporting documents might be received, or any appointment attended.  
Q: Am I able to obtain dual nationality? 
A: This depends entirely on your nationality, and the decision will vary depending on individual circumstances. Many countries do not allow dual nationality, whereas others permit dual citizenship but only of a limited number of countries. Some countries will grant an application for naturalisation only if the individual renounces all existing citizenship, It is important to check with a country’s consulate or high commission in the UK to find out about that particular country’s laws on dual nationality. Also, if you are an EEA National, consider whether you could potentially lose EEA rights.  

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