British Citizenship By Descent

We often get asked how a person might ‘inherit’ British Nationality. This is most often a question that arises for children born outside the UK to one or more parents who are British nationals.

In summary every British citizen is either a British citizen otherwise than by descent or a British citizen by descent.

This difference is important because the type of citizenship people have decides the way in which they can pass British citizenship on to their own children who were born outside the United Kingdom.

A British citizen otherwise than by descent, can automatically pass on British citizenship to a child born outside the UK. You can be a British Citizen otherwise than by descent by:

  • Birth; 
  • Registration; 
  • Naturalisation; 
  • Adoption.

A British citizen by descent is a person born outside the UK and is acquired if one or both their parents were British citizens at that time. This means that you cannot automatically pass on British citizenship to any child who is born abroad. You should also bear in mind that the parent from whom you want to ‘inherit’ your British Citizenship is named on your birth certificate.

You are a British citizen by descent if:

  • You are born outside the UK to a parent who was a British citizen at the time of your birth; 
  • It does not matter whether the birth took place before or after 1 January 1983 as long as a child who was born before that date became a British citizen on that date; 
  • On 31 December 1982, he or she was a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies through:
    • his or her own birth, or 
    • a parent’s or a grandparent’s birth, 
    • legal adoption 
    • naturalisation 
    • registration
  • You lived in the UK while a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies for five years at any time before 1 January 1983, and was not subject to restrictions under the immigration laws at the end of that five year period. 
  • You are a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies by connection with the Falkland Islands and Dependencies (i.e. South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands).

Under the current Immigration Rules a child born inside the UK to parents who are neither British nationals nor holders of Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK at the time of the birth, will not automatically ‘inherit’ British nationality.

There is however a possibility to apply for British Nationality for such a child if, one or both their parents were granted Indefinite Leave to Remain ‘shortly’ after the birth. This is a new provision and if you think it applies to you, you need to contact us to discuss your situation carefully.

UK Visa applications delayed due to Covid19 pandemic

This information is for UK visa applicants outside the UK whose visa application has been delayed because of the Covid19 pandemic

If you have made an application from outside the UK for a UK visa, it is very likely that your application is now on hold and delayed due to the Covid19 (coronavirus) Pandemic. Most UK visa centres around the world are now closed and will not be reopening until the ‘lockdown’ is eased.

Naturally you will be concerned about your pending application. The Home Office (UKVI) has announced that all pending visa applications will eventually be considered once the visa processing offices return to work. They have also confirmed that no applicant will be prejudiced because of this delay.

If you’re outside the UK

All UK Visa Application Centres (VACs) are closed. For updates to the status of VACs in your country, contact:

  • TLS contact if you’re in Europe, Africa and parts of the Middle East
  • VFS global for all other countries

In some areas UKVI cannot send visa vignettes across borders and routes due to restrictions.

If you have an appointment and the VAC is now closed, you’ll be contacted and told your appointment will not take place.

English Testing Centres are also affected. Visit the International English Language Testing System (IELTS)’s website or contact your test centre for more information.

Getting your documents

Due to worldwide border, travel and public health restrictions it may not be possible to return your passport at this time.

If you have submitted your passport and would like it returned, you must contact the visa application centre where you logged your application to see if courier return is available in your location.  

If you are applying for a Global Talent, Start-up or Innovator visa

If your endorsement from an endorsing body has expired because you have not been able to travel to the UK you may still be eligible for a visa. You should make your application as planned and we will consider all applications on a case by case basis.

Temporary UK Visa Rules during Covid19 Lockdown

The Home Office UKVI has announced emergency measures and changes to the law relating to temporary visa holders and visitors from outside the EU who are currently in the UK. These changes take effect due to the restrictions announced by the UK Government to try to protect the public from the Covid19 pandemic.

If you’re in the UK and your leave expires between 24 January 2020 and 31 May 2020

Your visa will be extended to 31 May 2020 if you cannot leave the UK because of travel restrictions or self-isolation related to coronavirus (COVID-19).

You must request an extension by updating your records with the Coronavirus Immigration Team (CIT) if your visa is expiring and you cannot leave the UK at present but are not planning to stay in the UK in the long term.

If you’re applying to stay in the UK long-term

You can apply from the UK to switch to a long-term UK visa until 31 May 2020. This includes applications where you would usually need to apply for a visa from your home country. This temporary change therefore includes those people wanting to apply under the spouse visa rules.

You’ll need to meet the requirements of the route you are applying for and pay the UK application fee.

This includes those whose leave has already been automatically extended to 31 March 2020.

You can apply online. The terms of your current leave (your current visa) will remain the same until your application is decided.

Application and Service Centres in the UK

UK Visa and Citizenship Application Centres (UKVCAS) and Service and Support Centres (SSCs) are temporarily closed because of coronavirus (COVID-19).

You cannot book an appointment at any UKVI office until further notice.

If you’ve already made an appointment

If you’ve already made an appointment to attend a UKVCAS or an SSC, you will be contacted to be informed that it has been cancelled. You’ll be advised when you can book a new appointment. At present the Home Office are not taking new appointments for any type of application until there is clarity from the Government on when the Covid19 restrictions may be relaxed or removed.

Your immigration status in the UK will not change as a result of you not being able to attend an appointment.

If you are on a Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa and your business has been disrupted

You no longer need to employ at least 2 people for 12 consecutive months each. The 12 month period you are required to employ someone for can be made up of multiple employees across different months.

Time when your employees were furloughed will not count towards the 12 month period.

If have not been able to employ staff for 12 months in total by the time your visa expires, you will be allowed to temporarily extend your stay to give you time to meet the requirement.

If you’ve applied for a Tier 4 visa and are waiting for a decision on your application

You can start your course or studies before your visa application has been decided if:

  • your sponsor is a Tier 4 sponsor
  • you have been given a confirmation of acceptance for studies (CAS)
  • you submitted your application before your current visa expired and you show your sponsor evidence of this (this only applies to students renewing their student visa)
  • the course you start is the same as the one listed on your CAS
  • you have a valid Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) certificate if required

If your application is eventually rejected as invalid or refused you must stop your course or studies.

If you’ve applied for a Tier 2 or 5 visa and are waiting for a decision on your application

You can start work before your visa application has been decided if:

  • you have been assigned a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS)
  • you submitted your application before your current visa expired and you show your sponsor evidence of this
  • the job you start is the same as the one listed on your CoS

If your application is eventually rejected as invalid or refused your sponsor will stop sponsoring you and you must stop working for them.

If you’re a doctor, nurse or paramedic working for the NHS

Your visa will be automatically extended by one year if it is due to expire before 1 October 2020. Family members with a visa due to expire before 1 October 2020 will also have their visa extended.

The extension is free and you will not have to pay the immigration health surcharge.

You do not need to apply. We will contact NHS employers to identify staff eligible for this extension.

We will tell you and your employer if you have received an automatic extension.

Changes to the current restrictions on the number of hours you can work or volunteer

There is no longer a limit on the number of hours you can work or volunteer each week if you work for the NHS as a doctor, nurse or paramedic and you are a:

  • tier 4 student
  • tier 2 worker and your NHS job is a second job
  • visiting academic researcher
  • holder of a short-term visa and are permitted to volunteer

If you are a pre-registration nurse in the UK

The deadline for you to sit the Occupational Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) has been extended to 31 December 2020.

British nationals abroad who need to apply for a passport

If your country‘s VAC is closed, you won’t be able to apply for a British passport. If you urgently need to travel to the UK, you can apply for an emergency travel document.

If you are applying for a Global Talent, Start-up or Innovator visa

If your endorsement from an endorsing body has expired because you have not been able to travel to the UK you may still be eligible for a visa. You should make your application as planned and we will consider all applications on a case by case basis.

Coronavirus Immigration Help

If you have immigration queries related to coronavirus, or any other aspect of UK Immigration Law please email us.

Telephone: 020 8401 7352 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm)

Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa Closed to New Applicants

Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa Closed to New Applicants

Following a statement of changes to UK immigration rules issued on 7 March 2019, the Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa programme was closed to new applicants on 29 March 2019. This has been replaced by the new UK Innovator visa scheme.

Important Information

  • Only entry clearance applications made by people who have held Tier 1 Entrepreneur leave in the past 12 months will be accepted.
  • Applications for leave to remain will only be accepted from applicants who have previously been granted Tier 1 Entrepreneur leave in the past 12 months.
  • Dependents, including partners, spouses or children under 18, can still apply to join applicants with Tier 1 Entrepreneur leave in the UK.
  • Applications for Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa extensions will remain open until 5 April, 2023. UK settlement applications can be made up until 5 April, 2025.
  • Applications to switch from a Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa will be open until 5 July, 2025 if changing to another visa and 5 July, 2027 if applying for UK settlement.

Please contact workpermit.com if you would like help with any of the above.

The Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa has been replaced by the UK Innovator Visa. If you would like to switch, or make a fresh application for the Innovator Visa, contact Workpermit.com

New UK Innovator Visa Overview & Eligibility

UK Innovator Visa Overview and Eligibility

The UK Innovator Visa is a UK visa category usually for experienced business people to set up an innovative business.  The investment requirement is £50,000 and you need to be endorsed by an endorsing body. There is an endorsement requirement which means that this visa may be difficult to qualify for at the moment.

The UK Innovator Visa replaces the Entrepreneur Visa which has now been discontinued by the Home Office

You’re eligible for this visa if:

•             You are not a national of the European Economic Area EEA and Switzerland.

•             You want to set up or run a business in the UK*. To set up or run a business in Britain your business or business idea must be endorsed by an approved body.

*If you want to set up a business in the UK, you must have access to £50,000 (this has been reduced from the £200,000 previously needed under the UK Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa) in investment funds. If you already have a business established in Britain and you have been endorsed for an existing UK visa, no minimum investment funds are required.

The UK Innovator Visa replaces the Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa category, which closed on 29 March, 2019.

UK immigration rules published on 7 March, 2019 describe the Innovator Visa as:

“A route for more experienced businesspeople looking to establish a business in the UK. Applicants will have an innovative, viable and scalable business idea which is supported by an endorsing body. With some exceptions, applicants will have funding to invest in their business. This category may lead to settlement in the UK.”

Settlement

The Home Office says that the new Innovator Visa ‘can’ lead to settlement in the UK (Indefinite leave). However there are tough requirements to meet before this becomes an option. The visa is initially granted for three years. In theory the applicant can apply for settlement after the three years have elapsed but in order to qualify they must again meet the initial ‘scalability’ requirements plus at least two of the following:

a. evidence of the structured planning coming to fruition; and/or

b. evidence that customer base growth has at least doubled in the previous three years and must be higher than comparable UK businesses in the same market; and/or

c. the business has engaged in significant research & development activity and has applied for intellectual property protection in the UK and/or

d. the business has generated a minimum £1m gross revenue in it’s previous financial year of accounts; and/or

e. the business has generated a minimum £500,000 gross revenue in it’s previous financial year accounts of which £100,000 comes from exports overseas; and/or

f. the business has created at least 10 full time jobs for resident workers

Innovator Visa Requirements

UK immigration rules specify the following requirements to be eligible for the Innovator Visa:

•             Innovation – Proof of a genuine, original business plan that meets new or existing market needs and/or creates a competitive advantage.

•             Viability – Applicants must be able to demonstrate the necessary skills, knowledge and experience, plus market awareness, to run a business competently.

•             Scalability – Evidence of structured planning and the potential for job creation and growth into national and international markets.

•             English language – Applicants must prove their English language to level B2 or above

•             Credibility Assessment – The Home Office will carry out additional credibility checks on each applicant and it is not clear yet what they will take into consideration. However negative immigration history and tax debts are likely to influence decisions.

•             Minimum Investment – the applicant must have a minimum £50,000 investment in the business

For more information about the requirements you need to meet to apply for an Innovator Visa, contact us

Your stay in the UK

You can stay for three years if you enter the UK on an Innovator Visa or if you switch to the visa from another valid UK visa.

You can apply to extend your visa for another three years when it is due to expire. There is no limit on the number of times you can extend.

After five years, you could be eligible to apply for indefinite leave to remain (UK settlement).

Applying for an Innovator Visa UK

You can only apply for the Innovator Visa, online. In addition, you will need to have your fingerprints and a photograph taken at a UK visa application centre in the country from which you are applying. You must do this to get a biometric residence permit, which is needed as part of your Innovator Visa UK application.

If you think you can qualify for this new immigration category, call us to speak with one of our immigration solicitors, we can help. It can take a minimum of three weeks to receive a decision on your visa application.

At the time of publishing this post the fee for applying for the new UK Innovator visa is £1,021 for the applicant and each dependant if applying from outside the UK or £1,277 for the applicant and each dependant if applying to switch from inside the UK. There are slightly reduced fees for nationals of Macedonia and Turkey. You will also have to pay for the Healthcare Surcharge which is an additional fee. These visa fees change frequently, usually every April and October.

To support your application, you must provide a business plan and supporting documents for endorsement. With our expertise in obtaining business and investment visas for the UK we can help you in writing a business plan. In addition a business sponsor from one of the following approved bodies will need to endorse your business plan and Innovator Visa application:

The Bakery

Seed Camp

Invest Northern Ireland

• Zinc

Deep Science Ventures

Wayra

Ignite

Bethnal Green Ventures

Codebase

Capital Enterprise

Cylon

• Tech X

Seed Haus

Med City

• Scottish Edge

Royal Society Edinburgh

• Tech Nation

• NatWest Entrepreneur Accelerator      

Royal Bank of Scotland Entrepreneur Accelerator

• Ulster Bank Entrepreneur Accelerator

Set Squared Bristol

Set Squared Exeter

Set Squared Southampton

Set Squared Surrey

There is also a new visa route for Sole Representatives of Overseas Companies – see our separate post for details