How to ensure your in-country immigration application is completed correctly
Monthly Newsletter Immigration Application – July 2017
Everybody who has been through the process of making an immigration application to either apply for their first grant of leave, or to renew their leave, will understand that the process is a complex one.
Finalising your immigration application is crucial. You need to ensure that you have complied with all of the Home Office’s requirements, otherwise you could be at risk of your application being returned or rejected.
To prevent the hassle of your application being returned or rejected, here are some tips to help you when finalising your immigration application, so you can do it with confidence!
1). First, you will need to check that your paper or online application form is the correct one for the type of application you are making. If you are unsure, don’t take the risk! Get advice from an experienced immigration lawyer who will be able to advise you on the type of application you should be making and the correct form to use. We would recommend using our office or telephone advice services to get specific advice.
2). Next, you will need to check that the application form that you are submitting is up to date and valid for use. All application forms can be found on the Home Office website and then downloaded and amended.
3). To make a valid application, all applicants, including their dependents, will need to pay the correct application fees which are stated on the form. If there is more than one applicant applying, you will need to state in the relevant section of the form how many applicants are included and the total fee. Next, you will need to decide on your payment method. You can pay either by card, Postal Order, cheque or banker’s draft. Postal orders, cheques and bank’s drafts should be made payable to the Home Office. When paying by card, make sure that sufficient funds are in the account when the application is submitted and that sufficient funds stay in the account until they are taken by the Home Office. One of the main reasons for applications being returned is due to applicants not having the funds available in the account when the Home Office try to take the fees.
4). You need to remember to submit passport photographs with your application. All applicants need to submit two identical passport photographs which measure 45mm high by 35mm wide. If you are applying on the basis of a sponsor, such as a partner, then the sponsor will also need to provide one passport photograph. If you are unsure about the requirements for the passport photographs, you can always visit the Home Office website for further information:
5). All applicants and their sponsors (if applicable) must submit valid identity documents with their application to the Home Office. The Home Office will only accept original passports, national ID cards and travel documents as evidence of identity; photocopies will not be accepted. If you do not send a valid identity document, your application may be rejected. You need to confirm on your application form which identity document you are submitting for yourself, any dependents and your sponsor.
6). Next you will need to ensure that you have ticked the box on the application form confirming which category you are applying under. If you are unsure which category you should be applying under, don’t guess. We suggest that you book a telephone advice appointment with one of our lawyers. If you apply under the wrong category, your application will be returned.
7). Certain applications require you to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge. This allows you to access the NHS during the period of your grant of leave. The Immigration Health Surcharge needs to be paid online. You will need to register an account, fill in the details and pay by card. Once you have made the payment, you will be given a reference number which you need to include on the form. The reference number will begin with IHS followed by 9 numbers. If you fail to pay the fee or state the reference on the application form, your application will not be valid and will be returned.
8). On your application form, you will also need to provide your Home Office reference number (if you have one). If you have previously made an application to the Home Office, a reference number will have been allocated to you and will be on any correspondence sent to you by the Home Office. Your Home Office reference number will begin with the first initial of your surname, followed by 7 numbers.
9). If any dependent children are applying alongside you, you will need to make sure they are included on the relevant sections of the form and that the relevant fee has been paid for them.
10). Finally, make a copy of your application form before submission and be sure to send your application either by special or recorded delivery so that your application can be tracked and you can be sure that it has been received by the Home Office. Make sure you take a note of the tracking reference number.