Hello and welcome.
Welcome to UK International Solutions. We provide friendly and professional OISC regulated Immigration and Visa Advice/Support. We are qualified at all OISC Levels of 1, 2 and 3. Whether you are already in the UK or are coming to the UK from abroad we are here to help and guide you. We also offer related support services to help ease your transition into a new country. At UKISS we believe that everyone plays a part in making the world a better place. We improve the world by helping one another. So, whether you want to come to the UK to join your family, start a business, study or invest, or you need help with any other kind of visa application, please contact us by email or phone.
To understand UKISS and Rob the founder better, we have conducted an interview with him to have a further understanding and answer some frequently asked questions.
Rob I can see you are a member of the OISC. What does that mean?
OISC stands for the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner. They are a UK Government Regulatory body that is in charge of regulating Immigration Advisers. It is illegal to give Immigration Advice without being registered with a regulatory body like the OISC. I am registered as an Immigration Specialist with the OISC which is promoted by the UK Home Office on their UK Government Website.
Rob, I notice that you are registered as a level 3 adviser. What does that mean?
On a basic level it means that I can specialise in complex cases. When you begin as an adviser you start at Level 1. I progressed from Level 1 to Level 3. I have over the years also been a registered Trainer of Immigration Advisers and currently am. My Supervision training of people is also under the OISC. This means I can work with Human Rights and complicated UK Case Law.
What is the difference between a lawyer and UK OISC Immigration Adviser?
In the UK a lawyer is trained in all aspects of UK law, but generally they may not learn about Immigration Law in their study. This is because Immigration Rules and Laws change so regularly, whereas Criminal Law, Property Law only goes through minor changes. An OISC Immigration Specialist must be regulated and approved every year. We are registered and audited by the UK Government OISC to check our advice is to the highest standard.
Why are you an Immigration Specialist?
My journey began by helping people in the UK and then I moved to Poland, Spain and Morocco where supporting people was on an International Level. When I returned to the UK in 2008, I began working with people from other countries.
Over the last 20 years what are some of the main Nationalities you have worked with, for example Visa Applications to the UK?
I have worked with those from the Middle East, for example I went to Iraq 2 years ago. At that time ISIS was invading Iraq and I went to investigate what was happening to the Refugees and people there. I worked a lot with the following People Groups, Kurdish, Tibetans who do not have their own country. I worked with Afghans, Syrians, South Americans and people from Asia.
In your experience Rob, what can motivate people to come to the UK?
This is a really good question, people come to the UK for many reasons. They come for Love (they have a partner here), they come to study, to work or they come for a peaceful life. Sometimes people have problems with their Government, or their Government cannot protect them. These problems can be due to Political reasons, or financial bullying or because they belong to a people group that is in danger.
Rob, what have you done to help such people come to the UK?
I have Legally represented them to enter the UK on the visa that allows them to Enter and Remain here. My job is to make sure they can legally live and work in the UK and that they satisfy all the Immigration Rules and Laws. I take on the legal responsibility for them and help in the communication between the client and the UK Home Office.
Rob, can you help Hong Kong BNO holders come to the UK?
Yes, I can.
Rob, can you help their families who are not BNO holders come to the UK?
Yes, I can help their partner and children.
Rob, can you also help their older relatives?
Yes, I can as I am a registered OISC Level 3 Immigration Specialist. This is because it is a Human Rights complex area of law that I am qualified in.
Rob, some people cannot wait until January 2021 to apply for the BNO UK Visa. If they come earlier to the UK on the LOTR (Leave outside of the Rules) visa, can you help them switch into the BNO 5-year visa?
Yes, I can that is what my main job is to help people be on the correct visa.
Rob, can you explain about the 180 days per 12-month absences from the UK?
Yes, if a person wants to have Settled Status (ILR – Indefinite Leave to Remain) then they are only allowed 180 days per year to qualify for this. If they are away more than 180 days per year they will not get ILR and may have to apply again for an Extension on their visa. This next bit of information needs verifying as the laws are still new, but if someone is away for more than 180 days per year then I would recommend that they apply again for another extension on the BNO 5-year visa.
Rob, what if someone wants to become a British Citizen?
If that is a part of a person’s plan then I need to know that at the beginning because I would not recommend them to be out of the UK for more than 90 days per year.
Some people are using LOTR to come to the UK because they cannot wait. What do they do if they want to leave the UK?
If their LOTR is still valid then they just come back on that, if not they apply for another LOTR. Usually when someone makes an UK Immigration Application within the UK and then leave before getting their answer, then this in affect would withdraw their application. This may apply to BNO Visa applicants, so I would recommend that once they apply for the 5-year visa, they wait for their answer and visa before leaving the UK.
The main recommendation is to talk with your Immigration Adviser/Specialist and let them know what your plans and needs are. This is because it is like a partnership with people. We work alongside them to help them achieve their life goals and plans.
After 5 years, how do you apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain?
Indefinite Leave to Remain is a separate application form, which for BNO holders has not been created yet as it is too early. I have done many ILR applications so they will be straightforward. The +1 means that if they want to, after 1 year with ILR they can also apply for British Citizenship.
Rob, do you have a lot of experience applying for British Citizenship for people?
Yes, in the last 12 years I have helped both adults and children become British Citizens. They make an amazing contribution to our country. Many of those I helped become British, I also helped them come to the UK in the first place so have them through their Immigration Visa journey.
Rob if some family members are away for more than 180 days but others are not will they still get Settled Status, ILR?
The full policy for ILR on BNO holders is still being finalised. However, at present, all members who have been in the UK and not left for more than 180 days per 12 months will get Settled Status, even if some family members were away for more than 180 days. Again, a client must talk to their UK Immigration Specialist about their individual and family needs.
On a BNO 5-year visa, will they have access to health services in the UK?
Yes, for that visa an Immigration Health Surcharge is paid and that gives them full access to the NHS, the UK Heath Service.
Can children go to school with BNO visa?
Yes, they can go to both Private and Public schools. It is their choice.
Can you help someone in a Same-sex relationship come to the UK?
Yes. The UK accepts people in Same-sex relationships, and I can apply for the correct visa for this situation. A good place to start is a consultation so that a person can explain their requirements.
Rob where does a person begin who wants to come to the UK or apply in the UK for a BNO 5-year visa?
The best place to start is with having an Immigration Consultation with us. For BNO holders our consultation fee is £95. This can be done through Video conference calls or in person, or sometimes both. It is both because sometimes the client has a family member or friend here in the UK, so they come in person to my office and we speak with the other person on video call.
Some people have an expired BNO passport or do not even have one. Can you help them to apply for a BNO visa still?
Yes, I can. The Home Office will need to see the evidence that they qualify for BNO status, for example a Hong Kong Registration Identity Card, Birth certificate, etc.