VOL. NO: 38      DATE:
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Hiya Readers, summer is here, World Cup is now in the quarter finals, (at the time of writing this article). Ghanaians “The African Football Lions” made all Africans proud, and they did it in a way that lessons were being learnt by those who thought they could just walk over the African Football players – well done guys.

Having said that, let us look at a song from the Legend “Frank Sinatra” in which he said, “I did it my way”. I am sure you might have heard that song before, if not try to obtain a copy and listen to it carefully.

Immigration Law as we all know is widely available through the Internet or through your friends and family and through churches and colleges. In fact, every foreigner in the United Kingdom has had some experience regarding immigration law at one point or the other. In most cases, people tend to give each other advice and encouragement to conduct their own immigration matters.

In the first instance, it is an offence to offer immigration advice without being registered or authorised by the OISC, The Law Society or Ilex – I am now here to promote these bodies but just to bring it to your attention that you could be committing an offence by offering immigration advice if you are not so registered.

Let us take for instance the issue of visa extension for students. There are options available for completing the necessary application forms, you could either “do it yourself”, get your College or your University to complete the forms for you, or you could get an Immigration Lawyer to assist you – this of course will cost you money on top of the processing fees to be paid to the Home Office.

Let us now examine each of these choices. 

DIY (Do it Yourself) – Perhaps the most simple way of doing things, you are able to control the whole events, you are practically in charge, you can complete the whole application without looking for any law book or even try to understand immigration rules –here I am talking about Paragraph 57 and 60 HC 395 as amended and you do not need to pay any lawyer for advice or for completing the forms, so you have completed the forms and attached the necessary documents i.e. Your Payslips, enrolment letter and your college has signed that your attendance is 99.99%. No problem – You have enclosed your cheque for £250.00 – afterwards “Na money they want” - exactly two weeks later, you received a letter from the Home Office that your application is valid and will now be passed on to a Caseworker for consideration and that it should be completed within a short time.

Congratulations! You now wait to receive your Passport back with an extension of stay for the next one year!!! OK – You have just done it “Your way”.

The second option is surrendering your passport to your College or University together with the payment of £250.00 made payable to the Home Office “Leave to remain” – afterwards, it is your College or University, you do not need to do anything anymore – Just wait for the passport to come back to your College or University and every “little thing is gonner be alright”.

The third option is to see an Accredited Immigration Lawyer – He is the main man who has gone through the education and who understands the Immigration Law and Immigration Rules – In the first instance, he or she will advice you on your specific matter i.e. student visa extension, the rules to be satisfied and how best to complete the FLR (S) forms, he or she will assist in submitting the application to the Home Office and he or she will inform you of the outcome, and of course, if there should be a problem he or she will immediately contact you and advice you of what he or she is going to do to resolve the problem with the Home Office – This is called “Piggy Backing” using Marketing terminology. You are sure that your matter will be dealt with professionally and with the best intention under the circumstances.

Now then, let us examine the danger of –DIY- your first option. Firstly, you might be able to read very well – afterwards, you are an Under/Post Graduate Student of a University, there is nothing more to it than to read and follow simple instructions in indeed contained in the FLR(S) forms which as it goes can be down loaded from the Home Office Web Site – You have your computer at home and you have the BT – Broadband – you can download the application forms faster than an Immigration Lawyer. – but wait a minute, do you actually understand what you have read regarding the rules? – You are working and you have your wife with you, oh! You also have your Child – your wife is still trying to get a job and you are working as a Factory, he works about 30 hours a week – He needs to pay his house rent, feed his wife and child, he needs to send money to his family in Ghana and he needs to wear the latest so also is his wife and child, he needs to pay for electricity and council tax – No worries, with his application, he sends the pay slip and letter confirming his employment to the Home Office – Well, afterwards, he is not relying on public funding and he has said so on the application form. He waits for his passport to be returned with visa extension so that he can continue his life in the United Kingdom, working and studying at the same time.

Booom! He received a large envelope from the Home Office, eagerly he opened it only to find that his application has been refused because he has been working more than 20 hours a week and as such he has violated some sections of immigration rules.

The first thing that comes from his mouth is S**t – how and why have they this to us! He is now confused and does not know what to do, his wife and child has also been refused and their existence in the United Kingdom is now in doubt, there is panic in the house, the wife is very upset and the poor child start screaming for ice-cream! She angrily shout on the child and the Husband tried to calm the situation by saying – I will go and see an Immigration Lawyer. 

Mate, this is what you could have done in the first instance, seek advice, allow Lawyers to assist you, it is their job and it is what they do best. Do not commit Immigration Suicide because when it has happened your chances are very limited. You are better off earning £100.00 per week doing 20hours work than to earn £180.00 per week doing all the hours under the sun – you will only have yourself to blame – Laws are enforceable in the United Kingdom! And above all, always remember, “Immigration problem is like a cancer – once it start spreading – it is difficult to cure!!!

Well, good luck and whatever you do…..Be careful seek advice and be sure you will be well guided in all matters concerning immigration law.

Should you have any query about this article, or you require advice, please contact the editor who will put you in touch with a qualified Immigration Lawyer.


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