By Gene Alcantara
London – I am so delighted to receive 3 emailed letters this week approving two of our British citizenship applications and an EU Settlement Scheme application.
My chest is still thumping from the excitement, joy and relief that I heard down the phone when I informed all 3 clients of their approvals! And this is a great feeling for me too.
All 3 success stories were quite different.
One client was from Hong Kong who came to join her fiancee and later civil partner in the UK. A straightforward case, I worked on their applications right from the start with entry clearance as fiancee, followed by leave to remain as partner once they tied the knot, then Settlement Indefinite Leave to Remain and finally British citizenship. As she arrived legally in the UK it was fairly uncomplicated to apply for her. One just needed to follow the rules and provide the necessary documents and information to prove the relationship and residence in the country.
The second client originally came in as a visitor in 2002 and unfortunately overstayed and became undocumented. Eventually she met her British partner who became her husband. She tried to apply for leave to remain until she exhausted her options. I advised her to go back home and apply for entry clearance which she did. She was able to come back legally to the UK after a few months. After she had spent 5 years on a spouse visa, I helped her to apply for Settlement Indefinite Leave to Remain. Soon after she got the ILR she was able to apply for British citizenship.
The 3rd approval is for a client who was undocumented for a while until she met her French partner. I was able to get her Residence Card under the EEA Immigration Regulations and after 5 years EEA Permanent Residence. I was also able to bring over her 2 daughters. Unfortunately although she was already eligible, she could not apply for British citizenship in time. Brexit changed the rules for EU family members. She therefore now had to convert her Permanent Residence to Settled under the new EUSS Settlement Scheme first. This took over 16 months during which time we had to help her to obtain a Share Code to prove she had the right to work. This was something she did not need to do so previously pre-Brexit. Finally after many months of stress her new post-Brexit status has been approved and she has received Settled status, Indefinite Leave. So we now just need to wait for the right time to apply for citizenship.
So these 3 clients are all very happy with their approvals. I am happy too that we have assisted them in reaching the culmination of their migrant dream, and I am honoured to have served as a bridge from their birth nationality to their host country citizenship.
With these 3 different cases, one can appreciate the difficulties or otherwise of migrating to the UK. The end game however is to become British and to be a full participant in British society. There is a journey one has to go through, whether legally or via the lengthier undocumented process, but to succeed one needs to have expert advice and guidance.
If anybody needs advice or assistance in their migrant journey, please do not hesitate to get in touch. You can be assured of an honest assessment of your case, possible realistic options, reliable service and competitive prices. In the meantime, maybe next time I will have to share such brilliant news over two days to avoid over-excitement!