April 27th, 2018
Problems faced by the ‘Windrush’ migrants are putting the UK’s immigration system in the spotlight.
By law, your right to live and work in the UK must be checked in everyday situations. Banks, landlords and hospitals carry out these checks.
But it can be hard to prove you have a right to be in the UK. The ‘Windrush generation’ came from Commonwealth countries to live in the UK before 1971. But some of them have recently had trouble showing they have a legal right to live and work here.
People often turn to experts for help with problems. Here are some useful facts.
Who can help me with immigration in the UK?
Immigration advisers and lawyers can help with:
- applications to enter or remain in the UK
- documents needed for employment
- nationality and citizenship issues.
In the UK, advising people about immigration is a regulated activity. It is a criminal offence for anyone to provide such advice if they are not properly regulated.
Immigration advisers in the UK are regulated by OISC (Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner).
Legal executives, barristers and solicitors can also help you with immigration.
There are different regulators for lawyers. So, before you take immigration advice from anyone, make sure they are legally allowed to help you. Ask them who they are regulated by and check that they are regulated with that regulator. If they say they are regulated by OISC you should check that they are included in the OISC Advisor Finder.
Visit our Types of lawyer page to learn about regulators
How much will it cost? Finding someone to help you with immigration advice
Search online for local immigration advisers. Ask if they offer a free consultation and be clear about fees.
You can get free advice about your situation from charities such as Citizens Advice, or by visiting a Law Centre or a free legal advice clinic.
April 17th, 2018
Holiday sickness is in the news again, with more than 9 million Brits having been chased by claims management companies to make holiday sickness claims, ABTA reports.
Most holiday sickness claims are for around £2,000. But before you make a claim, get the facts.
1: Don’t make a fake claim
Many holiday makers who make false claims say they got food poisoning at their hotel or resort.
The government is clamping down on fake claims. Making a fake claim is a serious crime in the UK. In October 2017, a couple from Merseyside were jailed for faking food poisoning on their holiday.
Someone may contact you to make a claim. If you weren’t ill, delete their message or hang up.
To learn more, watch ABTA’s video
2: Making a real claim
If you did get food poisoning on holiday, you might be thinking about making a claim. Here are some things you need to keep in mind.
If you booked your holiday with a tour operator, get help from ABTA.
If you were an independent traveller, visit Citizens Advice.
If you decide to get help from a lawyer, give them as much information as you can. This will help your lawyer gives you good advice.
3: The law can help if you get sick on holiday
If you get sick on holiday, don’t forget these legal facts.
Your right to sick leave
You may be able to take sick leave from work instead of annual leave. This usually applies if you fall ill while on annual leave or just before it starts.
Find out more on the Government’s website.
EHIC card and access to healthcare in Europe
The EHIC card covers European holidays. It gives you access to free or reduced-cost healthcare in 32 European countries.
Apply for an EHIC card
January 5th, 2018
One in ten divorcees feel the right help could have saved their marriage
Divorce enquiries at law firms traditionally surge on the first working Monday of the New Year—so much so that it has become known as Divorce Day.
More than 40 per cent of all marriages now end in divorce, reports the Office for National Statistics. And one in five married couples start thinking about separating during the post-Christmas period, according to research from leading law firm Irwin Mitchell.
But the stress of Christmas and the January blues isn’t the only factor affecting the timing of divorces. Financial pressures figure increasingly in such decisions.
One in ten divorcees said the right help could have saved their relationship, according to research by Relate. If you feel there are problems in your relationship, or if you’ve already decided to get divorced, it’s useful to know what help and support is out there.
Get the facts and learn about sources of advice:
November 30th, 2017
There are 3 million EU nationals living in the UK. About 1.2 million UK nationals live abroad in other EU countries.
In June 2016, more British people voted to leave the EU than to remain part of it. This has become known as Brexit.
The expected leaving date is 29 March 2019, but the process to leave has already begun. At present the UK is still part of the EU.
Three things you should know if you’re an EU citizen living in the UK
1. EU laws are in force in the UK for as long as it’s part of the EU.
2. New laws have not come into force yet. Until they do, you have the same right to live, work and get benefits in the UK.
3. Changes to the law are unlikely to happen straight away. You should be told about changes in advance.
After the UK leaves
The European Union (Withdrawal) Bill aims to make EU law into UK law. So EU law will still apply after the UK leaves the EU. In the future, these laws may be changed or removed.
You can apply for settled status if you’ve legally lived in the UK for five years, under the current proposals. If you get settled status, you can still live, work and claim benefits after the UK leaves the EU.
Need legal advice?
This may be a worrying time for you. You can get help. For legal advice about your right to stay in the UK, you can see:
• an immigration adviser
• a solicitor
• a barrister
• a chartered legal executive or CILEx immigration practitioner
Find out more about other types of lawyers.
July 24th, 2017
April was National Pet Month – a chance to celebrate life with pets.
Most pet owners will do anything for their pets, whatever the time of year. Some even leave millions behind for their animal friends.
Sadly, other pet owners fail to meet even the basic needs of their pets required by law.
Three ways owning a pet could bring you into contact with the law
1. Leaving a gift for your pet in your will
You can leave something for your pet in your will. You may also want to leave money for the person who will look after your pet when you’re not around. A will writer could help you with this.
2. Pet pre-nup
You can get a pet pre-nup. A pet pre-nup (or ‘pet-nup’) legally documents who will have your pet if you and your partner split up. A family lawyer could help you write a pet-nup.
3. Breaking the law
From micro-chipping to buying a pet, there are many laws that apply to pets and pet owners. For example, as a dog owner, you need to make sure your dog is under control. If your dog bites and injures someone, you could be fined and sent to prison for up to six months.
If you want legal advice about your pet, see our types of lawyers section.
You can also find out about the court process, if you need to go to court.
Over to you!
We want to hear from you. Have you ever had a run-in with the law because of your pet? Did you get legal advice? Share your experiences by leaving a comment.