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CharlotteSJ, Immigration Solicitor
Category: UK Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 78
Experience:  I have 6 years experience in Immigration law and I am accredited to LSC Level 2 and OISC Level 3.
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Is there any way to short cut the system. How easy would it

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Is there any way to short cut the system. How easy would it be to get a visa after she had married me?     Is there a statute of limitations on overstayers?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: UK Immigration Law
Expert:  CharlotteSJ replied 5 years ago.
There is no easy way to get around the system and there is no statute on limitations for overstayers. If she remains in the UK for 14 years without being served with removal directions then she can apply for indefinite leave to remain. Otherwise the options available to her are to either apply for a spouse visa from her home country by leaving the UK and applying for the correct entry clearance under the rules or if there is a good reason why she cannot return to her home country, she can make an application from here. This will however be a discretionary application outside the rules and so there is no guarantee that it will be successful. If it is refused, she may also not get a right of appeal since she had no legal stay at the time of her application. If your partner does make an in country application, I would advise you seek the assistance of a solicitor as you will need to convince the home office that there are special compassionate circumstances in your case that warrant discretion and so you'll want to use some of the really helpful case law that is around at the moment.
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Customer: replied 5 years ago.
What do I do for council tax purposes as she is an overstayer? Would registering put her at risk of being sent back home? Could she get a national insurance number or would this put her stay in trouble?
Expert:  CharlotteSJ replied 5 years ago.
What I would suggest you do first is try and regularise her stay before worrying about national insurance numbers. If she works or claims benefits now as an overstayer then she will be committing a criminal offence and could go to prison. This could have serious consequences for any future immigration application as well as leaving her with a criminal record and so I would strongly advise against this course of action. She doesn't need a national insurance number for anything else and so my advice at this stage would be concentrate on getting her a visa.

In terms of Council tax, do you mean that you are currently claiming a single person's discount? If so then yes, if you are no longer living alone, you should tell the council this as you are not entitled to the discount if you do not actually live alone. If you continue to claim the discount when you are not entitled to it, you will be committing a criminal offence. If the council find out, they could just make you pay the difference back or they could prosecute you. I appreciate this may seem unfair if your partner cannot work or earn any money to contribute to the household but she is here illegally of her own choice and so unfortunately there is not much you can do about this.

If you make her whereabouts known to the Council, it is unlikely that this will reach the Home Office since they are separate departments of the Government and so they will only share information if they have a reason to do so, not as a matter of course. However, you need to be aware that as soon as she makes her whereabouts known to the Government, there is a chance that they will remove her as she has no legal stay here. They may not remove her but this is a decision for the Home Office.

If there are good reasons why she cannot return to her home country (for example illness etc) to make her spouse application from there, then you should arrange to get a discretionary application in to the Home Office as soon as possible. Once she has an outstanding application, they cannot remove her until a decision has been made.

However if there is no particularly good reason why she cannot return and make an entry clearance application for leave as a spouse then she may be better off doing that as any in country application would be likely to fail on the grounds that she did not have existing leave or any compassionate exceptional circumstances and so she she make her application in accordance with the rules. If this was refused, she would definitely get a right of appeal whereas she may not with an in country application.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
This lady is already registered for council tax in another area. Could it be taken that she visits me on a regular basis,goes home then comes back again from time to time?
Expert:  CharlotteSJ replied 5 years ago.
In what respect? Why would you tell the council anything? Have they asked questions about her?

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