Hello and welcome.
Welcome to ABC Above & Beyond. 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 ABC Above & Beyond 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 ABC and Rob (the founder) better, we have conducted an interview with him to answer some frequently asked questions…
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. What is the difference between a general solicitor and UK OISC Immigration Adviser?
In the UK a lawyer is trained in all aspects of UK law, but they may not specialise in Immigration Law during their study. This is partly because Immigration Rules and Laws change so regularly, which makes it difficult to create a fixed course, whereas Criminal Law, Property Law only goes through minor changes. So if choosing a solicitor it is important to check they have specialised in Immigration. 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 and service is to the highest standard.
4. 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.
5. 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. Also worked with many British Citizens who wish to bring their family members to the UK.
6. 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.
7. 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.
8. Rob, can you help Hong Kong BNO holders come to the UK?
Yes, I can.
9. Rob, can you help their families who are not BNO holders come to the UK?
Yes, I can help their partner and children.
10. 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.
11. 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.
12. Rob, what if someone wants to become a British Citizen?
That is a very good idea for those who wish to permanently remain here and make the UK there home. If that is a part of a person’s plan then it is good to know that at the beginning of engaging with our services e.g. I would not recommend them to be out of the UK for more than 90 days per year, so they can meet the UK residential requirements. Note: applying for certain ILRs allow 180 days out of the UK.
13. After 5 years, how do you apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain?
Indefinite Leave to Remain is a separate application form. Over the years, I have done numerous ILR applications and on the whole they will be straightforward. After 1 year you can apply for British Citizenship for most cases. If married to a British Citizen you may be able to apply immediately after receiving ILR.
14. Rob, do you have a lot of experience applying for British Citizenship for people?
Yes, in the last 13 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.