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Initial Application – Very Significant Obstacles To Integration

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Initial Application – Very Significant Obstacles To Integration

You can submit an an initial application for leave to remain on the basis of very significant obstacles to integration in your home country’s society if you are over the age of 18.

Paragraph 276ADE(1)(vi) of the Immigration Rules, allows an applicant who is over the age of 18 and who has lived continuously in the UK for less than 20 years, to meet the requirements of this rule if they can demonstrate that at the date of application there would be very significant obstacles to the applicant’s integration into the country to which they would have to go if required to leave the UK.

The threshold is very high for someone to satisfy the requirement of very significant obstacles to his integration into his country of origin. Only the applicants with exceptional circumstances are likely to succeed under this category. The application under this category is made by using application form FLR (FP) and if the application is successful, permission to stay will be granted for 30 months under 10 years route to settlement.

Waht Is Very Significant Obstacle To Integration?

A ‘very significant obstacle to integration’ means something which would prevent or seriously inhibit the applicant from integrating into the country of return. Home Office UKVI will be looking for more than the usual obstacles which may arise on relocation (such as the need to learn a new language or obtain employment). They are looking to see whether there are ‘very significant’ obstacles, which is a high threshold. Very significant obstacles will exist where the applicant demonstrates that they would be unable to establish a private life in the country of return, or where establishing a private life in the country of return would entail very serious hardship for the applicant.

Eligibility Requirements For Initial Leave To Remain On The Basis Of Very Significant Obstacles To Integration

Paragraph 276ADE(1)(vi) sets out the criteria to be applied, together with the other requirements of the rules, in assessing whether to grant leave to remain to an applicant on the basis of very significant obstacles to integration. To qaulify for leave to remain under this category, the application should meet the following requirements:

  • The applicant should meet the suitability requirement as envisaged under paragraph 276ADE(1)(i), and the application of the applicant must not fall for refusal under S-LTR: Suitability;
  • The applicant must have lived in the UK for less than 20 years;
  • There must be very significant obstacles to applicant’s integration into the society of his country of nationality or origin.

Assessment Of Very Significant Obstacles By Home Office UKVI

The Home Office UKVI should consider the specific claim made and the relevant national laws, attitudes and country situation in the relevant country or regions when assessing the very significant obstacles to integration. A very significant obstacle may arise where the applicant would be at a real risk of prosecution or significant harassment or discrimination as a result of their sexual or political orientation or faith or gender, or where their rights and freedoms would otherwise be so severely restricted as to affect their fundamental rights, and therefore their ability to establish a private life in that country.

Home Office UKVI should consider whether the applicant has the ability to form an adequate private life by the standards of the country of return – not by UK standards. Home Office UKVI should also consider whether the applicant will be able to establish a private life in respect of all its essential elements, even if, for example, their job, or their ability to find work, or their network of friends and relationships may be differently constituted in the country of return.
The fact the applicant may find life difficult or challenging in the country of return does not mean that they have established that there would be very significant obstacles to integration there. Home Office UKVI should consider all relevant factors in the person’s background and the conditions they are likely to face in the country of return in making their decision as to whether there are very significant obstacles to integration. The Home Office UKVI should also consider any specific obstacles raised by the applicant.

Relevant Factors To Consider In Assessment Of Very Significant Obstacles To Integration

According to UKVI guidance, the Home Office will take into account the following factors when considering very significant obstacles to integration in applicant’s country of return:

Cultural Background

Evidence of the applicant’s exposure to and level of understanding of the cultural norms in the country of return should be given due consideration in the assessment of very significant obstacles to integration. Where the person has spent time in the UK living amongst a diaspora community from that country, then the Home Office UKVI may conclude that they have cultural ties with that country even if they have never lived there or have been absent from that country for a lengthy period. If the applicant has cultural ties with the country of return, then it is likely that it would be possible for them to establish a private life there. Even if there are no cultural ties, the cultural norms of that country may be such that there are no barriers to integration.

Length Of Time Spent In The Country Of Return

Where the applicant has spent a significant period of time in the country of return it will be difficult for them to demonstrate there would be very significant obstacles to integration into that country. The Home Office UKVI will consider the proportion of the person’s life spent in that country and the stage of life the person was at when in that country.

Family, Friends and Social Network

Accoring to UKVI guidance, an applicant who has family or friends in the country of return should be able to turn to them for support to help them to integrate into that country. The Home Office UKVI will consider whether the applicant or their family have sponsored or hosted visits to the UK by family or friends from the country of return, or whether the applicant has visited family or friends in the country of return. The Home Office UKVI may also consider the quality of any relationships with family or friends in the country of return, but they do not have to be strong familial ties and can include ties that could be strengthened if the person were to return.

Faith, Political or Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity

The Home Office UKVI should consider the relevant country information when considering whether an applicant would face very significant obstacles integrating or re-integrating into the country of return as a result of their faith, political or sexual orientation or gender identity. The UKVI should consider the degree of difficulty that would be faced as a result of the applicant’s faith, political or sexual orientation or gender identity based on the situation in practice in the country of return and not necessarily solely what is provided for in law. The applicant’s previous experience of life in that country and any difficulties the applicant claims to have experienced as a result of their faith, political or sexual orientation or gender identity should also be considered.

Re-Applying For Leave To Remain On The Basis Of Very Significant Obstacles To Integration

If your application for leave to remain on the basis of very significant obstacles to integration has been refused by the Home Office, UKVI and you believe that the decision to refuse your application is valid and lawful and therefore cannot be challenged successfully by way of appeal, you have the option to re-apply for leave to remain on the basis of very significant obstacles to integration. We can provide the required legal help and assistance with re-applying for leave to remain on the basis of very significant obstacles to integration.

How Can We Help?

As your legal representatives, our immigration solicitors can represent you in your application for leave to remain on the basis of very significant obstacles to integration and carry out all the work on your leave to remain application until a decision is received from the Home Office UKVI. If instructed to represent you regarding your leave to remain application on the basis of very significant obstacles to integration, the immigration casework to be carried out by our long residence solicitors will include the following:

  • Assessing your eligibility for leave to remain on the basis of very significant obstacles to integration by considering all your personal circumstances;
  • Advising you on the weaknesses and strengths of your leave to remain application on the basis of very significant obstacles to integration;
  • Advising you on the relevant documents to be submitted in support of your leave to remain application on the basis of very significant obstacles to integration;
  • Assessing your documents to ensure that the documentary evidence is as per requirements of the Home Office UKVI immigration Rules;
  • Completing and submitting the online application form to apply for leave to remain on the basis of very significant obstacles to integration by gathering all the relevant information from you;
  • Helping you with paying the application fee and the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) online;
  • Booking your appointment with the application centre for verification of documents and enrolment of biometrics;
  • Where necessary, preparing detailed witness statement of the applicant and other witnesses explaining the very significant obstacles to integration in the country of nationality of hte applicant and other relevant factors pertaining to the leave to remain application;
  • Preparing a detailed cover letter to introduce and support your application;
  • Uploading online all the relevant supporting documents before you attend your appointment for enrolment of your biometrics;
  • Liaising with the Home Office UKVI for a timely decision on your application.

How Much We Charge?

Unless your matter is very complicated, our fixed fees for leave to remain on the basis of very significant obstacles to integration are as given in the fee table below:

Our Service Our Fee
One-off immigration consultation/advice for leave to remain on the basis of very significant obstacles to integration £80 (inclusive of VAT)
One-Off leave to remain Application Checking Service / Documents Assessment £240 (inclusive of VAT)
Full service for leave to remain on the basis of very significant obstacles to integration to  cover all the work until decision by the Home Office UKVI From £2,000 + VAT To £3,000 + VAT

The agreed fixed fee will depend on the complexity of the application and the volume of casework involved in the very significant obstacles to integration application. In addition to our fixed fee for leave to remain application on the basis of very significant obstacles to integration, the applicant will also have to pay the Home office UKVI fees for the application.

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