Adoption, Surrogacy, and Children
We have assisted many families to bring their children to the UK or ensure their children remain here. We understand that families come in all shapes and sizes and are not all the same.
We are proud of our expertise in adoption and international surrogacy work. Families adopting abroad or entering into a surrogacy arrangement should take advice on the immigration and nationality position for their children. This is a complex area of law and an overseas adoption or surrogacy agreement does not necessarily lead to immigration permission or British citizenship. Some children may need a visa to come to the UK. We can assist in obtaining status for your child.
We also have a great deal of experience with applications to assist you in bringing your children to the UK in other circumstances. We can help with applications where the child’s parents are already living in the UK and with applications where the parents will be accompanying the child.
We can find solutions to ensure families can live together in the UK. We can work closely with your family lawyers, or we can recommend family lawyers if you do not already have one.
“Mainstays of the practice include specialist applications relating to international surrogacy and adoption…” – Legal 500 2018
“Alison Hunter has ‘almost unrivalled’ experience of dealing with cases of international adoption and surrogacy.” – Chambers and Partners 2018
“Barry O’Leary and Diana Baxter are among the most experienced and knowledgeable solicitors dealing with international surrogacy cases.” – Legal 500 2018
There are parts of the world where individuals are at risk of serious harm because of their religion, race, political opinions, gender or sexual identity. If you are in the UK and you fear harm or a violation of your human rights in your home country, you may be able to seek refuge here. We can guide you through the UK’s complex asylum and human rights system.
We have particular and long-standing expertise with asylum claims on the basis of sexual identity. We are affiliated with UKLGIG, and often receive referrals from specialist charities and campaign groups. We have successfully assisted clients from many parts of the world, including Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Cameroon, Egypt, Ghana, Libya, Iran, Pakistan, Uganda and others.
We also have a strong record of obtaining refugee status on the grounds of political opinion and religious belief, particularly for clients from Africa and South and Central Asia.
We can help you to prepare your claim, attend your asylum interview with you, and prepare evidence and legal arguments on your behalf in support of your claim.
If your asylum claim has been refused, we can help you to prepare your appeal, or assist you in making a fresh claim.
“First of all THANK YOU so much for your hardwork on my case without which it would have never been possible. I am delighted to hear good news about my case and find myself at peace.” – Client
“I wanted to say thank you. Over the last year, I have been able live a happy life. You will never know just how grateful I am.” – Client
We can help you and your family apply for British citizenship.
We assist individuals who, through their residence or other ties, can apply for British citizenship. Nationality law is complex and has undergone many changes over the years and we can assist you to navigate this area of law.
We will review your immigration history and give you realistic advice on the prospects of success of an application. Since the introduction of the character guidance in December 2014, many individuals have been refused naturalisation on the basis of their previous immigration history. If your application has been refused, we can advise on applying to have it reconsidered by the Home Office, or obtain an alternative remedy.
There are a number of ways in which children born in the UK can either register as British citizens or may, in fact, already be British citizens. For instance, if your child has lived in the UK for the first ten years of their life, they may have a right to register as British. If you are a European national and your child was born in the UK, your child may already be British. We can provide expert advice in these cases.
If you or an ascendant were born in a country which used to be part of the British Empire, you may have an entitlement to British citizenship. We have also assisted individuals who could not previously access British citizenship because of historic discrimination against women and against children who were born out of wedlock.
“If I could rate 6 stars I would. I’m very proud to say I’m British now after 14 years living in London. They are very competent and knowledgeable, you can feel that from the first time you visit their office, very honest and organised, all the 3 applications I sent through them were successful.” – Client
“I have to thank you so much for all of your help – this really has changed my life, I am now free to do all the things I’ve always dreamed of. I have booked my driving theory test & even more exciting I have booked my first (of many) holidays in June! I am so grateful for all of your hard work you really have changed my life and I could not be happier – it feels so surreal that the problem I’ve had my whole life is now gone! – all thanks to you.” – Client
Challenging Home Office Decisions
Having an immigration application refused can be a difficult experience.
If your application has been refused, we will advise you on whether or not you have a right of appeal, and whether this is the best option to pursue. Sometimes, a new application may be more likely to succeed. We can provide strategic advice and help you prepare your evidence and legal arguments as strongly as possible.
In some cases, the Home Office may deny you a right of appeal, or require you to leave the UK before you can appeal. We will give you clear and realistic advice about when and how such denials of a right of appeal can be challenged.
We also specialise in challenging other types of Home Office decisions, such as refusals of citizenship, denial of access to public funds, and long delays in deciding applications. This is generally through a procedure called ‘Judicial Review’.
We have also played a leading role and have particular expertise in seeking legal costs from the Home Office where a refusal or other decision is legally wrong.
“Even though it seemed hopeless to me at times I always knew I could trust you. You did an incredible job, so organised and so precise. I’ve never seen him so relaxed and with an actual happy smile on his face. He’s a different person now thanks to you. I can’t thank you enough for this. Keep changing people’s lives because you are great at it.” – Client
We are proud of our history of assisting couples and families to live together in the UK. Whether you are the partner of a British citizen, a settled person, an EU national, or an individual with temporary leave, we can advise on applications on the basis of your relationship.
Partners of British citizens and settled persons have to deal with increasingly complex rules when making applications to come to or stay in the UK. Even when all these requirements are met, applications can be refused simply because of a missing document. We will help you navigate the rules and, if you cannot meet all the requirements, we will explore other available options with you. For example, you may be able to apply on the basis of your parental relationship with a child in the UK, or as a result of insurmountable obstacles to your family life continuing overseas.
We assist partners in same and opposite sex relationships, partners who are married or unmarried, partners who are in the UK and those outside, partners with an exemplary immigration history and partners who have made mistakes in the past.
We have experience with complex applications from those relying on a range of financial sources to applications from overstayers. We also have significant expertise with assisting same-sex couples who cannot live abroad because their rights and liberties would not be respected.
We are also aware that, sadly, some individuals find themselves in abusive relationship which they are afraid to leave because of their immigration status. We can assist with applications on the basis of domestic violence, and have expertise in applications made by stranded spouses.
We regularly engage with policy makers and provide training to other lawyers and legal advisors on family based immigration applications.
We understand, and celebrate, that love crosses borders, cultures, and ages. Whatever your circumstances, we can advise.
“It would be impossible to overstate my gratitude for your work to allow my wife to live in the UK, so thank you so so much!! I am very excited to have my little family back together in the next week or so.” – Client
It is our opinion that the freedom of movement of people is a principle of which the European Union should be proud.
Following the referendum last year, many European nationals and their family members are concerned by the consequences of Brexit. We are UK specialists in European free movement law, and can help with straightforward and complex matters.
We frequently advise Europeans and their family members who wish to live, work, and settle in the UK. We have expertise in advising on complex aspects of European law, including applications as a partner, applications made as the primary carer of a British child, those made after a marital breakdown, applications made after a long term illness, or applications made on the basis of dependency.
We can advise on your current position, the options available to you, and keep you informed of developments in connection with Brexit.
“Wesley Gryk Solicitors were absolutely fantastic in the clear and informed way they handled, first our UK Residence application and then UK Permanent Residence. They inspired confidence in the kind, but knowledgeable way they led us through the mountain of documents and efficiently handled everything from start to finish.” – Client
Exceptional Talent and Exceptional Promise
If you are a recognised or emerging leader in the arts, digital technology, humanities, science, engineering or medicine, you can apply to be endorsed by an official body in your field, allowing you to apply for a Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) visa. This visa will enable you to live and work in the United Kingdom for up to five years, after which you may be able to settle. You can also bring your family members with you.
Wesley Gryk Solicitors has a successful track record in this category, particularly with those working in the arts and digital technology fields. We can assist with every stage of the application process, including putting together the evidence and reviewing the letters in support of your application.
We will give you realistic advice as to your likelihood of making a successful application for endorsement and if the Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) visa does not seem appropriate, we will review the alternatives with you.
“I just want to say a big thank you to all of you who helped and advised me regarding the visa… So thank you all from bottom of my heart, for making this happen!!! From now on, I have no other excuses not to work harder and do my best.” – Client
“I would like to thank you so much for all the amazing work that you have done to make this happen. The quality has been absolutely exceptional! I do not have enough words to express my gratitude and happiness to you and your colleagues at the firm.” – Client
Investors and Entrepreneurs
We assist with applications made by high net worth individuals who wish to move to the United Kingdom.
An investor visa is available for those who have two million pounds or more to invest in UK Government bonds or in UK companies. This offers you and your family a path to settlement, and flexibility for you and your family members to work and study in the UK. We can work with investment advisors, banks or tax advisors to ensure that your investments are compliant with the immigration requirements and meet your investment objectives.
If you are an entrepreneur and would like to come to the UK to set up or take over a business and have the requisite amount to do so (which ranges from £50,000 to £200,000, depending on your circumstances) we can give you strategic advice on your application. In recent years, the entrepreneur route has become more complicated, and you are now required to submit a business plan to convince the Home Office of the genuineness of your intentions. We will guide you through the steps to make the strongest application possible.
We understand that setting up a business or relocating to the UK can be stressful, and we will work with you to ensure the immigration process is as smooth as possible.
“I would like to thank you for all the help, motivation and guidance you have extended to me and my family, during the time of our Tier1 visa application submission. There were days and moments when I thought we couldn’t make it, but your support and reassurance kept me going and finally we got the positive outcome today.” – Client
You may be able to make an application to remain in the UK on the basis of your family and private life. You may be allowed to stay in the UK if:
- You are less than 18 years old and have lived in the UK for at least 7 years and it is not reasonable to expect you to leave the UK.
- You are a young person between 18 and 25 years old, and have lived in the UK for more than half of your life.
- You are more than 25 years old and have lived in the UK continuously for more than 20 years.
- You are more than 18 years old and there are significant obstacles to returning to your country of origin.
These applications can be complex and difficult to evidence. We regularly assist clients with private life applications and can advise and assist you to make the strongest application possible.
“I’m in shock! I honestly didn’t even completely believe it would ever happen. Thank you so much.” – Client
Settlement (Indefinite Leave)
We can advise you on the quickest route to settlement and help you and your family with your applications.
If you have been living in the United Kingdom for five or ten years on a lawful basis, you may become eligible to apply for indefinite leave to remain. Once you have indefinite leave to remain, you will be able to live or work here without applying for any further permission from the Home Office.
You may be unsure as to when you become eligible to apply for indefinite leave to remain, especially if you have spent time outside the UK or there have been periods when you are unclear what your immigration status was. Whatever your situation, we can advise you in a one-off consultation or prepare the entire application for you.
“Thank you so much for your work in assisting him to get his indefinite leave to remain. We are both exceptionally happy to get this news. The support and advice we have received from your office has been greatly appreciated over the years and has enabled him to live in a country where he can be himself without fear of persecution.” – Client
Whether you are a non-European wanting to work here or an employer seeking to employ a non-European worker, we can help.
The main route to qualify for employment in such a case is to be sponsored by an employer who has successfully applied for a Tier 2 Sponsor Licence. We can advise employers to obtain such a licence and we can advise potential employees who hope to qualify to work in this category. Sometimes, employers keen to keep valuable employees working here in another capacity consult us on their options – we are able to provide frank and pragmatic advice so that they can take realistic decisions.
We pride ourselves in giving holistic advice, and if Tier 2 doesn’t seem appropriate we do our best to review all the alternatives.
“Great news: received an email from visa center this morning and went straight to collect my passport. It’s done! You made this happen, I can’t even find the words to express my gratitude.” – Client
The UK has some of the world’s leading educational establishments. Students from across the world come to the UK to undertake part of their education, from short courses to degree-level study. You may only need a short term study visa, or you may be looking for a visa that allows you to stay for an extended period.
The immigration rules for students are increasingly complex and we give expert advice and assistance to students at every stage of their education.
We can also advise you if you have a child who wishes or needs to study in the UK to undertake their primary or secondary education.
We help with visit visa applications and can advise you of your rights and responsibilities, whether you’re travelling to the UK as a tourist, on business, for academic reasons, to visit family, or for medical treatment.
If you have previously been refused a visit visa, we can advise on the reasons for refusal and, where possible, work with you to make a new and better application. Sometimes, applicants do not realise that there are multiple requirements that visitors need to meet, and we can explain these clearly and concisely.
“My experience with your firm was one of the best. Your team is very fast and professional.” – Client
Immigration law is complex and there are underused categories and policies that may be applicable to you, for example ancestry visas, visas for ministers of religion or visas as the Representatives of overseas businesses.
We also understand that people’s lives do not fit neatly within Home Office boxes. We offer frank and realistic advice on the merits of making an application outside of the Immigration Rules, and have years of experience in successfully assisting clients to regularise their position.
“You really helped a very stressful experience turn out in the best way possible and I cannot thank you enough.” – Client
“Thank you very much for all of your help and I am very grateful to you. You have done excellent work and I am so grateful on behalf of my parents. I am very much indebted.” – Client