Association Agreement – a treaty signed between the European Union and a non-member country. One purpose of such agreements is usually to provide preferential access for individuals wishing to establish themselves in business within the European Economic Area.
Common Travel Area – an area incorporating the UK, Eire, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands. There are no immigration controls at the borders between these countries.
Dual citizenship – some people qualify for the nationality of more than one country. The UK expressly recognises multiple nationality.
Entry Clearance - commonly referred to as a visa. This is evidence of an individual's entitlement to enter the UK with a particular category of permission.
Entry Clearance Officer – official at a British overseas post who considers entry clearance, i.e. visa applications.
European Economic Area – an area including the EU, (see below) and Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.
European Union – Austria, Belgium, Cyrpus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the UK. Nationals of these countries enjoy free movement in all Member States.
Highly Skilled Migrant Programme, (HSMP) – an immigration category recognising individuals that meet certain qualifying criteria.
Immigration Judge – the person who hears and determines an immigration appeal in the UK.
Immigration Officer – an official at a British port of entry who determines whether to grant or refuse entry and what, if any, conditions should be attached to an individual’s stay.
Indefinite leave to remain, (ILR) – commonly referred to as settlement. Under this category, there are no time limits on an individual’s stay in the UK.
Judicial review – a request put to the High Court for a ruling on the legal validity of a decision taken by a public body.
Leave to enter / remain – the permission given by an UK immigration official permitting an individual to enter or remain in the UK.
Naturalisation – the process of applying for British citizenship.
OISC – Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner. A body established to regulate individuals that are not practising as solicitors or barristers. No formal training is required.
Public funds – public funds for immigration purposes include attendance allowance, child benefit, council tax benefit, disability living allowance, disabled person’s tax credit, working families’ tax credit, housing benefit, income based jobseeker’s allowance, income support, invalid care allowance, severe disablement allowance and housing as a homeless person or from a local authority housing register.
Removal – the process by which an individual is expelled from the UK.
Solicitor – a lawyer who has successfully completed academic and practical training of at least 4 years duration and whose conduct is regulated by The Law Society.
Sponsor – an person in the UK who supports an applicant’s application for a visa.
Switching – the means by which an individual already lawfully in the UK can change their immigration category without having to leave the UK.
Temporary admission – a method of permitting an individual to enter the UK whilst their immigration matters are being investigated further. This is not the same as leave to enter.
Unmarried partners – couples of the same or different sexes who can demonstrate that they have cohabited, (lived together) for at least two years.
Visa nationals – people who always require a visa to enter the UK, even for a short visit.
Work permit – an Immigration Employment Document, gained by a UK employer, for a named individual to enter the UK to take up a specific role.