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Maxwell Alves’ expertise on immigration was developed from its success in conducting immirgation appeals. A judgment in 2005 provides testimony of our high standard of work and professionalism. On that occasion, 40 applicants were refused by the Entry Clearance��Officer for their visa applications into the United Kingdom. The appeal was conducted by Dr Alan Ma. In his judgment, the immigration judge commented

“…….. Each of the appellants was represented by the same solicitor and it was their choice that their cases should be linked and looked at together. In my view, these were extremely well-prepared cases, well argued and well-presented on behalf of these appellants…..”

“…….. As I have indicated before, I was highly impressed by the manner in which this case was put together and presented….”

The above comments are highlighted in the judgment.

Since then, Dr Ma’s professionalism has been followed by his team. The high quality of work generates high success rate in all kind of appeals. The lessons learnt from these appeals are then transferred to all immigration related applications resulting high success rate on all fronts.

Visa application

We have assisted many clients in obtaining the most appropriate visa for them to enter the United Kingdom, stay in the country and obtain British nationality.  Based on individual needs, we develop bespoke route to achieve our clients’ objective.

Entry into the UK

Visitors, students, spouses, unmarried partners, same-sex partners, fiancé(e)s, children, dependent relatives, business people, European rights of free movement, asylum seekers

Stay and work in the UK

Visa extension, business visa, investment scheme, detention and removal.

Indefinite leave to remain and British Nationality

Please see attached fact sheets for Tier 1 Entrepreneur and £1m investment visa application.

Immigration rules and comprehensive guidance on how the rules are applied can be found in UK Border Agency web site on On many occasions, we make applications outside the immigration rules achieving our clients’ objectives.

Immigration appeals

We conduct many appeals against decisions of authorities in First Tier Tribunals, Upper Tier Tribunals and Court of Appeal. Over the years, we have conducted more than 200 applications and appeals. A selection of the judges’ decisions on these appeals can be found on the section: Immigration Judgments.

Our team regularly conduct advocacy at these tribunals. It is our policy to use in-house resources to attend tribunal hearings achieving high quality of services and avoiding the paying of additional legal fees for external barristers. We take pride of our success rate in these appeals.  The experience accumulated from conducting these appeals gives us extensive knowledge in developing and designing the optimum solutions to meet our clients’ needs.

Employing foreign workers

If employers are found to have employed illegal migrant worker, they could be fined up to £10,000 per illegal worker and be prosecuted.

The law

Under section 15 of the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006, UK Border Agency introduced a civil penalty system in February 2008 for employers using illegal workers. The highest penalty will be £10,000 fine for each illegal worker employed.

Under section 21 of the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006, it is a criminal offence of knowingly employing an illegal migrant worker. This offence is punishable with a maximum two-year custodial sentence and / or an unlimited fine.

The process

During a visit by UKBA enforcement and compliance staff, which is usually triggered by a tip off or the routine compliance visit, if an employment establishment is found of employing someone with no immigration status that he/she is allowed to work in the UK, a notification of potential liability will be issued to the employer.

UKBA’s Illegal Working Civil Penalty Unit will then consider evidence provided by the visiting officers and to decide whether to issue a notification of liability and a civil penalty of up to £10,000 for each illegal worker. Factors to be considered by UKBA in deciding the level of penalty include:

  • the type of eligibility checks that the employer has made on its workers
  • the numbers of times that UKBA have previously issued a warning or imposed a civil penalty; and
  • the extent to which the employer has co-operated with UKBA, like whether they are helpful in locating the illegal workers’ passports

In 2009, Baroness Scotland, then Attorney General, was fined £5,000 for employing an illegal immigrant as her housekeeper. Baroness Scotland had done some checks but these were not sufficient.

If an employer is hit with a notice of liability with a civil penalty, the employer has 28 days to:

  • pay the fine in full
  • request to pay by monthly instalments for financial hardship;
  • make an objection against the civil penalty decision to UKBA;
  • lodge an appeal against the civil penalty decision to the County Court (England and Wales) or the Sheriff’s Court (Scotland).

Maxwell Alves can help

  • Since the introduction of the civil penalty system, we have helped many employers in reducing the fine or avoiding the fine through the appeal system with UKBA and in courts.
  • We can also assist in discussion with UKBA to avoid the issue of civil penalty.
  • For the renewal of sponsor licence, employers who have been issued with a civil penalty must be shown that they have taken steps to ensure compliance. Our team can advise employers to achieve sponsor licence renewal process.