10 years’ Long Residence Route – where a person has been in the United Kingdom lawfully and continuously for 10 years, they can apply for settlement, which is also known as Indefinite Leave to Remain or ILR.
Administrative Review – Home Office internal review mechanism; available only for particular types of application.
Adoption – process by which an individual becomes a child’s legally recognised parent, and the parental responsibility of the biological parents or any other person ceases.
Adoption and Children Act 2002 – Act of Parliament that covers the law relating to the adoption process.
Adoption Order – order made by the Family Court to cease the parental responsibility of a child’s biological parents, and officiate its transfer to new, adoptive parents.
Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (“ACAS”) – independent public body providing employees and employers mediation service for employment disputes.
Article 8 – Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights; ensures the right to respect for private and family life.
Barrister – legal professional whose main roles include: performing advocacy in courts or tribunals, drafting complex legal documents, and providing written legal advice. Barristers who are litigation qualified may also do work typically carried out by a solicitor.
British Citizen (British Citizenship) – person who can live, work and vote in the United Kingdom freely, without being subject to any immigration controls, and is recognised as a national of the United Kingdom with the effect of being entitled to certain legal protections, for example consular assistance overseas.
Business Plan – document required in support of certain business visa applications.
Child Arrangements Order – order deciding who a child will live with and the level of contact they will have with that person
Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (“CAFCASS”) – independent body that makes recommendations to the Family Court on the best interests of children in family disputes.
Constructive Dismissal – where an employee is not explicitly dismissed, but the employer’s behaviour damages the employer/employee relationship to the point the employee can legally regard themselves as having been dismissed.
Cross-examination – when a witness is questioned by the opposing party’s representative in court.
Deportation – legal process by which a person – usually with a criminal record – is removed from the United Kingdom.
Direct Access Barristers – barristers who take instructions directly from members of the public, without that person having to go through a solicitor.
Discrimination – under the Equality Act 2010, the act of treating someone unfairly based on a ‘protected characteristic’, such as age, disability, gender, race, religion, or sexual orientation.
Divorce – legal process by which a marriage is terminated.
Documentary Evidence – proof in the form of a document.
EEA Nationals – a citizen of any country which forms part of the European Economic Area. This includes EU countries, as well as Iceland, Norway, and Liechtenstein.
Employment Appeal Tribunal (“EAT”) – independent tribunal that hears appeals against decisions of the Employment Tribunal.
Employment Rights Act 1996 – Act of Parliament governing employment rights.
Employment Tribunal – independent tribunal that adjudicates on employment disputes.
Endorsing Body – organisation permitted by the Home Office to endorse individuals for business visas.
English Language Requirement – requirement in the UK Immigration Rules that an adult applying for leave to remain, or settlement in the UK must prove their English language ability through the production of a valid test certificate, having sat a prescribed test.
Equality Act 2010 – Act of Parliament governing the law relating to the fair and equal treatment of persons who have any ‘protected’ characteristics, such as age, disability, gender, race, religion, or sexual orientation.
EU Settlement Scheme – scheme which EU, other EEA and Swiss citizens must apply to join, in order to remain in the UK after the Brexit transition period is over.
European Convention on Human Rights – international treaty that ensures the human rights and political freedoms of persons in the 47 Member States that form the Council of Europe.
Examination-in-chief – when a witness is questioned by their own legal representative.
Family Court – court where family law disputes such as those relating to child contact and divorce are decided.
First-tier Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber) (also known as the Immigration Tribunal) – independent tribunal which hears appeals against decisions of the Home Office.
Home Office – department of government that deals with immigration, security, crime, and counter-terrorism matters.
Human Rights – rights and liberties – usually civil and political in nature – to which every person is entitled; protected by various international treaties including the European Convention on Human Rights.
Immigration Appeal – an appeal to the First-tier Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber) against a decision of the Home office.
Immigration Rules – source of UK immigration law enabled by the Immigration Act 1971; written in the form of legal rules, but in fact detailed policy statements concerning immigration control.
Indefinite Leave to Remain (“ILR”) – permission to stay in the United Kingdom without time restrictions.
Judicial Review – process whereby a competent court or tribunal adjudicates on whether a decision made by a public body (e.g. the Home Office) is lawful in public law terms.
Legal Submissions – arguments made by a barrister orally to a court or tribunal to support their client’s case.
Local Authority Care Orders – order that a child be taken into the care of a local authority due to the likelihood of harm or parental care being below the standard.
Mediation – alternative dispute resolution process where parties resolve their conflict by negotiating with the help of a third-party mediator.
Minimum Income Requirement – income threshold that must be met by non-EEA applicants applying in the spouse visa category.
Offence – an act which entails criminal liability, and which usually leads to a sanction such as a fine, community work, or imprisonment.
Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (“OISC”) – body that regulates immigration advisers who are not qualified solicitors or barristers.
OISC Immigration Representatives – immigration advisers who are not qualified solicitors or barristers, but are competent to give immigration advice to the extent permitted by the level of authorisation granted by the OISC.
Overseas Representative Visa – type of business visa for sole representatives of overseas businesses seeking to expand into the UK.
Petitioner – in divorce matters, the person submitting the divorce petition form.
Reasonable Adjustments – duty on employers under the Equality Act 2010 to make adjustments for disabled people, for example, a workplace adjustment of adding a ramp for a person in a wheelchair.
Redundancy – where an employee who was a minimum of two years’ continuous employment is dismissed because of a business closure, reduction or cessation of work or need for employees.
Solicitor – legal professional whose main role is to deal with matters preparatory to court proceedings, such as drafting witness statements, gaining evidence, negotiating on the client’s behalf, or preparing a case for trial.
Special Guardianship Order – order made by the Family Court deciding that parental responsibility is to be given to a person other than a biological parent, for example a relative.
Specific Issue Order – order made by the Family Court deciding an important aspect of a child’s life when the child’s parents or guardians disagree.
Spouse Visa – visa allowing the married partner of a British citizen (or person with UK settled status) to come to or remain in the UK.
Startup or Innovator Visa – visa allowing a non-EEA national to enter the UK in order to set up and run their own business.
Tier 1 (Investor) Visa – visa allowing a non-EEA national to enter the UK in order to make a significant financial investment, typically of at least £2 million.
Tier 2 (General) – sponsored work visa allowing a skilled worker with a job offer to enter the UK and work.
Sponsorship Licence – permit allowing an employer or education provider to sponsor a non-EEA national to work or study in the UK.
Unfair Dismissal – where a qualifying employee is dismissed from their workplace without a reason prescribed by law as fair.
Upper Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber) – higher court which hears appeals against decisions of the First-tier Tribunal and immigration judicial review applications.
Victimisation – where a person is subjected to ill-treatment because they have complained about having been discriminated against.
Visa Application – application to enter or remain in the UK.
Whistleblowing – when an employee reports wrongdoing by their employer to an appropriate authority, or otherwise exposes such wrongdoing, in the public interest.
Witness Evidence – evidence from a person in the form of a witness statement or oral account in court.