Applications from former members of the Brigade of Gurkhas discharged before 1 July 1997 and their dependants should be considered for the exercise of discretionary leave to remain. These discretionary arrangements are supplementary to the existing provisions of the Immigration Rules. The rules relating to serving Gurkhas, those discharged after 1 July 1997 and their family members can be found in Appendix Armed Forces.
What is the HM Forces and Gurkha Visa?
A Gurkha is a citizen or national of Nepal who served in the Brigade of Gurkhas of the British Army under Brigade of Gurkhas’ terms and conditions of service. In May 2009, the Home Secretary announced to Parliament that any former Gurkha with more than 4 years’ continuous service who had been discharged from the Brigade of Gurkhas prior to 1 July 1997 would be eligible for settlement in the UK.
This scheme recognises the unique nature of the service given by the Brigade of Gurkhas and is offered to them alone on an exceptional basis. It applies to those who served in the Brigade of Gurkhas from January 1948 when it became part of the British Army. Applications from former Gurkhas who were discharged before January 1948 should be considered on a case by case basis and advice should normally be sought from policy officials before making a decision.
Requirements for Settlement under the HM Forces and Gurkha Visa
The requirements for settlement under the HM Forces and Gurkha Visa are:
The exact requirements you will need to satisfy will vary depending on your circumstances. You may want to speak to our expert immigration lawyers for legal advice.
Can Dependants also apply under the HM Forces and Gurkha Visa?
Applications may be submitted from spouses, civil partners, unmarried and same- sex partners and dependent children under the age of 18, who wish to accompany or join their sponsor in the UK. Discretion will normally be exercised and settlement granted in line with the main applicant.
The discretionary arrangements allow for adult children of former Gurkhas to be granted settlement in certain limited circumstances.
Other adult children and other dependent relatives will not qualify for the exercise of discretion in line with the main applicant, and must qualify for leave to enter or remain in the UK under the relevant provisions of the Immigration Rules in their own right.
What happens if you fail to meet the 4 years service requirement?
Where an application for entry clearance is from the widow, civil partner, bereaved unmarried or same-sex partner or orphan of a deceased former Gurkha and where the former Gurkha’s death occurred in connection with operational service, discretion will normally be exercised to issue entry clearance.
When the former Gurkha’s death was not in connection with operational service, their dependants would not normally qualify for entry under the terms of this guidance and would be expected to qualify under another category of the Immigration Rules in their own right. Exceptional circumstances may be considered on a case by case basis.
In exceptional circumstances discretion may be exercised in individual cases where the sponsor’s death was not in connection with operational service but there are strong reasons why settlement in the UK is appropriate. In assessing whether or not this is appropriate, consideration should be given to the presence of the following factors:
If one or more of these factors are present, discretion may be exercised and entry clearance issued.
A widow may also benefit under the discretionary policy if the former Gurkha who was in receipt of a Ministry of Defence (MoD) disability pension, or who had a level 1 to 3 award for gallantry, but who served less than 4 years in the Brigade would have himself qualified.
Making a HM Forces and Gurkha Visa application with OneLaw Chambers
At OneLaw Chambers, our immigration solicitors and barristers regularly assist with HM Forces and Gurkha Visa applications in order for applicants to remain and settle in the UK. We have assisted many foreign national applicants to prepare and submit successful HM Forces and Gurkha Visa applications and we have represented clients from all over the world.
Whether you require expert immigration advice on the requirements of the Immigration Rules, an independent immigration assessment of your prospects of qualifying for a HM Forces and Gurkha Visa or professional immigration representation with preparing your HM Forces and Gurkha Visa immigration application, our immigration solicitors and barristers can help you.
We are committed to ensuring that our immigration solicitors and barristers prepare every immigration visa application with utmost quality and skill so that successful outcome is achieved every time. Our immigration solicitors and barristers operate in a friendly and cooperative manner to provide our clients with the best client care and service during the entire immigration application process.
To discuss your HM Forces and Gurkha Visa application with one our immigration solicitors and barristers, please contact our Immigration lawyers on 0207 489 2044 / 0208 616 1819 or complete our enquiry form with your details.