At the outset we will provide you with a Client Care Letter, which sets out the work which you have instructed us to undertake and the anticipated cost, as well as any other costs that we expect will be associated with your application. We are always happy to carefully explain the various steps and how the total costs have been calculated. Once you have received our letter, there is no obligation on you to instruct us further if you do not wish to. If you do agree with our terms, you will be asked to return a signed copy of the letter to us.
Our Client Care Letter will also set out when our fees are due, and when you will have to pay the Home Office fees. In most cases you will pay those fees to us and we will pay them to the Home Office on your behalf.
It is important to note that our Client Care Letter clearly sets out the scope of the work we have agreed to do for you and the price quoted is for our services up to the point that a decision is made on your application. If your application is refused, or if there are further steps you would like us to take, we will provide you with a further quotation for those services.
The Client Care Letter will also set out all the other terms of our arrangement with you and wherever possible we will also provide you with an estimate of how long it will take to prepare your application and how long the Home Office may take to make a final decision on your application.
What services are included within the displayed price?
- Discussing your circumstances in detail and confirming which is the most suitable application for you and what other options may be available to you, based on the information you have provided us with;
- Providing advice and assistance about the relevant requirements and procedures of the Immigration Rules and whether you appear to meet the criteria;
- If you do not fulfil the criteria, whether this can be overcome, and how, and the likely time and cost involved in this;
- Considering the supporting evidence provided. Depending on your circumstances and the information provided, in hourly rated cases this can increase the cost;
- Where necessary, helping you obtain further evidence (such as medical records, the opinions of experts or your previous immigration history by means of a Subject Access Request). The costs associated with obtaining this evidence are usually in addition to any fixed fee, or hourly-rated estimate we may provide;
- Preparing your application and submitting the application on your behalf. Please note that any Home Office Application fees, submission fees or booking fees are not included within our costs guide.
PROVIDING ADVICE ABOUT THE OUTCOME OF YOUR APPLICATION AND ANY FURTHER STEPS YOU MAY NEED TO TAKE
If your application is unsuccessful, or if you need to make further applications or submissions in order to achieve your aim, we will advise you on those costs before undertaking any further work on your behalf. To be clear, the costs of appeals, administrative or judicial reviews are not included in the price guide provided below.
ESTIMATING THE TIME YOUR APPLICATION WILL TAKE
We will always provide you with our estimate of how long it will take to prepare your application for submission. This will be dependent on various factors, such as complexity of the matter, number of applicants/dependants or evidence required. Generally, a typical application will be prepared within 1 – 3 weeks of receiving the information required. Of course, this can vary, however should we foresee that the process will take longer than initially anticipated, we will keep you updated at all times. Please note that we will also advise on the Home Office processing times, however this will depend on the application submitted and method of submission.
THE STAGES OF AN APPLICATION
Every application is different, and each client’s circumstances are unique. This makes it difficult to provide an exact overview of an application, however to give our prospective clients an idea of what they can expect we have set out some guidelines below. Not every case follows this format, as short deadlines, or exceptional immigration history or circumstances can extend or curtail these stages.
Contacting our office to arrange a meeting:
You can telephone our office and ask to speak to a immigration consultant about your immigration matters and to arrange to meet. If we think we can be of assistance we will invite you to our office to discuss your case with us. Once you have met with us there is no obligation to instruct us to take your case any further if you do not wish to.
If you prefer you can arrange to have an initial consultation. These meetings are charged for and the price is in the guide. The range of price is dependant on the seniority of the professional who meets with you. At the initial consultation we will give you comprehensive verbal advice about your case and make recommendations as to how you should proceed, we will also give you an indication of what we will charge you to do the work. Again, you are not obliged to engage our services if you do not want to. If you do decide to instruct us we will deduct the cost of the initial consultation from your overall professional fees.
Client Care Letter:
If you do decide to engage our services we will provide you with a Client Care Letter and our Terms of Business, setting out the terms of our arrangement with you. This will include what we have agreed to do for you, who will work on your case, the likely costs involved as well as details about what other costs you may incur. We will ask you to sign and return to us the Confirmation of Instructions document. If someone else will be paying your fees, we shall ask you to provide their details and proof of their identity.
One you have instructed us and we have accepted your instruction we are bound by our professional obligations including confidentiality and we may not communicate anything you have told us to anyone else without your permission.
At the outset we will advise you of the likely time frames of your application. The Home Office does publish guidelines about how long they take to process various types of applications, but these are only guidelines. We will advise you, based on our experience, how long the Home Office usually takes to make a decision on the kind of application you have instructed us to make. Also based on our experience, we will advise how long it is likely to take us to prepare your application and the factors which may speed up or delay that process.
Information we will require from you:
Initially we will ask you to provide us with information so we can identify who you are. You will need to provide us with photographic proof of your identity and proof of your current address. Depending on your circumstances, we may require further information from you.
When our fees are payable:
For fixed fee matters our professional fees, as well as the anticipated Home Office fees and any other fees which we have told you about, will usually be payable at the start of your matter. We can discuss this with you and make arrangements to suit your circumstances and the time frames of your matter.
On hourly-rated cases, we will ask you to pay us an amount to be held in anticipation of our fees and costs we may incur on your behalf. This is held in our Client Account and we will inform you before we take any of this to settle our professional fees.
When the Home Office fees are payable:
Home Office fees and any other fees (for example, medical expert, barristers, translation) must be paid before we book your appointment with or submit your application to the Home Office.
Unpaid fees or costs:
If you do not pay all the fees and costs associated with your application, we may decline to submit your application. If we do submit your application and there remain fees and costs outstanding at the conclusion of your matter, we are entitled to retain your documents, including originals, until all our fees have been settled.
Advice on your case:
Depending on what you have instructed us to do, or the type of application, or your particular circumstances and the time frames, we may provide you with a letter setting out our advice to you and our recommended course of action.
Further information we will require:
We will ask you to provide us with the information we need to start doing the work you have instructed us to. The Home Office is very prescriptive and we will have to obtain the information they require in precisely the format specified. As a result we may need to ask you for more information, depending on what you have provided to us and its particular relevance. The speed with which you provide us with the information we ask for, and its accuracy, will have the most significant impact on the timing of your case and how long it takes us to prepare and finalise your application.
Clarification, or additional evidence based on the information provided:
The Immigration Rules and policies are constantly changing and as we prepare your matter and complete the application forms it may become apparent that we require information or details which we had not asked you for before. Again the speed and accuracy with which you are able to provide these will impact on how quickly we can complete the work.
Draft application form:
Where applicable we will complete the application form on your behalf and we will ask you to confirm that all the information on the form is accurate. This is your responsibility and if there are any errors, or omissions, or information which is incorrect ( for example you have not advised us of a criminal conviction, or previous immigration refusal ) it is up to you to ensure that this is correct. The consequences of providing incorrect information can be severe and we set out further details about this in our Terms of Business.
Final application form:
We will prepare a final application form and ask you to confirm that this is correct before we submit this on your behalf. Again, we stress the importance of ensuring that this information is absolutely accurate.
Depending on your application, we will usually prepare a coving letter to be submitted with the documents we are required to provide in support of your application. This letter will be provided to you in draft for you to check as well.
Creating the bundle:
We will create a bundle of the documents we are required to submit in support of your application. In some circumstances these may have to be original documents, or certified copies of originals.
In most circumstances you will be asked to submit your biometrics, this means that you will need to go to one of the appropriate centres and provide your fingerprints. Your signature and a digital photograph will also be taken.
Home Office Interview:
Some applications require that you have an interview with the Home Office or that the application is submitted in person. Depending on the type of application there are various methods of submission, all taking different lengths of time and with different associated costs. This may include postal applications, Priority Service and the Super Premium Service.
At the outset of your matter we will tell you which of these is available to you, depending on your particular application and circumstances, and the likely costs. We will discuss this with you and we will agree which option we will select depending on time and cost.
The Home Office will usually advise us directly about the outcome of your application and where applicable will usually send your passport, or biometric permit, or other documents to us. We will advise you as soon as we have this and make arrangements as to how to get this to you.
Depending on the application and the status you have been granted you may be obliged to take further steps, for example, registering with the police or collecting your biometric residence permit from the post office. We will advise you about this. We will advise you of the consequences of not meeting these obligations.
We will also tell you about any expiry or renewal dates which are applicable, and what steps you will need to take to make sure you meet these dates. We will advise you of the consequences of not meeting these dates
Your further application:
We will advise you if and when you will be able to make any further applications, for example, an application for nationality, or a first British passport. We will also tell you what our likely costs of submitting any further application on your behalf will be.
At Hartley Bain we are committed to providing a high quality legal service to all our clients. When something goes wrong we need you to tell us about it so that we can resolve the problem and continually improve our standards.
If you have a complaint, please contact our Director, Cabeer Ahmed (C.Ahmed@Hartleybain.co.uk). He can be contacted by email, or at the address below:
Floor 37, One Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London, E14 5AA.
What will happen next?
1.Within three days of receiving your complaint we will send you a letter acknowledging receipt. We will provide details of who will be dealing with your complaint, and when you can expect to have a response. It may be necessary at this stage to ask you for more information, or to invite you to meet with us to discuss your complaint.
2.We will record your complaint in our central register and will investigate your complaint by reviewing the relevant file and the issues you raise. The member of staff who acted for you may be required to provide further details.
3.We will then provide you with a detailed written response to your complaint, this may include our suggestions for resolving the matter. We will aim to do this within five days of acknowledging your letter. If your complaint is very detailed, or your matter has been very complex, it may take us longer to complete a review and to respond to you, but we will keep you advised if this is the case. Once again, it may be necessary to ask you to come in and meet with us in order to discuss your complaint before we are able to respond fully.
4.Within three days of any meeting we have with you we will write to you to confirm what took place and any suggestions we have agreed with you.
5.At this stage if you are still not satisfied, please let us know. We will then arrange to review our decision. We would generally aim to do this within 14 days.
6.We will then write to you confirming our final position on your complaint and explaining our reasons. We will always do this within eight weeks of receiving your complaint, unless there are exceptional reasons why we cannot and we will keep you advised if this is the case.
- Please note that if you are not satisfied with our response to your complaint or you do not wish to present your complaint to Hartley Bain in the first instance, you may at any time complain directly to the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC).
The OISC can be contacted at: