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Company Overview

Descartes Solicitors is a dynamic and friendly firm of multilingual solicitors and specialist legal advisors. We take pride in offering clear advice, innovative thinking and effective solutions to legal situations tailored to the specific needs of our clients.

We offer a range of legal services to both individual and corporate clients in relation to all aspects of UK Immigration Law, Human Rights Law and Divorce.

At Descartes Solicitors, we aim to simply the legal process which can often be difficult to navigate. UK Immigration Rules in particular, can be complex and challenging. Our team consists of highly specialised individuals who offer expert legal advice and representation. What distinguishes us from other firms is the way we interact with our clients, with others and with members of our team.  We have an established reputation for delivering quality services as can be seen from our five-star google ratings from former clients.

Family Law

The breakdown of any relationship can result in highly emotive and stressful circumstances for the adults and children involved.At Descartes Solicitors, we offer the professionalism

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Immigration and Nationality Law

Immigration is a frequently changing area of law that can impact those seeking to live, work, employ, study or establish in business in the UK.

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Judicial Review

Judicial Review is the process by which decisions of Central or Local-government, Public bodies or regulators can be challenged in the court.

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Client Reviews

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    The UK Diversity Legal Awards 2017!


    Upper Tribunal Ruling on Ankara Agreements


    London Legal Walk 2016 Descartes solicitors

    Representative of an Overseas Business Visa




    This category is for businesses located overseas intending to send a senior employee to the UK to establish a branch or wholly owned subsidiary in the UK.


    For initial applications, applicants will need to demonstrate that the overseas company:

    • Is a genuine business currently trading
    • Has no other branch, subsidiary or other representative in the UK
    • Intends to establish a branch or whole owned subsidiary in the UK whilst ensuring that the centre of its operations and principle place of business remains overseas

    Applicants will personally need to demonstrate that they:

    • Are employed by the overseas company, holding a senior position with full authority to make decisions on behalf of the company (but not be a majority shareholder)
    • have extensive related industry experience and knowledge
    • intend to work full-time for the organisation
    • not intend to take any other employment other than for the business
    • can maintain and accommodate themselves and any dependants adequately without recourse to public funds
    • meet the required standard in English language

    If your initial application is successful, you will be granted leave to enter and remain for up to 3 years. Before your visa expires, you will need to submit an extension application.


    To qualify for an extension within this category, the following requirements must be met.

    The overseas business must:

    • Continue to have its headquarters and principle place of business outside the UK
    • Show that the business is continuing to trade
    • Be involved in the same business sector as of the branch/wholly owned subsidiary in the UK
    • Certify that the sole representative continues to be required for employment in the UK

    The individual applicant will need to:

    • Provide evidence that they have established the business in the UK by providing either:
      • a certificate of registration, for a branch or
      • If a wholly owned subsidiary then a certificate of incorporation and either a share register or a letter from the company’s accountant, confirming that all shares are held by the parent company
    • Demonstrate that they have managed to secure business with UK based firms since being appointed as a sole representative (through company accounts, invoices, reference letter etc.)
    • Remain employed on a full-time basis as a senior employee and continue to have full authority to make decisions on behalf of overseas business in the UK
    • Provide evidence that they have been in receipt of a salary in the 12 months prior to the extension application
    • Show that they can continue to maintain and accommodate themselves and any dependants without recourse to public funds


    After completing 5 years of lawful, continuous residence in the UK as a Representative of an Overseas Business. Applicants will need to continue meeting the requirement set out above for the extension application and in addition will need to:

    • have sufficient knowledge of the English resides in the UK
    • not have absences from the UK of more than 180 days in any of the five years prior to to the date of the settlement application


    The exact requirements and documents required for each application will vary depending on each applicant’s circumstances.

    Our experienced lawyers can help applicants, family members or dependants to:


    • Make an initial application under the overseas business representative category
    • Prepare a detailed and thorough business plan including financial forecast
    • Prepare you for interview
    • Make an extension application
    • Make a settlement application; or
    • Challenge decisions by way of Administrative Review or other appeal processes

    We will assist by:

    • obtaining the complete facts of a case
    • collecting relevant documents
    • advising the best solutions
    • using our expertise to undertake one-to-one interview preparation
    • preparing the application (including completion of forms)
    • preparing covering submissions
    • submitting the application(s) to the relevant authority
    • communicating with the relevant authority until a decision is made
    • advising about rights and entitlements following a decision an application
    • providing follow up support and services


    DESCARTES SOLICITORS is recognised as one of the leading multi-practice firms in the UK. Our specialist immigration team will advise, prepare and submit high-quality visa applications for applicants and their dependent family members. Contact our lawyers on 0208 995 3556/0844 556 9901 or e-mail


    Covid 19: Immigration and asylum hearings in the First-tier and Upper Tribunal



    On 19/02/20, the Senior President of Tribunals issued an emergency practice direction (Pilot Practice Direction: Contingency Arrangements in the First-Tier Tribunal and the Upper Tribunal) in accordance with s.23 Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007. The practice direction is to cover all chambers of the First-tier and Upper Tribunals during the Covid-19 pandemic.

    The practice direction confirms that:

    “Where it is reasonably practicable and in accordance with the overriding objective to hear the case remotely (that is in any way that is not face-to-face, but which complies with the definition of ‘hearing’ in the relevant Chamber’s procedure rules), it should be heard remotely.”

    The arrangement has been put in place for a period of 6 moths, though it will reviewed and can be revoked at any time should the measure become inappropriate or unnecessary.

    The practice direction essentially allows:

    • Decisions, where possible, to be made on paper without a hearing
    • Hearings to go ahead in a party’s absence in accordance with the overriding objective, the parties’ CHR rights and Chamber’s procedure rules about notice and consent (consent of parties)
    • Chamber Presidents to prioritise “triage” cases to determine on paper i.e. for cases where a positive outcome is likely (with the consent of parties)

    Where it is deemed necessary for a hearing to take place, the hearing should be heard remotely i.e. video hearings (if reasonably practicable) i.e. that is in any way that is not face-to-face. Up until now, some hearings have been adjourned while others will go ahead as Case Management Hearings (CMR) via telephone or skype.

    The Senior President of Tribunals has noted that the tribunals will take into account the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic when considering applications for the extension of time for compliance with directions and the postponement of hearings, insofar as compatible with the efficient administration of justice.

    UK Government advice for UK Visa Applicant affected by Coronavirus (COVID-19)



    UK Government advice for UK Visa Applicant affected by Coronavirus (COVID-19)

    On 24th March 2020, the UK Government announced that those in the UK with leave expiring between 24th January 2020 and 31st May 2020 will be granted an extension of stay until 31st May 2020. This applies to those who cannot leave the UK because of travel restrictions or self-isolation related to the Coronavirus pandemic.

    The extension is intended to reassure individuals that they will not be adversely affected by a situation which is out of their control.

    Those affected will need to contact the Coronavirus Immigration Team on providing the following information:

    1. full name (as stated in their passport)
    2. date of birth
    3. nationality
    4. previous visa reference number
    5. an explanation as why return is not possible, for example if the border has closed

    Those intending to stay in the UK long term will also be able to apply in-country to switch to a long-term UK visa until 31st May. This has been specially implemented for those who would usually be required to return to their home country to submit an application. For instance, switching from Tier 4 (Student) to Tier 2 (General Worker). Individuals applying for long-term visas will still need to meet the visa requirements for which they are applying and pay the correct application fee.