UK Home Office statistics reveal up to 32 percent of all UK non-visit visa applications made from Dubai are from subcontinent nationals.

DUBAI – UK Home Office statistics have revealed an increasing proportion of Asian nationals using the UAE as a stepping stone en route to settling in the UK.

St. John Cornwell-Menzies is the director of E2W, a law firm specializing in UK immigration matters with offices in London and Dubai. He explains, “In the past five years, a staggering 32 percent of all longer-term visa applications to the UK from Dubai were from the Asian subcontinent and this trend is growing. In 2008, 757 long-term visa applications came from this region, compared to 2012 when there were 1071. Many of our clients are of Indian descent; they are skilled professionals living and working in Dubai or Abu Dhabi who see the UK as their next career or residential step.”

E2W have recently opened offices in the UAE to add to their London headquarters to better serve their increasing client base in the region.

Paris Sazida, immigration lawyer with over two decades of experience and co-director at E2W, continues: “Majority of our clients’ applications does go through based on the fact that applicants are highly skilled, well qualified and very experienced and, in some cases, large scale investors to the UK. We only take on immigration cases that we feel have the potential to succeed as our reputation has been established on our ability to deliver.”

Beverley Kumar, a Dubai resident looking to secure long-term visas for the UK for her family, explains: “My children have been schooled in Dubai and I would like to have a base in the UK for them during their tertiary education, as well as a UK passport, which provides ease of travel throughout Europe without the red tape.”

According to Cornwell-Menzies there is a plethora of cases like this, “Many professionals prefer to send their offspring to UK-based universities both for their strong international reputations and the availability of more university places in the UK compared to India. In addition, the fact that the UAE doesn’t allow foreigners to settle permanently means expats will seek out their next residential destination: the UK offers the stability and good infrastructure that expats become accustomed to in the UAE.”

E2W is one of the few specialist UK immigration firms in the UAE. The firm handles all aspects of corporate and private immigration law including appeals, all tiers and categories of points based applications and entry clearance, leave to remain, sponsor licensing and compliance, residency and citizenship, European applications, detention and deportation.