Immigration

Wherever in the world you wish to live, work or employ people, our highly effective immigration team can help.

As a global firm with an international client base, we have significant experience in managing the immigration needs of employers hiring foreign talent, individuals seeking to relocate, families wishing to reunite, and those looking to reduce their tax exposure by establishing residence or citizenship in different jurisdictions.

Our multilingual team has decades of experience, and team members have helped shape immigration law in their respective countries. In the US, Reaz H. Jafri has been advising clients for more than 20 years and regularly writes and lectures around the world. For immigration advice in the UK, Philip Barth brings over 20 years experience, including helping the UK Border Agency to draft its points-based system. We also have strong capabilities in Hong Kong, Singapore and Italy.

Whether you are a business or an individual, we carefully listen to your needs and concerns, and advise on the most effective means of achieving those objectives.

Creative solutions

We take pride in our ability to develop creative solutions to exceptional cases and work closely together with lawyers in other teams to ‘stress-test’ applications before submitting. In the rare instances where an application is not accepted, we will appeal the matter in court. ‘The US has by far the most complicated immigration system in the world. What Withers does is to successfully navigate people through that system,’ says Reaz.

All the help you need

Should your immigration or expatriation be part of a broader set of needs, we can call on our colleagues in related fields such as employment, banking & finance, corporate, real estate, tax, estate planning and trusts to help. One example of our full-spectrum service was when we were approached by a successful Canadian businessman looking to move his family to Europe to help his son pursue a career in Formula 1. Anthony Indaimo – who has a long history of representing many stakeholders in motor racing – devised a strategy and assembled a team to assist in this process. We advised the family on the choice of country, successfully filed their visa applications and made the transition to their new home as smooth as possible. Anthony also introduced the family to Formula 1 contacts including Bernie Ecclestone, and we were delighted when our client’s son was selected as the Renault Sport F1 test driver.

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Recognition

Leading individual for immigration

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How the immigration team can help

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Track record

Preventing deportation of young adult

Represented a young adult before the First-tier Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum) and prevented his deportation from the UK on the basis that he had been registered as a British citizen whilst a minor. The fact that the decision to naturalize his parents had been invalidated due to their non-attendance at the citizenship ceremony, did not mean that the decision of the Home Office to register the client as a British citizen had also been invalidated.

An international family

Withers represents many successful families who live and work in countries around the world. We are sometimes asked to advise on contracts for personal staff who travel with the family, in this particular case when there were immigration issues to address.

The US-born son of a UK businessman

When he became engaged to a Swiss citizen, the son of a high-profile UK businessman asked us to help him obtain a British Passport and expatriate from the US. We were also asked to draft a prenuptial agreement. Timing was of the essence but as a global, full-service firm we created a team of immigration, family and private client lawyers to meet tight deadlines.

Asylum claim

Represented a female client who had been the victim of a rape in the UK and assisted her with her claim for asylum. Her asylum claim was approved by the Upper Tribunal on the basis that she was a member of a Particular Social Group as she would have been the victim of gender based violence if returned to her country of origin, the same country the perpetrator of her rape had been deported to.

North Asian family

Assisting and advising this family based in Taiwan with extensive business interests and assets in multiple jurisdictions. Advice includes a multi-disciplinary team covering succession planning, immigration and cross-border investment.

Moving a fashion design business to the US

Represented a Canadian native and prominent fashion designer in immigrating to the United States. We helped the designer create her entrepreneurial business structure and supported her brand through multi-jurisdictional intellectual property advice to protect the trademark and key designs. We continue to provide employment and commercial advice as the business grows.

Entrepreneur visa

Successfully overturned the refusal of a tier 1 entrepreneur’s application for indefinite leave to remain at administrative review leading to a grant of indefinite leave to remain for the individual and his family.

Amendment of Foreign Affairs Manual

Advocated on behalf of US citizenship renouncing persons and convinced the US Department of State to amend the Foreign Affairs Manual to allow renouncing citizens to retain their US passports while waiting for Department of State to issue the Certificate of Loss Nationality, and thereby permit these persons to continue to be able to travel to the US.

Immigration for adult dependant

Assisted a senior executive relocate to the UK his family which included an adult sibling with a learning disability who was fully dependant on him. The immigration rules do not provide for adult dependant relatives to join individuals in the UK under the Points Based System. We prepared detailed legal representations in support of the application and his dependant sibling was issued a visa to the UK outside the provision of immigration rules on a discretionary basis.

Global entertainment conglomerate

Assisted in the transfer of US employees to China for a global entertainment conglomerate.

Healthcare system immigration program

Consolidated and took lead in managing immigration program for one of America’s largest healthcare systems.

21 UK immigration judges

With a sterling reputation in the field of immigration, we were chosen to represent 21 part-time , fee-paid judges when they decided to challenge a judicial decision not to reappoint them to the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal on new fixed-term renewable contracts.

Employment visas and green cards

We routinely represent individuals of extraordinary ability in business, sciences and art in obtaining employment visas and green cards.

Major Brazilian real estate investor

Assisted a major Brazilian real estate investor to immigrate to the US, start a new business, acquire US real estate and reorganize his Brazilian and offshore investments. This involved obtaining a new passport and visas, international tax and corporate structuring, real estate advice and business planning.

Colombian family's US passport surrender

Advised a Colombian family on the surrender of their US passports in order to come into compliance with their US tax and reporting obligations and thereby cease to be subject to US compliance in a highly tax efficient manner.

Venezuelan family in relocation

Advised on the sale of assets in Venezuela and global residency, immigration and planning needs for a Venezuelan family needing to temporarily or permanently leave their country.

Pre-immigration planning for Brazil-USA move

A Brazilian private equity fund executive requested advice on pre-immigration planning in connection with his relocation to the United States. We helped to coordinate the timing of his tax recognition from certain transactions to occur while he was still a Brazilian tax resident and others to be taxed after becoming a US tax resident. We also established different types of trust structures to protect assets from US estate tax, a foreign trust to defer income taxation on existing carried interests, and a traditional US estate planning trust for carried interests not yet paying out.

Chilean US immigration

We helped the US-resident daughter of a successful Chilean entrepreneur through immigration issues and residency planning, supported tax and reporting efficient giving from her father, and provided cross border structuring advice.

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