Diwali: Culture, Humanity, and How We Play a Part in It All as Immigration Lawyers
People hold their values very close to their hearts. They thrive on their principles and morals. But where do these values come from? They find their inception in the Indian culture, customs, and usages. One of the most integral elements of Indian culture is the festival of Diwali. Diwali is known as the festival of lights. Although it finds its origin in religious realms, the spirit of the festival is bigger than any devout ritual. The festival holds diverse significance for varied groups of people in India based on their religious and spiritual beliefs. In Hinduism and most part of Northern India, the festival is celebrated to rejoice the return of Lord Ram from his 14 year exile and connotes triumph of noble over evil which teaches a lesson that the festival of Diwali is celebrated to give the present and future generations a reminder of the fact that selfless deeds always bear fruitful outcomes. Then in the Western region of India, Diwali is celebrated to honor King Bali who surrendered his kingdom to obey Lord Vishnu’s command. For the Buddhists the festival represents Emperor Ashoka’s vow of non-violence. All these beliefs have different origins, but they all lay down a common message that even in the darkest of times, there will be light. Each individual who belongs to India has his own inspiration and motivation to celebrate Diwali. And this is not a festival that is celebrated alone or in solace; the exuberance is felt when together, as a family. It is the union of such wonderful notions and religious beliefs that makes Diwali India’s biggest and most celebrated festival.
The festivities are not classified just to the geographical borders of India. Indians across the globe celebrate Diwali with the identical dynamism and devotion as those who celebrate it within the country. This precisely indicates that borders don’t restrict Indians from celebrating the festival. Although Diwali births its inception from the ideologies and beliefs of Hindus, Jains, and Sikhs, the festivity is commemorated by all Indians irrespective of their cast, creed or community, similar to the vibe that is shared around Christmas and Eid. So the people from India settled, studying or working abroad also stay a part of Diwali celebrations irrespective of the distance. In fact, such people who have been living away from India without their families are the ones who are more enthusiastic during such festivals than those living in India as they miss their roots and their culture in a foreign country.
With a lot of people settled outside India like in the U.K. or U.S.A. without their families, whether on a work visa or a student visa, it so happens that they do not get holidays for Indian festivals like Diwali or Holi because these festivals are not recognized as public holidays or bank holidays in these countries. So the Indians working there do not get the opportunity to come back home to celebrate such festivals and spend time with their families. For a certain group of people like Gujratis, Nepalis and Marwaris, Diwali is considered to be the beginning of New Year and is celebrated in the same fashion. New Year is a huge milestone and a vital day in everyone’s life. But because Indians working abroad do not get holidays for Diwali, they miss out on spending time with their families and near and dear ones during such festivals. It can be argued that people working abroad can take leaves and go back home to be with their families, but missing out on work for a minimum of two weeks when there is no emergency is not something that any employer would ratify. Even the position of students is that they cannot take too many leaves of absence from lectures as that would affect their attendance and they would also miss important lectures that would benefit them for their end of term exams. So that becomes a dead end too.
What we, as immigration lawyers do is, we connect people. We help these people who cannot go back home, for important events like Diwali, to their families and miss big milestones of their lives because of work or college. We make this happen. So what if people working abroad cannot come back to India in these times? We help their families go to them. There are various visa categories available for the U.K. for which the family members of persons residing in the U.K. could be eligible. Like if the person working abroad is essentially settled there and has an ILR (Indefinite leave to remain), which makes him eligible to get a British Citizenship, then he can bring his spouse, fiancée or even same-sex partner, to the U.K. under various categories of Family visa. The spouse goes under Spouse Visa, fiancée under Fiancée Visa and so on. If the person has children, they can go in under the family visa as well.
Then there is another category of Indians working and studying in the U.K. who may not have ILR, who may just be working or studying in the U.K. under a non-settlement visa or have been living there under a settlement visa but have not completed five years to make them eligible for ILR. In such circumstances, there is a different set of visas available for the families called the Dependent visa. Dependent visa includes all those who are dependent on the person working in the U.K., like spouse, parents or children. Under the dependent visa, the dependents get to stay with their family member working or studying in the U.K. till the time he/she is there too.
Now the catch here is that all these provisions to move to the U.K. under dependent or spouse visa sound extremely exciting and easy to obtain. But let this one fact be known that getting a Spouse or dependent visa is not a cake walk. There are so many intricate requirements and procedures during the filing of the application, that a person is bound to miss few details here and there without any guidance. And if any detail is missed, the Home office does not give a chance to the applicant to submit the missing document, the application is straight away refused. It is details like these that an Immigration lawyer knows not to miss.
It’s not just spouse or dependent visas that are complex, even if visit visas are not filed correctly, they could be refused. British Home office is very strict about its immigration policies and stringent in its rules. They are apprehensive about migrants entering the U.K. more so since Brexit. But immigration lawyers care about the law as well as their client. They want to see their clients happy. It is to facilitate these services that immigration lawyers work day in and day out to make sure that families living seven seas apart are united.
The SmartMove2UK is a niche immigration law firm that specialized in British Immigration law. If reuniting with your family in the United Kingdom is what you desire, then you now know who you need to approach. Our immigration lawyers would like to wish anyone and everyone a very happy Diwali.
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