Sean Callaghan

South Africa

“Having a lawyer when things run smoothly is a comfort. But having one when UKBA messes up is vital.”

~ Sean Callaghan



Sean has a grandparent who was born in the UK, and this means that he was eligible to come to the UK on the basis of his UK Ancestry.  He and his family moved here from South Africa, and Sean set up a company soon after.  The main focus of Sean’s work is coaching and mentoring, and you can read more about what he does at

Sean instructed us to act for him and his family in their application for settlement, and we submitted the application a few days before their leave expired, but this was returned to us four months later with a letter from the Home Office saying that it was an invalid application as an out of date form had been used.

Well, of course we hadn’t used the wrong form – the caseworker at the Home Office had made a mistake.  Sorting it out, however, was both protracted and stressful!  We returned the application immediately, with a letter setting out why the Home Office position was wrong.  Situations like this, however, can take years to sort out if you don’t chase them vigorously, so we followed up our letter by informing them that we intended to apply for a judicial review if they did not confirm that the application was valid by a certain date, and at the same time wrote to Sean’s MP, asking him to intervene.

After several faxes and letters the Home Office got back to us to confirm that they had made a mistake and that the application was valid, but we had to chase up progress on the application several times, as well as make an official complaint, before Sean and his family were eventually granted ILR .

This is what Sean had to say when we asked him for a testimonial:

“Having a lawyer when things run smoothly is a comfort. But having one when UKBA messes up is vital. I am so thankful for engaging Asha Thomas – she supported me throughout what became a long and messy application for ILR. Her humour and humanity kept me sane through the process. And I am pretty certain that it was only her professional and persistent support that ensured us success.”