Leaders List interview: 60 seconds with Ilda de Sousa, Kingsley Napley

Date: 11 May 2022

Silvia Ricciardi

Ilda de Sousa, Kingsley Napley

Tell Citywealth’s readers about your role.

I am a solicitor specialised in UK Immigration law at Kingsley Napley LLP, a law firm based in London.

What are the most important skills and personal qualities for a lawyer specialised in Immigration?

In my view, it is important for a lawyer specialised in Immigration law to be articulate, show good judgment and writing skills, be professional and empathetic whilst at the same time thinking outside the box for quick and cost-effective solutions. The reason why I love my job is because I take great joy in helping individuals and/or businesses achieve their required goals within a fixed timeframe.

Immigration: what are the main difficulties encountered after Brexit?

With the exception of Irish citizens, EU/EEA and Swiss citizens are now subject to UK Immigration control; more specifically, they are treated in the same way as other non-EU nationals that require a visa to stay in the UK. In my view, this has been a huge adjustment for employers in the UK that now need to obtain work permits for their employees at great expense, not to mention agreeing to comply with quite onerous compliance obligations. Equally, for our clients based in the UK now wanting to do business in Europe, since freedom of movement no longer applies to British citizens, they need to adjust to make sure that their British nationals travelling for business in the EU do not fall foul of the Schengen area provisions.

Are your clients behaving differently in the present era?

Covid certainly put a stop to many relocation assignments into the UK over the last two years; however, we are seeing an increase in movement again.

What general advice can you give to individuals and businesses who want to make the UK their home?

Firstly, please speak with an Immigration lawyer to understand possible visa options and take tax advice, especially if you are a business looking to settle down in the UK as there are quite a few hurdles to jump through.

Secondly, please allow for sufficient time to gather the required documents/information to prepare a visa application. Do not purchase any travel tickets until you have received your visa.

And what is the most valuable piece of advice you have been given?

Perseverance generates success.

Ilda de Souda is a member of our Leaders List.

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