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An Entry Clearance Certificate (ECC) is needed by anyone who wishes an overseas relative or friend to visit them or, more usually, to live with them permanently.
The person requesting the ECC is called a sponsor. The usual scenario is a husband or wife wishing to join their spouse in Preston, and the requests are commonly from the British High Commission in Bangladesh or Pakistan.
The ECC gives information about the accommodation where the sponsor intends to house their relative or friend. This certificate is needed to send to the British High Commission for immigration purposes.
We will carry out a brief inspection to make sure that the house is free from hazards and would not be overcrowded if another person was to stay there.
In line with local authorities nationally, we use the Housing Act 1985 to determine the 'permitted number' of occupiers. We also take account of the requirements of the 2004 Housing Act, Part 1, to determine the presence of hazards, including hazards such as lack of privacy.
This can prevent us accepting the use of a lounge as a sleeping room in some types of property. Once this inspection has taken place a letter will be given to the sponsor which can be presented to the British High Commission.
There is no legal requirement for these visits to be undertaken by Housing Standards, however, they are felt to be an important service for sponsors, for example for reuniting families.
Two standards are used to work out if a home is overcrowded or not:
This standard is not met if two persons of the opposite sex who are not living together as man and wife must sleep in the same room. In making this assessment only persons of 10 years of age or older are counted. Children under 10 must be ignored. In practice this means a family can occupy a house with 3 sleeping rooms. The husband and wife could occupy one room, all the male children could occupy one room, and all the female children could occupy one room.
This standard is not met if the number of persons sleeping in a home exceeds the permitted number.
Persons: The number of persons is calculated as follows:
Permitted numbers are calculated by using both Table 1 and Table 2.
The lowest number worked out is the permitted number.
Note: The rooms concerned in both tables are those available for sleeping purposes. Only rooms with a floor area of at least 50 square feet (4.65 square metres) are counted: smaller rooms must be ignored.
2 persons for each room
Table 3 shows the Fees payable - please note if you make an error and select the wrong amount we will charge you the difference before we release the certificate.
If you require help with something in this section, please contact us.