Meet the team
Michelle Holmes – Managing Director
My own immigration story started back in September 2003 when I first applied to enter the UK under the Tier 5 route, which is no longer available to South Africans – I was one of the lucky ones! I arrived in London straight from the Bushveld in South Africa and to say it was a culture shock is, to say the least! I arrived on a cold damp morning and thought London was freezing… until I moved to Yorkshire in April 2004 that is. Ha!
Like so many others, I emigrated to the UK on my own and 8 years later I proudly became a British Citizen. Why am I telling you this? Well, I get it! I completely understand how stressful and expensive emigrating to another country can be. The psychological impact of emigrating, the family/friends/animals you leave behind, the stress and cost of the visa process and this is all just the start of a very long, hard journey.
When I speak to parents or agents of students, I can empathise and reassure them that through my own experiences and work experience, they are in safe hands and shall be there with them every step of the way to guide and assist.
I previously worked as Head of Compliance, providing advice on all sponsor licence and student matters for a large number of independent schools and colleges. My experience includes but is not limited to:
- Applying for a sponsor licence;
- Partnership agreements;
- Adding additional study sites;
- UKVI inspection preparation; attendance and lead the inspection;
- Mock inspections and reports;
- Liaising with Home Office, agents, parents, admissions departments and other stakeholders;
- Assist with admissions and international students policies
- Training for boarding staff;
- Managing sponsor licences, including applying for the annual BCA and CAS allocations;
- Managing documentary evidence (appendix D);
- Reporting on both licence and student related matters;
- Providing advice on the Child Student and Student route (previously Tier 4);
- Assist with visa applications, drafting and issuing CAS;
- BRP queries
and many more…..
Now you know a little about me and hopefully, after you have checked out my website, you know more about what Holmes & Partners Ltd can offer you.
We are here to help, so please feel free to get in touch anytime.
Jeferson Zigart – Immigration Adviser
My passion to assist people to navigate through the UK immigration system started in 2011 when I had to apply for my leave to enter and found how daunting the experience can be – lots of documents to gather and an extensive and complicated application form to fill in. Not to mention the 280-mile journey to my local visa centre.
I arrived in Yorkshire in summer 2011 and fell in love with the county straightaway – the people, culture and the breathtakingly beautiful landscape.
It took me nearly 4 years and lots of paperwork, applications forms, sleepless nights, headaches, worries and expenses I could ill afford, as I did the entire visa application processes from entry into the UK through to becoming a British Citizen myself, all by myself.
Having endured the daunting experience to successfully complete the processes, I now understood from first-hand experience the frustration students and their families may feel due to the complexity of the immigration system. The possibility to help families and schools during the process is what has been driving me since 2016.
I previously worked as a Senior Account Manager, providing schools and families with advice during the UK visa application process. My experience in the sector includes:
- Checking students’ documents against current UKVI guidance;
- Applying for Child Student and Student visas (formerly known as Tier 4);
- Provide advice to schools and families regarding the visa route required in each case;
- General enquiries;
- Liaising with the Admissions department of schools;
- Drafting and issuing CAS’s on behalf of the schools;
- ACL queries;
- BRP queries;
- Maintaining accurate documentation and case files.
Emma Helliwell – Administrative Assistant
After studying Biology at University, I was looking for a career path that would both use and improve my already acquired skills, as well as teach me some new ones. When I found Holmes & Partners Ltd it was a perfect fit. My experience as a conveyancer, rigorously checking paperwork and helping people navigate the world of remortgages, means I am prepared to help Holmes & Partners goal of always delivering customer service that is on point.
Nicolas Chan – Trainee Immigration Adviser.
I am originally from Hong Kong and spent 4 years studying in the UK. After graduating from university, I started my career in the public sector in Hong Kong and re-settled in the UK through the British National (Overseas) visa route in 2021.
As I have been through the UK immigration process myself, I understand how complicated the immigration process can be. I am happy to join Holmes & Partners and look forward to assisting other visa applicants to overcome the potential hurdles when applying for visas.