Archives For Immigration rules

autumn leaves by billy liar

When the Immigration Rules for families were changed in July 2012, it was the minimum income threshold that rightly attracted the most attention. It has caused huge misery and has divided many loving families, sometimes separating children from parents. It is particularly harsh because the income threshold is set so far in excess of the national minimum wage that many working families simply cannot afford to live together in the UK: no matter how many hours they work, they will never, ever qualify. It is heartbreaking.

Less attention has been paid to an equally severe change to the rules on ‘adult dependent relatives’: normally, the foreign national elderly parents of a settled person or naturalised British citizen. Continue Reading…

The Eve of the Battle of Edge Hill, 1642 (Charles Landseer, 1799 - 1879)

The Court of Appeal has in the case of Edgehill & Anor v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2014] EWCA Civ 402 settled the question of whether the new human rights rules introduced on 9 July 2012 apply to applications made before that date: they do not. Specifically, it is unlawful to apply rule 276ADE on long residence to applications that were already outstanding at the date the new rule came into force. Continue Reading…


The Home Office has managed to use a photo of a child that it wanted to remove from the UK as the face of its campaign to overturn a High Court judgment allowing divided families to be reunited. The news item concerns the controversial minimum income rule that is dividing many families where one of the partners is a foreign national. By the end of December 2013 it was known that over 3,000 families had been put on hold while the Home Office fights the case through the courts. The Home Office stance is causing huge misery and suffering. Continue Reading… logo


In the second Statement of Changes this month, a number of adjustments to the Immigration Rules have been announced by Minister James Brokenshire. You can also read some propaganda about how great the changes are for geeks here. Link to the actual Statement of Changes to follow when available [here]. If you spot anything interesting in the ‘minor changes’ bits, do leave a comment below to flag it up.

The changes look like a mixed bag, with some quite welcome, some not so much so and some a waste of everyone’s time. Grants of leave of five years rather than three under Tier 2 are sensible and convenient. Adding Venezuela to the visa national list less so.

The announced changes are: Continue Reading…

family visit

The removal of full rights of appeal for family visit visas has led to a legal dilemma to those considering a challenge to a refusal: should they give up, re-apply, attempt a human rights appeal or should they launch an application for judicial review? The problem seems all the more acute with many reports of refusals to spouses or relatives who cannot meet the harsh family settlement rules or who would rather live abroad but still want to be able to visit their spouse’s friends and family in the UK.

As a lawyer, speaking frankly, it is hard to know how to advise the client. The rules are still quite new and there are no precedents yet. Without being able to assess the past form of a legal argument, we lawyers struggle to a guess future performance. Until some poor guinea pig becomes a test case on the extent of the potentially vestigial human rights ground of appeal none of us will really know. This is my best stab at a sensible analysis, having given the subject quite a bit of thought.

Continue Reading…

wedding rings

Around 3,000 couples in England and Wales will tie the knot tomorrow (Saturday 15 February). According to a Home Office guestimate between 48 and 123 of these marriages will be ‘sham’, which is to say they will not be ‘genuine and subsisting’ as required by UK Immigration Rules. But what does a ‘genuine’ marriage look like?

It is not a matter of coincidence that the etymology of ‘genuine’ derives from the Latin for “native, natural” and shares a root with the claim for paternity (‘genus’). Love based on ‘chemistry’ or a ‘natural connection’ is considered the principle ingredient of marriage in most western countries today. Continue Reading…

United by Love - Divided by Theresa May, JCWI Campaign

[UPDATE: blog post on how the hearing went here]

The hearing of the test case challenge to the spouse minimum income rules is approaching and the team behind the challenge seek information about how decisions are being handled at the moment by Entry Clearance Officers on the ground.

We would be very grateful if this survey could be circulated as widely as possible. It doesn’t matter if you are a legal representative or a person directly affected by the rules. If you are a legal representative with multiple decisions, the more the merrier from our point of view.  Continue Reading…