Archives For July 2012 changes

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…

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It is sad when a judge tasked with deciding whether a British pensioner should live out his last days with his wife or without comments that

this was a very run of the mill case

Maybe for the judge. In which case the judge should consider his or her position as a judge. It certainly is not ‘run of the mill’ for those affected. Unfortunately, this patrician insouciance when determining other people’s lives infects many who work in immigration law.

In this case Cranston J goes on to comment that the pensioner concerned only “relatively recently became a British citizen”. He is but a ‘Plastic Brit‘, as The Daily Mail would say.

Continue Reading…

Soldiers

Newly introduced Immigration Rules (Statement of Changes HC 803) due to take effect on 1 December 2013 will end a concession for family members of members of the armed forces, forcing many such families to separate if the soldier is stationed to the UK.

Ending the concession and bringing soldiers into line with other British citizens and foreign nationals subject to the minimum income threshold ignores the unique position of the armed forces. A soldier does not have any control over the country to which he or she is posted or for how long, so the position is not analogous to any other British citizen or foreign national choosing to work abroad or relocate to the UK. Soldiers who are posted abroad may well put down family roots during foreign postings. It ignores the reliance of the armed forces on foreign national soldiers, many of whom of course have families abroad. It also ignores the fact they are putting their lives on the line. Continue Reading…

Update on Home Office appeal against spouse minimum income judgment

I’ve had quite a few queries asking for updates on the spouse minimum income case, MM & Ors v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2013] EWHC 1900 (Admin). The challenge to the rules essentially succeeded in the High Court but the Home Office have appealed to the Court of Appeal (blog post: “High Court finds minimum income rules disproportionate and unjustified“). Sanjeev Sharma of JM Wilson Solicitors in Birmingham is the leading solicitor in the case and the Home Office appeal in the Court of Appeal is to be heard between 3 and 5 March 2014. Judgment is likely to come some time after that.

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

plane-taking-off

Child abduction is a criminal offence. It requires covert departure from the UK to another country, and from the abductor’s point of view preferably one that is not in Europe, not a signatory to the Hague Convention and that does not have a bilateral agreement with the UK. The incredibly extensive powers available to the High Court include ‘port stop’ orders for prevention of undetected departure or entry and obtaining various records of the abductor and family members from third parties in order to locate the missing child. All this is intended to and does make child abduction very difficult and very risky.

Some parents, though, have cottoned on to the use of a loophole in immigration laws that allow a very effective form of child abduction without any of the inconvenience. All the cases I have seen or heard of have involved a female foreign spouse. Unlike in forced marriage cases or conventional child abductions, Government officials turn a blind eye. And recent immigration law changes exacerbate the situation for victims, who are not just the stranded spouses but also the children. Continue Reading…

CRAZY May

Theresa May spent over a year saying her new immigration rules would weaken Article 8 rights for “foreign criminals” but conceded the point within a day at the Court of Appeal.

MF (Nigeria) v SSHD [2013] EWCA Civ 1192 makes clear that the Immigration Rules governing deportation now provide a ‘complete code’ for the Article 8 rights of foreign criminals. But they do not change the substantive law relating to Article 8 proportionality assessments and do not create a legal test of exceptionality for succeeding where the Rules are not met.

Continue Reading…