immigration enforcement

The first Commencement Order for the Immigration Act 2014 has been made: the Immigration Act 2014 (Commencement No. 1, Transitory and Saving Provisions) Order 2014 (SI 2014/1820). There is no known date for commencement of the main right of appeals provisions or the new removal power but some of the provision of services provisions introducing immigration checks for banks and building societies and for driving licences come into effect today, 14 July 2014. Continue Reading…

Pound Coins by William Warby
[Scroll to bottom for updates]

The judgment is now out in the long awaited case of MM v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2014] EWCA Civ 985, the test case challenging the minimum income threshold for spouses wishing to enter the United Kingdom. The Court of Appeal has allowed the Secretary of State’s appeal. This is terrible, heartbreaking news for those families forced apart by the rule. An appeal to the Supreme Court will be attempted, but it will be many months until any outcome is known.

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Statement of Changes HC 532 analysis

I have put together a detailed run through of all the major changes wrought by Statement of Changes HC 532. You can read my analysis here if you are a Free Movement Member. There are some significant changes to Appendix FM, the private life, deportation and human rights rules and to the Entrepreneur requirements.

You can read about the benefits of and sign up for membership here.

Divided family demonstration

Yesterday was the two year anniversary of the harsh new immigration rules introduced on 9 July 2012. Tomorrow comes the Court of Appeal decision in the challenge to the spouse minimum income threshold.

The effects of these rules are really beginning to bite: much misery has been caused by family separation. Spouses are kept apart or exiled to another country, children are deprived of a parent and grandparents are left lonely, isolated and suffering while their children can only watch helplessly from afar.

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By Metaforica (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

In MF (Albania) v SSHD [2014] EWCA Civ 902, the Court of Appeal considered and upheld the criticisms of the appellant’s country expert made by the Upper Tribunal. In doing so, the Court appeared to disapprove of the practice of instructing expert witnesses to comment on particular findings made by decision-makers in reasons for refusal letters. Continue Reading…

amnesty_logo

The latest unannounced official HMIP report on Haslar immigration detention centre reveals that the centre staff had blocked the websites for Bail for Immigration Detainees (BID) and Amnesty International:

Detainees had access to the internet, but some key websites were blocked. The officer on duty in the internet suite could unblock any site. When we visited, the officer agreed to unblock the Bail for Immigration Detainees’ website but not Amnesty International’s without more senior approval.

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Razor Wire by Derek Bridges

HM Chief Inspector of Prisons report on an unannounced inspection of Dover Immigration Removal Centre (IRC) between 3–14 March 2014 (published 7 July 2014) once again highlights critical concerns surrounding Rule 35 of the Detention Centre Rules 2001.

Dover IRC is generally commended, although its atmosphere appears to remain that of a prison rather than an immigration detention centre – the distinction may be a fine one.  Continue Reading…

Syrian visa refusal rate chart

I was just taking a look at the official immigration statistics to compare refusal rates for different nationalities. This jumped out at me, though: the refusal rate for visa applications by Syrians now stands at 57%. There was a 16 percentage point jump in the refusal rate between 3rd and 4th quarters 2011 and it is now double the refusal rate before the conflict began. The number of applications remains steady throughout the period.

The conflict really got going in the 2nd quarter of 2011. Combined with the admission of a mere 24 Syrians under the much vaunted UK resettlement programme, it rather calls into question UK humanitarian commitment.

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