All Articles: Immigration news

Immigration Judges and Migration Watch

I am back from my very pleasant holidays and thought I would kick off what feels like a new season with some juicy gossip. Many lawyers in the sector will know that ex immigration judges (then plain old adjudicators, in fact) Patricia Skitmore, John D ...

6th September 2010 By

Louise Perrett complaints rejected

An unpublished UKBA internal investigation has rejected the complaints made by Louise Perrett about the Cardiff asylum team. A summary has been made available. The existence of the ‘grant monkey’ was confirmed, but seems to have been foun ...

29th July 2010 By

The end for RMJ?

Refugee and Migrant Justice, formerly known as the Refugee Legal Centre, has gone into administration today. As a lawyer specialising in immigration and family work I have no idea what this means in commercial terms and whether it is now too late to s ...

15th June 2010 By

English language compulsory for spouses

The new Government is making it a requirement that all spouses coming to the UK will need to know a minimum level of English. That wasn’t in the coalition immigration policy document. I wonder what else they have up their sleeves that wasn’ ...

8th June 2010 By

No notice removals suspended

No-notice removals have been suspended following a legal challenge brought by Medical Justice. The no-notice policy has been covered here previously and was the subject of a damning judgment by Mr Justice Collins when two children were taken from fo ...

23rd May 2010 By

New immigration policies

The more detailed coalition government programme is now available. The immigration section doesn’t look too bad so far but is, inevitably in a general purpose document of this nature, very sketchy. The commitment to ending child detention for im ...

20th May 2010 By

Hopeless helpline

This bit of BBC research will come as no surprise to anyone who has attempted to use a UKBA helpline. The waiting time for a phone call to the UK Border Agency is almost seven minutes and then 70% of calls are abandoned or go unanswered. It is all but ...

13th May 2010 By

No PO… still

There was another story on the scarcity of Home Office Presenting Officers, this time in The Sunday Times. I’ve blogged about this before. They do seem to be a bit of an endangered species at the moment, and unlike most animals on the endangered ...

26th April 2010 By

Two Minute Hate: Criminals and Immigrants

No responsible politician or political party would have a section of their manifesto for the coming election entitled ‘Crime and Immigration’, thereby lumping the two issues (and sets of people) together in an unholy juxtapositioning that ...

14th April 2010 By

Free Movement Too

In the really very small world of UK immigration websites, someone has seen fit to set up another one called Free Movement. I’ve tried politely getting in touch but have received no response. It seems that there has been some sort of bust up at NCAD ...

7th April 2010 By

Barristers on the move

This falls firmly into the gossip category. Please accept my apologies, the more serious minded amongst you. There have been a number of barristers moving chambers recently. It is such a small world that it is just about worthy of mention, I reckon. T ...

30th March 2010 By

New immigration silks

Hugh Southey of Tooks Chambers, Stephen Knafler of Garden Court Chambers and Raza Husain of Matrix have all been appointed Queen’s Counsel, the highest accolade for a barrister. All three do plenty of non immigration work, I believe, but are ver ...

2nd March 2010 By

Re-accreditation woes

I’m reluctant to post on this as it causing so much anger in the sector at the moment and spilled blood seems quite possible right now. I’d rather it wasn’t mine. In order to undertake publicly funded immigration work, a person must ...

29th January 2010 By

Keith Best departs IAS

It seems that news of this has circulated fast. After what must be fifteen years at the helm, former Tory MP Keith Best is departing the Immigration Advisory Service to take up the prestigious job of Chief Executive of the Medical Foundation for the C ...

11th December 2009 By

New President announced

The new president of the Immigration and Asylum Chamber of the new Upper Tribunal has been announced: Mr Justice Nicholas Blake QC. The appointment is effective as of 15 February 2010, when the unlamented Asylum and Immigration Tribunal is merged into ...

20th November 2009 By

Immigration regulator to give up on day job

The Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC) is currently consulting on the regulation of immigration advisers. Or, more accurately, the de-regulation of immigration advisers. It is illegal to give immigration advice in the UK unless the ...

11th November 2009 By

Guardian piece

My my, one gets more comments on The Guardian website than on Free Movement! I’ve been busy in court all day (on a non immigration case) and get back to find that there were 87 comments on the short piece I’ve done for Liberty Central at T ...

29th October 2009 By

Nigeria ECOs blasted by inspectors

A tad sensationalist, I know, but true enough, you will find. The Chief Inspector of UKBA, John Vine, just published his report on the UKBA visa operation at Abuja. The findings are that the operation is poor: The ‘service’ represents poor ...

15th October 2009 By

Human Provenance Project again

The policy instruction to UKBA staff on the sinister sounding Human Provenance Project (who cooked this name up, for heaven’s sake?) has changed yet again. The link on my last post on this still works, but the document it links to has changed an ...

13th October 2009 By

More on alleged 6 year rule

Further to my earlier post on the alleged relaxing of asylum rules, see the Government response to media claims: Asylum seekers – government response 09 October 2009 The government has responded to claims in the media that up to 40,000 asylum se ...

12th October 2009 By

Six year rule for asylum seekers?

The Daily Telegraph has claimed that there is a new policy that asylum seekers may be granted settlement after a wait of four to six (or possibly eight) years following a quiet change to immigration policies. The policy is allegedly set out in a memo ...

9th October 2009 By

Plug pulled on Provenance Project

It looks like UKBA have suspended the isotope analysis testing programme ominously called The Human Provenance Project. A revised policy instruction has been placed on the UKBA website simply saying that it has been ‘temporarily suspended’ ...

8th October 2009 By

The Human Provenance Project

It sounds like the title of a dystopian science fiction film, and it is every bit as bad as it sounds. The first I heard of it was on 14th September 2009 after this letter was circulated to UKBA stakeholders. I had a little rant about it at the time i ...

2nd October 2009 By

Change of tune

I’m sorry to harp on about this and will return to some substantive legal blogging next week (there’s been a fairly lengthy change to the rules that I haven’t even looked at yet, for starters). I can’t help noticing that UKBA h ...

25th September 2009 By

Should she go?

I’m sitting on the fence on this one. One the one hand it would be a tragedy if someone of Baroness Scotland’s talents and background were sacked over a silly law like this one. On the other, her departure might serve to prove just how sil ...

22nd September 2009 By

Baroness Scotland

The media coverage on this story has been interesting. The Telegraph is running a short story that is actually quite sympathetic to employers who break the law. Many seem to be revelling in the fact that Baroness Scotland helped to pass the law she ma ...

18th September 2009 By

Revolting minions

I’ve heard a couple of reports of dissent in different ranks this week. Firstly, I’ve heard from two separate sources that UKBA is imposing a ‘success’ rate of 85% on Home Office Presenting Officers, the officials who represent ...

10th September 2009 By

Mind your language II

On a day where there are several appalling linked stories in the press about the horror and misery of true trafficking (here, here and here), I was sorry to read the Home Office attempting to claim false credit for a trafficking criminal conviction. T ...

8th July 2009 By

Sir Henry Hodge

I was very sorry to hear last week that Sir Henry Hodge, President of the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal, has died. He was a genial, very affable man, with an amused twinkle almost always in his eye. AIT stakeholder meetings and the like were made al ...

23rd June 2009 By

PBS decision on the way

Wending my way north on the train at an ungodly hour this morning, I found my reserved seat was opposite a fellow immigration lawyer I know from times past. We had a gossip, and he tells me that he was recently at Processions House, the temporary home ...

15th June 2009 By

EC law applications

The Home Office have announced that they plan to impose all sorts of new requirements on European Community law applications for documentation proving the right to residence. I’ve copied the press release into the post below in case it vanishes ...

27th May 2009 By

Are the Gurkhas a special case?

In some ways it was heartening to read yesterday and this morning about the Government climbdown on the Gurkhas. There is a universal recognition of the injustice of the Government’s previous positions. Personally, though, I can’t help thi ...

22nd May 2009 By

End of the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal

Few will lament its passing, announced today by still Immigration Minister Phil Woolas. The news is far from unexpected, but the details are interesting. The plan is for the new system to be implemented by early 2010. A full consultation response has ...

8th May 2009 By

Lord Justice Carnwath spotted at Taylor House

This Hello! style headline is perhaps the clearest sign yet that the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal will be abolished and amalgamated into the unified tribunal. The Home Office planning documents now state that the AIT will be scrapped, the AIT stake ...

23rd April 2009 By

No PO

There was an interesting article in The Telegraph last Saturday about immigration appeal hearings that go ahead with no Home Office Presenting Officer (HOPO or PO) present to defend the Home Office or Entry Clearance Officer position. I’m not qu ...

21st April 2009 By

Free Movement to apply for Home Office job

Someone brought this job advert to my attention. It’s been fun writing this blog and representing immigrants and asylum seekers, but duty calls. You have to be part of it to change it, as Steve Cohen undoubtedly would not have said. I’m c ...

20th April 2009 By

Steve Cohen

I was very sad to hear that Steve Cohen has died. Some of the obituaries that have been published so far can be found here: Indymedia London Red Pepper Institute of Race Relations Steve Cohen was one of the legendary giants of immigration law. I neve ...

17th April 2009 By

Mind your language

The flunky that writes the Home Office press releases really needs to tone it down and get a grip. One of the latest batches of press releases is entitled ‘Tough new rules target bogus colleges and education cheats‘. The words ‘bogus ...

31st March 2009 By

Home Office rejects Zimbabwe country guidance case

A new Operational Guidance Note for Zimbabwe has been published by the Home Office. These OGNs are basically central guidance to asylum decision-makers in the Home Office. They contain the Home Office policy on what categories of person from different ...

24th March 2009 By

Field House burns down [update: in parts]

Just heard this at court this morning. Apparently fire broke out at 3.40pm yesterday. Did I notice a thing on the way home, which takes me just past there? I did not. Sounds like no-one was hurt, happily, and that there was a proper conflagration on t ...

19th March 2009 By

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