All Articles: Immigration news

So long AIT and thanks for…?

It very much looks like the AIT is about to be scrapped and merged into the new unified Tribunals Service. This is something I posted on way back in September and it now looks very likely to happen. The new system applies to all tribunal work except i ...

18th March 2009 By

RLC to change name

Apparently the Refugee Legal Centre are to change their name to Refugee and Migrants’ Justice. I’m not quite sure about the plural there or the apostrophe, both are best guesses. The name change suggests a serious change of direction for t ...

11th February 2009 By

Foreign labour

The news on the strikes against foreign workers has made depressing reading: British workers (and trade unions) demonstrating in favour of expelling foreigners. All rather reminiscent of Powell and the dockers. Woolly liberals such as myself find all ...

31st January 2009 By

A good year for IAS

The Immigration Advisory Service has been around since 1972, although, out of the ashes of the old United Kingdom Immigrants’ Advice Service, it transmogrified into its current incarnation in 1994. IAS is one of the biggest providers of immigr ...

19th December 2008 By

Seven year children policy withdrawn

Free Movement may be cursed. Almost as soon as I blogged about DP3/96 it was scrapped, and now the same has happened to DP5/96. Phil Woolas has withdrawn DP5/96 as of 9 December 2008. This was the seven year policy under which a child resident in the ...

10th December 2008 By

Delays in initial asylum decisions

Apparently there are currently long waits for initial asylum interviews and decisions from the London asylum teams of UKBA. Case owner diaries are said to be full to the end of the year and it sounds as if the three month target for initial decisions ...

3rd December 2008 By

Woolas criticised

Archbishop of York Dr John Sentamu has strongly criticised Phil Woolas for his attack last week on asylum lawyers and asylum charities. There’s good coverage on the BBC website and there was pre-coverage in the Telegraph too. I thought Woolas ...

28th November 2008 By

What on earth?!

Damian Green, the Conservative frontbench spokeman on immigration, has been arrested tonight over immigration leaks for “aiding and abetting misconduct in public office” and is at this moment still in police custody. He hasn’t been c ...

27th November 2008 By

Zimbabwe update

This post falls firmly into the ‘gossip’ category and cannot be taken as reliable because it is based on my own incomplete understanding. This is also a very fast moving situation and even if I have this right today it may well be wrong to ...

20th November 2008 By

Grrrr

UPDATE: I’ve calmed down slightly — although I’m still fuming — and amended the original of this post. I’d recommend this article as a more reasoned response than mine. If you do read it, an escutcheon is a sort of shield ...

18th November 2008 By

Expert apology

There has been a fascinating little story unfolding around a case called SD (expert evidence) Lebanon [2008] UKAIT 00078. The Guardian picked up the story and ran an article on it on Monday. Dr Alan George is a respected academic and a specialist in ...

29th October 2008 By

COIS to revert to CIPU

The Country of Origin Information Service (COIS) at the Home Office is the successor to the generally derided Country Information and Policy Unit (CIPU). CIPU reports were poorly researched and outright biased against asylum seekers, although many i ...

16th October 2008 By

The penny drops

UPDATE: It would seem that Mark Ockelton has been sitting in the Administrative Court as a deputy high court judge and has not been promoted to the High Court bench. — A while ago I posted some gossip I had heard at the end of the summer: that M ...

14th October 2008 By

RLC office now a wine bar

In the selfless pursuit of immigration-related gossip and news, last Friday I went along to a gathering at a wine bar that was formerly the office of the Refugee Legal Centre. The surroundings have been somewhat improved since the RLC days, it turne ...

8th October 2008 By

Here we go again

So, Phil “Muslims are Inbred” Woolas (left) is the new immigration minister, and Liam “Dessicated Calculated Machine” Byrne is out (and up). Woolas didn’t waste time before playing the populist, and immediately announced ...

7th October 2008 By

Immigration ‘judges’ to lose their titles?

The government is currently consulting on yet another fundamental overhaul of the immigration appeal system. This has become a bothersomely regular occurance, taking place in 1993, 1996, 1999, 2002 and 2004, with some further tweaks in 2006 and 2007 & ...

26th September 2008 By

UK to sign up to UN Convention on the Rights of the Child

The BBC is reporting that the government will announce we are finally going to sign up properly next week to the 1989 UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. At the moment the UK has a controversial opt-out of one of the key parts of the Convention, ...

19th September 2008 By

Secret Home Office policies

I have come across four secret Home Office policies since I returned at the start of September. Normally the Home Office has been quite good at disclosing the policies that officials apply to cases. There is a large section on the BIA website devoted ...

12th September 2008 By

Permission to work for Zimbabwe asylum seekers?

UPDATE: THIS RUMOUR DOES NOT APPEAR TO BE TRUE There is a reasonably credible rumour doing the rounds amongst lawyers as well as Zimbabweans themselves that Zimbabwean asylum seekers can apply for permission to work – presumably with a reasonabl ...

9th September 2008 By

I’m back

I took no risks as I walked through immigration control. No point in aggravating them with a ‘nice uniform’ remark or other such wise cracks. They mainly bother poor and black people, although as I passed through ‘nothing to declare& ...

1st September 2008 By

Free Movement is away

Normal service will resume in September – sorry folks! ...

30th June 2008 By

Local immigration enforcement

I just came across a surprising Home Office press release. Usually, Home Office immigration press releases are recycled and re-used dribble. The ‘new’ ‘points’ based ‘system’ (I’d question the accuracy of all ...

20th June 2008 By

New guidance on rule 320(7B) refusals published

Following on from the parliamentary debate last week, the Entry Clearance Guidance (ECG, until recently rather quaintly called the Diplomatic Service Instructions – I always thought the idea visa officers were diplomatic was rather optimistic) ...

20th May 2008 By

Transylvania FC decimated

There was more evidence at the weekend that a shortage of Polish plumbers will soon hit these shores. The Observer published an interesting, thoughtful article on the return of many Eastern European migrants from Ireland to their home countries or el ...

7th May 2008 By

DP3/96 revoked

Bastards. ...

25th April 2008 By

Lawyers v. Funders

The letter setting out the settlement reached between the Law Society and the Legal Services Commision and Ministry of Justice has leaked out… and is here for anyone interested. No big bangs. A small increase to the fixed fees and some empty pr ...

2nd April 2008 By

Returns to Iraq

There have been two important developments on returns to Iraq in the last week. The first is that an unknown number of Iraqis appear to have been removed on a specially chartered flight on 27 March. According to the International Federation of Iraqi R ...

31st March 2008 By

Re-entry ban concession

In response to a comment left on my last post, I should make it clear that the concession as it stands in Hansard only applies to people currently in the UK who leave before 1 October 2008.  This really does not make sense as it penalises those who h ...

19th March 2008 By

Re-entry ban for illegal immigrants

Immigration lawyers have been shocked by Government proposals to introduce from 1 April 2008 a re-entry ban on immigrants who have previously breached UK immigration laws. The ban was debated in the House of Lords last night. This is very rare for cha ...

18th March 2008 By

Judging the judges

A fascinating article has appeared in The Irish Times. Several tribunal chairmen — the Irish have wisely not glorified their tribunal staff with the misplaced title of ‘judges’ and I will call them adjudicators here — have resi ...

13th March 2008 By

Legacy update

I’m back, after a prolonged absence and thoughts of ending it all etc etc. The blog, not me. I’m fine, thank you. The news is that of the 6000 or so (roughly 6,800, apparently) families who were the first to receive Legacy questionnaires, ...

7th March 2008 By

Legacy appeals coming through

A very well sourced rumour has it that 95% of the outstanding 450,000 asylum ‘legacy’ cases so far resolved have resulted in grants of status. However, I hear that the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal have been told to prepare for extra appeals. Wh ...

10th December 2007 By

One third of us will be Elvis impersonators by 2019, warn Migration Watch

There was a great article in The Guardian yesterday (yes, of course I read The Guardian) about a possible upcoming shortage of Polish plumbers. It has been predicted that British householders will soon be moaning about having to use underskilled, over ...

13th November 2007 By

Re-documentation

I’ve been spurred back into blogging by a report I just saw from The Independent. It’s about what the Home Office and lawyers call ‘re-documentation’. Where an asylum claim fails, the Home Office are quick to start preparing a ...

12th November 2007 By

More news on legacy cases

Further to previous posts on this subject, there have been suggestions that the legacy ‘case resolution exercise’ is producing some surprisingly humane outcomes. An organisation previously unknown to me called Positive Action In Housing ...

18th October 2007 By

Chindamo and European citizenship

There have been some excellent and well-informed posts about this case already in the legal blogging world, notably at Nearly Legal, Head of Legal and the prolific Jailhouse Lawyer. No-one has explained the rationale for why the relevant EC Directive ...

7th September 2007 By

Judge J

An entertaining couple of articles appeared in The Mail on Sunday over the weekend. I’m not exactly a regular reader of that publication, but was tipped off about it. Immigration Judge “J” of Brazilian cleaner infamy gives an intervi ...

8th August 2007 By

Home Office amnesty

There’s no amnesty. That’s all. I wish it wasn’t necessary to repeat this, but good immigration lawyers and good community groups are reporting increasing numbers of walk-in clients who have been charged large sums to make an applica ...

31st July 2007 By

Latest on HS (Zimbabwe) test case

There have been a lot of hits on this site from people looking for news about the Zimbabwe test cases. The latest news is that last week’s hearing is now over. The panel consisted of Mr Ockelton (Deputy President of the Asylum and Immigration Tr ...

30th July 2007 By

The Legacy and the Case of the Alleged Amnesty

Exactly one year ago, on 25 July 2006, then Home Secretary John Reid announced that his officials had found around 400,000 to 450,000 unclosed asylum files found down the back of the sofas at Lunar House, home of the then Immigration and Nationality ...

25th July 2007 By

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