All Articles: Immigration news

Migrants’ rights during coronavirus: the story so far

If you’ve been struggling to keep up with the avalanche of immigration news and Home Office U-turns since lockdown began, you’re not alone. I’ve thrown together this immigration track and trace post to catalogue the major immigration ...

9th June 2020 By

10 of the most absurd things ever to happen to immigration lawyers

The sheer surrealism of an immigration lawyer’s job can perhaps only truly be understood by MC Escher’s architect or Salvador Dali’s landscape designer: you do your best to navigate the impossible, but you can’t help being occasionally hi ...

29th May 2020 By

General grounds for refusal: understanding re-entry bans

The Home Office can impose entry bans on people who have previously breached immigration law or used deception in their application for leave. Bans can last one year, two years, five years or ten years. Generally speaking, and except for some minor ex ...

26th May 2020 By

Home Office inefficiency “frustrates the purpose” of internal review

Reports by the Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration, David Bolt, now follow a familiar pattern. Mr Bolt and his team carry out an inspection of a certain area of Home Office activity. A report on possible areas of improvement is draw ...

22nd May 2020 By

Wesley Gryk retires: end of a “queer career”

On 13 October 1997, the new Labour government published a document on family visas. It was called the Concession Outside the Immigration Rules for unmarried partners and it was a legal landmark. The concession allowed certain foreigners in the UK to a ...

12th May 2020 By

The Home Office Dictionary

By Alex Piletska and John Vassiliou Welcome to your first day as an Administrative Officer, the most junior civil service grade. We’re sure you will fit right in. To help you get to grips with all the technical mumbo-jumbo that can get in the way of ...

7th May 2020 By

General grounds for refusal: contriving to frustrate the intention of the rules

Sometimes a migrant here in the UK unlawfully will want to apply for immigration status. Lawyers and the Home Office often call this “regularising” their status, because the person becomes a “regular” migrant within the rules r ...

1st May 2020 By

Home Secretary brushes off fears about legality of coronavirus visa extensions

More on the mysterious legal power that the Home Secretary claims to have to grant automatic visa extensions to foreign NHS workers. Asked about the legal basis for automatic extensions by MPs on the Home Affairs Committee this morning, Priti Patel sa ...

29th April 2020 By

How to write a pre-action letter that makes the Home Office change its mind

I have read a lot of pre-action letters in my time. And I have responded to a fair few too. For a couple of years I was a caseworker in the Home Office’s judicial review team, based in London, where I saw the weird, wonderful and lacklustre of writt ...

21st April 2020 By

New statement of changes to the Immigration Rules: HC 120

The government continues to keep us immigration lawyers on our toes, and everyone else completely flummoxed, with yet another statement of changes to the Immigration Rules. Thankfully, many of these changes are welcome as they plug gaps in the EU Sett ...

13th March 2020 By

Comment: Attorney General’s rule of law record could hinder EU extradition deal

Yesterday’s government announcement on The Future Relationship with the EU made it clear that the United Kingdom would not seek to participate in the European Arrest Warrant (EAW) scheme. This will not come as a surprise to those who have been watch ...

28th February 2020 By

Public must be told how controversial visa streaming tool works, immigration inspector says

The Home Office should release more details about a “cryptic” computer programme that scores visa applicants as high, medium and low risk, the immigration inspector has recommended. David Bolt says that while applicants labelled high risk ...

6th February 2020 By

Solicitor charged asylum client on the side instead of offering him legal aid

An experienced immigration lawyer has been struck off for failing to check whether a client qualified for legal aid and charging him without telling the firm she was working for. The Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal found that Keisha Hackett, 43, had ...

5th February 2020 By

New Home Office guidance on refusing settlement over tax discrepancies

The Home Office has published specific guidance on settlement applications by migrants who previously held Tier 1 (General) leave and who declared different sets of earnings to the Home Office and HMRC. The document must be read alongside the more gen ...

20th January 2020 By

Law Commission calls for total rewrite of Immigration Rules

The Law Commission’s long-awaited report on Simplification of the Immigration Rules says that rewriting and paring down the “overly complex and unworkable” document would improve legal certainty and transparency for applicants as we ...

14th January 2020 By

Immigration lawyer struck off over legal aid fraud of up to £5 million

An immigration lawyer has been struck off not long after being released from prison for defrauding the Legal Aid Agency of up to £5 million. A disciplinary tribunal found that Astrid Halberstadt-Twum was guilty of “deliberate, calculated and re ...

13th January 2020 By

Ian Macdonald QC: A personal reminiscence by Sir Nicholas Blake

Recent accounts of Ian’s life have brought more detail of his early years and his robust defence tactics at trial such as those of the Mangrove defendants. Whilst those paying tribute have acknowledged him as the father of British immigration law, ...

9th January 2020 By

The general election manifestos on immigration and asylum, compared

What will the government formed after Thursday’s general election do with the UK immigration system? The three main political parties — those that have been in government before and might be again — have all published manifestos addr ...

10th December 2019 By

Is the government website misleading visa applicants?

I am seeing more and more people who have filed their own visa application, relying on what they’ve read on the immigration pages of gov.uk. They often tell me that they followed the information on the website carefully when preparing their appl ...

5th December 2019 By

The Conservative manifesto: an “Australian-style points based system”

If the polls are to be believed, the manifesto that the Conservatives launched yesterday will be the legislative agenda for the UK’s next government. Whichever way you intend to vote in the upcoming election, it needs careful scrutinising to see wha ...

25th November 2019 By

The Labour manifesto: end the hostile environment

All eyes were on Birmingham yesterday for the launch of the Labour Party’s manifesto. Billed as “radical” by Jeremy Corbyn, its stated purpose is to offer “real change” and to build a fairer Britain. But this sense of radical ...

22nd November 2019 By

The Liberal Democrat manifesto: break up the Home Office

This is overall a good manifesto on immigration from the Liberal Democrats. There are some choices that niggle, but often in areas where there is no perfect answer. It is still nowhere near forward-thinking or ambitious enough, and it will be interest ...

21st November 2019 By

10 of the most outrageous Home Office refusal letters

Bureaucrats are not generally known for their creative thinking. But show a Home Office immigration official an application for asylum or a visa and watch their imagination run riot. All these are real excuses, communicated in official government lett ...

14th November 2019 By

Ian Macdonald QC, 1939-2019

Ian Macdonald QC has passed away. He was the founder and father of immigration law in this country. He literally wrote the book when in 1983 he published the first edition of the now legendary Macdonald’s Immigration Law & Practice. It is now i ...

13th November 2019 By

Cambridge academic falls victim to “long residence” rules on excess absences 

A post by a young Cambridge academic refused indefinite leave to remain after spending a year abroad has triggered a viral Twitter outpouring of indignation and support – but did the Home Office get it wrong? Today I’ve been in the UK for 10 years ...

11th November 2019 By