Hesham Ali and Makhlouf: What is the correct approach to determining deportation appeals?

In the cases of Hesham Ali [2016] UKSC 60 and Makhlouf [2016] UKSC 59 the Supreme Court has, finally, given guidance the correct approach to the determination of appeals against deportation decisions. Both the appeals were dismissed and the Home Office prevailed; but that is not the whole story and we have to look at the judgments carefully to understand the proper approach. Word is that the delay between the hearing of Ali and Makhlouf in January 2016 and handing down of the judgment last week was due to disagreements between the justices. Those disagreements were ultimately largely resolved, it would seem. Lord Reed gives the leading judgment in Ali with a…

24th November 2016 By Colin Yeo

EU derived rights of residence not automatically lost if crime is committed

In two linked cases, CS v UK C-304/14 and Marin v Spain C-165/14, the Court of Justice of the European Union has ruled that Zambran0-like derived rights of residence under EU law are not automatically lost if a crime is committed. Instead, each case must be assessed on its merits and a judgment reached applying normal principles of EU law. Case of CS The first of the cases has proven particularly controversial as the claimant has been named in Parliament as the daughter in law of Abu Hamza, notorious Islamist extremist. She was herself jailed for 12 months for attempting to smuggle a mobile phone sim card during a prison…

3rd October 2016 By Colin Yeo

How Your Passport Is Made

Somewhat improved use of social media by the Home Office in my view. It is fascinating to see so many of those precious little purple books flying through the machinery. I actually enjoyed this, I admit! I need to get out more…

16th August 2013 By Colin Yeo

Weekend Twitter catch up

Morning! Unusually, there were several interesting snippets on immigration over the weekend. Here’s a reasonably random small selection via Twitter for your Monday morning delectation: http://t.co/XqVXj3xFBx Prenga is back up… going to be listed for expeditious hearing. Will keep people posted. — Waleed Hassan (@whassanuk) July 12, 2013 Facebook campaigns are blossoming : https://t.co/rpV72liZAq https://t.co/W0ReTSkiPT https://t.co/nRPCr2xf1w #dividedfamiliescampaign — steven green (@sjplep) July 12, 2013 Bloody hell. UK Tories wanted spousal migration income threshold to be almost 2x average wage http://t.co/ch8vmcFq4q v/@crookedfootball — John B (@johnb78) July 13, 2013 Immigration backlog 'tops 500,000' and could take 37 years to clear. Via @BBCNews: http://t.co/UQWEnvsRto — Richard Williams (@rmw) July 13, 2013 Total…

15th July 2013 By Colin Yeo

Divided Families Day of Action – 9 July 2013

Following the All Party Parliamentary Group on Migration’s report published on 10 June 2013 – covered on Free Movement earlier last month – the ‘new’ family migration rules have been debated twice in Parliament.  First, within a Westminster Hall debate on 19 June 2013 (Hansard & video footage) and more recently, in the House of Lords on 4 July 2013 (Hansard & video footage).  The latter was rather ominous, as we now know, that was the day before Mr Justice Blake’s judgment in MM & Ors v SSHD [2013] EWHC 1900 (Admin) handed down on Friday in relation to the income threshold of £18,600 and covered on Free Movement here. In the…

8th July 2013 By Sarah Pinder

Parliament Committee Report on New Family Rules and Westminster Debate

Last week, Free Movement posted the fruits of a FoI request disclosing the statistics in relation to partner applications from pre- and post-July 2012.  These figures were then analysed and fair conclusions were drawn in relation to gender discrimination on the basis that female sponsors generally earn less than male ones and therefore would find it more difficult to meet the new income threshold for maintenance. Last week, also saw the publication of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Migration’s inquiry entitled “Report of the Inquiry into New Family Migration Rules” June 2013. This is a welcome report, which looked in particular at the new minimum income threshold of £18,600 (with…

20th June 2013 By Sarah Pinder

Win For Children With Discretionary Leave

The Administrative Court declared that a policy which does not give effect to section 55 of the Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Act 2009 is not lawful.  The excellent Amanda Weston of Tooks Chambers for the Claimants and Joanne Rothwell of No 5 CHambers for the intervener, Coram Children’s Legal Centre (CCLC), argued that where there had been findings that the removal of a child would breach his or her human rights, the SSHD’s failure to consider granting Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR), when requested to do so, and to, instead, grant Discretionary Leave (DL) as a matter of course is wrong. Holman J in SM & Ors v Secretary of…

18th June 2013 By Ripon Akther

Migration map

IOM inward/outward migration map Interesting! Thanks to @deportedfromUK for the heads up.

18th February 2013 By Free Movement

ONS video explains census data

This is such a good explanation of the census data on the foreign-born component of the ‘usually resident’ population that I felt I had to share it. Really good work by the Office of National Statistics. It is a five minute look at the data with some very simple but effective visualisation to explain what has changed. For the other videos explaining other aspects of the census data, see here. Really good use of modern media. Better than, say, the UK Border Agency one where they crush the people smuggler or the Operation Mayapple one of black or brown people being collared in ethnic minority areas.

11th December 2012 By Free Movement

Fairness to the rescue – Yes, again!

The trend is continuing with the fairly recent Upper Tribunal decision of Basnet (validity of application – respondent) [2012] UKUT 00113 (IAC).  This concerns applications rejected as invalid specifically due to a non-payment of the application fee.  We’ve waited too long for some sensible guidance in this area and this is certainly a very welcome judgment. The Appellant applied in-time for further leave to remain as a Student (Tier 4) supplying his debit/credit card details as payment.  His application was rejected as invalid for non-payment and the standard rejection letter was sent out.  The Appellant re-submitted his application the day after but, by this time, his leave to remain had…

30th April 2012 By Sarah Pinder

Unethical and inaccurate: Border Agency to start x-raying children

The UK Border Agency will start x-raying children again from 29 March 2012 in order to determine their age. This practice is highly controversial. The letter announcing the resumption of this procedure can be found here. This brings to mind another example of the application of false quasi-scientific ‘certainty’ to another unmeasurable: measuring skulls to determine race. The former Childrens’ Commissioner for England, Sir Al Aynsley-Green, is on the record deprecating x-ray age assessments and since 1999 the Royal College of Radiologists position has been that x-rays are inherently intrusive, carry a degree of risk, raise the question of informed consent and that there is no normative data outside western Europe and…

28th March 2012 By Free Movement

Indefinite detention: not very British

Just a quick one to flag up a guest post I’ve written for the 1 Crown Office Row UK Human Rights Blog. It covers Abu Qatada, indefinite detention and the irrelevance of the Human Rights Act to the decision that he must be released.

8th February 2012 By Free Movement

Going for Glory: Part 2

Free Movement entirely retracts the article that was previously published here regarding the Chapti case and apologises to those involved. The comments in the article went considerably beyond fair, were unreasonably speculative and were misleading as to the true circumstances of the litigation. No contact was made with those responsible prior to publication.

6th February 2012 By Free Movement

Entry clearance decision making: a global review

The Chief Inspector of the UK Border Agency, John Vine, has published a global review of entry clearance decision making. The findings are strongly critical in important respects. The sample size was nearly 1,500 case files from every entry clearance post, so the review certainly was a global one. Vine states as follows in his forward to the report: While there were no decision quality issues revealed in 761 cases, I found there were errors affecting decision quality in 515 cases. In a further 201 cases the lack of evidence retained on file made it impossible for me to assess whether the correct decision had been made… In 483 cases,…

20th December 2011 By Free Movement

Effect of Quila

UPDATE: SEE LATEST POST. Following a hell of a lot of confused, confusing and anguished comments on my last post on Quila, I thought it might be helpful to set out my take on the effect of Quila. The first thing to say is that I would be very wary of any information provided in comments on this blog. Some idiot even left a comment pretending to be from the UK Border Agency. The name ‘Andrew Higgins’ paired with the email address ‘ibrahimsaid@live.co.uk’ was a bit of a giveaway, I thought. There are some people out there trying to be helpful but who may be wrong. There are malicious people out there…

18th October 2011 By Free Movement

New research paper on marriage immigration

The Home Office have published a new piece of research they commissioned, entitled Marriage-related migration to the UK, by Katharine Charsley, Nicholas Van Hear, Michaela Benson and Brooke Storer-Church. It makes very interesting reading for anyone interested in immigration policy and in the history of spousal immigration. There are a number of graphs representing numbers of grants of settlements to spouses of different nationalities, for example, and while there is an overall upward trend the two stand out features are (1) that the increases are way below the general increase in migration to the UK, meaning that spouses now make up 40% of the total compared to 59% in 1995…

25th August 2011 By Free Movement

New ILPA website

The Immigration Law Practitioners Association (ILPA) have substantially re-vamped their website. It is a huge improvement on the old one. The public-facing site is basically the same as the old one but looks better and more modern. A new facility for members of ILPA to log into a members area has been created, though, and this is the big change. Inside the members area one is able to search through all the invaluable monthly members mailings dating back to 1999. The latest updates and documents are posted up as they arrive, so there is no longer any need to wait until the mailing flops onto the door mat to keep…

22nd August 2011 By Free Movement

Poppy Project to close, funding going to missionaries instead

In a clear signal of a return to Victorian values of the undeserving poor and salvation through faith, the Home Office is terminating its funding for the fabulous Poppy Project for trafficked women and instead awarding a contract to the Salvation Army, the evangelical Christian missionaries known mainly for their ability to blow trumpets at Christmas. At the same time, it seems the nature of the contract and the level of support for victims of trafficking is being reduced to a bare bones service without facilities for proper counselling. The Guardian report this news is drawn from goes on to describe details of just one Poppy Project case which would…

12th April 2011 By Free Movement

Litigation, the law and UKBA

I gave a short presentation this morning to John Vine, the Chief Inspector of UKBA. I thought I’d share it with you. It lacks a certain something without my narration, I feel, but it at least gives you the gist. The presentation was based on ILPA submissions to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights and on materials I’ve highlighted at various times on this blog, including adjournment figures, official appeal outcome statistics and the outcomes of various prominent cases. I assume he gets plenty of presentations from UKBA on how great their change management programme is, etc, so this may provide a little balance. The message of the presentation…

18th January 2011 By Free Movement

Detention of children

The routine detention of immigrant children by the last Government was a disgrace. Claimed changes to detention policy by the current incumbents and the recent case of R (on the application of Suppiah) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2011] EWHC 2 (Admin) (11 January 2011) reveal just how disgraceful practice used to be. This also turns out to be something for which officials as much as politicians are responsible. Since the election, UKBA has been trialling ways of persuading families to leave the UK without being detained first. It turns out that if officials actually meet with a family to discuss their situation and the inevitability of their…

14th January 2011 By Free Movement

Damning reports by Chief Inspector

The concisely monikered Chief Inspector of the UK Border Agency yesterday published two very critical reports on UKBA operations. One was on the visa operation in Pakistan and the other was on removals of families. These reports were actually completed before the election, but publication was put back during purdah. John Vine sounded pretty frustrated about that at the time, but must be pleased that the families removals report has ended up coming out at a highly relevant time politically. The families removals report has had more media coverage, so I plan to come back to this story and pick out some choice quotes from the Pakistan report when I…

28th July 2010 By Free Movement

Effect on family members

The related House of Lords decisions of June 2008 (Beoku-Betts, Chikwamba and EB (Kosovo)) should have brought about a sea change in the approach of the Home Office and the immigration tribunal to human rights issues. While there have been improvements in the respect given to fundamental human rights, there is still a long way to go. It took the Court of Appeal case of VW (Uganda) to persuade the immigration tribunal that it is not appropriate for the test for whether a British based family member can relocate abroad is whether there are insurmountable obstacles. Think about it: what obstacle is actually an insurmountable one? This obviously places the…

15th July 2010 By Free Movement

New policy document on children

A new previously undisclosed UKBA policy on children has come to light, brought to you courtesy of the Freedom of Information Act and What Do They Know? The policy is entitled Children and Family Process Instruction and specifically relates to the Criminal Casework Directorate and deportation cases. However, it clearly has wider ramifications in other areas of UKBA casework. If the rights of children are to be properly considered in deportation cases where there is a strong public interest in deportation, surely such considerations apply all the more strongly in ordinary removal cases? The bits that particularly interested me were as follows: The need to safeguard children is very explicit…

26th March 2010 By Free Movement

Forced marriages and age

Two more things on this topic. One, I’ve belatedly discovered that UKBA released a draft version of the research report covered previously on this blog. The final version is in fact a more polished piece of work. One can only assume that UKBA deliberately released the less polished version in order to undermine it somehow. Secondly, an interesting article has been published in the journal Feminist Legal Studies on age as a risk factor in forced marriages. I’m not normally an avid reader of this journal, I admit, but the article is well worth reading if you are interested in the subject. The authors are two of the researchers commissioned…

21st October 2009 By Free Movement

Spouse visa age… again

Back to this old chestnut. I’ve been doing a bit more work on the subject and thought I’d share a minor revelation I had while writing an article for one of the immigration law journals. I’ve also learned that there is a judicial review application on this to be heard on 30 October 2009, although having spoken to the barrister instructed he’s not currently planing to challenge the rule itself, just the treatment of the individual client. As to the minor revelation, I’m ashamed not to have picked up on this before. It is hardly rocket science. The statistics used by the Home Office in the announcement that the spouse…

1st October 2009 By Free Movement

Forced marriage research rejected

I’ve created a new category on the visa age to keep track of the different posts I’ve written on this subject over the last couple of years. The Home Office have provided further reasons for rejecting the research that found that increasing the spouse visa age would be harmful to victims of forced marriage. In fairness, I feel I ought to post them up. The reasons looks very weak to me, but you can judge for yourself. The reasons certainly do not deal with the fact that all of the acknowledged experts and the actual survivors of forced marriage interviewed by the research team thought there were substantial risks in…

9th September 2009 By Free Movement

Forced Marriage Unit warned Home Office of risks in increasing spouse visa age

Courtesy of the Freedom of Information Act, I can exclusively report (I’ve never written that before!) that the Home Office has finally released the full research report it commissioned into the issue of forced marriages and the spouse visa age. I have previously posted on the research summary that had already been published. The research was carried out between March 2006 and February 2007 in three locations – Birmingham, Manchester and Tower Hamlets. It set out to examine four main issues: The impact/outcome of the recent increase the age of sponsorship/entry from 16 to 18 years; The benefits and risks of increasing the age of sponsorship or entry to 18,…

5th September 2009 By Free Movement

International Association of Refugee Law Judges

I noticed in the policy feed in the left panel on this blog that there was an item about the International Association of Refugee Law Judges (IARLJ). I clicked through and found some interesting papers have just been posted on their website from a conference in January 2009. I don’t know a lot about this organisation, although I have had some contact with it in the past. They do like their international venues, and there is always a strong turn out amongst UK immigration judges, I’ve noticed. Mind you, much the same can be said of UK immigration lawyers and ECRE conferences. Although Berlin is certainly not Mexico City. Anyway, there…

14th March 2009 By Free Movement

Another legacy cases update

There are still quite a few people coming across this blog by searching for news about ‘Legacy’ cases. See previous posts on this if you are new to the subject. The news, such as it is, is that status still being granted in a lot of cases, apparently, but now without reasons being given. Previously some cases were coming through allowed with amazingly generous reasons being given (at least by normal Home Office standards). If you are stuck in the queue and still waiting, some lawyers report that finding out the team and then name of the Home Office caseworker to whom the file has been allocated is the key….

3rd November 2008 By Free Movement

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 immigration judges mistakenly treated them as the whole truth. In 2004 the Immigration Advisory Service did an excellent report on CIPU. They checked every quote against the purported source. Often the source simply didn’t say anything resembling the alleged quote, or the first half of a sentence would be included but the qualifier omitted. For example, “The human rights situation in x country is generally good” would be quoted but the second half of the…

16th October 2008 By Free Movement

Bail success rates

Bail for Immigration Detainees recently obtained statistics from the Ministry of Justice on the number of bail applications that are made at different hearing centres, and the outcomes of those hearings. There is quite a disparity in outcomes. For example, once withdrawn cases are set aside, the percentage of bail applicants granted at Taylor House in Central London was 39%, compared to 17% for Hatton Cross in West London, 23% at Newport and 16% at Glasgow. There are arguably reasons why we would expect to see a lower success rate at Hatton Cross. Applications from the nearby removal centres of Harmondsworth and Colnbrooke are heard at Hatton Cross, and it might…

19th September 2008 By Free Movement

Really good immigration website

I’ve just been looking at the Transpondia website. I first came across it a few months ago when they posted a link to Free Movement, but the site seemed a lot smaller then. There is now (maybe there was then and I just didn’t see it) a mass of helpful and apparently well-informed information on there. Sorry if I’ve been a bit slow and everyone already knows about this! I’ve no idea who writes it, how it is funded and so forth, but it appears to be independent and although I certainly haven’t done a comprehensive read through and can’t vouch for all the advice given, I didn;t come across…

17th September 2008 By Free Movement

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 to this. Legal challenges in the past, such as Rashid, exposed the existence of secret policies, but these had been concealed through gross incompetence rather than conspiracy. Probably. These new ones are secret because the Home Office has deliberately concealed their existence. The non-disclosure of the first one in particular is quite shocking and is the subject of a number of legal proceedings now. This is…

12th September 2008 By Free Movement