Briefing: what is the English language requirement?

The English language requirement can be generously viewed as the Home Office’s response to the biblical Tower of Babel story: society is undermined by its people’s inability to speak the same language. But as anyone who has ever had the misfortune ...

2nd October 2020 By

Easier access to benefits for family members of people from Northern Ireland

People from Northern Ireland will soon be able to sponsor non-European family members under the light-touch EU Settlement Scheme. The government has recently passed a separate but related measure: the Social Security (Income-Related Benefits) (Persons ...

4th August 2020 By

Briefing: can EU citizens with pre-settled status claim Universal Credit?

It was the worst of times; it was the worst of times. As a result of the Home Office gridlock caused by the coronavirus pandemic, EU citizens seeking to apply for post-Brexit immigration status under the EU Settlement Scheme have been disadvantaged in ...

28th July 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

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

High Court blow for EU citizens with pre-settled status trying to claim Universal Credit

The High Court has rejected an argument that the regulations making it difficult for Europeans with pre-settled status to access most public funds are discriminatory on the ground of nationality. The case is Fratila and Tanase v SSWP [2020] EWHC 998 ( ...

30th April 2020 By

Briefing: what is leave outside the Rules?

Anyone whose life consists of daily references to the Immigration Rules will tell you that the experience can feel a lot like deep ocean exploration in the Mariana Trench: despite constant research, you will still make new discoveries, even when you t ...

27th April 2020 By

Home Office can refuse settlement to those on long-term Discretionary Leave

Where policy guidance says that indefinite leave to remain (ILR) should “normally” be granted after six years of Discretionary Leave, can the Home Office ever depart from this policy? The Upper Tribunal judgment in R (Ellis) v Secretary of ...

20th March 2020 By

Can spouses of British citizens naturalise after just three years’ residence in the UK?

For those forced to make successive, increasingly-expensive applications just to remain in the country that they have made their home, naturalising as a British citizen is often the final rung of a very tall ladder. Like all ladders, the key to succes ...

11th February 2020 By