Chris Desira
Christopher Desira has been practicing immigration law for twelve years, he is the director and founder of Seraphus. He is a practicing Solicitor, and a qualified Immigration and Asylum Accredited Senior Caseworker and Supervisor. Prior to Seraphus he was the head of the immigration department at Lawrence Lupin Solicitors. He has also worked at several charities including Bail for Immigration Detainees, the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants, and Freedom from Torture.

Article 3 and the extradition of a British national to Taiwan

The Supreme Court in the case of the Lord Advocate (representing the Taiwanese Judicial Authorities) (Appellant) v Dean (Respondent) (Scotland) [2017] UKSC 44 considered the first occasion on which Taiwan has sought to extradite a British national. On appeal from the Appeal Court of the High Court of Justiciary (‘the Appeal Court’) the Supreme Court considered the correct test for Article 3 of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (‘the ECHR’) within extradition cases and, in doing so, it reviewed the prison conditions that may reach the Article 3 threshold. This case may extend beyond extradition cases and could be useful guidance for other cases including…

11th August 2017 By Chris Desira

UPDATED: Home Office makes changes to Appendix FM Minimum Income Rule following MM case

On 20 July 2017 the Home Office published changes to the Immigration Rules intended to give effect to findings made by the Supreme Court in MM (Lebanon) & Others v the Secretary for the Home Department [2017] UKSC 10 on the Minimum Income Requirement. The new rules come into effect on 10 August 2017, coinciding with the publication of new Home Office guidance explaining how the changes should be applied. Headline changes The main changes to the Minimum Income Requirement policy are as follows: Other sources of income will be considered to meet the Minimum Income Rule in certain circumstances Where other sources of income are relied upon the applicant,…

10th August 2017 By Chris Desira

New Home Office Policy Guidance for British Nationality

The Home Office today published a new collection of guidance documents used by the UK Visas and Immigration service when deciding applications for British nationality. These seem to have replaced the Nationality Instructions with, it seems, no guidance on what has been carried over, changed or dropped from the Nationality Instructions: Section 1: Requirements and considerations common to all types of British nationality This section contains information on common aspects of nationality policy and processes that apply to the applications for all types of British nationality. Adoption: nationality policy guidance Assessing ordinary residence: nationality policy guidance Domicile: nationality policy guidance British nationals: nationality policy guidance Deprivation and nullity of British citizenship:…

27th July 2017 By Chris Desira

In depth look at the new Home Office settlement policy for refugees after five years

In March 2017 the Home Office has announced a new policy of reviewing whether all refugees require protection at the end of a 5 year initial period of Refugee Status. This policy is effective for all existing and future applications for Indefinite Leave to Remain (‘ILR’) as a Refugee. This policy has now been effective for three months and, with Refugee Week upon us, it is a good opportunity to delve into it in greater detail. The application process Those recognised as refugees will usually be granted a period of 5 years limited leave. When that leave is due to expire they must apply for ILR. The Home Office gives…

22nd June 2017 By Chris Desira

Alternative options for EU partners: making an application under Appendix FM

Now that the election manifestos have been officially published we have an indication what Labour and Conservative have planned for EU nationals living in Britain. While the Labour manifesto confirmed a pledge to immediately guarantee existing rights for all EU nationals living in Britain the polls continue to point to a Conservative win, with a manifesto that does not guarantee existing rights but seeks to ‘secure entitlements’. This wording suggests those who have yet to establish a “right of residence” will not be covered by the Conservative pledge. In EU law, any EU national has the right of admission to another Member State and can physically remain in that Member…

31st May 2017 By Chris Desira

UK wrong to deny residence rights for non-EEA family members of dual nationals

The question about what rights are enjoyed by an EU citizen who naturalises as a British citizen becoming a dual citizen is critically important in the context of Brexit. We previously gave some context on why the UK denies dual citizens’ rights under EU law and why many lawyers believe that approach is wrong. This issue was put to the Court of Justice in the case of Lounes C-165/16 has now received a formal Opinion by the Advocate-General suggesting that the UK was wrong to deny EU rights to dual citizens and their family members. Advocate General Opinions The Court of Justice interprets EU law to make sure it is…

31st May 2017 By Chris Desira

UK law found to be more generous than EU law for jobseekers acquiring permanent residence

The case of GE v. SSWP (ESA) [2017] UKUT 145 (ACC) sets out how the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2006 (since replaced with the 2016 version), are in some areas, more generous than EU law itself by concluding that an initial right of residence or status as a job-seeker could count towards permanent residence for an EEA national. Background The case is a decision of the Upper Tribunal relating to the entitlement of an EEA benefit claimant to Employment Support Allowance (ESA). The facts of the case will not be of significance in the immigration field, except to note that it was important to establish the EEA nationals statuses…

22nd May 2017 By Chris Desira

New EEA(PR) application form guidance published

Most Home Office application forms are accompanied with guidance explaining how to make a valid application, and the EEA(PR) application form is no different. While the EEA(PR) form was last updated in March 2016 the guidance accompanying that form was last updated in December 2015 and so an update has been well overdue. The Home Office have finally got around to that with new guidance issued this month. Surprisingly for the Home Office, the new guidance provides some helpful pointers and also eases the evidential burden for some requirements, bringing it closer to, but not quite in accordance with, EU law. Unsurprisingly for the Home Office, the guidance has more than doubled…

27th April 2017 By Chris Desira

Court of Appeal gives go-ahead for Dublin returns to Italy

If the case of Tarakhel was considered another body blow to the Dublin system, the recent Court of Appeal case of NA (Sudan) v The Secretary of State for the Home Department [2016] EWCA Civ 1060 has picked up the Dublin system up off the ropes for another round. The Court decided that Tarakhel did not extend to other vulnerable persons and was only ever intended to apply to families with children. And the two appellants in NA (Sudan) were extremely vulnerable, suffering a range of health problems including severe depressive disorder, and the risk of suicide, with one appellant suffering a history of rape and sexual abuse in Italy….

3rd January 2017 By Chris Desira