Digital-only status for EU citizens “creates a real risk of harm”, experts warn

Digital-only residence permits could make it harder for migrants to access vital services like jobs and housing, a new report warns. Landlords and employers used to physical passports and residence permits may discriminate against migrants whose proof ...

1st October 2020 By

70 new job types being added to Shortage Occupation List

Under the government’s new Points-Based Immigration System, the minimum salary required to sponsor an overseas worker will be £25,600, unless the worker has a PhD — or is being hired for a role that appears on the Shortage Occupation List ...

29th September 2020 By

Podcast: the new student visa rules

“Don’t panic!” is Tom Brett Young’s message to his education sector clients. Revised student visa rules kick in next month, replacing the Tier 4 routes beloved of known to immigration lawyers since 2009. Thankfully, the VWV par ...

25th September 2020 By

Immigration Health Surcharge increase to £624 delayed

The Immigration Health Surcharge will no longer increase from £400 to £624 on 1 October 2020 as originally planned. The draft order setting a 1 October date for the increase has been replaced by a new draft order which still hikes up the surcharge b ...

24th September 2020 By

Asylum outsourced: private firms to carry out asylum seeker interviews

The Home Office is planning to outsource asylum interviews to commercial contractors. A pilot programme designed to address the mounting backlog of asylum claims will see private outsourcing firms conduct interviews with often vulnerable asylum seeker ...

23rd September 2020 By

Personal data breaches by the Home Office soar to over 4,000 last year

Personal data breaches at the Home Office rose 122% last year to over 4,000. There were 4,204 “personal data related incidents” in 2019/20 compared to 1,895 in 2018/19, according to the department’s annual report and accounts. They i ...

23rd September 2020 By

EU Settlement Scheme “still unknown to many migrants”

Many eastern European migrant workers don’t know that the EU Settlement Scheme exists, new research suggests. A survey of EU citizens in Cambridgeshire by the Social Market Foundation think tank found that barely half were aware of the Settlemen ...

21st September 2020 By

Solicitor fined £60,000 over “hopeless” immigration cases

The Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal has fined an immigration solicitor £60,000 after he admitted lodging “hopeless” judicial review claims and several other regulatory breaches. The Upper Tribunal referred Syed Wasif Ali of Harrow Solici ...

17th September 2020 By

Revised legal aid rates for online immigration appeals from 7 October

The government has published new legal aid rates for online immigration and asylum appeals following last month’s admission that the original system was brought in unlawfully. The highly contentious standard fees for appeals lodged under the  ...

17th September 2020 By

OISC exams move online

The Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC) has announced that its exams are going online for at least the next six months. People hoping to become OISC-regulated immigration advisers will sit their exams remotely until the end of March ...

10th September 2020 By

Book review: Fake Law by the Secret Barrister

Sir James Munby once warned that public confidence in the family courts, which he ran between 2013 and 2018, was undermined by “ignorance, misunderstanding, misrepresentation or worse”. The problem affects all areas of law but takes differ ...

8th September 2020 By

Channel boat people are refugees, Home Office officials confirm

Migrants crossing the English Channel in small boats are overwhelmingly genuine refugees, senior Home Office officials have confirmed. Evidence presented to the Home Affairs committee of MPs on 3 September makes clear that the majority of those making ...

4th September 2020 By

Podcast: helping families with international surrogacy

Commercial surrogacy — paying someone else to carry and give birth to your child — is banned in the UK, but available overseas. That allows couples and individuals who would otherwise be unable to have children to experience the miracle of ...

28th August 2020 By

EU Settlement Scheme rejects majority of Zambrano carers

The Home Office has so far rejected the majority of EU Settlement Scheme applications that rely on Zambrano rights. New figures show that 770 of the 1,260 Zambrano carers applying for leave to remain under the scheme have been rejected (61%). A non-EU ...

27th August 2020 By

Brexit ready? No big rise in businesses getting sponsor licences

From January 2021, all going to plan, EU free movement will end and employers who want to recruit from overseas will need a licence to sponsor people for work visas. While the government has made it possible for businesses to apply for a sponsor licen ...

25th August 2020 By

Government ditches legal aid changes after conceding they were rammed through unlawfully

The government is to abandon a highly controversial change to legal aid for online immigration appeals after accepting that it was pushed through unlawfully. The Civil Legal Aid (Remuneration) (Amendment) (Coronavirus) Regulations 2020 will now be scr ...

12th August 2020 By

Good news for migrants falsely accused of English language test cheating

Migrants who win an appeal after being wrongly accused of cheating on their English language visa test should now get a proper grant of leave to remain as a result. Following a legal challenge, the Home Office has committed to granting two and a half ...

6th August 2020 By

Huge increase in no recourse to public funds applications

The number of migrants applying to lift their visa condition of “no recourse to public funds” in order to access the welfare safety net has surged during the pandemic, new Home Office data shows. There were almost 5,700 applications to hav ...

30th July 2020 By

Regulator convicted seven unregulated immigration advisers last year

The Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC) secured seven convictions for illegal immigration advice last year, according to the regulator’s annual report for 2019/20. That represents a drop from 14 convictions the year before. A ...

27th July 2020 By

Podcast: applying for a representative of an overseas business visa

The representative of an overseas business visa wasn’t mentioned once in the government’s blueprint for a new immigration system, but that doesn’t mean it’s going anywhere. Or at least we hope not; as Joanna Hunt tells me in th ...

24th July 2020 By

Health and Care Visa launches on 4 August

The new Health and Care Visa for foreign medical workers will open for applications on 4 August 2020, the government has announced. The visa is not a new route as such, but a species of Tier 2 (General) visa — the announcement comes in a new Par ...

15th July 2020 By

EU citizens are now being turned down for settled status

The Home Office has started to refuse EU citizens and their family members the right to stay in the UK post-Brexit. It issued 1,400 refusals under the EU Settlement Scheme in June 2020 alone, compared to 900 over the whole of the last couple of years. ...

10th July 2020 By

Home Office complaints handling targets “routinely missed”

Home Office targets for handling complaints within 20 working days are “routinely missed”, according to a report published today by the immigration inspector, David Bolt. Mr Bolt also says that the department has failed to keep up improvem ...

8th July 2020 By

Man drawing UK state pension not allowed to claim carer’s allowance from Cyprus

The appellant in the case of Konevod v Secretary of State for Work And Pensions [2020] EWCA Civ 809 moved to Cyprus in 2014 to become a carer for a friend, Ms Ozturk. Both Mr Konevod and Ms Ozturk had lived and worked in the UK, qualifying for state ...

7th July 2020 By

Downing Street team sent in to investigate work visa system

A science and research plan published today suggests increased central government scrutiny on Home Office work visa rules and operations. The plan promises a new “Office for Talent” operating out of 10 Downing Street, which “will mak ...

1st July 2020 By

Strike-off for immigration solicitor who faked entire judicial review

A solicitor who failed to make immigration applications on behalf of 17 clients and faked an entire judicial review to cover his tracks has been struck off. The Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal found that Christopher Ka Ki Cheng had “failed to m ...

1st July 2020 By

More money for trafficking victims with kids after legal challenge

Government subsistence payments to potential and confirmed victims of human trafficking will increase from today, 1 July 2020. The Home Office says that it is: Increasing the weekly payment to those in outreach support… from £35 to £39.60. Inc ...

1st July 2020 By

Migrant enquiries about benefits double during pandemic, Citizens Advice reports

Citizens Advice reports that the number of migrants with no recourse to public funds asking for help claiming benefits has more than doubled during the coronavirus pandemic. In March, April and May, the charity fielded 1,538 enquiries about lifting th ...

26th June 2020 By

Podcast: the six-month “rule” for visitors to the UK

To be allowed into the UK as a visitor, border officials must be satisfied that you are a “genuine visitor”. One warning sign is “frequent and successive visits”, which may indicate that you are making the UK your “main h ...

26th June 2020 By

Home Secretary to accept Windrush Lessons Learned recommendations “in full”

The Home Secretary has said that she will be accepting the Windrush Lessons Learned Review “in full”. The report by senior police inspector Wendy Williams, published in March 2020, contains 30 recommendations calling for root and branch re ...

24th June 2020 By

Bankrupt immigration law firm had “gone out of financial control”

A solicitor whose well-respected immigration firm collapsed in 2018 has been fined £15,000 after admitting to breaches of accounting rules. Lawrence Lupin accepted responsibility for six breaches of the rules on financial and practice management, inc ...

24th June 2020 By

Asylum seeker set to challenge “illusory” right to work rules

The High Court has granted permission for a judicial review challenge to the rules on when asylum seekers are allowed to work in the UK. People waiting over a year for an initial decision on their bid for refugee status can apply for permission to get ...

19th June 2020 By

Immigration Health Surcharge refunds for NHS and social care workers

When the government announced on 21 May 2020 that NHS and social care workers would be made exempt from the Immigration Health Surcharge, some immigration lawyers pointed out that a political announcement is one thing, legal implementation quite anoth ...

18th June 2020 By

Home Office doesn’t know, doesn’t care whether the hostile environment even works

The government has no way of knowing whether its flagship “hostile environment” policy on unauthorised migrants is working, the National Audit Office has found. In a report published today, the NAO says that the Home Office is “curre ...

17th June 2020 By

Refugee Week: asylum in the UK, by numbers

Refugee Week 2020Infogram This week is Refugee Week. From 15-21 June 2020, the UK celebrates the contribution of refugees to the UK and promotes better understanding of why people seek sanctuary. Our small contribution to that aim is above. The infogr ...

17th June 2020 By

Do coronavirus visa extensions properly, MPs urge

“The Home Office must clarify the legal basis for the offers of visa extensions”, says the Home Affairs committee of MPs in a coronavirus report published today. The committee points out that there is considerable uncertainty about whether ...

15th June 2020 By

Fewer immigration appeals than ever

The number of immigration appeals decided by the First-tier Tribunal has fallen almost 70% over the past decade, new Home Office statistics show. The ten years since the tribunal was set up, replacing the old Immigration Appeals tribunal, has seen the ...

11th June 2020 By

Solicitor caught in TV sting fails to overturn sham marriage strike-off

A solicitor caught on camera advising an undercover reporter about a sham marriage has failed in a High Court bid to overturn his subsequent ban from the profession. The case is Naqvi v Solicitors Regulation Authority [2020] EWHC 1394 (Admin). Syed Ma ...

5th June 2020 By

Revealed: unpublished guidance on detaining vulnerable migrants

Lawyers have uncovered internal Home Office guidance on detaining vulnerable migrants. Duncan Lewis Solicitors and Garden Court Chambers secured the previously unpublished documents, which discuss how the Adults at Risk policy should be interpreted an ...

4th June 2020 By

Pandemic detention research “lays bare a catalogue of failings”

New research by Bail for Immigration Detainees (BID) on detention during the pandemic “lays bare a catalogue of failings”, the charity says. With the authorities insisting on keeping detention centres open despite health concerns, BID has ...

1st June 2020 By
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