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

Home Office softens no recourse to public funds policy following High Court defeat

Revised Home Office guidance should make it easier for migrants with family visas to claim benefits if necessary. The change follows a recent High Court decision which John has explained in some detail, along with the wider context of no recourse to p ...

29th May 2020 By

Legal aid lawyers sue government over coronavirus appeal payments

Furious legal aid lawyers have taken their dispute with the Ministry of Justice to the next level with a judicial review aimed at reversing forthcoming changes. Duncan Lewis Solicitors have sent a letter before action challenging the payment structure ...

29th May 2020 By

Almost 300 migrants put in detention during pandemic

The Home Office put just under 300 new people in immigration detention during the coronavirus pandemic, figures released today suggest. Between the start of the UK lockdown on 23 March and the end of April, 295 people entered immigration detention, ac ...

28th 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

Removals by charter flight fall but violence stalks those carried out

Last year saw a “significant reduction” in charter flights to remove migrants from the UK, a watchdog reported this week — but those so removed are still physically restrained more often than is necessary. In the latter respect, the ...

22nd May 2020 By

Immigration Health Surcharge to be waived for NHS and social care workers

Twitter’s political correspondents are abuzz with the news that the government has made its second NHS-and-immigration U-turn in 24 hours: Woah . Big victory for @Keir_Starmer No10 spokesman: pic.twitter.com/AHWInadgUK — Paul Waugh (@paulwaugh ...

21st May 2020 By

Fall in international student numbers “already visible” in immigration statistics

This morning the government released immigration statistics covering January to March 2020. Although the UK did not officially begin its lockdown until the fourth week in March, the coronavirus effect is “already visible” in the data. Take ...

21st May 2020 By

Making defendants give their nationality “undermines criminal justice”

The requirement for criminal defendants to give their nationality in court is corrupting the justice system and gives the impression of bias against ethnic minorities, a new report has found. Commons, a non-profit criminal defence firm, says that the ...

19th May 2020 By

Coronavirus could create more refugees, EU report warns

The coronavirus pandemic could cause more refugees to flee to Europe, a European Union report has warned. The European Asylum Support Office says that an ISIS resurgence and other conflicts linked to the outbreak may see European countries handling mo ...

19th May 2020 By

Legal aid changes for online immigration appeals “will do irreparable harm”

Immigration lawyers are warning that changes to legal aid for appeals lodged online during the coronavirus pandemic “will do irreparable harm”. The Immigration Law Practitioners’ Association (ILPA) says that adjustments to legal aid ...

19th May 2020 By

It just got more difficult for Europeans to become British citizens

The Home Office has decided to make it more difficult for European residents to become British citizens. EU citizens with settled status who apply for naturalisation may now have to provide evidence that they have been living in the UK legally, accord ...

18th May 2020 By

European Commission accuses UK government of violating EU citizens’ rights

The European Commission has formally accused the UK government of breaching EU law on free movement of people. Brussels today launched “infringement proceedings” against the UK, the process used to force EU member countries to comply with ...

14th May 2020 By

Immigration Bill back in Parliament on 18 May

Listeners to the Free Movement podcast may have heard us mention the Immigration Bill on the last episode. The second reading was scheduled for 21 April, and we thought (and said) that it would go ahead remotely despite the coronavirus disruption. In ...

14th May 2020 By

High Court rules against government on no recourse to public funds

The High Court has ruled that the government must make it easier for migrants to access the welfare system if they are about to become destitute. In an oral ruling delivered this morning, Lord Justice Bean and Mr Justice Chamberlain found that Home Of ...

7th May 2020 By

Home Office tries to lean on judges deciding immigration bail cases

The Home Office tried to put pressure on judges to stop releasing migrants from immigration detention, it has emerged. An official letter from the department to a top immigration judge said that the Home Office was “somewhat surprised” tha ...

6th May 2020 By

Social workers must help children in care get EU settled status

The Home Office has published some guidance on helping children in care apply for post-Brexit immigration status through the EU Settlement Scheme. It reminds social workers that they must either apply on the child’s behalf, or help older childre ...

4th May 2020 By

Court of Appeal rejects Ankara Agreement settlement rights appeal

The Court of Appeal has rejected an appeal by Turkish business owners challenging a reduction in their settlement rights. The case is R (Alliance of Turkish Business People Ltd) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2020] EWCA Civ 553. Self-em ...

4th May 2020 By
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