Government to use sponsor licensing system to target “extremist” groups

Mystery solved. Business immigration lawyers were nonplussed by Wednesday’s urgent amendment to the rules on sponsoring migrant workers, which emphasised that the “Home Office will not license organisations whose actions and behaviour are ...

19th July 2019 By

Detention system continues to discriminate against migrants with mental health problems

The immigration detention system continues to discriminate against migrants with mental health conditions, in breach of the Equality Act 2010, the Court of Appeal has held. The case is R (ASK) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2019] EWCA C ...

18th July 2019 By

Sentences for unqualified immigration advice increase as regulator turns to anti-fraud laws

The severity of sentences imposed for giving unqualified immigration advice has risen, with the regulator increasingly making use of anti-fraud laws to prosecute bogus advisers. The Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC) successfully p ...

15th July 2019 By

Stop denying citizenship to British-born kids, government told

Parliament’s human rights committee has hit out at the controversial “good character” test in child citizenship applications, saying that it is “inappropriate” to disqualify British-born youngsters from citizenship becaus ...

9th July 2019 By

Sopra Steria terminates controversial immigration advice service after conflict of interest complaints

The outsourcing giant in charge of processing visa applications made in the UK has stopped offering legal advice on applications following an outcry from immigration lawyers.  UK Visa and Citizenship Application Services, operated on behalf of the Ho ...

4th July 2019 By

Public access barristers ordered to publish their fees for immigration appeals

Immigration barristers with public access clients must publish their rates online under new price transparency rules. Bar Standards Board regulations now say that all self-employed barristers and chambers must provide basic pricing information, such a ...

3rd July 2019 By

Government to drop 45-day time limit on support for trafficking victims

The government has promised to abandon the strict 45-day time limit on help for victims of human trafficking following a judicial review challenge. The litigation, organised by Duncan Lewis, has forced the Home Office to concede that the 45-day policy ...

2nd July 2019 By

Understaffed immigration inspectorate struggles to hold Home Office to account

Staff shortages mean that the immigration inspector’s office is struggling to effectively scrutinise the work of the Home Office, according to the organisation’s annual report. There are supposed to be 25 inspectors working under chief Dav ...

1st July 2019 By

How Twitter reacted to the BBC’s immigration law documentary

Last night the BBC concluded its three-part documentary about immigration lawyers and their clients, Who Should Get to Stay in the UK?. The series followed a variety of visa applicants and asylum seekers on their journey through the UK’s immigra ...

28th June 2019 By

Women trafficked into prostitution are “wealthy” and don’t need asylum, Home Office claims

Official government guidance claims that victims of human trafficking get rich from being sexually exploited in the UK and can be refused asylum, it has emerged. A new Home Office policy document on women trafficked from Nigeria says that those who be ...

28th June 2019 By

Another career ended by sham marriage advice caught on camera

An immigration lawyer has been struck off after being caught on camera four years ago advising an undercover reporter about a sham marriage. The Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal made the decision in the case of Syed Mazaher Naqvi, a sole practitioner ...

26th June 2019 By

Detention in a young offender institution can nullify enhanced protection against deportation

Detention in a young offender institution has much the same impact on an EU citizen’s enhanced protection against deportation as imprisonment in an adult jail, the Court of Appeal has held. The case is Secretary of State for the Home Department ...

26th June 2019 By

Migration Advisory Committee told to think again on £30,000 minimum salary proposal

The government has asked a group of independent academic experts to look again at the Migration Advisory Committee’s proposal for a £30,000 minimum salary for a UK work visa post-Brexit. It has commissioned the, er, Migration Advisory Committee ...

24th June 2019 By

Refugee Week: asylum in the UK, by numbers

This week is Refugee Week. From 17-23 June 2019, 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 infographic draws on government ...

18th June 2019 By

High Court demands proper inquiry into immigration detention abuse

A proposed inquiry into the now infamous abuse of migrants at Brook House detention centre does not go far enough, a High Court judge has ruled. In a judgment handed down today, Mrs Justice May held that an underpowered Prisons and Probation Ombudsman ...

14th June 2019 By

Half of all immigration appeals now succeed

The percentage of immigration decisions being reversed by judges is at its highest on record, new statistics show. Over 50% of appeals to the immigration tribunal — mostly challenges to Home Office refusals to allow people to stay in the UK R ...

13th June 2019 By

Tribunal says no to return of fast track asylum appeals

Tribunal bosses have put their foot down on fast track asylum appeals, refusing the government’s push for an accelerated process for appellants in immigration detention. The Tribunal Procedure Committee said that it would not be re-introducing a ...

12th June 2019 By

Too many migrants still physically restrained on charter flights, watchdog warns

Home Office charter flights still involve too much physical restraint of the migrants being removed, according to a watchdog’s annual report. The Independent Monitoring Boards Charter Flight Monitoring Team published its annual report yesterday, ...

5th June 2019 By

Fines for solicitors who “took advantage” of vulnerable immigration clients

Two solicitors have been fined for pursuing “spurious” immigration cases — many of which they knew were hopeless because they had advised the client as much. Nurgus Malik and Jusna Begum Miah, who at the time worked for M-R Solicitor ...

4th June 2019 By

Interview: John Vassiliou on the good character test

The Home Office processed around 166,000 applications for British citizenship last year. Most are granted, but some are refused. The most common reason for refusal is failing the ‘good character’ test. Almost 4,000 bids for citizenship wer ...

3rd June 2019 By

MPs demand settled status backstop for EU citizens after Brexit

The government should guarantee the rights of EU citizens living in the UK through legislation to back up the flawed EU Settlement Scheme, an influential committee of MPs has said. In a report published today, the Home Affairs committee invokes the Wi ...

30th May 2019 By

One in ten jobs eligible for work visa priority in proposed new Shortage Occupation List

An influential government advisory group has recommended a major expansion of the list of jobs that get priority for work visas. The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC), a crack team of economists that advises the government on immigration, published i ...

30th May 2019 By

200 Europeans a day applying for British citizenship amid Brexit fears

The June 2016 vote to leave the European Union has already had a major impact on Europeans living in the UK. Even though Brexit has not actually happened yet, there are now far fewer EU citizens coming to live in the UK than before the vote, and those ...

29th May 2019 By

Split Court of Appeal finds asylum seeker age assessment policy unlawful

It’s not often these days that we see a positive result from the Court of Appeal, but just before the bank holiday two out of three Lord Justices declared that Home Office policy on assessing the age of asylum seekers is unlawful. The case is BF ...

28th May 2019 By

Six things we learned about the English language testing scandal from today’s NAO report

The National Audit Office, a government watchdog, has released an authoritative report on the long-running English language testing scandal. The discovery in 2014 that there was widespread cheating on the English tests required for UK visas led to a H ...

24th May 2019 By

Interview: Chris Benn on EU settled status

The EU Settlement Scheme is well underway, with 600,000 European citizens and their families having now applied to stay in the UK after Brexit. The scheme appears to have lived up to its billing insofar as the Home Office is looking to grant people se ...

14th May 2019 By

Immigration inspector: Home Office lacks a clue on illegal working

Government attempts to tackle illegal working are halting, aimless and ill-adapted to the post-Windrush dispensation, an independent inspection report has found. David Bolt’s latest report says that “the Home Office’s efforts are not rea ...

10th May 2019 By

Home Office increases spending on child asylum seekers

The Home Office has announced that councils will get more money to care for children who arrive in the UK alone to seek asylum. Councils used to get between £71 and £114 per child per day, depending on the age of the child and when they arrived in t ...

9th May 2019 By

Former submarine commander is new immigration advice regulator

The government has announced that a new immigration regulation chief will take office later this year, filling a post left vacant since 2015. John Tuckett, a former submarine commander now in charge of the Marine Management Organisation, will become I ...

3rd May 2019 By

Praise for EU settled status scheme following review of pilot phase

The immigration inspector has praised the Home Office for its work on the EU Settlement Scheme for European citizens applying to stay in the UK after Brexit. A new report by the Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration says that the depa ...

2nd May 2019 By

Law Commission extends consultation on simplifying Immigration Rules to 3 May

The Law Commission has extended the deadline for responses to its consultation on simplifying the Immigration Rules to 3 May 2019. It had been due to close on 26 April. The influential law reform body has proposed major revisions to how the Immigratio ...

30th April 2019 By

Three convicted at Old Bailey as OISC smashes sham supervision scheme

Three immigration lawyers have been convicted of a host of regulatory offences after raking in millions from incompetent and unsupervised immigration advice. Dan Romulus Dandes, Babbar Ali Jamil and Zia Bi were found guilty of 19 offences of providing ...

26th April 2019 By

Video link appeals not a breach of GDPR, tribunal says

The Upper Tribunal has ruled that holding immigration appeals over video link does not breach European data protection laws. The case is CJ (international video-link hearing: data protection) Jamaica [2019] UKUT 126 (IAC). The appellant, CJ (no relati ...

25th April 2019 By

Visa inefficiencies denting London’s international arbitration reputation

The UK’s inefficient visa system is hurting the country’s reputation as a venue for high-end dispute resolution, according to a legal consultancy. Hook Tangaza says that it has seen “numerous examples” of foreign lawyers being ...

23rd April 2019 By

“Hamid” disciplinary hearings in the High Court

In the short but landmark judgment of R (Hamid) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2012] EWHC 3070 (Admin), the High Court affirmed that it has the power to oversee the conduct of lawyers in immigration cases. Judges have regularly used the ...

23rd April 2019 By

Temporary relief for trafficking victims as High Court extends support payments

We’ve been scooped on this one by The Sun, of all places. As every lefty lawyer’s favourite paper reports, a judge has temporarily abolished the 45-day limit on help for trafficking victims pending a further hearing. Victims of human traff ...

18th April 2019 By

Turkish man who threatened to burn himself alive fails to overturn deportation order

On 11 February 2003, a Turkish man who had been refused asylum in the UK staged a protest at Manchester Airport, burning immigration papers before dousing himself, his wife and their daughter with petrol and threatening to light a match. Thankfully, t ...

16th April 2019 By

“Torrent of time-wasting nonsense”: tribunal sends immigration adviser for OISC investigation

The Upper Tribunal has referred an immigration adviser to the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC), accusing him of running judicial review cases without a licence and failing to properly check expert reports. The case is R (Hoxha &a ...

15th April 2019 By

ITV sting solicitor struck off over sham marriage advice

An East London immigration lawyer has been struck off after being caught on camera advising a client about a sham marriage. The Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal imposed its ultimate sanction on Zulfiqar Ali, who practised as ZA Solicitors in Stratford ...

12th April 2019 By

Migrants can be deported as “persistent offenders” even if crime-free for years

The Court of Appeal has reiterated that a migrant can be regarded as a “persistent offender” for the purposes of deportation law even if he or she has not committed a crime for some time. The case is Binbuga (Turkey) v Secretary of State f ...

8th April 2019 By
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