Not unfair to proceed with hearing after appellant’s lawyer stormed out, tribunal finds

Arshad Bano’s appeal for leave to remain in the UK on human rights grounds was listed for 13 December 2018, with documents to be submitted no later than five days in advance. She provided a statement on 10 December, a couple of days late. In res ...

2nd April 2020 By

Recruitment opens for 14 new immigration judges

No sooner is the last batch of immigration judges through the door than the authorities are seeking to recruit more. Around 40 new judges were named to the immigration and asylum chamber of the First-tier Tribunal over the last few months, but the Jud ...

31st March 2020 By

Immigration bar protests “unworkable” remote hearing arrangements

Barristers working in the immigration tribunal say that emergency measures to keep hearings going are “unworkable”. Members of the immigration bar have written to First-tier Tribunal President Michael Clements to express deep concern about ...

31st March 2020 By

Immigration Health Surcharge rising to £624 in October 2020

The Immigration Health Surcharge will increase from £400 to £624 on 1 October 2020. The rise was confirmed during the Budget, which Chancellor Rishi Sunak presented to Parliament on 11 March 2020. An accompanying policy costings document states:  T ...

30th March 2020 By

Home Office aims to completely rewrite “confusing” Immigration Rules by January 2021

The Home Office has accepted the need to simplify the “complex and confusing” Immigration Rules and says that the work is already underway. In an official response to the Law Commission’s recent report on the subject, the department ...

25th March 2020 By

Windrush review calls for root and branch reform at the Home Office

What caused the Windrush scandal? According to an independent review by Wendy Williams, published today, the answer lies in increasingly harsh immigration and nationality legislation over the past 60 years. These laws — including those dedicated ...

19th March 2020 By

Government issues desultory update on EU child refugee talks

Once upon a time, the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 required the government to “seek to negotiate” a deal with the EU on family reunion for child refugees. Without such a deal, the looming end of the Dublin III arrangements will mak ...

17th March 2020 By

Legal battle to stop Home Office dispatching a 10-year-old for female genital mutilation

The High Court has granted a Female Genital Mutilation Protection Order in the case of a 10-year-old girl who the Home Office is trying to remove to Bahrain. The case is A (A child) (Female Genital Mutilation Protection Order Application) [2020] EWHC ...

13th March 2020 By

“Genuine chance of being engaged” test for retaining EU worker status found unlawful

EU citizens do not have to prove that they have a “genuine chance of being engaged” in order to retain worker status under European Union law, the Upper Tribunal has held. The case is KH v Bury MBC and SSWP [2020] UKUT 50 (AAC). Martin Wil ...

12th March 2020 By

Home Office abandons “centre of life” test in Surinder Singh cases

The Home Office has updated its guidance on Surinder Singh cases to remove all reference to a “centre of life” test. This follows the case of ZA (Reg 9. EEA Regs; abuse of rights) Afghanistan [2019] UKUT 281 (IAC) in which the Upper Tribu ...

10th March 2020 By

Funding extended for EU Settlement Scheme charities

The Home Office has announced an extension of funding to help vulnerable EU citizens to apply for settled status. £8 million will be made available for charities and councils working to get people through the EU Settlement Scheme in 2020/21, a slight ...

6th March 2020 By

Government publishes Immigration Bill 2.0

An Immigration Bill will be introduced to the House of Commons later today, the government has announced. It is expected to be similar to the one introduced in 2018 by then Home Secretary Sajid Javid, which ultimately lapsed when the Johnson governmen ...

5th March 2020 By

Home Office brags about success of entrepreneur visa it abolished a year ago

Check out this hilarious bit of spin in the Home Office’s “factsheet” on yesterday’s immigration statistics: …the UK continues to be a desirable location for the brightest and best around the world… The number of hi ...

28th February 2020 By

Independent review of EU Settlement Scheme released

The Home Office is “managing relatively comfortably” with the millions of European residents applying for post-Brexit settled status, a long-awaited review has found. The department finally published the results today of an inspection of t ...

27th February 2020 By

Asylum backlog continues to rise

The number of people with pending asylum cases has risen by almost 50% in just the last 12 months, new Home Office figures show. Over 56,000 asylum seekers and their dependants were awaiting an initial decision or further review at the end of 2019, co ...

27th February 2020 By

Adult step-children of EU citizens don’t qualify for family member residence cards

Ronnie Latayan came to the UK from the Philippines on a visit visa in 2004 and has been here ever since, through multiple unsuccessful applications for further leave to remain. Now 46, Ms Latayan lives with her mother, a naturalised British citizen wi ...

26th February 2020 By

Yarl’s Wood operator Serco to take over G4S-run detention centres

Outsourcing firm Serco is to take over two immigration removal centres run by rival G4S, the Home Office has announced. The Hampshire-headquartered company, which already runs the notorious Yarl’s Wood detention centre, will take over Brook Hous ...

20th February 2020 By

Government abandons “Australia-style” immigration system

The government has released a few more details of what it calls a “points based system” for immigration to the UK after Brexit. To balance out the impending end of free movement of workers from the European Union, it would allow employers ...

19th February 2020 By

EU citizens’ rights during the Brexit transition period

The Public Law Project has a new briefing on EU citizens’ rights during the transition period. It says: The main takeaway is that throughout the transition period, until 31 December 2020, almost all EU rules will continue to apply in the UK. The ...

18th February 2020 By

Former immigration lawyer named Attorney General

Suella Braverman was appointed Attorney General today, replacing Geoffrey Cox QC. She is only the second woman to become the government’s chief legal adviser. The role also involves oversight of the Crown Prosecution Service and Government Legal ...

13th February 2020 By

Home Office wrongly put people refused “right of abode” down for removal

The Home Office incorrectly put long-term UK residents on a removal list for the best part of a year, the immigration inspector has found. In a report published yesterday, the Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration reveals that for mos ...

13th February 2020 By

Shamima Begum loses statelessness argument against citizenship deprivation

Shamima Begum is a citizen of Bangladesh and so would not be made stateless by being stripped of her British citizenship, the Special Immigration Appeals Commission has held. The main SIAC judgment is Shamima Begum (Preliminary Issue : Substansive) [2 ...

7th February 2020 By

Public must be told how controversial visa streaming tool works, immigration inspector says

The Home Office should release more details about a “cryptic” computer programme that scores visa applicants as high, medium and low risk, the immigration inspector has recommended. David Bolt says that while applicants labelled high risk ...

6th February 2020 By

Legal aid advice in detention centres “generally poor”

An explosion in the number of firms given detention centre legal aid contracts has seriously diluted the quality of advice, according to the charity Bail for Immigration Detainees (BID). BID says that that handing out contracts to dozens of often inex ...

6th February 2020 By

Solicitor charged asylum client on the side instead of offering him legal aid

An experienced immigration lawyer has been struck off for failing to check whether a client qualified for legal aid and charging him without telling the firm she was working for. The Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal found that Keisha Hackett, 43, had ...

5th February 2020 By

Free movement continues past Brexit day, but only until the end of the year

From 11pm today, the United Kingdom will no longer be a member of the European Union. This momentous event has both geopolitical and psychological ramifications, but for now some narrow legal points on what it means in practice. Free movement continue ...

31st January 2020 By

EU Settlement Scheme appeal rights introduced

The Immigration (Citizens’ Rights Appeals) (EU Exit) Regulations 2020 (SI 2020 No. 61) come into force on Brexit day — tomorrow, 31 January. They create a right of appeal to the immigration tribunal for people refused pre-settled or settled st ...

30th January 2020 By

Government advised not to bother with points based gimmick for migrants with job offers

The government should think twice about re-introducing a points based immigration system after Brexit, and lower the minimum salary necessary to get a work visa, the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) has recommended. In a report published today, the ...

28th January 2020 By

OISC nabs three for illegal immigration advice

The Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC) has been busy this month, announcing bans or convictions for three unqualified immigration advisers after pursuing them through the courts. The OISC first secured an indefinite ban on Kalpesh ...

22nd January 2020 By

The immigration detainees held in prisons rather than detention centres

The number of people kept in jail under Immigration Act powers, broken down by prison, are as follows:   30 Apr 2019 31 May 2019 30 Jun 2019 31 Jul 2019 31 Aug 2019 30 Sep 2019               Total 419 383 339 398 379 389               A ...

21st January 2020 By

Visa appointment fees rise with no warning

The cost of appointments at visa application centres in the UK has risen with no warning given to applicants or their representatives. Sopra Steria, the outsourcing company that runs UK Visa and Citizenship Services, has hiked appointment costs from ...

16th January 2020 By

Immigration lawyer struck off over legal aid fraud of up to £5 million

An immigration lawyer has been struck off not long after being released from prison for defrauding the Legal Aid Agency of up to £5 million. A disciplinary tribunal found that Astrid Halberstadt-Twum was guilty of “deliberate, calculated and re ...

13th January 2020 By

Government promises extra family reunion rights for people of Northern Ireland

White smoke rises from Stormont, where the British and Irish governments have produced a draft deal to bring back power-sharing government in Northern Ireland following lengthy talks with the region’s main political parties. The agreement includ ...

10th January 2020 By

Charities advising on EU settled status warned to refer complex cases on

The Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC) has released guidance for charities accredited to advise on the EU Settlement Scheme only. The light touch accreditation scheme, which allows not-for-profit organisations to give immigration a ...

10th January 2020 By

Last chance to sound off about Home Office Presenting Officers

The immigration inspector wants to hear your thoughts on the work of Home Office Presenting Officers (HOPOs) by Friday 10 January. David Bolt writes: In my 2019-20 inspection plan I signalled my intention to carry out an inspection of the work of Ho ...

8th January 2020 By

Delays in child asylum decisions not the Home Office’s fault, High Court finds

The Home Office has successfully defended its processing of asylum claims by unaccompanied children despite chronic delays in decision-making. The case is R (MK) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2019] EWHC 3573 (Admin). MK was a Sudanese ...

7th January 2020 By

Former paralegal Kevin Foster becomes immigration minister

We’re a bit late to this, but it’s become an annual tradition to report on the new immigration minister, a job that has now been held by six different people since 2016. Kevin Foster, the MP for Torbay, took up the role just before Christm ...

7th January 2020 By

Challenge to NHS charging regulations fails

The High Court has rejected a challenge to the NHS charging regulations. In a decision handed down just before Christmas, Mrs Justice Foster found against a Ghanaian woman who was billed £100,000 for her daughter’s life-saving liver transplant. ...

6th January 2020 By

£1,000 child citizenship fee found unlawful

The High Court has ruled that charging a citizenship fee of over £1,000 to children is unlawful. The decision will be widely welcomed by campaigners who have long argued that the fee charged to register a child as British, which is set far above the ...

19th December 2019 By

Briefing: the Tier 1 (Investor) route

The Tier 1 (Investor) visa allows foreign citizens to get permission to live in the UK in return for an investment of £2 million in the British economy. The investment can be in shares or bonds issued by UK companies. Around 12,000 people have come t ...

19th December 2019 By
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