Bye bye CSI? Legal challenges to the Comprehensive Sickness Insurance rule

On 5 July 1948, Aneurin Bevan launched the National Health Service, telling reporters “today we can say we have the best organised system of social security in the world”. Other European countries demurred: instead of funding their health systems ...

1st December 2020 By

Podcast: how the immigration system froze out Commonwealth soldiers

You don’t have to be British to work here, but it helps. Citizens of the 54 Commonwealth countries can serve in the British Army and other branches of the armed forces, and are eligible to settle in the UK after discharge if they have served for ...

27th November 2020 By

At least 300 people have died trying to cross the Channel since 1999

As you read, you visualise the dead – hit by cars as they try to dash over the motorway or jump down from trucks; crushed by lorries as they try to climb in or under them; suffocating slowly inside trucks; electrocuted or hit by trains in the Eurotu ...

26th November 2020 By

Alarming rise in asylum backlog despite fall in applications

The backlog of asylum cases has reached alarming new heights, with over 46,000 people now waiting more than six months for an initial decision on their asylum application. The figures as of 30 September 2020, which were released today, show a 19% incr ...

26th November 2020 By

Home Office “didn’t take Windrush concerns seriously”, equality watchdog finds

The legal powers of the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) have been much discussed in recent weeks. This month it is not the Labour Party in the figurative dock, but the more familiar presence of the Home Office. An EHRC report into the Wind ...

25th November 2020 By

New regulations to wipe free movement from the statute book

I look forward to reading this out on the next podcast: the Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Act 2020 (Consequential, Saving, Transitional and Transitory Provisions) (EU Exit) Regulations 2020 (SI 2020 No. 1309). These new ...

23rd November 2020 By

Pandemic rules for immigration appeals declared unlawful

The High Court has declared that the arrangements for dealing with Upper Tribunal immigration appeals during the coronavirus pandemic are unlawful. Mr Justice Fordham held that the President of the Upper Tribunal’s guidance leans too heavily in ...

20th November 2020 By

Government admits EU Settlement Scheme likely discriminates against women, disabled and other groups

The government has conceded that the EU Settlement Settlement probably discriminates against various groups protected by equality legislation but denies that it is unlawful, arguing that any discriminatory effects are justifiable. Campaigners have lon ...

19th November 2020 By

Human trafficking: High Court orders emergency fix to asylum screening interviews

The High Court has ordered the Home Office to interview asylum seekers properly and remind its caseworkers about the correct legal test for kicking off an investigation into human trafficking. Mr Justice Fordham granted the interim relief, or temporar ...

17th November 2020 By

Rise in clandestine Channel crossings by lorry as well as by boat

Yesterday the Home Office published a report by the immigration inspector on clandestine Channel crossings. The report’s relevance is somewhat diminished by the fact that it was completed in March and hidden away in a drawer at Marsham Street, a ...

12th November 2020 By

“High risk” of coronavirus outbreak at Penally asylum camp

There is a high risk of a coronavirus outbreak at a military camp being used to house asylum seekers, local health authorities say. Hywel Dda University Health Board blames “inadequate facilities provided by the Home Office” at the Penally ...

11th November 2020 By

EU citizens unlawfully resident in the UK to stay that way during “grace period”

The UK government has long taken the position that EU citizen students and self-sufficient people who do not have Comprehensive Sickness Insurance are living in the UK unlawfully. The Home Office has now confirmed that people in this position will rem ...

6th November 2020 By

Immigration and asylum interviews exempt from English lockdown

A blanket lockdown began today — in England; other jurisdictions are available — and runs for 28 days. During that time, people are not to leave home “without reasonable excuse”. The lockdown regulations include a list of thing ...

5th November 2020 By

Government can deport people who had successfully appealed against deportation

Last year, Nick wrote up the case of MA (Pakistan) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2019] EWCA Civ 1252, summarising it as follows: If a foreign criminal wins their deportation appeal, can the Home Office try and deport them again, even ...

4th November 2020 By

Immigration judge savaged by Upper Tribunal for apparent copy-and-paste judgment

The vice-president of the Upper Tribunal has laid into a more junior immigration judge for a judgment so bad it amounted to a “failure of the judicial process”. Vice-president Ockelton said that the judgment in question, which was littered ...

2nd November 2020 By

Podcast: where are we at with legal aid for immigration appeals?

Lawyers have spent much of this year fighting off controversial changes to legal aid for immigration appeals. In May, the government brought in adjusted legal aid arrangements for cases lodged under a new online appeal system — arrangements that ...

23rd October 2020 By

Most visa app-lications to be done on smartphones

The Home Office has been rolling out new webpages for the public on how to get a visa, in preparation for the new points-based immigration system due to come in from 1 January 2021. One such page was published yesterday, aimed at EU citizens. The over ...

20th October 2020 By

Immigration Health Surcharge rises to £624 from 27 October 2020

The Immigration Health Surcharge will increase from £400 a year to £624 a year on 27 October 2020. The Immigration (Health Charge) (Amendment) Order 2020 (SI 2020 No. 1086) was made today, 6 October, and comes into force 21 days later. As a result, ...

6th October 2020 By

Home Secretary party conference speech on asylum – full text

The Home Secretary, Priti Patel, delivered a keynote speech to the Conservative Party conference yesterday. Around half the speech was given over to what she repeatedly called the UK’s “broken” asylum system. I thought a transcript w ...

5th October 2020 By

Asylum seekers exposed to virus risk on removal flight as staff ditch covid precautions

Inspectors observing a Home Office charter flight taking asylum seekers to France and Germany have found that coronavirus precautions were not followed. The report by HM Inspectorate of Prisons also found that pain was deliberately inflicted on three ...

2nd October 2020 By

NHS and social care workers can now get an Immigration Health Surcharge refund

The government has launched an Immigration Health Surcharge refund scheme for NHS and social care workers. Migrants working in a hospital or care home who don’t have a Health and Care visa will continue to pay the surcharge up front, but can cla ...

1st October 2020 By

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

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
1 2 3 4 5 6 13