Immigration lawyers referred to Solicitors Regulation Authority over “entirely bogus” cases

The High Court has referred an immigration law firm to the Solicitors Regulation Authority, citing “serious concerns” over its conduct of several cases. The case is R (Al Mahfuz & Anor) v Upper Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber) ...

17th September 2019 By

Jailed solicitor struck off for role in fake visa scam

A solicitor convicted for his part in a notorious visa scam has been struck off. Sheikh Muhammad Usman, who is serving a seven-year prison sentence for conspiring to get people leave to remain under false identities, will be unable to resume practise ...

28th August 2019 By

New Innovator visa attracts just four applicants in first three months

There have been just four applications for the government’s flagship new visa for overseas entrepreneurs in its first three months of operation. Only four people applied for an Innovator visa between April and June 2019, according to the latest ...

22nd August 2019 By

Interview: Nick Nason on “genuine and subsisting relationships”

The way that I tell clients to treat this kind of evidence gathering process is… don’t treat it as an evidence gathering process. It may sound a little corny, but treat it as a celebration of your relationship so far. You’re telling ...

20th August 2019 By

Online asylum appeals to be rolled out nationwide in 2020

Asylum appeals will be filed and managed entirely online from next year, the courts and tribunals service for England and Wales has said. HMCTS told Free Movement that it plans to roll out its “reformed digital asylum service” to all heari ...

19th August 2019 By

Asylum seeker not “effeminate” enough to be gay, immigration judge says

An immigration judge has rejected an asylum seeker’s claim to be gay, saying that the man did not come across as “effeminate” enough to be credible. According to a lawyer involved in the case, the judge wrote that the man did not hav ...

15th August 2019 By

Student facing death penalty for ISIS membership stripped of British citizenship

A student who ran away to join ISIS in Syria has lost a legal challenge to the UK government’s decision to take away his British citizenship. The judgment, handed down yesterday and the first case of its kind in the High Court, is R (Islam) v Se ...

8th August 2019 By

Student who innocently relied on fake certificate of sponsorship refused visa for producing “false document”

The ground of appeal in Hameed v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2019] EWCA Civ 1324 was: It was wrong to find the appellant had made a false representation under paragraph 322(1A) of the Immigration Rules when he had not acted dishonestly ...

6th August 2019 By

Former Taliban recruiter allowed to stay in the UK after being cleared of war crimes

The anonymous protagonist in Secretary of State for the Home Department v BK (Afghanistan) [2019] EWCA Civ 1358 fled Afghanistan for the UK in 2002. He claimed that he had been press-ganged into recruiting for the Taliban, admitting that the role incl ...

2nd August 2019 By

Immigration Rules error: some minimum salaries for Tier 2 work visas are wrong

The Home Office has issued a correction to the published minimum salary levels for certain roles. An addendum, or urgent update, to the guidance on Tier 2 work visas states: The Tier 2 salary rates listed in Appendix J of the Immigration Rules were am ...

1st August 2019 By

British-Iranian solicitor Seema Kennedy made immigration minister

Seema Kennedy is the new immigration minister at the Home Office, the BBC’s Danny Shaw reports. The MP for South Ribble, who had been a junior minister at the Department of Health, replaces the sacked Caroline Nokes. Nokes apparently read about ...

31st July 2019 By

English language ability and financial independence no help in human rights appeals

An old case, this, but it’s only just appeared on Bailii: SC (Bangladesh) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2018] EWCA Civ 3069. The issue was whether the public interest considerations in sections 117B(2) and (3) of the Nationality, ...

29th July 2019 By

Regulations published to bring back legal aid for unaccompanied children

Government press offices are adept at milking good news. The Ministry of Justice’s self-congratulatory press release announcing the restoration of immigration legal aid for unaccompanied children comes over a year after the department first made ...

25th July 2019 By

Campaigners raise £50,000 to take government to court over botched European elections

Campaign group the3million has raised £50,000 in crowdfunding to support a legal challenge to the government’s handling of the European elections. The organisation says that widespread reports of EU citizens being unable to vote for members of ...

23rd July 2019 By

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
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