The UK-India migration deal

The UK and India signed a non-binding agreement on migration this week. The basic ingredients are to beef up cooperation on removing unauthorised migrants in exchange for a minor liberalisation on youth mobility-type visas and some warm words on encou ...

7th May 2021 By

Court throws out challenge to digital-only status for EU citizens

The High Court has issued a judgment refusing permission for a judicial review challenge to the government’s policy of giving digital-only proof of immigration status to millions of EU citizens. The case is R (The 3million Ltd) v Secretary of St ...

6th May 2021 By

Asylum right to work policy changed to allow (a bit) more discretion

The Home Office has updated its policy guidance on when asylum seekers can get permission to work, following two cases finding the previous version unlawful. The update (version 10.0, published on 4 May 2021) explicitly mentions that exceptions can be ...

5th May 2021 By

Podcast: when is deportation “unduly harsh”?

Do you know your PG (Jamaica) from your HA (Iraq)? Our coverage of deportation decisions over the past few years has felt non-stop, with the courts pumping out judgments sending the law in different directions. In particular, the legal test for when d ...

23rd April 2021 By

Home Office can make exceptions to rules stopping asylum seekers working

The Upper Tribunal has declared the government’s strict policy on asylum seekers working to be unlawful because it doesn’t mention that exceptions can be made. The case is R (C6) v Secretary of State for the Home Department (asylum seekers ...

22nd April 2021 By

Being taken to court means we’re doing our job, Home Office officials say

Some interesting nuggets from a new report on judicial review, published today by the Institute for Government. The Home Office is the department most affected by this particular type of legal challenge, accounting for 80% of JRs between 2007 and 2013 ...

15th April 2021 By

Social workers can get settled status for EU kids in care without parental consent

Here on Free Movement we have been repeating until we are blue in the face that the deadline for EU Settlement Scheme applications is 30 June 2021. Regular readers may by now feel rather bludgeoned over the head with this fact, but it remains a vitall ...

1st April 2021 By

Let more refugees in if they’re good for the economy, report urges

The government should consider introducing visas for people both in need of humanitarian assistance and who can make an economic contribution to the UK, a new report suggests. The Social Market Foundation argues there should be a way for migrants to e ...

26th March 2021 By

Podcast: immigration and the criminal law

The statute book is crammed with criminal offences relating to borders and immigration control, from entering the UK illegally to renting property to an unauthorised migrant. Most are rarely prosecuted, with an average of 625 prosecutions a year betwe ...

26th March 2021 By

A first look at the “New Plan for Immigration”

Today the Home Office published a new plan for immigration with the title, somehow both grandiloquent and banal, New Plan for Immigration. It is mainly concerned with asylum and people who enter the UK illegally (those two concepts being subtly mashed ...

24th March 2021 By

Cart cases scrapped as government launches judicial review consultation

The government has committed to scrapping Cart judicial review and is consulting on other changes to JR as part of its response to the report of the Independent Review of Administrative Law, both of which were published today. The abolition of the Car ...

18th March 2021 By

Putting migrants in Covid-ridden barracks a human rights breach

In the case of Feilazoo v Malta (application no. 6865/19), the European Court of Human Rights has held that detaining migrants in a Covid-ridden former military barracks constitutes inhuman and degrading treatment contrary to Article 3 of the human ri ...

17th March 2021 By

Inspectors sound the alarm about asylum camp conditions with emergency interim report

No sooner had we pressed publish on today’s write-up of the Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration’s latest report than a new one emerged — or rather, a “high-level overview” of conditions at Napier and Pe ...

8th March 2021 By

Home Office can’t catch human traffickers, inspection finds

The immigration authorities’ work on human trafficking and modern slavery produced just ten arrests and five prosecutions in two years, the immigration inspector has found. David Bolt’s report on the Home Office’s efforts in this are ...

8th March 2021 By

New statement of changes to the Immigration Rules: HC 1248

The Home Office published a new statement of changes to the Immigration Rules today. It is 108 pages long and the changes take effect on 6 April 2021 unless otherwise specified. Most relate to the work and study routes branded as the Points Based Immi ...

4th March 2021 By

Immigration measures in the 2021 Budget

Among the key points highlighted by the Treasury from today’s Budget is “reforms to the immigration system [to] help ambitious UK businesses attract the brightest and best international talent”. As a policy prescription, this is up t ...

3rd March 2021 By

Podcast: the new-look grounds for refusal

Part 9 of the Immigration Rules consists of a long list of reasons why someone can be refused permission to enter or stay in the UK. These are known as the “general grounds for refusal”. Part 9 was recently overhauled, with the Home Office ...

26th February 2021 By

Eviction of failed asylum seeker a breach of human rights

The Home Office breached the human rights of a refused asylum seeker by evicting him while his eighth attempt to reopen his asylum claim was still pending, the High Court of Northern Ireland has found. The case is Re Omar Mahmud [2021] NIQB 6. Backgro ...

25th February 2021 By

Supreme Court to hear appeal on EU citizens’ access to benefits

An update on the Fratila case, which in December 2020 saw the Court of Appeal hand down a very significant decision improving access to benefits such as Universal Credit for EU citizens with pre-settled status. A stay on that decision (i.e. it didn&# ...

24th February 2021 By

Justice Secretary hails attack on migrants’ Article 3 and human trafficking rights

The government wants to restrict the ability of migrants to resist removal from the UK by invoking their right not to suffer inhuman or degrading treatment, the Justice Secretary has said. In an interview with the Daily Mail, Robert Buckland “co ...

17th February 2021 By

High Court judge threatens Priti Patel with contempt of court proceedings

A High Court judge has raised the prospect of contempt of court proceedings against the Home Secretary, Priti Patel, after her department breached a mandatory injunction. Mr Justice Chamberlain made the ominous comments in the case of Mohammad v Secre ...

10th February 2021 By

Criminal courts scrap rule requiring defendants to state their nationality pre-trial

Goodbye and good riddance to the “nationality requirement”, which since November 2017 has seen criminal defendants told to state their citizenship during their first appearance in court. A report last year by non-profit law firm Commons Le ...

9th February 2021 By

Unauthorised migrants can get coronavirus vaccine, government confirms

“Illegal migrants’ vaccine amnesty” is the front page of today’s Daily Mail.  The paper reports that, in an “unprecedented” move, migrants will be vaccinated against coronavirus irrespective of their immigration st ...

8th February 2021 By

Solicitor who failed to lodge client’s immigration application struck off

A Bradford solicitor has been struck off for multiple breaches of her professional duties, including reassuring a client that her immigration case was in progress when the application had never been lodged. Legal Futures reports that the Solicitors Di ...

2nd February 2021 By

BNO visa app launches in February 2021

Government press offices have a habit of re-announcing popular policies, and so it is with the BNO visa. The Home Office has confirmed that the special visa scheme for people from Hong Kong with British National (Overseas) citizenship opens for applic ...

29th January 2021 By

Man who lived in UK under assumed identity for over a decade wins right to stay

Stealing someone’s identity is not a “false representation” for the purposes of a 20-year long residence application, the Upper Tribunal has found. The case is Mahmood (paras. S-LTR.1.6. & S-LTR.4.2.; Scope) Bangladesh [2020] UKU ...

26th January 2021 By

Care workers at risk of missing out on EU settled status

Care workers eligible for the EU Settlement Scheme seem unaware of the need to apply, a new report has found. The Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (JCWI) surveyed 290 social care workers and found that as many as one in three had never hear ...

25th January 2021 By

Podcast: visa options for musicians touring the UK

In 2019, Roger Daltrey of The Who swore at a reporter who asked him about Brexit. “What’s it got to do with the rock business?”, the veteran singer scoffed. “As if we didn’t tour in Europe before the ******* EU”. Th ...

22nd January 2021 By

Authorities rescue Vietnamese nail bar slave, send her straight back to captor

… when a young Vietnamese person is found living in a room with a padlock on the outside of the door, describes working for no payment in a nail bar, gives a vague account of apparently chance encounters with a series of Vietnamese persons as pa ...

20th January 2021 By

Suicidal refugee loses date of birth appeal

A Palestinian refugee threatening to take his own life in a dispute over the age recorded on his residence permit has lost a judicial review at the Court of Appeal. The case is (WA (Palestinian Territories)) v Secretary of State for the Home Departmen ...

15th January 2021 By

Government has no idea if hostile environment measures work, inspector says, again

A second report in the space of two days from the immigration inspector, this time on the Home Office’s use of sanctions and penalties. These are an integral part of the “hostile environment” policy of outsourcing immigration control ...

13th January 2021 By

Rare statistics show rise in number of deportation orders upheld on appeal

One quirk of government statistics is that they no longer record how many deportation orders are successfully appealed. For tedious reasons of appeals law, since 2015/16 the relevant stats have only shown deportation appeals by EU citizens; deportatio ...

13th January 2021 By

Home Office urged to “professionalise” Presenting Officers

The Home Office should do more to “professionalise” the officials it sends to argue immigration cases in court, the immigration inspector has found. A report by the Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration, published today, s ...

11th January 2021 By

Lawyers who earned millions from unregulated immigration advice fined £45,000

Three lawyers convicted in 2019 of providing unregulated immigration advice worth millions have been ordered to cough up over £45,000 between them in fines and compensation. Dan Romulus Dandes, Babbar Ali Jamil and Zia Bi were sentenced at the Old Ba ...

8th January 2021 By

New statement of changes to the Immigration Rules: CP 361

A new statement of changes to the Immigration Rules was published on 31 December 2020 and took effect at 11pm that night. (We weren’t working at the time, for some reason, so do excuse the delay in bringing you this summary). It is short enough ...

5th January 2021 By

Home Office floats automatic deportation after six-month sentence

The Home Office may cut the minimum prison sentence required to trigger automatic deportation from 12 months to six months, it emerged over the holidays. The Mail and Times appear to have been briefed independently on the idea, with the former reporti ...

4th January 2021 By

Court of Appeal bombshell: EU citizens with pre-settled status CAN claim benefits

The Court of Appeal has handed down a ruling that should, if not successfully appealed, make it easier for millions of EU citizens with pre-settled status to claim benefits. The case is Fratila and Tanase v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions [2 ...

18th December 2020 By

Asylum right to work policy unlawfully overlooks trafficking victims

Home Office policy on permission to work for asylum seekers is unlawful to the extent that it doesn’t make allowances for potential victims of human trafficking, the High Court held today. The policy will now have to be reworked to make clear th ...

18th December 2020 By

Time to revisit spouse visa minimum income rule, government advisers suggest

The infamous minimum income rule for spouse visas should be reconsidered, the influential Migration Advisory Committee has suggested. The MAC, a crack team of economists that advises the government on immigration policy, says in its annual report: We& ...

15th December 2020 By

New statement of changes to the Immigration Rules: HC 1043

On 10 December 2020 the Home Office published a statement of changes to the Immigration Rules that appears to be a flagrant breach of the UN Refugee Convention. The purpose of the main change is to: Enhance our capacity to treat as inadmissible to the ...

11th December 2020 By
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