UK government promises new “high potential” visa with no job offer required

“High potential individuals” will in future be able to come to the UK to work without a job offer, the UK government has announced. The move, building on previous promises to provide an unsponsored work route under the Points Based Immigra ...

23rd July 2021 By

Asylum camp staff were working illegally, inspectors say

It’s not the most damning part of yesterday’s inspection report on the asylum seeker camp at Napier barracks, but it’s certainly the most ironic. Some of the staff charged with running the camp were themselves migrants working in br ...

23rd July 2021 By

Podcast: five things you may have missed in the Borders Bill

The Nationality and Borders Bill 2021 looks set to sail through Parliament, passing its second reading stage in the House of Commons this week by 101 votes. The headline provisions of the Bill are by now well known — indeed, notorious — so ...

23rd July 2021 By

Judicial Review Bill to abolish most Cart cases

The Judicial Review and Courts Bill 2021, published yesterday, will mostly abolish the right of migrants to apply to the High Court to have an appeal reopened if rejected by both chambers of the immigration tribunal. This is the process known to lawye ...

22nd July 2021 By

Praise for immigration removal centres in inspector’s annual report

The UK’s immigration removal centres did reasonably well during the coronavirus pandemic, the prisons inspector has found. The annual report of HM Inspectorate of Prisons, the remit of which includes removal centres, is broadly positive about th ...

21st July 2021 By

Briefing: the Nationality and Borders Bill, Part 5

We round off our coverage of the Nationality and Borders Bill, the second reading of which continues today, with Part 5. This consists of eight “miscellaneous” clauses. Four of them are what the House of Commons Library describes as “placeholder ...

20th July 2021 By

Half of all Investor visa holders are being investigated, report claims

Half of all Tier 1 (Investor) visas ever issued are being reviewed on national security grounds, according to an anti-corruption charity.  A new briefing by Spotlight on Corruption says that over 6,300 Investor visa grants between 2008 and 2015 ̵ ...

12th July 2021 By

Court orders asylum seeker brought back to UK after screening interview failures

We’re late to this judgment, published on the same day as the Borders Bill, but it’s already been well covered by Matrix Chambers and the Guardian. The latter’s headline: Judge tells Priti Patel to bring asylum seeker back to UK. The ...

9th July 2021 By

Whatever happened to the New Plan for Immigration “consultation”?

Yesterday’s Nationality and Borders Bill gives legislative expression to a set of government policies branded “New Plan for Immigration”. A consultation on the New Plan for Immigration ran from 24 March to 6 May 2021. There was a hug ...

7th July 2021 By

Parts of Home Office policy on Dublin III family reunion declared unlawful

Hundreds of refugee children denied reunion with family in the UK may be able to challenge that decision following a ruling that Home Office policy on “Dublin III” transfers is in part unlawful. The case is R (Safe Passage International) v ...

5th July 2021 By

Borders Bill to make asylum seeking a crime

“Illegal immigration to be turned into a criminal offence in landmark borders bill”, the Sunday Express reports. The idea that unauthorised immigration is insufficiently criminalised will surprise legislators who have spent much of the pas ...

5th July 2021 By

Briefing: what happens to EU citizens who miss the settled status deadline?

The Brexit vote, the triggering of Article 50, the failed May deal, the Johnson capitulation, the legal exit at the start of 2020 and the economic exit at the year’s end have all come and gone. On 30 June 2021 comes another milestone: the deadli ...

28th June 2021 By

Podcast: deadline day

Brexit begins on 1 July. From that date, “hostile environment” checks apply to EU citizens in earnest. It will no longer be possible to satisfy an immigration status check — for benefits, employment or a tenancy — by flashing a ...

25th June 2021 By

You can now get an EU Settlement Scheme application form online

Most people applying to the EU Settlement Scheme do so entirely online. A minority cannot, including adults without a valid passport, young children with no ID at all and non-EU citizens who qualify for the scheme under various scenic routes (known to ...

25th June 2021 By

High Court strikes down pandemic protections for refused asylum seekers

The High Court has overturned a tribunal judgment that had instructed the Home Office to house refused asylum seekers until lockdown restrictions end. The decision in R (Secretary of State for the Home Department) v First-tier Tribunal (Social Entitle ...

24th June 2021 By

Criminals being deported can’t be transferred to an open prison

R (Akbar) v Secretary of State for Justice [2021] EWCA Civ 898 was a challenge to the Prison Rules 1999, one of which says that a prisoner who is being deported and has run out of appeals “must not be classified as suitable for open conditions&# ...

22nd June 2021 By

Refugee Week: asylum in the UK, by numbers

Copy: Refugee Week 2020Infogram This week is Refugee Week. From 14-20 June 2021, the UK celebrates the contribution of refugees and promotes better understanding of why people seek sanctuary. The infographic above draws on government figures to illust ...

17th June 2021 By

EU Settlement Scheme coronavirus policy relaxed

On 10 June 2021 the Home Office reissued its guidance on coronavirus and the EU Settlement Scheme. Originally published in December 2020, it was withdrawn last month following a legal challenge. The new version is considerably more generous than the o ...

14th June 2021 By

Kent to sue government over child refugees

Conservative-run Kent County Council is limbering up to sue the Conservative government over the number of child asylum seekers in the local authority’s care. Council leader Roger Gough told the BBC’s Today programme this morning: “W ...

7th June 2021 By

High Court condemns treatment of asylum seekers unlawfully held at Napier barracks

The High Court has condemned the treatment of asylum seekers crammed into a former military barracks in Kent. In a judgment laying bare the vile conditions at Napier barracks, Mr Justice Linden found that the site did not meet minimum legal standards ...

3rd June 2021 By

Murderer’s bid to be deported foiled by extradition request

A convicted murderer and father of a Portuguese football star has lost a legal challenge arguing for his own deportation in order to get out of prison earlier than the Parole Board will allow. The case is R (Lopes) v Secretary of State for the Home De ...

3rd June 2021 By

Podcast: how not to support victims of human trafficking

Last year over 10,000 people were identified as possible victims of human trafficking or modern slavery, around two thirds of whom were foreign nationals from places like Albania, Sudan and Vietnam. That’s just a drop in the ocean, given that an ...

28th May 2021 By

Government to waive settlement fees for Commonwealth soldiers with 12 years’ service

The government is proposing to waive settlement fees for certain non-British members of the armed forces. A consultation on the draft proposal, launched yesterday, follows years of Commonwealth soldiers being denied the right to remain in the UK after ...

27th May 2021 By

Migrants win improved access to personal data held by the Home Office

Giving migrants in the UK reduced data protection rights without proper safeguards is unlawful, the Court of Appeal held yesterday. The judgment overturns a 2019 High Court ruling and is a significant victory for the campaign groups involved, who hav ...

27th May 2021 By

New Plan for Immigration 2: Electronic Boogaloo

The Home Office published a New Plan for Immigration “strategy statement” earlier today. It is mostly about legal immigration and economic migrants, as opposed to the New Plan for Immigration document published in March that focused on ill ...

24th May 2021 By

Man who won British citizenship by fraud gets to keep it thanks to Home Office inaction

An Albanian man who secured his British citizenship by fraud must be allowed to keep it because of the Home Office’s inexplicable nine-year delay in taking action after it found out, the Court of Appeal has held. The judgment in Laci v Secretary ...

24th May 2021 By

Anti-raids activism: what is the law on obstructing immigration officers?

The scenes in Glasgow last week, which saw a crowd prevent Immigration Enforcement from making off with two Indian men, got us thinking about the criminal offence of obstructing an immigration officer. Not, we hasten to add, because we think anyone sh ...

18th May 2021 By

Code of conduct for Presenting Officers unveiled

The Home Office has published a code of conduct for the cadre of civil servants who represent the department in the immigration tribunal, known as Presenting Officers or HOPOs. The document is similar to a draft version that was circulated and discuss ...

17th May 2021 By

£100 million investment visa loan scheme ruled legal after all

A £100 million scheme for loaning migrants the money for an Investor visa was legal after all, the Court of Appeal has ruled. The case is R (Wang & Anor) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2021] EWCA Civ 679. It overturned a previous U ...

12th May 2021 By

Immigration and the Queen’s Speech 2021

Nothing much new on immigration in the Queen’s Speech today. This is the occasion when the government, via the monarch, formally lays out its plans for passing new laws. The speech itself referred to the New Plan for Immigration measures, but th ...

11th May 2021 By

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
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