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

Tribunal shoots down £100m investment visa loan scheme

The Upper Tribunal has shot down a scheme under which people looking for a Tier 1 (Investor) visa would borrow money from one company and invest in a closely related company. In a judicial review against the Home Office for refusing the Tier 1 (Invest ...

19th December 2019 By

Home Office submits inaccurate witness statement in national security case

SR, who is from Iraq but settled in the UK in 2002, wants to become a British citizen. The Home Office does not want to grant him citizenship, accusing SR of holding “extremist Islamic beliefs” and raising concerns about “financial i ...

17th December 2019 By

The Conservative plan for immigration after Brexit

The Conservative Party has won the general election and a mandate for its policy of an “Australian-style points based system” for immigration, whatever that means. The party manifesto leaves readers none the wiser. We can reveal that more ...

13th December 2019 By

“Positive narrative” behind improved public attitudes to immigration

One fifth of British people have become more relaxed about immigration over the last few years, mainly because of a more “positive narrative” about immigration. Over 20% of people surveyed by the research firm Ipsos MORI have recently beco ...

11th December 2019 By

The general election manifestos on immigration and asylum, compared

What will the government formed after Thursday’s general election do with the UK immigration system? The three main political parties — those that have been in government before and might be again — have all published manifestos addr ...

10th December 2019 By

National security court slams immigration lawyers

The secretive court that hears immigration and nationality cases with a national security element has hit out at lawyers for failing to follow its rules. A Special Immigration Appeals Commission practice note, published on 4 December, slams the work o ...

6th December 2019 By

Mentally ill man detained for 838 days awarded £100,000 compensation

A mentally ill Iranian man who was kept in immigration detention for 838 days in total has secured £100,000 in compensation from the Home Office. The test case concerning a man known as AKE was settled in the High Court today, according to Garden Cou ...

5th December 2019 By

Challenge to Home Office fee waiver policy gets green light

The Upper Tribunal is to consider a legal challenge to the government’s policy on immigration fee exemptions. Duncan Lewis’s public law team have secured permission for a judicial review in which they argue that the fee waiver policy wrong ...

4th December 2019 By

Successful crowdfunding campaign to reunite Ghanaian mother with her teenage son

A crowdfunding campaign has raised the £2,500 in Home Office fees needed to reunite a Ghanaian mother in the UK with her 13-year-old son stranded in Ghana. The fund was started on the initiative of Bethan Lant of the charity Praxis, who wrote about h ...

2nd December 2019 By

Innovator visa continues to impress with a whopping 14 applications in six months

The Innovator visa, launched in March 2019 to “enhance the UK’s offer to overseas entrepreneurial talent“, has attracted a grand total of 14 applications in its first six months of operation. That compares to 997 applications for its pre ...

28th November 2019 By

Quick Q&A: EU settled status for family members of dual nationals

A new enquiry about the rules on settled status for EU citizens and their families after Brexit: Can the third country national spouse of a dual EU/British national apply for the EU Settlement Scheme? “Third country national spouse” is imm ...

26th November 2019 By

Good Friday Agreement doesn’t stop Northern Irish people being born automatically British

Most people born in Northern Ireland have or are entitled to dual citizenship, British and Irish. Generally people apply for the passport of the country which they identify with — nationalists for Irish passports, unionists for British — a ...

25th November 2019 By

Government forced to change trafficking appeals policy after High Court finds it unlawful

Lawyers representing an Albanian woman suffering from appalling sexual exploitation have secured improvements in the system for reconsidering whether someone is a victim of human trafficking. Mr Justice Kerr found that the policy, which required offic ...

18th November 2019 By

Immigration judge gave impression that he “considers all asylum seekers to be liars”

An experienced immigration judge’s ruling in an asylum case gave the impression that he “considers all asylum seekers to be liars”, the Upper Tribunal has found. The case is MR v Secretary of State for the Home Department PA/02377/2 ...

15th November 2019 By

10 of the most outrageous Home Office refusal letters

Bureaucrats are not generally known for their creative thinking. But show a Home Office immigration official an application for asylum or a visa and watch their imaginations run riot. All these are real excuses, communicated in official government let ...

14th November 2019 By

Brook House abuse investigation upgraded to full public inquiry

The Home Secretary has conceded that the investigation into abuse at Brook House immigration removal centre will now be a full public inquiry. The announcement follows a High Court decision in June 2019 that an ombudsman’s report was insufficie ...

6th November 2019 By

We asked for immigration law-inspired Halloween costume ideas and the responses were incredible

What’s the spookiest part of the immigration system? Colin asked via Twitter on Halloween, and you answered. Here’s seven of the best ideas for immigration law-themed Halloween costumes. 1. Spookified documents Specified Documents, no ques ...

1st November 2019 By

Old convictions very much count towards a new deportation order

Someone sentenced to more than four years’ imprisonment is in the most serious category of offender for the purposes of deportation law, no matter how long ago that sentence was, the Court of Appeal has confirmed. The case is OH (Algeria) v Secr ...

24th October 2019 By

Immigration announcements in the Queen’s Speech

An “Immigration Bill ending free movement” got top billing in the the Queen’s Speech this morning. The speech, outlining the government’s plans for new laws, said as follows: An immigration bill, ending free movement, will lay ...

14th October 2019 By

Brexit threat to refugee family reunion rights

If and when Brexit happens, the UK will no longer take part in the “Dublin” system for transferring asylum seekers from one EU member country to another better placed to handle the asylum claim. A parliamentary committee says today that th ...

11th October 2019 By

High Court upholds immigration control exemption to personal data rights

Campaigners have lost a High Court case challenging the “immigration exemption” to personal data rights. The judgment is R (Open Rights Group & the3million) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2019] EWHC 2562 (Admin). Paragra ...

4th October 2019 By

Immigration Bill back on as Supreme Court recalls Parliament

This morning the Supreme Court handed down its judgment on whether the Prime Minister suspending Parliament for five weeks at a crucial time in the Brexit saga was legal. As Colin put it, the government “could not have lost more comprehensively ...

24th September 2019 By

Veteran solicitor a “front” for dodgy immigration practice

A solicitor with 43 years’ experience has been struck off after allowing a group of supposed immigration lawyers to take over his firm and run off with all the client files. Michael Smith was prosecuted by the Solicitors Regulation Authority for ...

24th September 2019 By

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
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