Court of Appeal forced to re-open “plainly wrong” asylum decision three years on

illogical and inconsistent… plainly in error… plainly wrong… tenuous and unsubstantiated… failed to provide any reasoning… there is a basic minimum which is needed and, with respect to the Judge, it is lacking in this ...

18th February 2019 By

Forced marriage amendment to Immigration Rules coming up

The government’s Integrated Communities Action Plan, published on 9 February, is worth a quick look. It is naturally enough published by the department with “Communities” in its name but in fact a lot of the proposed actions are for ...

15th February 2019 By

Creative argument on extended family members’ rights shot down by Court of Appeal

In Fatima v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2019] EWCA Civ 124, the appellants tried to argue that free movement rules granting some rights to dependent relatives of EU citizens apply where the relatives are dependent on the EU citizen ...

14th February 2019 By

Sweeping new immigration regulations herald the end of free movement

The government has published two draft sets of changes to UK immigration law to cater for the UK’s exit from the European Union. They include ending the “Dublin III” system under which asylum seekers are sent back to Calais and elsew ...

13th February 2019 By

Government promises ring-fenced treaty on no-deal rights of Europeans – for three nationalities only

The UK government has published an agreement on the residence rights of people from the three “EEA EFTA” countries if there is no Brexit deal. It covers citizens from the handful of nations that are not in the European Union, but are in th ...

8th February 2019 By

Immigration legal aid cuts to remain in place following major government review

A major government review of legal aid proposes no significant changes in the immigration and asylum field. Despite evidence of the impact of cuts over the past five years, and the role that legal aid would have played in preventing the Windrush scand ...

7th February 2019 By

Take power to lock up migrants away from the Home Office, report urges

Parliament’s human rights committee has recommended taking the decision to hold a migrant in immigration detention away from the Home Office. The group of MPs and Lords also call for an end to indefinite immigration detention, an idea that has g ...

7th February 2019 By

Anonymous war crimes evidence against Sri Lankan government does not create a risk of persecution

The KK brothers are two young men from Sri Lanka who claimed asylum in the UK off the back of claimed associations with the Tamil Tigers. Their asylum applications were rejected, by the Home Office and on appeal up through the immigration tribunals. I ...

6th February 2019 By

Challenge to delays in human trafficking cases fails

There have been complaints about “the law’s delay” since William Shakespeare’s time. Given the under-resourcing of the court system and complexity of the laws and regulations (on immigration in particular) handed down to them, ...

6th February 2019 By

The consequences of cheating on the Life in the UK citizenship test

A BBC investigation has uncovered organised cheating on the “Life in the UK” test taken by migrants applying for settlement or citizenship. For a fee of up to £2,000, crooked consultants will feed the answers to those sitting the exam thr ...

5th February 2019 By

Immigration judge tried to change his mind after granting child’s asylum appeal

An immigration judge who tried to change his mind after granting asylum to a 16-year-old Iraqi boy has been overruled by the Upper Tribunal. The case is PAA (FtT: Oral decision – written reasons) [2019] UKUT 13 (IAC). Notes made by several diffe ...

1st February 2019 By

Probe of Home Office data sharing reveals plans for new migrant database

A new report from the independent immigration inspector shines new light on how enforcement officials get their hands on data about migrants from other government departments. David Bolt, the Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration, als ...

31st January 2019 By

EU settled status application scheme video walk-through

The EU Settlement Scheme is now open for business. Almost all European Union citizens living in the UK who wish to stay here after Brexit must apply to it over the next couple of years. The only significant exceptions are: British citizens (who cannot ...

25th January 2019 By

Brexit doesn’t mean Brexit just yet, Court of Justice holds in asylum case

A reminder from the Court of Justice of the European Union that EU law still applies to the UK until Brexit actually happens. The Irish asylum authorities had asked, in effect, whether the triggering of Article 50 meant that it shouldn’t send as ...

23rd January 2019 By

Immigration solicitor suspended for falsifying client sick note

An immigration solicitor has been suspended indefinitely for forging a sick note for the tribunal. The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) alleged that Sandia Kumari Pamma had not properly prepared for a child client’s asylum appeal and “ ...

22nd January 2019 By

Settled status fee for EU citizens scrapped

The Prime Minister has just announced that the £65 fee for EU citizens applying for post-Brexit settled status will be scrapped. Speaking in Parliament this evening (21 January 2019), Theresa May said: having listened to concerns from Members – and ...

21st January 2019 By

Home Office releases pilot phase report as EU Settlement Scheme opens

The Home Office has released a report on its EU Settlement Scheme pilot phase, carried out late last year. The scheme, under which almost all EU citizens living in the UK must apply to stay here after Brexit, opens for most applicants today. The Home ...

21st January 2019 By

Immigration Rules must be rewritten, Law Commission says

The Immigration Rules should be redrafted and restructured in order to cut down on complexity, the Law Commission says. Launching a consultation on Simplifying the Immigration Rules today, the influential law reform body proposes major revisions ...

21st January 2019 By

Home Office put eight-month-old baby with British citizenship in immigration detention centre

The High Court has allowed a Home Office appeal arguing that it is not necessarily unlawful to put British citizens in immigration detention. The judgment in Home Office v TR & Anor [2019] EWHC 49 (QB) concerned an eight-month-old baby d ...

18th January 2019 By

Suspended prison sentence for unregistered immigration adviser

A former recruitment consultant has been given a 12-week suspended sentence for providing unregulated immigration advice. The Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC) prosecuted Namrata Thakkar, of Priory Gardens, Acton in London for con ...

16th January 2019 By

Solicitor loses High Court appeal against immigration misconduct sanctions

The co-founder of an immigration law firm has failed in a High Court bid to overturn Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal sanctions for professional misconduct. Mr Justice Lavender rejected the appeal of Malik Mohammed Nazeer, a solicitor of over 21 year ...

15th January 2019 By

Immigration detention centres continue to block legal websites

Most migrants who try to research their immigration case from inside detention centres find useful websites blocked by the authorities, according to data collected by the charity Bail for Immigration Detainees (BID). The charity says that 83% of detai ...

14th January 2019 By

Upper Tribunal told to stop interfering with perfectly good appeal decisions

KC (Gambia) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2018] EWCA Civ 2847 is an asylum case that bounced from the First-tier Tribunal to the Upper Tribunal twice before landing before the Court of Appeal. The various tribunal judges were unable t ...

11th January 2019 By

Inspector commends Home Office commitment to safeguarding vulnerable adults

A newly published report by the immigration inspector deals with the Home Office approach to vulnerable adults. It is heavy on management-speak, being mostly concerned with internal processes and structures. These are important, of course, as evidence ...

10th January 2019 By

Tribunal updates Practice Directions

The immigration and asylum tribunal has issued updated but essentially unchanged Practice Directions. The new document is almost identical to the previous version, dated November 2014. I’ve put the new Directions into a text comparison programme ...

7th January 2019 By

New year, new Immigration Services Commissioner

A new Immigration Services Commissioner will finally be appointed in 2019 — over three years after the last commissioner stood down. There has been no leader at the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner, which regulates over 3,000 regi ...

2nd January 2019 By

Legal blogging advice from Lady Justice Rafferty

Speeches at the Criminal Law Review Conference are not natural reading material for immigration lawyers, but Lady Justice Rafferty’s contribution is of wider interest. It is about the merits of brevity and clarity in legal writing. This is a cor ...

31st December 2018 By

Russian spies are allegedly trying to hack into the UK visa system

When Sergei and Yulia Skripal were near-fatally poisoned with Novichok in Salisbury in March 2018, suspicion immediately fell upon the Russian state. The British government released footage of the men said to be responsible and the aliases under which ...

28th December 2018 By

Some holiday reading on EU citizens’ rights and post-Brexit settled status

Some holiday reading for those who just can’t get enough citizens’ rights. Seraphus Solicitors has put together a comprehensive list of materials on the rights of EU citizens living in the UK, almost all of whom will be affected by Brexit. ...

27th December 2018 By

Thousands of families separated by the Immigration Rules at Christmas

Most of us take for granted that we will spend Christmas with our families. Many others, thanks to the Immigration Rules, will not. The financial requirements for securing a partner visa now mean that, across the UK, settled residents and British citi ...

21st December 2018 By

Immigration health surcharge to double from 8 January 2019

The immigration health surcharge will double on 8 January 2019. The extra fee paid by visa applicants to fund the NHS will rise to £400 a year, up from £200, for applications made on or after that date. Students and those on the Youth Mobility Schem ...

21st December 2018 By

New statement of changes to the Immigration Rules: HC 1849

A new statement of changes to the Immigration Rules was laid on 20 December 2018. It follows hard on the heels of another set published on 11 December, but these latest changes are to do with the EU Settlement Scheme rather than ranging across the imm ...

20th December 2018 By

Immigration white paper published

The government has published its plan spelling the end of free movement. A long-awaited white paper on post-Brexit migration proposes that EU workers would in future have to earn a minimum salary in a job requiring A-level qualifications or above to b ...

19th December 2018 By

Dedicated Home Office team to consider new evidence in pending appeals

An early Christmas present from the Home Office, which has announced the establishment of a team to review new evidence in all pending immigration appeals. The department is now actively encouraging immigration lawyers to submit any new evidence relev ...

18th December 2018 By

Balance of probabilities is lawful standard of proof in trafficking decisions

The High Court has rejected an attempt to lower the standard of proof for accepting that a person is the victim of human trafficking. Shu Shin Luh of Garden Court Chambers, fresh off a big win for trafficking victims last month, argued that someone s ...

14th December 2018 By

Home Office confirms chaotic U-turn on suspension of Tier 1 (Investor) visas

The Home Office has rowed back last week’s announcement that the Tier 1 (Investor) route was suspended with near-immediate effect. It was widely reported last Thursday that the route would be closed to new applications from midnight the next day ...

11th December 2018 By

No implied limits on power to revoke indefinite leave to remain

R (J1) v Special Immigration Appeals Commission & Anor [2018] EWHC 3193 (Admin) looked at the correct interpretation of two sections of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002. Section 76(1) of that Act says: The Secretary of State may r ...

11th December 2018 By

Naked calendar immigration judge disciplined for “prejudicial” remarks about Iranians

A disciplinary statement from the Judicial Conduct Investigations Office: The Lord Chancellor and the Senior President of Tribunals have issued Judge Mark Davies of the First-Tier Tribunal, Immigration and Asylum Chamber, with formal advice following ...

10th December 2018 By

Court of Justice of the European Union holds that Brexit can be unilaterally cancelled

The Court of Justice of the European Union has found that the UK can cancel Brexit by withdrawing its Article 50 notification, without having to get the permission of other EU countries. The result in case C‑621/18 Wightman and Others means that, i ...

10th December 2018 By

Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visas to be scrapped in Points Based System shake-up

We expected a full statement of changes to the Immigration Rules to be laid before Parliament yesterday but instead we got a statement about the statement. The immigration minister, Caroline Nokes, gave us a sneak preview of a range of tweaks to the r ...

7th December 2018 By