Fewer immigration appeals than ever

The number of immigration appeals decided by the First-tier Tribunal has fallen almost 70% over the past decade, new Home Office statistics show. The ten years since the tribunal was set up, replacing the old Immigration Appeals tribunal, has seen the ...

11th June 2020 By

Solicitor caught in TV sting fails to overturn sham marriage strike-off

A solicitor caught on camera advising an undercover reporter about a sham marriage has failed in a High Court bid to overturn his subsequent ban from the profession. The case is Naqvi v Solicitors Regulation Authority [2020] EWHC 1394 (Admin). Syed Ma ...

5th June 2020 By

Revealed: unpublished guidance on detaining vulnerable migrants

Lawyers have uncovered internal Home Office guidance on detaining vulnerable migrants. Duncan Lewis Solicitors and Garden Court Chambers secured the previously unpublished documents, which discuss how the Adults at Risk policy should be interpreted an ...

4th June 2020 By

Pandemic detention research “lays bare a catalogue of failings”

New research by Bail for Immigration Detainees (BID) on detention during the pandemic “lays bare a catalogue of failings”, the charity says. With the authorities insisting on keeping detention centres open despite health concerns, BID has ...

1st June 2020 By

Home Office softens no recourse to public funds policy following High Court defeat

Revised Home Office guidance should make it easier for migrants with family visas to claim benefits if necessary. The change follows a recent High Court decision which John has explained in some detail, along with the wider context of no recourse to p ...

29th May 2020 By

Legal aid lawyers sue government over coronavirus appeal payments

Furious legal aid lawyers have taken their dispute with the Ministry of Justice to the next level with a judicial review aimed at reversing forthcoming changes. Duncan Lewis Solicitors have sent a letter before action challenging the payment structure ...

29th May 2020 By

Almost 300 migrants put in detention during pandemic

The Home Office put just under 300 new people in immigration detention during the coronavirus pandemic, figures released today suggest. Between the start of the UK lockdown on 23 March and the end of April, 295 people entered immigration detention, ac ...

28th May 2020 By

Home Office inefficiency “frustrates the purpose” of internal review

Reports by the Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration, David Bolt, now follow a familiar pattern. Mr Bolt and his team carry out an inspection of a certain area of Home Office activity. A report on possible areas of improvement is draw ...

22nd May 2020 By

Removals by charter flight fall but violence stalks those carried out

Last year saw a “significant reduction” in charter flights to remove migrants from the UK, a watchdog reported this week — but those so removed are still physically restrained more often than is necessary. In the latter respect, the ...

22nd May 2020 By

Immigration Health Surcharge to be waived for NHS and social care workers

Twitter’s political correspondents are abuzz with the news that the government has made its second NHS-and-immigration U-turn in 24 hours: Woah . Big victory for @Keir_Starmer No10 spokesman: pic.twitter.com/AHWInadgUK — Paul Waugh (@paulwaugh ...

21st May 2020 By

Fall in international student numbers “already visible” in immigration statistics

This morning the government released immigration statistics covering January to March 2020. Although the UK did not officially begin its lockdown until the fourth week in March, the coronavirus effect is “already visible” in the data. Take ...

21st May 2020 By

Making defendants give their nationality “undermines criminal justice”

The requirement for criminal defendants to give their nationality in court is corrupting the justice system and gives the impression of bias against ethnic minorities, a new report has found. Commons, a non-profit criminal defence firm, says that the ...

19th May 2020 By

Coronavirus could create more refugees, EU report warns

The coronavirus pandemic could cause more refugees to flee to Europe, a European Union report has warned. The European Asylum Support Office says that an ISIS resurgence and other conflicts linked to the outbreak may see European countries handling mo ...

19th May 2020 By

Legal aid changes for online immigration appeals “will do irreparable harm”

Immigration lawyers are warning that changes to legal aid for appeals lodged online during the coronavirus pandemic “will do irreparable harm”. The Immigration Law Practitioners’ Association (ILPA) says that adjustments to legal aid ...

19th May 2020 By

It just got more difficult for EU nationals to become British citizens

The Home Office has decided to make it more difficult for European residents to become British citizens. EU citizens with settled status who apply for naturalisation may now have to provide evidence that they have been living in the UK legally, accord ...

18th May 2020 By

European Commission accuses UK government of violating EU citizens’ rights

The European Commission has formally accused the UK government of breaching EU law on free movement of people. Brussels today launched “infringement proceedings” against the UK, the process used to force EU member countries to comply with ...

14th May 2020 By

Immigration Bill back in Parliament on 18 May

Listeners to the Free Movement podcast may have heard us mention the Immigration Bill on the last episode. The second reading was scheduled for 21 April, and we thought (and said) that it would go ahead remotely despite the coronavirus disruption. In ...

14th May 2020 By

High Court rules against government on no recourse to public funds

The High Court has ruled that the government must make it easier for migrants to access the welfare system if they are about to become destitute. In an oral ruling delivered this morning, Lord Justice Bean and Mr Justice Chamberlain found that Home Of ...

7th May 2020 By

Home Office tries to lean on judges deciding immigration bail cases

The Home Office tried to put pressure on judges to stop releasing migrants from immigration detention, it has emerged. An official letter from the department to a top immigration judge said that the Home Office was “somewhat surprised” tha ...

6th May 2020 By

Social workers must help children in care get EU settled status

The Home Office has published some guidance on helping children in care apply for post-Brexit immigration status through the EU Settlement Scheme. It reminds social workers that they must either apply on the child’s behalf, or help older childre ...

4th May 2020 By

Court of Appeal rejects Ankara Agreement settlement rights appeal

The Court of Appeal has rejected an appeal by Turkish business owners challenging a reduction in their settlement rights. The case is R (Alliance of Turkish Business People Ltd) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2020] EWCA Civ 553. Self-em ...

4th May 2020 By

Home Secretary brushes off fears about legality of coronavirus visa extensions

More on the mysterious legal power that the Home Secretary claims to have to grant automatic visa extensions to foreign NHS workers. Asked about the legal basis for automatic extensions by MPs on the Home Affairs Committee this morning, Priti Patel sa ...

29th April 2020 By

Judgment published in Detention Action coronavirus case

Last month’s High Court ruling on coronavirus and immigration detention is now available: R (Detention Action & Anor) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2020] EWHC 732 (Admin). Detention Action, a charity, launched a judicial revi ...

28th April 2020 By

Government wins Right to Rent appeal

The government has won its appeal against last year’s High Court decision that the Right to Rent policy is unlawful. The case is Secretary of State for the Home Department v R (Joint Council for The Welfare of Immigrants) [2020] EWCA Civ 542. In ...

21st April 2020 By

Foreign nationals are eligible to be furloughed

The government’s furlough scheme went live today, 20 April 2020. Under what is officially known as the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, the state will pay 80% of staff wage costs (up to £2,500 a month) so long as employers keep people on the b ...

20th April 2020 By

No knowing how many Europeans will be left unlawfully resident by Brexit, experts warn

There is no way of telling how many EU citizens will be left living illegally in the UK because of Brexit, a new report has concluded. The Migration Observatory at the University of Oxford says that the government doesn’t collect or release the ...

16th April 2020 By

Home Office evicted asylum seeker with COVID-19 symptoms

The Home Office evicted an asylum seeker with mental health problems and symptoms of COIVD-19, leaving him on the streets for over a week, it has emerged. The man has since been rehoused by order of the High Court, but his lawyers say the incident is ...

9th April 2020 By

More powers for Upper Tribunal’s employed lawyers

The Senior President of Tribunals has issued a new Practice Statement on the powers of lawyers who work directly for the Upper Tribunal. The document replaces an older version from December 2013. The new one “widens the functions delegated to UT ...

8th April 2020 By

Migrant rights charity faces “serious financial crisis” and possible closure

A leading migrants’ rights charity says that it will close “in the next few months” unless an emergency fundraising appeal succeeds. Consonant, the newish name for what was Asylum Aid and the Migrants Resource Centre, says that it is ...

6th April 2020 By

Not unfair to proceed with hearing after appellant’s lawyer stormed out, tribunal finds

Arshad Bano’s appeal for leave to remain in the UK on human rights grounds was listed for 13 December 2018, with documents to be submitted no later than five days in advance. She provided a statement on 10 December, a couple of days late. In res ...

2nd April 2020 By

Recruitment opens for 14 new immigration judges

No sooner is the last batch of immigration judges through the door than the authorities are seeking to recruit more. Around 40 new judges were named to the immigration and asylum chamber of the First-tier Tribunal over the last few months, but the Jud ...

31st March 2020 By

Immigration bar protests “unworkable” remote hearing arrangements

Barristers working in the immigration tribunal say that emergency measures to keep hearings going are “unworkable”. Members of the immigration bar have written to First-tier Tribunal President Michael Clements to express deep concern about ...

31st March 2020 By

Home Office aims to completely rewrite “confusing” Immigration Rules by January 2021

The Home Office has accepted the need to simplify the “complex and confusing” Immigration Rules and says that the work is already underway. In an official response to the Law Commission’s recent report on the subject, the department ...

25th March 2020 By

Windrush review calls for root and branch reform at the Home Office

What caused the Windrush scandal? According to an independent review by Wendy Williams, published today, the answer lies in increasingly harsh immigration and nationality legislation over the past 60 years. These laws — including those dedicated ...

19th March 2020 By

Government issues desultory update on EU child refugee talks

Once upon a time, the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 required the government to “seek to negotiate” a deal with the EU on family reunion for child refugees. Without such a deal, the looming end of the Dublin III arrangements will mak ...

17th March 2020 By

Legal battle to stop Home Office dispatching a 10-year-old for female genital mutilation

The High Court has granted a Female Genital Mutilation Protection Order in the case of a 10-year-old girl who the Home Office is trying to remove to Bahrain. The case is A (A child) (Female Genital Mutilation Protection Order Application) [2020] EWHC ...

13th March 2020 By

“Genuine chance of being engaged” test for retaining EU worker status found unlawful

EU citizens do not have to prove that they have a “genuine chance of being engaged” in order to retain worker status under European Union law, the Upper Tribunal has held. The case is KH v Bury MBC and SSWP [2020] UKUT 50 (AAC). Martin Wil ...

12th March 2020 By

Home Office abandons “centre of life” test in Surinder Singh cases

The Home Office has updated its guidance on Surinder Singh cases to remove all reference to a “centre of life” test. This follows the case of ZA (Reg 9. EEA Regs; abuse of rights) Afghanistan [2019] UKUT 281 (IAC) in which the Upper Tribu ...

10th March 2020 By

Funding extended for EU Settlement Scheme charities

The Home Office has announced an extension of funding to help vulnerable EU citizens to apply for settled status. £8 million will be made available for charities and councils working to get people through the EU Settlement Scheme in 2020/21, a slight ...

6th March 2020 By

Government publishes Immigration Bill 2.0

An Immigration Bill will be introduced to the House of Commons later today, the government has announced. It is expected to be similar to the one introduced in 2018 by then Home Secretary Sajid Javid, which ultimately lapsed when the Johnson governmen ...

5th March 2020 By