Afghans barred from applying for resettlement in the UK

The Home Office has put out some details on the new Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme (ACRS). It is highly topical but arguably irrelevant from an immigration lawyer’s point of view, because immigration law runs on applications and you cannot ...

14th September 2021 By

New statement of changes to the Immigration Rules: HC 617

On 10 September 2021 the Home Office published a statement of changes to the Immigration Rules (HC 617). It is 183 pages long and makes adjustments in quite a number of areas. Some of the main changes are: Banning entry to the UK with an ID card rathe ...

13th September 2021 By

Can children be deported from the UK?

Yes. Children can be removed from the UK as part of a family. They can, on paper, also be deported in their own right for criminal offending: the Home Secretary’s power of deportation under the Immigration Act 1971 is not limited to under-18s, a ...

8th September 2021 By

After deprivation of citizenship comes months or years in limbo

The Home Office is routinely missing its target for issuing new residence permits to people who lose their British citizenship, figures obtained under the Freedom of Information Act show. Those deprived of their citizenship for (often historic) decept ...

7th September 2021 By

How electronic travel authorisations could harden the Irish border

The Nationality and Borders Bill 2021 has lain dormant over the summer but will be taken up again once Parliament returns on 6 September. Down in the miscellaneous provisions is a requirement for people entering the UK without a visa or British/Irish ...

1st September 2021 By

Podcast: what now for Afghan refugees?

The UK’s emergency evacuation of Afghan civilians ends today, ahead of the 31 August deadline for the withdrawal of Western troops from Afghanistan. Where does that leave Afghans hoping to escape the Taliban for safety in Britain? That’s t ...

27th August 2021 By

Asylum backlog passes 70,000

The backlog of asylum cases has passed 70,000 despite a fall in the annual number of applications. Almost 71,000 asylum seekers, including dependants, were awaiting an initial decision on their claim for refugee status as of 30 June 2021, according to ...

26th August 2021 By

High Court backs law firm in dispute over £194,000 asylum bill

A costs judge has backed a leading firm of solicitors in its dispute with a former client over a £194,000 bill for work on her asylum case. The judgment is Farrer & Co LLP v Yertayeva [2021] EWHC B16 (Costs). Ms Yertayeva is a Kazakhstani busines ...

23rd August 2021 By

Deported murderer loses anonymity

Selami Cokaj describes himself on LinkedIn as “a shrewd businessman, with a killer instinct”. It is an unfortunate turn of phrase: before moving to the UK in 1997, Mr Cokaj was convicted of murder in his native Albania. His unsuccessful hu ...

18th August 2021 By

Offshore processing doesn’t stop the boats, Australian experts warn

Sending asylum seekers to have their claims processed “offshore” as a deterrent to boat arrivals doesn’t work, according to Australian experts examining their own country’s experience. A policy briefing by the Kaldor Centre at ...

17th August 2021 By

Deportation of father not “unduly harsh” on child in loving home

A Jamaican man who has been in the UK for over 20 years must be deported, the Court of Appeal has confirmed. The court held that Logan Reid, 51, had not established that his deportation would be “unduly harsh” on his teenage son, given the ...

10th August 2021 By

Good news for EU citizens making late applications for post-Brexit residence rights

EU citizens and their families who apply late to the EU Settlement Scheme will have their day-to-day rights protected while that application is considered, the Home Office has announced. The U-turn came in a press release on Friday evening, which says ...

9th August 2021 By

Help at hand for firms with no certificates of sponsorship

Some nice news for a Friday: in response to Steve Richard’s article on Wednesday drawing attention to problems with certificate of sponsorship allocations, the Home Office now seems to be offering a solution. To recap, some businesses that assig ...

6th August 2021 By

Dependent children to be treated as having made their own asylum claim

In paragraph 121 of the Supreme Court’s decision in G v G [2021] UKSC 9, decided in March 2021, Lord Stephens held: a child named as a dependant on the parent’s asylum application and who has not made a separate request for international prote ...

5th August 2021 By

UK refugee resettlement doesn’t discriminate against Christians

In R (HNA) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2021] EWHC 2100 (Admin), the High Court has rejected an argument that the UK’s refugee resettlement efforts discriminate against Christians in the Middle East.  The claimant HNA is a form ...

4th August 2021 By

No-notice citizenship deprivation ruled unlawful

A few years ago we reported on new regulations allowing the Home Office to give someone notice that their British citizenship was being taken away by email — or by simply placing a letter on file. In R (D4) v Secretary of State for the Home Depa ...

2nd August 2021 By

Systems failure denied immigration detainee his HIV meds, judge finds

The Home Office has been found in breach of its legal duty to protect HIV patients in its custody after officials left a Congolese man without his daily medication for several days. In what Mr Justice Bourne described as an “unedifying” sp ...

2nd August 2021 By

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 government has announced. The move, building on previous promises to provide an unsponsored work route under the Points Based Immigratio ...

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