Immigration and nationality fees lack “basic fairness”

Consistently the most popular article on Free Movement, somewhat depressingly, is the list of immigration and nationality fees. The fees charged by the Home Office for processing visa, settlement and nationality applications are high, set far above th ...

4th April 2019 By

Scottish immigration appeal incorrectly lodged in England, nobody notices for four years

It is a good thing KP (Pakistan) & Anor v The Secretary of State for the Home Department [2019] EWCA Civ 556 was handed down on 2 April rather than a day earlier, or I would have had the unenviable task of approaching the Court of Appeal to ask wh ...

4th April 2019 By

Early warning signs for new innovator visa route as endorsements hard to come by

The government’s flagship new visa for overseas entrepreneurs is facing early problems as it emerges that few of the organisations required to endorse applicants are prepared to do so. Most of the official endorsing bodies for the newly launched ...

4th April 2019 By

New statement of changes to the Immigration Rules: HC 2099

A new statement of changes to the Immigration Rules was laid on 1 April 2019. It is short and technical, making a few tweaks to the rules for EU settled status. The main thing it addresses is the cut-off date by which EU citizens must be living in the ...

2nd April 2019 By

Appendix W guidance published

I mentioned on Friday the rumours that there would be no detailed guidance on the new Appendix W, which contains the criteria for getting an innovator or start-up visa. Practitioners may be happy to know that we were wrong about that: there are now 32 ...

1st April 2019 By

New innovator and start-up visas launch today — but is anybody ready?

The new innovator and start-up visas went live today. They replace the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) route which is now closed to new applicants, and the Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) route which will close from 6 July. All applicants for these visas must no ...

29th March 2019 By

Brexit delayed: what does it mean for lawyers?

The United Kingdom is not now leaving the European Union at 11pm on 29 March 2019. Brexit fans can rest assured that the game is still afoot: it will just take place on 12 April, or 22 May, or some future date giving time for a Norway-style single mar ...

29th March 2019 By

Home Office launches seven new appointment centres for complex cases

The Home Office has announced that seven Service and Support Centres are now open to cater for particularly complex immigration cases. Appointments are free, and “experienced UKVI staff will provide a face to face service and help people through ...

27th March 2019 By

Gay men from St Lucia can claim asylum in the UK

The Upper Tribunal has decided that gay men are at risk of persecution in St Lucia and can claim asylum in the UK. The case is TK (gay man) [2019] UKUT 92 (IAC). The headnote reads: On the evidence adduced to this Tribunal, the appellant, as an openly ...

25th March 2019 By

Making it harder for Turkish citizens to settle in the UK is for their own good, judge says

In March 2018, the Home Office stunned the Turkish community by abolishing the route to settlement in the UK that had existed under the Ankara Agreement. It did issue replacement rules for Turkish businesspeople to get indefinite leave to remain a few ...

21st March 2019 By

PhD-level jobs to be exempt from work visa quota

The government has announced some changes to the immigration system to give the impression that the UK is a welcoming and functioning country despite the ongoing chaos of Brexit. Chancellor Philip Hammond, giving a Spring Statement economic speech yes ...

14th March 2019 By

Not unfair to deny appellants’ parents an interpreter at appeal hearing

KK (India) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2019] EWCA Civ 369 was an appeal against removal from the UK based on Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights. The appellant argued that the Home Office had not given sufficient con ...

14th March 2019 By

How new immigration regulations will make it easier to deport EU citizens after Brexit

The draft Immigration, Nationality and Asylum (EU Exit) Regulations 2019, laid before Parliament on 11 February, make major changes to the law on deportation of European Economic Area and Turkish citizens after Brexit. They will kick in on the date of ...

13th March 2019 By

No, a visa application sent by post is not an “online application”, sighs judge

A visa application form filled in on a computer, printed off and posted to the Home Office is not an “online application”. That is probably no surprise to anyone but the appellant in R (Shah) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2 ...

13th March 2019 By

Irish citizens cannot get early release from prison via deportation

A deportation case with a twist: R (Foley) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2019] EWHC 488 (Admin) involved an Irish citizen who requested deportation but was denied it. Fans of the genre may recall the Connell case that we covered on th ...

12th March 2019 By

EU law “extended family members” get appeal rights under new regulations

This is significant: the Immigration (European Economic Area Nationals) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019. The most important of the changes are to give non-EU extended family members of EU citizens a right of appeal against refusal of a family permit or res ...

8th March 2019 By

Asylum claim by confirmed human trafficking victim “clearly unfounded”

TT (Vietnam) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2019] EWCA Civ 248 is a human trafficking appeal. The Home Office accepted that TT was a victim of trafficking but nonetheless sought to deport him. Lord Justice Davis held that it is possibl ...

6th March 2019 By

Home Office softens EU settled status requirements after charity’s legal action

The Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (JCWI) has settled its legal action with the government over the EU Settlement Scheme following changes to the system. The revisions address concerns that the detailed rules for the scheme would allow th ...

6th March 2019 By

Attempt to deport EU citizen who came to UK aged six thwarted by Court of Appeal

Luis Lopes came to the UK aged 6. As a teenager, he pleaded guilty to wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and unlawful wounding, receiving four years’ youth detention. The Home Office wanted to deport him. The First-tier Tribunal ...

4th March 2019 By

Chief disciplinary judge calls in regulators over shambolic immigration litigation

The High Court has called in the Solicitors Regulation Authority and the Director of Public Prosecutions over the conduct of a shambolic citizenship case. The judgment is Jetly & Anor v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2019] E ...

27th February 2019 By

Asylum judges can second-guess Sri Lanka country guidance

I will confess to overlooking this case initially. After all, Sir Stephen Richards introduces his judgment in KK (Sri Lanka) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2019] EWCA Civ 172 by saying “the issue is a narrow one, turning on the ...

26th February 2019 By

Roughly half of all illegal working fines appealed or evaded

The government has collected less than half the fines issued to employers for hiring undocumented migrants over the past five years, according to a Free Movement estimate using data released under the Freedom of Information Act. The value of illegal w ...

21st February 2019 By

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