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

Immigration inspector: government not serious about improving asylum decisions

The immigration inspector has ended 2018 as he began it, with a critical report on the Home Office’s internal “country of origin information” that guides asylum decisions. This time around, Mr Bolt effectively accuses the department ...

6th December 2018 By

Government to water down EU citizens’ rights if no Brexit deal

The government has today published a plan for the rights of EU citizens living in the UK if there is no Brexit deal. It would continue the existing EU Settlement Scheme but make it less generous than if it were bound by the terms of the draft Withdraw ...

6th December 2018 By

National Audit Office slates Home Office handling of Windrush scandal

Blanket media coverage today of the highly respected National Audit Office’s report into the Home Office’s Handling of the Windrush situation. “Situation” is one of those Whitehall irregular verbs: I have an issue, you have a s ...

5th December 2018 By

Report into Brook House abuse published as Home Office launches “alternatives to detention” pilot

An investigation into abuse at Brook House immigration removal centre has castigated those in charge of the privately run detention centre. The report, commissioned by outsourcing firm G4S following an exposé by the BBC’s Panorama programme l ...

4th December 2018 By

EU Advocate General: the United Kingdom CAN cancel Brexit if it wants to

A top legal adviser to the Court of Justice of the European Union has recommended that the UK be allowed to cancel its Article 50 notification triggering Brexit and stay in the EU if it wants. Advocate General Sánchez-Bordona writes in an Opinion re ...

4th December 2018 By

Immigration lawyers have to publish their prices by 6 December 2018

Immigration lawyers have until Thursday 6 December to publish their rates under price transparency rules issued by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. The SRA says that firms must put information about what they charge individual clients for immigrat ...

3rd December 2018 By

Latest immigration stats: EU residence document applications back on the rise

This is a collection of statistics on the UK immigration system. The Office for National Statistics, Home Office and Courts & Tribunals Service publish regular quarterly data on the number of migrants coming to the UK, how immigration applicat ...

29th November 2018 By

Home Office can’t accidentally grant section 3C leave by deciding an invalid application

R (Basir) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2018] EWCA Civ 2612 is about section 3C of the Immigration Act 1971. Section 3C works as follows: where a person makes a valid application to extend his or her leave to enter or remain and the a ...

28th November 2018 By

Permission granted in challenge to child citizenship fees

Today the High Court granted permission for a judicial review challenge to the exorbitant fees that the Home Office charges to children registering as British citizens. The Project for the Registration of Children as British Citizens argues that char ...

27th November 2018 By

Chef faces removal after missing biometric enrolment deadline

People who want a UK visa or visa extension have to provide the Home Office with “biometric information”; that is, fingerprints and a photograph. If they don’t sent in their biometric information, the visa application will be invalid ...

27th November 2018 By

UK and EU agree basics of post-Brexit relationship

UK and EU negotiators have just published a declaration setting out their ambitions for the future relationship between this country and the remainder of the EU after Brexit. To give the document its full title, it is the: Draft Political Declaration ...

22nd November 2018 By

Home Office publishes paragraph 322(5) guidance but stands firm on controversial refusals

The Home Office has today published guidance on “paragraph 322(5)” cases following a review of settlement refusals under the controversial rule. The takeaway is that no refusals should be issued without interviewing the applicant first. M ...

22nd November 2018 By

Mark Carney banks British citizenship

The Governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, became a British citizen yesterday. The Canadian-born economist attended Camden Town Hall for the mandatory citizenship ceremony. Jenny Headlam-Wells, the Mayor of Camden, tweeted a picture of Carney ...

22nd November 2018 By

Home Office “too accepting” of dire asylum accommodation, immigration inspector finds

David Bolt clearly wishes he had never gone near the issue of asylum accommodation. The immigration inspector, who published a report today on the provision of housing for asylum seekers, remarks mournfully that its findings are “likely to pleas ...

20th November 2018 By

Prime Minister puts death of free movement at heart of Brexit deal campaign

Theresa May has begun what the press is describing as a Brexit “fightback“, putting the case for the draft Brexit deal published last week. The deal’s saving grace, according to the Prime Minister, is that it ends EU free movement so ...

19th November 2018 By

Campsfield House and the future of immigration detention

Protests have been held outside Campsfield House immigration removal centre on the last Saturday of the month for the last 20 years. The detention centre’s reputation has been scarred by escapes, riots and hunger strikes ever since it opened nor ...

19th November 2018 By

Home Office missed potential Windrush victims because it wrongly branded them criminals

The Home Office has admitted that some potential victims of the Windrush scandal were not identified because they were incorrectly labelled as criminals. The failure to include these people in the review of how many members of the Windrush generation ...

15th November 2018 By

Draft Brexit deal finally published but may be dead on arrival

We do legal rather than political punditry on this blog, but the resignation this morning of two Cabinet ministers bodes ill for the chances of the draft Brexit deal being approved by parliament. Even before that, the negative reaction of Conservativ ...

15th November 2018 By

NHS to stop passing Home Office information about migrants

A controversial agreement for the NHS to pass information about hospitalised migrants to the immigration authorities has been shelved, campaigners say. The Migrants’ Right Network and Liberty announced today that a legal challenge to an agreeme ...

12th November 2018 By

No Channel ports have enough immigration and customs officers, inspector finds

The Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration, David Bolt has published a new report focusing on border controls at south coast seaports. Parts of the report make worrying reading in light of the increased demands on those ports after Bre ...

12th November 2018 By

Uproar over foreign criminals ducking bail puts electronic monitoring back on the agenda

There is widespread media coverage today of the number of foreign criminals that have disappeared while on immigration bail in the past few years. The Mirror gives a flavour: Killers and rapists among hundreds of foreign criminals lost by Home Office& ...

9th November 2018 By

“No room for artistic licence” in Tier 2 job descriptions

R (Liral Veget Training And Recruitment Ltd) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2018] EWHC 2941 (Admin) was a challenge to the Home Office’s decision to revoke a company’s licence to sponsor non-EU citizens for work visas. It f ...

6th November 2018 By

Immigration minister throws settled status of EU citizens into confusion

Mass confusion following the immigration minister’s evidence (full transcript here) to the Home Affairs committee yesterday: this was a terrible appearance by Caroline Nokes @CommonsHomeAffs yesterday. Sajid Javid needs to go back as a matter o ...

31st October 2018 By

Survey of solicitors nominates “best immigration law firms”

The Times is getting in on the legal rankings game with a list of the top 200 solicitors’ firms as selected by lawyers themselves. The newspaper says that it worked with market research firm Statista to contact over 20,000 solicitors and ask the ...

30th October 2018 By

Unlocking Detention tour to “shine a spotlight” on immigration detention

A “virtual tour” of the immigration detention estate, which promises to shine a spotlight on the hidden world of immigration detention, launched last week and runs until 18 December. The Unlocking Detention campaign uses social media to b ...

29th October 2018 By