Half of all immigration appeals now succeed

The percentage of immigration decisions being reversed by judges is at its highest on record, new statistics show. Over 50% of appeals to the immigration tribunal — mostly challenges to Home Office refusals to allow people to stay in the UK R ...

13th June 2019 By

Tribunal says no to return of fast track asylum appeals

Tribunal bosses have put their foot down on fast track asylum appeals, refusing the government’s push for an accelerated process for appellants in immigration detention. The Tribunal Procedure Committee said that it would not be re-introducing a ...

12th June 2019 By

Too many migrants still physically restrained on charter flights, watchdog warns

Home Office charter flights still involve too much physical restraint of the migrants being removed, according to a watchdog’s annual report. The Independent Monitoring Boards’ Charter Flight Monitoring Team published its annual report yes ...

5th June 2019 By

Fines for solicitors who “took advantage” of vulnerable immigration clients

Two solicitors have been fined for pursuing “spurious” immigration cases — many of which they knew were hopeless because they had advised the client as much. Nurgus Malik and Jusna Begum Miah, who at the time worked for M-R Solicitor ...

4th June 2019 By

Podcast: the good character citizenship test

The Home Office processed around 166,000 applications for British citizenship last year. Most are granted, but some are refused. The most common reason for refusal is failing the ‘good character’ test. Almost 4,000 bids for citizenship wer ...

3rd June 2019 By

MPs demand settled status backstop for EU citizens after Brexit

The government should guarantee the rights of EU citizens living in the UK through legislation to back up the flawed EU Settlement Scheme, an influential committee of MPs has said. In a report published today, the Home Affairs committee invokes the Wi ...

30th May 2019 By

One in ten jobs eligible for work visa priority in proposed new Shortage Occupation List

An influential government advisory group has recommended a major expansion of the list of jobs that get priority for work visas. The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC), a crack team of economists that advises the government on immigration, published i ...

30th May 2019 By

200 Europeans a day applying for British citizenship amid Brexit fears

The June 2016 vote to leave the European Union has already had a major impact on Europeans living in the UK. Even though Brexit has not actually happened yet, there are now far fewer EU citizens coming to live in the UK than before the vote, and those ...

29th May 2019 By

Split Court of Appeal finds asylum seeker age assessment policy unlawful

It’s not often these days that we see a positive result from the Court of Appeal, but just before the bank holiday two out of three Lord Justices declared that Home Office policy on assessing the age of asylum seekers is unlawful. The case is BF ...

28th May 2019 By

Six things we learned about the English language testing scandal from today’s NAO report

The National Audit Office, a government watchdog, has released an authoritative report on the long-running English language testing scandal. The discovery in 2014 that there was widespread cheating on the English tests required for UK visas led to a H ...

24th May 2019 By

Podcast: EU settled status

The EU Settlement Scheme is well underway, with 600,000 European citizens and their families having now applied to stay in the UK after Brexit. The scheme appears to have lived up to its billing insofar as the Home Office is looking to grant people se ...

14th May 2019 By

Immigration inspector: Home Office lacks a clue on illegal working

Government attempts to tackle illegal working are halting, aimless and ill-adapted to the post-Windrush dispensation, an independent inspection report has found. David Bolt’s latest report says that “the Home Office’s efforts are not rea ...

10th May 2019 By

Home Office increases spending on child asylum seekers

The Home Office has announced that councils will get more money to care for children who arrive in the UK alone to seek asylum. Councils used to get between £71 and £114 per child per day, depending on the age of the child and when they arrived in t ...

9th May 2019 By

Former submarine commander is new immigration advice regulator

The government has announced that a new immigration regulation chief will take office later this year, filling a post left vacant since 2015. John Tuckett, a former submarine commander now in charge of the Marine Management Organisation, will become I ...

3rd May 2019 By

Praise for EU settled status scheme following review of pilot phase

The immigration inspector has praised the Home Office for its work on the EU Settlement Scheme for European citizens applying to stay in the UK after Brexit. A new report by the Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration says that the depa ...

2nd May 2019 By

Law Commission extends consultation on simplifying Immigration Rules to 3 May

The Law Commission has extended the deadline for responses to its consultation on simplifying the Immigration Rules to 3 May 2019. It had been due to close on 26 April. The influential law reform body has proposed major revisions to how the Immigratio ...

30th April 2019 By

Three convicted at Old Bailey as OISC smashes sham supervision scheme

Three immigration lawyers have been convicted of a host of regulatory offences after raking in millions from incompetent and unsupervised immigration advice. Dan Romulus Dandes, Babbar Ali Jamil and Zia Bi were found guilty of 19 offences of providing ...

26th April 2019 By

Video link appeals not a breach of GDPR, tribunal says

The Upper Tribunal has ruled that holding immigration appeals over video link does not breach European data protection laws. The case is CJ (international video-link hearing: data protection) Jamaica [2019] UKUT 126 (IAC). The appellant, CJ (no relati ...

25th April 2019 By

Visa inefficiencies denting London’s international arbitration reputation

The UK’s inefficient visa system is hurting the country’s reputation as a venue for high-end dispute resolution, according to a legal consultancy. Hook Tangaza says that it has seen “numerous examples” of foreign lawyers being ...

23rd April 2019 By

“Hamid” disciplinary hearings in the High Court

In the short but landmark judgment of R (Hamid) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2012] EWHC 3070 (Admin), the High Court affirmed that it has the power to oversee the conduct of lawyers in immigration cases. Judges have regularly used the ...

23rd April 2019 By

Temporary relief for trafficking victims as High Court extends support payments

We’ve been scooped on this one by The Sun, of all places. As every lefty lawyer’s favourite paper reports, a judge has temporarily abolished the 45-day limit on help for trafficking victims pending a further hearing. Victims of human traff ...

18th April 2019 By

Turkish man who threatened to burn himself alive fails to overturn deportation order

On 11 February 2003, a Turkish man who had been refused asylum in the UK staged a protest at Manchester Airport, burning immigration papers before dousing himself, his wife and their daughter with petrol and threatening to light a match. Thankfully, t ...

16th April 2019 By

“Torrent of time-wasting nonsense”: tribunal sends immigration adviser for OISC investigation

The Upper Tribunal has referred an immigration adviser to the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC), accusing him of running judicial review cases without a licence and failing to properly check expert reports. The case is R (Hoxha &a ...

15th April 2019 By

ITV sting solicitor struck off over sham marriage advice

An East London immigration lawyer has been struck off after being caught on camera advising a client about a sham marriage. The Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal imposed its ultimate sanction on Zulfiqar Ali, who practised as ZA Solicitors in Stratford ...

12th April 2019 By

Migrants can be deported as “persistent offenders” even if crime-free for years

The Court of Appeal has reiterated that a migrant can be regarded as a “persistent offender” for the purposes of deportation law even if he or she has not committed a crime for some time. The case is Binbuga (Turkey) v Secretary of State f ...

8th April 2019 By

Government criticised for foot-dragging over harsh child citizenship policy

The immigration inspector has criticised the Home Office for its delay in updating its policy on refusing British citizenship to children because they are not of “good character”. David Bolt’s report, published on 4 April 2019 along ...

8th April 2019 By

The Home Office wants to reduce the number of overseas entrepreneurs given UK visas

The Home Office has said that it expects to grant fewer visas to overseas entrepreneurs under the new innovator and start-up routes than under the schemes they replace. An official from the Economic Migration Policy Team admits that the department is ...

5th April 2019 By

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