In case you missed it: the week in immigration news

This is your weekly digest of immigration and asylum stories that have appeared in major news outlets (as distinct from specialist information, which you’ll always find on Free Movement already). I’ve been posting this on Monday mornings, ...

5th January 2018 By

Our Christmas gift to the Home Office

Conservative MP Andrew Mitchell calls indefinite immigration detention “a wrong that stains our democracy“. But the immigration minister insists that it doesn’t exist. Witness the following exchange between the minister, Brandon Lew ...

21st December 2017 By

Another immigration solicitor struck off over tactical judicial reviews

The Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal has struck off an East London solicitor for abuse of the judicial review process. Azfar Naseem Bajwa, who practised as A Bajwa & Co in Whitechapel, was accused of filing hopeless JRs in order to get clients out ...

21st December 2017 By

New code of practice on freezing immigrants’ bank accounts

The Home Office today published guidance for caseworkers on when to apply for a court order freezing the bank account of someone alleged to be in the UK unlawfully. A freezing order under section 40C(2) of the Immigration Act 2014 “prohibits ea ...

20th December 2017 By

In case you missed it: the week in immigration news

Free Movement’s pick of the past week’s media reporting on immigration and asylum. The successful challenge to Home Office policy on rough sleepers from EU countries got top billing this week (see Sky News, among many others). Similarly widesprea ...

18th December 2017 By

Northern Ireland appeal case on “Chen parents” referred to EU court

The case of an Albanian couple living in Northern Ireland has been referred to Luxembourg over a conflict between English, Irish and European Union law. The decision of the Court of Justice of the European Union in their case could help thousands of o ...

15th December 2017 By

In case you missed it: the week in immigration news

Free Movement’s pick of the past week’s media reporting on immigration and asylum. Theresa May’s government reached agreement with the European Commission on a first stage Brexit deal, which covers citizens’ rights (charmingly painted ...

11th December 2017 By

Brexit citizens’ rights deal near completion

In the early hours of this morning the British government and European Commission agreed, to much media fanfare, a joint report on Brexit negotiations. The Commission will now recommend to the European Council – the 27 national leaders – t ...

8th December 2017 By

People accused of ETS cheating have in-country right of challenge

The Court of Appeal has held in Ahsan v Secretary of State for the Home Department (Rev 1) [2017] EWCA Civ 2009 that people accused of cheating on the TOEIC English language test and threatened with removal from the UK have the right to challenge tha ...

5th December 2017 By

In case you missed it: the week in immigration news

Free Movement’s pick of the past week’s media reporting on immigration and asylum. You are unlikely to have missed many of this week’s crop of immigration stories. Take Brexit and the Court of Justice. The government has, supposedly, tabled prop ...

4th December 2017 By

Immigration judges denounce detention system in Bar Council report

The numbers of people in immigration detention have increased in the last decade. The UK has one of the largest immigration detention systems in Europe. There is no time limit. So opens a Bar Council report on Injustice in Immigration Detention, publ ...

30th November 2017 By

Six things we learned from today’s migration statistics

1. This was the biggest annual drop in net migration ever recorded The difference between the number of people coming to live in the UK and the number leaving to live abroad was put at 336,000 in the 12 months to June 2016. Fast forward 12 months, and ...

30th November 2017 By

Solicitors unfit to practise can become regulated immigration advisers

A solicitor who is suspended from practice can nevertheless advise clients on immigration law. This simple but perhaps surprising fact was highlighted by a recent case before the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal in which an East London solicitor unsuc ...

30th November 2017 By

Asylum “lottery”: some hearing centres grant twice as many appeals

First-tier Tribunal appeals against asylum decisions are twice as likely to succeed at some hearing centres compared to others, a BBC investigation has found. 47% of appeals succeeded at Taylor House, whereas the success rate was as low as 21% at Yarl ...

29th November 2017 By

Home Office loses a quarter of asylum decision-makers in six months

Over a quarter of the officials who take decisions on asylum applications quit the Home Office in a single six-month period, an inspector’s report has revealed. The number of “active” asylum decision-makers fell from 319 in January 2 ...

28th November 2017 By

In case you missed it: the week in immigration news

Free Movement’s pick of the past week’s media reporting on immigration and asylum. Some positive asylum stories in recent days: the value of outsourced asylum accommodation contracts is to double, according to the Guardian. There is an apparently ...

27th November 2017 By

Immigration and the Budget

There is some good news, some bad news and some not-exactly-surprising news in today’s Budget. The good news comes in the form of more liberal rules for scientists, researchers and international students who want to work and settle in the UK: 4. ...

22nd November 2017 By

Immigration minister: bank accounts could be wrongly frozen for a year

Immigration minister Brandon Lewis had rather a torrid time before the Home Affairs committee of MPs this morning. Committee chair Yvette Cooper raised concerns about the new requirements for banks to freeze or close the bank accounts of anyone who sh ...

21st November 2017 By

Judicial review over treatment of EU rough sleepers begins

A judicial review challenge to the Home Office policy of detaining and deporting rough sleepers from EU countries has begun in the High Court. In 2016 the Home Office began accusing people – mainly Eastern Europeans – found sleeping on the ...

21st November 2017 By

In case you missed it: the week in immigration news

Free Movement’s pick of the past week’s media reporting on immigration and asylum. The economic effects of cutting immigration are in the eye of the beholder, it appears. The same study by PwC was variously reported as “Loss of skilled EU w ...

20th November 2017 By

Rule 35 torture reports kept from lawyers, government analysis suggests

The legal representatives of immigration detainees who claimed to have been tortured or who may otherwise be unsuitable for detention were not given copies of their medical records, internal Home Office analysis shows. This was contrary to the depart ...

16th November 2017 By

Inspection finds improvements at Yarl’s Wood but no clean bill of health

There have been “significant improvements” at Yarl’s Wood immigration removal centre, according to the latest report by the independent Chief Inspector of Prisons. Peter Clarke nevertheless documents “ongoing concerns” ab ...

15th November 2017 By

Northern Irish tribunal finds against Home Office on dual nationality

A woman from Northern Ireland who refuses to identify as British in order to facilitate her husband’s immigration application has succeeded in her First-tier Tribunal challenge against the refusal of a residence card. The Home Office had told Em ...

15th November 2017 By

EU countries accused of criminalising humanitarian help for migrants

Laws designed to combat trafficking are being misused to target those giving humanitarian assistance to migrants trying to reach the EU, the Institute for Race Relations says. A new report by the think tank finds that criminal laws are being used to p ...

14th November 2017 By

In case you missed it: the week in immigration news

Free Movement’s pick of the past week’s media reporting on immigration and asylum. The government’s technical note on settled status for EU citizens was widely reported, with the right-wing press focusing on proposed criminal record checks ...

13th November 2017 By

My Boy Jack by Rudyard Kipling

“Have you news of my boy Jack?” Not this tide. “When d’you think that he’ll come back?” Not with this wind blowing, and this tide. “Has any one else had word of him?” Not this tide. For what is sunk will ...

11th November 2017 By

Barrister becomes new trafficking minister

There has apparently been politics happening in the past few days, leading to a mini-reshuffle of government ministers. Priti Patel’s humiliation is Sarah Newton’s promotion: the Home Office’s most junior minister moves to the Depart ...

9th November 2017 By

Donations sought to stop NHS giving patient data to Home Office

The Migrants’ Rights Network is crowdfunding for a legal challenge to stop the NHS becoming more involved in immigration enforcement. A data-sharing agreement with NHS Digital will allow the Home Office to access previously confidential informa ...

9th November 2017 By

Khan case: Sala overturned in the Court of Appeal

In Sala (EFMs: Right of Appeal : Albania) [2016] UKUT 411 (IAC), the Upper Tribunal held that there was no right of appeal against a decision by the Home Office to refuse a residence card to the extended family member of an EEA citizen. The Court o ...

9th November 2017 By

Tribunal judge publicly criticises Home Office presenting officers

A judge of the First-tier Tribunal has reportedly said that some Home Office presenting officers appearing before him are “worse than useless”. Judge Nicholas Easterman, who became an immigration judge in 2003, told a Bar Council event las ...

8th November 2017 By

Government publishes details on settled status for EU citizens

The government has put a little flesh on its promise that EU citizens living in the UK will be able to apply for settled status in a way that is “new”, “streamlined” and “low cost”. A “technical note” &# ...

7th November 2017 By

Where to find official guidance on immigration bail and detention

Practitioners may be wondering where on earth the Home Office guidance on bail and detention has got to. It used to be housed in a section of the Home Office website entitled “Chapters 46 to 62: detention and removals“. But as visitors to ...

6th November 2017 By

Immigration appeal waiting times rise 13%, now take a year on average

The average immigration appeal takes almost 12 months to be resolved, up 13% on the same period last year. This is despite the fact that less than half as many people now have the chance to challenge Home Office decisions. The number of appeals handle ...

6th November 2017 By

In case you missed it: the week in immigration news

Free Movement’s pick of the past week’s media reporting on immigration and asylum. There has been renewed excitement about the notion of associate EU citizenship for UK nationals after David Davis said that he would “look seriously” at ...

6th November 2017 By

Spoons backs citizens’ rights

It’s beer o’clock, and if you’re in a JD Wetherspoon establishment this evening you may see a beer mat with this intoxicating sentiment: The UK should unilaterally and immediately grant full rights of citizenship to legal EU immigran ...

3rd November 2017 By

Home Office responds to committee report, 15 months later

The government has responded to a report by MPs on the work of the Immigration Directorates – a mere 456 days after the report came out. When Home Affairs Select Committee began its enquiry, Brexit had not yet happened. It published its report ...

3rd November 2017 By

Hostile environment backfiring on the Home Office, Chief Inspector finds

The hostile environment policy is making it more difficult for the Home Office to keep track of foreign national offenders and could even push up crime, the Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration has said. David Bolt’s inspection ...

2nd November 2017 By

Help Refugees loses Dubs amendment case, will appeal

Help Refugees has lost its challenge to the Home Office’s delay in relocating child refugees under section 67 of the Immigration Act 2016. The decision in R (on the application of Help Refugees Limited) v Secretary of State for the Home Departme ...

2nd November 2017 By

New community sponsorship funding announced

£1 million in Home Office funding is now available to help with community sponsorship of refugees. The department says that The fund is for the community sponsorship scheme which enables community groups to take on the rewarding role of welcoming and ...

1st November 2017 By

What to do if the Home Office closes your current account

Measures requiring banks to check on the immigration status of existing account holders come into force today. To celebrate, the Home Office has published some brief guidance for those who, as “disqualified persons”, find their current acc ...

30th October 2017 By