Report: Government does control immigration after all

Interesting new report from Jonathan Thomas of the Social Market Foundation called Take Back Control? This report reveals the true extent of the UK government’s control over immigration and makes the case for greater political honesty about that con ...

24th September 2018 By

Naturalising as a British citizen: the lawful residence requirement

An adult who is not a British citizen can apply to become one. This process is known as naturalisation. People will normally be eligible to apply for naturalisation under section 6 of the British Nationality Act 1981 if they meet certain requirement ...

24th September 2018 By

Above-inflation increase in immigration and nationality fees for 2018/19

New fees for immigration and nationality applications came into effect on 6 April 2018 and a slightly expanded list of fees applies from 8 October 2018. This post, originally published in April but now updated to reflect those mid-year additions, show ...

20th September 2018 By

Delay of 21 months in child refugee case found unlawful

The Home Office behaved unlawfully in putting on hold a child’s asylum claim for over 21 months, the Upper Tribunal has found. There are thought to be as many as 200 other children in the same position. The child had been admitted to the UK in & ...

19th September 2018 By

Stateless refugee family win right to have claims decided in UK

The UK authorities do not emerge with much humanitarian credit from this newly reported tribunal case. For years the government has strenuously resisted the obviously meritorious and compassionate request by a stateless refugee family to be reunited. ...

18th September 2018 By

Court of Justice upholds UK approach to Worker Registration Scheme for EU nationals

Last week the Court of Justice of the European Union upheld the UK’s approach to the Worker Registration Scheme in force between 2004 and 2011 for citizens of new EU countries. The case is C-618/16 Prefeta v UK. The judgment in effect endorses ...

17th September 2018 By

“Deport first, appeal later” claims its first known casualty

May Bulman has reported in The Independent the death of an Afghan citizen deported from the UK pending his appeal. He was shot dead in his home town and his wife saw his dead body in an image on Facebook. He had lived in the UK for 16 years and had fo ...

14th September 2018 By

July 2018 immigration update podcast

Welcome to the July 2018 edition of the Free Movement immigration update podcast. This month I start by discussing some developments in nationality law, then cover the EU Settlement Scheme that is starting to take shape and currently being piloted. Wh ...

11th September 2018 By

How can the Home Office tear up the British passport of a six-year-old boy born in Leeds?

The Independent and the Telegraph are reporting on the upsetting case of a little boy, born in Leeds, who is being denied re-entry to the UK because the Home Office has revoked his British passport. Mohamed Bangoura, aged six, was staying with relat ...

6th September 2018 By

Comment: the Home Office must adopt a principled approach to DNA testing

In 1985, immigration solicitor Sheona York read an article in the Guardian about a new technology for proving someone’s identity. She called the inventor, Professor Alec Jeffreys, at the University of Leicester to see whether this “DNA tes ...

3rd September 2018 By

The Surinder Singh immigration route: how does it work?

The “Surinder Singh route” has become well known to British citizens seeking to be reunited with their family members. The toughening up of UK immigration rules in July 2012 – particularly the introduction of the minimum income rule with ...

31st August 2018 By

Comment: migrants need the right to work while fighting immigration cases

I am quoted in a recent Guardian story about the notorious, if niche, paragraph 322(5) of the Immigration Rules. This is the rule being used to refuse leave to remain to migrants because of alleged discrepancies between their tax returns to HMRC and t ...

28th August 2018 By

Visit visa refusals: appeal or judicial review?

The removal of full rights of appeal for family visit visas in 2013 has led to a legal dilemma for those considering a challenge to a refusal: should they give up, re-apply, attempt a human rights appeal or launch an application for judicial review? T ...

14th August 2018 By

How is the government using its increased powers to strip British people of their citizenship?

Yesterday’s judgment in Aziz & Ors v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2018] EWCA Civ 1884 saw the Court of Appeal uphold the Home Secretary’s decision to use her power to strip members of a notorious Rochdale grooming gang ...

9th August 2018 By

June 2018 immigration update podcast

Welcome to the June 2018 edition of the Free Movement immigration update podcast. I start this month with a whistle-stop tour of some of the latest changes to the Immigration Rules before highlighting a couple of procedural changes, including the end ...

3rd August 2018 By

Refugee appeals against revocation of refugee status should be dismissed if appellant not a refugee

This is probably a determination best ignored, from the judge who brought us Sala. The headnote reads: 1. An appeal under s 82(1)(c) is an appeal against revocation of the basis upon which the leave referred to in s 82(2)(c) was granted. 2. The only a ...

27th July 2018 By

People can now be deprived of their British citizenship by email

Some amendments to the British Nationality (General) Regulations 2003. From the explanatory notes: Regulation 2 amends regulation 3 of the 2003 Regulations, as a consequence of the amendment made by regulation 4 of these Regulations, and requires app ...

25th July 2018 By

Home Office unlawfully nullifies British citizenship in hundreds of cases

New figures from the Home Office show that hundreds of British citizens have unlawfully had their citizenship nullified since 2013. A Freedom of Information request by the author revealed that there were 262 decisions to nullify British citizenship be ...

18th July 2018 By

Court of Justice finds Surinder Singh applies to extended family members

The unmarried partner of a British citizen who returns to the UK having resided in another EU country does have rights under EU law, the Court of Justice of the European Union has today held in the case of C‑89/17 Banger v UK. The court also finds ...

12th July 2018 By

Court of Appeal chastises barrister over conduct of asylum appeal

Another shot fired in the ongoing skirmishes between judges, perhaps starting to feel some of the workload pressure that legal aid lawyers have been labouring under for years, and immigration practitioners. Last week a JUSTICE report ominously recomme ...

10th July 2018 By

May 2018 immigration update podcast

Welcome to the May 2018 edition of the Free Movement immigration update podcast. It was a bumper month for immigration and asylum law updates, with 61 posts published on Free Movement in May. I can’t possibly cover everything, but the highlights ...

6th July 2018 By

Home Office makes almost £100 million from children registering as British citizens

Home Office profit on the fees charged to children exercising their right to British citizenship comes to nearly £100 million over the past five years, Free Movement analysis has shown. The controversially high fee for the citizenship process known a ...

4th July 2018 By

What are the 10 and 20 year rules on long residence?

The Immigration Rules allow people to apply to remain in the UK on the basis of long residence. Those here lawfully can apply for indefinite leave to remain following 10 years’ continuous lawful residence in the UK. Those who had periods of overstay ...

26th June 2018 By

Tribunal belatedly ends Home Office exemption from judicial review time “rules”

Since 2014 the Upper Tribunal has permitted the Home Office double the normal time limit set by the procedure “rules” for responding to an application for judicial review. Instead of having the 21 days proscribed by the “rules” ...

25th June 2018 By

Guidance on trafficking cases in absence of a Conclusive Grounds decision

Can’t for the life of me see why this has been reported but I lost the will to live before reaching the end. Maybe you’ll have better luck than me. In cases in which there is no “Conclusive Grounds” decision: (i) If a person (& ...

22nd June 2018 By

“Lawfully resident” in deportation exceptions includes residence after leave invalidated by deportation decision

The official headnote of Tirabi (Deportation: “lawfully resident”: s.5(1)) [2018] UKUT 199 (IAC): For the purposes of applying to para 399A of the Rules and s. 117C of the 2002 Act a definition of “lawfully resident” analogous ...

21st June 2018 By

Boys to men: how to prepare asylum appeals for young Afghans

There are a considerable number of asylum claims in the UK by young Afghan boys and men. The number should not be overstated, though. The latest immigration statistics show that Afghans are still outside the top five nationalities claiming asylum in t ...

21st June 2018 By

Tribunal contradicts itself on meaning of “foreign criminal”

So, we now have Andell (foreign criminal – para 398) [2018] UKUT 198 (IAC), the official headnote to which says: Paragraph 398 of the Rules includes not only foreign criminals as defined in the 2002 Act and the 2007 Act but also other individual ...

20th June 2018 By

Opening a window into the soul: how to prepare asylum claims based on religion

“I would not open windows into men’s souls,” said Elizabeth I. But that is exactly the task facing those charged with deciding asylum claims based on religion. Is a professed conversion to another religion sincere or sham? In a society where fre ...

20th June 2018 By

Refugee status not lost because part of home country is now safe

Official headnote to MS (Art 1C(5)- Mogadishu) [2018] UKUT 196 (IAC): The Secretary of State is not entitled to cease a person’s refugee status pursuant to Article 1C(5) of the Refugee Convention solely on the basis of a change in circumstances ...

19th June 2018 By

What is the legal definition of a “refugee”?

This week is Refugee Week. On Free Movement we try to communicate complex legal issues in immigration and asylum law in a clear way and here we answer the question “what is a refugee?” We’ll have a load of other refugee related conte ...

18th June 2018 By

Briefing: What are the barriers to British citizenship for EU nationals?

The recent case of Inga Lockton is the most high-profile recent example of growing problems that EU citizens and their families face with applying for British citizenship. Ms Lockton lived in the UK for 39 years, was married to a British citizen and h ...

14th June 2018 By

April 2018 immigration update podcast

Welcome to the April 2018 edition of the Free Movement immigration update podcast. This was the month that the Windrush scandal came to a head, so I start by focusing on the fallout from that before looking at an issue that would otherwise have led th ...

8th June 2018 By

Tribunal opens door to awards of costs against Home Office for unreasonable behaviour

A heavyweight Presidential panel sitting in the First-tier Tribunal has made multiple awards of costs against the Home Office for unreasonable behaviour and given guidance on the proper approach to making such awards in future. Despite the decision be ...

23rd May 2018 By

How quickly could Meghan Markle get British citizenship and what are the requirements?

So, the Royal Wedding approaches. But once the bunting is bought, the flags are flown and the merchandise marketed, what happens next for Meghan Markle and Prince Harry? Will they live happily ever after and, if so, where and with what visa? Princes a ...

14th May 2018 By

March 2018 immigration update podcast

Welcome to the March 2018 edition of the Free Movement immigration update podcast. This month I start on the Brexit outlook for EU citizens before turning to several immigration law issues affecting children that came to light in March. The Upper Trib ...

9th May 2018 By

Immigration Act 2016: changes to immigration bail and detention powers now in force

Significant changes to immigration detention powers and a new status called “immigration bail” came into force on 15 January 2018. The Immigration Act 2016 (Commencement No. 7 and Transitional Provisions) Regulations 2017 commence sectio ...

2nd May 2018 By

Can children and parents apply to remain after seven years residence?

From a child’s perspective, seven years of residence in the UK can be literally a lifetime. It may be the sum of all the child’s experience and the UK may be the only home they know in any meaningful sense. On top of that, children do not make the ...

2nd May 2018 By

Briefing: what is the hostile environment, where does it come from, who does it affect?

Theresa May declared in an interview with the Telegraph in May 2012 that she wanted to create a “really hostile environment” for irregular migrants in the UK. In this blog post we look at the evolution of the hostile environment, consider what m ...

1st May 2018 By

Former Home Secretary Amber Rudd admits Home Office detains migrants who cannot be removed

Amber Rudd, who was Home Secretary when I started writing this short blog post but not by the time I had finished, has admitted that the Home Office detains migrants “that we have no realistic hope of removing from the country.” The admiss ...

29th April 2018 By
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