An immigration lawyer reviews Paddington 2: life in the hostile environment

Warning: contains spoilers. And information about the plot too. Let me say at the outset that Paddington 2 is a deeply unrealistic film. As a Paddington fan and father of two young children I had no problem suspending my disbelief to allow for a talki ...

13th November 2017 By

The immigration rules for adult dependant relatives: out with the old…

Since July 2012 the immigration rules for adult dependent relatives have been, in practice, almost impossible to meet. Applicants need to demonstrate that they require a level of long-term personal care that they are unable to get in their home countr ...

8th November 2017 By

Ever wanted to write for Free Movement? We’re recruiting!

There is a lot going on in immigration law at the moment and we are looking to recruit more specialist contributors to Free Movement. If you can write fluently, you are interested in being read by a wide audience and you are fascinated by immigrat ...

8th November 2017 By

Could Catalan separatists qualify for refugee status in the UK?

Carles Puigdemont, erstwhile President de la Generalitat de Catalunya, fled Spain to Belgium this week following his parliament’s unilateral declaration of independence for Catalonia. Several of his ministers followed him into exile. A European ...

3rd November 2017 By

Book review: The Child in International Refugee Law by Jason Pobjoy

The Child in International Refugee Law by Jason Pobjoy, a barrister at Blackstone Chambers, is an extremely useful, practical and important contribution to the international protection of child refugees. I cannot do better than Pobjoy’s own summ ...

27th October 2017 By

Brexit increasing risk of modern slavery, report reveals

In a report published today a group of experts on modern slavery reveal that uncertainty, confusion and threats to EU migrants as a result of Brexit is making it more likely that EU workers will face labour exploitation in the UK. This is a very good, ...

26th October 2017 By

Home Secretary Amber Rudd announces review of Immigration Rules

The Home Secretary, Amber Rudd, has announced that the Law Commission will conduct a review of the Immigration Rules. The review came to light in Rudd’s oral evidence to the Home Affairs Select Committee on 17 October but Law Commission staff ha ...

26th October 2017 By

What are the continuing professional development (CPD) training rules for immigration lawyers?

Since 2016 there has been no minimum CPD training hours requirement and training can be undertaken by any training provider or even by informal methods including self study. The rules for solicitors, barristers and OISC advisers are all broadly simila ...

26th October 2017 By

New ebook now available: Naturalising as a British citizen

Our new ebook guide Naturalising as a British citizen is now available for purchase for £9.99 (free for Free Movement members). For most people, an application for naturalisation is something they can complete on their own. This ebook helps individua ...

19th October 2017 By

MPs launch inquiry into Home Office delivery of Brexit, submissions sought

Following on from the session last week in which I and others were called to give evidence to the Home Affairs Committee, a formal inquiry into the Home Office delivery of Brexit has now been launched. Written submissions are invited by the committee ...

19th October 2017 By

FOI response: waiting times for permanent residence certificates triple

Eight months and a warning from the Information Commissioner later, the Home Office has finally replied to my Freedom of Information request on waiting times for EU residence documents. The figures only go to the end of 2016 and it seems likely that w ...

18th October 2017 By

August 2017 immigration update podcast

Welcome to the August 2017 edition of the Free Movement immigration update podcast. This month I’m starting with a run through of a few relevant bits of news and some blog posts to highlight rather than cover in depth, then moving on to a series of ...

18th October 2017 By

Why is the Home Office separating a British man from his wife when she is still breastfeeding their daughter?

This week the story of Dan Newton and his family has hit the newspapers. This post explains why the Home Office has acted as it has. It is not a mistake. Since harsh new rules were introduced in 2012, UK immigration policy does not usually allow Briti ...

16th October 2017 By

What are the terms of the immigration “amnesty” for survivors of the Grenfell Tower disaster?

The Home Office has revised its policy on the immigration “amnesty” for survivors of the Grenfell Tower fire. In short, the government was offering a grant (or extension) of 12 months leave to enter or remain, with access to public funds include ...

11th October 2017 By

Book review: The Making of an Immigration Judge by James Hanratty RD

James Hanratty RD, known as a compassionate and sometimes rather unconventional judge, will be a familiar name and indeed face to any London-based barrister specialising in immigration work. I for one was relieved rather than panicked when I would see ...

11th October 2017 By

Nick Blake QC retires from High Court

The Honourable Sir Nicholas John Gorrod Blake retired from the High Court (Queen’s Bench) with effect from 3 October 2017. Sir Nicholas Blake (68) was called to the Bar (M) in 1974, took Silk in 1994 and was elected a Bencher in 2002. He was appoint ...

10th October 2017 By

Tribunal criticises government lawyers for “trench warfare” mentality and “inappropriate” conduct

In one of his final judgments as outgoing President, Mr Justice McCloskey launched a bitter broadside at the conduct of government lawyers in long-running litigation over the entry of refugee children. While the criticism of the solicitors at the Gove ...

9th October 2017 By

Book review: A Guide to the Immigration Act 2016 by Alison Harvey and Zoe Harper

If you want to look up how the Immigration Act 2016 works in practice, A Guide to the Immigration Act 2016 by Alison Harvey and Zoe Harper is the definitive guide to the legislation. More comprehensive than my own introductory ebook to the Act, Harvey ...

6th October 2017 By

July 2017 immigration update podcast

Welcome to the July 2017 edition of the Free Movement immigration update podcast. This month I begin by running through a whole load of judgments and determinations, including from the Supreme Court on sham marriages, some cases on procedure and costs ...

5th October 2017 By

June 2017 immigration update podcast

Welcome to the June 2017 edition of the Free Movement immigration update podcast. This month I’m starting with the current UK proposals on the future status of EU citizens in the UK and a few (!) problems with those plans, covering the major Supreme ...

3rd October 2017 By

Mr Justice Peter Lane appointed new President of the Immigration and Asylum Chamber of the Upper Tribunal

The Right Honourable Sir Ernest Ryder, The Senior President of Tribunals has appointed Sir Peter Lane to be the Chamber President for the Upper Tribunal Immigration and Asylum Chamber with effect from 2 October 2017. This is the first “internal& ...

2nd October 2017 By

Tribunal: Home Office must prove present risk to deport EU citizens

In the very recent case of Arranz (EEA Regulations – deportation – test) [2017] UKUT 294 (IAC) President McCloskey set out the correct approach to EU law deportations. The official headnote instructs us: (i) The burden of proving that a pe ...

28th September 2017 By

New Free Movement deputy editor appointed: Conor James McKinney

I am delighted to announce the appointment of Conor James McKinney as Deputy Editor for Free Movement. CJ, as he prefers to be known, joins Free Movement with a strong background in legal journalism and communication. He has written on legal affairs f ...

25th September 2017 By

Home Office launches new Assisted Digital service for online immigration applications

The Home Office has launched a new Assisted Digital service to help those who need it with online immigration applications. It is aimed at applicants who do not have the appropriate access, skills or confidence to complete an online immigration appli ...

25th September 2017 By

Further guidance from Upper Tribunal on withdrawal of immigration appeals

Not much to say about this one, but clearly it is important in those cases where the Home Office does withdraw a decision once the appeal has been lodged. Official headnote: (i)            The public law character of appeals to the FtT is re ...

22nd September 2017 By

Tribunal can (but won’t) hold Home Office in contempt for ignoring consent orders

The facts of R (on the application of MMK) v Secretary of State for the Home Department (consent orders – legal effect – enforcement) [2017] UKUT 198 (IAC) involved the not uncommon scenario of the Home Office withdrawing its decision in ...

21st September 2017 By

Deception, causation and deprivation of British citizenship

In Sleiman (deprivation of citizenship; conduct) [2017] UKUT 367 (IAC) the tribunal considered the question of how directly causative past deception must be of a subsequent grant of British citizenship in order for a person to be deprived of that citi ...

19th September 2017 By

Immigration (EEA) Regulations 2006 continue to apply for appeals says tribunal

Pretty obscure looking at first glance, this one: TM (EEA nationals – meaning; NI practitioners : Zimbabwe) [2017] UKUT 165 (IAC). So much so I confess I overlooked it. Firstly, some dual national British-EEA nationals were protected from the U ...

19th September 2017 By

Explainer: Can the Home Secretary really be guilty of contempt of court for breach of a court order?

The Home Office has been in the news for what one judge described as a “prima facie case of contempt of court.” Officials are reported to have breached multiple orders for the return of asylum seeker Samim Bigzad from Afghanistan to the U ...

18th September 2017 By

Euro-style stubble banned at work for Home Office immigration officers 

With the approach of Brexit, managers at the Home Office are re-asserting traditional English facial grooming standards, it seems: Britain’s immigration officers have been told they are not allowed to sport stubble at work. Dress code guidance p ...

15th September 2017 By

Is “residence” the same as “presence” in the Immigration Rules?

Yes, “residence” is the same as “presence”, at least in paragraph 245AAA(a) of the Immigration Rules, says Upper Tribunal Judge Allen. Official headnote: (i) On a proper construction of paragraph 245AAA(a)(i) of HC 395, an abse ...

14th September 2017 By

Glasgow Brexitcon: report

Last week was Glasgow Brexitcon (don’t worry, no-one but me is calling it that), a whole day conference in Glasgow dedicated to the immigration aspects of Brexit. The idea and organisation was all the work of the wonderful Bilaal Shabbir of MBS ...

12th September 2017 By

Leaked immigration plans suggest Thelma & Louise Brexit for UK

Forget “hard Brexit” and “soft Brexit”. The leaked proposals for a post-Brexit immigration system suggest the pedal is already to the metal for full Thelma & Louise Brexit. The Brexit to-do list is the length of a constantl ...

6th September 2017 By

Trainee solicitor convicted of providing illegal immigration advice as Prime Legal Solicitors

A trainee solicitor has been sentenced to 18 months imprisonment suspended for two years after being convicted of providing illegal immigration advice and services: Mr Babar Khan, of Mylis Close, Sydenham, London was convicted on 24 August 2017 at Sou ...

30th August 2017 By

Upper Tribunal on readmission of EU nationals to attend deportation appeal hearings

The UK now removes EU citizens and family members before their deportation appeal takes place. Obviously, this interferes with the life that the person has established in the UK (job and home may be lost, for example), in effect prejudges the outcome ...

24th August 2017 By

Tribunal Judge Peter Lane appointed Justice of the High Court

The Queen has been pleased to approve the appointment of Tribunal Judge Peter Richard Lane to be a Justice of the High Court with effect from 2 October 2017 consequential to the retirement of Sir Michael Burton. The Lord Chief Justice will assign Trib ...

21st August 2017 By

Study finds asylum judges fail to assist vulnerable appellants

Really interesting study, which should be carefully considered in the Immigration and Asylum Chambers. …There are clearly dangers to an overly rule-bound judicial approach, as conveyed by Conley and O’Barr’s (1988) description of ‘the proc ...

15th August 2017 By

Virtual hearings to be trialled in immigration tribunal from October 2017

To make sure we reduce inconvenience and cost to our users and provide greater flexibility and access to our services, we must deal with cases in the most efficient and proportionate way. One of the ways in which we are doing this is the expansion of ...

11th August 2017 By

Syrians can now upgrade to full refugee status: new form issued

Particularly relevant to Syrians who were not granted formal refugee status and instead got the lesser status of Humanitarian Protection: This form is for people resettled under the Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme or the Vulnerable Children’s ...

10th August 2017 By

UK’s Home Office issues $118m digitisation tender for immigration

Britain’s Home Office has issued a £91m ($118m) tender for immigration services using biometrics and the digitisation of supporting evidence. The tender covers how up to 780,000 people either extend their stay in the UK, settle or pursue Brit ...

10th August 2017 By