Crime and Courts Bill

As has been widely reported in the mainstream media, the Government proposes to scrap family visitor appeal rights. Again. The change is intended to come into full effect in 2014 but as early as July 2012 the definition of ‘family’ will be ...

16th May 2012 By

UKBA crushes people smuggler

Sometimes you just can’t make it up. The UK Border Agency has posted a video on YouTube of it crushing a van used by people smugglers. As I understand it, the nine Kuwaiti migrants were removed first. So were the people smugglers. Although it do ...

15th May 2012 By

More unlawful detention cases

There has been a flood of judgments in the last few weeks on the issue of unlawful detention. With immigration detention used more frequently and for longer periods than ever before, the aftermath of the secret and unlawful presumption of detention po ...

9th May 2012 By

How To Solve Heathrow Queues In Time To Save The Olympics

I have a new and cunning plan to solve the queues at Heathrow, save the Olympics and, as an added bonus, revitalise rock bottom morale at the UK Border Agency, which is by all accounts now falling apart at the seams of its soon-to-be-replaced uniform ...

1st May 2012 By

European Commission warns UK

The European Commission has today given the United Kingdom two months to comply with European Union rules on the free movement of EU citizens and their families across the EU or face an EU court case. You can read the press release yourself here. The ...

26th April 2012 By

Happy Fifth Birthday!

Yet again I missed the blog’s birthday, which was 7 March. Unbelievably (for so, so many reasons) the blog has now been going for over five years. In that time it has clocked up roughly 1,346,037 hits, 521 posts and 2,608 comments between the ol ...

25th April 2012 By

Other dependent relatives

A rare judgment on paragraph 317 of the Immigration Rules, the ‘other dependent relatives’ category, was handed down by the Court of Appeal last month and has so far escaped reporting here on Free Movement due to other commitments. The cas ...

20th April 2012 By

Marriage and validity and ‘subsisting’

A couple of cases on marriage were recently decided in the Family Division and are worth reporting here as they could have a bearing on immigration cases where the validity of a marriage is significant in some way. The first of the cases might also be ...

18th April 2012 By

Unethical and inaccurate: Border Agency to start x-raying children

The UK Border Agency will start x-raying children again from 29 March 2012 in order to determine their age. This practice is highly controversial. The letter announcing the resumption of this procedure can be found here. This brings to mind another ...

28th March 2012 By

Section 85A commencement order doesn’t mean what it says

Far too late to be of use to anyone, the Upper Tribunal has held that the controversial commencement of section 85A did not affect appeals that had already been lodged. The case is Shahzad (s. 85A: commencement) Pakistan [2012] UKUT 81 (IAC). It was ...

23rd March 2012 By

No changing horses in mid stream

In the second Court of Appeal judgment from last week in which Zane Malik was Counsel for the Appellant, that of Lamichhane v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2012] EWCA Civ 260, the same bench has given another judgment that many migrants ...

15th March 2012 By

Near Miss for Near Miss?

The Court of Appeal has in the case of Miah v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2012] EWCA Civ 261 rejected the idea of there being a free standing ‘near miss’ argument in immigration cases where the applicant falls just short o ...

14th March 2012 By

Regulation of immigration advice and services

The Legal Services Board has issued a consultation paper that proposes potentially major changes to the regulation of immigration advice and services. The deadline for responses is 24 May 2011. The LSB is critical of the current regulatory regime, say ...

5th March 2012 By

Exceptional circumstances now more… exceptional

As expected, the obscure but important Chapter 53 of the Enforcement Instructions and Guidance (‘Extenuating Circumstances’) has been amended following on from the scrapping of paragraph 395C of the Immigration Rules. The new text is bas ...

2nd March 2012 By

Guest worker era begins

In a slew of new documents published today the Government has heralded the end of quasi-automatic settlement for skilled foreign workers under Tier 2 of the Points Based System, the evisceration of the Overseas Domestic Worker scheme, some tinkering w ...

29th February 2012 By

Obtaining IAS files

The sudden collapse of the Immigration Advisory Service shocked the sector and left many clients without any way of obtaining their paperwork from their former lawyers. Following legal action by the Immigration Law Practitioners Association it will no ...

28th February 2012 By

Tamil returnee claims torture in Sri Lanka

UPDATE: the order made by the Upper Tribunal is now available. A Tamil failed asylum seeker forcibly returned from the United Kingdom to Sri Lanka on 21 February 2012 has claimed that he was tortured on arrival. He was later interviewed by British off ...

27th February 2012 By

Appointments to Panel

This blog congratulates Zane Malik of 12 Old Square, who was this week appointed to the Attorney General’s C Panel of ‘junior juniors’. Zane has made a huge impact on immigration law in the last couple of years and it has become inc ...

23rd February 2012 By

Happy Valentine’s Day!

The BBC’s Inside Out Yorkshire programme ran a  story tonight on sham marriages, trailed in a BBC News item the day before. There are six days left to watch the programme on iPlayer if for some reason you would like to see it. As with Team UK B ...

14th February 2012 By

All change

A plethora of immigration tweaks were announced yesterday, mainly of a technical nature. There is still no sign of the introduction of a minimum income level nor the ending of Tier 2 settlement applications. It is beginning to seem likely that these w ...

14th February 2012 By

Good news for old work permit holders

A new decision from the President of the Immigration and Asylum Chamber of the Upper Tribunal offers relief to work permit holders caught out by a sneaky change to the Immigration Rules in April last year. This topic has been covered here on the blog ...

8th February 2012 By

Indefinite detention: not very British

Just a quick one to flag up a guest post I’ve written for the 1 Crown Office Row UK Human Rights Blog. It covers Abu Qatada, indefinite detention and the irrelevance of the Human Rights Act to the decision that he must be released. ...

8th February 2012 By

Going for Glory: Part 2

Free Movement entirely retracts the article that was previously published here regarding the Chapti case and apologises to those involved. The comments in the article went considerably beyond fair, were unreasonably speculative and were misleading as ...

6th February 2012 By

English language requirements tightening

In parallel announcements the UK Border Agency has said that language requirements for Tiers 1, 2 and 4 of the Points Based System (highly skilled, skilled and students) are being tightened up slightly. The concession that allowed Tier 1 and 2 applica ...

1st February 2012 By

Zimbabwe gay guidance case

The latest Country Guidance case on Zimbabwe finds, in essence, that despite vociferous and violent pronouncements about homosexuality at the highest level in that country, Zimbabwe is a safe haven for lesbians and gays. The case is LZ (homosexuals) ...

31st January 2012 By

Fundraising

Got a Kindle for Christmas? Wondering what to do with it now you’ve read the first couple of chapters of Great Expectations and then swiftly moved on to some Sherlock Holmes? You can now subscribe to Free Movement on your Kindle: while away yo ...

24th January 2012 By

Immigration rules amended to be less human rightsy looking

The Government has finally gotten around to amending the Immigration Rules to make them a bit less human rightsy looking. This follows a number of pledges from David Cameron, Theresa May and Damian Green to do so. Paragraph 395C of the rules is to be ...

20th January 2012 By

The asylum merry-go-round

Lord Justice Ward is at it again: This is another of those frustrating appeals which characterise – and, some may even think, disfigure – certain aspects of the work in the immigration field. Here we have one of those whirligig cases where an asyl ...

19th January 2012 By

Landing in Dover report on reception of children

Today’s report by the Children’s Commissioner, Landing in Dover, exposes gross double standards by UK Border Agency officials. The report reveals the existence of a so called ‘gentleman’s agreement’ operating at the south ...

17th January 2012 By

Batch of tribunal cases

A few reported determinations from late last year have so far escaped comment here. There’s not much to say about these ‘Ronseal’ style determinations. Lest they be forgotten, though, here are the links and official headnotes: Haque ...

12th January 2012 By

Migration Watch: Recovery in Woodlark population “may” be cause of youth unemployment

There was some coverage in the right wing press yesterday about a new Migration Watch ‘report‘ purportedly linking Eastern European immigration with youth unemployment. Migration Watch statistical analysis has been covered here before. Eve ...

10th January 2012 By

Blog changes

Regular visitors to the website will have noticed some changes over the Christmas period. A second column has been introduced on the right with Renaissance Chambers and HJT Training information, with both of which the editor is personally associated. ...

8th January 2012 By

Two Big Euro Cases

Despite having already signed off for Christmas, I’ve been sitting waiting all morning to get on at Hatton Cross and decided to catch up on the two Big Euro Cases from this week. Both are from the Court of Justice of the European Union. The firs ...

23rd December 2011 By

And I’m not making this up…

Following on from last year’s seasonal leak, Free Movement can exclusively reveal a new secret Government proposal designed to cut down on abuse of human rights laws and reduce family immigration into the United Kingdom. The new proposal is said ...

22nd December 2011 By

Entry clearance decision making: a global review

The Chief Inspector of the UK Border Agency, John Vine, has published a global review of entry clearance decision making. The findings are strongly critical in important respects. The sample size was nearly 1,500 case files from every entry clearance ...

20th December 2011 By

Tribunal obliged to seek out representation in Country Guidance cases

The Court of Appeal last week handed down a very interesting judgment on the need for ‘proper argument’ in Country Guidance cases, the obligation on the tribunal itself to seek to secure that proper argument and how far the tribunal deter ...

19th December 2011 By

Pre entry English tests upheld

In a substantial judgment running to 149 paragraphs Mr Justice Beatson sitting in the High Court has rejected a challenge to the rule requiring spouses to attain a certain level of English before entry. The case is R (Chapti and Others) v Secretary of ...

16th December 2011 By

Immigration appeal fees coming soon

As previously highlighted on this blog, fees are to be introduced for immigration appeals. The date has now been set for this to begin: for notices of decision dated 19 December 2011 or later. Strangely, as far as I can see, you won’t find anyth ...

14th December 2011 By

Blog problems

The blog has been experiencing a few problems over the last few days, for which I apologise. The hosting provider moved the blog to a new server accidentally or some such, and everything went offline for about a day. Somewhere along the way some conte ...

10th December 2011 By

Best interests of children

There are two recent cases to cover on this subject. The first is AJ (India) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2011] EWCA Civ 1191, in which I was Shivani Jegarajah‘s junior, despite my puzzling omission from the court record (must s ...

6th December 2011 By