Briefing: the Nationality and Borders Bill, Part 3 (criminalising asylum seekers)

Part 3 of the Nationality and Borders Bill 2021 includes provisions relating to immigration offences and enforcement. It criminalises arriving in the UK, as well as formally entering, making it almost impossible to claim asylum in the UK without first ...

14th July 2021 By

Protections for EU citizens served with notice of deportation

When the Home Office want to deport an EU citizen who has committed a criminal offence it adopts a two-stage process. First it issues a Deportation Liability Notice (DLN). This lets the person know that the Home Office is considering deportation and i ...

29th June 2021 By

“Open-ended” overstayers can’t rely on ten-year lawful residence rule

This, in a sentence, is the conclusion reached by the Upper Tribunal (after 248 paragraphs!) in R (Waseem & Others) v Secretary of State for the Home Department (long residence policy – interpretation) [2021] UKUT 146 (IAC). Background: over ...

23rd June 2021 By

Can you get compensation if an immigration officer acts unlawfully?

This is the question addressed by Scotland’s Sheriff Appeal Court in Galbraith Trawlers Limited v Advocate General for Scotland [2021] SAC (Civ) 15. Fishing boats impounded over illegal immigration charges In 2015, an immigration officer issued lett ...

9th June 2021 By

Court of Appeal considers unduly harsh deportation test (again)

The Court of Appeal has considered, again, whether it is “unduly harsh” for British children to be separated from their father on the basis that he is a foreign criminal. The case is TD (Albania) v Secretary of State for the Home Departmen ...

13th May 2021 By

Home Office can’t just ignore potential persecution even if there is no asylum claim

The Home Office’s compartmentalised approach to applications for permission to stay in the UK can sometimes cause problems. Not everyone’s claim fits neatly into pre-defined categories. So what happens when there is overlap between, for insta ...

23rd April 2021 By

Grace period for overstayers cannot be relied on twice

The grace period for overstayers in paragraph 39E of the Immigration Rules cannot be relied on twice. This, in short, is the conclusion of the Court of Appeal in Kalsi & Ors v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2021] EWCA Civ 184. Excepti ...

22nd February 2021 By

The pathway to British citizenship for European nationals in the UK

Ever since the Brexit vote in June 2016, EU citizens in the United Kingdom have been turning their attention to applications for British citizenship. Foreign nationals who have been living in the UK for five years can apply to “naturalise” as Brit ...

18th February 2021 By

When can an immigration decision involving human rights be appealed?

The distinction between a “claim” and an “application” was at the heart of the Upper Tribunal’s recent decision in Yerokun (Refusal of claim; Mujahid) Nigeria [2020] UKUT 377 (IAC). Mr Yerokun made an application for permission to remain in ...

22nd January 2021 By

The problem with “simplifying” immigration law

Immigration law is complicated. This will probably not be a surprise to readers of this blog. There has, over the last couple of years, been a concerted effort to simplify it. This is a good thing. But has it been successful? Different types of compli ...

30th December 2020 By

Is carrying a knife enough to get you deported?

Earlier this year the Court of Appeal looked at the meaning of an offence causing “serious harm” for the purposes of deportation law. Being convicted of such an offence is one of the ways a person can find themselves facing automatic depor ...

15th December 2020 By

Court of Appeal reverts to Home Office-friendly approach to service of decision letters

The Court of Appeal has decided in Alam v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2020] EWCA Civ 1527 that sending a decision letter to a person’s last known address will generally be sufficient proof that the letter has been received. To prove ...

23rd November 2020 By

No procedural unfairness in refusing work visa where sponsor doesn’t engage

In the recent case of Topadar v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2020] EWCA Civ 1525 the Court of Appeal considered two questions: At what point is an immigration application decided by the Home Office? Is it procedurally unfair for the Hom ...

18th November 2020 By

EU deportation protections after Brexit

From next year there will be two categories of EEA national: Those who began their residence in the UK before 31 December 2020; and Those who began their residence in the UK after 31 December 2020. The law a person is subject to will depend on whi ...

24th September 2020 By

Happy birthday from the Home Office: you’re being deported

In Mendes v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2020] EWCA Civ 924 the Court of Appeal considered the process for removing an EU citizen from the UK whilst they have a pending appeal against deportation. The legal issue is largely the same as ...

4th August 2020 By

There’s actually no right to family life in the UK

Everyone in the UK has the right to respect for their family life under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights. But as a migrant from outside the European Economic Area, what do you actually need in order to be able to stay in the UK on ...

30th July 2020 By

When is a foreign criminal not a foreign criminal?

That is the question answered by the Upper Tribunal in SC (paras A398 – 339D: ‘foreign criminal’: procedure) Albania [2020] UKUT 187 (IAC). The appellant was convicted of murder and sentenced to 15 years’ imprisonment. So he is ...

22nd June 2020 By

What is an offence causing “serious harm”? 

This deceptively simple question was the subject of the Court of Appeal’s decision in the three joined cases reported as Mahmood v Upper Tribunal (Immigration & Asylum Chamber) & Ors [2020] EWCA Civ 717. Sending a picture of your penis to a ...

12th June 2020 By

Upper Tribunal reminds visitors not to try and stay in the UK permanently

What happens when you enter the UK as a visitor and then apply to remain here so that you can stay with your British family members? Most immigration lawyers can easily answer this question: your application will be refused. But things can get a bit m ...

27th April 2020 By

What happens when a variation application is invalid?

This was the question answered by the Upper Tribunal in R (Bajracharya) v Secretary of State for the Home Department (para. 34 – variation – validity) [2019] UKUT 417 (IAC). Mr Bajracharya made an application to remain in the UK on the basis of hi ...

1st April 2020 By

Prison time doesn’t count as “residence” in establishing enhanced EU law protection against deportation

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about the judicial review case of Hafeez v Secretary of State for the Home Department & Anor [2020] EWHC 437 (Admin). In that judgment, handed down on 28 February, the High Court held that decisions to certify cases ...

24th March 2020 By

EU citizens are protected by EU law, High Court reminds government

The High Court has held that the Home Office trying to apply its “deport first, appeal later” policy to EU citizens is incompatible with European Union law. The case is Hafeez v Secretary of State for the Home Department & Anor [2020] ...

9th March 2020 By

Briefing: the status of EU immigration and asylum law after Brexit

Following the Conservative Party’s victory in the December 2019 general election, and the passing of the Withdrawal Agreement Act on 23 January 2020, the UK has now left the European Union with a divorce deal.  Under the deal, formally called the W ...

3rd February 2020 By

Schrödinger’s appeal

Can an appeal be both finally determined and pending at the same time? This conundrum, akin to Erwin Schrödinger’s famous thought experiment involving a cat in a box with a lethal substance, was tackled by the Upper Tribunal in Niaz (NIAA 2002 s. 1 ...

7th January 2020 By

Invalid applications: beware of old demons coming back to haunt you

There’s been a lot written on this blog recently about overstaying. Why do we keep banging on about it, you may ask? Because even a short period of technical overstaying, even if entirely innocent and endorsed by the Home Office, can cause problems ...

28th November 2019 By

The importance of keeping the Home Office up to date

What happens when someone doesn’t receive a decision sent to them by the Home Office that affects their right to continue living in the UK? The answer to this question depends on what attempts were made to send the decision to the person and whe ...

12th November 2019 By

Court of Appeal cheatsheet on human rights in immigration cases

In GM (Sri Lanka) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2019] EWCA Civ 1630, handed down on Friday, the Court of Appeal provides a helpful summary of where we currently stand with private and family life cases under Article 8 of the European C ...

8th October 2019 By

Home Office gets extra time to acknowledge service of judicial reviews

In immigration law, deadlines are important. They also frequently cause confusion. Sound familiar? That may be because this is how I began a post last month following the Upper Tribunal case of Bhavsar. The Upper Tribunal has now published another cas ...

19th July 2019 By

MPs publish damning indictment of UK visa process for African visitors

A cross-party group of MPs has published a highly critical report on the Home Office’s treatment of visit visa applicants from Africa. It forms part of an ongoing inquiry into the high level of visa refusals for Africans seeking to visit the UK for ...

16th July 2019 By

Tribunal blows hole in mandatory application process for EU law residence documents

In 2016 the Home Office embarked on an attempt to homogenise the application processes for immigration applications made under EU law and those made under UK law. The Upper Tribunal has confirmed in Rehman (EEA Regulations 2016 – specified evidence) ...

11th July 2019 By

Upper Tribunal sets new procedure for missed appeal deadlines

In immigration law, deadlines are important. They also frequently cause confusion. Bhavsar (late application for PTA: procedure) [2019] UKUT 196 (IAC) is an example of the complications that missing a deadline can cause. In Bhavsar the Upper Tribunal ...

28th June 2019 By

A concrete example of how to meet the “very compelling circumstances” deportation test

The Court of Appeal has upheld the appeal against deportation of a man sentenced to five years’ imprisonment, in the process providing a good example of the kind of human rights arguments that will sway judges in this notoriously difficult area ...

17th June 2019 By

Who decides when an immigration appeal ends?

When someone pursuing an appeal in the immigration tribunal decides that they no longer want the appeal to go ahead, who gets to decide when the appeal comes to an end? The person themselves, the tribunal, or the Home Office? In July 2017, Mr Justice ...

17th April 2019 By

Important new judgments on KO (Nigeria) case and removing migrants with children in the UK

The immigration tribunal has, once again, grappled with the public interest considerations which must be taken into account in all private and family life appeals against a migrant’s removal from the UK. It is now clear that, even where a child ...

15th April 2019 By

No deal planning: Home Office forgets about Scotland

Depending on which pundit you speak to, a no-deal Brexit has either got more likely or less likely over the last couple of weeks. It remains the default if the UK-EU withdrawal agreement is not passed at the third time of asking, and a further extensi ...

26th March 2019 By

Extended family members: no residence card, no rights

The Upper Tribunal has held that the non-EU partner of an EU citizen cannot start accruing time towards permanent residence status until they have a residence card, pointing out the well established distinction between family members and extended fami ...

26th February 2019 By

Don’t forget about Article 8 in asylum cases

With so much focus on whether an asylum seeker has established a well founded fear of persecution in their country of origin, the question of whether their appeal falls to be allowed under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights is often ...

19th February 2019 By

Briefing: statutory considerations in human rights appeals

Migrants who would otherwise have no legal right to remain in the UK can appeal against their removal on the basis of their human rights. Usually they rely on Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which protects the right to private an ...

30th January 2019 By

A member of an EU national’s household can apply for settled status

Appendix EU of the Immigration Rules was introduced at the end of August 2018 to implement the post-Brexit settled status scheme which will enable EU citizens and their family members living in the UK to remain after Brexit. When reviewing the new rul ...

21st December 2018 By

Scottish court muddies the waters following KO (Nigeria)

Regular readers of this blog will, by now, be well aware of the Supreme Court’s decision in KO (Nigeria) which determined the correct approach in immigration cases involving children who are either British or who have lived in the UK for seven years ...

17th December 2018 By