Comment: how to fix the overstaying rules

As we’ve highlighted in recent blog posts, the Immigration Rules aggressively punish overstaying, to the point where accidentally staying beyond the expiry date of your visa even by just one day will basically ruin your life. “So what?”, you ...

20th November 2019 By

Any overstaying technically breaks long residence, Court of Session agrees

The controversial English Court of Appeal long residence case of Ahmed has now been endorsed north of the border by the Court of Session in Mbomson v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2019] CSOH 81. Lord Malcolm’s decision is short: althou ...

7th November 2019 By

Four examples of how overstaying on your visa can ruin your life

Following on from my McGill & Co. colleague Darren’s recent post on the consequences of overstaying, I thought I would illustrate his point with a few case studies. The following examples are all derived from real cases that I have recently ...

31st October 2019 By

Briefing: Hong Kong and British National (Overseas) Status

As fears of Chinese retaliation against the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong grow, so does public scrutiny of the nationality status of citizens of the former colony: British National (Overseas) status, commonly abbreviated to ‘BNO’.  In t ...

4th September 2019 By

What to do if you lose your British passport abroad

You’ve just had a fantastic summer holiday in, let’s say, Greece — away from the daily grind, the misery of Brexit and British summertime weather. Sunshine every day, beach swimming, late nights, great wine, even better food. You’re basica ...

27th August 2019 By

Passport eGates: turning visitors into overstayers since 2019

Every immigration lawyer in the UK will, at least once in their career, be sat in front of a nonchalant non-visa national (usually American, Canadian or Australian) who is blissfully unaware that they have either overstayed their leave as a visitor, b ...

12th August 2019 By

12 years a litigant: Franco Vomero case returns to Supreme Court

The Supreme Court handed down its second judgment in the long-running case of Franco Vomero today. The latest instalment is Secretary of State for the Home Department v Franco Vomero [2019] UKSC 35. The facts Mr Vomero is Italian. He moved to the UK a ...

24th July 2019 By

What is the difference between refugee status and humanitarian protection?

Viewers of BBC2’s fly-on-the-wall documentary series about immigration lawyers and their clients may remember Dillian, a gay asylum seeker from the Caribbean. Dillian isn’t granted refugee status, but does eventually get a different legal status a ...

21st June 2019 By

Should refugees who entered the UK illegally be denied British citizenship on good character grounds?

Back in January, the Home Office updated and expanded its guidance on the “good character” requirement in British citizenship applications. One of the big changes in the guidance is the long overdue recognition of the existence of Article 31 of th ...

13th May 2019 By

Media pressure saved my clients from removal – but now come the crippling fees

Last month, for the first time in my career, I took a client’s appeal to the media instead of the immigration tribunal. Mozaffar Saberi and Rezvan Habibimarand are an elderly Iranian couple (83 and 73) living in Edinburgh. They have four adult ...

25th February 2019 By

Official guidance on the good character citizenship test

The latest version of the Home Office’s Good character requirement guidance published on 14 January 2019 incorporates long-awaited new sections on children and refugees. There are also new sections on absolute and conditional discharges, detention a ...

28th January 2019 By

Blame the accountant? Tribunal weighs in on paragraph 322(5)

In R (Khan) v Secretary of State for the Home Department (Dishonesty, tax return, paragraph 322(5)) [2018] UKUT 384 (IAC) the Upper Tribunal has issued guidance to the Home Office on how to properly decide applications from Tier 1 (General) applicant ...

26th November 2018 By

Special court denies British citizenship to relatives of Bashar Al-Assad

Appellants in immigration cases would normally be delighted if a court made an unambiguous finding that the government had acted unfairly towards them. Not so the family of Bashar Al-Assad. In a very unusual judgment, the Special Immigration Appeals C ...

14th November 2018 By

Renouncing your British citizenship is rarely a good idea

Yet again the Home Office has come under fire for its treatment of a European citizen, this time for denying an EEA residence card to the American husband of an Irish national living in Northern Ireland. The case of Gemma Capparelli and her husband wa ...

7th November 2018 By

Yemen-born Somalis in High Court fight for British Overseas Citizenship

Despite our remarks in previous blogs about the useless nature of British Overseas Citizen status, a series of judgments handed down by the High Court this summer demonstrate that this unusual version of British nationality is sufficiently valuable to ...

5th September 2018 By

What happens if you mistakenly apply for British citizenship instead of indefinite leave to remain?

What happens when an American graduate, about to become eligible for indefinite leave to remain having lived lawfully in the UK for almost a decade, incorrectly thinks that he is eligible to apply for British citizenship and applies for that instead? ...

17th August 2018 By

Employment tribunal bites off more than it can chew in right to work case

Afzal v East London Pizza Ltd (t/a Dominos Pizza) (Rev 1) [2018] UKEAT 0265_17_1304 is a decision of the Employment Appeal Tribunal. It touches on the vexed issue of an employee continuing to work while awaiting a decision from the Home Office on an ...

13th July 2018 By

Can a British Overseas Citizen be stateless?

In Teh v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2018] EWHC 1586 (Admin) the High Court has found that a British Overseas Citizen (BOC) can be stateless under the Immigration Rules if he or she has no other nationality. This is an interesting and ...

6th July 2018 By

How the Home Office used the NHS to refuse my client a visa

In October 2011 the Home Office amended the Immigration Rules to allow immigration applications to be refused where the NHS had notified the Secretary of State of an outstanding debt of £1,000 or more. In early 2017, this figure was reduced to £500 ...

4th June 2018 By

Challenging good character refusals in British citizenship applications

Every few years another “good character” nationality case makes it to court. Usually they arise in the context of adults applying for naturalisation as British citizens at the Home Secretary’s discretion under section 6 of the British Nationali ...

15th March 2018 By

Landmark Supreme Court decision overrules historic gender discrimination in British citizenship

The Supreme Court has opened up British citizenship by double descent to all children born between 1949 and 1983 to British women. Delivering a judgment which makes no attempt to disguise his academic interests as a historian, Lord Sumption delivered ...

8th February 2018 By

Returning from outside the UK to challenge deprivation of citizenship

What procedure should be followed when someone is deprived of British citizenship, at a time when he or she is abroad, to enable return to the UK to participate in a statutory appeal to the Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC)? Should judicia ...

22nd January 2018 By

The Upper Tribunal’s costs appeal guidance has been overruled

Contrary to recent guidance from the Upper Tribunal, issued by former President McCloskey no less, an application to that tribunal for permission to appeal to the Court of Appeal against a costs order made in a judicial review should be subject to a & ...

17th January 2018 By

Resolving a “difference in views” between EU members over benefits

Where there is a “difference in views” between two European Union member states about which is required to pay a benefit to a claimant, EU law requires the state in which the claimant resides to make interim payments until the dispute is r ...

29th November 2017 By

Scottish judge: discrimination based on immigration status unlawful

There are a number of interesting findings in the Court of Session judgment, published today, in DN against Secretary of State for the Home Department [2017] CSOH 144. DN is a Ugandan child who applied for entry clearance to join her mother in the UK. ...

24th November 2017 By

FTT slapped down for ignoring Immigration Rules in deportation case

In Secretary of State for the Home Department v AM (Jamaica) [2017] EWCA Civ 1782 the Court of Appeal found that a First-tier Tribunal decision to allow a Jamaican man’s deportation appeal under Article 8 contained a material error of law and set ...

23rd November 2017 By