The new UK in-country visa application system

On 2 November 2018, UK Visas and Immigration launched a new system for visa applications made within the UK. It involves an overhauled online application process and new Visa and Citizenship Application Service centres operated by outsourcing firms S ...

12th November 2018 By

Immigration and nationality law for adopted children

Immigration and nationality law as it relates to international adoption is undoubtedly complex and a topic with which only a few practitioners are familiar. There are numerically very few international adoption cases, after all. The inevitable cross o ...

17th October 2018 By

New statement of changes to the Immigration Rules: HC 1534

A new statement of changes to the Immigration Rules was laid yesterday, 10 October. There is some very welcome news, including more flexibility given to caseworkers on whether and when they can write to applicants to ask for missing documents. (Wheth ...

12th October 2018 By

Split Court of Appeal finds that asylum seekers were unlawfully detained

Thousands of people may have been unlawfully held in immigration removal centres in recent years, the court of appeal has ruled. This opening sentence from a Guardian article the other day refers to the case of R (Hemmati & Ors) v Secretary of St ...

8th October 2018 By

No second chance for work visa applicants if sponsoring company loses licence

In the case of Pathan & Anor v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2018] EWCA 2103 the Court of Appeal reminds us, once again, of the rigidity and inflexibility of the Points Based System. It is also a good reminder of the purpose and pol ...

4th October 2018 By

How to claim asylum in the UK

Claiming asylum is an important human right backed by the United Nations Refugee Convention and recognised by countries around the world. In order to make this right a reality in practice, countries like the UK have set up systems by which people must ...

29th August 2018 By

Changes to the EEA Regulations come into force on 24 July 2018

The latest, and presumably last, amendments to the EEA Regulations were laid before Parliament on 3 July 2018. The Immigration (European Economic Area) (Amendment) Regulations 2018 (SI 2018 No. 801) will come into force on 24 July 2018. Implementin ...

11th July 2018 By

Where are we at with out-of-country appeals? The aftermath of Kiarie and Byndloss

The new case of QR (Pakistan), R (on the application of) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2018] EWCA Civ 1413 is yet another example of fallout from last year’s Supreme Court judgment in Kiarie and Byndloss, relating to the infam ...

9th July 2018 By

The meaning of “residence” for indefinite leave to remain applications

In the case of R (Nesiama & Ors) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2018] EWCA Civ 1369, the Court of Appeal found that “residence” in the UK means “physical presence”, such that continuous residence in an application for indefi ...

27th June 2018 By

How to apply for “settled status” for EU citizens

On 8 December 2017 the British government reached an agreement with the EU which gives some more clarity about the legal status of EU citizens following Brexit. A draft treaty followed on 19 March, which confirms that the agreement covers EU citizens ...

22nd June 2018 By

New statement of changes to the Immigration Rules: HC1154

On Friday 15 June, a new statement of changes was laid. Rather atypically, many of the changes are welcome news! All changes will come into force on 6 July 2018, although some only apply to applications made after that date. As always, practitioners a ...

18th June 2018 By

Out-of-country appeals for EU citizens: the effect of Kiarie and Byndloss

In the case of R (Wandzel) v Secretary of State for the Home Department (Rev 1) [2018] EWHC 1371 (Admin), Nigel Poole QC, sitting as a deputy High Court judge, had to deal with the effect of the famous case of Kiarie and Byndloss (discussed on Free M ...

15th June 2018 By

Leave to remain application date: how to calculate it and why it is important

You’ve left extending your visa until the last minute and are now in danger of missing the deadline. Does this matter and is there anything you can do about it? The answer to the first question is a resounding yes. Fortunately, in some cases, th ...

8th June 2018 By

Same-sex spouses should benefit from free movement rights, says CJEU

Today marked a big step in the advancement of the rights of same-sex couples. Following a reference made to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) by the Romanian Constitutional Court, the CJEU has ruled that “spouses” in Directive 200 ...

5th June 2018 By

Yet more details on the status of EU nationals after Brexit

On 14 February 2018 the Home Affairs committee of MPs published a rather critical report on the Home Office delivery of Brexit, which Nick promptly summarised in a post at the time. The government’s response to the report was published on 25 May. ...

5th June 2018 By

Tax discrepancies and paragraph 322(5) refusals: what are they and how to challenge them

Back in January, we wrote about the case of Dr Syed Kazmi, a foreign doctor due to be removed from the UK because of a “HMRC tax issue” disqualifying him from settlement. Since then, many more refusals of settlement applications by highly ...

30th May 2018 By

Looking after the mental health of immigration practitioners

As we reach the end of Mental Health Awareness Week, it seems like a good time to reflect on the impact that the current immigration system can have on the mental health not only of migrants, but also their legal representatives. We regularly hear of ...

18th May 2018 By

Subsidiary protection for people intentionally deprived of healthcare

In the case of C-353/16 MP v Secretary of State for the Home Department, decided yesterday, the Court of Justice of the European Union has found that A person who has in the past been tortured in his country of origin is eligible for ‘subsidiary pro ...

25th April 2018 By

No permanent residence, no enhanced protection from deportation

Six months after the release of the Advocate General’s non-binding Opinion in the joined cases of C-316/16 B v Land Baden-Württemberg and C-424/16 Secretary of State for the Home Department v Franco Vomero, the Court of Justice of the Euro ...

17th April 2018 By

No more settlement for Turkish businesspeople under the Ankara Agreement

[Editor’s note: this article is now largely superseded by new rules on settlement for Turkish nationals from 6 July 2018.] A new version of the Home Office guidance on applications from self-employed Turkish businesspersons for leave under the T ...

28th March 2018 By

“Powerful reasons” needed to remove a child from UK after seven years

In the recently published case of MT and ET (child’s best interests; ex tempore pilot) Nigeria [2018] UKUT 88 (IAC), the Upper Tribunal looked again at the balancing exercise between a child’s best interests and the public interest when decidi ...

26th March 2018 By

New guidance on family and private life applications: a harsher test for parents of British kids?

On 23 February 2018, the Home Office issued new guidance on dealing with applications for leave to remain on the basis of family life as a partner or parent or on the basis of private life, on a ten-year route to settlement. Under the heading “chang ...

20th March 2018 By

Home Office can only grant asylum to claimants in the UK, says Court of Appeal

The case of AB, R (On the Application Of) v The Secretary of State for the Home Department [2018] EWCA Civ 383 has unusual facts, but an unsurprising conclusion: the Home Office cannot grant asylum to someone who is not in the UK. The background is n ...

9th March 2018 By

Marriages of convenience and immigration controls: a dangerous path

Part 4 of the Immigration Act 2014 introduced a referral and investigation scheme for proposed marriages and civil partnerships involving a non-EEA national who could gain an immigration advantage from their nuptials. Under this scheme, register offic ...

28th February 2018 By

Do unrecognised adoptions confer EU free movement rights? Maybe…

The case of SM (Algeria) v Entry Clearance Officer [2018] UKSC 9 mainly revolved around the question of whether a child adopted abroad, where the adoption is not recognised by an EU member state, could be considered a “family member” under the  ...

15th February 2018 By

No psychological tests on gay asylum seekers, Court of Justice rules

In today’s case of C‑473/16 F v Bevándorlási és Állampolgársági Hivatal, the Court of Justice of the European Union ruled that national authorities may not prepare and use psychologists’ expert reports to assess the sexual identi ...

25th January 2018 By

Why doctors are being kicked out in the middle of an NHS crisis

In the midst of an “NHS crisis”, with two in three hospitals said to have a shortage of doctors, immigration laws appear to be making the situation worse. Last week iNews reported that dozens of medics with offers to work in the NHS had their vi ...

24th January 2018 By

Supreme Court boost for people stripped of their British citizenship

A Supreme Court decision handed down today is good news for people who have had their British citizenship taken away because it was obtained under false pretences. The Home Office has accepted that in most cases, deprivation rather than nullity is the ...

21st December 2017 By

Court of Appeal says test in Zambrano cases remains compulsion not choice

In May this year, referring to the case of C-133/15 Chavez-Vilchez and Others v Netherlands, Colin wrote that the Court of Justice of the European Union has significantly extended Zambrano rights beyond those so far recognised by the Home Office ...

14th December 2017 By

Home Office EU deportation decision overturned for ignoring EU law

In R (Decker) v Secretary of State for the Home Department & Anor [2017] EWCA Civ 1752, the Court of Appeal found that the Secretary of State must show her workings. She, and the immigration tribunals, must explicitly apply relevant tests set out ...

14th December 2017 By

New statement of changes to the Immigration Rules: HC309

A Statement of Changes in Immigration Rules HC309 was laid yesterday, 7 December 2017. This note does not aim at detailing all the changes, instead just highlighting the most significant ones. Except where otherwise indicated, these changes will come ...

8th December 2017 By

Failure to provide evidence of right to work not a fair reason to dismiss, says Employment Appeal Tribunal

Like (I suspect) many other practitioners, I often find myself speaking to a client’s employer to explain to them why my client has the right to work. The most typical example is where a client has submitted an application by post before the exp ...

4th December 2017 By

Domestic violence cases can attract a right of appeal, says High Court

Since April 2015, only very limited types of immigration case can be appealed. In the case of AT, R (On the Application Of) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2017] EWHC 2589 (Admin), the High Court found that despite what the Immigration R ...

22nd November 2017 By

The Home Office continues to unlawfully impose curfews

Both R (Jollah) v Secretary of State for the Home Department (No. 2) [2017] EWHC 2821 (Admin) and R (Lupepe) v SSHD [2017] EWHC 2690 (Admin) were heard on 11, 12 and 13 October 2017 by Mr Justice Lewis. It makes sense to look at them together becau ...

22nd November 2017 By

Worker Registration Scheme extension unlawful, Court of Appeal confirms

In a decision of 7 November 2017, the Court of Appeal unanimously found, yet again, that the extension of the Worker Registration Scheme from 1 May 2009 to 30 April 2011 was unlawful and incompatible with EU law. The case is Secretary of State for Wor ...

9th November 2017 By

The First-tier Tribunal can re-open complaints determined by the OISC

The case of Visa Joy Ltd will be of interest to immigration advisers regulated by the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC). The OISC makes sure that immigration advisers meet certain standards and are “fit and competent” ...

24th October 2017 By

Self-sufficiency, health insurance and welfare benefits: the case of AMS

In AMS v SSWP (PC) (final decision) [2017] UKUT 381 (AAC), Upper Tribunal Judge Ward dismissed a Dutch widow’s appeal against the refusal of her claim for state pension credit on the basis that she had no right to reside in the UK. Although a d ...

17th October 2017 By

Immigration and nationality law following surrogacy agreements

A surrogacy arrangement is, broadly speaking, where a woman carries and delivers a child for another couple or person. Under section 2(1) of the Surrogacy Arrangements Act 1985, it is a criminal offence for a person on a commercial basis to initiate ...

11th October 2017 By

Hospital orders and deportation

In Secretary of State for the Home Department v KE (Nigeria) [2017] EWCA Civ 382, the Court of Appeal tackled the narrow, but important, issue as to whether a non-British citizen who is convicted and sentenced to a hospital order with restrictions ...

4th October 2017 By

Permanent residence through incapacity to work: no UK derogation

The claimant in SSWP v NZ (ESA) [2017] UKUT 0360 (AAC) is a Polish national who worked in a chip shop. On 4 September 2017, the Upper Tribunal released a third interim decision in the case, relating to a very specific issue: had the UK derogated ...

3rd October 2017 By