Court of Appeal lowers the bar for refusing tax discrepancy cases

In the case of Tahir Yaseen v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2020] EWCA Civ 157, the Court of Appeal has reiterated that refusals on the ground of character or conduct require a balancing exercise, taking into account both positive and ne ...

19th February 2020 By

Somaliland marriages are valid

The case of MM v NA (Declaration as to Marital Status) [2020] EWHC 93 (Fam) is very (very!) niche, but may be of interest to practitioners with clients who got married in Somaliland and wish to rely on that marriage for immigration purposes. Spoiler: ...

6th February 2020 By

How to apply for “settled status” for EU citizens

On 31 January 2020 at 11pm, the United Kingdom left the European Union and entered a transition period, due to end on 31 December 2020. During this transition period, Europeans can continue to enjoy their freedom of movement rights in the UK as they d ...

4th February 2020 By

New statement of changes to the Immigration Rules: HC56, the Global Talent route

The first of no doubt countless statements of changes of 2020 was published yesterday, 30 January 2020.  The main purpose of this set of changes to the Immigration Rules is to introduce the new Global Talent category, announced by the govern ...

31st January 2020 By

Accountants taking the blame for tax discrepancies should give evidence in person

Following another paragraph 322(5) case, where an applicant was refused indefinite leave to remain on the basis of dishonesty for disclosing different income to HMRC as opposed to the Home Office, the Upper Tribunal has issued guidance on evidence fro ...

27th January 2020 By

New Home Office guidance on refusing settlement over tax discrepancies

The Home Office has published specific guidance on settlement applications by migrants who previously held Tier 1 (General) leave and who declared different sets of earnings to the Home Office and HMRC. The document must be read alongside the more gen ...

20th January 2020 By

New country guidance on Iraq

On 20 December 2019, the Upper Tribunal issued a new country guidance case on Iraq. This new case, SMO, KSP & IM (Article 15(c); identity documents) Iraq CG [2019] UKUT 400 (IAC), replaces all existing country guidance, including AA (Article 15(c) ...

8th January 2020 By

High Court win for Turkish citizens accused of dishonesty

In the case of R (Karagul & Ors) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2019] EWHC 3208 (Admin), the High Court has found that the Home Office breached the principle of procedural fairness when refusing applications under the Ankara Agreeme ...

10th December 2019 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 most cases, th ...

29th November 2019 By

A respondent cannot withdraw an appeal, confirms the Upper Tribunal

“Be careful what you wish for!”, could be the headline for the case of Ahmed (rule 18; PTA; Family Court materials) Pakistan [2019] UKUT 357 (IAC). Haseeb Ahmed, a Pakistani citizen, was initially refused an application for leave to remain by the ...

26th November 2019 By

Why can’t my children join me in the UK?

Earlier this week, the Guardian published the story of Amber Murrey, a US academic who got a job at Oxford as an associate geography professor, but whose two daughters, aged 4 and 9, were refused visas to join her in the UK. The story explains that Ms ...

4th October 2019 By

Warning to immigration lawyers: don’t use family court documents without permission

Whether you read Twitter, the Times or the Law Society Gazette, you might have heard of the happy-ending case of Nasrullah Mursalin. Mr Mursalin was a paralegal at Gull Law Chambers Limited. In July, he was sentenced to six months’ imprisonment for ...

19th September 2019 By

Statement of changes to the Immigration Rules HC 2631: changes to asylum rules

The government published a new statement of changes on 9 September. We covered changes related to work and study routes in this post, and changes related to the EU Settlement Scheme in this post. There are two more changes which are worth noting. Sect ...

12th September 2019 By

Statement of changes to the Immigration Rules HC 2631: changes to work visa routes

A new statement of changes to the Immigration Rules was published yesterday, 9 September 2019. This post will cover changes to work and student visa routes, while a separate post deals with changes to the EU Settlement Scheme and other changes br ...

10th September 2019 By

Big Home Office policy change: Zambrano carers need to make a human rights application first

On 2 May 2019, the Home Office published updated guidance on “derivative rights of residence”, which includes the rights of Zambrano carers. Buried in the 63-page document is a fundamental change of policy: potential Zambrano applicants must f ...

15th May 2019 By

Major judgment finds Home Office policy of ejecting migrants over tax discrepancies “legally flawed”

The Court of Appeal has handed down a blockbuster judgment on the highly controversial use of paragraph 322(5) of the Immigration Rules to refuse settlement to migrants over alleged tax discrepancies. It says that the Home Office’s stance in the ...

16th April 2019 By

Unrecognised adoptions can attract EU free movement rights

Assiduous Free Movement readers and European law aficionados may remember the case of SM (Algeria) v Entry Clearance Officer [2018] UKSC 9, covered in this previous post. The case has now gone from the Supreme Court to the Court of Justice of the Eur ...

28th March 2019 By

What are the UK Immigration Rules on statelessness?

People who do not have citizenship of any country in the world — the “stateless” — can get leave to remain in the UK because they have nowhere else to go. The criteria for this leave are found at Part 14 of the Immigration Rule ...

27th March 2019 By

New statement of changes to the Immigration Rules: HC 1919

A new statement of changes to the Immigration Rules was published today, 7 March 2019. It is 294 pages long and covers a lot of ground. The main changes are to Tier 1 entrepreneur and investment visas, and to the EU Settlement Scheme. This requir ...

8th March 2019 By

Fee waiver policy: who qualifies and what does the Home Office guidance say?

Fees for immigration applications continue to increase every year. Most applications for leave to remain submitted from the UK (other than under the Points Based System) cost £1,033. In addition, applicants may need to pay an Immigration Health Surch ...

4th February 2019 By

Briefing: what happens when you are accused of entering a sham marriage?

Migrants who would not otherwise have the right to live in the UK can acquire that right by getting married to a British national, EU citizen or another migrant who is settled here. In theory, that route is open to abuse by couples who are not really ...

7th January 2019 By

The legal restrictions on immigrants getting married

A migrant’s marital status can make a huge difference to their right to be in the UK. The spouse of an EU national exercising treaty rights in the UK will automatically have a right to reside in the UK. The spouses of British or settled citizens do ...

4th January 2019 By

New statement of changes to the Immigration Rules: HC 1779

A statement of changes to the Immigration Rules was published today, 11 December 2018. The main changes are to introduce the pilot scheme for short-term agricultural workers that was announced earlier this year, and to expand the domestic violence set ...

11th December 2018 By

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 fir ...

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 on 10 October 2018. 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. (Whether ...

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

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

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 ...

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 Vome ...

17th April 2018 By