All Articles: Applications

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

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

The absolute state of the UK visa application system

There is a growing furore about the poor state of our visa application processes, which seem to have hit an all time low. The application systems for getting a visa, extension, settlement or citizenship are now mostly online and outsourced. But far fr ...

2nd May 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

Refugee family reunion: a user’s guide

This post is intended for refugees (including those with humanitarian protection), their families and their friends trying to understand the rules on refugee family reunion. The requirements to be met are straightforward and simple for children and s ...

20th March 2019 By

Family of four face removal for failing to tick box on visa application form

Invalid applications: in recent years, this has become one of the trickiest and dense parts of our immigration law. It’s one of my favourite areas because it’s so interesting and technical (as those of you who attended the Immigration Law Mastercl ...

13th November 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

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

Naturalising as a British citizen: the intention to settle requirement

An adult who is not a British citizen can apply to become one. This process is known as naturalisation. People will normally be eligible to apply for naturalisation under section 6 of the British Nationality Act 1981 if they: are 18 or over are of “ ...

8th March 2018 By

Six lessons from my spouse visa application

Making an immigration application for clients is all in a day’s work, but working on your own wife’s visa is enough to reduce even an expert to tears, writes an anonymous Free Movement contributor. While courting my wife during a sabbatica ...

23rd February 2018 By

How to make a permanent residence application

The Brexit vote to leave the EU has caused huge anxiety amongst EU citizens and their family members living in the UK. The UK government continues to advise these citizens not to make applications for proof that they have the right to permanent resid ...

6th February 2018 By

Expediting an EU residence document application

Brexit is causing significant delays in the processing of EU free movement documentation applications. In normal times, before the Brexit vote on 23 June 2016, an EU national could expect a permanent residence certificate to be issued in about 6 ...

22nd February 2017 By

Can the Home Office force EU nationals to use the official 85 page permanent residence application form?

Short answer: yes, at least for now. Long answer… From 1 February 2017 it seems likely that it will be mandatory to use the official application forms for EEA residence document applications, either online or on paper, that are provided by the H ...

23rd January 2017 By

Eight changes the UK Government could make right now to simplify permanent residence applications

EU citizens wanting to apply for proof of their right of permanent residence in the UK currently have to cut through spools of red tape. The unnecessary bureaucracy defeats some, who are wrongly being told by the Home Office that they must leave th ...

18th January 2017 By

Supreme Court criticises complexity of immigration rules (but dismisses case anyway)

The Supreme Court has given judgment in the case of Mirza v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2016] UKSC 63. The case concerned the effect of section 3C of the Immigration Act 1971 as amended and whether it extends leave where an applicant f ...

14th December 2016 By

Form FLR(O) is dead. Long live forms FLR(HRO) and FLR(IR)!

Venerable Form FLR(O) is no more and has been withdrawn with effect from today, 1 December 2016. It has been replaced by two new forms:  FLR(HRO) broadly for applications outside the Immigration Rules based on human rights: discretionary leave (DL) ...

1st December 2016 By

Statement of Changes to the Immigration Rules HC667

Statement of Changes to the Immigration Rules HC667 was laid yesterday, 3 November 2016. The document weighs in at 90 pages but many of the changes are to language rather than effect. The more significant changes are to Tier 2 skilled workers, for who ...

4th November 2016 By

Online EEA permanent residence and European passport return service now available

The Home Office has quietly and with no fanfare launched online residence certificate and permanent residence certificate application processes and accompanying European passport return service. I have put together a 20 minute video walk through of wh ...

4th October 2016 By

Court of Appeal unhappy with Home Office position and submissions in student case

“Technical”, “deeply unattractive”, “disingenuous”, “singularly lacks merit”, “ridiculous”, “inappropriate”, “extraordinary”. All words used by Elias or Vos LLJ to des ...

16th May 2016 By

Waiting times for EEA residence applications

I recently made a partially successful Freedom of Information request on waiting times for different types of EEA residence documents. The information for the whole of 2015 taken as an average was released but not more recent information on current wa ...

23rd March 2016 By

Massive increase in family immigration fees for 2016-17

UPDATE: for the fees for 2017-18 see here. The Home Office first proposed and is now going ahead with a massive 25% increase in already high immigration application fees for families for the year 2016-17. The changes will be implemented on 18 March ...

2nd March 2016 By

Chief Inspector report on settlement applications finds room for improvement

David Bolt, the former spy turned new(ish) Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration has issued a new report on Home Office decision making in settlement applications. The full report and Home Office response can be accessed here. The report is gene ...

20th November 2015 By

ICI Inspection on Amman Visa Section: improvements made but same old problems remain

Improvements have been made to the quality of decisions and to record-keeping in the Home Office’s Visa Section in Jordan. However, the decision makers regularly failed to take supporting evidence adequately into account, and, in a fifth of ca ...

6th November 2015 By

Reconsideration of old human rights applications

The Home Office has introduced a new policy on reconsideration of old human rights claims that were refused before 6 April 2015 with no right of appeal: Requests for reconsiderations of human rights or protection based claims refused without right of ...

21st May 2015 By