All Articles: coronavirus

Coronavirus and the UK immigration system

This is where we keep tabs on changes to UK immigration laws, rules and procedures brought on by the coronavirus pandemic. We’ve been trying to keep this post continually up to date rather than covering new coronavirus developments as separate b ...

16th October 2020 By

Comment: mandatory self-isolation law overlooks vulnerable migrants

In a bid to slow the surge in COVID-19 cases, Prime Minister Boris Johnson last night set out new restrictions in England which range from the wearing of masks by shop workers to limits on the number of people attending weddings. These measures come h ...

23rd September 2020 By

The new normal: what to expect in a socially distanced immigration hearing

As the immigration tribunal begins to reopen and cases are listed for what have become known as face-to-face hearings, lawyers, clients, witnesses and supporters, and any other court user, will need to know what to expect. Local practices may vary a ...

23rd July 2020 By

Research interviews reveal crippling impact of new legal aid rules

Like many other jurisdictions, the First-tier Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber) has been forced to change how it works as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. First, HM Courts and Tribunals Service made expanded use of an online procedure which ...

1st July 2020 By

Comment: why a Welsh government report on BAME coronavirus deaths calls for lower visa costs

A recent report on the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) people in Wales has urged the Welsh government to lobby the UK government to reduce visa costs, especially for those whose income is too low to spon ...

30th June 2020 By

Migrants’ rights during coronavirus: the story so far

If you’ve been struggling to keep up with the avalanche of immigration news and Home Office U-turns since lockdown began, you’re not alone. I’ve thrown together this immigration track and trace post to catalogue the major immigration ...

9th June 2020 By

Removal to Afghanistan “most unlikely” in the next six months, says High Court

A High Court judge has granted immigration bail to an Afghan detainee and made findings which will be helpful to those representing other detainees seeking release during the COVID-19 crisis. The short judgment in (R) Khan v SSHD CO/1366/2020 provides ...

26th May 2020 By

Worried that furloughing or redundancy could affect your visa? Here’s what you need to know

With the UK still reeling from COVID-19, a mega recession looms. The statistics are sobering; 8 million workers on the government furlough scheme, 2.6 million claims for Universal Credit since the lockdown began and the economy already suffering its b ...

20th May 2020 By

Legal aid changes for online immigration appeals “will do irreparable harm”

Immigration lawyers are warning that changes to legal aid for appeals lodged online during the coronavirus pandemic “will do irreparable harm”. The Immigration Law Practitioners’ Association (ILPA) says that adjustments to legal aid ...

19th May 2020 By

Home Office tries to lean on judges deciding immigration bail cases

The Home Office tried to put pressure on judges to stop releasing migrants from immigration detention, it has emerged. An official letter from the department to a top immigration judge said that the Home Office was “somewhat surprised” tha ...

6th May 2020 By

Home Secretary brushes off fears about legality of coronavirus visa extensions

More on the mysterious legal power that the Home Secretary claims to have to grant automatic visa extensions to foreign NHS workers. Asked about the legal basis for automatic extensions by MPs on the Home Affairs Committee this morning, Priti Patel sa ...

29th April 2020 By

The dismal Home Office response to coronavirus: the wider picture

The Home Office response to the coronavirus crisis has been hesitant at best. To the credit of the department, it has on the whole acted to protect its own staff and the staff of some of its major contractors, albeit sometimes belatedly. Basic steps t ...

28th April 2020 By

Home Office evicted asylum seeker with COVID-19 symptoms

The Home Office evicted an asylum seeker with mental health problems and symptoms of COIVD-19, leaving him on the streets for over a week, it has emerged. The man has since been rehoused by order of the High Court, but his lawyers say the incident is ...

9th April 2020 By

Comment: coronavirus has taught us the limitations of “modern means of communication”

In countless Home Office decisions, and in judgments at all levels of the courts system, separation of family members for immigration reasons is – at least in part – justified by the availability of “modern means of communication”. It is a phr ...

8th April 2020 By

Coronavirus and the Free Movement website

Business continues as normal at Free Movement. Our product is exclusively an online one, we are used to working remotely and we have contingency plans in place if a staff member is ill or needs to care for family members. We will continue to bring you ...

23rd March 2020 By

Leave in a time of corona: can the Home Office grant blanket visa extensions?

With international travel closing down due to the coronavirus it is becoming not just unwise but impossible to move from some countries to others. Even if inbound flights are not banned by a country, airlines are finding it increasingly difficult to k ...

20th March 2020 By