General grounds for refusal: owing a debt to the NHS

On 6 February 2017, the government announced that new regulations will come into force in April 2017, requiring all hospitals to check whether patients are eligible for free NHS treatment and, if not, to charge them upfront for non-urgent, planned care. This is part of “plans to recover the cost of health treatments provided to patients not ordinarily resident in the UK”, with the government aiming at recovering up to £500 million a year from overseas visitors not eligible for free care by 2017-2018. The Immigration Health Surcharge, introduced in April 2015, is also part of this “master plan”; according to the Department of Health, it generated £164 million in…

28th February 2017 By Nath Gbikpi

General grounds for refusal: owing a litigation debt to the Home Office

The Statement of Changes HC877, of 11 March 2016, gave the Home Office yet another power to refuse applications for leave to enter or remain in the UK. For all applications made on or after 6 April 2016, having a “litigation debt” to the Home Office may be a ground for refusal. These debts may arise in the course of any litigation against the Home Office (e.g. judicial reviews, claims for unlawful detention and appeals), where the court or Tribunal orders the other party to pay the Home Office’s costs. The purpose of this change, according to the Home Office’s Explanatory Memorandum, is to encourage applicants to pay litigation debts…

8th February 2017 By Colin Yeo

Could Donald Trump be given a visa ban preventing him travelling to the UK?

Following his attention seeking call for all Muslims to be banned from entering the United States, there have been calls for Donald Trump to be given a “visa ban” preventing him from coming to the UK. Is this feasible in UK immigration law? The answer is probably “yes” although one recent court challenge by Jeremy Corbyn and others to a visa ban did succeed on free speech grounds. Whether banning a self publicist like Trump would be wise or would be counterproductive is another matter.

9th December 2015 By Colin Yeo

Meaning of “false” document and the difference between visiting and inspecting

In Begum (false documents and false statements) [2015] UKUT 00041 (IAC) we are educated by the tribunal as to the difference between a “visit” and an “inspection” and the blameless appellant is refused entry and perhaps banned from further entry for 10 years. Some might think the case just a little harsh. An professional inspector of properties had visited a house in a private capacity. He later produced a letter in a professional capacity stating that he had “inspected” that house. The tribunal decided that this amounted to a false statement and therefore that the document was a false document and therefore that the application for entry clearance fell to…

3rd February 2015 By Colin Yeo