All Articles: Home Office

Home Office doesn’t know, doesn’t care whether the hostile environment even works

The government has no way of knowing whether its flagship “hostile environment” policy on unauthorised migrants is working, the National Audit Office has found. In a report published today, the NAO says that the Home Office is “curre ...

17th June 2020 By

10 of the most absurd things ever to happen to immigration lawyers

The sheer surrealism of an immigration lawyer’s job can perhaps only truly be understood by MC Escher’s architect or Salvador Dali’s landscape designer: you do your best to navigate the impossible, but you can’t help being occasionally hi ...

29th May 2020 By

The Home Office Dictionary

By Alex Piletska and John Vassiliou Welcome to your first day as an Administrative Officer, the most junior civil service grade. We’re sure you will fit right in. To help you get to grips with all the technical mumbo-jumbo that can get in the way of ...

7th 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

How to write a pre-action letter that makes the Home Office change its mind

I have read a lot of pre-action letters in my time. And I have responded to a fair few too. For a couple of years I was a caseworker in the Home Office’s judicial review team, based in London, where I saw the weird, wonderful and lacklustre of writt ...

21st April 2020 By

Home Office aims to completely rewrite “confusing” Immigration Rules by January 2021

The Home Office has accepted the need to simplify the “complex and confusing” Immigration Rules and says that the work is already underway. In an official response to the Law Commission’s recent report on the subject, the department ...

25th March 2020 By

Government hiding key Settlement Scheme data, inspection report suggests

The Home Office has been concealing important data about the EU Settlement Scheme, an independent inspection report suggests. While the department refuses to release the number of “disguised refusals”, or to disclose gender breakdowns rele ...

28th February 2020 By

Home Office fails to disclose file note vital to unlawful detention case

Article 2(n) of the Dublin III regulation provides: Member States shall not hold a person in detention for the sole reason that he or she is subject to the procedure established by this Regulation. When there is a significant risk of absconding, Membe ...

5th December 2019 By

My client’s 13-year-old son is alone in Ghana and she can’t afford £2,500 in Home Office fees to bring him here

In July 2018, a Ghanaian lady named Florence* received a call to say that her 12-year-old son was about to be left on the streets of Accra unless she came to take him. The boy had been in the care of Florence’s sister, who had recently died. Flo ...

22nd November 2019 By

Plague of incorrect Biometric Residence Permits causes havoc across education sector

September and October are important and busy enrolment periods for Tier 4 student visa sponsors. Immigration compliance teams had enough to contend with this academic year with the introduction of passport eGates, which means having to find evidence o ...

16th October 2019 By

How to apply for immigration bail directly to the Home Office

People in immigration detention can make an application for Secretary of State bail directly to the Home Office. The Home Office has the same powers as the immigration tribunal to grant bail and manage its conditions. Is it worth applying? An applicat ...

2nd September 2019 By

Immigration and nationality fees lack “basic fairness”

Consistently the most popular article on Free Movement, somewhat depressingly, is the list of immigration and nationality fees. The fees charged by the Home Office for processing visa, settlement and nationality applications are high, set far above th ...

4th April 2019 By

Briefing: legal problems with the EU settled status automated residency checks

In this research piece, the Immigration Law Practitioners’ Association makes the case that the Home Office is subject to certain legal duties relating to the EU settled status automated data checks. These legal duties are: the public law duty to ...

1st February 2019 By

Probe of Home Office data sharing reveals plans for new migrant database

A new report from the independent immigration inspector shines new light on how enforcement officials get their hands on data about migrants from other government departments. David Bolt, the Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration, als ...

31st January 2019 By

Home Office disclosure failings: “out of the norm”?

An integral part of the procedure of suing for damages is disclosure.  Where Home Office disclosure is inadequate or incomplete, it is necessary to go on pressing for compliance with rule 31 of the Civil Procedure Rules and for specific disclosur ...

25th January 2019 By

“Computer says no”: facing up to the full implications of a digitised immigration system

In addition to the deluge of new Immigration Rules and legislation we faced in the May years, and now the looming Brexit iceberg, a major (if inevitable) change of recent times has been the digitisation of immigration applications. Unlike with Rules a ...

8th January 2019 By

Russian spies are allegedly trying to hack into the UK visa system

When Sergei and Yulia Skripal were near-fatally poisoned with Novichok in Salisbury in March 2018, suspicion immediately fell upon the Russian state. The British government released footage of the men said to be responsible and the aliases under which ...

28th December 2018 By

Death of Polish man facing deportation highlights unaccountable culture at the Home Office

Michal Netyks was convicted of a criminal offence and sentenced to a short period of imprisonment. On the day of his release, at which point he had packed his belongings, he was served with Home Office papers telling him he was to be deported and that ...

20th December 2018 By

Comment: Home Secretary’s DNA testing apology is meaningless if he can’t get his department under control

The Home Secretary has published the results of a review into DNA testing at the Home Office, apologising to migrants who were told that genetic testing was compulsory for certain family visas. Sajid Javid also announced a potentially wide-ranging rev ...

26th October 2018 By

Government “won’t have any idea” how many EU citizens lack immigration status after Brexit

The Home Office will have no idea how many EU residents are left undocumented by Brexit because it does not collect or release the necessary data, a leading immigration policy expert has warned. Madeleine Sumption said yesterday that the government ha ...

10th October 2018 By

Home Office asks immigration lawyers for Windrush “lessons learned” as Javid apologises to victims

Immigration lawyers are among the groups being asked by the Home Office to submit evidence about what caused the Windrush scandal and what would prevent a repeat. In a “lessons learned” call for evidence issued on 20 August, the departm ...

22nd August 2018 By

What happens if you mistakenly apply for British citizenship instead of indefinite leave to remain?

What happens when an American graduate, about to become eligible for indefinite leave to remain having lived lawfully in the UK for almost a decade, incorrectly thinks that he is eligible to apply for British citizenship and applies for that instead? ...

17th August 2018 By

Migrants detained indefinitely or made homeless by new immigration bail system

Homeless migrants are being kept in detention centres indefinitely because the Home Office is no longer finding them a place to live after release. The department’s refusal or inability to provide accommodation under a new immigration bail syst ...

23rd July 2018 By

Home Office unlawfully nullifies British citizenship in hundreds of cases

New figures from the Home Office show that hundreds of British citizens have unlawfully had their citizenship nullified since 2013. A Freedom of Information request by the author revealed that there were 262 decisions to nullify British citizenship be ...

18th July 2018 By

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