Immigration appeal waiting times rise 13%, now take a year on average

The average immigration appeal takes almost 12 months to be resolved, up 13% on the same period last year. This is despite the fact that less than half as many people now have the chance to challenge Home Office decisions. The number of appeals handled by the immigration tribunal has fallen from around 20,000 to 8,000 – a startling 60% fall – since the Immigration Act 2014 was passed. Appeal waiting times continue to rise Immigration and asylum appeals at the First-tier Tribunal took 51 weeks to be resolved in April-June 2017 – the latest period for which data is available – according to the Ministry of Justice. That represents…

6th November 2017 By Conor James McKinney

An immigration lawyer reviews Paddington

In tribute to beloved author Michael Bond (1926-2017), who died yesterday, I am republishing this blog post reviewing the film Paddington, based on the character created by Bond. The blog post was originally published on 1 December 2014 and versions of it appeared in the New Statesman and Financial Times. Law is pretty abstract. Unlike the role of a doctor or a builder, that of a lawyer is difficult to explain to a young mind. When my children eventually ask me about what I do when I “work” (confusingly simultaneously a place I seem to go to and a thing I do at home; either takes me away from them) my plan is to…

29th June 2017 By Colin Yeo

New commencement order introduces out of country human rights appeals and more

The end of immigration appeals from within the UK is nigh: section 63 of the Immigration Act 2016 is being brought into force from 1 December 2016 by the Immigration Act 2016 (Commencement No. 2 and Transitional Provisions) Regulations 2016 (SI 2016/1037SI 2016/1037). The change introduces a power for the Home Office to remove a person who pursues a human rights appeal even while the appeal is pending. A similar power was introduced in the Immigration Act 2014 but applied only to foreign criminals. It is now extended to all migrants who might rely on a human rights appeal. Given that the only grounds on which normal family immigration decisions can…

1st November 2016 By Colin Yeo

Right to rent comes into force today

The Government’s “right to rent” scheme requiring landlords to conduct “papers, please” checks on the immigration status of tenants comes into force today, 1 February 2016. It is hard to think of a worse example of a disproportionate policy, classically defined as a hammer being used to crack a nut. Who will be affected? All private tenants are affected by the law; 22% of households now rent from private landlords, a proportion that is increasing over time. That is a LOT of people. Renters tend to be younger, poorer and from ethnic minorities. There is a good summary of the right to rent scheme over on the exellent Nearly Legal housing law…

1st February 2016 By Colin Yeo

All landlords forced to carry out immigration checks from 1 February 2016

The Home Office today announced that all landlords in England and Wales will be forced to carry out “papers please” right to rent immigration checks on tenants from 1 February 2016. This is despite the Home Office’s own research, also published today, and independent research all finding that there was already some discrimination during the limited pilot scheme. A failure by a landlord to comply with the scheme, introduced by the Immigration Act 2014 and first piloted in the West Midlands, currently carries a maximum penalty of a £3,000 fine. Under the Immigration Bill currently going through Parliament the maximum penalty will be increased to a five year jail sentence.

20th October 2015 By Colin Yeo

The Hostile Environment: my presentation at JUSTICE annual human rights conference

I gave a 25 minute presentation on the Immigration Act 2014 and new Immigration Bill at the JUSTICE annual human rights conference yesterday. As an experiment, I tried recording myself and have combined the audio with the slides. Enjoy. Or not. I have also uploaded the audio track separately as an MP3 and that is available via the normal podcast channels: iTunes here, Stitcher here or point your podcast player to podcast feed for Free Movement. The slides are also available separately via Haikudeck.

13th October 2015 By Colin Yeo

Report: “Serious irreversible harm” test case heard in Court of Appeal

This week, Lord Justices Elias, Richards and McCombe sat in the Court of Appeal and heard the first test cases against Section 94B of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002. Section 94B, introduced by the Immigration Act 2014 and which came into force on 28th July 2014, provides the Home Office the power to certify human rights claims made by people liable to deportation, so they are not entitled to an appeal within the UK. Instead they are expected to bring their appeal from the country in which the Home Office propose deportation. This logic has been catchily titled “deport first, appeal later” and the Conservatives pledged in their manifesto to…

25th September 2015 By Mia Light

Legal opinion by Adrian Berry on new immigration ‘right to rent’ landlord civil penalties

Interesting legal opinion by my colleague Adrian Berry for the Association of Charitable Foundations on the ‘right to rent’ landlord civil penalties introduced by the Immigration Act 2014. Adrian does some myth busting on the meaning of “no recourse to public funds” and goes on to argue that the landlord civil penalties will not apply to the funders of any accommodation, that if no rent is payable by the recipient of the accommodation then it also falls outside the scheme (because no tenancy will then exist), that the provision of short term accommodation may not fall within the scheme (because then it would not be for residential use) and that hostels managed…

14th September 2015 By Colin Yeo

What amounts to a “human rights claim” generating a new right of appeal?

Rights of appeal under the Immigration Act 2014 are only available in refugee cases and if ‘the Secretary of State has decided to refuse a human rights claim made by [the person]’ (amended section 82 of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002). This will clearly require a human rights claim to have been made in the first place as well as requiring a refusal of that claim. But what constitutes a human right claim and a decision by the Secretary of State?

29th April 2015 By Colin Yeo

Upper Tribunal on meaning of very compelling circumstances

The latest from the Upper Tribunal on the statutory presumptions on human rights cases introduced by the Immigration Act 2014 is the case of Chege (section 117D : Article 8 : approach : Kenya) [2015] UKUT 165 (IAC). The determination seems very deeply flawed indeed because that it is based on the premise that Article 8 and the statutory presumptions are one and the same, which is obviously wrong as a matter of law. It cannot possibly be right that an Article 8 appeal can only succeed where the circumstances are over and above those set out in the statutory presumptions, given that the statutory presumptions are so narrow in scope and exclude…

20th April 2015 By Colin Yeo

Rights and grounds of appeal: commencement and transition

The major changes to rights of appeal and removal powers wrought by the Immigration Act 2014 took full effect on 6 April 2015, although with some transitional provisions for existing cases. This blog post, based on the second edition of my Immigration Act 2014 ebook, examines and attempts to explain who has a right of appeal under the old regime and who has a right of appeal under the new regime. The ebook includes some additional material and worked examples. The online course available for Tier 1 members on the Immigration Act 2014 has also been updated if you would like to claim CPD for reading the material, and I have…

17th April 2015 By Colin Yeo

What is happening to appeals in EU free movement rights cases?

It is all change for rights and grounds of appeal on 6 April 2015. The previous range of grounds of appeal, which included section 84(1)(d)of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 — “that the appellant is an EEA national or a member of the family of an EEA national and the decision breaches the appellant’s rights under the Community Treaties in respect of entry to or residence in the United Kingdom” — are on the face of it being abolished and replaced with only three grounds, all based on asylum and human rights grounds. Does this mean that there will be no possibility of appealing EU law free movement decisions? Happily,…

20th March 2015 By Colin Yeo

Visitor appeal succeeds on human rights grounds

In a very welcome determination that comes a mere two years after the abolition of full rights of appeal for visitors but in the middle of the scything of full rights of appeal for everyone else, President McCloskey has turned his attention to the question of the relevance of compliance with the Immigration Rules to a human rights appeal. The answer is that where a person meets the terms of the Immigration Rules, their appeal will normally fall to be allowed on human rights grounds, assuming that human rights are engaged in some way in the first place.

10th March 2015 By Colin Yeo

Tribunal pronounces on statutory human rights considerations

In Dube (ss.117A-117D) [2015] UKUT 90 (IAC) the Upper Tribunal expresses its opinions on the new Part 5A of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002, introduced by the Immigration Act 2014. The Court of Appeal has already had its say in the case of YM (Uganda) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2014] EWCA Civ 1292 and you can read my earlier posts on the subject here and here.

4th March 2015 By Colin Yeo

Full immigration appeals ended: Immigration Act 2014 brought into force

Full appeal rights for applications under the Points Based System are being ended with effect from today, 2 March 2015, and for all other cases from 6 April 2015. The initial change applies to those who make an application on or after 2 March 2015 under Tiers 1, 2 or 5, and of course has already been brought in for those making Tier 4 applications on or after 20 October 2014. The second stage will from 6 April 2015 end full rights of appeal for all “legitimate” migrants (those within the Immigration Rules), increase rights of appeal for overstayers and preserve rights of appeal for those relying on the Refugee…

2nd March 2015 By Colin Yeo

Section 65 of Immigration Act 2014 to commence 6 April 2015

Section 65, the one good bit of the Immigration Act 2014, is due to commence on 6 April 2015: see paragraph 4 of the Immigration Act 2014 (Commencement No. 4, Transitional and Saving Provisions and Amendment) Order 2015 (SI 2015/317). This provision more or less brings to an end the gender discrimination of the British Nationality Act 1981 and is very much to be welcomed. Updated Home Office guidance on section 65 can be found here. More analysis on the commencement order to follow in a full post but I thought I’d highlight the good news on this bit straightaway.

26th February 2015 By Colin Yeo

Notice period doubled from next spring for all marriages and civil partnerships

It has been announced today by Minister for Security and Immigration James Broken-shire that Part 4 of the Immigration Act 2014 is to be brought into full effect on 2 March 2015. This amends the procedure for marriage and civil partnership for everyone (not just foreign nationals) and creates new powers for duties to report sham marriages and the investigation and preventing of sham marriages. The Home Office estimates that under the new provisions, 35,000 marriages per year will need to be referred to the Home Office for potential investigation and that 6,000 marriages will be investigated.

24th November 2014 By Colin Yeo

New duty to keep Home Office informed

When reviewing the Home Office’s new Appeals Guidance policy document I was reminded of a new feature of the appeals regime that is an important one but which was tucked away in the schedules to the Immigration Act 2014. A new expanded section 120 of the 2002 Act is introduced by paragraph 55 of Schedule 9 and came into effect with sections 1, 15 and 17(2) as of 20 October 2014 for the groups already described previously (foreign criminals and students):

29th October 2014 By Colin Yeo

Immigration Act 2014 Commencement Order No. 3: analysis

Even aside from the issue of an unpublished law purporting to have any effect, the Immigration Act 2014 (Commencement No. 3, Transitional and Saving Provisions) Order 2014 (SI 2014/2711) is a dog’s breakfast. At first blush it appears to bring into effect the new unified removal power at section 1 of the Immigration Act 2014 and the new refugee and human rights only appeal regime. These would be very major changes to immigration law and practice. There are saving provisions, though, and then there is a further layer of “un-saving” provisions and yet a further layer of “re-saving” provisions. Topped by a final “other than” provision. I kid you not.

20th October 2014 By Colin Yeo

New law takes effect today but is missing in action

“But the plans were on display…” “On display? I eventually had to go down to the cellar to find them.” “That’s the display department.” “With a flashlight.” “Ah, well, the lights had probably gone.” “So had the stairs.” “But look, you found the notice, didn’t you?” “Yes,” said Arthur, “yes I did. It was on display in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying ‘Beware of the Leopard.” One of the most complex commencement orders I’ve seen since… well, the last Immigration Act 2014 commencement order has allegedly come into force today, Monday 20 October 2014. At the…

20th October 2014 By Colin Yeo

Immigration Act 2014 appeals provisions commence 20 October 2014

Sweeping changes to appeal rights, a new non independent “administrative review” procedure and further changes to deportation appeal rights are taking effect on 20 October 2014, at least in some cases. This post will be updated as and when more concrete information becomes available because all we have at the time of writing is an announcement on that seems to be very specific about the changes being mainly to student cases. We have no statutory instrument with commencement provisions and no statement of changes to the Immigration Rules. Even though the changes take effect in 2 working days. UPDATE: Statement of Changes HC 693 now published. Includes whole raft…

16th October 2014 By Colin Yeo

Court of Appeal examines new human rights statute and rules

In the case of YM (Uganda) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2014] EWCA Civ 1292 the Court of Appeal has examined the effect of the new Immigration Act 2014 human rights statutory considerations and the accompanying changes to the Immigration Rules. The court concludes that the new regime is irrelevant when considering whether an error of law was made but will be relevant where an appeal is being remade if an error of law is found. The case concerned a thirty year old man born in Uganda who had entered the UK aged six. He had committed some violent offences between the ages of 15 and 19 and then…

13th October 2014 By Colin Yeo

Weighing the public interest in deportation cases

Lawyers, judges and Home Office officials are all still getting to grips with the effect of the controversial statutory ‘guidance’ to judges on Article 8 introduced by the Immigration Act 2014. One month on it is still far too early to say how it will pan out. It will be months before we have guidance from the higher courts. In the meantime, having argued a few cases so far and heard what the Home Office has to say, I reckon the impact of the Act is very far from as great as some at the Home Office assume. Judges are told what is in the public interest and they must…

28th August 2014 By Colin Yeo

New Home Office guidance on deportation

The Home Office have updated their Chapter 13 Immigration Directorate Instruction guidance on deportation cases. It makes interesting reading for anyone interested in immigration law or human rights but it is essential reading for lawyers representing people in deportation cases. It not only gives insight into the approach of the Home Office, it also tells us about the evidence that is necessary in deportation cases in order to avoid an appeal where people do meet the stringent rules. It discloses some interesting possible arguments about the scheme of the statutory considerations on human rights and includes some really quite astonishing propositions even by Home Office standards.  

26th August 2014 By Colin Yeo

Irreversible harm

This entry is part 1 of 4 in the series Immigration Act seminar

From 28 July 2014, the commencement of provisions of the Immigration Act 2014 gives the Secretary of State new powers of certification that will oust “in-country” rights of appeal for foreign criminals. She may do so in any case where she thinks removal would be consistent with the Human Rights Act 1998 and in particular where there is no real risk of serious irreversible harm faced by the deportee (section 94B of the amended Nationality Immigration and Asylum Act 2002).

21st August 2014 By Mark Symes

Appeals provisions of the Immigration Act 2014

This entry is part 2 of 4 in the series Immigration Act seminar

The most devastating aspect of the Immigration Act 2014 (“2014 Act”) is the brutal scything of appeal rights. The Government has triumphantly declared that it has reduced the number of appeal rights from 17 (the number of immigration decisions in s.82 NIAA 2002 as it stands, plus s.83 & 83A appeal rights) to just three.

19th August 2014 By Sadat Sayeed

New statutory human rights considerations take immediate effect

This entry is part 4 of 4 in the series Immigration Act seminar

The Immigration Act 2014 requires judges to take into account certain public interest considerations when deciding immigration cases. Little weight is to be attached to x, the politicians tell the judges through the medium of the legislation, and in y situation there is no public interest in removal. More specifically, judges are instructed that there is less public interest in removing wealthy English speakers than poor Urdu speakers. Human rights pervade modern law and have a profound impact in crime, family, mental health, environmental and many other areas of law. It is only in immigration law that politicians have sought directly to influence the thinking of judges, though. There is no…

14th August 2014 By Colin Yeo

Private landlords as immigration informants

UPDATE: NOW IN FORCE. A few weeks ago David Cameron suggested that private landlords should be required to check the immigration status of tenants. Now, lo and behold, the measure is to be included in a new Immigration Bill announced in the Queen’s Speech. This such a Bad Idea it is difficult to know where to start to explain why. Perhaps the clearest way to put it is to say that it is Good News for we immigration lawyers, and therefore Very Bad News for everyone else. Employers who employ immigrants who do not possess permission to work are already given criminal or civil penalties if they fail to check their…

22nd May 2013 By Free Movement