All Articles: immigration policy

The Home Office immigration policy wheel

This is the Policy Wheel. I was taught about it when working on immigration policy at the Home Office in 2003 and continued to use it until I left in 2011. I believe it is still used; certainly it is a great way to solve problems.   How would you ...

13th October 2021 By

Patel pleads for time to stop Channel crossings

About half of the Home Secretary’s speech to the Conservative Party conference today was given over to immigration and asylum, but there were no new policy announcements. In fact it was, in structure, tone and content, much like last year’ ...

5th October 2021 By

Three ways to improve the immigration system and help solve the labour crisis

The number of new visas is starting to make heads spin. The government’s announcement of a route for HGV drivers and poultry workers comes hot on the heels of a new employment route for Graduates which opened in July. Next year will see at least two ...

28th September 2021 By

New Plan for Immigration 2: Electronic Boogaloo

The Home Office published a New Plan for Immigration “strategy statement” earlier today. It is mostly about legal immigration and economic migrants, as opposed to the New Plan for Immigration document published in March that focused on ill ...

24th May 2021 By

Locating fresh starting points in the immigration debate

Emma Harrison recently argued on this site for a “campaigning in the middle ground’’ approach to advocacy. A central element of this position is that we need to be engaging with those who don’t share our agenda. It is not new to suggest th ...

31st March 2021 By

Latest asylum plan won’t have the impact its supporters or opponents think

There is a lot that is familiar in the New Plan for Immigration. The government argues that its proposals are “firm but fair”, language eerily reminiscent of a 1998 Blair-era white paper entitled Fairer, Faster and Firmer. One thing that i ...

25th March 2021 By

A first look at the “New Plan for Immigration”

Today the Home Office published a new plan for immigration with the title, somehow both grandiloquent and banal, New Plan for Immigration. It is mainly concerned with asylum and people who enter the UK illegally (those two concepts being subtly mashed ...

24th March 2021 By

Immigration measures in the 2021 Budget

Among the key points highlighted by the Treasury from today’s Budget is “reforms to the immigration system [to] help ambitious UK businesses attract the brightest and best international talent”. As a policy prescription, this is up t ...

3rd March 2021 By

Important report on reform of immigration enforcement

The hostile environment should be reformed by selective repeal of key provisions, addressing Home Office culture and improved routes to regularisation, an influential think tank has found. Beyond the hostile environment, a report released yesterday by ...

10th February 2021 By

Are “radical” and “moderate” positions on migrants’ rights conflicting or complementary?

There has been an interesting and mainly polite (if tense) discussion on and off Twitter in recent weeks about advocacy on migrants’ rights. This is in part linked to a short piece I wrote about deportations and a follow-up by Emma Harrison, dir ...

8th February 2021 By

Campaigning in the middle ground – how to win support for immigration

For many campaigners there is a lot of uncertainty about how to get traction for their cause as Brexit and Covid continue to dominate the policy space. Migration advocates have a different challenge: the government has been clear that it wants to crea ...

7th December 2020 By

What even is United Kingdom immigration policy right now?

I follow immigration law and policy pretty closely but, I must confess, I simply do not know what UK government immigration policy is right now. We are told there is a new points based immigration system but that tells us nothing about what outcomes t ...

4th December 2020 By

Home Secretary party conference speech on asylum – full text

The Home Secretary, Priti Patel, delivered a keynote speech to the Conservative Party conference yesterday. Around half the speech was given over to what she repeatedly called the UK’s “broken” asylum system. I thought a transcript w ...

5th October 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

Close the immigration law loophole protecting domestic abusers

Adilah is from Afghanistan. In 2012, she marries a British citizen, and moves to the UK on a spouse visa, which her husband applied for on her behalf. When she arrives in the UK, things are, to say the least, different from what she had imagined. She ...

25th March 2020 By

Government abandons “Australia-style” immigration system

The government has released a few more details of what it calls a “points based system” for immigration to the UK after Brexit. To balance out the impending end of free movement of workers from the European Union, it would allow employers ...

19th February 2020 By

Government advised not to bother with points based gimmick for migrants with job offers

The government should think twice about re-introducing a points based immigration system after Brexit, and lower the minimum salary necessary to get a work visa, the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) has recommended. In a report published today, the ...

28th January 2020 By

Decline and fall of the Points Based System

The UK needs a world class migration system to attract the brightest and the best from across the world… That is why I am so pleased today to be able to publish this points-based system for the UK. – Home Secretary Charles Clarke, March 20 ...

3rd January 2020 By

The Conservative plan for immigration after Brexit

The Conservative Party has won the general election and a mandate for its policy of an “Australian-style points based system” for immigration, whatever that means. The party manifesto leaves readers none the wiser. We can reveal that more ...

13th December 2019 By

The general election manifestos on immigration and asylum, compared

What will the government formed after Thursday’s general election do with the UK immigration system? The three main political parties — those that have been in government before and might be again — have all published manifestos addr ...

10th December 2019 By

The Conservative manifesto: an “Australian-style points based system”

If the polls are to be believed, the manifesto that the Conservatives launched yesterday will be the legislative agenda for the UK’s next government. Whichever way you intend to vote in the upcoming election, it needs careful scrutinising to see wha ...

25th November 2019 By

The Labour manifesto: end the hostile environment

All eyes were on Birmingham yesterday for the launch of the Labour Party’s manifesto. Billed as “radical” by Jeremy Corbyn, its stated purpose is to offer “real change” and to build a fairer Britain. But this sense of radical ...

22nd November 2019 By

The Liberal Democrat manifesto: break up the Home Office

This is overall a good manifesto on immigration from the Liberal Democrats. There are some choices that niggle, but often in areas where there is no perfect answer. It is still nowhere near forward-thinking or ambitious enough, and it will be interest ...

21st November 2019 By

Comment: how to fix the overstaying rules

As we’ve highlighted in recent blog posts, the Immigration Rules aggressively punish overstaying, to the point where accidentally staying beyond the expiry date of your visa even by just one day will basically ruin your life. “So what?”, you ...

20th November 2019 By

Why can’t politicians get over the idea of an Australian-style immigration system?

For politicians with an agenda to push and votes to win, talking up an “Australian-style points based system” seems like a catchy, quick-fix solution to public anxiety over immigration. During the referendum campaign it was a popular trope of the ...

8th November 2019 By

Ending free movement overnight: what exactly is the government playing at?

Confusion abounds after Dominic Cummings sources close to Home Secretary Priti Patel told the Telegraph and Independent over the weekend that free movement of EU citizens would end the day after a no-deal exit on 31 October 2019. While at first glance ...

19th August 2019 By

What does Boris Johnson really think about immigration?

Boris Johnson is the new leader of the Conservative Party, and our next Prime Minister. How might he change the UK government’s policy on immigration? An important question, and when it comes to Johnson potentially a Sisyphean task, given his reputa ...

23rd July 2019 By

Boris Johnson’s “immigration amnesty”: what would it mean?

Boris Johnson’s suggestion of an “amnesty for tens of thousands of illegal immigrants”, as the Daily Mail puts it, has ruffled some right-wing feathers, but would it really revolutionise UK immigration policy? Johnson, who looks set to secure vi ...

10th July 2019 By

Migration Advisory Committee told to think again on £30,000 minimum salary proposal

The government has asked a group of independent academic experts to look again at the Migration Advisory Committee’s proposal for a £30,000 minimum salary for a UK work visa post-Brexit. It has commissioned the, er, Migration Advisory Committee ...

24th June 2019 By

No deal planning: Home Office forgets about Scotland

Depending on which pundit you speak to, a no-deal Brexit has either got more likely or less likely over the last couple of weeks. It remains the default if the UK-EU withdrawal agreement is not passed at the third time of asking, and a further extensi ...

26th March 2019 By

Government announces plan for EU immigration if no Brexit deal

The UK government has confirmed what was suspected (and what the Home Office has hinted at in private talks): in the event of a no-deal Brexit, free movement will end on 29 March 2019. EU citizens arriving after this date face a new temporary system. ...

29th January 2019 By

Future immigration sponsorship system for UK employers – it really does need to be simple this time

There is so much in the immigration white paper, publishedjust before Christmas, that sounds pretty good for employers. But if the sponsorship system is to cope when extended to cover skilled workers arriving from the EU, a huge amount of work will b ...

9th January 2019 By

The immigration white paper is a charter for the wealthy

There is one, overwhelming, message from the immigration White Paper published on 19 December. It is mentioned in the Foreword by the Prime Minister, and the Foreword from the Secretary of State for the Home Department. The aims of the White Paper are ...

21st December 2018 By

Immigration white paper published

The government has published its plan spelling the end of free movement. A long-awaited white paper on post-Brexit migration proposes that EU workers would in future have to earn a minimum salary in a job requiring A-level qualifications or above to b ...

19th December 2018 By