All Articles: immigration policy

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

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

Immigration minister throws settled status of EU citizens into confusion

Mass confusion following the immigration minister’s evidence (full transcript here) to the Home Affairs committee yesterday: this was a terrible appearance by Caroline Nokes @CommonsHomeAffs yesterday. Sajid Javid needs to go back as a matter o ...

31st October 2018 By

A draft submission to the Windrush lessons learned review

I’ve been working on a submission to the Windrush lessons learned review. The final date for submission of evidence is 19 October 2018 and I’d urge anyone interested in immigration policy to consider putting in a response, no matter how sh ...

15th October 2018 By

10 things we (might) now know about the post-Brexit immigration system

After months of uncertainty we finally have a picture emerging of what the post-Brexit immigration system will look like. We have known for some time that after we leave the EU on 29 March 2019, the plan is to enter a transition period until 31 Decemb ...

3rd October 2018 By

Javid sounds tough note on citizenship in party conference speech

Sajid Javid delivered a speech today at the Conservative party conference that is likely to generate headlines for what he had to say on immigration, integration and citizenship. Upon closer inspection, there is less substance to these pronouncements ...

2nd October 2018 By

Comment: MAC’s recommendations would create administrative burdens for UK employers

Today’s Migration Advisory Committee recommendations are incredibly significant from a UK employer’s perspective. I can immediately see that a huge number of UK employers are likely to be faced with potentially significant new administrat ...

18th September 2018 By

Migration Advisory Committee: scrap the cap on Tier 2 work visas after Brexit

The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) has published its long-awaited research into migration from the EU and how it should be managed after Brexit. The report will disappoint advocates of a fairly liberal regime, recommending as it does that if there ...

18th September 2018 By

Migration Advisory Committee recommends “tweaks” to Tier 4 student visa rules

Immigration lawyers helping sponsoring universities navigate the complexities of the Points Based System naturally have an economic interest in overseas students — but then so does the rest of the nation. That is the uncompromising conclusion of ...

11th September 2018 By

What the Brexit White Paper says about immigration

Two years after the referendum vote to leave the European Union, the government has published a White Paper describing what it wants from the future relationship between the UK and EU. The 100-page document includes some references to the future of im ...

12th July 2018 By

Javid: free movement could be replaced with “labour mobility” for executives

The right of free movement for EU migrants could be replaced with something more like the arrangements making travel easier for Canadian business people, the Home Secretary has said. Sajid Javid told the Home Affairs committee of MPs today that free m ...

10th July 2018 By

Comment: What is driving the Home Office fees increase?

When asked why the fees for visa applications are so expensive, the Home Office traditionally responds that the immigration system should be “funded by those who benefit from it”, in order to reduce taxpayer expense. This is a convenient p ...

2nd July 2018 By

Comment: an NHS exemption will help, but the Tier 2 visa cap should go

Less than two months into the job, Sajid Javid appears to be, so far, quite a pragmatic Home Secretary. Following six months of the Tier 2 cap wreaking havoc amongst employers and users of the Points Based System, resulting in the NHS losing out on hi ...

18th June 2018 By

Just how level do we want the Brexit playing field to be?

Seasoned Brexit watchers will be familiar by now with the trope that there is a “need for a level playing field”. Coined by the EU out of concern that the UK may turn itself into a tax haven, the phrase has now been appropriated by Brexiteers in t ...

21st February 2018 By

Should immigration policy be decided regionally?

Immigration policy is decided at a national level, meaning that the rules governing the entry of foreign nationals to the UK are almost entirely the same across the land. The requirements, for instance, to be met by nurses under Tier 2 of the Points B ...

3rd November 2017 By

The interregnum: 11 years without free movement from 1962 to 1973

There was a short period of just 11 years between 1962 and 1973 when free movement of people did not apply in the UK. Other than during that time, businesses and public services have had easy access to workers from other countries. Following Brexit, t ...

19th May 2017 By

Plus ça change

So, the ill-starred UK Border Agency is to be abolished. Few if any will be sorry to see it go. But the sordid business of immigration control will go on and, as the Permanent Secretary, Mark Sedwell, wrote to staff: “Most of us will still be do ...

8th April 2013 By

Migration Watch: Recovery in Woodlark population “may” be cause of youth unemployment

There was some coverage in the right wing press yesterday about a new Migration Watch ‘report‘ purportedly linking Eastern European immigration with youth unemployment. Migration Watch statistical analysis has been covered here before. Eve ...

10th January 2012 By

One rule for the rich

The Government’s plan massively to increase the minimum income threshold required to sponsor family members to the UK came one step closer yesterday with the publication of a report by the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC). The full report can ...

17th November 2011 By