All Articles: key post
The Surinder Singh immigration route: how does it work?
The “Surinder Singh route” has become well known to British citizens seeking to be reunited with their family members. The toughening up of UK immigration rules in July 2012 – particularly the introduction of the minimum income rule with ...31st August 2018
How to claim asylum in the UK
Claiming asylum is an important human right backed by the United Nations Refugee Convention and recognised by countries around the world. In order to make this right a reality in practice, countries like the UK have set up systems by which people must ...29th August 2018
How to apply for a UK spouse or partner visa
Spouses and partners of British citizens or people settled in the UK can apply for a visa to join or remain with their loved ones. These applications are dealt with by the Home Office under the Immigration Rules. Specifically, the part of the Rules th ...20th August 2018
Visit visa refusals: appeal or judicial review?
The removal of full rights of appeal for family visit visas in 2013 has led to a legal dilemma for those considering a challenge to a refusal: should they give up, re-apply, attempt a human rights appeal or launch an application for judicial review? T ...14th August 2018
What are the financial requirements for UK spouse and partner visas?
One of the trickiest parts of applying for a UK visa as a spouse or partner are the financial requirements. Appendix FM of the Immigration Rules contains minimum financial requirements to be met in entry clearance or leave to remain applications. This ...6th August 2018
What are the 10 and 20 year rules on long residence?
The Immigration Rules allow people to apply to remain in the UK on the basis of long residence. Those here lawfully can apply for indefinite leave to remain following 10 years’ continuous lawful residence in the UK. Those who had periods of overstay ...26th June 2018
How to apply for a visa as the parent of a child in the UK
The Immigration Rules permit parents living overseas, who have British or settled children living in the UK, to apply for a visa to come to live with them. In this post we will consider the requirements that a parent applying for a visa in this catego ...25th June 2018
Boys to men: how to prepare asylum appeals for young Afghans
There are a considerable number of asylum claims in the UK by young Afghan boys and men. The number should not be overstated, though. The latest immigration statistics show that Afghans are still outside the top five nationalities claiming asylum in t ...21st June 2018
Briefing: What are the barriers to British citizenship for EU nationals?
The recent case of Inga Lockton is the most high-profile recent example of growing problems that EU citizens and their families face with applying for British citizenship. Ms Lockton lived in the UK for 39 years, was married to a British citizen and h ...14th June 2018
Tax discrepancies and paragraph 322(5) refusals: what are they and how to challenge them
Back in January, we wrote about the case of Dr Syed Kazmi, a foreign doctor due to be removed from the UK because of a “HMRC tax issue” disqualifying him from settlement. Since then, many more refusals of settlement applications by highly ...30th May 2018
Briefing: the immigration rules covering foreign citizens in the UK fishing fleet
One of the interesting aspects of the ongoing national debate about Brexit is the prominent position occupied in the debate by the UK fishing industry. I would venture to say that maritime immigration control is a topic infrequently encountered even b ...15th May 2018
Briefing: what is the hostile environment, where does it come from, who does it affect?
Theresa May declared in an interview with the Telegraph in May 2012 that she wanted to create a “really hostile environment” for irregular migrants in the UK. In this blog post we look at the evolution of the hostile environment, consider what m ...1st May 2018
Do you need to worry about Brexit if you have indefinite leave to remain?
An EU citizen with indefinite leave to remain in this country has taken the drastic step to leave the UK because of Brexit. You might have seen the story on Twitter, where it went viral. 24/ So my mum has taken the decision to return to the country of ...11th April 2018
Briefing: Brexit, settled status and citizens’ rights – what has been agreed?
On 19 March the European Union and the UK published the impressively named Draft Agreement on the Withdrawal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community. In other words, ...26th March 2018
Naturalising as a British citizen: the intention to settle requirement
An adult who is not a British citizen can apply to become one. This process is known as naturalisation. People will normally be eligible to apply for naturalisation under section 6 of the British Nationality Act 1981 if they: are 18 or over are of “ ...8th March 2018
Six lessons from my spouse visa application
Making an immigration application for clients is all in a day’s work, but working on your own wife’s visa is enough to reduce even an expert to tears, writes an anonymous Free Movement contributor. While courting my wife during a sabbatica ...23rd February 2018
How to make a permanent residence application
The Brexit vote to leave the EU has caused huge anxiety amongst EU citizens and their family members living in the UK. The UK government continues to advise these citizens not to make applications for proof that they have the right to permanent resid ...6th February 2018
How complex is UK immigration law and is this a problem?
One of the fundamental principles of the rule of law is that the law “must be accessible and so far as possible intelligible, clear and predictable” (Tom Bingham, The Rule of Law, 2010). The reasons for this should be self evident. Just as it is ...24th January 2018
The rise of modern banishment: deprivation and nullification of British citizenship
To deprive a person of their citizenship on the grounds of their behaviour or opinion is to cast them out of society. It is a power of exile or banishment. In Roman law, the punishment of “proscription” was civic and literal death, unless the pers ...24th November 2017
An immigration lawyer reviews Paddington 2: life in the hostile environment
Warning: contains spoilers. And information about the plot too. Let me say at the outset that Paddington 2 is a deeply unrealistic film. As a Paddington fan and father of two young children I had no problem suspending my disbelief to allow for a talki ...13th November 2017
The immigration rules for adult dependant relatives: out with the old…
Since July 2012 the immigration rules for adult dependent relatives have been, in practice, almost impossible to meet. Applicants need to demonstrate that they require a level of long-term personal care that they are unable to get in their home countr ...8th November 2017
Immigration and nationality law following surrogacy agreements
A surrogacy arrangement is, broadly speaking, where a woman carries and delivers a child for another couple or person. Under section 2(1) of the Surrogacy Arrangements Act 1985, it is a criminal offence for a person on a commercial basis to initiate ...11th October 2017
What is the law governing the deportation of EU nationals?
Where a European national commits a crime in the UK and is sentenced to a term of imprisonment, they will often be subject to deportation proceedings. The protections afforded to them (and to British nationals who commit crime in European countries) a ...23rd August 2017
Home Office makes changes to Appendix FM Minimum Income Rule following MM case
On 20 July 2017 the Home Office published changes to the Immigration Rules intended to give effect to findings made by the Supreme Court in MM (Lebanon) & Others v the Secretary for the Home Department  UKSC 10 on the Minimum Income Requirem ...10th August 2017
What is the law on the deportation of non EU foreign criminals and their human rights?
Deportation proceedings pit the rights of the individual against those of the state, appointed guardian of the public interest. And as very clearly stated in primary legislation, the deportation of foreign criminals is in the public interest. The rele ...27th July 2017
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 ...29th June 2017
Should refugees claim asylum upon arrival in their first ‘safe’ country?
“Why don’t asylum seekers stop before they get here?” I have been asked this question many times. There are lots of safe countries on the way, so the argument goes. Why wait until they arrive in the UK to make their claim? They’re not going to ...20th June 2017
General grounds for refusal: alleged deception and innocent mistakes
Making a mistake on an immigration application form can be disastrous. If the mistake is interpreted by officials as an attempt to mislead or deceive, the application will inevitably be refused. If the application was for entry clearance, it will als ...28th March 2017
What do immigration officers look for when assessing visit visa applications?
“Two visas had been rejected … I was wrenched by a heavy feeling of humiliation…trying to prove that I’m a “normal person” like any Englishman, that I’m not aspiring to swap my career in Egypt as a cartoonist [and] scriptwriter … for B ...6th March 2017
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 car ...28th February 2017
Briefing: the legal status of EU citizens in the UK
Summary The Home Office has hardened its position on EU citizens who are living in the UK but who do not have a “right of residence” under Directive 2004/38/EC. New regulations were introduced on 1 February 2017 and a swathe of policy doc ...27th February 2017
Expediting an EU residence document application
Brexit is causing significant delays in the processing of EU free movement documentation applications. In normal times, before the Brexit vote on 23 June 2016, an EU national could expect a permanent residence certificate to be issued in about 6 ...22nd February 2017
General grounds for refusal: owing a litigation debt to the Home Office
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 m ...8th February 2017
Overstaying and applying for further leave: end of the 28 day grace period
A new set of requirements for overstayers who apply for leave to enter or remain in the UK was introduced late last year. In short, the 28 day grace period for overstayers was abolished and replaced with a very limited 14 day limit, but only where a ...6th February 2017
Part time working, low earnings, employment and self employment in EU law
To acquire EU rights of residence and ultimately permanent residence, a person usually has to engage in certain activities: employment, self employment, study or being self sufficient. There are other criteria as well, but these are the four key ways ...13th October 2016
EU nationals must apply for permanent residence card for British nationality applications
The British Nationality Act 1981 requires a successful applicant for British citizenship to show, amongst other things, that he or she is free from immigration restrictions. Technically, the requirement is set out in paragraph 2(c) of Schedule 1 to th ...10th October 2016
Fees for Upper Tribunal judicial review applications rise again
Fees for judicial review applications hare risen yet again from today, Monday 25 July 2016. A new fees order was quietly laid last Friday: The Civil Proceedings, First-tier Tribunal, Upper Tribunal and Employment Tribunals Fees (Amendment) Order ...25th July 2016
Myth buster: “memories of trauma are engraved on the brain”
“I’ll never forget that day” We tend to believe that the more important an experience, the more likely it is that it will be ‘engraved’ on the brain. In the asylum system, this is maintained by decision makers who maintain the belief that a ...21st June 2016
Why do the “migrants” in Calais want to come to the UK?
“Cockroaches” according to Katie Hopkins. A “swarm” according to our likeminded Prime Minister, David Cameron, and The Daily Mail (again). An “army” according to the popular press, who seem to think we should litera ...31st July 2015