All Articles: key post
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
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: criminal convictions, public good, character, conduct and associations
Criminal convictions and other signs of poor character can, unsurprisingly, negatively affect applications for leave to enter or remain in the UK. This has always been so, but in December 2012 the rules were changed to permanently ban entry of those w ...6th April 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
General grounds for refusal: contriving to frustrate the intention of the rules
Sometimes a migrant here in the UK unlawfully will want to apply for immigration status. Lawyers and the Home Office often call this “regularising” their status, because the person becomes a “regular” migrant within the rules ...14th 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
When is Article 8 private and family life engaged?
The question of when family and private life exists in a legal sense is an increasingly important one in immigration law as it effectively determines whether a person has a right of appeal against refusal on an immigration application. The Court of Ap ...3rd July 2015
Does the Human Rights Act prevent us deporting serious criminals?
It is very widely believed that the Human Rights Act stops the UK from deporting foreign criminals whence they came. To a limited extent, there is some truth in this. Some appeals against deportation decisions do succeed on human rights grounds. Not m ...26th May 2015
New immigration rules for visitors to the United Kingdom
A new set of rules for visitors to the United Kingdom has been introduced taking effect on all applications made on or after 24 April 2015. The changes are brought about by Statement of Changes to the Immigration Rules HC 1025. The new rules are set o ...6th May 2015
Can you make a new application while awaiting outcome of another application or appeal?
The word “hopeless” appears five times in the determination of R (on the application of Rashid) v Secretary of State for the Home Department IJR  UKUT 190 (IAC). While the judge remains fairly cool she was clearly irritated with Coun ...23rd April 2015
NHS surcharge for immigration applications
A new “health surcharge” was introduced for all new applications for entry clearance or leave to remain made on or after 6 April 2015. The charge is £150 per year for students and £200 per year for all other types of application. A charge is pa ...15th April 2015
Challenging a refusal of permission to appeal by the Upper Tribunal
This piece started life as a practice note for welfare benefits cases but the same principles are transferrable to the immigration jurisdiction so we thought it would be helpful to share it here on Free Movement as well. If permission to appeal agains ...16th February 2015
Pursuing compensation from the Home Office
The Home Office often makes mistakes when exercising its immigration powers. The high appeal success rates bear testimony to this: as many as 50% of some categories of appeal are allowed. However, there are only some limited circumstances where it is ...18th November 2014