All Articles: Tribunal

System for investigating deaths in immigration detention declared unlawful

In Lawal v Secretary of State for the Home Department JR/626/2020, the Upper Tribunal has decided that the Home Office’s policies on the death of immigration detainees are contrary to its procedural obligations under Article 2 of the European Conven ...

15th April 2021 By

When is a month not a month?

Time is definitely a relative concept, a new Upper Tribunal decision suggests, examining the issue of what constitutes a “month” for the purposes of the Immigration Rules on long residence. The case of Chang (paragraph 276A(a)(v); 18 months?) [202 ...

25th March 2021 By

Belarusian man in limbo since 2003 wins permission to remain in landmark case

In R (AM) v Secretary of State for the Home Department (legal “limbo”) [2021] UKUT 62 (IAC) the Upper Tribunal considered the extraordinary case of a Belarusian man who had been in the UK on immigration bail since 2003. The fundamental question fo ...

23rd March 2021 By

When does having a partner disqualify you from keeping a parent visa?

The Upper Tribunal in R (Waleed Ahmad Khattak) v Secretary of State for the Home Department (“eligible to apply”- LTR – “partner”) [2021] UKUT 63 (IAC) has provided helpful clarification on when having a partner can disqualify someone fr ...

19th March 2021 By

Upper Tribunal guidance on credible documentary evidence

The Upper Tribunal in QC (verification of documents; Mibanga duty) China [2021] UKUT 33 (IAC) has given useful guidance on how to approach documentary evidence submitted by asylum appellants.  The tribunal has also clarified the circumstances in whic ...

23rd February 2021 By

Ignore what the Immigration Rules say about deportation, Upper Tribunal says

In Bikanu (s.11 TCEA; s.117C NIAA; para. 399D) [2021] UKUT 34 (IAC), the Upper Tribunal has confirmed that paragraph 399D of the Immigration Rules has no relevance to the human rights exceptions to deportation set out in section 117C(4)-(6) of the Nat ...

16th February 2021 By

Upper Tribunal has no jurisdiction to correct appeal deadline error

Ndwanyi (Permission to appeal; challenging decision on timeliness) Rwanda [2020] UKUT 378 (IAC) is about how a respondent can challenge a decision that an application for permission to appeal is in time, when in fact it is not in time. In this case th ...

29th January 2021 By

Man who lived in UK under assumed identity for over a decade wins right to stay

Stealing someone’s identity is not a “false representation” for the purposes of a 20-year long residence application, the Upper Tribunal has found. The case is Mahmood (paras. S-LTR.1.6. & S-LTR.4.2.; Scope) Bangladesh [2020] UKU ...

26th January 2021 By

When can an immigration decision involving human rights be appealed?

The distinction between a “claim” and an “application” was at the heart of the Upper Tribunal’s recent decision in Yerokun (Refusal of claim; Mujahid) Nigeria [2020] UKUT 377 (IAC). Mr Yerokun made an application for permission to remain in ...

22nd January 2021 By

Home Office can make exceptions to rules stopping asylum seekers working

The Upper Tribunal has declared the government’s strict policy on asylum seekers working to be unlawful insofar as it doesn’t mention that exceptions can be made. The case is R (C6) v Secretary of State for the Home Department (JR/1414/202 ...

20th January 2021 By

Tribunal defines “historic injustice”

Lawyers are prone to creating “terms of art”, i.e. a phrase which has a specific meaning within a particular branch of law, distinct from its usage in ordinary English. In Patel (historic injustice; NIAA Part 5A) India [2020] UKUT 351 (IAC ...

12th January 2021 By

Country guidance changes affect pending decisions if not already sent out to the parties

Pending asylum appeals in Scotland can be affected by changes to country guidance right up to the point when they are sent out to the parties to the case, even if the judge has already signed off on his or decision, according to the Upper Tribunal in ...

22nd December 2020 By

Is carrying a knife enough to get you deported?

Earlier this year the Court of Appeal looked at the meaning of an offence causing “serious harm” for the purposes of deportation law. Being convicted of such an offence is one of the ways a person can find themselves facing automatic depor ...

15th December 2020 By

Major Upper Tribunal judgment on draft evaders and Ukraine

The Upper Tribunal has handed down a new country guidance decision on draft evaders from Ukraine, PK and OS (basic rules of human conduct) Ukraine CG [2020] UKUT 314 (IAC). The judgment contains important guidance on the relationship between the Refug ...

7th December 2020 By

Non-binary identity can form basis of asylum claim, Upper Tribunal finds

A non-binary gender identity can form the basis of an asylum claim, the Upper Tribunal has expressly confirmed for the first time. The case is Mx M (gender identity – HJ (Iran) – terminology) El Salvador [2020] UKUT 313 (IAC). Background t ...

24th November 2020 By

Tribunal says no general risk to Nuba in Sudan

KAM (Nuba – return) Sudan CG [2020] UKUT 269 (IAC) is the first country guidance decision about the risk to the Nuba people on return to Sudan. The Upper Tribunal’s main finding is that there is no general risk to Nuba in either their home ...

22nd September 2020 By

Iraqi military doctor wins refugee exclusion appeal

The extremely long-running case of AB (preserved FtT findings; Wisniewski principles) Iraq [2020] UKUT 268 (IAC) has finally been allowed outright, subject to any further appeal from the Secretary of State. The appellant, an Iraqi doctor employed to w ...

16th September 2020 By

Landmark decision on “particular social group”

DH (Particular Social Group: Mental Health) Afghanistan [2020] UKUT 223 (IAC) is an important case for numerous reasons. It affirms the supremacy of the Refugee Convention 1951 over EU law by reference to the Convention’s object and purpose; it ...

27th July 2020 By

The new normal: what to expect in a socially distanced immigration hearing

As the immigration tribunal begins to reopen and cases are listed for what have become known as face-to-face hearings, lawyers, clients, witnesses and supporters, and any other court user, will need to know what to expect. Local practices may vary a ...

23rd July 2020 By

Appeals repair procedural unfairness in tax discrepancy cases

In the case of Ashfaq (Balajigari: appeals) [2020] UKUT 226 (IAC), the Upper Tribunal reiterates its previous findings that First-Tier Tribunal hearings provide appellants with the necessary opportunity to rebut findings of dishonesty by the Home Offi ...

21st July 2020 By

Judge orders Home Office to bring asylum seeker back to the UK

The President of the Upper Tribunal, Mr Justice Lane, has ordered the Home Office to pay for and facilitate the return to the UK of a man who was removed to Nigeria in March 2018. The judgment is R (L) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [202 ...

13th July 2020 By

When is a policy not a policy? Tribunal tackles law on disclosure

BH (policies/information: SoS’s duties) Iraq [2020] UKUT 189 (IAC) was the case of an Iraqi Kurd, heard by the Upper Tribunal sitting in Edinburgh. The issue was whether the First-tier Tribunal judge had erred in law because he had not considere ...

22nd June 2020 By

When is a foreign criminal not a foreign criminal?

That is the question answered by the Upper Tribunal in SC (paras A398 – 339D: ‘foreign criminal’: procedure) Albania [2020] UKUT 187 (IAC). The appellant was convicted of murder and sentenced to 15 years’ imprisonment. So he is ...

22nd June 2020 By

Extended family members can’t have any breaks in dependency on EU sponsor

Reading judgments from the Upper Tribunal on the EEA Regulations often feels like going back in time. A lot of the recent case law has clarified points of law in favour of migrants but almost all have come far too late to be useful. The latest case of ...

16th June 2020 By

Immigration application fee destitution policy found unlawful

The Upper Tribunal has found that the Home Office’s policy for waiving the immigration application fee for destitute immigrants — the fees can add up to thousands of pounds for a family — is unlawful and needs to be widened. The judg ...

21st May 2020 By

New Kabul country guidance: individualised assessment of relocation required

In AS (Safety of Kabul) Afghanistan CG [2020] UKUT 130 (IAC) the Upper Tribunal has approved its 2018 decision that a returning male in good health can safely and reasonably relocate to Kabul subject to individual factors. That decision had been set a ...

11th May 2020 By

You can carry on with an old-style EU law appeal even if granted settled status

The abandonment of an ongoing appeal seems to be a hot topic for the Upper Tribunal recently, with the case of Ammari (EEA appeals – abandonment) [2020] UKUT 124 (IAC) following on the heels of MSU and Aziz. This time the facts concern an appeal ...

5th May 2020 By

No need to be a “qualified person” to use the Surinder Singh route

Tribunals that decide whether someone is entitled to benefits often have to grapple with our nightmarish immigration law. HK v SSWP (PC) [2020] UKUT 73 (AAC) is one such case from the Administrative Appeals Chamber. It effectively confirms that a Brit ...

4th May 2020 By

People who lie to the Home Office are unlikely to get indefinite leave to remain

Last year, in the important case of Balajigari [2019] EWCA Civ 673, the Court of Appeal ruled that, before refusing a settlement application on the basis that the person applying has been dishonest, the Home Office must: Let the applicant know that th ...

28th April 2020 By

Upper Tribunal reminds visitors not to try and stay in the UK permanently

What happens when you enter the UK as a visitor and then apply to remain here so that you can stay with your British family members? Most immigration lawyers can easily answer this question: your application will be refused. But things can get a bit m ...

27th April 2020 By

Fellow worshippers can’t give “expert evidence” on religious conversion, tribunal holds

Two important (but completely different) points arise from the Upper Tribunal’s decision in MH (review; slip rule; church witnesses) Iran [2020] UKUT 125 (IAC), one concerning religious conversion cases and the other concerning clerical errors in a ...

24th April 2020 By

Judge rebuked for adjourning case during cross-examination

The Upper Tribunal has reprimanded an immigration judge for granting an adjournment during the cross-examination of an appellant. In WA (Role and duties of judge) Egypt [2020] UKUT 127 (IAC), the President and Vice President of the Upper Tribunal prov ...

22nd April 2020 By

Another deportation appeal founders on the “unduly harsh” test

We have written often on Free Movement about the meaning of the term “unduly harsh“. It is the test which people facing deportation must meet where arguing that their separation from a partner or child would amount to a breach of their hum ...

17th April 2020 By
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