WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 60825 [post_author] => 6452 [post_date] => 2017-11-21 12:03:46 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-11-21 12:03:46 [post_content] =>

So much for the benefits of your writing for those reading it. What about the advantages to you as a writer?

As already mentioned, writing should be fun in itself. If you don’t enjoy writing blog posts, the other benefits are unlikely to compensate you.

But there are other benefits. One is developing your facility to communicate clearly to a wide audience. You may, on occasion, get away with dense or florid drafting in your practice. You cannot do so in a blog post. Either the editor will ask you what on earth you mean, or readers will vote with their eyeballs.

Another is the practical benefit of keeping up to date with developments. The various professional regulators mention legal blogging as a way in which practitioners can meet their continuing professional development obligations.

A third is exposure within the sector. Everyone in immigration and asylum law and policy has heard of Free Movement; most of them read it regularly. Practitioners find that by-lines on the site are a useful way of “putting one’s name out there”.

[post_title] => Benefits to the author [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => benefits-to-the-author [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-11-21 12:03:46 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-11-21 12:03:46 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.freemovement.org.uk/?post_type=course_unit&p=60825 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => course_unit [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 60816 [post_author] => 6452 [post_date] => 2017-11-21 11:59:01 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-11-21 11:59:01 [post_content] =>

To write a really good legal blog post you need to have in mind who your reader is. The more precise you can be, the better. For example:

  • Are they a lawyer or not?
  • Are they familiar with the immigration system or not?
  • Are they personally invested in the issue or not?
  • Are they interested in immigration generally or just your article?
  • Are you trying to win them over to your viewpoint or expect them to share it already?

Every blog post does not need to appeal to every reader. To attempt this would be to leave all readers equally unsatisfied. It is far, far better to make sure some readers are very happy with your post.

That means you can, for example, assume a certain level of legal knowledge in a case note or an update on legislative developments. Similarly, you might expect someone reading a post about new or revised Home Office guidance to have a passing familiarity with the working of the immigration system. You probably do not need to explain what the Immigration Rules are in posts aimed at the professional or informed layperson.

At the other end of the spectrum, a post that explains the law behind a particularly notorious case in the media should explain legal concepts as it goes. Similarly, a post drawing attention to a particularly harsh aspect of immigration system might explain, or at least link to an explanation of, a piece of sector-specific jargon such as “hostile environment”.

This need not mean talking down to any reader. The thought experiment often used is an intelligent reader who happens to know nothing about your field.

Just because the blog or the particular post is "professional level" or "specialist" does not mean your readers will suddenly have more patience for badly written content which is poorly introduced, rambling, written in long, convoluted sentences, which assumes considerable prior knowledge and which lacks a conclusion.

Good, clear writing works for everyone. Even lawyers.

[post_title] => Target audience [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => target-audience [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-11-21 11:59:01 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-11-21 11:59:01 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.freemovement.org.uk/?post_type=course_unit&p=60816 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => course_unit [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 60812 [post_author] => 6452 [post_date] => 2017-11-21 11:48:19 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-11-21 11:48:19 [post_content] =>

This may seem basic but the point of writing on the internet is for it to be read. If you would prefer to write entirely for yourself that is obviously fine. But just keep a private diary instead of writing a public blog.

Be honest: you are writing so that others can read what you say. You want to help, influence and entertain other people. You cannot do that if they never read your article.

Yes, that does mean that you have to have something of an ego to write blog posts. If you do not think you have something to say that might be useful, then you would not bother.

That is not to say that you are not also writing for yourself. Writing has to be enjoyable for you to want to do it and it can be fun and satisfying - crafting phrases, structuring complex concepts, using metaphors or allusions. But the point of these devices is for them to entertain or inform other people.

In order for what you write to attract readers, you have to think carefully about what you are doing. There are rules you can learn and follow. Rather than re-inventing the wheel and trying to learn these by trial and error, here are some shortcuts based on ten years of experience with Free Movement.

[post_title] => Importance of attracting readers [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => importance-attracting-readers [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-11-21 11:48:19 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-11-21 11:48:19 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.freemovement.org.uk/?post_type=course_unit&p=60812 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => course_unit [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 57653 [post_author] => 23 [post_date] => 2017-10-17 12:27:28 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-10-17 11:27:28 [post_content] => Please do leave us feedback on this course to help us improve.[gravityform id="1" title="true" description="true" ajax="true"] [post_title] => Feedback form and quiz [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => feedback-form-quiz [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-10-17 12:27:28 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-10-17 11:27:28 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.freemovement.org.uk/?post_type=course_unit&p=57653 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => course_unit [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 57446 [post_author] => 6452 [post_date] => 2017-10-12 20:47:15 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-10-12 19:47:15 [post_content] => [toc]Clients may not be aware that they are victims of crime or may not consider themselves victims. They may not know words such as 'trafficking' or 'slavery' or may reject them as labels. You may need to distinguish clearly for your client between the way in which you present the case for the purposes of legal categories and their situation.A client may feel that they are to blame for their situation and/or have an ambivalent relationship to their trafficker that leads to them trying to protect the trafficker from the authorities. Corrupt officials may have been involved in their exploitation and they may be more afraid of the authorities than the trafficker.

Some realities of being trafficked

These do not necessarily all apply to everyone.

  • Feeling trapped with no way out;
  • Working in an informal, often illicit sector;
  • Having limited knowledge of rights and options;
  • Having limited personal freedom;
  • Being moved from place to place;
  • Having experienced physical, sexual or psychological abuse or threats of abuse against self and family;
  • Having no legal rights to stay in the country, no papers and being worried about removal;
  • Being in debt or under complex obligations to powerful people;
  • Being used to discrimination: ethnic, social and on the grounds of gender;
  • Adopting self-protective mechanisms including under-estimation of risk;
  • Demonstrating symptoms of extreme stress, including risky behaviours;
  • Feeling hostile to some elements of your situation, but not all;
  • Feeling hostile to some of your traffickers, but not all;
  • Not feeling trafficked.

Some realities of life once out of the trafficked situation

These do not necessarily apply to everyone. Lots of things do not change from being trafficked.
  • Continuing to feel and/or being under continued surveillance of traffickers or people connected to them;
  • Traffickers thinking you still owe them money;
  • Fearing retribution;
  • Fearing removal from the country and/or detention as an illegal worker;
  • Feeling, and/or being, socially stigmatised by what has happened and at risk of rejection by family and community;
  • Extreme stress reactions may set in when a person is no longer on guard all the time;
  • It may be humiliating to talk about past humiliation, frightening to talk of past fears;
  • Feeling thwarted in efforts to build a life; a person may think they would have survived the trafficking, but now they fear removal. Perhaps people at home will be angry;
  • Feelings of having let people down.

What should you do and say in an interview with a client?

  • Use affirming statements: we are here to help you; what happened to you is not your fault; you are not alone now; we want to keep you safe
  • Accept what you are told as true unless evidence is given to suggest otherwise
  • Let them speak and disclose in their own time – do not expect to get the full story at once, perhaps at all
  • Explain the immigration and trafficking identification (National Referral Mechanism) processes and who they might meet throughout the process (e.g. the police) and that they have no obligation to cooperate
  • Be ready to use another word that is not ‘trafficking’ when talking about what has happened to the client as they do not always understand this or like the word

See also the Law Society Practice Note on the Modern Slavery Act.

Where people have been identified as trafficked

Practicalities – including for high risk situations

  • Child protection procedures apply in cases of children. 
  • Maintain strict confidentiality.
  • This is a crime and you should bear in mind the possibility of an eventual prosecution. Records should be of a standard that could be produced to a court.

High risk situations

Not all trafficking cases will involve high risk situations, but some may do so. The following are some steps it may be necessary to take in high risk situations. The list is not exhaustive and nor will every measure be applicable in every case.

  • Lock all records, and try to keep them separate from a person’s name, linked by a number, for example;
  • Notes on computers should be password protected, in addition to general passwords;
  • Do not use unencrypted email communication;
  • Phone calls should only take place where you cannot be overheard;
  • The aim should always be to have the minimum possible number of people knowing about such a case, with each knowing what they need to, and no more.

People do not leave unsafe situations where there is no viable alternative. Joint working, with the consent of the person and clear confidentiality agreements, is likely to be necessary to identify a viable alternative. 

Ad hoc rescue attempts can place people in danger and rarely offer access to lasting solutions. In situations of danger, social services may decide to take out emergency protection orders in cases of children and, very rarely, a police protection order may be used.

Solicitor’s duty of confidentiality

A solicitor may reveal confidential information to the extent that they believe that this is necessary to prevent the client or a third party committing a criminal act that the solicitor reasonably believes is likely to result in serious bodily harm or where the threat to a person’s life or health, from abuse that they are suffering or inflicting, or that a third party is suffering or inflicting, is sufficiently serious to justify a breach of confidentiality. These situations could arise where you acting for people who have been trafficked. A client’s consent to make a disclosure should be sought in all cases where this is practicable.

Reporting a crime

As a matter of good practice, clients should always be urged to consider reporting crimes of which they have been victims, and this is all the more the case when the criminals continue to act and to inflict harm on others (as to your own duties, see above).

Acting on instructions

As with any other client, you must act on instructions. If your client’s instructions are that they have not been trafficked, then to submit material only relevant if they have been trafficked and to make arguments that assume that they have been trafficked, is to fail to act on their instructions and fail in your duty to your client. 

If your client instructs you that the person with whom they live is a friend and benefactor then it is to fail to act on their instructions to drop hints that the person is a trafficker. There are no short cuts and it may take considerable work before your client trusts you enough to allow you to put their case. 

Unless it is recognised that your client is under a disability (cases of children and of some adults at risk) there will be no person other than them to give instructions in their best interests but contrary to their wishes. A free-wheeling ‘best interests’ approach is a failure to act on instructions. Your instructions may end up being a compromise: you may be allowed to say "my lawyer thinks that I have been trafficked but I do not", or allowed to submit evidence on trafficking but not to make submissions on the point.

Responses to frequently asked questions

Every trafficked person is different. They are share common concerns, however:

I don’t want to say anything about trafficking to the Home Office in case the traffickers find out and come to find me.

If you are referred into the National Referral Mechanism you can be placed in a safe house which is in a different area to the one where you were with your trafficker. The Home Office will not get in touch with the trafficker to tell them where you are.

Do legal aid solicitors work for the government?

No, they are independent. Anything you say to them is private unless you give permission for them to share your answers.

Will you tell my social worker everything I tell you?

No. We have a duty of confidentiality which means we cannot tell anyone anything that you tell us unless you give authority for us to do so; there are, however, some limited exceptions to this rule.

[post_title] => Working with trafficked persons [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => working-trafficked-persons [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-10-13 15:01:17 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-10-13 14:01:17 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.freemovement.org.uk/?post_type=course_unit&p=57446 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => course_unit [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 57442 [post_author] => 6452 [post_date] => 2017-10-12 20:15:45 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-10-12 19:15:45 [post_content] =>

You may have seen trafficked persons in your work as an immigration lawyer. You may not have recognised them. 

A client whose account does not seem to hold water, and whose motivation for coming to the UK seems inexplicable, may be under the control of another person. Sometimes establishing an immigration status is a precursor to exploitation: for example bringing a child into the UK, telling them to claim asylum as a means of getting through the border, then removing them from their foster home some weeks later. So you may see a person before they know that they have been trafficked and before the exploitation has started.

The same tools that are used to close the borders to forced and other migrants are also used to disrupt the activities of the traffickers and calls for tougher enforcement measures are justified by reference to the need to protect people from exploitation.

The Council of Europe and UK definitions of trafficking do not demand that people be trafficked across an international border and thus British citizens moved from one part of the UK to another are treated as trafficked. The focus in the UK is on ‘modern slavery’. In many contexts it will not be necessary to determine whether the client is trafficked or enslaved.

The dominant paradigm in the UK is one of ‘rescue’. The more helpless a person is, the more likely they are to be seen, and to get help, as a victim of trafficking or slavery.

The reality is often much messier. The person may have cooperated with their trafficker to a greater or lesser degree. For example, they might have known that they were being brought to the UK unlawfully, even that they would be working unlawfully, but had no idea of the conditions of work that they would face. 

The work of the immigration lawyer in trying to secure assistance, representation and a form of status for a trafficked person is perhaps better viewed as ‘empowerment’: trying to extend their limited range of options so that they do not choose the dangerous and exploitative situation, whether in the UK or overseas.

There are many excellent resources to assist those working with trafficked persons. See in particular:

  • The Anti Trafficking and Labour Exploitation Unit, a legal charity dedicated to helping victims of trafficking and modern slavery. Thanks to them for providing resources that have been used in the preparation of this course.
  • The Anti-Trafficking Legal Project google group where specialist lawyers share experience or expertise.
  • Kalayaan which works with migrant domestic workers, whether or not they have been trafficked.
  • The members of the Anti-Trafficking Monitoring Group who, individually and collectively, produce a wide range of relevant resources.
  • See further the Useful contacts section.
We are very grateful to ATLEU for sharing their materials with us from their excellent ATHUB resource and enabling presentation of this course. Thanks also to Alison Harvey for her additional work on the course. [post_title] => Introduction [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => introduction-11 [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-10-23 15:12:47 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-10-23 14:12:47 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.freemovement.org.uk/?post_type=course_unit&p=57442 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => course_unit [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 57422 [post_author] => 23 [post_date] => 2017-10-12 15:13:25 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-10-12 14:13:25 [post_content] => As always, your feedback is very welcome and helps us know whether we are pitching the podcasts and questions correctly.[gravityform id="1" title="true" description="true" ajax="true"] [post_title] => Feedback form [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => feedback-form-27 [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-10-12 15:13:25 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-10-12 14:13:25 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.freemovement.org.uk/?post_type=course_unit&p=57422 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => course_unit [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 57421 [post_author] => 23 [post_date] => 2017-10-12 15:08:33 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-10-12 14:08:33 [post_content] => Please do leave us feedback, it is always appreciated.[gravityform id="1" title="true" description="true" ajax="true"] [post_title] => Feedback form [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => feedback-form-26 [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-10-12 15:08:33 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-10-12 14:08:33 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.freemovement.org.uk/?post_type=course_unit&p=57421 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => course_unit [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 57420 [post_author] => 23 [post_date] => 2017-10-12 14:58:54 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-10-12 13:58:54 [post_content] => Any feedback much appreciated, as always![gravityform id="1" title="true" description="true" ajax="true"] [post_title] => Feedback form [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => feedback-form-25 [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-10-12 14:58:54 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-10-12 13:58:54 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.freemovement.org.uk/?post_type=course_unit&p=57420 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => course_unit [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 57415 [post_author] => 460 [post_date] => 2017-10-12 12:46:32 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-10-12 11:46:32 [post_content] => Welcome to the August 2017 Free Movement immigration update course.This month I’m starting with a run through of a few relevant bits of news and some blog posts to highlight rather than cover in depth, then moving on to a series of cases and posts about deportation, some material on different aspects of family immigration including the MM case and the financial rules for spouses, and ending with some human rights and a few procedural issues. There's quite a lot to fit in!The material is all drawn from the August 2017 blog posts on Free Movement.The main content of the downloadable 25 minute audio podcast follows the (non chronological) order of content below:Quick mentions and newshttps://www.freemovement.org.uk/how-complex-are-the-uk-immigration-rules-and-is-this-a-problem/https://www.freemovement.org.uk/how-expensive-are-uk-immigration-applications-and-is-this-a-problem/https://www.freemovement.org.uk/new-official-administrative-court-judicial-review-guide-2017/https://www.freemovement.org.uk/uks-home-office-issues-118m-digitisation-tender-immigration/https://www.freemovement.org.uk/study-finds-asylum-judges-fail-assist-vulnerable-appellants/https://www.freemovement.org.uk/trainee-solicitor-convicted-of-providing-illegal-immigration-advice-as-prime-legal-solicitors/https://www.freemovement.org.uk/syrians-can-now-upgrade-full-refugee-status-new-form-issued/Deportationhttps://www.freemovement.org.uk/court-appeal-considers-revocation-deportation-order-deportee-returns-early-breach-order/https://www.freemovement.org.uk/court-of-appeal-reiterates-effect-of-orders-in-the-family-courts-on-deportation-decisions/https://www.freemovement.org.uk/operation-nexus-policeimmigration-joint-working-unsuccessfully-challenged-high-court/https://www.freemovement.org.uk/upper-tribunal-readmission-eu-nationals-attend-deportation-appeal-hearings/https://www.freemovement.org.uk/what-is-the-law-governing-the-deportation-of-eu-nationals/Family immigrationhttps://www.freemovement.org.uk/home-office-makes-changes-appendix-fm-minimum-income-rule-following-mm-case/https://www.freemovement.org.uk/genuine-couple-can-enter-marriage-convenience-says-high-court/https://www.freemovement.org.uk/theis-case-immigration-nationality-law-adopted-children/Human rightshttps://www.freemovement.org.uk/article-3-extradition-british-national-taiwan/https://www.freemovement.org.uk/how-not-to-support-a-victim-of-human-trafficking-a-demonstration-by-the-home-office-in-r-ft-v-sshd/Procedurehttps://www.freemovement.org.uk/upper-tribunal-provides-guidance-cases-judicial-bias/https://www.freemovement.org.uk/correct-mistake-country-guidance-case/ [audio mp3="https://www.freemovement.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/FM-podcast-August-2017.mp3"][/audio] [post_title] => Immigration Update August 2017 [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => immigration-update-august-2017 [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-10-12 15:12:24 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-10-12 14:12:24 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.freemovement.org.uk/?post_type=course_unit&p=57415 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => course_unit [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 57414 [post_author] => 460 [post_date] => 2017-10-12 12:44:38 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-10-12 11:44:38 [post_content] => Welcome to the July 2017 Free Movement immigration update course.This month I begin by running through a whole load of judgments and determinations, including from the Supreme Court on sham marriages, some cases on procedure and costs and some shocking cases on unlawful detention. I then turn to a series of short policy updates and with a quick mention for a detailed post on the rules on deportation for non-EU nationals - which are the rules which will apply to all foreign nationals after Brexit, of course.The material is all drawn from the July 2017 blog posts on Free Movement.The main content of the downloadable 25 minute audio podcast follows the (non chronological) order of content below:Case law updates:https://www.freemovement.org.uk/supreme-court-confirms-burden-proving-marriage-convenience-rests-home-office/https://www.freemovement.org.uk/when-will-a-foreign-adoption-be-recognised-in-common-law-for-immigration-purposes/https://www.freemovement.org.uk/wrongly-denied-right-appeal-solution-appeal/https://www.freemovement.org.uk/when-might-an-appeal-continue-even-though-home-office-withdraws-the-decision/https://www.freemovement.org.uk/tribunal-decides-wasted-costs-orders-cannot-be-made-against-home-office-representatives/https://www.freemovement.org.uk/european-court-human-rights-finds-vulnerable-zimbabwean-national-unlawfully-detained-home-office/https://www.freemovement.org.uk/48000-damages-awarded-torture-survivor-injuries-suffered-deportation-attempt/https://www.freemovement.org.uk/upper-tribunal-rules-unsafe-return-anyone-libya/https://www.freemovement.org.uk/guidance-issued-renewal-applications-following-non-admittance-upper-tribunal/https://www.freemovement.org.uk/can-a-child-stateless-by-choice-be-registered-as-a-british-citizen/Policy updates:https://www.freemovement.org.uk/home-office-inspectors-release-series-of-reports-highlights-for-lawyers/https://www.freemovement.org.uk/expert-witness-wins-apology-payment-legal-aid-agency-law-society-gazette/https://www.freemovement.org.uk/home-office-cracking-down-on-entry-of-amateur-cricketers/https://www.freemovement.org.uk/new-home-office-policy-guidance-british-nationality/https://www.freemovement.org.uk/what-is-the-law-on-the-deportation-of-non-eu-foreign-criminals-and-their-human-rights/ [audio mp3="https://www.freemovement.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/FM-podcast-July-2017.mp3"][/audio] [post_title] => Immigration Update July 2017 [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => immigration-update-july-2017 [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-10-12 15:07:36 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-10-12 14:07:36 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.freemovement.org.uk/?post_type=course_unit&p=57414 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => course_unit [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 57413 [post_author] => 460 [post_date] => 2017-10-12 12:43:11 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-10-12 11:43:11 [post_content] => Welcome to the June 2017 edition of the Free Movement immigration update course.This month I’m starting with the current UK proposals on the future status of EU citizens in the UK and a few (!) problems with those plans, covering the major Supreme Court decision on the "deport first, appeal later" regime, taking a look at the new "safe return review" the Home Office now conducts before granting settlement to refugees and then whizzing through some important but fairly dry judgments on Dublin returns and subsidiary protection, service of immigration decisions, the law of appeals and automatic strike out of judicial review cases in the Upper Tribunal.The material is all drawn from the June 2017 blog posts on Free Movement.If you would like to claim CPD points for reading the material and listening to this podcast, sign up here as a Free Movement Member. There are now over 40 CPD hours of training materials available to members. You can find all the available courses here.If you listen to podcasts on your mobile phone, you can subscribe for free via iTunes here, Stitcher here or point your podcast player to the podcast feed for Free Movement. Using a mobile device and subscribing has the advantage that each new podcast can be automatically downloaded for listening to on the go.To access previous Free Movement immigration update podcasts click here.The main content of the downloadable 25 minute audio podcast follows the (non chronological) order of content below:  [audio mp3="https://www.freemovement.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/FM-podcast-June-2017.mp3"][/audio] [post_title] => Immigration Update June 2017 [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => immigration-update-june-2017 [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-10-12 14:57:40 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-10-12 13:57:40 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.freemovement.org.uk/?post_type=course_unit&p=57413 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => course_unit [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 57333 [post_author] => 23 [post_date] => 2017-10-11 10:51:43 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-10-11 09:51:43 [post_content] => Firstly, we are always grateful for feedback on our courses, please take a few seconds to complete the form. Then you only need to complete the short quiz to have finished the course.[gravityform id="1" title="true" description="true" ajax="true"] [post_title] => Feedback and final quiz [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => feedback-final-quiz [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-10-11 10:51:43 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-10-11 09:51:43 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.freemovement.org.uk/?post_type=course_unit&p=57333 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => course_unit [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 57331 [post_author] => 23 [post_date] => 2017-10-11 10:21:49 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-10-11 09:21:49 [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_13738" align="alignnone" width="1400"]Royal Courts of Justice By cheri228[/caption]The refusal rate for applications for naturalisation is relatively low. It is currently around 8%.Sometimes applications are refused “correctly” in legal terms. The applicant does not meet the criteria, for example having been outside the UK for too long but not having realised this, or not holding a permanent residence document when one was needed. If there is a legal discretion available to officials then in some cases it may be worth attempting a fresh application with better evidence or submissions. This depends on the reason for the refusal.[su_box title="Example"]Anita applies for naturalisation and is refused because she was outside the UK for 112 days in the final year before she applied for naturalisation. There is a discretion enabling officials to waive this requirement in certain circumstances. Because Anita did not realise that she had a potential problem with excess absences, she did not include any extra evidence which might have persuaded officials to grant her application despite the issue. Anita could potentially re-apply, this time including evidence and submissions about her links to the UK.Bertram applies for naturalisation and is refused on good character grounds. He entered the UK illegally eight years ago but otherwise meets the requirements for naturalisation. There is very little point in Bertram re-applying because it is highly unlikely that officials at the Home Office will change their mind on an issue like this one.[/su_box]Where the requirement under which the application was refused was a mandatory one in legal terms, and officials have no discretion to waive the requirement, then the applicant will simply have to wait until he or she qualifies, if ever.Sometimes mistakes are made at the Home Office. If an official has made a simple mistake and this can be pointed out, usually the best way forward is to apply for reconsideration, as discussed below.

Apply for reconsideration

The form to use for a reconsideration request is Form NR. At the time of writing the fee was £321.An application for reconsideration is most likely to be worthwhile where it can clearly and incontrovertibly be shown that the Home Office has made a mistake. For example, if the Home Office has incorrectly calculated absences abroad or has failed to apply one of its own policies at all, then reconsideration may sometimes be effective. It is much cheaper and less stressful than the alternative, which is an application for judicial review.An application for reconsideration is unlikely to succeed where a challenge is made to a discretionary decision by a Home Office official, such as refusing to waive excess absences or refusal on good character grounds. Disagreeing with the decision is not a good ground for reconsideration; for reconsideration to be worth trying there needs to have been a provable mistake by the official deciding the application.

Application for judicial review

There is no right of appeal to the immigration tribunal against a refusal of registration or naturalisation as a British citizen so the only legal remedy is an application for judicial review. It may in some cases be worth asking for reconsideration first, particularly where there is a good argument the official who decided the case the first time made a mistake, for example ignoring the policy on refugees and illegal entry.Applications for judicial review are beyond the scope of this guide. There is an absolute deadline of three months from the refusal decision which will only be extended in very rare circumstances. The first step is usually to comply with the Pre Action Protocol For Judicial Review by sending a letter to the Home Office warning them of proposed legal action and setting out in summary the basis for the legal action. A template is available from the Home Office but use of the template is not mandatory.If an application for judicial review is successful, the end result is that the decision is declared unlawful and that decision has to be taken again by the Home Office. This does not guarantee that the new decision will be a favourable one, although in most cases the Home Office will usually reverse their position and grant the application made. [post_title] => Bringing a legal challenge [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => bringing-legal-challenge-2 [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-10-11 10:21:49 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-10-11 09:21:49 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.freemovement.org.uk/?post_type=course_unit&p=57331 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => course_unit [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 57328 [post_author] => 23 [post_date] => 2017-10-11 10:18:07 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-10-11 09:18:07 [post_content] => Successful applicants will receive a citizenship invitation letter, containing the details of the local authority where their ceremony will take place.They will need to contact that local authority to book a place at a citizenship ceremony. They must take the original invitation letter with them to the ceremony. The ceremony must normally take place within 90 days of the invitation letter.Usually, two guests are allowed, although this should be checked with each local authority. It is also possible to ask for a private ceremony.During the ceremony, applicants will need to make an oath of allegiance or an affirmation (for those would do not want to swear by God) and a pledge. By doing so, applicants promise to respect the laws of the United Kingdom. It is only at that point that they become British citizens, meaning that the ceremony is a mandatory part of the process of becoming a British citizen.At the end of the ceremony, applicants are given their Certificate of British Citizenship. This is the document which confirms that they are British citizens, and can be used to make a subsequent application for a British passport. [post_title] => Oath and citizenship ceremony [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => oath-citizenship-ceremony [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-10-11 10:18:07 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-10-11 09:18:07 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.freemovement.org.uk/?post_type=course_unit&p=57328 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => course_unit [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw )