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10 of the most absurd things ever to happen to immigration lawyers


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The sheer surrealism of an immigration lawyer’s job can perhaps only truly be understood by MC Escher’s architect or Salvador Dali’s landscape designer: you do your best to navigate the impossible, but you can’t help being occasionally hit in the face by a massive melting clock.

 Here are ten of the most ludicrous examples.

1. DNA denial

Gregor Mendel would be turning in his grave.

2. Schrödinger’s decision

In immigration law, at least, it appears wave function collapse only occurs when the decision is observed by a judge.

3. J’accuse! 

Clearly, the judge thought he had uncovered the most brazen plan for obtaining an adjournment to ever grace the hallowed halls of the First-tier Tribunal.

4. Christmas cheer

Companionship, trust and mutual respect are all well and good but it’s not a genuine and subsisting relationship unless you buy her a Peloton bike for Christmas.

5. Road to nowhere

It’s about the journey, not the destination.

6. The divine threesome

Home Office caseworkers are not known for their theological scholarship but this one still takes the Communion wafer.

7. Bail fail

If you think you’re having a bad day, imagine being legally obligated to make the journey from London to Newcastle in the span of a few hours with absolutely no means of getting there.

8. Dastardly disguise

Why bother to challenge removal directions when you can just deploy a fake nose and a glue-on moustache? 

9. Knowing me, knowing you

For my own peace of mind, I have to assume this decision was made by someone who has never eaten chicken, and not someone who eats their chicken neat.

10. The third degree

I am fully expecting a future decision refusing a client’s spouse visa application on the grounds that they are a Bachelor of Arts and, as such, cannot be married.

Now read: 10 of the most outrageous Home Office refusal letters.

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Alex Piletska

Alex Piletska

Alex Piletska is a solicitor at Turpin Miller LLP, an Oxford-based specialist immigration firm where she has worked since 2017. She undertakes a wide range of immigration work, including family migration, Points Based System applications, appeals and Judicial Review. Alex is a co-founder of Ukraine Advice Project UK and sits on the LexisPSL panel of experts and Q&A panel. You can follow her on Twitter at @alexinlaw.