All Articles: Asylum

The two statutory instruments that will pave the way for the use of x-rays and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans of children’s bones and teeth for the purpose of immigration control are on track to be approved by Parliament. This is despite concerns being raised around the inability for children...

24th November 2023
BY Kama Petruczenko

This post reflects on Wednesday’s momentous Supreme Court decision in the Rwanda litigation. You can read Colin’s initial take on the judgment here. The Supreme Court’s decision To recap, the Supreme Court decided that there are substantial grounds for believing that the removal of any asylum seeker to Rwanda under...

20th November 2023
BY Jed Pennington

Immigration lawyers tend to have a good grasp of the definition of a refugee. We can confidently recite the “well-founded fear” definition at Article 1(A)(2) of the 1951 UN Convention on the Status of Refugees (the “Refugee Convention”) which, if met, can lead our clients to a grant of refugee status....

16th November 2023
BY Jasmine Quiller-Doust

The Supreme Court has today held that Rwanda is not a safe country and that it would be unlawful for refugees to be removed there. The government’s appeal against the Court of Appeal’s judgment has been dismissed. Lord Reed, giving the court’s judgment, emphasised the non-political nature of the court’s role,...

15th November 2023
BY Colin Yeo

Draft regulations have been laid which will add India and Georgia to the list of ‘safe’ countries at section 80AA of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002. The Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 (Amendment to List of Safe States) Regulations 2024 need to be voted through by both...

9th November 2023
BY Sonia Lenegan

An Iranian refugee who, according to MI5, holds an Islamist extremist mindset and is supportive of ISIL (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant), has won his appeal against revocation of his refugee status. If the Home Office decides to revoke a person’s refugee status, there is a right of...

8th November 2023
BY Iain Halliday

The UK government is limiting evacuations from Gaza to British citizens only, forcing families to separate if any of them are to be safe, leaving others in extremely dangerous circumstances. It has been one month since the war started, and Israel’s heavy bombardment of Gaza has intensified during this time....

7th November 2023
BY Pip Hague

As anticipated, the latest published trafficking statistics covering July to September 2023 show a substantial reversal in the number of refusals at reasonable grounds stage, although these are still far higher than before the Nationality and Borders Act 2022. How does the modern slavery protection process work? Firstly, a potential...

2nd November 2023
BY Sonia Lenegan

The Home Office has explained in newly published guidance ‘Asylum decision-making prioritisation‘ how they will decide the order for decision making of asylum claims. This provides some much-needed clarity to the process. As anyone working in the sector can tell you, there is no fixed timeframe for an asylum claim...

1st November 2023
BY Katherine Soroya

At least 51% of asylum applicants in England and Wales – 37,450 people – are now unable to find a legal aid lawyer. That is the deficit between the number of new legal aid cases opened (‘matters’) and the number of new applications for asylum. This analysis comes from Freedom...

25th October 2023
BY Jo Wilding

Here, we look at the practicalities involved in getting a good medico-legal report. We have previously explained what a medico-legal report is and that article should be read alongside this one. These reports can be a game changer in cases involving vulnerable clients, but in the current climate it is...

24th October 2023
BY Beth Mullan-Feroze

Last week, the Supreme Court heard an argument that the Rwanda policy breaches retained EU law, which the president Lord Reed described as a potential “knock out” blow in the Rwanda litigation. Under the Rwanda policy, asylum seekers arriving by small boat or other illegal clandestine means would be flown...

17th October 2023
BY Jed Pennington

This article provides an overview of what a medico-legal report is, the different types of reports available and when they should be used. A medico-legal report is frequently used to document the psychological and/or physical result of torture and other forms of ill-treatment which an individual has been subjected to....

13th October 2023
BY Beth Mullan-Feroze

Last week, we at Safe Passage published our Routes to Safety report, which makes recommendations for a new compassionate and competent approach to dangerous journeys across the channel.  Implementing our proposals could disrupt the smuggler’s business model, save lives and uphold the UK’s commitment to protect refugees.   Safe routes work  At Safe Passage,...

10th October 2023
BY Alamara Khwaja Bettum

Readers of this blog will have noticed that the fairness of the Home Office’s procedure for deciding who to send to Rwanda is not among the issues being argued in the Supreme Court in October. This post highlights the important findings made by the Court of Appeal on procedural fairness...

2nd October 2023
BY Alison Pickup

Last year 1,334 people came to the UK and claimed asylum based on their sexual orientation, amounting to 2% of all asylum claims. A lot of them are probably feeling quite frightened this morning after the Home Secretary has chosen to single them out for attack, as being undeserving of...

26th September 2023
BY Sonia Lenegan

On the face of it, refugee status and humanitarian protection seem like two sides of the same coin. Both are a form of international protection granted to a person in need. Both result in a grant of five years’ permission to remain in the UK on a pathway to settlement...

26th September 2023
BY John Vassiliou

In AB and NB v Secretary of State for the Home Department (PA/07865/20119), the First-tier Tribunal found that the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) was unable to provide “protection and assistance” to a severely disabled Palestinian child living in Lebanon. As a direct consequence of that he was...

19th September 2023
BY Grace Capel

In what seems to be a prelude to the introduction of the use of ionising radiation (x-rays) for non-medical reasons on children, the government has published the Justification Decision (Scientific Age Imaging) Regulations 2023. There is also a draft explanatory memorandum containing a statement by the Secretary of State for...

14th September 2023
BY Sonia Lenegan

The Secretary of State will reduce judicial oversight of detention and increase her detention powers when more of the Illegal Migration Act 2023 comes into force on 28 September 2023. Those and other changes set out in the Illegal Migration Act 2023 (Commencement No. 1) Regulations 2023, published last night,...

12th September 2023
BY Sonia Lenegan

The government was granted permission to appeal in the Rwanda litigation in July. This post provides an update on the current state of play ahead of the Supreme Court hearing. You can read Free Movement’s coverage of the Court of Appeal’s judgment here and here.  In essence, the Court of...

12th September 2023
BY Jed Pennington

This post is intended for refugees (including those with humanitarian protection), their families and their friends trying to understand the rules on refugee family reunion. The requirements to be met are fairly straightforward and simple for children and partners who existed at the time the refugee fled their country of origin. These...

7th September 2023
BY Colin Yeo

The Home Office may no longer be able to meet the rules it currently relies on to use the international aid budget to support people in their first year in the UK if the government brings more of the Illegal Migration Act 2023 into force. This is according to a...

6th September 2023
BY Sonia Lenegan

With the number of asylum claims on the rise across Europe and around the world, the discussion on safe routes for people seeking asylum is not unique to the UK. I thought it would useful to look at what processes other countries have in place for receiving refugees aside from...

4th September 2023
BY Sonia Lenegan

The Home Office is reported to have reduced the notice period a successful asylum seeker is given to leave their asylum accommodation once they have been granted refugee status. It was 28 days and now it is reported to be just 7 days. If so, this just isn’t enough time for...

30th August 2023
BY Sonia Lenegan

Following the outbreak of the conflict in Sudan earlier this year the UK government evacuated thousands of people. This included a number of Sudanese nationals, some of whom were single parents accompanying their British children. What their current entitlements and next steps are is unclear.   There is no published...

23rd August 2023
BY Katherine Soroya

We have been flagging up concerns about the Home Office use of withdrawals for a couple of months now. We have covered the changes to the immigration rules relating to the withdrawal of asylum claims that come into effect on 7 August 2023, and published a briefing on withdrawals. The...

8th August 2023
BY Sonia Lenegan

The Home Secretary’s systematic and routine accommodation of unaccompanied asylum-seeking children in hotels is unlawful, the High Court has held. The case, R (on the application of ECPAT UK) v Kent County Council and another [2023] EWHC 1953 (Admin), looks at what happens when local authorities don’t comply with their...

3rd August 2023
BY Deborah Revill

In the recent judgment R (HA and Ors) v SSHD [2023] EWHC 1876 (Admin) the High Court (Swift J) found that the Home Secretary failed to meet even her minimalist legal obligations to provide support to destitute asylum seekers. The details of the case make shocking reading, even for those...

1st August 2023
BY John Crowley

In WAS (Pakistan) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2023] EWCA Civ 894, the Court of Appeal has given guidance on the lower standard of proof in asylum appeals. WAS claimed to be at risk because of his involvement with MQM-London, a UK-based faction of a Pakistani political...

31st July 2023
BY Deborah Revill

The Home Office is increasingly treating asylum claims as being withdrawn. This seems to be a new policy intended to reduce the asylum backlog. The number of asylum decisions made by the Home Office at first glance appears to be increasing. When we look at the detail of the figures,...

26th July 2023
BY Nadia O Mara

An asylum-seeking mother and her four children were placed in inadequate hotel accommodation for over a year, the High Court has found. The case is R (on the application of SA) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2023] EWHC 1787 (Admin). It is a striking example of a...

20th July 2023
BY Deborah Revill

The Home Office has, following a judicial review challenge for two claimants of Duncan Lewis, published new modern slavery statutory guidance which no longer requires a potential victim of trafficking and modern slavery to produce ‘objective’ evidence corroborating a credible account of their experiences in order to receive a positive...

19th July 2023
BY Thomas Munns

On 17 July 2023, a new statement of changes to the Immigration Rules was published. As usual, it is accompanied by an Explanatory Memorandum. Also as usual, it is largely concerned with cracking down on those perceived as abusing immigration law. There are, though, one or two positive changes. Asylum...

18th July 2023
BY Deborah Revill

The mantra of “safe and legal routes” is regularly repeated by the government when justifying increasingly draconian legislation in an attempt to prevent refugees from travelling to the UK under their own steam. The argument is that refugees should use these safe and legal routes instead of arriving in small...

12th July 2023
BY Sonia Lenegan

The Home Secretary was entitled to refuse entry clearance to an Afghan interpreter accused of releasing sensitive information and threatening to kill coalition forces. That was the conclusion of the High Court in FMA and others v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2023] EWHC 1579 (Admin), the latest...

6th July 2023
BY Deborah Revill

This post reflects on last week’s extraordinary Court of Appeal judgment on the Rwanda policy. You can read our initial take on this here. Appeal to the Supreme Court The government has already announced its intention to seek leave to appeal to the UK Supreme Court. The key issues that...

5th July 2023
BY Jed Pennington

The majority of unaccompanied children who enter the UK to seek asylum do not bring with them evidence of their age. Because of this, the Home Office has a duty to carry out an initial assessment of their age to establish whether they are, or could be, children. The Home...

4th July 2023
BY Francesca Sella

The Supreme Court has held that there was no legal obligation to consider the equality impact of excluding Palestinians from the UK’s resettlement scheme for refugees from Syria. The design of the scheme was therefore lawful. The case is R (on the application of Marouf) v Secretary of State for...

3rd July 2023
BY Deborah Revill

The Court of Appeal has found, by a majority, that the Rwanda plan is unlawful as Rwanda is not a sufficiently safe country. In short, the Rwandan authorities are not yet reliably able to sort genuine from non-genuine refugees, and therefore there is too great a risk that genuine refugees...

29th June 2023
BY Gabriel Tan
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