All Articles: Family immigration

Free family visas: the entry clearance fee waiver policy

The Home Office has published guidance on fee waivers for entry clearance applications (in other words, when it is possible to get a visa for free). This is important as the fees are set at a level that is prohibitive for many families. The waiver app ...

30th June 2022 By

Home Office policy on no recourse to public funds found unlawful, again

The High Court has declared that Home Office policy on allowing migrants to have access to public funds is unlawful for failing to take account of the best interests of children, or of a previous judgment along similar lines. The case is R (AB & o ...

27th June 2022 By

No change to settlement rules for Zambrano carers despite Akinsanya judgment

Zambrano carers who already have permission to stay in the UK under the Immigration Rules cannot use the EU Settlement Scheme as a fast track to permanent residence, the Home Office has confirmed. The department announced today that it would not be ch ...

13th June 2022 By

Can Ukrainians take refuge in the UK? The Ukraine Family Scheme and other routes

The Home Office has put in place some immigration concessions and special visa schemes in response to Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine. This includes the very important Ukraine Family Scheme. The department’s “core plan” ...

25th May 2022 By

New statement of changes to the Immigration Rules: HC 1220 (Ukraine, Ukraine, Ukraine)

The Home Office is writing two special visa schemes for Ukrainians into the Immigration Rules and adding a third for people already here. Statement of changes HC 1220 codifies the existing Ukraine Family Scheme and Homes for Ukraine Scheme (described ...

30th March 2022 By

How come my Ukraine Scheme visa doesn’t last three years as promised?

As a result of the almost aggressively complex way our immigration system works, not just in law but procedure as well, Ukrainians applying under the Ukraine Family Scheme or Homes for Ukraine may appear to be granted less time in the UK than they wer ...

29th March 2022 By

Statement of changes HC 1118: new family and private life rules

On 9 July 2022, the first people granted permission to stay under the ten-year private and family life routes will start to qualify for indefinite leave to remain. Now, just in time for that anniversary, the Home Office has introduced what it describ ...

17th March 2022 By

Dependent relatives to get EU Settlement Scheme family permits

The UK’s agreements on the post-Brexit rights of EU, EFTA and Swiss residents allow beneficiaries to sponsor their non-European family members to live with them in the UK. There are broadly two types of eligible family members: direct family mem ...

8th November 2021 By

Early settlement concession for young people living half their lives in the UK

Some young people born or brought up in the UK without immigration status can now apply for settlement after five years rather than ten. The change in policy comes in a new and very welcome Home Office concession, published yesterday. What follows is ...

26th October 2021 By

The 180-day absence rule doesn’t apply to people with a spouse or partner visa

Many UK immigration categories impose a requirement that the visa holder must not be outside the UK for more than 180 days in any 12-month period — that is, if the person wants to apply for indefinite leave to remain. Joanna and Nath have explor ...

30th September 2021 By

Did the Home Office inadvertently strengthen the rights of Zambrano carers in 2018?

In Velaj (EEA Regulations – interpretation; Reg 16(5); Zambrano) [2021] UKUT 235 (IAC) the Upper Tribunal looked at whether the Home Office accidentally liberalised the regulations on when the primary carer of a British child can be removed from ...

22nd September 2021 By

Briefing: to Zambrano or not to Zambrano?

The important case of Akinsanya, which we introduced in these articles, has opened the door for many non-European primary carers of British citizens to now apply for residence rights under the EU Settlement Scheme. There are many advantages to doing s ...

22nd June 2021 By

Latest on Zambrano carers and the EU Settlement Scheme

On 9 June, in the case of Akinsanya, the High Court found that the definition of Zambrano carers in the rules for the EU Settlement Scheme was wrong, insofar as it prevented those with permission to remain under another part of the Immigration Rules f ...

21st June 2021 By

Getting permission to remain in the UK as an adult dependent relative: not likely

Since the introduction of highly restrictive rules for adult dependent relatives there have been numerous stories, all desperately sad, of parents trying and failing to join or remain with their children in the UK. Mobeen v Secretary of State for the ...

16th June 2021 By

High Court finds the EU Settlement Scheme rules for Zambrano carers unlawful

In a welcome judgment handed down yesterday, R (Akinsanya) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2021] EWHC 1535 (Admin), Mr Justice Mostyn found in no uncertain terms that Zambrano carers do not lose their EU law right to reside just because ...

10th June 2021 By

Sponsor changing job is not a reason to refuse a spouse visa

If you meet the financial requirements of Appendix FM at the date of application but your sponsor then leaves their job, do you still qualify for a spouse visa? Yes, the Upper Tribunal found in Begum (employment income; Rules/Article 8) [2021] UKUT 11 ...

20th May 2021 By

Windrush family priced out of UK win human rights challenge

In this edition of “have I got immigration news for you”, we look at the case of Mahabir v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2021] EWHC 1177 (Admin), in which the High Court found that the Home Office had caused a “colossal interferenc ...

11th May 2021 By

Fresh blow to “no recourse to public funds” scheme

Rules restricting migrants’ access to benefits are back in the spotlight following a new High Court decision, which found that aspects of the “no recourse to public funds” (NRPF) scheme fail to protect the rights of children. The case of ...

4th May 2021 By

Immigration issues should be covered in the Armed Forces Bill

With the Armed Forces Bill making its way through Parliament, the opposition announced yesterday that it is moving a clause to ensure that service personnel with Commonwealth citizenship should not have to pay £2,389 for indefinite leave to remain fo ...

26th 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

Policy on fee waivers for entry clearance is unlawful, government concedes

In another blow for the Home Office on visa application fees, the department has been forced to concede that its policy on fee waivers for entry clearance applications is unlawful.  Fee waiver policies At time of writing, the relevant guidance states ...

8th March 2021 By

Appeal judges reject challenge to domestic abuse policy

In FA (Sudan) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2021] EWCA Civ 59, the Court of Appeal has confirmed that someone applying to stay in the UK under the domestic abuse rules must have had permission to remain as a partner. This appeal was a ...

1st February 2021 By

Lords must act now to protect migrant survivors of domestic abuse

Following years of discussion and consultation, the government’s draft Domestic Abuse Bill was eventually published in January 2019. Now, nearly two years later, the bill comes before the House of Lords on Tuesday 5 January.  Campaigners and surviv ...

4th January 2021 By

Briefing: what is the English language requirement?

The English language requirement can be generously viewed as the Home Office’s response to the biblical Tower of Babel story: society is undermined by its people’s inability to speak the same language. But as anyone who has ever had the misfortune ...

1st December 2020 By

The domestic violence concession: for the few, not the many

The UK’s long-awaited Domestic Abuse Bill has reached the House of Lords stage of its progress towards becoming law. In the House of Commons, MPs had considered an amendment to lift the no recourse to public funds rule for migrant survivors of domes ...

17th August 2020 By

There’s actually no right to family life in the UK

Everyone in the UK has the right to respect for their family life under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights. But as a migrant from outside the European Economic Area, what do you actually need in order to be able to stay in the UK on ...

30th July 2020 By

Part of no recourse to public funds policy declared unlawful: full judgment out

No recourse to public funds (‘NRPF’) is a condition imposed on the majority of UK visa holders preventing them from claiming benefits. In R (W, A Child By His Litigation Friend J) v Secretary of State for the Home Department & Anor [2020] EWH ...

27th May 2020 By

People born in Northern Ireland get improved family reunion rights

The DeSouza case raised complex issues of citizenship, identity and implementation of the Good Friday Agreement, but at the heart of the case was an immigration matter and a family who have faced a brutal uphill struggle to live together in the UK, li ...

21st May 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

Coronavirus has taught us the limitations of “modern means of communication”

In countless Home Office decisions, and in judgments at all levels of the courts system, separation of family members for immigration reasons is – at least in part – justified by the availability of “modern means of communication”. It is a phr ...

8th April 2020 By
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