All Articles: Immigration news

Windrush migrants were wrongly barred from the UK despite having indefinite leave to remain

For many of the Windrush generation it was the hostile environment which signalled the start of their wrongful exclusion from society and, in some cases, the UK itself. For others, the injustice started much earlier. Between 1973 and 1988, many Common ...

5th October 2020 By

Pioneering immigration judge Hugo Storey retires

Hugo Storey had his last day as a judge on 30 September, having reached the statutory retirement age of 75.  The established place the Upper Tribunal now has in the UK judicial system and its high reputation abroad owes much to Hugo’s pioneering ro ...

2nd October 2020 By

I’m a Home Office Presenting Officer: ask me anything

We Presenting Officers can usually be put into two categories. The first group is unable to see anything wrong with any decision and will defend it at all costs. Although hopefully they’re few and far between, anyone with a bit of experience before ...

9th September 2020 By

Government ditches legal aid changes after conceding they were rammed through unlawfully

The government is to abandon a highly controversial change to legal aid for online immigration appeals after accepting that it was pushed through unlawfully. The Civil Legal Aid (Remuneration) (Amendment) (Coronavirus) Regulations 2020 will now be scr ...

12th August 2020 By

You can’t just decide to not obey the law, immigration officials informed

On 4 August 2020, the Home Office issued new guidance to its civil servants on how to respond to immigration appeals that the department has lost. The 18-page document can be found here (pdf download). For the most part, the guidance is welcome. Anyon ...

7th August 2020 By

Government to “redesign” controversial visa algorithm

Earlier this year JCWI, with the help of Foxglove, launched a legal challenge against the Home Office over its use of an algorithmic “streaming tool” that assigned risk categories to visa applications. The tool, previously covered on Free ...

4th August 2020 By

Priti Patel proposes Home Office revolution in response to Windrush scandal

Home Secretary Priti Patel has proposed nothing less than a revolution within the Home Office in response to the Windrush Lessons Learned Review by Wendy Williams. In a statement to the House of Commons yesterday, which should be read in full, Patel o ...

22nd July 2020 By

Home Office complaints handling targets “routinely missed”

Home Office targets for handling complaints within 20 working days are “routinely missed”, according to a report published today by the immigration inspector, David Bolt. Mr Bolt also says that the department has failed to keep up improvem ...

8th July 2020 By

Strike-off for immigration solicitor who faked entire judicial review

A solicitor who failed to make immigration applications on behalf of 17 clients and faked an entire judicial review to cover his tracks has been struck off. The Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal found that Christopher Ka Ki Cheng had “failed to m ...

1st July 2020 By

Research interviews reveal crippling impact of new legal aid rules

Like many other jurisdictions, the First-tier Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber) has been forced to change how it works as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. First, HM Courts and Tribunals Service made expanded use of an online procedure which ...

1st July 2020 By

Why a Welsh government report on BAME coronavirus deaths calls for lower visa costs

A recent report on the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) people in Wales has urged the Welsh government to lobby the UK government to reduce visa costs, especially for those whose income is too low to spon ...

30th June 2020 By

Bankrupt immigration law firm had “gone out of financial control”

A solicitor whose well-respected immigration firm collapsed in 2018 has been fined £15,000 after admitting to breaches of accounting rules. Lawrence Lupin accepted responsibility for six breaches of the rules on financial and practice management, inc ...

24th June 2020 By

Migrants’ rights during coronavirus: the story so far

If you’ve been struggling to keep up with the avalanche of immigration news and Home Office U-turns since lockdown began, you’re not alone. I’ve thrown together this immigration track and trace post to catalogue the major immigration ...

9th June 2020 By

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

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 hi ...

29th May 2020 By

General grounds for refusal: understanding re-entry bans

The Home Office can impose entry bans on people who have previously breached immigration law or used deception in their application for leave. Bans can last one year, two years, five years or ten years. Generally speaking, and except for some minor ex ...

26th May 2020 By

Home Office inefficiency “frustrates the purpose” of internal review

Reports by the Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration, David Bolt, now follow a familiar pattern. Mr Bolt and his team carry out an inspection of a certain area of Home Office activity. A report on possible areas of improvement is draw ...

22nd May 2020 By

Wesley Gryk retires: end of a “queer career”

On 13 October 1997, the new Labour government published a document on family visas. It was called the Concession Outside the Immigration Rules for unmarried partners and it was a legal landmark. The concession allowed certain foreigners in the UK to a ...

12th May 2020 By

The Home Office Dictionary

By Alex Piletska and John Vassiliou Welcome to your first day as an Administrative Officer, the most junior civil service grade. We’re sure you will fit right in. To help you get to grips with all the technical mumbo-jumbo that can get in the way of ...

7th May 2020 By

General grounds for refusal: contriving to frustrate the intention of the rules

Sometimes a migrant here in the UK unlawfully will want to apply for immigration status. Lawyers and the Home Office often call this “regularising” their status, because the person becomes a “regular” migrant within the rules r ...

1st May 2020 By

Home Secretary brushes off fears about legality of coronavirus visa extensions

More on the mysterious legal power that the Home Secretary claims to have to grant automatic visa extensions to foreign NHS workers. Asked about the legal basis for automatic extensions by MPs on the Home Affairs Committee this morning, Priti Patel sa ...

29th April 2020 By

How to write a pre-action letter that makes the Home Office change its mind

I have read a lot of pre-action letters in my time. And I have responded to a fair few too. For a couple of years I was a caseworker in the Home Office’s judicial review team, based in London, where I saw the weird, wonderful and lacklustre of writt ...

21st April 2020 By

New statement of changes to the Immigration Rules: HC 120

The government continues to keep us immigration lawyers on our toes, and everyone else completely flummoxed, with yet another statement of changes to the Immigration Rules. Thankfully, many of these changes are welcome as they plug gaps in the EU Sett ...

13th March 2020 By