All Articles: Immigration news

For many campaigners there is a lot of uncertainty about how to get traction for their cause as Brexit and Covid continue to dominate the policy space. Migration advocates have a different challenge: the government has been clear that it wants to create an immigration system which is “firm but...

7th December 2020
BY Emma Harrison

I follow immigration law and policy pretty closely but, I must confess, I simply do not know what UK government immigration policy is right now. We are told there is a new points based immigration system but that tells us nothing about what outcomes the government wants from the new...

4th December 2020
BY Colin Yeo

The vice-president of the Upper Tribunal has laid into a more junior immigration judge for a judgment so bad it amounted to a “failure of the judicial process”. Vice-president Ockelton said that the judgment in question, which was littered with errors and irrelevant material apparently copy and pasted from previous...

2nd November 2020
BY CJ McKinney

New Immigration Rules setting up a UK visa scheme for British National (Overseas) citizens in Hong Kong were published as part of a statement of changes on 22 October 2020. These new rules had been heavily trailed in a detailed summer policy statement but still contain a few glimmering nuggets...

28th October 2020
BY John Vassiliou

The long-awaited statement of changes giving us more details on the famous “new Points-Based Immigration System” has now been published. It is over 500 pages long and even the explanatory memorandum, which is usually just a few pages long, weighs in at 50 pages. This article is a summary of...

22nd October 2020
BY Nath Gbikpi

Home Office Presenting Officers are civil servants who represent the government in immigration appeals. Last month we ran an article by an anonymous HOPO describing how the immigration system looks from that side of the fence and inviting questions by readers. Here are the answers. Thanks to everyone who sent...

12th October 2020
BY Anonymous

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 Commonwealth citizens with indefinite leave to remain in the UK...

5th October 2020
BY Emma Harris

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 role. Lawyer and lecturer Prior to becoming...

2nd October 2020
BY Anonymous

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 the tribunal has probably come across them....

9th September 2020
BY Anonymous

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 scrapped and legal aid paid at hourly rates pending a full consultation. In a...

12th August 2020
BY CJ McKinney

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. Anyone who has ever won an appeal...

7th August 2020
BY Bilaal Shabbir

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 Movement, scored visa applicants for risk based in part on their nationality....

4th August 2020
BY Chai Patel

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 outlined a five-pronged approach which, if actually implemented,...

22nd July 2020
BY Colin Yeo

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 improvements in this area made between 2015 and 2017 and needs to go...

8th July 2020
BY CJ McKinney

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 make or progress” immigration applications on behalf of 17 clients...

1st July 2020
BY CJ McKinney

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 it was already piloting as part of ongoing digital reforms....

1st July 2020
BY Jo Hynes

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 sponsor their spouses or children.  What is the link...

30th June 2020
BY Cryton Chikoko

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, including unpaid interpreter invoices and having a shortfall on the client account. The Solicitors Regulation...

24th June 2020
BY CJ McKinney

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 law events of the pandemic so far, which includes some concessions that were...

9th June 2020
BY John Vassiliou

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...

29th May 2020
BY Alex Piletska

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 exceptions, the person will not be allowed to...

26th May 2020
BY Nath Gbikpi

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 drawn up and sent to the department for...

22nd May 2020
BY CJ McKinney

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 apply for leave to remain on the basis of...

12th May 2020
BY Colin Yeo

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 reducing net migration, we’ve...

7th May 2020
BY Alex Piletska

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 rather than an “irregular” one outside the rules. One of the ways to do...

1st May 2020
BY Nath Gbikpi

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 said: Of course, as Home Secretary, I’m able to...

29th April 2020
BY CJ McKinney

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 written advocacy...

21st April 2020
BY Anonymous

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 Settlement Scheme. But it is difficult to keep up with...

13th March 2020
BY Chris Desira

Yesterday’s government announcement on The Future Relationship with the EU made it clear that the United Kingdom would not seek to participate in the European Arrest Warrant (EAW) scheme. This will not come as a surprise to those who have been watching this issue since the referendum: the prospects of...

28th February 2020
BY Rebecca Niblock

The Home Office should release more details about a “cryptic” computer programme that scores visa applicants as high, medium and low risk, the immigration inspector has recommended. David Bolt says that while applicants labelled high risk are not being automatically refused visas, officials should “demystify” the tool to allay concerns...

6th February 2020
BY CJ McKinney

An experienced immigration lawyer has been struck off for failing to check whether a client qualified for legal aid and charging him without telling the firm she was working for. The Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal found that Keisha Hackett, 43, had dishonestly hidden the fact that she took the client’s money,...

5th February 2020
BY CJ McKinney

The Home Office has published specific guidance on settlement applications by migrants who previously held Tier 1 (General) leave and who declared different sets of earnings to the Home Office and HMRC. The document must be read alongside the more general guidance published in October, which covers the refusal of...

20th January 2020
BY Nath Gbikpi

The Law Commission’s long-awaited report on Simplification of the Immigration Rules says that rewriting and paring down the “overly complex and unworkable” document would improve legal certainty and transparency for applicants as well as save money for the courts and the Home Office. The Immigration Rules are the document that set...

14th January 2020
BY Colin Yeo

An immigration lawyer has been struck off not long after being released from prison for defrauding the Legal Aid Agency of up to £5 million. A disciplinary tribunal found that Astrid Halberstadt-Twum was guilty of “deliberate, calculated and repeated” misconduct in siphoning off what the government says is around £4.75...

13th January 2020
BY CJ McKinney

Recent accounts of Ian’s life have brought more detail of his early years and his robust defence tactics at trial such as those of the Mangrove defendants. Whilst those paying tribute have acknowledged him as the father of British immigration law, little further information has been given about how he achieved...

9th January 2020
BY Free Movement

What will the government formed after Thursday’s general election do with the UK immigration system? The three main political parties — those that have been in government before and might be again — have all published manifestos addressing immigration and asylum. Below is a table showing how the manifestos compare...

10th December 2019
BY CJ McKinney

I am seeing more and more people who have filed their own visa application, relying on what they’ve read on the immigration pages of gov.uk. They often tell me that they followed the information on the website carefully when preparing their application and were surprised to receive a refusal citing...

5th December 2019
BY Nichola Carter

If the polls are to be believed, the manifesto that the Conservatives launched yesterday will be the legislative agenda for the UK’s next government. Whichever way you intend to vote in the upcoming election, it needs careful scrutinising to see what a Conservative victory could mean for the UK’s immigration...

25th November 2019
BY Joanna Hunt

All eyes were on Birmingham yesterday for the launch of the Labour Party’s manifesto. Billed as “radical” by Jeremy Corbyn, its stated purpose is to offer “real change” and to build a fairer Britain. But this sense of radicalism does not wholly extend to Labour’s immigration policy. Those who were...

22nd November 2019
BY Joanna Hunt

This is overall a good manifesto on immigration from the Liberal Democrats. There are some choices that niggle, but often in areas where there is no perfect answer. It is still nowhere near forward-thinking or ambitious enough, and it will be interesting to compare to Labour’s. The aspirational benchmark, of...

21st November 2019
BY Chai Patel
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