From Brexit to small boats: five dramatic years in UK immigration policy

The immigration system has been through a lot since I started covering it for Free Movement five years ago. In September 2017, the UK was still in the two-year countdown to leaving the European Union, and there were even doubts about whether it would ...

22nd July 2022 By

Borders inspector slams “ineffective and inefficient” response to small boats

The Home Office response to small boat crossings is “both ineffective and inefficient”, the borders watchdog says. In an excoriating report published this morning, the Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration found that the s ...

21st July 2022 By

New statement of changes to the Immigration Rules (HC 511): unaccompanied Ukrainian children

Yesterday the Home Office published a new statement of changes to the Immigration Rules (HC 511). It allows unaccompanied children to come to the UK under the Homes for Ukraine scheme if they have notarised parental consent. This comes into force on 1 ...

21st July 2022 By

Syrian refugee loses High Court bid to get immigration appointment fee refunded

A Syrian refugee who paid £440 to secure settlement appointments despite being heavily in debt has lost a High Court bid to get his money back. The case is R (MS) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2022] EWHC 1413 (Admin). Home Office poli ...

19th July 2022 By

Comprehensive Sickness Insurance no longer an issue in citizenship applications

Past lack of Comprehensive Sickness Insurance is no longer an issue for EU nationals trying to get their British citizenship, revised Home Office policy says. As we discussed on the podcast only recently, certain EU citizens (principally those here as ...

11th July 2022 By

More generous Youth Mobility visas for New Zealanders

People from New Zealand are in line for more generous Youth Mobility visas, the Home Office has announced. Kiwis will be eligible up to the age of 35 — rather than 30 for other nationalities — and be able to stay in the UK for three years ...

4th July 2022 By

Conditions at Napier Barracks improve but bedrooms still grim, inspectors find

Conditions at a notorious asylum accommodation centre in Kent have improved, a watchdog reports. The Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration, David Neal, said his team had “observed conditions at Napier Barracks that should have ...

1st July 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

First Rwanda flight: injunction hearings today

Lawyers will argue today for a pause on removals to Rwanda after the High Court rejected an initial bid on Friday evening. At 10am, three judges will hear an appeal against Mr Justice Swift’s 10 June decision not to grant interim relief. The jud ...

13th June 2022 By

Patel refuses to speak to me, immigration inspector complains

Home Secretary Priti Patel has refused to meet the immigration inspector since he took up the job over a year ago. David Neal told the Home Affairs committee of MPs this afternoon he was “disappointed that I’ve not spoken to the Home Secre ...

8th June 2022 By

New regs bring key bits of Borders Act into force on 28 June

Hot off the virtual presses over at legislation.gov.uk: the Nationality and Borders Act 2022 (Commencement No. 1, Transitional and Saving Provisions) Regulations 2022 (SI 2022 No. 590). The instrument brings into force, on 28 June, around a third of t ...

31st May 2022 By

High Potential visa opens today

The High Potential Individual visa went live at 9am today. It is a new route allowing people to live and work in the UK without needing an employer to sponsor them, vaguely in the mould of the dearly departed Highly Skilled Migrants Programme. It is h ...

30th May 2022 By

Things are looking up for undocumented migrant children

In the States, they’re known as “Dreamers”. Children and young people who grow up perfectly integrated, only to find out that — through no fault of their own — they’re actually unauthorised migrants. Here in the UK, ...

27th May 2022 By

Children can now apply for a waiver of citizenship fees

Families who can’t afford British citizenship for their children can now get it for free. A new “citizenship fee waiver for individuals under 18” policy was published today. It allows under-18s to apply to have the £1,012 fee on app ...

26th May 2022 By

EU citizens’ rights group launches CSI Justice campaign

Campaigners are pursuing compensation for EU citizens wrongly found to be unlawfully resident for lack of private health insurance. The CSI Justice campaign, launched by lobby group the3million, follows the recent Court of Justice ruling that EU natio ...

19th May 2022 By

New statement of changes to the Immigration Rules: HC 17 (Borders Act)

The Home Office has published a new statement of changes to the Immigration Rules (HC 17). It is largely focused on changes to the asylum system following the passage of the Nationality and Borders Act 2022 and the agreement with Rwanda to export refu ...

12th May 2022 By

Immigration inspector orders rapid review of Rwanda policy

Newly released government documents justifying the refugees-to-Rwanda policy will be independently scrutinised, the immigration inspector has announced. The Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration (ICIBI) is inviting tenders for a count ...

11th May 2022 By

Hotel Rwanda

The Nationality and Borders Act 2022 hit the statute books yesterday. The Home Office says that the Act “puts into law that those who arrive illegally in the UK – who could have claimed asylum in another safe country – can be considered as ...

29th April 2022 By

Raise minimum wage for social care workers rather than loosening visa rules, says MAC

There should be a higher minimum wage just for social care workers rather than looser visa rules, the Migration Advisory Committee has recommended. Releasing a new MAC report on the impact of Brexit on adult social care, chair Brian Bell said: We main ...

27th April 2022 By

Nothing wrong with official evidence of English language test cheating, Upper Tribunal holds

This decision forms the next episode in the saga of cases arising from the Test of English for International Communication (“TOEIC”) certificates obtained from test centres in the United Kingdom administering tests set by the Educational T ...

26th April 2022 By

Afghan judge to get visa decision before having to come out of hiding

The Home Office has been ordered to make a decision in principle on an Afghan judge’s visa before making him come out of hiding to lodge a formal application. The case is R (JZ) v Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affa ...

5th April 2022 By

Borders Bill nears completion

The Nationality and Borders Bill returns to Parliament today. The House of Lords is being presented with the Bill for a second time after MPs voted to remove all its previous attempts to drastically water down the legislation; typically the unelected ...

4th April 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

Asylum lawyer settles defamation case against the Sun over legal aid allegations

An immigration lawyer has settled a defamation case against the Sun after being monstered for her work with detained asylum seekers. The newspaper had accused Uma Devi Rajasundram of Milestone Solicitors of “shamelessly touting a price list̶ ...

29th March 2022 By

Give me more enforcement powers, says Immigration Services Commissioner

The Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner is changing. For one thing, there will soon be no office — or at least, not a physical one. The OISC is ditching its London headquarters and going fully remote, as well as regional. From 1 Apri ...

25th March 2022 By

New statement of changes to the Immigration Rules: HC 1118

The government has published 205 pages worth of changes to the Immigration Rules. The changes are being phased in over the next few months, starting on 6 April 2022. Highlights include: Children who live in the UK for seven years can get immigration p ...

16th March 2022 By

Russian it through: the sudden demise of the Investor visa

Closing the Investor visa route to new applicants with immediate effect was necessary, the Home Secretary said this week. If potential applicants had been given a decent period of notice, it might have attracted a last-minute flood of undesirables who ...

25th February 2022 By

First-tier Tribunal discourages oral evidence from abroad

The President of the First-tier Tribunal has put out new guidance on witnesses dialling in to give evidence from abroad. It is decidedly negative, stressing the need to get consent — via the Foreign Office, in a prescribed manner — from th ...

18th February 2022 By

Investor visa closed to new applicants with immediate effect

The Investor visa route has been closed to all new applicants with “immediate effect”, the Home Office announced this afternoon, citing “security concerns” and “wider corruption”. This follows multiple media reports ...

17th February 2022 By

Home Office suspends ten-year route punishment for migrants granted public funds

The Home Office has suspended its policy of forcing migrants who successfully apply for public funds to wait longer for settlement. In response to a parliamentary question, migration minister Kevin Foster said on 10 February: We are currently reviewin ...

15th February 2022 By

Refugees can make backdated child tax credit claims

I can do no better than adopt Tom Royston’s summary of R (DK) v Revenue and Customs [2022] EWCA Civ 120: in an important decision about the rights of refugees to financial support for children, the Court of Appeal in England and Wales has agreed ...

10th February 2022 By

Nobody has been refused citizenship for lack of CSI

Regular readers will remember the problems caused by Comprehensive Sickness Insurance, or CSI. Essentially, certain EU citizens in the UK pre-Brexit were expected to have private health insurance. If they didn’t, it can still cause them legal pr ...

4th February 2022 By

Can the Iranian government see what dissidents post on Facebook?

The Upper Tribunal has put out a country guidance ruling on the Iranian government’s monitoring of dissidents on Facebook. Previous case law on the general human rights situation in Iran continues to hold good, but the new decision makes additio ...

3rd February 2022 By

ILR can be cancelled while holder is outside the UK

The Home Secretary does have the legal power to cancel someone’s indefinite leave to remain after all, the Court of Appeal has held. The decision in R (C1) v Secretary of State for the Home Department (Rev1) [2022] EWCA Civ 30 reverses the tenta ...

31st January 2022 By

When can the Home Secretary take your citizenship away?

One of the Home Secretary’s more startling powers is to take people’s British citizenship away where they acquired it by fraud or it is “conducive to the public good”. In the latter case, losing citizenship often amounts to exi ...

28th January 2022 By

Stripping people of British citizenship without telling them is definitely illegal – for now

The UK government’s attempt to strip a British-Pakistani woman of her citizenship without telling her was unlawful, a split Court of Appeal has confirmed. Lord Justice Baker and Lady Justice Whipple held that the regulation allowing notice of ci ...

27th January 2022 By

New statement of changes to the Immigration Rules: HC 1019 (social care visas)

Social care workers can get Skilled Worker visas from 15 February 2022. The change was first announced on Christmas Eve and has now been confirmed in a statement of changes to the Immigration Rules (HC 1019), published yesterday. Employers (but not pr ...

25th January 2022 By

Ever wanted to write for Free Movement? We’re recruiting!

There is a lot going on in immigration law at the moment and we are looking to recruit more specialist contributors to Free Movement. If you can write fluently, you are interested in being read by a wide audience and you are fascinated by immigrat ...

24th January 2022 By

Changes to right to work checks from 6 April 2022

Employers who want to avoid the possibility of a fine for hiring an unauthorised migrant are well advised to carry out right to work checks. Such checks are not mandatory, but where companies do carry them out, the Home Office advises that “all ...

20th January 2022 By

Fast-track age assessments of newly arrived asylum seekers were unlawful

Fast-track age assessments for newly arrived asylum seekers were unlawful, the High Court has found. The case is R (MA & Anor) v Coventry City Council & Anor [2022] EWHC 98 (Admin). Doughty Street Chambers has a detailed summary and Diane Tayl ...

20th January 2022 By
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