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

Scottish ruling on refugees getting backdated benefits upheld

The Inner House of the Court of Session has rejected an appeal by HM Revenue and Customs against a ruling that newly recognised refugees are entitled to backdated child tax credit. The case is HMRC v Adnan [2022] CSIH 2. Mr and Mrs Adnan first applied ...

21st 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

“Westernised” Iraqi family granted asylum

What does it mean to be ‘westernised’? It is striking that a term that is used so frequently in this jurisdiction has never been more closely defined. I would suggest that this is because, like obscene material, it is because we ‘know it when we ...

19th January 2022 By

High Court dismisses concerns about legal aid in detention centres

The High Court has thrown out a challenge arguing that the free legal advice given to migrants in detention centres is rubbish. Mr Justice Calver held that statistical evidence that many legal aid firms provide a poor service was unreliable and that & ...

18th January 2022 By

Automated passport checks make it harder to spot human trafficking

Airport “eGates” where people can scan their own passport may make it harder for border officers to catch human trafficking, inspectors have warned. A review of eGates by the Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration highlight ...

14th January 2022 By

EU citizens fighting deportation keep full residence rights

The Home Office has conceded that EU citizens being lined up for deportation retain full residence rights in the meantime. This is so long as they have applied to stay in the UK under the EU Settlement Scheme and are protected by the Brexit Withdrawal ...

11th January 2022 By

How many people have been stripped of their British citizenship?

At least 464 people have been stripped of their British citizenship since the law allowing it was relaxed 15 years ago, Free Movement analysis shows. Home Office figures record 175 people being deprived of their citizenship on national security ground ...

10th January 2022 By

7,000 asylum cases delayed to weed out 48 inadmissible claims

Just over a year ago, the Home Office introduced new rules on deeming asylum claims “inadmissible” — rejected out of hand, without consideration on the merits. At the time, Colin pointed out that without agreements on sending people back to ...

7th January 2022 By

Afghans already in the UK now being “resettled” under long-awaited scheme

The Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme formally began yesterday. The definition of resettlement is elastic: for now, the scheme is only for people “already evacuated and in the UK”. New arrivals are not yet being accepted. Afghan resettle ...

7th January 2022 By

Seeking asylum isn’t illegal yet, criminal courts confirm, quashing small boat convictions

The Court of Appeal has quashed the convictions of three asylum seekers jailed for between two and six years for assisting unlawful immigration after piloting small boats across the English Channel. The case is Bani v The Crown [2021] EWCA Crim 1958. ...

22nd December 2021 By

Immigration update podcast, episode 95

Welcome to episode 95 of the Free Movement immigration update podcast. This month we cover some developments on EU citizens’ rights, several cases on immigration appeals, the latest work visa statistics, and then a few court and tribunal judgments ...

22nd December 2021 By

New guidance on obstructing an immigration officer

The Home Office has issued new guidance to immigration enforcement officers, called simply Obstruction. This refers to the criminal offence of obstructing an immigration officer in section 26(1)(g) of the Immigration Act 1971, which can see activists ...

17th December 2021 By

Windrush victims win citizenship rule waiver

Two victims of the Windrush scandal have won a High Court challenge arguing for citizenship law to be applied more leniently in special cases like theirs. Mr Justice Bourne held today that a seemingly inflexible provision of British nationality law re ...

16th December 2021 By

What does the Human Rights Act consultation say about migrants’ rights?

The government has published its proposals for changing the Human Rights Act 1998. Not all the consultation questions will be of professional interest to immigration lawyers — for instance, there are sections on free speech and trial by jury  ...

14th December 2021 By

Human Rights Act changes out today

The Independent Human Rights Act Review and a consultation on changes to the Human Rights Act 1998 are both due out today. Justice Secretary Dominic Raab has written a preview for the Times, which Joshua Rozenberg has subjected to paragraph-by-paragr ...

14th December 2021 By

Government refuses to relax asylum seeker right to work rules

The Home Office has knocked back campaigners arguing for a relaxation of the near-total ban on asylum seekers working while they wait for a decision on their claim. The Lift the Ban coalition had produced evidence showing that allowing destitute peopl ...

9th December 2021 By

Four-year maximum sentences for visa overstayers

The Nationality and Borders Bill 2021 has passed its third reading in the House of Commons and now goes to the House of Lords on 5 January. The Lords will very likely vote to remove some of the more egregious provisions, and it is always possible that ...

9th December 2021 By

Man who has never left the UK avoids deportation after seven-year legal battle

A 38-year-old man born in the UK without British citizenship cannot be deported to a country he has never even been to, the Upper Tribunal has decided. The case is Akinyemi v Secretary of State for the Home Department (unreported, DA/00574/2014). Rem ...

7th December 2021 By

Supreme Court overturns expansion of benefits rights for EU citizens

The Supreme Court has overturned last year’s ruling that EU citizens with pre-settled status should be able to claim Universal Credit without having to jump through hoops. The case is Fratila and another v Secretary of State for Work and Pension ...

1st December 2021 By

Inspector reveals broken promises on free visa appointments

The immigration inspector has welcomed an increase in free appointments at visa centres in the UK following a report showing that they have been consistently unavailable. David Neal found that Home Office attempts to keep appointments free despite out ...

30th November 2021 By

Record number of Global Talent visas awarded

Record numbers of people have been getting their hands on a Global Talent visa in recent months. Almost 700 were issued in the third quarter of 2021 alone, excluding dependants — more than the annual total in many previous years. Brexit can skew ...

25th November 2021 By

Highest number of asylum applications since 2003

Over 17,000 people applied for asylum in the UK between July and September, the highest quarterly total since 2003, new Home Office figures show. Year on year, there has been an 11% rise in applications to 44,000 in the 12 months to the end of Septemb ...

25th November 2021 By

Home Office able to remove just five Channel boat people since Brexit

Only five people who arrived in the UK by small boat have been sent back to a European country so far this year, according to the Home Office. The figure comes from junior minister Tom Pursglove, who told MPs on the Home Affairs committee that, thanks ...

17th November 2021 By

Ethical decision-making

Soul-searching in a large bureaucracy often manifests in well-meaning paperwork. So it is that the Home Office has published an ethical decision-making model. The document is intended to help staff grappling with difficult moral choices in the course ...

16th November 2021 By

Liars can still be genuine trafficking victims

Some important points on inconsistency and credibility in trafficking cases from David Lock QC, sitting as a deputy High Court judge: The expert evidence in this case from Mr Steve Harvey, who has long experience in the police and in Europol in traffi ...

12th November 2021 By

Immigration Enforcement to decide human trafficking claims

Immigration Enforcement has been given the power to decide whether or not someone is a victim of human trafficking. An update to the Modern Slavery guidance, published on 8 November, includes an “Immigration Enforcement Competent Authority” ...

10th November 2021 By

Court of Appeal declines to re-open MY (Pakistan) human rights ruling

The Court of Appeal has added a rider to last month’s decision in MY (Pakistan). On 15 October, the court held that the Home Office can refuse to engage with human rights claims bolted on to normal immigration applications, which is bad news for ...

5th November 2021 By

Shamima Begum case to take at least another year

The next round of Shamima Begum’s appeal against losing her British citizenship will take place in November 2022. Then-Home Secretary Sajid Javid made an order depriving Ms Begum of her British citizenship in February 2019. An appeal arguing tha ...

2nd November 2021 By

New statement of changes to the Immigration Rules: HC 803 (pork butchers)

The latest statement of changes to the Immigration Rules (HC 803) allows pork butchers to come into the UK as Seasonal Workers for up to six months. It came into force at 4pm on 1 November 2021. The government announced last month that 800 temporary v ...

2nd November 2021 By

How do you prove you’re a gay refugee?

People being persecuted on account of their sexual orientation can seek asylum in the UK, but face having to convince the Home Office that they are in fact lesbian, gay or bisexual. While asylum seekers are no longer quizzed about Oscar Wilde, more su ...

29th October 2021 By

Challenge to automatic British citizenship for Northern Irish people thrown out

In Re Ní Chuinneagain [2021] NIQB 79 the High Court in Northern Ireland has thrown out a challenge to automatic British citizenship for people who reject it. The claimant is from Belfast and regards herself as 100% Irish, from passport to first langu ...

27th October 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

Claiming humanitarian protection in medical treatment cases

Seriously ill migrants claiming humanitarian protection status must show that a persecutor would intentionally deprive them of medical treatment, the Upper Tribunal has confirmed. The case is NM (Art 15(b): intention requirement) Iraq [2021] UKUT 259 ...

25th October 2021 By

English courts can’t hear immigration appeals from Scotland

Immigration law is the same across the United Kingdom, but the legal systems are not. Normally that doesn’t matter. Sometimes, as in the case of Khurshid v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2021] EWCA Civ 1515, it does. Mr Khursid is i ...

20th October 2021 By

Pork butchers latest to get temporary visas

800 temporary Seasonal Worker visas will be made available to pork butchers, the government has announced. They will last for six months, with applications open until 31 December 2021. Butchers were already eligible for the mainstream Skilled Worker v ...

15th October 2021 By

Visa scheme for HGV drivers and poultry workers launched

The Home Office has published a short statement of changes to the Immigration Rules. It is to implement the emergency temporary visa schemes for HGV drivers and poultry workers and therefore comes into force at 4pm today. Employers in those sectors wi ...

11th October 2021 By

Patel pleads for time to stop Channel crossings

About half of the Home Secretary’s speech to the Conservative Party conference today was given over to immigration and asylum, but there were no new policy announcements. In fact it was, in structure, tone and content, much like last year’ ...

5th October 2021 By