Criminal courts scrap rule requiring defendants to state their nationality pre-trial

Goodbye and good riddance to the “nationality requirement”, which since November 2017 has seen criminal defendants told to state their citizenship during their first appearance in court. A report last year by non-profit law firm Commons Le ...

9th February 2021 By

Unauthorised migrants can get coronavirus vaccine, government confirms

“Illegal migrants’ vaccine amnesty” is the front page of today’s Daily Mail.  The paper reports that, in an “unprecedented” move, migrants will be vaccinated against coronavirus irrespective of their immigration st ...

8th February 2021 By

Solicitor who failed to lodge client’s immigration application struck off

A Bradford solicitor has been struck off for multiple breaches of her professional duties, including reassuring a client that her immigration case was in progress when the application had never been lodged. Legal Futures reports that the Solicitors Di ...

2nd February 2021 By

BNO visa app launches in February 2021

Government press offices have a habit of re-announcing popular policies, and so it is with the BNO visa. The Home Office has confirmed that the special visa scheme for people from Hong Kong with British National (Overseas) citizenship opens for applic ...

29th January 2021 By

Man who lived in UK under assumed identity for over a decade wins right to stay

Stealing someone’s identity is not a “false representation” for the purposes of a 20-year long residence application, the Upper Tribunal has found. The case is Mahmood (paras. S-LTR.1.6. & S-LTR.4.2.; Scope) Bangladesh [2020] UKU ...

26th January 2021 By

Care workers at risk of missing out on EU settled status

Care workers eligible for the EU Settlement Scheme seem unaware of the need to apply, a new report has found. The Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (JCWI) surveyed 290 social care workers and found that as many as one in three had never hear ...

25th January 2021 By

Podcast: visa options for musicians touring the UK

In 2019, Roger Daltrey of The Who swore at a reporter who asked him about Brexit. “What’s it got to do with the rock business?”, the veteran singer scoffed. “As if we didn’t tour in Europe before the ******* EU”. Th ...

22nd January 2021 By

Authorities rescue Vietnamese nail bar slave, send her straight back to captor

… when a young Vietnamese person is found living in a room with a padlock on the outside of the door, describes working for no payment in a nail bar, gives a vague account of apparently chance encounters with a series of Vietnamese persons as pa ...

20th January 2021 By

Suicidal refugee loses date of birth appeal

A Palestinian refugee threatening to take his own life in a dispute over the age recorded on his residence permit has lost a judicial review at the Court of Appeal. The case is (WA (Palestinian Territories)) v Secretary of State for the Home Departmen ...

15th January 2021 By

Government has no idea if hostile environment measures work, inspector says, again

A second report in the space of two days from the immigration inspector, this time on the Home Office’s use of sanctions and penalties. These are an integral part of the “hostile environment” policy of outsourcing immigration control ...

13th January 2021 By

Rare statistics show rise in number of deportation orders upheld on appeal

One quirk of government statistics is that they no longer record how many deportation orders are successfully appealed. For tedious reasons of appeals law, since 2015/16 the relevant stats have only shown deportation appeals by EU citizens; deportatio ...

13th January 2021 By

Home Office urged to “professionalise” Presenting Officers

The Home Office should do more to “professionalise” the officials it sends to argue immigration cases in court, the immigration inspector has found. A report by the Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration, published today, s ...

11th January 2021 By

Lawyers who earned millions from unregulated immigration advice fined £45,000

Three lawyers convicted in 2019 of providing unregulated immigration advice worth millions have been ordered to cough up over £45,000 between them in fines and compensation. Dan Romulus Dandes, Babbar Ali Jamil and Zia Bi were sentenced at the Old Ba ...

8th January 2021 By

New statement of changes to the Immigration Rules: CP 361

A new statement of changes to the Immigration Rules was published on 31 December 2020 and took effect at 11pm that night. (We weren’t working at the time, for some reason, so do excuse the delay in bringing you this summary). It is short enough ...

5th January 2021 By

Home Office floats automatic deportation after six-month sentence

The Home Office may cut the minimum prison sentence required to trigger automatic deportation from 12 months to six months, it emerged over the holidays. The Mail and Times appear to have been briefed independently on the idea, with the former reporti ...

4th January 2021 By

Court of Appeal bombshell: EU citizens with pre-settled status CAN claim benefits

The Court of Appeal has handed down a ruling that should, if not successfully appealed, make it easier for millions of EU citizens with pre-settled status to claim benefits. The case is Fratila and Tanase v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions [2 ...

18th December 2020 By

Asylum right to work policy unlawfully overlooks trafficking victims

Home Office policy on permission to work for asylum seekers is unlawful to the extent that it doesn’t make allowances for potential victims of human trafficking, the High Court held today. The policy will now have to be reworked to make clear th ...

18th December 2020 By

Time to revisit spouse visa minimum income rule, government advisers suggest

The infamous minimum income rule for spouse visas should be reconsidered, the influential Migration Advisory Committee has suggested. The MAC, a crack team of economists that advises the government on immigration policy, says in its annual report: We& ...

15th December 2020 By

New statement of changes to the Immigration Rules: HC 1043

On 10 December 2020 the Home Office published a statement of changes to the Immigration Rules that appears to be a flagrant breach of the UN Refugee Convention. The purpose of the main change is to: Enhance our capacity to treat as inadmissible to the ...

11th December 2020 By

Former Conservative MEP appointed to lead EU citizens’ rights watchdog

The UK government has appointed a former solicitor and Conservative Member of the European Parliament as chair of the EU citizens’ rights watchdog. Sir Ashley Fox, leader of the Conservative MEPs between 2014 and 2019, backed Remain but later ca ...

8th December 2020 By

Want to fix the “broken” asylum system? Start with country of origin info, inspector tells Patel

The UK’s official guidance on the human rights situation in countries producing asylum seekers is too often out of date and should be better resourced, the immigration inspector has found. David Bolt suggests that if the Home Secretary is seriou ...

8th December 2020 By

Number of immigration cases heard by the Court of Appeal to be radically cut

The government wants to make it much harder to appeal from the tribunal system to the Court of Appeal. The Ministry of Justice is consulting on changes — sorry, “reforms” — where appeals that have already been heard in both the ...

3rd December 2020 By

Bye bye CSI? Legal challenges to the Comprehensive Sickness Insurance rule

On 5 July 1948, Aneurin Bevan launched the National Health Service, telling reporters “today we can say we have the best organised system of social security in the world”. Other European countries demurred: instead of funding their health systems ...

1st December 2020 By

Podcast: how the immigration system froze out Commonwealth soldiers

You don’t have to be British to work here, but it helps. Citizens of the 54 Commonwealth countries can serve in the British Army and other branches of the armed forces, and are eligible to settle in the UK after discharge if they have served for ...

27th November 2020 By

At least 300 people have died trying to cross the Channel since 1999

As you read, you visualise the dead – hit by cars as they try to dash over the motorway or jump down from trucks; crushed by lorries as they try to climb in or under them; suffocating slowly inside trucks; electrocuted or hit by trains in the Eurotu ...

26th November 2020 By

Alarming rise in asylum backlog despite fall in applications

The backlog of asylum cases has reached alarming new heights, with over 46,000 people now waiting more than six months for an initial decision on their asylum application. The figures as of 30 September 2020, which were released today, show a 19% incr ...

26th November 2020 By

Home Office “didn’t take Windrush concerns seriously”, equality watchdog finds

The legal powers of the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) have been much discussed in recent weeks. This month it is not the Labour Party in the figurative dock, but the more familiar presence of the Home Office. An EHRC report into the Wind ...

25th November 2020 By

New regulations to wipe free movement from the statute book

I look forward to reading this out on the next podcast: the Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Act 2020 (Consequential, Saving, Transitional and Transitory Provisions) (EU Exit) Regulations 2020 (SI 2020 No. 1309). These new ...

23rd November 2020 By

Pandemic rules for immigration appeals declared unlawful

The High Court has declared that the arrangements for dealing with Upper Tribunal immigration appeals during the coronavirus pandemic are unlawful. Mr Justice Fordham held that the President of the Upper Tribunal’s guidance leans too heavily in ...

20th November 2020 By

Government admits EU Settlement Scheme likely discriminates against women, disabled and other groups

The government has conceded that the EU Settlement Settlement probably discriminates against various groups protected by equality legislation but denies that it is unlawful, arguing that any discriminatory effects are justifiable. Campaigners have lon ...

19th November 2020 By

Human trafficking: High Court orders emergency fix to asylum screening interviews

The High Court has ordered the Home Office to interview asylum seekers properly and remind its caseworkers about the correct legal test for kicking off an investigation into human trafficking. Mr Justice Fordham granted the interim relief, or temporar ...

17th November 2020 By

Rise in clandestine Channel crossings by lorry as well as by boat

Yesterday the Home Office published a report by the immigration inspector on clandestine Channel crossings. The report’s relevance is somewhat diminished by the fact that it was completed in March and hidden away in a drawer at Marsham Street, a ...

12th November 2020 By

“High risk” of coronavirus outbreak at Penally asylum camp

There is a high risk of a coronavirus outbreak at a military camp being used to house asylum seekers, local health authorities say. Hywel Dda University Health Board blames “inadequate facilities provided by the Home Office” at the Penally ...

11th November 2020 By

EU citizens unlawfully resident in the UK to stay that way during “grace period”

The UK government has long taken the position that EU citizen students and self-sufficient people who do not have Comprehensive Sickness Insurance are living in the UK unlawfully. The Home Office has now confirmed that people in this position will rem ...

6th November 2020 By

Immigration and asylum interviews exempt from English lockdown

A blanket lockdown began today — in England; other jurisdictions are available — and runs for 28 days. During that time, people are not to leave home “without reasonable excuse”. The lockdown regulations include a list of thing ...

5th November 2020 By

Government can deport people who had successfully appealed against deportation

Last year, Nick wrote up the case of MA (Pakistan) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2019] EWCA Civ 1252, summarising it as follows: If a foreign criminal wins their deportation appeal, can the Home Office try and deport them again, even ...

4th November 2020 By

Immigration judge savaged by Upper Tribunal for apparent copy-and-paste judgment

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 ...

2nd November 2020 By

Podcast: where are we at with legal aid for immigration appeals?

Lawyers have spent much of this year fighting off controversial changes to legal aid for immigration appeals. In May, the government brought in adjusted legal aid arrangements for cases lodged under a new online appeal system — arrangements that ...

23rd October 2020 By

Most visa app-lications to be done on smartphones

The Home Office has been rolling out new webpages for the public on how to get a visa, in preparation for the new points-based immigration system due to come in from 1 January 2021. One such page was published yesterday, aimed at EU citizens. The over ...

20th October 2020 By

Immigration Health Surcharge rises to £624 from 27 October 2020

The Immigration Health Surcharge will increase from £400 a year to £624 a year on 27 October 2020. The Immigration (Health Charge) (Amendment) Order 2020 (SI 2020 No. 1086) was made today, 6 October, and comes into force 21 days later. As a result, ...

6th October 2020 By