Supreme Court allows 3rd party support

[UPDATE: see later post] News just in, more to follow tomorrow, if there’s anything to say. AM (Somalia) was heard and allowed today. I’m currently at the Hammersmith and Fulham Community Law Centre AGM so not much chance to deal with this ...

11th November 2009 By

Immigration regulator to give up on day job

The Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC) is currently consulting on the regulation of immigration advisers. Or, more accurately, the de-regulation of immigration advisers. It is illegal to give immigration advice in the UK unless the ...

11th November 2009 By

Guardian piece

My my, one gets more comments on The Guardian website than on Free Movement! I’ve been busy in court all day (on a non immigration case) and get back to find that there were 87 comments on the short piece I’ve done for Liberty Central at T ...

29th October 2009 By

Grounds of appeal in one stop appeals

Do not be fooled by the first judgment in AS (Afghanistan) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2009] EWCA Civ 1076 by Lady Justice Arden. She holds that the appeal should be dismissed, but is out-voted by the rest of the bench, Lord Justice ...

26th October 2009 By

Permission to work

UPDATE: see this judgment. There have been some interesting developments on permission to work for Legacy asylum seekers. Click here for the Story So Far. I read in some stakeholder minutes recently that UKBA thought it had only be judicially reviewed ...

23rd October 2009 By

Forced marriages and age

Two more things on this topic. One, I’ve belatedly discovered that UKBA released a draft version of the research report covered previously on this blog. The final version is in fact a more polished piece of work. One can only assume that UKBA de ...

21st October 2009 By

Some refugees have more rights than others

In the recent case of MS and others (family reunion: “in order to seek asylum”) Somalia [2009] UKAIT 00041 the tribunal looked at the refugee family reunion rules and came to the slightly surprising conclusion that not all refugees have th ...

19th October 2009 By

More on Metock

There has been a spate of big cases in the last few days. I’ll deal first with what is probably the most legally significant, ZH (Afghanistan) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2009] EWCA Civ 1060. In ZH the Court of Appeal have conf ...

16th October 2009 By

Nigeria ECOs blasted by inspectors

A tad sensationalist, I know, but true enough, you will find. The Chief Inspector of UKBA, John Vine, just published his report on the UKBA visa operation at Abuja. The findings are that the operation is poor: The ‘service’ represents poor ...

15th October 2009 By

Albanian/Kosovar deprived of British citizenship by Presenting Officer

In an unusually dramatic move, the Presenting Officer in the recent case of KB (para: 320(7A): “false representations”) Albania [2009] UKAIT 00043 served a section 40 notice on a witness in the case, thereby depriving him of his British ci ...

15th October 2009 By

Iraqi removals flight

News just in: Mr Justice Davis sitting in the High Court has ordered the Home Office to disclose ‘details of the route and destination’ of a proposed removals flight to Iraq. Rumours about this charter flight have been flying and the Home ...

14th October 2009 By

Further submissions in asylum cases

It appears that UKBA have genuinely gone nuts. From tomorrow, 14 October 2009, they are requiring that any further submissions in an asylum case must be made in person by appointment. At the same time UKBA is now requiring that all initial claims for ...

13th October 2009 By

Human Provenance Project again

The policy instruction to UKBA staff on the sinister sounding Human Provenance Project (who cooked this name up, for heaven’s sake?) has changed yet again. The link on my last post on this still works, but the document it links to has changed an ...

13th October 2009 By

More on alleged 6 year rule

Further to my earlier post on the alleged relaxing of asylum rules, see the Government response to media claims: Asylum seekers – government response 09 October 2009 The government has responded to claims in the media that up to 40,000 asylum se ...

12th October 2009 By

Six year rule for asylum seekers?

The Daily Telegraph has claimed that there is a new policy that asylum seekers may be granted settlement after a wait of four to six (or possibly eight) years following a quiet change to immigration policies. The policy is allegedly set out in a memo ...

9th October 2009 By

Plug pulled on Provenance Project

It looks like UKBA have suspended the isotope analysis testing programme ominously called The Human Provenance Project. A revised policy instruction has been placed on the UKBA website simply saying that it has been ‘temporarily suspended’ ...

8th October 2009 By

Secret Sri Lanka policy emerges

In another development that would be shocking were we not so used to it by now, it has emerged that the Home Office has a secret policy not to return Tamils to Sri Lanka. This policy has existed since 25 April 2009 at least, which is the date of the l ...

7th October 2009 By

The Human Provenance Project

It sounds like the title of a dystopian science fiction film, and it is every bit as bad as it sounds. The first I heard of it was on 14th September 2009 after this letter was circulated to UKBA stakeholders. I had a little rant about it at the time i ...

2nd October 2009 By

Spouse visa age… again

Back to this old chestnut. I’ve been doing a bit more work on the subject and thought I’d share a minor revelation I had while writing an article for one of the immigration law journals. I’ve also learned that there is a judicial rev ...

1st October 2009 By

UKBA Inspectorate

I’ve been following with some interest the establishment of the snappily-entitled Office of the Chief Inspector of the UK Border Agency (OCIUKBA to its friends). Like many initiatives to establish supposedly greater accountability for the Home O ...

29th September 2009 By

Change of tune

I’m sorry to harp on about this and will return to some substantive legal blogging next week (there’s been a fairly lengthy change to the rules that I haven’t even looked at yet, for starters). I can’t help noticing that UKBA h ...

25th September 2009 By

Should she go?

I’m sitting on the fence on this one. One the one hand it would be a tragedy if someone of Baroness Scotland’s talents and background were sacked over a silly law like this one. On the other, her departure might serve to prove just how sil ...

22nd September 2009 By

Baroness Scotland

The media coverage on this story has been interesting. The Telegraph is running a short story that is actually quite sympathetic to employers who break the law. Many seem to be revelling in the fact that Baroness Scotland helped to pass the law she ma ...

18th September 2009 By

Post flight spouse

Since 2005, refugees have been granted five years of limited leave, at the end of which they are eligible to apply for settlement, or ILR. Before 2005, they were granted settlement straight away, on the grounds that this policy promoted integration. O ...

16th September 2009 By

Error not to adjourn

In the recent case of AK (Iran) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2008] EWCA Civ 941 the Court of Appeal held that an immigration judge had committed an error of law in failing to adjourn a hearing when the appellant had been ditched by hi ...

11th September 2009 By

Revolting minions

I’ve heard a couple of reports of dissent in different ranks this week. Firstly, I’ve heard from two separate sources that UKBA is imposing a ‘success’ rate of 85% on Home Office Presenting Officers, the officials who represent ...

10th September 2009 By

Forced marriage research rejected

I’ve created a new category on the visa age to keep track of the different posts I’ve written on this subject over the last couple of years. The Home Office have provided further reasons for rejecting the research that found that increasin ...

9th September 2009 By

Forced Marriage Unit warned Home Office of risks in increasing spouse visa age

Courtesy of the Freedom of Information Act, I can exclusively report (I’ve never written that before!) that the Home Office has finally released the full research report it commissioned into the issue of forced marriages and the spouse visa age. ...

5th September 2009 By

Silly season

I’m going to be away for a while and will begin posting again at the beginning of September. In the meantime, I hope you all have a good summer! ...

8th August 2009 By

Dereliction of duty

There has been a noticeable trend recently for the Home Office to refuse applications but not to take enforcement action. Several lawyers have commented on this elsewhere, I’ve just come across a couple of cases and so has a colleague in chamber ...

7th August 2009 By

HIV/AIDS cases

Permission to appeal to the Court of Appeal has been granted in at least three cases to look at the question of in what circumstances a person with HIV/AIDS might succeed in establishing a right to remain in the UK on the basis that their removal to a ...

6th August 2009 By

Sexual identity

An interesting judgment has been handed down today: NR (Jamaica) v SSHD [2009] EWCA Civ 856. It touches on a thorny issue on which I have to say some immigration judges have not exactly covered themselves with glory. Sadly, the Court of Appeal fails t ...

5th August 2009 By

What’s the point? Migrants to earn points for British citizenship

This is a question many immigrants and immigration lawyers are asking themselves about the so-called Points Based System. Genuine highly skilled immigrants and foreign students are considering heading to other countries and immigration lawyers are con ...

3rd August 2009 By

Older dependent relatives

Just a quick post on this to highlight an extremely useful case that’s been handed down today. I’ve been horribly busy so the blog has been suffering a bit, I’m afraid. The case is ZB (Pakistan) v Secretary of State for the Home Depa ...

30th July 2009 By

Criminal offences and refugee status

There have been several important judgments from the Court of Appeal in the last few weeks. I’ve been very busy and having difficulty keeping up. However, I seem to have been struck down by piggy flu and find myself with time at home on my hands ...

16th July 2009 By

Silver ILPA

On Thursday the Immigration Law Practitioners Association celebrated its 25th anniversary, just down the corridor of power from the Westminster committee room where the first meeting was held on 9th July 1984. The current Director, Alison Harvey, did ...

11th July 2009 By

Mind your language II

On a day where there are several appalling linked stories in the press about the horror and misery of true trafficking (here, here and here), I was sorry to read the Home Office attempting to claim false credit for a trafficking criminal conviction. T ...

8th July 2009 By

New PBS decision: not good news

No time for a proper post on this new case from the tribunal, NA & Others (Tier 1 Post-Study Work-funds) [2009] UKAIT 00025, so I’ll just paste in the headnote, which speaks for itself: i. The new-style Immigration Rules governing Tier 1 (Po ...

3rd July 2009 By

Fresh claims

This is becoming something of a hot topic, no doubt because of the number of Sri Lankan and Zimbabwean fresh claims that have been made recently because of changed circumstances in those two countries. The Court of Appeal has just issued a judgment on ...

25th June 2009 By

Sir Henry Hodge

I was very sorry to hear last week that Sir Henry Hodge, President of the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal, has died. He was a genial, very affable man, with an amused twinkle almost always in his eye. AIT stakeholder meetings and the like were made al ...

23rd June 2009 By