Right to work

There are two recent important developments on this front. The first is that the Home Office is appealing the ZO Somalia case on right to work for those who have made fresh asylum claims and have not received a decision within one year of their applic ...

17th June 2009 By

PBS decision on the way

Wending my way north on the train at an ungodly hour this morning, I found my reserved seat was opposite a fellow immigration lawyer I know from times past. We had a gossip, and he tells me that he was recently at Processions House, the temporary home ...

15th June 2009 By

First reported PBS appeal decision

The determination concerns the award of a qualification for the purposes of Tier 1: Post Study Work rather than the bigger issue of the silly maintenance requirements. Senior Immigration Judge Spencer finds that a person has not been awarded a qualifi ...

9th June 2009 By

Bad guy or fall guy?

There has been a rush of cases in recent weeks on the subject of the Refugee Convention exclusion clauses. The exclusion clauses basically exclude some people from refugee status. In reality, human rights law has evolved to prevent removal if there is ...

8th June 2009 By

Points Based System changes

The Home Office have today announced some changes to the Points Based System for Tier 4 students. In summary, the main changes are: 1. Transitional arrangements on maintenance are extended to 30 September 2009, meaning the applicant need only show the ...

1st June 2009 By

Permission to work for fresh asylum claimants

I recently wrote a post on fresh claims for asylum explaining what they are and summarising the criteria. New on this subject this week is ZO (Somalia) v SSHD [2009] EWCA Civ 442, in which the Court of Appeal holds that the same law on permission to w ...

29th May 2009 By

EC law applications

The Home Office have announced that they plan to impose all sorts of new requirements on European Community law applications for documentation proving the right to residence. I’ve copied the press release into the post below in case it vanishes ...

27th May 2009 By

Points Based System in trouble

There are reports that the Home Office just conceded a judicial review against the maintenance requirements under the Points Based System (PBS). This could be a very important development, and more posts (or comments, below) will follow as details bec ...

26th May 2009 By

Forced marriages and the new visa age

The Home Office recently increased the minimum age for both spouses to 21 if a foreign spouse is to enter the UK on a spouse visa. The same requirements apply to unmarried, same sex and civil partners. As discussed previously on this blog, the justifi ...

26th May 2009 By

Are the Gurkhas a special case?

In some ways it was heartening to read yesterday and this morning about the Government climbdown on the Gurkhas. There is a universal recognition of the injustice of the Government’s previous positions. Personally, though, I can’t help thi ...

22nd May 2009 By

Odelola dismissed

Odelola v SSHD has been dismissed in the House of Lords. The immigration rules that apply to a decision are those at the date of decision, not the date of the application. There is no presumption against retrospectivity. The Law Lords do not repeat Bu ...

20th May 2009 By

Fresh claims for asylum

I thought it was high time for a general advice post, as it’s been a while since the last one. This one is about fresh claims for asylum. A failed asylum seeker can apply for asylum again; this is referred to as a ‘fresh claim’. By & ...

20th May 2009 By

End of the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal

Few will lament its passing, announced today by still Immigration Minister Phil Woolas. The news is far from unexpected, but the details are interesting. The plan is for the new system to be implemented by early 2010. A full consultation response has ...

8th May 2009 By

British citizens and refugee family reunion

In an unusual example of the Court of Appeal being less liberal than the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal, the AIT’s rather good decision in YS and YY (Paragraph 352D – British national sponsor former refugee) Ethiopia [2008] UKAIT 00093 w ...

6th May 2009 By

Lord Justice Carnwath spotted at Taylor House

This Hello! style headline is perhaps the clearest sign yet that the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal will be abolished and amalgamated into the unified tribunal. The Home Office planning documents now state that the AIT will be scrapped, the AIT stake ...

23rd April 2009 By

Certificates of Approval

Just a quick post to highlight the fact that charges are no longer made by the Home Office for Certificate of Approval applications. The other old requirements to get Certificates of Approval still apply and are covered in an old post on this blog. Th ...

22nd April 2009 By

No PO

There was an interesting article in The Telegraph last Saturday about immigration appeal hearings that go ahead with no Home Office Presenting Officer (HOPO or PO) present to defend the Home Office or Entry Clearance Officer position. I’m not qu ...

21st April 2009 By

Free Movement to apply for Home Office job

Someone brought this job advert to my attention. It’s been fun writing this blog and representing immigrants and asylum seekers, but duty calls. You have to be part of it to change it, as Steve Cohen undoubtedly would not have said. I’m c ...

20th April 2009 By

Steve Cohen

I was very sad to hear that Steve Cohen has died. Some of the obituaries that have been published so far can be found here: Indymedia London Red Pepper Institute of Race Relations Steve Cohen was one of the legendary giants of immigration law. I neve ...

17th April 2009 By

Shifting goal posts

The Home Office do like to shift the goal posts. Sometimes this is because they lost another legal case and want to get around it, sometimes it appears to be for no reason at all and sometimes, just sometimes, it seems to be for clearly explained and ...

14th April 2009 By

Mind your language

The flunky that writes the Home Office press releases really needs to tone it down and get a grip. One of the latest batches of press releases is entitled ‘Tough new rules target bogus colleges and education cheats‘. The words ‘bogus ...

31st March 2009 By

Home Office rejects Zimbabwe country guidance case

A new Operational Guidance Note for Zimbabwe has been published by the Home Office. These OGNs are basically central guidance to asylum decision-makers in the Home Office. They contain the Home Office policy on what categories of person from different ...

24th March 2009 By

The Truth

I’ve come across some interesting articles on ‘credibility’ through the Forced Migration Current Awareness Blog. This is an excellent blog which records various publications on all sorts of interesting subjects and effectively catalo ...

24th March 2009 By

Field House burns down [update: in parts]

Just heard this at court this morning. Apparently fire broke out at 3.40pm yesterday. Did I notice a thing on the way home, which takes me just past there? I did not. Sounds like no-one was hurt, happily, and that there was a proper conflagration on t ...

19th March 2009 By

So long AIT and thanks for…?

It very much looks like the AIT is about to be scrapped and merged into the new unified Tribunals Service. This is something I posted on way back in September and it now looks very likely to happen. The new system applies to all tribunal work except i ...

18th March 2009 By

Yet more unlawfulness

The Government’s disregard for the rule of law grows more and more alarming. I confine myself on this blog to immigration and asylum law, perhaps the most blatant area of disregard for the rule of law, but other examples abound in the news at th ...

16th March 2009 By

International Association of Refugee Law Judges

I noticed in the policy feed in the left panel on this blog that there was an item about the International Association of Refugee Law Judges (IARLJ). I clicked through and found some interesting papers have just been posted on their website from a co ...

14th March 2009 By

Blog news

Following a comment on the comments system, I thought I better do a quick update. Firstly, I’ve been very busy recently and as a result have not been posting as frequently or extensively as normal. This is inevitable, I’m afraid, and given ...

3rd March 2009 By

Case law round-up

There have been a number of recent determinations and judgments, not all of which quite justify a post all of their own, so I thought I would do a round-up. The case that prompted the round-up is GS [2009] UKAIT 00010. It is actually just a direction ...

25th February 2009 By

Unmarried partners

News from ILPA is that the recent trend towards rejecting in-country applications to switch to become unmarried partners is a temporary blip. A strict reading of immigration rule 295D(i) shows that, unlike for spouses and civil partners, a person with ...

23rd February 2009 By

RLC to change name

Apparently the Refugee Legal Centre are to change their name to Refugee and Migrants’ Justice. I’m not quite sure about the plural there or the apostrophe, both are best guesses. The name change suggests a serious change of direction for t ...

11th February 2009 By

Long residence again

I posted on this relatively recently but another important judgment has just come out: ZH (Bangladesh) v SSHD [2009] EWCA Civ 8. The case is yet another good one from Lord Justice Sedley. The Court of Appeal find that the whole purpose of the 14 year ...

2nd February 2009 By

Foreign labour

The news on the strikes against foreign workers has made depressing reading: British workers (and trade unions) demonstrating in favour of expelling foreigners. All rather reminiscent of Powell and the dockers. Woolly liberals such as myself find all ...

31st January 2009 By

Insurmountable obstacles finally bite the dust

It was already clear but now it could not be clearer: you do not have to show that there are ‘insurmountable obstacles’ to your family joining you abroad in order to succeed in an Article 8 family life case. The new judgment in VW (Uganda) ...

20th January 2009 By

Free Movement is back

But lacks the energy to write anything intelligent. Par for the course, some might claim. I have however been deleting the many comments I now unfortunately receive asking for legal advice. Inevitable, I suppose. Instead of informed, witty, incisive ...

19th January 2009 By

Free Movement is away

After a long day in court fighting a losing battle and with plenty of work still to do before Christmas, Free Movement is signing off until well into the New Year. I’m knackered and need a break. A number of fellow immigration lawyers have comme ...

22nd December 2008 By

Presumption to detain declared unlawful

News just in: the Home Office’s secret policy of a presumption of detention in almost all deportation cases was this afternoon declared unlawful [judgment now available]. The current version of the Enforcement Instructions and Guidance, which in ...

19th December 2008 By

A good year for IAS

The Immigration Advisory Service has been around since 1972, although, out of the ashes of the old United Kingdom Immigrants’ Advice Service, it transmogrified into its current incarnation in 1994. IAS is one of the biggest providers of immigr ...

19th December 2008 By

Spouse and partner visa concession

UKBA have announced a limited concession to the rise in the visa age to 21 for spouses and partners. The concession is simply that the rule will not be applied to spouses and partners seeking entry to accompany or join immigrants in the temporary visa ...

15th December 2008 By

Permission to work for Legacy cases?

An interesting judgment has just come out in which the High Court has held to be unlawful the policy of a blanket denial of right to work for those caught in the Legacy backlog. It is called Tekle v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2008] E ...

11th December 2008 By