Seven year children policy withdrawn

Free Movement may be cursed. Almost as soon as I blogged about DP3/96 it was scrapped, and now the same has happened to DP5/96. Phil Woolas has withdrawn DP5/96 as of 9 December 2008. This was the seven year policy under which a child resident in the ...

10th December 2008 By

AIT listing policy

This post is definitely one for other immigration lawyers. Anyone else will be left thinking ‘diddums!’ There is an ugly rumour abroad that immigration judges at Taylor House doing the CMR list are going to start sending two cases a day to ...

9th December 2008 By

Delays in initial asylum decisions

Apparently there are currently long waits for initial asylum interviews and decisions from the London asylum teams of UKBA. Case owner diaries are said to be full to the end of the year and it sounds as if the three month target for initial decisions ...

3rd December 2008 By

Home Office Presenting Officers

I am acutely conscious that this is a controversial, difficult subject and there have been many comments on this topic on this blog in the past. I’ll say at the outset that many HOPOs I meet are pleasant and professional. They are a credit to th ...

2nd December 2008 By

Woolas criticised

Archbishop of York Dr John Sentamu has strongly criticised Phil Woolas for his attack last week on asylum lawyers and asylum charities. There’s good coverage on the BBC website and there was pre-coverage in the Telegraph too. I thought Woolas ...

28th November 2008 By

What on earth?!

Damian Green, the Conservative frontbench spokeman on immigration, has been arrested tonight over immigration leaks for “aiding and abetting misconduct in public office” and is at this moment still in police custody. He hasn’t been c ...

27th November 2008 By

Zimbabwe case not to be appealed

The Home Office is apparently not going to appeal the recent Zimbabwean test case, RN (Returnees) Zimbabwe CG [2008] UKAIT 00083.* This strongly suggests that status will be granted to Zimbabwean asylum seekers who qualify and who receive decisions f ...

27th November 2008 By

In memoriam

I want briefly to acknowledge the passing of the Working Holiday Maker scheme today. It was one of the last vestiges of the favourable treatment of Commonwealth countries and their nationals. It was always problematic, to be honest. Whites could get i ...

27th November 2008 By

Long residence rules

UPDATE: the seven year children rule has been scrapped. Read more here. — There are two immigration rules that can be used to acquire settlement (Indefinite Leave to Remain, or ILR) after a long period of residence in the UK. There is also a thi ...

25th November 2008 By

Zimbabwe update

This post falls firmly into the ‘gossip’ category and cannot be taken as reliable because it is based on my own incomplete understanding. This is also a very fast moving situation and even if I have this right today it may well be wrong to ...

20th November 2008 By

Zimbabwe country guideline case allowed

This news will be welcomed by Zimbabweans in the UK. The decision in the latest test case, RN (Returnees) Zimbabwe CG [2008] UKAIT 00083 is now doing the rounds with immigration lawyers and will no doubt be properly published in due course on the A ...

18th November 2008 By

Grrrr

UPDATE: I’ve calmed down slightly — although I’m still fuming — and amended the original of this post. I’d recommend this article as a more reasoned response than mine. If you do read it, an escutcheon is a sort of shield ...

18th November 2008 By

David Cameron opposes immigration rules change

Well, this is a bit of a surprise. “Cameron, David” has lodged an Early Day Motion opposing the latest change in the immigration rules (both latest changes: typically, the first set were badly drafted and needed almost instant amendment a ...

12th November 2008 By

Waiting for Godot

A few higher court immigration cases came out recently, on which I will post in due course. One was HG & Ors v SSHD [2008] EWHC 2685 (Admin), in which Mr Justice Underhill grappled with the Legacy backlog and the five year wait faced by many Lega ...

11th November 2008 By

Changes to student rules

The Home Office has announced that major changes to the student rules will apply from March 2009. Allegedly, students are being brought within the ‘points based scheme‘. However, anyone reading the Statement of Intent with the details of t ...

5th November 2008 By

Minimum age for marriage visas to rise to 21

Only yesterday I was telling someone there is no timescale for the Home Office to introduce this controversial measure, but today it has been announced it will take effect from 27 November 2008. The history is that a consultation was put out in 2007 a ...

4th November 2008 By

Reflection on Metock

It’s taken a while, and attendance on a training course, but I feel better equipped to comment on Metock and the tribunal’s two responses thus far, in the cases HB and SM. HB does indeed accept the ruling in Metock, which is in essence tha ...

4th November 2008 By

Another legacy cases update

There are still quite a few people coming across this blog by searching for news about ‘Legacy’ cases. See previous posts on this if you are new to the subject. The news, such as it is, is that status still being granted in a lot of cases, ...

3rd November 2008 By

Proxy marriages

The Tribunal have just issued a determination holding that proxy marriages in Brazil must be recognised in English law. The case is called CB (Validity of marriage: proxy marriage) Brazil [2008] UKAIT 00080. There seem to be a lot of these Brazilian ...

30th October 2008 By

Expert apology

There has been a fascinating little story unfolding around a case called SD (expert evidence) Lebanon [2008] UKAIT 00078. The Guardian picked up the story and ran an article on it on Monday. Dr Alan George is a respected academic and a specialist in ...

29th October 2008 By

Landmark case on children

In the case of EM (Lebanon) v SSHD [2008] UKHL 64 the House of Lords looked at Article 8 again (having done so earlier this year as well) and delivered another landmark judgment. It is believed to be the first time in European legal history that a hi ...

28th October 2008 By

Third party support

[UPDATE: case overturned by Supreme Court] In a case called AM (Ethiopia) & Ors v Entry Clearance Officer [2008] EWCA Civ 1082 the Court of Appeal has just upheld the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal’s approach to the question of what lawye ...

21st October 2008 By

Visitor proliferation

The new Immigration Minister, Phil Woolas, yesterday announced the announcement of new rules for visitors. Spot the deliberate tautology? The Home Office seems to have improved the amount of warning it now gives us when making planned changes to the r ...

17th October 2008 By

COIS to revert to CIPU

The Country of Origin Information Service (COIS) at the Home Office is the successor to the generally derided Country Information and Policy Unit (CIPU). CIPU reports were poorly researched and outright biased against asylum seekers, although many i ...

16th October 2008 By

The penny drops

UPDATE: It would seem that Mark Ockelton has been sitting in the Administrative Court as a deputy high court judge and has not been promoted to the High Court bench. — A while ago I posted some gossip I had heard at the end of the summer: that M ...

14th October 2008 By

Metock rejected by Tribunal

Further to my last post on this subject, it turns out that my surprise was entirely justified, as a different and more senior panel of the tribunal has decided, basically, that Metock changes nothing and it should be business as usual. The case is SM ...

12th October 2008 By

Fee cheque bounces

Since the introduction of fees for immigration applications in 2003, the Home Office has become fanatical about collection of these fees. If the fee isn’t included with the application, no application is considered to have been made, so your lea ...

9th October 2008 By

RLC office now a wine bar

In the selfless pursuit of immigration-related gossip and news, last Friday I went along to a gathering at a wine bar that was formerly the office of the Refugee Legal Centre. The surroundings have been somewhat improved since the RLC days, it turne ...

8th October 2008 By

Here we go again

So, Phil “Muslims are Inbred” Woolas (left) is the new immigration minister, and Liam “Dessicated Calculated Machine” Byrne is out (and up). Woolas didn’t waste time before playing the populist, and immediately announced ...

7th October 2008 By

Students who switch courses

I’ve just come across another good case from the Court of Appeal that came out over the summer while I was away: the fantastically named GOO and Others [2008] EWCA Civ 747. It is yet another example of a long and tarnished line of tribunal cas ...

29th September 2008 By

Immigration ‘judges’ to lose their titles?

The government is currently consulting on yet another fundamental overhaul of the immigration appeal system. This has become a bothersomely regular occurance, taking place in 1993, 1996, 1999, 2002 and 2004, with some further tweaks in 2006 and 2007 & ...

26th September 2008 By

New policy in old ELR cases

I tried, but I just couldn’t think of a good title for this post. This is a follow up to an earlier post about some secret Home Office policies, some of which have now been published. A week or so ago, the Home Office published one of these prev ...

24th September 2008 By

Metock accepted by tribunal

It should not be a shock that the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal have in a case called HB (Algeria) just accepted the European Court of Justice decision in Metock. UK courts and tribunals are required to accept the ECJ’s judgments on the inter ...

23rd September 2008 By

A few changes to the blog

I’ve decided to make a few changes to the blog, which I hope are improvements. Comments from regular readers most welcome. Incidentally, I checked Feedburner recently and was surprised to see there are 62 of you out there who subscribe by email. ...

22nd September 2008 By

UK to sign up to UN Convention on the Rights of the Child

The BBC is reporting that the government will announce we are finally going to sign up properly next week to the 1989 UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. At the moment the UK has a controversial opt-out of one of the key parts of the Convention, ...

19th September 2008 By

Bail success rates

Bail for Immigration Detainees recently obtained statistics from the Ministry of Justice on the number of bail applications that are made at different hearing centres, and the outcomes of those hearings. There is quite a disparity in outcomes. For exa ...

19th September 2008 By

New Home Office Article 8 policy

Shocker: the Home Office appear to have accepted what the Lords say in Chikwamba (see previous posts on the House of Lords cases themselves and then on the secret policies if coming to this fresh). The policy just published and now to be applied in al ...

18th September 2008 By

Really good immigration website

I’ve just been looking at the Transpondia website. I first came across it a few months ago when they posted a link to Free Movement, but the site seemed a lot smaller then. There is now (maybe there was then and I just didn’t see it) a mas ...

17th September 2008 By

Secret Home Office policies

I have come across four secret Home Office policies since I returned at the start of September. Normally the Home Office has been quite good at disclosing the policies that officials apply to cases. There is a large section on the BIA website devoted ...

12th September 2008 By

Aussie Tier 1 refusals

It sounds from various internet forums as if the British High Commission at Canberra is getting tough on applicants for Tier 1. Where applications have been submitted that include evidence (e.g. payslips) that show the person has worked for more than ...

11th September 2008 By