Updates, commentary, training and advice on immigration and asylum law

Free Movement Weekly Immigration Newsletter #25

Welcome to the weekly Free Movement newsletter!

It was Refugee Week last week and so we updated and republished some of our explainers, including this one which takes an in depth look at the latest data on the asylum system. The backlog has essentially moved to the extremities of the asylum system, as many cases are sitting either in inadmissibility and have not yet even been admitted to the system, or they are post-decision and have moved into the tribunal’s backlog. 

The shifting of the backlogs into the tribunal in particular was also covered in the Guardian last week. The Observer reported that the Home Office is withdrawing some decisions that have been appealed before they get to the hearing. Any reports of the Home Office appeals review process actually working are always welcome, but there is simply no way they have the resources to do this properly in all cases given this was not happening even before the huge influx in appeals. 

It would also be interesting to see if there is a difference in the proportion of decisions that are being withdrawn by the Home Office where the person appealing has a lawyer, compared to those who are unrepresented. 

On Free Movement, our latest topical podcast is out, in this one I discuss the overseas domestic worker visa route with Avril from Kalayaan and how changes made 12 years ago continue to negatively impact people facing exploitation. I may try to do one on health and care visas to complete my “tied visa” trilogy, but if anyone has anything else they would like covered in a future podcast then please do get in touch. 

On the blog, I asked Colin to write up an important point that he had mentioned a couple of times recently, on how the raised standard of proof in asylum claims under the Nationality and Borders Act 2022 does not apply to human rights claims. In addition to that, we published a look at Labour’s manifesto from the business immigration perspective

Read on for the rest of the week here and elsewhere.

Cheers, Sonia

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What we’re reading

Repairing the United Kingdom’s Asylum System – Colin Yeo in Political Quarterly, 17 June

Summary of visa costs analysis (2024) – The Royal Society, 20 June

Benefits, bills and safe routes for refugees: All the issues the major parties aren’t talking about – Big Issue, 22 June

Aide to home secretary says Rwanda scheme is ‘crap’ – BBC News, 23 June

Rwanda: A Snapshot of Access to Rights and Services for Children and Young People – Asylos, June

Before and after: a brief account of how the UK Government stripped migrant domestic workers of their rights (and what to do about it) – Focus on Labour Exploitation, 17 June

Suella Braverman’s decision to drop Windrush recommendations unlawful, court rules – The Guardian, 19 June

Moroccan authorities pushed asylum seekers into ‘death trap’, NGO claims – The Guardian, 18 June

UK Foreign Office accused of blocking Bahraini activist’s citizenship bid – Middle East Eye, 22 June

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Picture of Sonia Lenegan

Sonia Lenegan

Sonia Lenegan is an experienced immigration, asylum and public law solicitor. She has been practising for over ten years and was previously legal director at the Immigration Law Practitioners' Association and legal and policy director at Rainbow Migration. Sonia is the Editor of Free Movement.


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