All Articles: Home Office

Having presumably learned from their much criticised mishandling of certain trafficking cases, the government published a statement yesterday stating that they have paused consideration of asylum claims from a certain group. Those affected are people who arrived on or after 1 January 2022 and who received a notice of intent before...

15th February 2024
BY Sonia Lenegan

On 21 December 2023 the Immigration Minister published a letter setting out a concession for people who wish to make an application to the Hong Kong British National (Overseas) route but who are currently in the UK without permission. A formal Ministerial Authorisation under the Equality Act 2010 has also...

12th January 2024
BY Sonia Lenegan

In Oluponle v Home Office [2023] EWHC 3188 (KB), the claimant was awarded £20,000 for 60 days’ false imprisonment. Several helpful comments were made on various Home Office failings during the detention process. Background The claimant was a Nigerian national who had been caught trying to fly to Ireland using...

4th January 2024
BY Alex Schymyck

In December 2022 the Prime Minister pledged to clear the ‘legacy’ backlog (claims made before 28 June 2022 when certain provisions of the Nationality and Borders Act 2022 were brought into force) by the end of 2023. Yesterday he claimed that this goal had been achieved, despite the government’s statistics...

3rd January 2024
BY Sonia Lenegan

A new version of the Home Office caseworker guidance “Withdrawing asylum claims” has been published, halving the amount of time people are given to explain reasons for missing an interview as well as setting out some additional steps for those who miss an interview. You can see a comparison of...

21st December 2023
BY Sonia Lenegan

The Home Office has explained in newly published guidance ‘Asylum decision-making prioritisation‘ how they will decide the order for decision making of asylum claims. This provides some much-needed clarity to the process. As anyone working in the sector can tell you, there is no fixed timeframe for an asylum claim...

1st November 2023
BY Katherine Soroya

Staff working at Brook House immigration removal centre were verbally and physically abusive towards the people who were detained, including the use of extremely racist language. There were 19 incidents of inhuman and degrading treatment of people at a single removal centre over a period of just five months. That...

20th September 2023
BY Sonia Lenegan

The Home Office annual report for 2022 has belatedly been published. It shows an additional £3 billion had to be allocated to pay for unexpected asylum system expenditure. An extra £1.6 billion had to be allocated because of “pressures within the asylum system” — the asylum backlog, basically — and on...

19th September 2023
BY Colin Yeo

The Home Office may no longer be able to meet the rules it currently relies on to use the international aid budget to support people in their first year in the UK if the government brings more of the Illegal Migration Act 2023 into force. This is according to a...

6th September 2023
BY Sonia Lenegan

Bill Gates once said that your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning. If the same applies to the Home Office staff who have the unenviable job of fielding complaints about their colleagues from irate migrants and their lawyers, their enlightenment must rival that of any Renaissance polymath....

16th August 2023
BY Alex Piletska

The Home Office is increasingly treating asylum claims as being withdrawn. This seems to be a new policy intended to reduce the asylum backlog. The number of asylum decisions made by the Home Office at first glance appears to be increasing. When we look at the detail of the figures,...

26th July 2023
BY Nadia O Mara

Two new Upper Tribunal cases emphasise the importance of the parties to an immigration appeal identifying and addressing all the issues in dispute. Both the cases were decided by a panel that included Mr Justice Dove, the President of the Upper Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber). In Lata (principal controversial...

24th July 2023
BY Deborah Revill

We live in a reaction economy. The age of social media means that governments, companies, and others in the public eye are not ruled by accountants assessing their bottom line or journalists scrutinising their actions, but by voters tapping onto their screens at home. Few government departments have embraced this...

5th June 2023
BY Nicholas Reed Langen

The Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration has now published a report on visit visa operations between December 2022 and January 2023 which confirms that overall, this area of the Home Office is functioning well, with an apparent “focus on improving the operational effectiveness of the workflow tool”. Post-pandemic,...

21st April 2023
BY Josie Laidman

The government is right that the asylum backlog needs to be urgently addressed, but the Illegal Migration Bill will not tackle the backlog in any meaningful sense and could cause devastating harm to the rights of some of the most persecuted people in the world and the international refugee system....

11th April 2023
BY Jo Hynes

A new report by the international aid spending watchdog has revealed that the Home Office spent one third of the UK’s international aid budget on domestic asylum costs, leading to severe cuts to genuine international aid programmes. The Independent Commission for Aid Impact (ICAI) found that the permission given by...

29th March 2023
BY Colin Yeo

The Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration, David Neal, has expressed his frustration at the Home Office’s inability properly and promptly to address report recommendations in his comments published yesterday alongside the annual report for 2021-22. The annual report was sent to the Home Secretary on 8 July 2022,...

23rd March 2023
BY Josie Laidman

The Home office has published new guidance introducing a streamlined process to deal with child asylum applications. The policy explained in the guidance apparently intends to help the Home Office fulfil the commitment made by Rishi Sunak to clear the asylum backlog by the end of 2023. The policy applies...

21st March 2023
BY Francesca Sella

To try to reduce the asylum decision backlog, the Home Office has introduced a “streamlined” process, including a questionnaire to be completed, in English, by individuals from Afghanistan, Eritrea, Syria, Yemen and Libya who claimed asylum before 28 June 2022. Around 12,000 questionnaires are expected to be sent out, with...

2nd March 2023
BY Sheona York

Quarterly immigration statistics released last week show the asylum backlog has hit a record high as 160,919 asylum seekers await an initial asylum decision, quadruple the number awaiting an initial decision at the end of 2019. In December 2022, following intense criticism over continuous unprecedented delays, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak...

27th February 2023
BY Eorann O'Connor

The Home Office is not beloved as an institution. Some consider it necessary. But no-one likes it. That seems to include not just migrants and their families but also many of the civil servants at the Home Office itself, the lawyers and judges who interact with the Home Office and...

30th January 2023
BY Colin Yeo

Yesterday, the third annual inspection from the Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration (ICIBI) of ‘Adults at risk in immigration detention’ was published. On the same day, the Home Secretary discontinued the standing commission for this annual review. The report focuses specifically on the efficiency and effectiveness of Rule...

13th January 2023
BY Josie Laidman

Almost five years after Amber Rudd committed to a review of individuals who had entered the UK under the Tier 1 (Investor) route, today, Suella Braverman provided the government’s final response. The review looked at individuals who had entered the UK between 30 June 2008 and the introduction of reforms...

12th January 2023
BY Josie Laidman

Yesterday the Home Secretary faced questions in front of the Home Affairs Select Committee. Today the quarterly statistics on immigration were released by the Office for National Statistics. What do the two say about the state of the asylum process, backlogs and whether there is a brighter future in store?...

24th November 2022
BY Josie Laidman

Back in the heady days of 2019, journalist Jon Stone started what turned out to be a very long thread on Twitter. Over and over and over again, he wrote “Abolish the Home Office”. Every tweet linked to example after example after example of appalling conduct by officials at the...

24th November 2022
BY Colin Yeo

At the now infamous Manston processing centre in Kent, conditions are dire. Home Secretary Suella Braverman has known for weeks about the situation and did nothing until the media stepped in last week. But the UK is not alone in struggling to provide new arrivals access to safe and legal...

9th November 2022
BY Charlotte Rubin

On 3 November 2022, the latest quarterly release of statistics on modern slavery claims was published, covering 1 July to 30 September this year. During this period, 4,586 people were referred into the National Referral Mechanism (NRM) or via the Duty to Notify as potential victims of modern slavery. This...

7th November 2022
BY Sonia Lenegan

It hasn’t been a great week to be the Home Secretary or a Home Office official. Since Suella Braverman’s statement to the House of Commons on Monday, there has been one crisis after another. The Manston facility remains egregiously overcrowded. The camp is designed to hold no more than 1000...

4th November 2022
BY Nicholas Reed Langen

There have been lots of different numbers and statistics relating to the UK’s asylum system mentioned over the last week. One of these is the backlog of people waiting for an initial decision on their asylum claim. Depending on whether or not people include dependents, the backlog of initial decisions...

3rd November 2022
BY Jon Featonby

An inspection report examining the use of hotels for housing unaccompanied asylum-seeking children has been published this week, but the findings make for unsettling reading. The report criticises the operation of what are effectively unregistered children’s homes and confirms that this is not an area in which the Home Office...

21st October 2022
BY Eorann O'Connor

The Home Office has agreed to review its policy Fee waiver: Human Rights-based and other specified applications, which provides guidance on the time limits for making human rights based immigration applications where an application is made after a fee waiver has been granted. This comes after confusion over deadlines threatened...

12th October 2022
BY Free Movement

We first heard of the Windrush scandal in early 2018, as a result of powerful investigative journalism. It stands for decades of injustice experienced by thousands, whose lawful existence in this country was denied by the state. Individuals faced constant questioning about their rights and entitlements and were told that...

28th September 2022
BY Nicola Burgess

Soul-searching in a large bureaucracy often manifests in well-meaning paperwork. So it is that the Home Office has published an ethical decision-making model. The document is intended to help staff grappling with difficult moral choices in the course of their work.  This was one of the recommendations of the Wendy Williams...

16th November 2021
BY CJ McKinney

The New Plan for Immigration Policy Statement of March 2021 (the New Plan) contains proposals to make significant changes to immigration and nationality law and policy. This article addresses the proposals set out in Chapter 3, which concern changes to British nationality law, in the hope of enabling affected people...

29th April 2021
BY Emma Harris

We’ve seen a constant drip of leaks about the UK’s “broken” asylum system and how the upcoming Borders Bill or Sovereign Borders Bill or New Plan For Immigration or whatever it’s called will be the “biggest overhaul of the asylum system in a generation”. A lot of this is cover...

23rd March 2021
BY Colin Yeo

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 military training camp in south-west Wales, which was hastily converted for...

11th November 2020
BY CJ McKinney

Home Office Presenting Officers are civil servants who represent the government in immigration appeals. Last month we ran an article by an anonymous HOPO describing how the immigration system looks from that side of the fence and inviting questions by readers. Here are the answers. Thanks to everyone who sent...

12th October 2020
BY Anonymous

We Presenting Officers can usually be put into two categories. The first group is unable to see anything wrong with any decision and will defend it at all costs. Although hopefully they’re few and far between, anyone with a bit of experience before the tribunal has probably come across them....

9th September 2020
BY Anonymous

The government has no way of knowing whether its flagship “hostile environment” policy on unauthorised migrants is working, the National Audit Office has found. In a report published today, the NAO says that the Home Office is “currently unable to assess” whether hostile environment measures “have any meaningful impact on...

17th June 2020
BY CJ McKinney

The sheer surrealism of an immigration lawyer’s job can perhaps only truly be understood by MC Escher’s architect or Salvador Dali’s landscape designer: you do your best to navigate the impossible, but you can’t help being occasionally hit in the face by a massive melting clock.  Here are ten of the...

29th May 2020
BY Alex Piletska
Login
Or become a member of Free Movement today