All Articles: policies

Crime and Courts Bill

As has been widely reported in the mainstream media, the Government proposes to scrap family visitor appeal rights. Again. The change is intended to come into full effect in 2014 but as early as July 2012 the definition of ‘family’ will be ...

16th May 2012 By

Exceptional circumstances now more… exceptional

As expected, the obscure but important Chapter 53 of the Enforcement Instructions and Guidance (‘Extenuating Circumstances’) has been amended following on from the scrapping of paragraph 395C of the Immigration Rules. The new text is bas ...

2nd March 2012 By

Mapping Statelessness in the UK

After FM questioned his will to live following this analysis of the judgment in Sapkota v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2011] EWCA Civ 1320 I volunteered to have a read through the UNHCR and Asylum Aid joint study Mapping Stateless ...

8th December 2011 By

Another secret policy…

Perhaps not breaking news for some of you but I suspect not everyone has come across the references to the UKBA’s policy of “evidential flexibility” in the context of Points Based System applications. Over the last few months, various documents ...

1st November 2011 By

More on Zambrano

I’ve previously posted up the publicly available UKBA guidance on Zambrano, but a commenter very helpfully posted a link to more information available on the Wornham & Co blog. I don’t myself post letters to or from ILPA unless the inf ...

6th October 2011 By

Zambrano guidance by UKBA

The first of my catch-up posts comes courtesy of the indefatigable Mr T – many thanks, Mr T. The UK Border Agency have issued some belated guidance on the Zambrano case. It only appears in the form of an item on the news section of the UKBA webs ...

27th September 2011 By

All criminal convictions to act as bar to settlement from today

I have had to redraft this post, which had been intended to be a good news story about a positive development at the UK Border Agency and which I had scheduled for Monday morning. A nice start to the week, thought I. However, late last week it transpi ...

6th April 2011 By

New policy on children

UKBA has published a new policy on dealing with children, specifically asylum applications by unaccompanied children. It went ‘live’ on 1 September 2010 and can be found with the earlier link or in the Asylum Process Guidance Special Cases ...

14th September 2010 By

Certificates of Approval to be scrapped

The Home Office has announced that Certificates of Approval will be scrapped in late 2010 or early 2011. This is a belated implementation of the House of Lords judgment in Baiai, handed down exactly two years ago tomorrow, in which their Lordships hel ...

29th July 2010 By

New policy document on children

A new previously undisclosed UKBA policy on children has come to light, brought to you courtesy of the Freedom of Information Act and What Do They Know? The policy is entitled Children and Family Process Instruction and specifically relates to the Cri ...

26th March 2010 By

Children and refugee status

Just a quick warning to practitioners. There have been a small number of examples recently of UKBA granting five years’ status to children recognised as refugees on the basis of their membership of a particular social group based on their age, b ...

23rd December 2009 By

New removals policy

UKBA have changed their removals policy, and not in a nice way. The announcement letter to stakeholders is available here and does not really tell half the story. In essence, the 72 hour notice period for removals is to be waived in a wide range of c ...

21st December 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Legacy and the Case of the Alleged Amnesty

Exactly one year ago, on 25 July 2006, then Home Secretary John Reid announced that his officials had found around 400,000 to 450,000 unclosed asylum files found down the back of the sofas at Lunar House, home of the then Immigration and Nationality ...

25th July 2007 By

Simplifying immigration law

The framework for immigration control is mainly contained in the Immigration Act 1971. This has been amended by major pieces of primary legislation in 1988, 1993, 1996, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006 and probably also in 2007 by the UK Borders Bill curr ...

13th June 2007 By

More on refugee children

Co-incidentally, after my last post on Unaccompanied Asylum Seeker Children (UASCs) an excellent but depressing article appeared in The Guardian on the same topic. It describes the circumstances in which many refugee children live and was prompted by ...

25th May 2007 By

Unaccompanied asylum seeker children

In the fourth quarter of 2006, the most recent statistics available on asylum applications, 730 unaccompanied children applied for asylum in the United Kingdom. The total number of child asylum applicants for the whole year was 2855. Unaccompanied asy ...

22nd May 2007 By

Forced marriage cases

Yesterday the Foreign and Commonwealth Office launched a new forced marriage survivor’s handbook. A specific team, the Forced Marriage Unit, was set up two years ago to deal with this issue and is reported to be dealing with 250 cases a year. Obvio ...

9th May 2007 By

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