New long residence guidance from Home Office

Now in version 12, valid from 17 October 2014. The only major change seems to be removal of guidance on qualifying for ILR after 10 years through the private life route. Still includes the useful exception to requiring continuity of residence for those who overstay for 28 days or less.

New country guidance case on Angola and Cabinda

The official headnote is quite long but you can get the gist from paragraph 2: There is significant evidence of human rights abuses, including within Cabinda and affecting Cabindans, problems of arbitrary arrest and detention, ill-treatment in detention, poor prison conditions, restrictions on freedom of expression, government action against protest and limitations in the legal […]

New Procedure Rules come into effect 20 October 2014

As predicted, the Tribunal Procedure (First-tier Tribunal) (Immigration and Asylum Chamber) Rules 2014 are official and come into effect on 20 October 2014. More analysis to follow in due course for Free Movement Members. Headline changes seem to me to be that: Costs can be awarded in the First-tier Tribunal and therefore also the Upper Tribunal Immigration […]

Visa denied

This should be made mandatory reading for all Home Office immigration employees. Apparently it was trending on Twitter in Kenya it has struck such a chord. UPDATE: Mr Biko has been offered a meeting at the British High Commission.

Float list

Want to know what it was like stuck on the float list at Hatton Cross today? Read Emily Dugan’s excellent write up in The Independent. We weren’t the only ones. Several cases were adjourned off to future dates, including cases in which my Garden Court colleagues Taimour Lay and Peter Jorro were instructed. Huge waste […]

Marghia (procedural fairness) [2014] UKUT 366 (IAC)

Rather harsh but perhaps inevitable decision by Mr Justice Haddon Cave on a student left in the lurch when the start date for her course was changed at the last minute. International students really do get a raw deal from the rigidities of our increasingly absurd immigration system. The official headnote reads: The common law […]

3,641 families put on hold

The Home Office has updated its statistics on the number of families with pending applications separated by the £18,600 minimum income threshold for spouses. At the end of December 2013 it was 3,014. At the end of March it stood at 3,641. That is a LOT of separated families and an almost unimaginable amount of anguish. All caused by the […]

Financial year for Appendix FM

Pound Coins by William Warby

In Hameed (Appendix FM – financial year) [2014] UKUT 00266 (IAC) the Upper Tribunal has no hesitation in finding that it is the tax year that applies when calculating income, not a business’ own accounting year. No actual reasons are discernible as such.

Shebl (Entrepreneur: proof of contracts) [2014] UKUT 216 (IAC)

cuddly toys

Official headnote: The requirement to prove the existence of “contracts” in paragraph 41-SD of Appendix A to the immigration rules does not itself require the contracts in question to be contained in documents. There is, however, a need for such contracts to be evidenced in documentary form. The Home Office attempted to argue that contracts […]

Immigration forms collection

The team at gov.uk are making definite progress with improving the immigration bits of the website. This latest collection of all the major immigration forms is very handy.

Court of Appeal grants permission on Article 3 and 8 health cases

Important grant of permission from the Court of Appeal in six linked cases addressing issues arising from D and N cases at Strasbourg and subsequent treatment by the UK courts. For some legal background see this earlier blog post. In granting permission Maurice Kay LJ says: I have indicated that I propose to grant permission […]

UNHCR Protection Manual updated

The UNHCR’s collection of guidance materials has been updated. It is a vast collection that must run to hundreds of thousands of pages and it is incredibly helpful having it all collected together in one accessible place.

Channel 4 investigates life and tragic death of Alois Dvorzac

Which all leads us to the following devastating question: how did this life, so full of historical resonance, affection and adventure, end up extinguished, in handcuffs, in a British asylum detention centre? Great journalism but very upsetting piece. The Home Office attempt to blame the security contractors is particularly repugnant.

3,014 families put on hold by Home Office

This is while the Home Office, judges and lawyers battle the harsh spouse minimum income threshold through the courts. For an idea of the human misery this is causing, see the distressing comments on this blog here, here and here.

Shahzad (Art 8: legitimate aim) Pakistan [2014] UKUT 85 (IAC)

Like a bad itch that it can’t help but scratch, the tribunal returns again to the subject of Article 8 and ‘the proper approach’. Regretfully the distasteful, injudicious and simply impolite phrase “a run of the mill case” is again deployed, albeit this time in the context of a student rather than a pensioner and […]

No risk of persecution for gay men in India despite criminalisation

So says the tribunal in MD (same-sex oriented males: risk) India CG [2014] UKUT 65 (IAC), anyway. And even if there was risk in the home area, the tribunal considers that relocation within India is generally reasonable and “LGBT support organisations” can provide help going underground if need be (para 170). Some might think having to […]

Pending Country Guidance case list

For we tribunal watchers the list is notably short. Judicial ambitions to categorise, measure and risk assess the entire world have been scaled back, perhaps because of the impossibility of the task but more likely because resources are being absorbed by the transfer of judicial review into the Upper Tribunal. There’s still an odd one […]

Congolese torture memo emerges

We know from history that organised and persecutory regimes do document their own human rights abuses. Unusual to see such documents emerge while current, though.

SD (military service – sexual identity) Turkey CG [2013] UKUT 612 (IAC)

Official headnote: (1) All Turkish males are required to undergo military service but exemption can be granted on the grounds of physical or mental disability which includes “sexual identity disorder”. (2) Homosexuality is regarded by the Turkish army as a sexual identity disorder but the perception of homosexuality in Turkey is not reduced to a […]

Mohammed (late application-First-tier Tribunal) Somalia [2013] UKUT 467 (IAC)

Short procedural point to this one and the use of some invisible magic hats: Where an application for permission to appeal to the Upper Tribunal is made to the First-tier Tribunal outside the prescribed period, rule 24(4) of the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal (Procedure) Rules 2005 requires that the First-tier Tribunal must make a decision […]

Something there is that doesn’t love a wall

Interesting, reflective piece in The Guardian by Jon Henley on use of walls in the era of globalisation: ‘Something there is,” runs a line from Robert Frost’s poem Mending Wall, “that doesn’t love a wall.” But for as long as mankind has been building, we have been building walls: around cities, along borders, across disputed […]

Bali (Family member: 3 month visit) [2013] UKUT 570 (IAC)

A non – EEA national family member travelling to the United Kingdom accompanied by the EEA national family member concerned for the purpose of a visit of not more than three months’ duration is entitled to enter, pursuant to regulations 11(2), 12(1) and 13(1) and (2) of the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2006, read […]

Law blog background stories

I contributed a piece for this and can also recommend the pieces by the excellent Giles Peaker and Dan Bunting on their legal blogs, Nearly Legal and UK Criminal Law Blog. Check out the rest of the ever interesting Internet Newsletter for Lawyers while you are there.

Home Office accused of ‘fixing’ asylum figures

The Observer has run a story on the use of withdrawal of appeals in order to hit success rate targets for Home Office officials. I’m quoted, as is the excellent James Packer of Duncan Lewis. For some background see previous post “Withdrawn decisions“.

New immigration tribunal database launched

The MoJ say that for the first time, you can search not only Upper Tribunal ‘reported’ decisions but also ‘unreported’ decisions, which make up 96% of cases. The new website includes all of the ‘reported’ decisions by the tribunal and the ‘unreported’ ones after 1 June 2013 (those prior to that date can be accessed on […]

Are you hemmed in by a separation wall or security fence?

Are you fenced in? Is there a security wall that stops you getting from A to B? The Guardian is launching a major project to report on the growing number of walls and fences that authorities are using to keep people in – or out, whether they are along state borders, as in Greece and the US, […]

Free copy of Judicial Review journal

A special free edition of the journal Judicial Review, published by Hart, also publishers of Michael ‘Avocado of Justice‘ Fordham’s brilliant Judicial Review Handbook. The special edition focusses on the proposed legal aid changes, an announcement on which is expected soon.

Best practice guide for country experts in immigration cases

Really useful and concise best practice guide for country experts in asylum and immigration cases in the United Kingdom by Anthony Good and Tobias Kelly. Immigration lawyers would be well advised routinely to provide this to their experts. It covers the legal framework including the practice direction on expert evidence, the process of instruction, the […]

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