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A statement of changes to the Immigration Rules was published today, 11 December 2018. The main changes are to introduce the pilot scheme for short-term agricultural workers that was announced earlier this year, and to expand the domestic violence scheme to cover refugees. Under existing rules, the Home Office will allow someone who has come to the UK under Appendix FM to stay in the country permanently if the relationship breaks down because of domestic abuse. But as Frank Jarvis noted on this blog the other week, this route is not open to partners of refugees. This is despite a ruling of the Court of Session in May 2016 that...
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The High Court has ruled that the regulations for charging non-residents in advance for non-urgent NHS treatment are lawful. In R (MP) v Secretary of State for Health and Social Care [2018] EWHC 3392 (Admin), decided yesterday, the court rejected a claim that the government had a duty to consult before introducing advance charging and that it had not complied with the public sector equality duty The claimant, MP, suffers from cancer and had been denied treatment because he was unable to pay in advance. Fortunately, before the hearing took place he had already succeeded in an appeal to the First-tier Tribunal and received the necessary treatment. The court heard...
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R (J1) v Special Immigration Appeals Commission & Anor [2018] EWHC 3193 (Admin) looked at the correct interpretation of two sections of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002. Section 76(1) of that Act says: The Secretary of State may revoke a person’s indefinite leave to enter or remain in the United Kingdom if the person— (a) is liable to deportation, but (b) cannot be deported for legal reasons. That was the case with J1, an Ethiopian citizen. He appealed. Relevant to his appeal was section 85(4) of the same Act, which says that the tribunal may consider evidence about any matter which it thinks relevant to the substance of the decision, including...
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Following on from the new lines to take on Sudanese asylum claims that I wrote about in July, the Home Office has now produced evidence in an effort to support the change in policy. Officials have been arguing recently that while non-Arabs are likely to be at risk in the Darfur region, not all are at risk in the capital Khartoum and relocation may be possible depending on the particular facts of the case. The department has now published a Report of a fact-finding mission to Khartoum, Sudan. The mission itself took place in the middle of August, after the change in policy. Read into that what you may. The terms of reference...
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A disciplinary statement from the Judicial Conduct Investigations Office: The Lord Chancellor and the Senior President of Tribunals have issued Judge Mark Davies of the First-Tier Tribunal, Immigration and Asylum Chamber, with formal advice following a complaint that he made a remark in court which suggested he holds a prejudicial view of Iranian parties. That’s it. No information about what was said, in what context or exactly how worried Iranian appellants should be if they appear before Judge Davies. We even have to infer that the complaint was warranted: the statement doesn’t explicitly say that the accusation was correct. As the Law Society Gazette points out, “if anything it does...
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The Court of Justice of the European Union has found that the UK can cancel Brexit by withdrawing its Article 50 notification, without having to get the permission of other EU countries. The result in case C‑621/18 Wightman and Others means that, if political circumstances change soon, the UK could remain in the EU on the same terms as now. There are conditions. The UK would have to officially change its mind “through a democratic process”, widely interpreted to mean new legislation to reverse the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Act 2017. The “unequivocal and unconditional” change of mind would have to be notified in writing to the European Council. If...
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Claiming asylum can be a traumatic experience. Having to relive the worst events in your life while you undergo a series of interviews and hearings is bad enough. It is even worse when Home Office officials are highly sceptical about a young person’s account, based on a selective or mistaken understanding of country evidence, events, and young people’s cultural and family backgrounds. When the other significant adults in young people’s lives, such as lawyers, social workers and foster carers, are not supportive, it compounds the suffering. This post focuses on how poorly the asylum system often treats young people — those who are children, and those who arrived as children...
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The ETS saga continues and the latest edition is the Court of Appeal’s judgment in Rahman v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2018] EWCA Civ 1572. (Editor’s note: we may have been a tad premature in declaring that “The ETS English language testing saga is over“.) The judgment was handed down in July but has only now appeared on Bailii. Essentially, the ETS scandal — which saw around 40,000 people have their visas cancelled or refused after revelations of widespread cheating on English language tests — came to a head in the case of Ahsan [2017] EWCA Civ 2009. The Court of Appeal in Ahsan decided that an out...
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We expected a full statement of changes to the Immigration Rules to be laid yesterday but instead we got a statement about the statement. The immigration minister, Caroline Nokes, gave us a sneak preview of a range of tweaks to the rules that will be laid “shortly”. The changes include: Introducing the “Start-up” visa (announced in June) Scrapping the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) route and replacing it with an “Innovator” visa Big changes to the Tier 1 (Investor) route, which is suspended in the meantime (covered in this post) Allowing architects to get Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) visas Some “minor, more technical changes” to Tier 1 and Tier 2 (i.e. nasty...
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The immigration inspector has ended 2018 as he began it, with a critical report on Home Office’s internal “country of origin information” that guides asylum decisions. This time around, Mr Bolt effectively accuses the department of failing to take the issue seriously. This inspection report, published on 5 December, is largely the work of independent experts with a covering note by the inspector. The experts were recruited by the Independent Advisory Group on Country Information to review country of origin documents (COIRs and CPINs, for those who know the lingo). These are used by officials making decisions on asylum applications as a guide to conditions in the would-be refugee’s native country....
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