News

Mar 09, 2023 - Statement of changes to the Immigration Rules HC1160

The most significant changes are the addition of the Electronic Travel Authorisation scheme from 13 April 2023, and the introduction of the Innovator Founder route on 13 April 2023. The minimum salary requirement for worker routes has also increased from £25,600 to £26,200.

Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) scheme

In a written statement to the House of Commons this morning, immigration minister Robert Jenrick explained that one of the government’s ongoing priorities is securing the UK’s borders and keeping people safe. Part of this initiative is to make sure that everyone wishing to travel...

Feb 28, 2023 - Sponsor licence holders should complete mock audits to prepare for Home Office checks

When employers apply for and are granted a licence to sponsor workers, they make a pledge to accept all the duties of sponsorship, and the Home Office can take compliance action when they consider that a sponsor has failed to uphold their duties or otherwise poses a risk to immigration control. One of the most effective ways for the Home Office to check whether a sponsor is compliant is to audit them through a site visit. They will inspect HR documents and processes and interview employees to verify that the sponsor is complying with their duties.

The Home Office is currently targeting some em...

Feb 22, 2023 - More bad news from the Upper Tribunal for extended family members of EU citizens

What happens when you accidentally apply for an EU Settlement Scheme Family Permit when you meant to apply for an EEA Family Permit under the Immigration (EEA) Regulations 2016?

The answer: you are deprived of the benefit of the EU Settlement Scheme and the EU Withdrawal Agreement.

This is the effect of the Upper Tribunal’s decision in Siddiqa (other family members, EU exit) Bangladesh [2023] UKUT 47 (IAC).

Why are there two different types of application?

Before 31 December 2020 there were two legal regimes operating simultaneously: the EU Settlement Scheme under the UK’s immigration rules (“

Feb 21, 2023 - 2,400 India Young Professionals Scheme visas available under ballot system

The much anticipated India Young Professionals Scheme visas ballot will open at 2:30 pm India Standard Time on 28 February. The ballot will close at 2:30 pm on 2 March 2023.

You will be able to enter the ballot by the link here - https://www.gov.uk/guidance/india-young-professionals-scheme-visa-ballot-system.

The given web-page also confirms some general details about the application process, cost and timings. Eligibility requirements include being an Indian national aged between 18 and 30, with qualification at degree level or above and sufficient savings to support travel to the UK.

A total ...

Feb 20, 2023 - Priority Visa Services for overseas family visa applications

From 20 February 2023 UK Visa and Immigration Service is re-introducing Priority Visa services for customers with a new overseas family visa application. Priority Visa applications will be assessed within 30 days/6 weeks from the date of biometric submission.

The fee for this service is the usual fee of £573.

As regards the practical application of this service, most practitioners state thar the system works slightly different this time though, in a way that you have to submit it as a normal application, they then email you within 1-2 weeks of the biometric appointment and then you are asked i...

Feb 17, 2023 - The risk of visa applications being treated as withdrawn due to travel

This article looks at when you are and are not able to travel, and how important your location is to your application.

Location at the time of submission: does it really matter anymore?

Back when UK Visa and Immigration (UKVI) applications were made by post or in-person at a Public Enquiry Office, an applicant was required to physically hand over their passport. The issues around international travel were largely resolved due to the impracticality of getting the passport back. Now, with applicants retaining passports and the digitalisation of some application processes, the issue of where an a...

Feb 14, 2023 - Differential treatment of Ukrainian and Afghan applications justified on national security grounds

In AB v Secretary of State for the Home Department & Ors [2023] EWHC 287 (Admin), the High Court found that the Home Office did not discriminate against Afghan nationals, compared to Ukrainian nationals, in the context of the biometrics requirement for entry clearance applications.

The facts

AB worked as a prosecutor in Afghanistan, under the International Security Assistance Force, until the Taliban took over in summer 2021. In her role, she was involved in anti-terrorism prosecutions, including of Taliban members. Following the Taliban’s takeover and she was forced to leave Afghanistan and h...

Feb 13, 2023 - Deception and denaturalisation

There are two types of fraud-based denaturalisation in the United Kingdom.

The statutory power to deprive a British citizen of their status on the basis of fraud was introduced in 1914. It is unknown how frequently this statutory power was exercised in previous years but it is thought to be seldom.

A further form of fraud-based denaturalisation emerged through case law. In the 1978 case of Sultan Mahmood [1981] QB 58, a man had adopted the identity of his dead cousin and later purported to register as a British citizen in that identity. The court held that the purported registration was a null...

Feb 10, 2023 - New reported decision on fairness of hearings and durable partners who subsequently marry

As was established by the Upper Tribunal in the case of Elais (fairness and extended family members) [2022] UKUT 00300, the following legal points were adopted by court:

On the court hearings fairness issue:

1. In order to conduct a fair hearing, cross-examination should be facilitated by the judge without undue interruption.

2. Where a transcript or recording is available of a hearing at which it is alleged that the proceedings were unfair, it is less likely to be appropriate to seek an account from the judge as to what took place.

On the extended family member issue under the European immigr...

Feb 06, 2023 - The unintended consequences of denaturalising bad guys

The power to denaturalise a British subject on the basis of their behaviour was first introduced by legislation in 1918. With some adjustments, the power remained broadly the same until as late as 2002. Essentially, only a person who had naturalised as British could be stripped of their citizenship and the main grounds for doing so involved disloyalty or disaffection to the Crown, assisting an enemy or proven criminal conduct. These powers were exercised against some German and allied nationals who had naturalised as British but fell into abeyance. The last denaturalisation under this legal re...