May 12, 2021 - Home Office U-turn on coronavirus right to work checks

As far as odd decisions go, it was up there with the best. The Home Office announced on 20 April that its concession to enable employers to conduct right to work checks virtually — for the safety of their workforce during the pandemic — was to be scrapped from 17 May. 

Let’s make HR staff and employees go into the office for no other reason at all than to conduct right to work checks. 

Let’s do this despite the fact that the government’s own guidance says that “from 17 May: you should continue to work from home if you can”.

And let’s also do it despite the fact that the right to work of many n...

May 12, 2021 - £100 million investment visa loan scheme ruled legal after all

A £100 million scheme for loaning migrants the money for an Investor visa was legal after all, the Court of Appeal has ruled. The case is R (Wang & Anor) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2021] EWCA Civ 679. It overturned a previous Upper Tribunal decision that the scheme did not meet the Investor rules because the money invested was not under the borrower’s control.

The court reached this conclusion reluctantly and criticised the shoddy drafting of the Immigration Rules in allowing the scheme to operate despite what the Home Office intended.

Loans invested in a sister company


May 10, 2021 - Fear of missing out fuels record house prices in April

Average house prices have climbed about £20,000 in the last year, the Halifax says, as the buying frenzy prompted by the stamp duty holiday continues.

Prices are up 8.2% in the last 12 months, the highest annual growth rate for five years, it said.

Altura mortgage broker Rob Gill said "fear of missing out" (FOMO) was driving the surge.

"There's a fear among buyers that they could miss out if they don't hurry up and buy before prices spiral," he said.

The Halifax said that prices rose sharply in April, up by 1.4% compared with March. The average price of a UK home hit £258,204, a record high.


May 10, 2021 - Congolese man unlawfully detained for three and a half years

To a person in detention, particularly in prison, every day of freedom lost matters and the Defendant needs to be able to justify it. In this case I think that principle became lost to sight.

So says the High Court in the case of Louis v Home Office [2021] EWHC 288 (QB), a depressing false imprisonment claim in which the Home Office was taken to task for its appalling treatment of a vulnerable detainee who was held under immigration powers for over four years.

The court found a multitude of failures going “very well beyond maladministration” that resulted in Mr Louis, a care leaver who arrived...

May 07, 2021 - The UK-India migration deal: details

The UK and India signed a non-binding agreement on migration this week. The basic ingredients are to beef up cooperation on removing unauthorised migrants in exchange for a minor liberalisation on youth mobility-type visas and some warm words on encouraging temporary migration more generally. Such a deal has been on the cards for years and a text was reportedly ready for signature in 2018, but was dropped in light of the Windrush scandal which made removals politically unappealing for a time.

The Young Professionals Scheme

The element of the deal most likely to result in substantive change to ...

May 06, 2021 - UK economy set to grow at fastest rate in more than 70 years

The UK economy will enjoy its fastest growth in more than 70 years in 2021 as Covid-19 restrictions are lifted, according to the Bank of England.

The economy is expected to expand by 7.25% this year, with extra government spending helping to limit job losses.

However, it follows a contraction of 9.9% in 2020, the biggest in 300 years.

Andrew Bailey, the governor of the Bank of England, said the recovery was "strong" but likened it to "more of a bounce back" than a boom.

He added that the surge in growth, while "good news", would only return the UK economy back to its 2019 size.

Mr Bailey told ...

May 06, 2021 - Court throws out challenge to digital-only status for EU citizens

The High Court has issued a judgment refusing permission for a judicial review challenge to the government’s policy of giving digital-only proof of immigration status to millions of EU citizens. The case is R (The 3million Ltd) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2021] EWHC 1159 (Admin).

People granted pre-settled or settled status are not being issued with physical residence permits. Instead, their status exists in the ether. People can pull their individual proof of status out of a Home Office database using a “view and prove” service on

The claimants, a campaign group repr...

May 06, 2021 - Judges can decide after the hearing whether an out-of-country appeal is fair

Juba (s. 94B: access to lawyers) [2021] UKUT 95 (IAC) is the latest judgment dealing with the “deport first appeal later” policy, following on from the famous Kiarie and Byndloss case. In Juba, the Upper Tribunal has found that it was acceptable for the First-Tier Tribunal to hear an appeal brought from abroad after deportation, and to only then decide whether the appellant had been deprived of the ability to secure legal representation, and/or to give instructions and receive advice.

The Upper Tribunal also reiterated how and why it matters that a deportee arrived in the UK as a child. In sum...

May 06, 2021 - UK service sector growth hits seven-year high

The UK's services sector rebounded in April with growth climbing to a seven-year high as lockdown restrictions were eased, according to an influential survey.

The sector, which accounts for 80% of the UK economy, had the fastest rise in output since October 2013.

The purchasing managers' index from IHS Markit/CIPS climbed to 61 for April, up from 56.3 in March.

Any figure above 50 shows growth in the sector.

"April data illustrates that a surge of pent-up demand has started to flow through the UK economy, following the loosening of pandemic restrictions, which lifted private sector growth to i...

May 05, 2021 - UK and India agree to let more young people in

The UK and India have struck a deal allowing thousands of young adults to work and live in each other's countries for two years. The Home Office said the scheme for 18 to 30-year-old professionals would allow "the brightest and best" to come to the UK based on "skills and talent".

It added that the two countries would also "crack down" on illegal migration. The new scheme comes as the UK is pushing for a post-Brexit free-trade deal with India.

The two countries earlier announced business agreements worth £1bn.

The Young Professionals Scheme will be open to a maximum of 3,000 people from each o...