Jul 21, 2021 - Home Office refuses to explain secret sham marriage algorithm

The Home Office has rebuffed Public Law Project’s (PLP) the latest attempt to find out more about the secret algorithmic criteria used to decide whether a proposed marriage should be investigated as a “sham”.  Sham marriage investigations can be invasive and unpleasant, and it appears that they are targeted at some nationalities more than others. PLP is concerned about the lack of transparency and possible discrimination involved in the automated triage system, and we would like to make contact with people who may be affected, as well as organizations that support them. 

Jul 21, 2021 - Visit visas can count towards ten years’ long residence

Recently the Court of Appeal in R (Mungur) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2021] EWCA Civ 1076 has weighed in on what kind of permission to be in the UK can count towards the necessary ten years. Mr Mungur is a citizen of Mauritius who first came to the UK in April 2001 on a visit visa valid until September 2001. He left the UK a few weeks before that visa expired to make a student visa application from abroad (as he was unable to switch into this category from a visit visa while in the UK). The Home Office granted his student visa application, and he returned to the UK in October 2001. Mr Mungur subsequently extended his visa multiple times and it was common ground in the appeal that he had resided lawfully in the UK between 5 October 2001 and 13 July 2011, at which point he became an overstayer. 

Jul 20, 2021 - The UK Government announces simplified tax reporting for self-employed and small businesses

Reforms to the tax system that will make it easier for small businesses to fill out their returns have been announced by the government today (20 July 2021).

The changes, which will come into force by 2023 and have been drawn-up alongside representatives of small businesses, will mean businesses will be taxed on profits arising in a tax year, rather than profits of accounts ending in the tax year. It should help them spend less time filing their taxes - aligning the way self-employed profits are taxed with other forms of income, such as property and investment income.

Financial Secretary to th...

Jul 19, 2021 - Home Office can revoke settlement over historical deception

In another reminder that leave obtained by deception can be revoked, we have the Upper Tribunal decision in R (Matusha) v Secretary of State for the Home Department (revocation of ILR policy) [2021] UKUT 175 (IAC). The case confirms that there “must be clear and justifiable evidence of deception and evidence to show that the deception was material to the grant of leave”.  Section 76 of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 allows the Home Office to revoke indefinite leave to remain if it was obtained by deception, but it’s not an absolute rule. In this case, the dispute arose in relation to a Home Office policy which said that “indefinite leave would not normally be revoked where the deception in question… occurred more than five years ago”.

Jul 16, 2021 - The Borders Bill and the Refugee Convention

Under the sub-heading “Interpretation of Refugee Convention“, clauses 27-35 of the Nationality and Borders Bill 2021 seek to accomplish four main tasks:

  1. Translate some EU asylum law, currently residing in secondary legislation, into primary legislation.
  2. Turn back the clock on core principles of asylum law in relation to the identification of a “particular social group”, and the test and standard of proof for asylum claimants.
  3. Remove the protection against penalising refugees in Article 33(1) of the Refugee Convention from some asylum claimants.
  4. Lower the threshold for the defi...

Jul 15, 2021 - Biggest rent rises in commuter and coastal towns

City suburbs, commuter towns and coastal locations have recorded the biggest rises in rent for tenants in the last year, according to Rightmove.

The property portal said that towns such as Rochdale, Folkestone and Farnham have seen asking rents jump by more than 25%.

As Covid restrictions started to ease, there was greater demand from people looking to live back in the city.

This was being reflected in rents, the Rightmove survey showed.

Asking rents have gone up by 6.8% in Nottingham city centre compared with a year ago, and by 3.8% in Liverpool.

However, rents in London and Edinburgh were st...

Jul 15, 2021 - Mortgages refused for self-employed who took Covid grants

Some of Britain's biggest high street banks are refusing to give mortgages to self-employed people who received government grants during the pandemic.

Mortgage brokers say those working in sectors like entertainment, hospitality and travel are the worst affected.

Many lenders spoken to by the BBC are not accepting mortgage applications from people on furlough.

Brokers said that banks often see people who have received Covid-related grants as high risk.

'Treated like a bankrupt'

"I almost feel like I am being treated like a bankrupt, in some way, that I am being penalised for something that was...

Jul 15, 2021 - UK job vacancies climb past pre-pandemic levels

The number of job vacancies in the UK surpassed pre-pandemic levels in the three months to June, according to new data.

The Office for National Statistics said there were 862,000 jobs on offer between April and June, 77,500 higher than the first three months of 2020.

The ONS said the rise was driven by vacancies in hospitality and retailing.

The number of people on payrolls also grew in June, showing the biggest rise since the start of the pandemic.

It increased by 356,000 in June to 28.9 million.

There was a sharp increase in payrolls in both the food and accommodation sectors as more people ...

Jul 14, 2021 - Upper Tribunal can accept late acknowledgment of service in judicial review cases

The Upper Tribunal can consider late acknowledgments of service from the Home Office when deciding whether to grant permission for judicial review proceedings, the Court of Appeal has ruled in KA v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2021] EWCA Civ 1040.

Issues in the case

The first issue concerned the interpretation of Rule 29 of the Tribunal (Procedure) (Upper Tribunal) Rules 2008. The question was whether the Upper Tribunal can consider a late acknowledgement of service, provided after the usual 21-day time limit. 

The second issue was whether the tribunal’s unilateral decision to g...

Jul 14, 2021 - Price rises speed up again as economy unlocks

The UK inflation rate hit 2.5% in the year to June, the highest for nearly three years, as the unlocking of the UK economy continued.

The Consumer Prices Index measure of inflation rose from 2.1% in May, the Office for National Statistics said, driven by higher food and fuel costs.

The rate is higher than the Bank of England's 2% inflation target for a second month.

That will fuel the debate about whether interest rates need to go up.

As well as food from shops, eating and drinking out also cost more, while clothing and footwear, usually cheaper at this time of year, went up in price instead.