News

Jun 23, 2021 - Brexit: EU citizens given 28-day deadline to apply to stay in UK

Immigration enforcement officials will begin giving EU citizens who live in the UK a 28-day warning to apply to remain, the government says.

But the Home Office will allow people indefinite time to complete an application for settled status if they have a reasonable excuse for delay.

There is a week to go until the deadline for applications.

Some 5.6 million European Economic Area (EEA) citizens and their dependents have applied for settled status.

But there are around 400,000 cases outstanding, and the government's helpline is receiving thousands of calls a day.

After the 2016 Brexit referend...

Jun 23, 2021 - Open-ended overstayers can’t rely on ten-year lawful residence rule

This, in a sentence, is the conclusion reached by the Upper Tribunal in R (Waseem & Others) v Secretary of State for the Home Department (long residence policy – interpretation) [2021] UKUT 146 (IAC).

Background: overstaying and long residence

This is the fifth time within the last few years that the higher courts have considered the long residence rules. In particular, there has been uncertainty about whether someone can quality for settlement based on ten years’ continuous lawful residence if they have any gaps during which time they were an overstayer.

In looking at this issue, judges draw ...

Jun 22, 2021 - Criminals being deported can’t be transferred to an open prison

R (Akbar) v Secretary of State for Justice [2021] EWCA Civ 898 was a challenge to the Prison Rules 1999, one of which says that a prisoner who is being deported and has run out of appeals “must not be classified as suitable for open conditions”. The challenge was unsuccessful.

Jawad Akbar has a terrorism conviction, reportedly for planning to blow up crowded buildings, and is nearing the end of a 17-year minimum prison term. Born in Pakistan, he has Italian citizenship through his father, and it is to Italy that the Home Office intends to deport him.

In 2018, Mr Akbar asked for a transfer to a...

Jun 22, 2021 - Lengthy absences from the UK can put EU settled status at risk: understanding the immigration rules

For most people, the EU Settlement Scheme has largely lived up to its government billing as generous and straightforward, but confusion over permitted absences is likely to cause some European residents trouble down the line.

People with pre-settled status, in particular, need to be aware of the absence rules. If they have been outside the UK for more than six months in any 12-month period, they will now only be able to upgrade to settled status if they returned to the UK before 31 December 2020.  

People who already have settled status, or have clocked up the necessary five years and intend t...

Jun 22, 2021 - Government borrowing eases in May

Government borrowing fell in May compared with the same month last year, with the economy in recovery mode after lockdown measures eased.

Borrowing - the difference between spending and tax income - was £24.3bn, official figures show, which was £19.4bn lower than May last year.

However, the figure was the second highest for May since records began.

Borrowing has been hitting record levels, with billions being spent on measures such as furlough payments.

The huge amount of borrowing over the past year has now pushed government debt up to nearly £2.2 trillion, or about 99.2% of GDP - a rate not ...

Jun 21, 2021 - Latest on Zambrano carers and the EU Settlement Scheme

On 9 June 2021, in the case of Akinsanya, the High Court found that the definition of Zambrano carers in the rules for the EU Settlement Scheme was wrong, insofar as it prevented those with permission to remain under another part of the Immigration Rules from applying.

With the deadline to apply under the EU Settlement Scheme around the corner, on 30 June 2021, potential Zambrano carers are in a difficult position. Ms Akinsanya did ask the High Court to order an extension to the deadline so that people affected by this ruling have more time to work out what to do. The result is a consent order...

Jun 18, 2021 - Should people displaced by climate change be considered refugees?

No matter how devastating may be epidemic, natural disaster or famine, a person fleeing them is not a refugee within the terms of the Convention.

The case is – A v Minister for Immigration & Ethnic Affairs [1997] HCA 4 (Aus HC).

As the High Court of Australia highlights in the quote above, there are many, many people around the world in dire need of help who do not fall within the legal definition of a refugee under the 1951 UN Refugee Convention. A quarter of a century on, we might add victims of climate change to the long list of the excluded. So-called “climate refugees” are barely mentione...

Jun 17, 2021 - How do Covid-related absences from the UK affect EU pre-settled status?

On 15 December 2020 the Home Office published a short guidance document covering absences from the UK connected to COVID-19. It applies to EEA citizens and their family members who have settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme, or those who are eligible but haven’t applied yet. That guidance was updated on 10 June 2021, and we’ve updated this article in line with those very significant changes.

The guidance is important because many EEA citizens have been forced to leave the UK for an extended period due to the pandemic. Such absences don’t really matter to anyone who has s...

Jun 17, 2021 - Dual EU/UK nationals can sponsor family members under the EU Settlement Scheme

In case C-165/16 Lounes, the Court of Justice of the European Union found that EU citizens who moved to the UK to exercise free movement rights and later naturalised as British (while also keeping their EU nationality) retain their free movement rights, even after naturalisation. This is particularly helpful for sponsoring non-EU family members.

Lounes applicants (family members of dual British / EU nationals who fall within the ruling) are covered by the EU Settlement Scheme — but it can be difficult to work out the mechanics of actually making an application. This article provides a guide to...

Jun 16, 2021 - Eviction ban on firms behind on rent is extended by nine months

A ban on landlords evicting firms for unpaid commercial rent is being extended for another nine months.

The ban, which stops landlords taking tenants to court for non-payment, was due to end on 30 June.

Treasury Secretary Stephen Barclay said the delay in easing lockdown restrictions, announced on Monday, "present additional challenges" to business.

It is estimated that firms in retail and hospitality are £5bn in rent debt.

"Existing measures will remain in place, including extending the current moratorium to protect commercial tenants from eviction to March 25, 2022," Mr Barclay told the Comm...