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...

Jun 16, 2021 - Getting permission to remain in the UK as an adult dependent relative

Since the introduction of highly restrictive rules for adult dependent relatives there have been numerous stories, all desperately sad, of parents trying and failing to join or remain with their children in the UK. Mobeen v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2021] EWCA Civ 886 is yet another example. 

Pakistani widow refused family reunion

Ms Mobeen is 66 years old and widowed; her husband died 15 years ago. Her three children are British citizens and all live in the UK. Ms Mobeen was a very regular visitor; in fact she only spent about 12 months in Pakistan after 2011 with the rest o...

Jun 16, 2021 - UK inflation jumps to 2.1% in May as clothes and fuel prices rise

UK inflation jumped to 2.1% in the year to May, the highest for almost two years, as the easing of lockdown sparked a rise in consumer spending.

The Consumer Prices Index measure of inflation rose from 1.5% in April, according to the Office for National Statistics, driven by the rising cost of fuel and clothing.

The rate is now above the Bank of England's 2% target for inflation.

That will fuel the debate about whether it's time to raise interest rates.

May's reading was above most economists' forecasts of an increase of about 1.8%.

ONS chief economist Grant Fitzner said: "The rate of inflatio...

Jun 15, 2021 - UK jobs market showing signs of recovery

The jobs market is "showing signs of recovery", official figures suggest, with the unemployment rate falling and the number of job vacancies rising.

Unemployment stood at 4.7% in the three months to April, down from 4.8% previously, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.

The number of job vacancies in March to May was 758,000 - just 27,000 below pre-pandemic levels.

However, unemployment among the young and those in hospitality remains high.

Sam Beckett, ONS head of economic statistics, said: "The number of employees on payroll grew strongly in May, up by almost 200,000, although it is...

Jun 15, 2021 - What is the legal definition of a refugee?

This week is Refugee Week.  We try to communicate complex legal issues in immigration and asylum law in a clear way and here we answer the question “what is a refugee?”

What is the Refugee Convention?

The full title of the Refugee Convention is the 1951 UN Convention on the Status of Refugees. The original Convention is today usually read with the 1967 New York Protocol. When lawyers refer to “the Refugee Convention” we are usually using that as shorthand for the 1951 Convention and 1967 Protocol together.

The Convention was passed by a special United Nations conference on 28 July 1951 and ent...

Jun 14, 2021 - Renting now cheaper than buying a home

It is cheaper to rent a property than it is to buy a home for the first time in more than six years.

Research by the estate agency suggests that before the pandemic began in March 2020, people buying with a 10% deposit would have been better off than renters by £102 a month.

But last month, it found the average private sector tenant was better off, spending £71 a month less in rent.

There are now only four areas in the UK where it is cheaper to buy than rent.

They are the North East, North West, Yorkshire and Humber, and Scotland.

This is in contrast to May last year, when rental demand droppe...

Jun 14, 2021 - What is the difference between refugee status and humanitarian protection?

On the face of it, refugee status and humanitarian protection seem like two sides of the same coin. Both are a form of international protection granted to a person in need. Both result in a grant of five years’ permission to remain in the UK on a pathway to settlement after that. They give most of the same rights to work, study and access benefits.

But as we shall see, they are underpinned by very different legal frameworks, and refugee status is undoubtedly superior to a grant of humanitarian protection in several ways.

Before we delve into the advantages of refugee status, we will take a qui...

Jun 14, 2021 - EU Settlement Scheme coronavirus policy relaxed

On 10 June 2021 the Home Office reissued its guidance on coronavirus and the EU Settlement Scheme. Originally published in December 2020, it was withdrawn last month following a legal challenge. The new version is considerably more generous than the old.

In a nutshell, the guidance now allows for people with EU pre-settled status to be out of the UK for up to 12 months for “any coronavirus related reason” without breaking their continuous residence. This includes where they remain abroad by choice. Previously, the guidance only really catered for situations where the person was forced to remai...

Jun 11, 2021 - UK economy grows in April and May as shops reopen

The UK economy grew 2.3% in April, its fastest monthly growth since July last year.

Shoppers spent more on the High Street as non-essential shops reopened, and people bought more cars and caravans.

There was also more spending in pubs, cafes and restaurants as restrictions eased the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.

Despite the surge in activity, the UK economy is still 3.7% below its pre-pandemic peak.

Construction fell in April, compared to strong growth the previous month, but the sector remains above its pre-pandemic peak.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak said that the figures were "a promi...