News

May 24, 2021 - Man who won British citizenship by fraud gets to keep it thanks to Home Office inaction

An Albanian man who secured his British citizenship by fraud must be allowed to keep it because of the Home Office’s inexplicable nine-year delay in taking action after it found out, the Court of Appeal has held. The judgment in Laci v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2021] EWCA Civ 769 also untangles and explains some of the previous case law on deprivation of citizenship on the basis of deception.

The Kosovar refugee who wasn’t

Bujar Laci was born in Albania in 1983. Aged 16, he came to the UK and claimed asylum, claiming to be from Kosovo and giving a fake date of birth. He was a...

May 21, 2021 - EU citizens are being denied entry to the UK – what are the visa rules for visitors?

Travel to the UK is opening back up, but not as we previously knew it. The news has been replete with examples of EU citizens being denied entry at UK airports and detained for removal. These stories are nothing new to jaded non-European ears. But for many European travellers, this early post-Brexit period has been the first time they’ve come up against the realities of UK immigration policy.

EU free movement rights ended at 11pm on 31 December 2020. All EU arrivals after that date must either already possess valid permission to enter or remain (for example, in the form of pre-settled or settl...

May 21, 2021 - Helpful decision on Upper Tribunal appeals

A bit of a shock to get a case that helps immigration lawyers but no complaints here! EH (PTA: limited grounds; Cart JR) Bangladesh [2021] UKUT 117 (IAC) confirms that a grant of permission to appeal by the Upper Tribunal, even on limited grounds, cannot be judicially reviewed. But where permission is granted, all grounds of appeal can be argued even if permission was only granted on some of those grounds.

The Civil Procedure Rules only permit a Cart (or Eba for those in Scotland) judicial review when permission is refused but not where it is granted (even if only on restricted grounds). Weird...

May 20, 2021 - Criminality undermines strong private life case in deportation appeal

In KM v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2021] EWCA Civ 693, the Court of Appeal concluded that someone with an otherwise “strong” case for remaining in the UK based on their private life might not have a “particularly strong” claim due to criminal offending and time in prison. The judgment addresses the weight to be given to a deportee’s private life in the UK built up during a period when their immigration status was precarious.

Zimbabwean citizen KM has lived in the UK since he was 11 and had limited leave to remain until 2016. He worked as a decorator and has a partner with whom...

May 20, 2021 - Sponsor changing job is not a reason to refuse a spouse visa

If you meet the financial requirements of Appendix FM at the date of application but your sponsor then leaves their job, do you still qualify for a spouse visa? Yes, the Upper Tribunal found in Begum (employment income; Rules/Article 8) [2021] UKUT 115 (IAC).

Facts of the case

Ms Begum, from Bangladesh, applied for entry clearance as a spouse in February 2018. She evidenced her British husband’s employment income in the six months leading up to the date of application, which she relied upon to meet the financial requirements of the route.

The Home Office refused Ms Begum’s application in June ...

May 19, 2021 - House prices climb at highest rate since before credit crunch

Average UK house prices soared by 10.2% in the year to March, the highest annual growth rate for 14 years, according to official figures.

The Office for National Statistics said average prices rose by £24,000 to £256,000 - a new record high.

Prices have been pushed up by the temporary stamp duty reduction, low interest rates, as well as people wanting more space after lockdown.

Hargreaves Lansdown analyst Sarah Coles warned the market risked overheating.

"We're back to the kind of double-figure house price rises we saw in the heady days before the financial crisis [of 2008]," the analyst said....

May 19, 2021 - Appeal judges grapple with gaps in lawful residence

In the messy case of Akter v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2021] EWCA Civ 704 the Court of Appeal considered that a second decision letter which generated a right of appeal might have continued the appellant’s lawful residence when she pursued that opportunity to appeal, despite the original decision letter not giving her a right of appeal. This was even though Ms Akter had not made a second application to trigger the second decision letter. This judgment was only a decision on permission to bring judicial review proceedings, so nothing was conclusively determined at this stage.

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May 18, 2021 - Coronavirus and the UK immigration system as of 18 May 2021

Right to work checks

Checks on the immigration status of employees to see if they have the legal right to work in the UK can be carried out remotely under a concession in place since 30 March 2020 and due to end on 20 June 2021.

The process for conducting a right to work check during the pandemic is as follows:

  • ask the worker to submit a scanned copy or a photo of their original documents via email or using a mobile app
  • arrange a video call with the worker – ask them to hold up the original documents to the camera and check them against the digital copy of the documents
  • record the...

May 14, 2021 - “Hand on the tiller” prosecution for assisting unlawful immigration fails

Fouad Kakaei is an Iranian man who helped steer small boats carrying asylum seekers across the English Channel on two separate occasions, in July and December 2019. He also attempted to cross on several other occasions. Following the July 2019 crossing, he did not claim asylum here in the UK and was returned to Denmark, where a previous claim for asylum had already been refused. He did claim asylum in the UK after the December crossing but was charged with illegal entry under section 24 of the Immigration Act 1971, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to four months’ imprisonment. He also faced tr...

May 13, 2021 - Court of Appeal considers unduly harsh deportation test

The Court of Appeal has considered, again, whether it is “unduly harsh” for British children to be separated from their father on the basis that he is a foreign criminal.

The case is TD (Albania) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2021] EWCA Civ 619. It concerns an Albanian national who was granted indefinite leave to remain in 2011 and lives here with his British partner and their three children. Due to his persistent criminal offending, the Home Office decided to deport him. The question for the Court of Appeal was whether it would be unduly harsh for them to do so.

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