News

May 03, 2020 - Social workers must help children in care get EU settled status

The Home Office has published some guidance on helping children in care apply for post-Brexit immigration status through the EU Settlement Scheme. It reminds social workers that they must either apply on the child’s behalf, or help older children do it themselves, where the child is the subject of a care order, interim care order or placement order.

Young people who have left care should be offered support to make sure they apply. This is particularly important when social workers have secured pre-settled status for a child in care which needs to be upgraded to settled status after they have l...

May 03, 2020 - Court of Appeal rejects Ankara Agreement settlement rights appeal

The Court of Appeal has rejected an appeal by Turkish business owners challenging a reduction in their settlement rights. The case is R (Alliance of Turkish Business People Ltd) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2020] EWCA Civ 553.

Self-employed Turkish business people used to be entitled to indefinite leave to remain after four years, for free, and without passing an English language test. These useful rights came from the Ankara Agreement, a treaty with Turkey that the UK became a party to in 1973.

For years, the settled understanding was that the UK government had to offer indef...

May 03, 2020 - No need to be a “qualified person” to use the Surinder Singh route

Tribunals that decide whether someone is entitled to benefits often have to grapple with our nightmarish immigration law. HK v SSWP (PC) [2020] UKUT 73 (AAC) is one such case from the Administrative Appeals Chambers. It effectively confirms that a British citizen who returns to the UK with family members under the Surinder Singh route is not required to be a “qualified person” to allow their family a right to reside.

To recap very briefly: the EU law Surinder Singh route basically gave family members of British citizens a chance to bypass domestic law, with its minimum income requirements, Eng...

Apr 30, 2020 - List of qualifying job professions for NHS visas extended

As it has been widely reported previously, NHS workers along with their dependent family members, and those working on medical job professions outside the NHS in private practice will be eligible for an automatic and free-of-charge extension of their work visa for one year.

Today, on 01 May 2020, the UK government announced a somewhat detailed list of medical job professions which would qualify for the NHS visa extension programme.

These list of medical job professions for those work for the NHS or independent health and care providers is as follows:

  • biochemist
  • biological scientist
  • ...

Apr 29, 2020 - High Court blow for EU citizens with pre-settled status trying to claim Universal Credit

The High Court has rejected an argument that the regulations making it difficult for Europeans with pre-settled status to access most public funds are discriminatory on the ground of nationality. The case is Fratila and Tanase v SSWP [2020] EWHC 998 (Admin).

Mr Justice Swift found that although the Social Security (Income-related Benefits) (Updating and Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019 do not constitute direct discrimination, they do amount to indirect discrimination. But he held that this discrimination was justified, and thus not unlawful.

Background 

Ms Fratila and Mr Tanase are both E...

Apr 28, 2020 - Home Secretary brushes off fears about legality of coronavirus visa extensions

More on the mysterious legal power that the Home Secretary claims to have to grant automatic visa extensions to foreign NHS workers.

Asked about the legal basis for automatic extensions by MPs on the Home Affairs Committee this morning, Priti Patel said:

Of course, as Home Secretary, I’m able to exercise discretion to extend immigration leave in exceptional circumstances.

Patel made the same claim in a letter to the committee.

The problem is that the Immigration Act powers that could be used to grant blanket visa extensions require written notice to be given to each individual affected, or a s...

Apr 28, 2020 - Coronavirus and the UK immigration system (as of 29 April 2020)

UK visa application centres

Outside the UK

All UK visa application centres overseas are closed.

The Home Office says that those with appointments at a closed visa centre should be contacted. Those awaiting a decision and who want their passport back should contact the company which runs the visa centre in question (either TLScontact or VFS Global). But “if applicants are concerned about their passport, they can contact the Coronavirus Immigration Team at [email protected]”.

As mentioned above, those with a visa for travel to the UK that they haven’t been able to use before it expires can n...

Apr 27, 2020 - What to do if your 30 day visa to work, study or join family has expired

If your 30 day visa to travel to the UK for work, study or to join family has expired, or is about to expire, you can request a replacement visa with revised validity dates free of charge until the end of this year.

To make a request, contact the Coronavirus Immigration Help Centre (by email at [email protected]). You’ll need to include your name, nationality, date of birth and your GWF reference number with ‘REPLACEMENT 30 DAY VISA’ in the subject line.

You will be contacted when our VACs reopen to arrange for a replacement visa to be endorsed in your passport.

You will not be penalised f...

Apr 26, 2020 - Chancellor announces micro-loan scheme for small businesses worth up to £50k

Small businesses will benefit from a new fast-track finance scheme providing loans with a 100% government-backed guarantee for lenders, the Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced today (Monday 27 April).

  • businesses will be able to borrow between £2,000 and £50,000 and access the cash within days
  • loans will be interest free for the first 12 months, and businesses can apply online through a short and simple form

The government, which has been consulting extensively with business representatives about the design of the new scheme, will provide lenders with a 100% guarantee for the loan and pa...

Apr 22, 2020 - Coronavirus and the UK immigration system (as of 23 April 2020)

NHS workers

As was announced previously, most people who need their leave extended must contact the coronavirus helpline to ask for the extension. Some NHS workers and their families, however, are to get a one-year extension automatically.

The Home Office announced that around 2,800 doctors, nurses and paramedics with leave due to expire by 1 October would get a free one-year extension. Family members are included and there are no fees involved.

The government website suggests that this concession is limited to NHS doctors, nurses and paramedics with a “work visa” only. Someone on a different ...