May 13, 2020 - European Commission accuses UK government of violating EU citizens’ rights

The European Commission has formally accused the UK government of breaching EU law on free movement of people. Brussels today launched “infringement proceedings” against the UK, the process used to force EU member countries to comply with their legal obligations. 

The UK is no longer a member of the EU, but the Commission press release points out that “EU law on free movement of persons continues to apply to and in the United Kingdom as if it were still an EU Member State during the transition period”.

While the EU free movement law mentioned is set to be repealed after the Brexit transition p...

May 12, 2020 - Self Employment Income Support Scheme is now open for applications

The Treasury said that from 8am this morning, 13.05.2020, self-employed individuals or members of partnerships whose business had been adversely affected by coronavirus would be able to apply for the grants - worth 80% of their average monthly trading profits.

The Self Employed Income Support Scheme is designed to match the support being given to furloughed employees.

Payments, it was explained, would cover three months of lost income and be paid in a single instalment, capped at £7,500, within six working days of the claim being agreed, the process will be run by HM Revenue & Customs.

Those i...

May 12, 2020 - Tribunal: nullified nullification no barrier to deprivation of British citizenship

Taking away people’s citizenship became a popular pastime for Home Secretary Theresa May.

One way in which British citizens are stripped of their status is called citizenship “deprivation”, which is a process defined by statute and with the safeguard of an appeal provided by Parliament. Citizenship deprivation can be on grounds of public good, as in cases such as that of Shamima Begum, or on the basis that the person deceived the authorities in order to acquire citizenship. The person’s citizenship is recognised as having been granted but is then taken away again.

The other way is “nullificati...

May 11, 2020 - Rishi Sunak has confirmed that the furlough scheme will be extended until the end of October.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced a four-month extension to the furlough scheme for workers in the UK.

The scheme which pays 80 per cent of the salary of people unable to work, will be extended to the end of October, with the scheme running as it is until August with 'greater flexibility' from August to October.

Announcing the extension to October, Mr Sunak said: "By that point, we will have provided eight months of support to British people and businesses. Until the end of July, there will be no changes to the scheme whatsoever."

Furloughed employees will be able to return to work part-tim...

May 06, 2020 - Coronavirus and the UK immigration system (as of 07 May 2020)

No recourse to public funds

Migrants whose visa stipulates that they can have “no recourse to public funds” are in a difficult position. Without access to benefits to make up for loss of work, many face destitution.

Government guidance issued on 23 April says that there is some support available to migrants with no recourse to public funds, including:

  • Coronavirus testing and treatment
  • Deliveries of food and medicine if “shielding” as a particularly vulnerable person
  • Statutory sick pay
  • Contributory Employment and Support Allowance
  • The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and C...

May 06, 2020 - High Court rules against government on no recourse to public funds

The High Court has ruled that the government must make it easier for migrants to access the welfare system if they are at risk of becoming destitute. In an oral ruling delivered this morning, Lord Justice Bean and Mr Justice Chamberlain found that Home Office policy on no recourse to public funds is in breach of Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

Solicitors, representing the family who took the case, say that “a detailed judgment and order will follow, which will set out the steps the Home Office needs to take to comply with the judges’ ruling”.

The solicitor, acting for the...

May 05, 2020 - Rishi Sunak preparing to wind down furlough scheme from July

The chancellor, Rishi Sunak, is preparing to wind down the coronavirus wage-subsidy scheme for workers from July as part of government plans to gradually remove lockdown measures.

In a sign of the mounting costs to the exchequer with almost a quarter of employees in Britain furloughed in the past fortnight, the chancellor is expected to announce that the Covid-19 job retention scheme will be steadily scaled back as restrictions on business activity are lifted.

The Treasury is understood to be examining several options for tapering the scheme, including cutting the 80% wage subsidy paid by the ...

May 04, 2020 - You can carry on with an old-style EU law appeal even if granted settled status

The abandonment of an ongoing appeal seems to be a hot topic for the Upper Tribunal recently, with the case of Ammari (EEA appeals – abandonment) [2020] UKUT 124 (IAC).

This time the facts concern an appeal against a refusal by the Home Office to issue a permanent residence card, based on a retained right of residence, and brought under the EEA Regulations (in this case the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2016). 

After lodging the appeal the appellant, Mr Ammari applied for and was granted settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme, a form of indefinite leave to remain (I...

May 03, 2020 - Coronavirus and the UK immigration system (as of 04 May 2020)

NHS workers

As we’ve established, 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”.

A letter to the Home Affairs Committee on the same date confirmed that the extensions are available to anyone on the list of professions covered — whatever that list may be — who is subject to immigration control, “not just sponsored migrant workers on a Tier 2 (General) or Tier 5 visa”.

Immigration tribunal hearings

HM Courts and Tribunals Service is now issuing...

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...