Nov 23, 2023 - UK net migration in 2022 revised up to record 745,000

Net migration into the UK was a record 745,000 last year, figures show - far higher than originally thought.

Office for National Statistics data published on Thursday show that experts have revised up previous estimates.

In May, it said net migration - the difference between the number of people coming to live in the UK and those leaving - for 2022 had been 606,000, 139,000 lower than the true figure.

PM Rishi Sunak's spokesman said migration was putting "unsustainable pressure on communities and councils" and it was clamping down on dependents of students arriving in the UK. "We believe there...

Nov 23, 2023 - Autumn Budget Statement for 2024: summary of the main measures

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has unveiled the contents of his Autumn Statement in the House of Commons.

It sets out the government's tax and spending plans for the year of 2024, affecting the take-home pay and household budgets of millions of people, as well as the funding for key public services.

Here is a summary of the main measures.

Taxation and wages

  • Main rate of National Insurance cut from 12% to 10% from 6 January, affecting 27 million people
  • Class 2 National Insurance - paid by self-employed people earning more than £12,570 - abolished from April
  • Class 4 National Insurance for s...

Nov 22, 2023 - UK’s Jeremy Hunt delivers budget announcements aimed at reviving stagnant economy

U.K. Finance Minister Jeremy Hunt is delivering his Autumn Statement budget announcement of the United Kingdom, as he faces pressure from within the ruling Conservative Party to implement tax cuts as the country’s economy stagnates.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s government has adopted a cautious approach to fiscal policy in the wake of the bond market panic unleashed by his predecessor Liz Truss’ disastrous “mini-budget” last fall.

The U.K. economy flatlined in the third quarter, and Hunt is expected to announce measures intended to bolster the country’s anemic growth outlook by attracting busi...

Nov 21, 2023 - Court of Appeal says deportation of mother of British child not “unduly harsh”

The Court of Appeal has dismissed an appeal against the deportation of a mother with a British citizen child, finding that their separation would not be “unduly harsh”. The case is FN (Burundi) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2023] EWCA Civ 1350.


The appellant is a citizen of Burundi who arrived in the UK on 10 September 2003. In December 2007 she gave birth to a daughter, J, who is a British citizen. In 2009 the appellant was sentenced to 15 months’ imprisonment for offences including fraudulently claiming benefits. During the 7.5 months she was in prison, J’s father ...

Nov 15, 2023 - Supreme Court finds Rwanda is not a safe country to which refugees can be removed

The Supreme Court has today held that Rwanda is not a safe country and that it would be unlawful for refugees to be removed there. The government’s appeal against the Court of Appeal’s judgment has been dismissed.

Rwanda is widely acknowledged as having a poor human rights record. It is therefore in breach of numerous treaty commitments it has made. And the courts in Rwanda do not act an effective check on government behaviour: there is no real judicial independence. Further, the Rwandan government breached the terms of a previous asylum deal into which it entered with Israel. It is therefore ...

Nov 15, 2023 - UK opens electronic travel authorisation scheme

The UK’s electronic travel authorisation (ETA) scheme has officially opened for Qatari nationals who, from today, need one to travel to the UK. 

Last year, the UK welcomed almost 800,000 visitors from the Gulf, 45,000 of whom came from Qatar, with this set to increase over the next few years.  

Nationals of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Jordan will need an ETA if they’re visiting the UK from 22 February 2024, and can apply for their ETA from 1 February 2024. 

ETAs are replacing Electronic Visa Waivers (EVW) which the majority of Gulf nationals currently apply fo...

Nov 13, 2023 - Important changes to the way late EUSS applications are treated

The Home Office has changed the immigration rules and the guidance on making applications to the EU Settlement Scheme, taking a far more restrictive approach to late applications than has been the case previously.

As most readers will be aware, unless applying as a joining family member, applications to the EU Settlement Scheme were supposed to be made by the deadline of 30 June 2021.

The Home Office test for assessing a late EUSS application is whether there are ‘reasonable grounds’ for the late application. The Home Office policy for late EUSS applications was first fully set out in version ...

Nov 09, 2023 - British government expands list of safe countries allowing more removals

The Government will add India and Georgia to a list of safe states to speed up process of returning people who have travelled from either country illegally.

Draft legislation laid in Parliament on Wednesday 8 November will strengthen the immigration system and help prevent abuse, including by people making unfounded protection claims. This marks another next step in the delivery of the Illegal Migration Act 2023 and Government’s plan to stop the boats.

Indian and Georgian small boat arrivals have increased over the last year despite individuals not being at obvious risk of persecution. Deeming...

Oct 31, 2023 - What happens when biometric residence permits expire in 2024?

Biometric residence permits, due to expire at the end of December 2024, are to be replaced with “eVisas“. Home Office guidance explains that people will need to register and set up an online account so that they can view and share relevant information about their immigration status with third parties, such as employers or landlords. The guidance states:

You can do this by generating a share code in the view and prove service, which will give them time-limited access to your immigration status information. You can get a new share code whenever you need one – you do not have to remember a single...

Oct 23, 2023 - Immigration health surcharge rise to come into effect no earlier than 16 January 2024

On 16 January 2024 or later, the immigration health surcharge will increase from £470 per year to £776 per year for children, students, their dependants and youth mobility workers. The charge will increase from £624 per year to a whopping £1,035 per year for everyone else. 

The increase will come into force on the later of 16th January 2024 or the twenty-first day after the day on which it is made. The Order needs to be approved by both Houses of Parliament.

The original announcement of the fee increase said that it would be used to fund public sector pay increases but that reason appears to h...