Law Commission Recommends a Complete Redraft of Immigration Rules

The Law Commission suggests that redrafting the current overly complex and impracticable document of Immigration Rules would enhance legal certainty and transparency for potential applicants. Such overhaul would also build a more economical route for the courts and the Home Office.

The Immigration Rules that can be found on Gov.uk website online are the documents that lay out the exact requirements for granting or refusing migrants’ applications to enter and remain in the United Kingdom. These documents have long been criticised to be confusing and unclear for users of all levels.

Accordingly, the Law Commission, which is an independent law reform body, recommends a redraft of the 1,100 pages of the Rules. Improved drafting and smaller number of changes that are added on ad hoc basis as ‘statement of changes’ in future would complement the complete restructure. The last complete restructure took place in 1994, which is over 25 years ago and the current version of the rules has since grown hugely and chaotically which therefore emphasizes the need of another restructuring.

In terms of restructuring the Rules, two possible approaches are set out in the report: Firstly, the “common provisions” up front, followed by the particular rules for each route. The second approach would be to put all the rules that apply to a given route under one heading, even if that means numerous repetition throughout the Rules.

Although the Law Commission’s remit does not extend to varying any of the Immigration Policies, the report does recommend that “suitability for the non-expert user” be among the foundation principles of the redrafting of the Rules. The report also recommends making the lists of evidence contained in the Rules non-exhaustive, which would provide more flexibility on the evidence required in support of the application.

Posted in English on Jan 14, 2020.