18-04-19 – Tightening the Home Office policy on good character requirement during naturalisation

In January 2019, the Home Office published new 53-page guide “Good character requirement”, which describes when an applicant is considered a person of a good character. For the first time the Home Office states that people who have overstayed at any point over the last ten years will be refused in naturalisation applications with only one exception – when overstaying is the only negative factor affecting the good character of the applicant, and one of the following conditions are met: ∙ the person’s application for leave to remain was made before 24 November 2016 and within 28 days of the expi...

17-04-19 – The Home Office ILR refusals for Tier 1 (General) applicants under paragraph 322 (5) of the Immigration Rules have been recognised as “legally flawed”

Following our recent article on the rise in the number of ILR refusals of highly skilled migrants, including the Tier 1 (General) category, we now bring further update after the Balajigari ruling. In some of the cases in question, the Home Office refers to the paragraph 322 (5) of the Immigration Rules, designed to tackle criminals and those who pose a threat to national security. According to the latest data, around 1,000 migrants under Tier 1 category could not obtain ILR status, because they made amendments to their tax returns, which the Home Office interpreted as a violation of law. Visa...

15-04-19 – Government plans to ban no-fault evictions of tenants whose short-term rent agreements have finished

In line with the new government proposal, private landlords in England will no longer be able to evict tenants without a good reason after their short-term rent agreements expire. First Minister Mark Drakeford also announced similar plans for Wales, while in Scotland, legislation introduced in 2017, requires homeowners to have legal reason for the termination of the lease. There are no plans to change the current system in Northern Ireland, where the tenants can be evicted without a reason if the rent agreement has expired. The government claims that by introducing changes to the system it wan...

11-04-19 – New Brexit date has been agreed

The leaders of the European Union granted Britain a six-month Brexit extension. New date of Brexit is 31 October 2019. British Prime Minister Theresa May insisted on a shorter extension and assured residents of the United Kingdom that in any case the government would seek to leave the EU as soon as possible. What exactly was agreed during the negotiations in Brussels? • The UK can leave the EU at any time, but no later than 31 October 2019; • The UK must participate in the European Parliament election. If this does not happen, the country will leave the EU without a deal on 1 June 2019; • The...

08-04-19 – Endorsements for Innovator or Startup visa

From 29 March 2019, the Home Office launched two new visa categories, Innovator and Start-up, which replaced the Tier 1 Entrepreneur category. The Tier 1 Entrepreneur route is now completely closed and no new applications will be accepted. It is however possible to have your stay extended or to apply for ILR if you were issued with a Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa before the cut-off date. One of the main requirements of the Immigration Rules to obtain Innovator or Start-up visa is to get an endorsement from an authorised UK organisation. The full list of endorsement bodies was recently published by...

04-04-19 – When is it not possible for EU citizens to rely on human rights in their immigration appeals?

The Tribunal in case of  Munday (EEA decision: grounds of appeal) [2019] UKUT 91 (IAC), confirmed that in appeals against residence decisions for EU citizens, the applicant cannot rely on human rights if the appeal was violation of applicant's rights to enter and reside in the UK under European Treaties.  In this case, the appellant could only rely on arguments related to EU legislation and not Human Rights ground.

28-03-19 – Home Office opens seven new centres for dealing with complex immigration cases

The Home Office has announced that there are currently seven service and support centres opened for customers with particularly complex immigration matters. Appointments are booked free of charge. Experienced UKVI staff will be able to assist applicants in the following immigration categories: - Family route - Dependent family members -  Family reunion visas - Applying as statelessness person - Fee waiver or exemption applicants - Victims of domestic violence - Further submission after unsuccessful asylum claim - Those who only need to enrol biometric information. Service centres are located i...

28-03-19 – HMRC no longer provides information to the Federal Tax Service of Russia about British assets of Russian citizens

The UK authorities decided not to share CRS (Common Reporting Standard) tax data with Russia. The automatic exchange of tax information between countries has been stopped since 2019. Russia joined the international agreement of auto exchange of tax information in September 2018. The decision of the UK to stop the exchange means that the Russian Federal Tax Service will not receive information for 2018. Previously, the Federal Tax Service was receiving data about assets of Russian citizens, including cash flow for the year, investment income, earnings from the sale of shares, interest on deposi...

27-03-19 – Rules for counting 14 days limit for administrative review application

The Court of Appeal in the case of R (Hasan) v. Secretary of State for the Home Department [2019] EWCA Civ 389 confirmed that the countdown of 14 days during which the applicant can file an administrative review begins even if the applicant has not physically received a decision letter. The applicant, Mr. Hassan, provided the Home office the address of the university as the correspondence and the decision letter was sent there. At that time, Mr. Hassan resided on a different address. In accordance with the rules in force at the time of the decision, the refusal letter was considered received o...

27-03-19 – The court suspends Home office removal policy

On 14 March 2019, the High Court suspended the removal policy of the Home Office. This decision means that the system of providing “removal windows” to migrants, during which they can be expelled from the UK without warning, will be temporarily halted. Under this system, the applicants are provided with a window of three months during which the Home office can send him/her out of the country. At the same time, the immigrant does not know the exact removal date. In the light of this court injunction, 69 people who were supposed to receive removal windows will not be expelled from the country wi...