22-02-17 – Supreme Court backs income threshold for partners of British Citizens

Today, the highest court in the UK has ruled that the income threshold restricting the ability of many thousands of partners and children to join their British partner (or those who have Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK) is lawful. However, the Supreme Court acknowledged that the strict requirement causes significant hardship for thousands of families. If you are the partner of either: a British citizen in the UK; a person who is present and settled in the UK (i.e. who holds ILR); or a person in the UK with refugee leave or humanitarian protection. Then the following financial req...

20-02-17 – Increasing Delays in the Immigration Tribunals

Recent figures published from the Immigration and Asylum Chamber show the shocking amount of out-standing cases in the First-Tier Tribunal. At the end of the third quarter last year there were 62,903 cases outstanding. This means that there are many thousands of individuals and families just waiting for their immigration appeal to be listed, often meaning that they are unable to leave the UK or even work whilst their case is pending for almost a year and in some cases far longer. Last year the average waiting time was 48 weeks with many cases taking even longer to be listed, with this figure o...

02-02-17 – Brexit – Government publishes its White Paper

The Government today published its White Paper on the UK’s exit from, and new partnership with, the European Union. This sets out the government’s proposals for future Brexit legislation. This paper sets out the 12 principles which will guide the Government in fulfilling the democratic will of the people of the UK, as announced by the Prime Minister on 17 January 2017. The 12 principles are as follows: Providing certainty and clarity; Taking control of our own laws; Strengthening the Union; Protecting our strong historic ties with Ireland and maintaining the Common Travel Area;...

25-01-17 – Brexit – Article 50 Supreme Court Judgement

In the landmark case the Supreme Court found by a majority of 8-3, that Parliament must vote on whether the Government can trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty and formally begin negotiations to leave the EU. This is a huge blow to Teresa May and the Government who argued that they could use the royal prerogative to invoke Article 50 and begin the process of the UK formally leaving the EU. The court found that the Government cannot use executive powers (the royal prerogative) to override the rights enshrined in domestic law by statute, in this case the European Communities Act 1972 that too...

05-12-16 – Brexit – Article 50 Supreme Court Hearing

Last month the High Court ruled that Prime Minister Theresa May cannot invoke Article 50 without putting it to an MP’s vote in the House of Commons. This ruling is today being challenged and the court is being asked to overturn it, with the Government arguing that they can use the royal prerogative to invoke Article 50 and begin the process of the UK formally leaving the EU. The opposing argument is that the Government cannot use executive powers (the royal prerogative) to override the rights enshrined in domestic law by statute, in this case the European Communities Act 1972 that took the UK...

30-11-16 – Rules now changed for overstaying

Applications for leave to remain will fall for refusal if you have overstayed beyond the end of the last period of leave to enter or remain you were granted. The only exceptions are where your application is made within 14 days of your previous leave expiring and Home Office considers there is a good reason beyond your/your representative’s control. If there are good reasons which prevented you from applying in time you must submit evidence of these with your application. The threshold for what constitutes ‘good reason’ is high and will depend on the individual circumstances of the case

29-11-16 – Home Office reversed their decision to increase fees for appeals

Home Office have reversed their controversial decision to dramatically increase fees for appeals heard before the Immigration and Asylum Chamber of the First-Tier Tribunal. This means that if you receive a decision from the Home Office and if your decision letter is dated 10 October 2016 it would have cost for your appeal to be heard: £490 without a hearing (previously £80) £800 with a hearing (previously £140) The court fees will now  be charged at the old rates (£80 without a hearing and £140 with a hearing) and those who have paid the higher fees in the last few weeks will have their p...

23-11-16 – Philip Hammond has delivered his first Autumn Statement as chancellor.

These are the key points. Public borrowing/deficit/spending: Government finances forecast to be £122bn worse off  in the period until 2021 than forecast in March's Budget; Debt will rise from 84.2% of GDP last year to 87.3% this year, peaking at 90.2% in 2017-18; Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) forecasts borrowing of £68.2bn this year, then £59bn in 2017-18, £46.5bn in 2018-19, £21.9bn in 2019-20 and £20.7bn in 2020-21. The state of the economy: OBR growth forecast upgraded to 2.1% in 2016 - from 2.0% - then downgraded to 1.4% in 2017, from 2.2%; Forecast growth of 1.7% in...

14-11-16 – 28 day ‘grace period’ abolished

In 2012 a 28 day grace period was introduced into the immigration rules, whereby applicants were allowed to submit applications from within the UK up to 28 days after their visa had expired: ‘The applicant must not be in the UK in breach of immigration laws except that any period of overstaying for a period of 28 days or less will be disregarded.’ While it is always advisable to submit an application in-time before a visa expires, the 28 day ‘grace period’ was a welcome addition to the immigration rules and allowed flexibility when needed in submitting applications. This has now been abolished...

03-11-16 – Changes to the Immigration Rules

On the 3 November 2016 government announced changes to the Immigration Rules. The main changes are the following: Tier 2 The salary threshold for experienced workers has been increased to £25,000. The salary threshold for new entrants has been held at £20,800. An exemption will apply for nurses, medical radiographers, paramedics and secondary school teachers in mathematics, physics, chemistry, computer science, and Mandarin until July 2019. As a transitional arrangement, the £25,000 threshold will not apply to workers sponsored in Tier 2 (General) before 24 November 2016, if they apply to exte...