News & Views Monday 25th December to Sunday 31st December 2017  

Urgent: Stop the Removal of Lazia Nabbanja (A Lesbian Woman) To Uganda

The UK Government says, "We don't deport LGBT asylum seekers and we never will". Is that a lie? Let's stop the deportation and detention of Lazia Nabbanja Now!

We, the undersigned, petition the Home Office to free Lazia Nabbanja [HO Ref N3010837] from detention, and not to deport her to Uganda, where she faces a grave risk of harm and a threat to her life and liberty.

Lazia is a Ugandan lesbian who has been active in the LGBTI community in the UK, both on behalf of Rainbows Across Borders and Out and Proud African LGBTI. She is much loved and respected in our community, and we reject any suggestion that she is somehow not a genuine lesbian.

Lazia has a visible online presence, and gay haters in Uganda will identify her. We fear for her safety if she is sent back to Uganda.

Please allow Lazia to continue her life in the UK and to live freely in an open, tolerant society.

Please take a  minute or two to sign her petiton:

Female Genital Mutilation Protection Order: Restrictions on Travel

This case concerns ‘X’, a young girl, born in 2016 to ‘M’, her white English mother and ‘F’, her Egyptian father, who currently resides in Egypt. After a Health Visitor (KA) reported M’s concerns about X being at risk of Female Genital Mutilation should she go to Egypt, the Local Authority issued Female Genital Mutilation Protection Order proceedings, pursuant of s2 of the Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003, to be held until X turns 16.

M converted to Islam in her early 20s, married F in 2014 and X was born in 2016 in the UK. F has been unable to join M and X in the UK because of issues relating to him acquiring a VISA. The court is unsure why this may be the case. They do not know if M converted to Islam in order to marry F and there is uncertainty regarding the legality of the marriage – however, that is not what the court has been required to answer. The matter at hand is to ensure the safety of X pertaining to the risk of FGM were she to travel to Egypt before she turns 16.

During the proceedings, the Applicant was the Local Authority, who was in direct opposition to both the First Respondent, M, and the Second Respondent, F, who do not wish there to be a FGMPO placed, preventing X from traveling to visit F and the paternal family in Egypt. The court heard evidence from the paternal grandfather (PGF) and grandmother (PGM), both Respondents, KA and from Ms Mary Oni, a FGM specialist social worker who attended regular visits to M and X throughout the proceedings.

M held that F believed both his sisters had FGM, though the PGF provided medical evidence that they had been examined and confirmed that to be false – this Ms Justice Russell, of the High Court, disputed as not credible proof – whilst it remains true that the PGM has undergone FGM. In spite of this, M stated that F would not allow X to have FGM. This the court found to be unsubstantiated since F gave no indication that he disapproved of the practice, except when it proves fatal. M told KA in November 2016 that F had once stated that FGM should be made legal and conducted in hospital. F denies that he said this and both himself and the PGF state that the practice is outdated in Egypt. This directly contradicts the evidence supplied by expert in Egyptian Law and FGM, Ms Abulkomsan, which reports that 92% of infants and girls in Egypt are subjected to FGM, with 75% of those taking place between the ages of 9 and 12. The PGM confirmed that when she had been subject to FGM, it was ‘Haram’ (forbidden by Allah) to not have FGM.

Whilst the court did have concerns for the parent’s right to a family life, under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights, Ms Justice Russell ruled to grant the FGMPO to remain in place until X is 16, to prevent any risk to her safety or well-being. X’s passport is held by the court, whilst M has had hers returned, under the assertion that she cannot travel outside the jurisdiction with X until 2032. F will be free to visit the pair in the UK, once he has obtained a VISA.

Source: Duncan Lewis,

Asylum Offices 'In a Constant State of Crisis', Say Whistleblowers

Staff in the Home Office’s asylum directorate are undertrained, overworked and operating in a “constant state of crisis”, two whistleblowers have claimed, as applicants endure long waits to have their case dealt with due to internal pressures. The Home Office staff have also told the Guardian that asylum case workers are making poor decisions about applications because they are under pressure to focus on more profitable visa applications. Despite a “shocking increase in complaints (from applicants) and MP enquiries questioning delays”, they say caseworkers have been told to brush off all enquires and “just give standard lines” of response when called to account.

A source from the UK Visa and Immigration Unit (UKVI) has alleged that caseworkers have been ordered to kick applications for spousal visas “into the long grass” because they can make more money for the directorate by processing student visas. Spousal visas, also known as settlement visas, cost more than student visas but take much longer to process. The source also claims visa applications are routinely labelled “complex” or ”non-straightforward” by staff – a term which excuses the UKVI from adhering to their standard processing times – it is, the source claimed, “just a euphemism for ‘there’s more profitable stuff we could be doing’”. Paying hundreds of pounds for priority services to try to avoid delays on decisions is a “waste of time”, they warned applicants.

Read more: Amelia Hill, Guardian,

Home Office Must Notify You of Your Visa Restriction for Them to Count

On 15 December 2017, The Court of Appeal handed down its judgment in the case of Anwar v the Secretary of State for the Home Department (2017). The Court held that the Home Office can only impose conditions on visa holders if they notified the visa holder of these conditions in writing.

The case concerned Mr Anwar, who came to the UK as a Tier 4 (General) Student migrant in 2009 to study at a certain college, which was further extended in 2011. However, Mr Anwar did not enjoy his studies and subsequently enrolled in a second institution, which did not sponsor his visa. Although, he continued to study at the Sponsoring institution, he failed his studies there whilst he succeeded in his studies at the Non-Sponsoring institution. Mr Anwar was then accepted for further studies at a third institution. When he was applying for leave to remain as a Tier 4 (General) Student in 2013, his application was rejected as the Secretary of State for the Home Department deemed that he had violated his previous leave, having failed his studies that the Sponsoring institution while studying at the Non-Sponsoring institution.

Read more: Gherson Immigration,

EU Citizen - Self-Employed Person Absence of Work

Judgment in Case C-442/16 - Florea Gusa v Minister for Social Protection, Ireland and Attorney General

An EU citizen who, after more than one year, has ceased to work in a self-employed capacity in another Member State because of an absence of work owing to reasons beyond his control retains the status of self-employed person and, consequently, a right to reside in that Member State

Court of Justice of the European Union

Simplification of Immigration Legislation Law

Written question - HL4034
Asked by Lord Green of Deddington

To ask Her Majesty's Government what progress has been made by the Law Commission in their work on the simplification of immigration legislation; and when it is envisaged that that project will be completed.

Answered by: Baroness Williams of Trafford
The Law Commission’s Thirteenth Programme of Law Reform (HC 640) was presented to Parliament on 13 December 2017. It confirms that the Law Commission will be undertaking a project on the simplification of the Immigration Rules and that the project is expected to be completed by December 2018.