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Immigration Solicitors

  News & Views Monday 23rd October to Sunday 4th November  

Demonstration for Stansted 15 Defendants Who Stopped A ‘Deportation Charter Flight’

Monday 5th November 2018

Assemble 09:00 am – Chelmsford Crown Court, 3-5 New St, Chelmsford, CM1 1NT

Gather outside Chelmsford Court to stand in solidarity with the Stansted 15 defendants. Their trial began a month ago and is still ongoing. Offer your support to them, and your opposition to Home Office deportations. The defendants will start giving evidence on Monday 5 November.

On 28 March 2017 the Stansted 15 took principled action to prevent the departure of a Home Office-chartered deportation flight bound for Ghana and Nigeria, through locking-on at the stand where the plane was parked. The action enabled cases to be heard, resulting in 11 people still being in the UK and one person has been granted the right to remain. 4 have been referred under the National Referral Mechanism for the identification of victims of trafficking. Of these 4, 2 were found not to be victims of trafficking (of which 1 has been removed) and 2 are still under consideration. 1 has been granted status as the family member of an EEA national.

Home page ‘Stansted 15”

Immigration Officials Attend Local Authority Meetings With Vulnerable Migrant Families

The Home Office is regularly attending local authority meetings with vulnerable migrant families to help collect data that can be used to remove the families from the UK.

The practice has been revealed by a Freedom of Information request by Project 17, an organisation working to end destitution amongst migrant children. The request highlights how the Home Office has embedded immigration officers in local authority interviews with migrant families in ten London councils – Hackney, Haringey, Southwark, Greenwich, Enfield, Barking and Dagenham, Lewisham, Harrow, Croydon and Bexley.

Campaigners argue that immigration officers working closely with local councils could deter at-risk families and children from seeking help. The provision of services for children in need (section 17) of the Children’s Act 1989 means that local authorities have a duty to safeguard their welfare – whether or not the child’s family has leave to remain in the UK.

Project 17 notes, “This duty exists even if the family has no right to work, no access to welfare benefits and social housing and no leave to remain in the UK.” There are fears that the presence of immigration officers in sensitive interviews with families could breach the rights of children. The practice of embedding officers also raises serious issues around data and privacy.

Read more: Rights Info,

Settled Status v Permanent Residence – Which Route?

Many EEA nationals who have lived in the UK as a ‘qualified person’ for the last five years are asking themselves whether they should apply for Permanent Residence or simply wait for the Home Office’s new Settled Status scheme, which is due to be implemented to protect the status of EEA nationals already in the UK after Brexit.

The Home Office has stated repeatedly that EEA nationals do not need to apply for Permanent Residence or a Registration certificate before the new scheme comes into operation.

On the one hand, the Home Office are right. According to current proposals, people who reach Permanent Residence but who will not have naturalised by the time Brexit happens will be required to switch to the new settled status in any event, when the UK formally leaves the EU.

On the other hand, however, the new settled status appears to be less advantageous than the current Permanent Residence. Currently EEA nationals who have resided in the UK for longer than five years are able to have their Permanent Residence backdated to the point at which they completed five years in the UK. This means that under certain circumstances, they may be eligible to apply to naturalise as British citizens immediately. The indication is that the new settled status will not be backdated, meaning that people who have lived in the UK for over six years and satisfy the other requirements, will still be required to wait a year before they can apply to naturalise as a British citizen.

EEA nationals who have resided in the UK for more than five years and wish to to naturalise as British should consider applying for Permanent Residence now.

Posted by: Gherson Immigration,

Supreme Court Rules Parental Misconduct Irrelevant to Whether Child Should Leave UK

On 24th October 2018 the Supreme Court gave its judgment in the conjoined cases of KO (Nigeria); IT (Jamaica); NS (Sri Lanka) and others; Pereira v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2018] UKSC 53.

This is a major decision which clarifies the approach that the Immigration Tribunal should take to the question of whether a child and/or their parents should be removed from the UK in circumstances where it is claimed that this would constitute a disproportionate interference in their rights to private and family life.
In summary, the Court held that misconduct by the parents — be it criminal offending or immigration-related misdemeanours such as overstaying a visa — should not form part of the assessment of whether a child should be removed from the UK. As a result, it should also not form part of the assessment of whether Article 8 requires that the parent remain in the UK with the child.

However, the judgment is complicated and leaves some questions without clear answers. In this extended article, we will explore the reasoning of the Court and have a look at what has been clarified but also at what might now be plunged into confusion.

Read more: UK Human Rights Blog,

Home Office Breaking Law for Demanding DNA Samples

The Home Office has been caught up in another hostile environment scandal for illegally demanding DNA evidence in family visa cases, including the families of Gurkha soldiers who serve in the British Army and Afghan interpreters working for British Armed forces.

A review identified 449 cases where demands for submitting DNA were wrongly and illegally made by the Home Office to families seeking visas, including the families of Ghurka soldiers from Nepal who have served with the British Army for over 200 years.

The review states: “The Home Office has no legal basis for requiring the provision of DNA information in support of an application relating to immigration status.”

It is believed around 130 people were forced to submit DNA and the applications for individuals and families who declined, were refused.

Home Secretary Sajid Javid was forced into issuing an apology in the House of Commons after it came to light that the Home Office had made submitting DNA a mandatory requirement, rather than voluntary, for families seeking visas.

Read more: Rights Info,

Bristol Protesters Seek to Halt Man's Removal by Immigration Officers

The protest followed a raid on a mini-market by immigration enforcement officers acting on intelligence during which the man was arrested for overstaying his visa. In a statement, Avon and Somerset police, which had been called at 10.15pm on Thursday, thanked community leaders for helping to resolve the incident peacefully It said the number of people protesting quickly grew to about 100. “Our priority was the safety of local residents as well as the safety of the officers and the welfare of the man who had been detained,” the police statement said. There were no arrests.

A Home Office spokesperson said: “Following an intelligence-led visit to a business in Chelsea Road, Bristol … immigration enforcement officers requested assistance from Avon and Somerset police during a disturbance involving members of the public. “Police attended but did not make any arrests and the protest ended at around 5am. Nobody was harmed during the incident.

Read more: Caroline Davies, Guardian,

Immigration and Nationality Law for Adopted Children

UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) guidance states that if a child is adopted by order of a court in the UK  (including Channel Islands and the Isle of Man) or in any British overseas territory and at least one of the adoptive parents was a British citizen at the time the adoption order was made, the child is automatically a British citizen. By law the child will “Become a [British] citizen other than by descent”, which is the same as if they had been born in the UK to a British citizen parent.
However, by order of a UK court is not the only method of adoption available. Overseas adoptions not recognised by UK law and de facto adoptions are not granted the same automatic nationality status.

Adoptions made in accordance with the terms of the Hague Convention on inter-country adoption and adoptions by order of a UK court are the only avenues of adoption that will lead the child to “Become a [British] citizen other than by descent”. In these cases the adoptive parents can make an application for a British passport for the child, as long as they send the necessary proof of adoption and supporting documentation to HM Passport Office.

Adoption in other circumstances will not have this automatic outcome and the child will have to acquire British citizenship through registration under Section 3(1) of the British Nationality Act 1981.

The 1981 Act states that parents or caseworkers: ‘must normally only register children adopted overseas by a British citizen in countries or territories whose adoption procedures are recognised by the UK, and subject to the additional criteria below:

  • the adoption is not informal or temporary

  • under the law of the country where the adoption took place the child is the child of the adoptive parents alone and the legal relationship with the birth family has been completely terminated

  • at least one of the adoptive parents is a British citizen otherwise than by descent

Read more: Gherson Immigration,

Asylum Research Consultancy (ARC) COI Update Vol. 181

This document provides an update of UK Country Guidance case law, UK Home Office publications and developments in refugee producing countries (focusing on those which generate the most asylum seekers in the UK) between 16 October and 29 October 2018.

Asylum Research Consultancy (ARC) COI Update Vol. 180

This document provides an update of UK Country Guidance case law, UK Home Office publications and developments in refugee producing countries (focusing on those which generate the most asylum seekers in the UK) between 2 and 15 October 2018.

Asylum Research Consultancy (ARC) COI Update Vol. 179

This document provides an update of UK Country Guidance case law, UK Home Office publications and developments in refugee producing countries (focusing on those which generate the most asylum seekers in the UK) between 18 September and 1 October 2018.

Asylum Research Consultancy (ARC) COI Update Vol. 178

This document provides an update of UK Country Guidance case law, UK Home Office publications and developments in refugee producing countries (focusing on those which generate the most asylum seekers in the UK) between 4 September and 17 September 2018.

Asylum Research Consultancy (ARC) COI Update Vol. 177

This document provides an update of UK Country Guidance case law, UK Home Office publications and developments in refugee producing countries (focusing on those which generate the most asylum seekers in the UK) between 21 August and 3 September 2018.

Mexico Offers Temporary Permits to Caravan Migrants Seeking Asylum

Mexico has offered temporary identification papers and jobs to migrants who register for asylum in the country, stepping up efforts to halt the advance of a US-bound caravan that has angered Washington.

Donald Trump has threatened to close the US-Mexico border and cut aid to Central America to try to stop the caravan of several thousand people. US officials have said that up to 1,000 troops may be sent to the southern border to prevent the migrants from crossing.

The Mexican president, Enrique Peña Nieto, said that migrants wishing to obtain temporary identification documents, jobs or education for their children could do so by registering for asylum in southern Mexico.

“This plan is only for those who comply with Mexican laws, and it’s a first step towards a permanent solution for those who are granted refugee status in Mexico,” Peña Nieto said in a pre-recorded address broadcast on Friday.

To qualify for the scheme he called “Estas en Tu Casa” (“Make Yourself at Home”) migrants had to be in the southern states of Chiapas and Oaxaca, the president said.

Read more: