News & Views Monday 15th October to Sunday 21st October  

Have You Triple-Checked Your Visa Application Form?

The UK visa application process (like many other countries) requires the applicant to declare their criminal history along with a host of other information that might be of concern to the country they wish to visit.

In our experience, it is very rare that an applicant has the opportunity to correct such errors on an application form that has already been submitted to the Home Office before it is refused. If the Home Office refuses an application it will appear on the applicant’s record and can taint all future applications made by the same individual. Any attempts to address previous errors on application forms can often lead to unnecessary legal expenses being incurred. In any event, the Home Office are not known to be very forgiving when it comes to errors on application forms, be it a ‘genuine mistake’ or not.

Applicants are therefore encouraged to thoroughly check all details on their application form prior to submission. At the same time, applicants should ensure they answer questions truthfully and if in doubt, disclose any information that might affect their application. If necessary, applicants should seek legal advice with regards to making legal representations to the Home Office alongside their applications. 

Posted by: Gherson Immigration,

Access to Social Justice for Migrant & Refugee Peoples in the UK

UK to go on Trial for Violations of the Rights of Migrants and Refugees

The judgment of an international Tribunal can be a powerful voice for change, and in preparation for the hearing of the Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal on violations of migrants’ and refugees’ rights, which is taking place in London in November, this message is a call to migrant and refugee groups and to unions, civil society and church groups to support the Tribunal and above all, to submit evidence to it.

The focus at that PPT Hearing will be on the violation of rights to livelihood and the facilitation of the exploitation of migrants and refugees as workers, in the UK chain of labour.

Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal (PPT) – To Sit in London – November 2018

PPT the international public opinion tribunal established in the 1970s to draw attention to human rights violations worldwide, is scheduled to hear evidence from UK migrant and refugee rights organisations, trades unions, civil society support groups and others to lay out clearly the effects of restrictive visa policies, extortionate fees, the ban on work for asylum seekers, employer sanctions, the right to rent, as well as the virtual abolition of legal aid and of appeals, and all the other policies which make it impossible for people to remain without working and simultaneously criminalise work, forcing people into precarious and illegal work. It is also a platform for the celebration of resistance – the migrant-led strikes and the campaigns which have forced a retreat on some Theresa May’s ‘hostile environment’ policies. The London Tribunal will focus on the rights of migrants in the chain of labour, violations and resistance.

In seven charges, the Indictment lays out the responsibility of the British government (in its own right and as a member of the EU) for neglecting the rights of the domestic workforce and for the creation of an underclass of super-exploited, disposable, deportable workers.

Read more: Access to Social Justice.html

Applying For Indefinite Leave To Remain As A Victim Of Domestic Violence

The fact that victims of domestic violence have a route to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (“ILR”) in the UK is not one that is widely known. The Home Office will allow someone who has the right to reside in the UK under Appendix FM to remain in the UK indefinitely in circumstances where their relationship has ended due to domestic violence.

The Home Office has published guidance on the definition of domestic violence, which is any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are, or have been, intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality. The definition includes (but is not limited to) abuse that is psychological, physical, sexual, financial or emotional.

Individuals who find themselves in this situation can use application form SET(DV) to apply for ILR. Unlike other routes to gain ILR, applications for settlement on the grounds of domestic violence contain a clause stating that the application fee can be waived. However, applicants must provide evidence that they do not have adequate accommodation or cannot meet their essential living needs.

The SET(DV) application form is clear on the requirements for a successful application. An applicant must:

  • Be in the UK;
  • Have made a valid application;
  • Not fall for refusal under the suitability requirements for indefinite leave to remain; and
  • Meet the eligibility requirements.

However, this type of application is decided on a discretionary basis, and the conditions above do not necessarily have to be met. Each case is considered individually and on its own evidence.

Only those who have been granted leave to remain in the UK previously are eligible to apply under this route. The prospective applicant’s first grant of leave must have been under paragraphs D-ECP.1.1, D-LTRP.1.1, D-LTRP.1.2, (other than as a partner of a person in the UK with limited leave, a fiancé or fiancée or proposed civil partner), or D-DVILR.1.2 of Appendix FM. Alternatively, their last grant of leave must have been under paragraph 276AD of the Immigration Rules or paragraphs 23, 26, 28 or 32 of Appendix Armed Forces.

Appendix FM states that it “sets out the requirements to be met and, in considering applications under this route, it reflects how, under Article 8 of the Human Rights Convention, the balance will be struck between the right to respect for private and family life and the legitimate aims”. It is therefore necessary to provide evidence that a failed application would interfere with the applicant’s right to a settled life here in the UK.

This application route enables a person to apply for ILR where they are unable to apply as the dependant of an abusive partner, although in order for an application to be successful it needs to be supported by sufficient evidence of domestic abuse and complete destitution.

Posted by: Gherson Immigration,



Follow the Trial of the ‘Stansted 15’

They were arrested having stopped a charter flight that was due to take off from Stansted Airport on 28 March 2017. The charter flight contained individuals who were due to be deported to Ghana and Nigeria. The Stansted 15 have been charged with “aggravated trespass” in relation to their actions that night. They will be running a defence of “necessity” - that their actions were required to prevent those being removed from suffering serious injury or even death.

So far there have been 12 days of the trial. A summary of each day can be found on the ‘End-Deportations’ Court Blog

UK Border Regime: A Critical Guide

Throughout history, human beings have migrated. To escape war, oppression and poverty, to make a better life, to follow their own dreams. But since the start of the 20th century, modern governments have found ever more vicious ways to stop people moving freely.

Corporate Watch has been investigating the UK's brutal border regime for ten years. We've exposed the private companies and charities making money from it, analysed what drives policies like Theresa May's "hostile environment" and even secretly filmed the appalling conditions inside detention centres.

Our new book, The UK Border Regime: A Critical Guide brings all this together in one place. The aim is to help understand the border regime, and ask how we can fight it effectively.

Like all our publications, the book is free to download from our site. You can also order paper copies from our online shop, or find them soon in a good bookshop near you.

We will be glad to send copies for free to asylum seekers and other people without papers. For other people and groups fighting the border regime, we can send at cost price or whatever you can afford. Email us on for group orders.

We will also be doing some talks around the UK in the next few weeks to launch the book -- stay tuned for updates on events near you, and get in touch if you would like to host a talk or workshop.

Corporate Watch - Co-Operative,

Lift the Ban on Asylum Seekers Right to Work

Right now, right here in the UK, people seeking refugee status are banned from working whilst they wait months, and often years, for a decision on their asylum claim. Instead, they are left to live on just £5.39 per day, struggling to support themselves and their families, whilst the Government wastes the talents of thousands of people.

We think that’s wrong. We believe that people who have risked everything to find safety should have the best chance of contributing to our society and integrating into our communities. This means giving people seeking asylum the right to work so that they can use their skills and live in dignity.

The Lift the Ban coalition is working to change this. Together, we believe we can #LiftTheBan and ensure that people seeking safety in the UK have the right to work.

It's ironic that people detained in immigration removal centres can work for as little as £1 per day for the global corporations like G4S, Serco GEO and Mitie who run them but are banned from work when they are released.

Lift the Ban Coalition is calling for the right to work for people seeking asylum, and their adult dependants, after six months of having lodged an asylum claim or further submission, unconstrained by the Shortage Occupation List.

The alternative is destitution for people seeking asylum or the dangers of working illegally - no rights or protection at work, unpaid wages and a weakening of all workers' rights

What can you do to support our campaign? See the Lift the Ban Activism Pack for resources and ideas

Lift the Ban Coalition:

Asylum Seekers 'Could Contribute £42m to UK' if Work Rules Relaxed

Asylum seekers blocked from working in the UK could make a net contribution of £42m to the economy if restrictive rules were lifted, in a move that would have overwhelming public support, a new coalition group has said.

People seeking asylum in the UK are only allowed to work if they have been waiting on a claim for 12 months or more and they can fill a role on the shortage occupation list, which includes positions such as classical ballet dancers and geophysicists.

This means people are essentially banned from working while they wait months, and often years, for a decision on their claim, living on the £5.39 a day the government provides.

The Lift the Ban coalition, made up of 80 organisations including non-profit organisations, thinktanks, businesses and faith groups, is calling on the government to give asylum seekers and their adult dependents the right to work after waiting six months for a decision on their claim, and unconstrained by the shortage occupation list.

Read more: Jamie Greirson Guardian,

Children’s rights to British Citizenship Blocked by Good Character Requirement

What is the issue?
Children as young as 10, born in the UK and brought to the UK at a young age, are blocked from affirming their rights to British citizenship because the Home Office considers them not to be of good character.

Who are the children affected?

The children affected are:
  • born and grown up in the UK, but not born with British citizenship because at the time of their birth neither of their parents was British or settled in the UK (i.e. had indefinite leave to remain or permanent residence); or
  • brought to the UK at a young age and grown up here.

Anecdotal evidence from lawyers dealing with the registration of British children together with the experience of the Project for the Registration of Children as British Citizens (PRCBC) suggests that black and minority ethnic children, and children in care, are significantly more likely to be affected by the good character requirement.

What is the good character requirement?
There is no statutory definition of good character, which is left to the Home Secretary to assess. The requirement is applied to children born and growing up in the UK in the same way as it is applied to adults seeking to naturalise after migrating to the UK. It is used to prevent children registering rights to British citizenship even where they have had only minimal contact with the criminal justice system, such as receiving a caution.

Read more: