News & Views Monday 23rd July to Sunday 29th July 2018  

Sajid Javid to Consider Ending Indefinite Immigration Detention

The home secretary has announced that he will consider ending indefinite immigration detention in response to a highly critical report. In a statement to parliament following the publication of a new report by Stephen Shaw, the former prisons and probation ombudsman, into conditions in immigration detention, Sajid Javid said he would review how time-limited detention works in other countries to better inform the debate in the UK.

Shaw’s report is a follow up to his first review which was commissioned by the then home secretary, Theresa May, after years of criticism about the treatment of immigration detainees. It examines the implementation of the recommendations he made in the first report and makes many new recommendations. The timing of the publication of the report was viewed sceptically by some observers. Home Office waited until the busy last day of the parliamentary term to release the report, even though Shaw submitted it to the Home Office in April of this year.

Javid said that the government was committed to working with charities, faith groups, communities and others to develop alternatives to detention, strengthening support for vulnerable detainees and increasing transparency around immigration detention. He added that there would be an immediate stop to the practice of three detainees occupying rooms originally designed for two, piloting the use of Skype, and reviewing the training and support for staff in immigration removal centres so that they can work with detainees more closely.  “We have made significant improvements to our approach in recent years, but it is clear we can go further. My ultimate goal is to ensure that our immigration system – including our approach to detention – is effective and humane.”

Read more: Diane Taylor, Guardian,

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

It is a Wise Home Secretary, who knows, who is the Father of Child & got a bollocking from the Judge for trying it on!

K (A Child) v SSHD [2018] EWHC 1834 (Admin) (18 July 2018)

It is said to be a wise child who knows his own father. It might be thought, having read the facts of this case, that it is an even wiser child who knows who is deemed to be her father for the purposes of the British Nationality Act 1981 as amended ("the BNA 1981"). But, as the facts of this case also show, this can be an important question, in particular, for a child who seeks to establish their entitlement to British nationality through her father, by virtue of section 1 of that Act.

Addendum - Totally without merit
·  In the Acknowledgment of Service, the Defendant invited the Court to refuse permission to apply for judicial review and to certify this case as being 'totally without merit'. Permission was thereafter granted on the papers by Jonathan Swift QC sitting as a deputy High Court judge: in other words, he considered the case crossed the arguability threshold. Later, in correspondence with the Claimant's solicitor and the court, the Defendant indicated that there were a number of other cases which raised these or similar issues of law, and invited the Court to stay the other cases behind this one. In other words, this case was not only arguable, but of some wider public importance.

·  The 'totally without merit' provisions were introduced to save court time in respect of cases which were obviously hopeless or abusive. They were intended, in such cases, to remove the right, after permission to apply for judicial review has been refused on the papers, to make a renewed oral application for permission (without first seeking the court's permission to renew). Far too often, however, Acknowledgements of Service are received on behalf of this Defendant which invite the judge considering permission to dismiss the claim as being 'totally without merit' when that is clearly not the case.

·  In a case where the Secretary of State does not consider an argument obviously hopeless or abusive - even if she does not consider that it crosses the arguability threshold - what should be pleaded is that the Defendant does not accept the Claimant's case is arguable. Where a case is obviously arguable, albeit the Defendant thinks it is wrong, what should be pleaded is that the Defendant accepts that the point is arguable, though the Defendant does not think it is right.

·  On any view, the legal submissions made in this case are arguable and important, as is illustrated by the fact that (I was told) other cases on this issue have been settled on an individual basis, and it has been treated as a lead case for a number of other cases raising the same issue.

·  It devalues the concept of a case being 'totally without merit' if it is pleaded as a matter of course. Indeed, it may be an abuse of process to assert this in circumstances where it is apparent that a point is arguable. I would simply observe that the Secretary of State should not as a matter of routine pleading invite judges to certify cases as being totally without merit. If a Defendant wishes to plead that a case is totally without merit, as opposed to wrong, she should be prepared to say why that is the case.

Immigration to the UK by EU Nationals Falls to a Five-Year Low

The number of people relocating to the UK from EU countries has fallen to the lowest level in approximately five years, according to official figures published on Monday 16 July 2018 by the Office for National Statistics (“ONS”). The published ONS data demonstrated that the net long-term migration to the UK from the EU was 101,000 in 2017 – this was the first full calendar year since the Brexit vote. The last time the net migration between the EU and Britain was at such a low was the period ending in March 2013, when the net migration stood at only 95,000. The net migration from the eight eastern European countries that joined the EU in 2004 - Poland, Lithuania, Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia, Slovenia, Estonia and Latvia – was reported as having fallen from 42,000 in the year prior to the referendum to only 6,000 migrants in 2017
Net migration from 14 more established member states, such as Germany, Italy, Spain and France, has almost halved since the vote, falling from 84,000 in the 12 months to June 2016 to 46,000 last year. ONS data estimates that that 40,000 more Romanians and Bulgarians migrated to the UK than left last year, this is still however, the lowest joint net migration figure for the two countries since the year to September 2014. Non-EU net migration was estimated to be 227,000 last year, which is more than twice the figure for EU migration.

The government said last week in a paper setting out its Brexit negotiating aims that it is going to aim to control the number of EU migrants entering the UK after Brexit, however, there are fears regarding this and the implications of the same, especially following the ONS statistics. The fears come as EU migration has played a vital role especially when it has come to business in the UK. Despite the government’s position, the Institute of Directors said businesses were struggling to find people with the skills they needed and urged Prime Minister Theresa May to keep the door open on immigration. The latest figures triggered new calls for the government to ditch its target to bring net migration below six figures. The new home secretary may take a different stance and support the business community by fulfilling their needs.

Posted by: Gherson Immigration,

Early Day Motion 1556: Israel's Nation State Law

That this House notes with concern the Nation State Law passed in the Israeli Knesset by just 62 votes to 55; further notes this law enshrines the concept that Israel is the nation-state of the Jewish people as a basic law and alters the application of the Basic Law on Human Dignity and Liberty in court rulings, and permits judges to give priority to Israel's Jewish character in their rulings; notes in addition that Benjamin Netanyahu has stated that the Palestinian Authority must acknowledge aspects of the law as a condition for a future peace agreement, putting the two state solution at risk; declares that democracies by their character treat all their citizens equally before the law and are committed to the pluralism of peoples and that this law abandons those basic tenets; and therefore calls on the Government to urge the Israeli Government to repeal the Nation State Law and to enshrine equal status to all its citizens.

House of Commons, 24/07/2018

Put Your MP to Work – Ask Them to Sign EDM 1556
To find your MP go here:

Obtaining Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK After Living Here For 10 Years

Acquisition of an Indefinite Leave to Remain (“ILR”), or settled status, in the UK generally means that a person is no longer subject to immigration control i.e. restrictions imposed on entry to the UK meaning there is no time limit to how long they can remain in the UK. Some immigration categories, such as Tier 1 (Investor) visa, Tier 2 (General) visa, or a visa as the partner of a person settled in the UK under Appendix FM, allow for a settled status to be gained after residing here for five years (or less, depending on your circumstances). There are still many categories that will allow settlement in the UK only after the migrant has spent 10 years in the UK, while others (such as student visas) do not typically lead to settlement at all. Some migrants may even find themselves in the precarious situation of jumping from one visa to another during their time in the UK without being able to obtain settlement.

However, just because you have not been able to obtain settlement, does not mean you do not have a strong connection with the UK. For this reason the Immigration Rules provide that a migrant can apply to settle in the UK if they have been living here legally for 10 continuous years (known as ‘long residence’). In order to be eligible for such a status, a person must have kept the terms of their visa at all times, not violating any of the conditions imposed on them such as staying in the UK beyond the expiry of their leave. They must have also accumulated 10 years of “continuous residence” in the UK. This means that they have spent this period without any gaps of their residence, and have never left for more than 180 days at a time and 540 days in total for the whole 10 years.

The 10-year period normally starts when a person first arrived in the UK with a non-visit visa, or was given permission to remain here. An applicant may have accumulated the 10-year period under any type of leave. In a limited number of scenarios, if a person does not meet all of the requirements, they may be able to remain in the UK for further two years on the basis that they have resided here for the last 10 years.

Posted by: Gherson Immigration:

‘Surinder Singh’ Route Applies to Unmarried Partners

On the 12th July 2018, the Court of Justice of the EU ruled in Banger v Secretary of State that the ‘Surinder Singh’ route Article 21(1) should be interpreted as also being applicable to unmarried partners of EU citizens with whom they have a ‘durable relationship’. This means that an EU member state where the couple wishes to reside should facilitate the provision of residence to the non-EU partner. This marks a significant milestone for those who have lived elsewhere and then returned with their partner to the EU member state of which they were a national to reside there, as they now could have a legal basis for permanent residence.

‘Surinder Singh’ route, named after R v Singh (1992) case, has been traditionally used by people who have lived in another EEA country with an eligible family member who is a British citizen. The issue is that at present an eligible family member includes family members such as spouses, parents, and grandparents, but not unmarried partners. Nevertheless, the court in Banger argued that there was only a material difference between Singh case and Banger, and so the principles established in Singh could also be applied to unmarried couples.

This welcomed judgment came after the developing and progressive case law post-Singh, where the courts emphasized the importance of protecting the family life of nationals of EU member states and, not least, eliminating any obstacles to their exercise of the fundamental freedoms guaranteed by the EC Treaty. Further, the Upper Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum) in Banger (2017) also highlighted that the Citizens’ Rights Directive 2004/38/EC specifically states that if EU citizens cannot lead “a normal family life in the host Member State, the exercise of the freedoms they are guaranteed by the Treaty would be seriously obstructed”.

Posted by: Gherson Immigration:

London: Chinatown Businesses Shut in Protest Against Home Office Raids

London’s Chinatown came to a standstill on Tuesday 24/07/2018 as businesses closed in a mass protest against recent enforcement raids by the Home Office. At noon, whistles signalled the beginning of a protest led by businesses and community leaders in the capital. Restaurants were shut for five hours as they prepared for a march to the Home Office in Westminster. Waiters, chefs and shopkeepers were joined by protesters carrying placards that read “Justice for Chinatown” and “No unfair immigration raids”. They marched against a growing number of raids of Chinese restaurants, which they described as the Home Office “fishing” for illegal immigrants. They argued that enforcement officers often came without warrants and were heavy-handed.

The Home Office says officers can enter business premises under a variety of lawful powers, including when a warrant is issued, and if the authority of an immigration enforcement assistant director is given. “Immigration enforcement visits are all intelligence-led and conducted using lawful powers,” a spokesperson said. “Officers do not conduct fishing exercises.” As well as closures in London, other Chinese restaurants across the country shut their doors. The exact number was unknown, but the London Chinatown Chinese Association, which organised the walkout, said 1,000 restaurants had been in touch to show solidarity. The main issues we are fighting are aggressiveness, unprofessionalism of the Home Office,” said Joseph Wu, a spokesperson for the LCCA. “We feel Chinese businesses are being discriminated against and unfairly targeted for immigration raids. We are also worried about the changes to the search system. Now the Home Office can enter without warrants and it is very aggressive and threatening.”

Read more: Sarah Marsh, Guardian,

New Pilot Scheme For EEA Nationals to Register Post-Brexit

The government have announced a trial of the post-Brexit registration process in three Liverpool universities and 12 NHS trusts in the north-west.  The trial will begin at the end of August and will allow EEA nationals, family members of EEA nationals and family members of a qualifying British citizen to apply for indefinite leave to remain or limited leave to remain. Under these proposed regulations, all EEA nationals and EEA family members will be required to hold valid status in the UK.  This status is defined under Appendix EU.

The proposed rules, if rolled out, would mean that an EEA national (or the family members of an EEA national) who has resided in the UK for 5 years or more, would under most circumstances be granted Indefinite Leave to Remain if they apply.  Interestingly, there is no mention of students or self-sufficient individuals being required to have private health insurance, a clause that has stopped many individuals being eligible for Permanent Residence under the current rules. This does not mean that the health insurance clause has been abandoned, as this is only a trial. Furthermore, individuals who currently hold Permanent Residency in the UK, will still be required to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain.  
If an individual has not resided in the UK for five years at the time that Brexit comes into effect, in order to legally remain in the UK, the individual must apply for limited leave to remain. The individual should be granted 5 years limited leave to remain.  If the individual then goes on to reside in the UK for 5 years, they may be eligible to apply for indefinite leave to remain.

The pilot scheme should allow the Home Office to highlight and address any problems before the scheme goes live at the end of 2018. The immigration minister, Caroline Nokes stated that the scheme will make it easier for EEA nationals to get the status that they require.

Posted by: Gherson Immigration:

Early Day Motion 1543: Foreign National Visas in the Palestinian Territories

That this House expresses concern over reports that the Israeli Government is increasingly refusing to renew the residency permits and visas of foreign nationals who live and work in the Palestinian Territories; affirms the view that foreign nationals must be granted access to visit, travel and live in the Palestinian Territories unless there are legitimate security concerns; supports those foreign nationals who have made the Occupied Palestinian Territory their centre of life and built their careers in Palestine; believes that actions and policies which isolate Palestinians will harm peace building efforts; and calls on the Government to apply all appropriate diplomatic pressure to ensure foreign nationals, including British nationals, as well as aid workers have unhindered access to Palestine and for Israeli authorities to provide all assistance required to those who seek permits to reside in the Palestinian Territories.

Hansard, 23/07/2018,

Coming to the UK - How to Avoid a Visit Refusal

Many applicants believe that the requirements of a visit visa application will not be difficult to satisfy, and that an application for a visa for a temporary or short period of time will likely be granted without much hassle. However, this is not the case, and visit visa applications are commonly refused for a wide variety of reasons, often for what appear to be minor issues to the applicants.

In the year to March 2018 there were 2,388,912 visit visa applications of which around 12% were rejected. This means that around 294,000 visit visa applications were rejected in the year up to March 2018. With such a large number of applications being rejected, we take a look at the requirements and guidance pertaining to the visit visa application, and discuss what evidence and documentation might improve the success rate under this route.

Introduced in April 2015, the regulations governing the entry of visitors to the UK are set out in appendix V of the Immigration Rules. A visitor is defined as ‘a person who is coming to the UK, usually for up to six months, for a temporary purpose, for example as a tourist, to visit friends of family or to carry out a business activity.’

The rules in Appendix V broadly split the requirements into two main categories of suitability and eligibility. The suitability requirements, set out in paragraph V3, are fairly standard and can be found across all forms of visa applications. An applicant might be considered to be unsuitable for a visit visa if they:
  • Have a criminal record or are not considered conducive to the public good.
  • Have previously breached UK immigration laws

It is, however, not the suitability requirements which have led to controversy over the way the Home Office makes decisions under this route.

Read more: McGill & Co,

Immigration: Open Consultation Windrush Compensation Scheme

[Government are seeking your views on some of the important design features of a compensation scheme. This consultation closes at midday on 11 October 2018 ]

The Secretary of State for the Home Department (Sajid Javid)

I am today 19/07/2018 publishing a consultation paper on the design of a compensation scheme that will help to right the wrongs suffered by those of the Windrush generation who have faced difficulties and suffered losses as a result of measures that are in place to tackle illegal immigration [Cm 9654].

I have been very clear both that the Government deeply regret what has happened to some of the Windrush generation and that we are determined to put it right. A series of measures are in place to help achieve this. We are supporting those affected directly to gain confirmation of their immigration status. The Windrush taskforce, established in April, has provided documentation to over 2,000 people to demonstrate their right to live in the UK. We are conducting a lessons learned review, with independent oversight and challenge, to look at what happened and what the Home Office can do to ensure that it acts differently in future. Today I am also fulfilling the commitment to publish the terms of reference and methodology for that review by the summer recess and a copy of each will be placed in the Library of the House. The review aims to complete its findings by the end of March 2019 and I can confirm that the findings from the review will be published.

We also committed to establish a compensation scheme for those who have suffered loss as a result of these difficulties. On 10 May I launched a call for evidence, to help us understand what went wrong, when and the effects it has had on people’s lives. That closed on 8 June and we received over 650 responses. I have been moved by the stories people have told. There has been genuine suffering, which should never have happened. I am also inspired by the way many of the respondents moved halfway round the world to help rebuild the UK, and established their homes and lives here. It is also clear from these stories that these are strong communities which support each other and contribute significantly to the life and prosperity of the UK.?

I want to move quickly, but carefully, from this initial call for evidence to the next stage. Based on the call for evidence and the independent advice we are receiving from Martin Forde QC, we have designed a consultation exercise to help us build and set up a compensation scheme. We are suggesting the scheme should be open to anyone who would be eligible for assistance of any type under the existing Windrush scheme being operated by the taskforce, and we are consulting on the types of losses and impacts that we should compensate for.

We received representations to extend the initial call for evidence and therefore I am keen to ensure that the consultation exercise is thorough and allows sufficient opportunity for everyone who wants to respond to do so. The consultation will last 12 weeks, closing on 11 October 2018. We are encouraging responses from a wide range of people, but particularly the communities affected. I am working with the Caribbean high commissioners to ensure the consultation reaches the right people abroad. The consultation document will be accessible online and offline. My officials will promote the consultation using appropriate media channels including social media. Throughout the consultation period we will engage with key stakeholders and community organisations to encourage responses, providing copies of the document and guidance for it to be completed, along with the offer of dedicated events with Home Office staff within community groups to facilitate responses. The independent adviser to the scheme, Martin Forde QC, will be talking directly to individuals affected and their representatives, as well as community leaders.

Following the consultation my priority will be to establish a scheme which will pay appropriate compensation as soon as possible. In the meantime, we will continue to offer people direct support to establish their immigration status

House of Commons, 19/07/2018,