News & Views Monday 2nd December to Sunday 8th December 2019


Immigration Statistics Quarter 3 August/September/October 2019

Enforced Deportations Year Ending September 2019

Enforced returns from the UK fell to 7,624 in the year ending September 2019, the lowest number since records began in 2004 and 25% lower than the previous year. Additionally, there were 12,295 voluntary departures in the year ending September 2019 (although this figure is subject to upward revision), and 18,629 passengers refused entry at port and subsequently departed (similar levels to the previous year).

Number of Charter Flights, Q3 July/August/September 2019

There were a total of four Charter flights that took place during the period July-September 2019 inclusive.

Total cost of Home Office Charter Flights, Q3 July/August/September 2019

The total cost of Home Office charter flights for the period July, August and September 2019 was £1,096,614.98*.

Immigration Detention Year Ending September 2019

The number of people entering detention fell by 3% to 24,441 in the year ending September 2019. This was similar to levels seen in 2009 and continues the downward trend since 2015.

As at 30 September 2019 there were 1,826 people in detention, 11% fewer than on 30 September 2018, and around half the number as at 30 September 2017.

In the year ending September 2019, 24,575 people left the detention estate (down 7%), a similar number to those entering detention. Almost two-fifths (39%) of those leaving detention were detained for 7 days or less, with 73% detained for 28 days or less. Two per cent of detainees were detained for more than 6 months.

Grants of Asylum in the UK Year Ending September 2019

The UK offered protection – in the form of asylum, humanitarian protection, alternative forms of leave and resettlement – to 19,480 people in the year ending September 2019 (up 28% compared with the previous year). This was the highest number of people granted protection in the UK in a single year since the year ending September 2003.

The Vulnerable Person Resettlement Scheme (VPRS) accounted for just over three-quarters (4,291) of those resettled in the UK in the year ending September 2019. Since it began in 2014, 18,252 people (mainly Syrian nationals) have been resettled under the scheme.

There were 34,354 asylum applications in the UK (main applicants only) in the year ending September 2019, 22% more than the previous year and the highest level since the year ending 30 June 2016, around the time of the European migration crisis.

In the year ending September 2019, 48% of initial decisions on asylum applications were grants of asylum, humanitarian protection or alternative forms of leave (such as discretionary leave or unaccompanied asylum-seeking children (UASC) leave), compared with 30% in the previous year.

Arrivals of Families to the  UK Year Ending September 2019

There were 180,257 visas granted for all family reasons in the year ending September 2019, 23% more than in the previous year. There was a large increase in EEA family permits granted (up 43% to 47,027), as well as increases in family-related visas granted (up 19% to 52,802) and dependants of people coming to the UK on other types of visas (up 11% to 77,762).

Passenger Arrivals to the UK Year Ending September 2019

There were an estimated 145 million passenger arrivals in the year ending September 2019 (including returning UK residents), a 3% increase compared to the previous year and the highest number on record. There were 3.1 million visas granted in the year ending September 2019, a 9% increase compared with the previous year, continuing the upward trend seen over the last decade. Only certain nationalities are required to obtain an Entry clearance visa before coming to the UK, which is why there were considerably more passenger arrivals than visas granted.

There were 283,079 grants of extension of stay in the year ending September 2019, a 17% increase on the previous year.

There were 91,023 decisions on applications for settlement in the UK from non-EEA nationals in the year ending September 2019, similar to the previous year. Of these, 87,441 (96%) resulted in a grant.

EEA Nationals and Their Family Members

In the year ending September 2019, there were 80,442 registration certificates and registration cards issued to non-EEA family members, down 6% on the previous year. This followed the large increases seen in the period immediately following the referendum on membership of the EU in June 2016. The current level remains higher than before the referendum. There were 74,541 documents certifying permanent residence and permanent residence cards issued in the year ending September 2019, 27% fewer than the previous year (down 27,127).


There were 179,380 applications for British citizenship in the year ending September 2019, 18% more than the previous year. In the last 12 months, applications for citizenship by EU nationals increased by 22% to 53,917. Applications made by non-EU nationals increased by 17% in the most recent year to 125,463, following falls in the previous 2 years.

Source: Home Office Statistical Release 28th November 2019,

Briefing: New Home Office Policy on Statelessness

The Home Office’s new guidance on statelessness, as with its approach to other topics, both repeats some mistakes of the past and makes new ones. But the revised guidance also introduces some impressive improvements, which one can hope will make a real difference to the lives of stateless people in the UK. The Home Office introduced a statelessness determination procedure in 2013, through Part 14 of the Immigration Rules. This allows eligible stateless people to regularise their immigration status and access some of the benefits guaranteed under the 1954 Convention on the Status of Stateless Persons.Under Part 14, applicants can be recognised as stateless and granted leave to remain in the UK. If granted leave to remain under Part 14, stateless people are eligible for family reunification on a similar basis with refugees and have access to most (but sadly not yet  all) the same benefits as refugees.

The duration of leave granted to persons under Part 14 was extended from two and a half to five years.
New provisions were added to Paragraph 403 – subparagraphs (e) and (f) – bringing in new requirements to be granted leave to remain as a stateless person. Paragraph 407 was amended to require that those granted indefinite leave to remain under Part 14 have had five years leave to remain as a stateless person, rather than a combination of different types of leave as had previously been possible.

The Home Office’s revised guidance on applications for leave to remain in the UK as a stateless person (Stateless leave, v3.0, 30 Oct 2019) brings several improvements which reflect stakeholder recommendations. It also brings some undesirable changes, and there are some remaining challenges.

Read more: Freemovement,

Dignity and Duplicity on London Bridge

“Sixteen years ago, I warned against the invasion and occupation of Iraq. I said it would set off a spiral of conflict, hate, misery, desperation that will fuel the wars, the conflict, the terrorism and the misery of future generations. It did, and we are still living with the consequences today.” Jeremy Corbyn 30/11/2019

The appalling murders of Jack Merritt and Saskia Jones in a terrorist attack have shocked the nation. Two young graduates had their lives snuffed out while volunteering to help the less fortunate rehabilitate themselves.

In the agony of their grief, Jack Merritt’s family, sensing the media and political reaction that was to follow, summoned up the strength to issue a statement of immense dignity. They said,

“We know Jack would not want this terrible, isolated incident to be used as a pretext by the government for introducing even more draconian sentences on prisoners, or for detaining people in prison for longer than necessary. Jack lived his principles; he believed in redemption and rehabilitation, not revenge.”

The family’s statement was a recognition that there are no simple solutions to complex problems. It is a truth which, like so many others, has eluded Mr Boris Johnson who with depressing predictability sought to blame ‘lefties’ and resorted to the usual ‘lock ‘em up and throw away the key’, knee-jerk grandstanding.

Read more: Dignity and Duplicity on London Bridge

Keeping The Home Office Up To Date With Your Current Circumstances?

The Home Office require a migrant’s circumstances to be kept up-to-date at all times, regardless of whether the migrant holds a valid immigration status or they have an application that is under consideration. If a migrant’s circumstances are not kept-up-to-date, it could have a detrimental effect on the migrant’s UK immigration status.

What qualifies as ‘circumstances’? For any migrant in the UK with a Biometric Residence Permit or an application which has been submitted to the Home Office but not yet decided, the Home Office advise that a report should be made if there are any changes to the following: personal details; contact details; criminal convictions; and separation from their partner or if any of their children stop living with them permanently.

All of the above circumstances must be reported immediately if you are required to register with the police. The police may be unable to update any changes immediately and so an appointment should be made to do this as soon as possible.

Read more: Gherson Immigration,

Leave To Remain Application Date: How to Calculate it and Why it is Important

You’ve left extending your visa until the last minute and are now in danger of missing the deadline. Does this matter and is there anything you can do about it? The answer to the first question is a resounding yes. Fortunately, in most cases, the answer to the second question can also be yes. For all of their issues, the introduction of online applications forms allows migrants in danger of running out of time to buy a little breathing space. The extension application can be made online, fixing that as the legal date of application, and the appointment needed to finalise things booked for a later date.This post explains the concept of an application date in immigration law, how to calcu late it, and why making an application online can help beat the deadline.

Why is the date of an application for leave to remain important?
Knowing the legal date that an immigration application has been made on is important for a number of reasons. The most obvious one affects those who are applying to renew their leave. People in this situation must submit their application before the expiry of their current leave to avoid becoming overstayers, and therefore losing the right to work, the right to rent, and, these days, potentially their bank account or driving licence. If, on the other hand, they submit a valid application before the expiry of their leave, the terms and conditions of that leave will continue until a decision is made on the application (section 3C of the Immigration Act 1971). The date of application is also important to those who want to rely on paragraph 39E of the Immigration Rules. This allows for a period of overstaying to be overlooked when:

Read more: Freemovement,

91% Increase in MP Tip-Offs to Immigration Enforcement In Two Years

The number of times MPs have reported migrants using the Home Office’s Immigration Enforcement hotline has almost doubled in less than two years, ‘RightsInfo’ can reveal.

Government data obtained under freedom of information laws shows that MPs have made 134 reports to immigration enforcement so far this year, up from 101 in 2018 and 70 the previous year. This increase comes after 135 MPs signed a pledge  ast year promising not to inform on their constituents.  Grassroots charity Migrants Organise is leading a campaign called MPs not Border Guards which seeks to put an end to this practice, concerned that it deters vulnerable people from seeking help for fear of being detained. It argues that everyone should have the right to safely meet their MP without fear of being deported. 

“The fact that this “Hostile Environment” policy is implemented by MPs in this way is discriminatory and dangerous,” said Zrinka Balo, the group’s chief executive. “The Windrush scandal has provided tragic evidence of how unjust, cruel and dysfunctional the immigration system is. MPs should know better and must take a stand to protect their constituents and maintain the ethical standards expected of them as public representatives.” The term “hostile environment” refers to a set of immigration policies introduced in 2012 to make life as unbearable as possible for undocumented migrants in the UK. Campaign groups have called for an end to these policies arguing they are denying migrants the ability to enjoy fundamental human rights.

Read more: Aaron Walawalkar, Rights Info,