News & Views Monday 26th August to Sunday1st September 2019


Immigration Statistics Q2 April/May/June 2019


There were 8,060 enforced returns from the UK in the year ending June 2019, 26% fewer than the previous year (10,914). This was largely accounted for by falls in enforced returns of people who were in detention prior to their return, which fell by 25% to 5,395.

Additionally, there were 13,140 voluntary returns (although this figure is subject to upward revision), and 19,399 passengers refused entry at port and subsequently departed.

There were no Charter Flights in Q2

The Home Office has spent a quarter of a million pounds on charter flights to deport people in the three months April/May/June, without a single plane leaving the runway in that period. The three-month suspension of the flights was revealed in a Freedom of Information requests obtained by ‘No-Deportations’.

Immigration Detention

At the end of June 2019, there were 1,727 people held in the detention estate, 22% fewer than a year earlier.

In the year ending June 2019, 24,052 individuals entered the detention estate, 8% fewer than the previous year. This represents a fall for the fourth consecutive year to the lowest level since comparable records began in 2009.

In 2018, one person died while being held solely under immigration powers in detention. This does not include those who died while being detained solely under immigration powers in prison, or after leaving detention.

There were a 108 Hunger Strikes Across the detention estate in Q2.

There were 114 attempted suicides across the detention estate in Q2, with three persons hospitalised.

Asylum Claims on the Basis of Sexual Orientation (Experimental Statistics)

In 2018, there were 1,502 asylum applications where sexual orientation formed part of the basis for the claim (LGB asylum applications), representing 5% of all applications.

Although the grant rate for LGB asylum applications was lower than for all asylum applications (35%), nationalities who commonly claim asylum on the basis of sexual orientation typically see higher grant rates for LGB applications than for total applications.

How Many People were Granted Asylum or Protection?

The UK gave protection to 18,519 people in the year ending June 2019 (up 29% compared with the previous year). This was the highest number of people granted protection in the UK over a one-year period since the year ending September 2003.

Since it began in 2014, 17,051 people have been resettled under the Vulnerable Person Resettlement Scheme (VPRS), with 4,200 being resettled in the year ending June 2019.

There were 32,693 asylum applications in the UK in the year ending June 2019, 21% more than the previous year but below the level seen in the year ending June 2016 during the European migration crisis.

In the year ending June 2019, 44% of initial decisions on asylum applications resulted in a grant, compared with 29% in the previous year. However, the grant rate at final decision (following appeal) increased to around 50% (based on data from 2015 to 2017).

How Many People Come to the UK (Including Visitors)?

There were an estimated 144.7 million passenger arrivals in the year ending June 2019 (including returning UK residents), a 4% increase compared to the previous year and the highest number on record. The latest available data relating (to year ending March 2019) show arrivals from British, other European Economic Area (EEA) and Swiss nationals increased by 7% to 124.4 million, while arrivals from Non-EEA nationals decreased by 7% to 19.6 million.

There were 3.0 million visas granted in the year ending June 2019, a 9% increase of 249,279 compared with the previous year, continuing the upward trend seen over the last decade. Of these, over three-quarters (77%) were to visit, 8% were to study (excluding short-term study), 6% were to work and 2% were for family reasons.

Extension of Temporary Stay in the UK

There were 267,951 grants of extension of stay in the year ending June 2019, an increase of 14% on the previous year. The number of extensions for work reasons increased by 20% to 95,507 including increases in the Skilled (Tier 2) work category. There was also a 16% increase in extensions for family reasons to 104,644.

There were 89,406 decisions on applications for settlement in the UK in the year ending June 2019, 4% more than in the previous year. Of these, 85,931 (96%) resulted in a grant. This was an increase for the second consecutive year, following falls since the year ending June 2013.


There were 175,011 applications for British citizenship in the year to June 2019, 19% more than in the previous year. Applications for citizenship by EU nationals increased by 26% to 53,588. Increases in citizenship applications from EU nationals in the last 3 years are likely to result from more people seeking to confirm their status following the EU referendum. Applications made by non-EU nationals increased by 17% in the most recent year to 121,423, following falls in the previous 2 years.


Germany Ramps Up Forced Deportations of Asylum Seekers Despite Protests

The German government returned a group of 31 failed Afghan asylum seekers to their country, the sixth mass deportation of Afghan citizens from Germany since December 2018. The arrivals made up the 27th such group to be deported since December 2016, with 645 people sent back on previous flights. Germany has been organizing charter flights to fly those who have been refused asylum back to Afghanistan.

The forced deportations have been deeply controversial in Germany, with critics saying the war-torn country is too dangerous to send asylum seekers back due to the bomb attacks, kidnappings and the number of unregistered weapons in circulation. Civilians are regularly the target of attacks by the Taliban and the Daesh terrorist group and a total of 1,366 civilians have been killed in the Afghan conflict between January and June, according to the U.N. Around two weeks ago, at least 80 people were killed by a Daesh suicide bomber in a wedding hall in Kabul. More than 180 others were injured in the incident, officials said.

According to reports from the German federal government, around 11,500 people were deported from Germany in the first six months of this year. The reports also reveal excessive use of police force during deportations while the degree of physical resistance by asylum seekers was on the rise during forced deportations.

 Daily Sabah,

Nearly 900,000 Asylum Seekers Living in Limbo in EU

Close to 900,000 asylum seekers in the EU are waiting to have their claims processed, according to figures from the European statistics office. Women, men and unaccompanied children are living for years in uncertainty, with numbers of pending applications for international protection almost unchanged from two years ago when 1.1 million migrants were “stuck” in the continent.

“Living in limbo is now the norm for those seeking protection,” said Karl Kopp of Pro Asyl, Germany’s largest pro-immigration advocacy organisation. “Limbo means living in the miserable Greek EU hotspots, or being trapped and pushed back at the borders. It means living in the desperate search for protection and human dignity.”

Eurostat figures have revealed a backlog of 878,600 requests at the end of 2018, with Germany having the largest share of pending requests (44%), ahead of Italy (12%). The figure comes despite the number of migrant arrivals in Europe practically halving in the last two years. Factors leading to the continuing backlog include new laws from right-leaning governments and an increase in the number of rejections, leading to lengthy appeals processes.

Read more: Lorenzo Tondo, Guardian,

Dilip Rai v Entry Clearance Officer

1. The appellant is a Nepalese national who was born on 17 May 1987. As long ago as 10 November 2015, he was refused entry clearance as the adult dependent child of a former Gurkha soldier. He appealed against that decision to the First-tier Tribunal and his appeal was dismissed by Judge Harris. The judge concluded that the appellant and his parents in the United Kingdom continued to enjoy a family life despite their separation since 2011 but that the respondent's decision represented a lawful and proportionate interference with that family life.

2. Permission to appeal was refused by First-tier Tribunal Judge Andrew and by Upper Tribunal Judge Kebede. An application under CPR 54.7A (a 'Cart' judicial review) was refused by HHJ McKenna but was granted by Hamblen LJ on renewal to the Court of Appeal. On 30 April 2019, therefore, permission to appeal was granted by Mr Ockelton VP, who reminded the parties that the Upper Tribunal's task was that set out in s12 of the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007.

The Submissions of the Parties

3.  At the outset of the hearing before us, we expressed some concern that Judge Harris had cited Ghising [2012] UKUT 160 (IAC) and had concluded in reliance on that authority, at [49], that the respondent had provided a scheme for remedying the historic injustice identified in the earlier authorities. As has been asserted in the grounds presented at all stages in this case, Judge Harris erred in relying on that decision of Lang J and UTJ Jordan in so concluding because that aspect of the Upper Tribunal's decision had been over-ruled by the Court of Appeal in Gurung [2013] EWCA Civ 8; [2013] 1 WLR 2546 and the Upper Tribunal had returned to consider the weight to be accorded to the historic injustice in Ghising [2013] UKUT 567 (IAC) (" Ghising No 2)"). In Ghising No 2, the Tribunal held that the historic wrong suffered by ex-Gurkha servicemen was to be given substantial weight and that

"where it is found that Article 8 is engaged and, but for the historic wrong, the Appellant would have been settled in the UK long ago, this will ordinarily determine the outcome of the Article 8 proportionality assessment in an Appellant's favour, where the matters relied on by the Secretary of State/ entry clearance officer consist solely of the public interest in maintaining a firm immigration policy."

4. We observed at the hearing that Judge Harris had erred in law in failing to apply the 'but for' test set out above and that his conclusion, at [52], that the historic injustice was not in itself sufficient to tip the balance in this appellant's favour was wrong in law.

Notice of Decision

The decision of the First-tier Tribunal was materially erroneous in law and is set aside. We remake the decision on the appeal, allowing it on Article 8 ECHR grounds.