UK Home Office Work Policy For Asylum Seekers Unlawful
The Home Office policy on granting asylum seekers permission to work broke the law by failing to adequately consider the best interests of children, the High Court has ruled. Ministers are being urged to take a “more humane” approach when considering granting people who are seeking asylum the right to work, after a judge ruled that its guidance failed to consider the “adverse impact” on the child when their parents are banned from working. Asylum seekers in the UK are not generally allowed to get a job, but they can apply for permission to work if they have been waiting for a decision for more than a year. Even if they are granted permission, they are usually only allowed to work in jobs on the Shortage Occupation list, which is comprised of skilled, mainly post-graduate professions, which make up only one per cent of the jobs market. Many asylum seekers do not qualify for any of these jobs.
The judge agreed with Mr Cordona and his lawyers’ argument that the Home Office’s permission to work policy for asylum seekers failed to meet its obligations in respect of the best interests of children. The Home Office has updated the guidance since the legal challenge was brought, but lawyers argue that the changes fail to rectify the issue and say they may seek to challenge the updated version. Mr Justice Linden said the Home Office’s guidance on the policy could “mislead” caseworkers into believing that it was “very unlikely that refusal of permission to work would impact adversely on a child of the applicant”, rather than consider the “actual adverse impact” on the child.
Read more: May Bulman, Independent, https://is.gd/A4ptgn
Systemic Weaknesses in the Refugee Status Determination Process for Children and Young People in the UK and Beyond
A review of Country of Origin Information (COI) outputs has shown that there is a lack of good quality research on disability related issues and that COI reports often contain confused, partial, and generalised information on persons with disabilities. This risks the refusal of cases involving persons with disabilities because of a lack of objective and relevant country information that might support their protection claim.
In particular, lawyers in the UK have alerted us to the scarcity of information about the situation of children and young people with disabilities, which acts as a barrier to proper consideration of their protection claims. ARC reports combine relevant and timely publicly available material with new information generated through interviews or written correspondence with individuals with authoritative knowledge on the topic. Sources highlight the multiple forms and layers of discrimination, by state actors and within communities and families, and the prevailing lack of protection or access to redress, that affect children and young people with disabilities, severely impairing their lives and in many cases putting them at risk of exploitation and harm.
To address the general need for a more holistic and informed approach to COI research for asylum claims involving persons with disabilities, Asylos and ARC Foundation will publish guidance and deliver training for those who conduct COI research on behalf of clients with disabilities. More information will be made available in the coming weeks.
Source: Asylum Research Centre, https://asylumresearchcentre.org/
Immigration Checks Within the Common Travel Area
Immigration officials may stop people travelling from Ireland to Great Britain and ask to see their papers despite the Common Travel Area, the Home Office has confirmed. A newly updated version (10.0) of the Common Travel Area guidance says: Whilst there are no routine immigration controls when travelling to Great Britain (GB) via Ireland individuals may be required to provide a document to confirm their nationality and identity if they are encountered by an official as part of an intelligence led control on arrival from Ireland into GB.
Such “intelligence led” checks have long been in place on routes between Northern Ireland and Great Britain, under the name of Operation Gull. This does not apply to journeys into Northern Ireland from the Republic of Ireland across the land border: “There will continue to be no immigration controls on those journeys”. (The Irish immigration authorities do not take that position and often board the Belfast to Dublin buses to ask passengers for ID.) British and Irish citizens asked by Border Force for “proof of nationality and identity” do not have to present a passport necessarily, but in practice few will carry alternative “evidence of having obtained British or Irish citizenship”. EU citizens with pre-settled or settled status can show an ID card from their home countries. Most other foreign nationals will need to present a passport. The documentary requirements for people travelling from the Crown Dependencies to the UK are lighter: proof of identity of some kind will do.
Read more: Freemovement, https://is.gd/2t8mHp
World Mental Health Day - October 10th 2021
This Years Theme - ‘Mental Health in an Unequal World’ will highlight that access to mental health services remains unequal, with between 75% to 95% of people with mental disorders in low- and middle-income countries unable to access mental health services at all, and access in high income countries is not much better. Lack of investment in mental health disproportionate to the overall health budget contributes to the mental health treatment gap.
Many people with a mental illness do not receive the treatment that they are entitled to and deserve and together with their families and carers continue to experience stigma and discrimination. The gap between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have nots’ grows ever wider and there is continuing unmet need in the care of people with a mental health problem.
Research evidence shows that there is a deficiency in the quality of care provided to people with a mental health problem. It can take up to 15 years before medical, social and psychological treatments for mental illness that have been shown to work in good quality research studies are delivered to the patients that need them in everyday practice.
The stigma and discrimination experienced by people who experience mental ill health not only affects that persons physical and mental health, stigma also affects their educational opportunities, current and future earning and job prospects, and also affects their families and loved ones. This inequality needs to be addressed because it should not be allowed to continue. We all have a role to play to address these disparities and ensure that people with lived experience of mental health are fully integrated in all aspects of life.
Crisis Watch Continuing Conflicts That Create Refugees - October 2021
September 2021 Situations Deteriorated in:
Burundi, Somalia, Sudan, Guinea, Yemen, Libya
Conflict Risk Alerts for October - Cameroon, Somalia, Sudan, Yemen
A tense power struggle between Somalia’s President Mohamed Abdullahi “Farmajo” and Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble could further strain the fragile electoral progress, and trigger violence in the capital Mogadishu. The war in Yemen could again take a turn for the worse as the Huthis will likely intensify their offensive in the country’s north, and especially in the governorates of Marib, Shabwa and Abyan. Tensions will run high in Cameroon as Anglophone separatists and government forces could clash violently around Ambazonia Independence Day on 1 October. In Sudan, an attempted coup heightened tensions between the civilian and military components of the transitional authorities, putting at stake the government’s unity.
Crisis Watch monthly conflict tracker highlights deteriorations in six countries in September.
Political tensions rose in Libya after the parliament unilaterally issued a presidential election law and withdrew confidence from the government, dimming prospects of elections later this year. In Guinea, a military coup ousted President Alpha Condé, who had been in power for over a decade, ushering in a period of great uncertainty. A series of grenade attacks in Burundi, notably in the capital Gitega and in Bujumbura city, killed several people and injured over a hundred. We also noted an improvement in Lebanon, where the formation of a new government ended a thirteen-month period with caretaker authorities. Aside from the 70+ conflict situations we regularly assess, we tracked notable developments in: Brazil, Eswatini, Indonesia and Montenegro.
Resolution Opportunities for October - None
Source: Crisis Watch September 2021, https://is.gd/JVNDCr
If My Child Is British, Can I Stay in the UK?
If you are a foreign national with a British child and have made the decision to move to the UK, it is vital that you understand the immigration options available to you. Under the UK's immigration rules, the principal visa route for foreign nationals who want to join their family members is outlined in detail in Appendix FM (FM stands for 'family members'). This popular immigration route is intended for anyone who wishes to come to the UK on the basis of their family life with a British national or a person who has settled permanently in the UK. In this article, we will explain how a foreign national with a British child can stay in the UK by applying through the family member (FM) route.
Can I live in the UK if I have a British child? It may be possible to move to the UK to live with and care for your British child assuming they are under 18 (on the day you submit your application to UK Visas and Immigration – UKVI) or if they were 18 when you first gained leave to remain in the UK and they do not live an independent life. The key requirement here is that the child must not be 'independent'. In real terms, this means that they are not financially independent, not married, and do not have children.
The FM route does not just apply to children who are British citizens, it also applies to: • Irish citizens • Those who have settled in the UK – i.e., they have indefinite leave to remain, settled status for child, or permanent residence • EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein nationals with and pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme (For this to apply, they must have started living in the UK before 1 January 2021). In addition, applicants under the FM route wishing to join their eligible child in the UK must meet the parental responsibility requirements, as follows.
Read more: Amar Ali, Reiss Edwards, EIN, https://is.gd/wsLK8Z
180-Day Absence Rule Doesn’t Apply to People With a Spouse or Partner Visa
Many UK immigration categories impose a requirement that the visa holder must not be outside the UK for more than 180 days in any 12-month period — that is, if the person wants to apply for indefinite leave to remain. Joanna and Nath have explored the 180-day absence rule, and exceptions to it, before. The good news is that this rule doesn’t apply to spouse and partner visa holders. But based on the volume of enquiries my firm receives from people worried they may have spent too much time outside the UK, many seem to be unaware of this. Is there an absences limit for spouses? In short, no. Within the Immigration Rules for spouses and partners — found in the notorious Appendix FM — you won’t find a rule that says a person holding a spouse or partner visa should not be absent from the UK for a certain number of days. But this doesn’t mean that those using this route can get a visa, rarely set foot in the UK but expect to be able to settle here.
Intention to live together permanently in the UK - When a person first obtains a spouse or partner visa, they will be granted an initial period of permission to stay in the UK. This will be for 33 months if applying from abroad, or 30 months following an in-country application. This initial application will only be approved if the Home Office is satisfied that the applicant and their partner meet all the requirements, including intending to live together permanently in the UK — paragraphs E-ECP.2.10. and E-LTRP.1.10 of Appendix FM.
Read more: Freemovement, https://is.gd/Kuu1rG