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Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration concerned by poor decision making at Dhaka and Warsaw visa sections

EIN John Vine, Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration, today released investigation reports on the Home Office's Dhaka and Warsaw visa sections. You can read the Dhaka report here and the Warsaw report here. The Chief Inspector found the customer service at both visa sections was good, but the quality of decision making was poor. A press release quoted him as saying: "I was pleased to find that customer service targets were being met across most of the categories of visa applications we inspected at both visa sections, and there was a genuine commitment to improving customer service standards." "However, the quality of decision-making was poor in all the visa categories I inspected at both Dhaka and Warsaw. It is vitally important, if the visa application process is to be fair and transparent, that the Home Office corrects these serious failings in its decision making. Given the poor level of decision quality the Home Office should also review the target for Other Visitor applications in Warsaw to bring decision quality and ultimately customer service to an acceptable standard." The press release also noted that the Chief Inspector found in Dhaka: • customer service targets were being met in the majority of the Family Visitor,...

Court of Justice of the European Union

The Court of Justice of the European Union has today released its judgment in Bundesrepublik Deutschland v Kaveh Puid, Case C-4/11. Where a Member State may not transfer an asylum seeker to the State competent to examine his application because of a risk of infringement of his fundamental rights in the latter, the Member State is required to identify another Member State as responsible for the examination Conversely, it is not, in principle, required itself to examine the application The 'Dublin II' Regulation [1] sets out the criteria for determining the Member State competent to examine an application for asylum lodged in the EU – a single Member State being, in principle, competent. Where an asylum seeker has lodged his application in a Member State which is not the one the Regulation indicates is competent, the Regulation provides for a procedure for the transfer of the asylum seeker to the competent Member State. However, in such a situation, the Member State to which the application was made may decide not to transfer the applicant to the competent State and itself to examine the application. Mr Puid, an Iranian national, arrived in Germany irregularly by transiting through Greece. His application for asylum lodged...

Changes to document requirements

From 28 October 2013 if you are applying by post for extension of stay, indefinite leave to remain or British citizenship on the following forms, you no longer need to provide an original passport from the British or settled person supporting your application - a photocopy of their passport or travel document can be provided instead. Applying for extension of stay or indefinite leave to remain Forms FLR(M), SET(M) and SET(F) fiancé(e) of a British citizen or settled person; civil partner or proposed civil partner of a British citizen or settled person; spouse of a British citizen or settled person; unmarried partner of a British citizen or settled person; same sex partner of a British citizen or settled person; or child or other dependant relative of a British citizen or settled person. Applying for British citizenship Forms AN and MN1 spouse of a British citizen; civil partner of a British citizen; child of a British citizen parent. The photocopy must include all pages of the passport, including any blank pages, and we will verify it with other government departments in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998. We may request the original document at any time during the application process,...

Immigration Rule changes – Armed Forces

The new revised immigration rules affecting members of HM Forces and their families have been laid in Parliament. Contact ICS Legal today on how this would impact you and your family on 00207 237 3388.  The new rules come into effect on 1 December 2013. They were announced in a written ministerial statement on 4 July 2013, and will bring Armed Forces family rules in line with the family Immigration Rules in Appendix FM. This will mean that: members of HM Forces wishing to sponsor a non-EEA dependant to come to or remain in the UK will have to meet a minimum income threshold; a basic English language requirement, at A1 level on the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR), will apply to all non-EEA partners seeking leave to enter or remain in the UK as a dependant of a member of HM Forces; to qualify for settlement, all non-EEA partners and children between the ages of 18 and 65 will be required to pass the Life in the UK test and hold an intermediate speaking and listening qualification, at B1 level on the CEFR; all non-EEA partners of HM Forces personnel granted leave under the Immigration Rules will serve a...

English language tests for applications under Tiers 1, 2 and 4 of the points-based system

Home Office have made some amendments to the list of approved English language tests for applications made under Tiers 1, 2 and 4 of the points-based system and for spouse or partner applications. This version further clarifies the amendments made to Appendix O of the Immigration Rules in July 2013, setting out the documents that can be used as evidence. When you make an application in an immigration category that requires you to demonstrate your English language ability, you must show that you have passed an appropriate test on the list. If you would like advice on the type of test you need to complete, please contact us on 0207 237 3388 or e-mail us on info@icslegal.com. 

Pre-Action Protocol for Judicial Review

This protocol applies to proceedings within England and Wales only. It does not affect the time limit specified by Rule 54.5(1) of the Civil Procedure Rules which requires that any claim form in an application for judicial review must be filed promptly and in any event not later than 3 months after the grounds to make the claim first arose or the shorter time limits specified by Rules 54.5(5) and (6) which set out that a claim form for certain planning judicial reviews must be filed within 6 weeks and the claim form for certain procurement judicial reviews must be filed within 30 days. Judicial review allows people with a sufficient interest in a decision or action by a public body to ask a judge to review the lawfulness of: an enactment; or a decision, action or failure to act in relation to the exercise of a public function. Judicial review may be used where there is no right of appeal or where all avenues of appeal have been exhausted. The parties should consider whether some form of alternative dispute resolution procedure would be more suitable than litigation, and if so, endeavour to agree which form to adopt. Both the Claimant and...

Consideration of the right to respect for family and/or private life

A valid application is not required where an Article 8 claim is raised:  as part of an asylum claim, or as part of a further submission in person after an asylum claim has been refused; or  where a migrant is in immigration detention; or  where removal directions have been set pending an imminent removal; or  in an appeal; or  in response to a (one-stop) notice issued under section 120 of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002. Where, under paragraph GEN.1.9, Article 8 is being considered in any of the circumstances specified above, the applicant is only eligible for consideration under the 10-year partner or parent route. If the applicant wishes to be considered under the 5-year partner or parent route, they have to submit a valid application.

Immigration Bill

Proposed changes to reform the removals and appeals system, end the abuse of Article 8 and prevent illegal immigrants accessing and abusing public services or the labour market. The Immigration Bill was introduced into the House of Commons on 10 October 2013. Subject to its Parliamentary progress, the bill is expected to receive royal assent in spring 2014. The bill will reform the removals and appeals system, making it easier and quicker to remove those with no right to be here. It will end the abuse of Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights – the right to respect for private and family life. It will prevent illegal migrants accessing and abusing public services and the labour market. Removal directions The current process for enforcing the removal of people unlawfully in the UK is a complex one, with a number of stages needing to be completed before an individual can be removed. A decision must first be made regarding an individual’s immigration status, if they have any, and then further decisions must be taken regarding their removal. This creates an unnecessarily bureaucratic process, which can lead to migrants being left in limbo, unclear when they need to leave...

Supreme Court dismisses colleges’ appeals and rules Tier 4 sponsorship is lawful

R (on the application of New College London Limited) (Appellant) v Secretary of State for the Home Department (Respondent); R (on the application of West London Vocational Training College) (Appellant) v Secretary of State for the Home Department (Respondent) [2013] UKSC 51On appeal from: [2012] EWCA Civ 51; [2013] EWHC Civ 31 (Admin) JUSTICES: Lord Hope, Lord Clarke, Lord Sumption, Lord Reed, Lord Carnwath BACKGROUND TO THE APPEAL These appeals concern the system for licensing educational institutions to sponsor students from outside the European Economic Area under Tier 4 of the current points-based system of immigration control. Tier 4 deals with the grant of leave to enter or remain in the United Kingdom to migrants to the UK from outside the European Economic Area for the purpose of study. The essential requirement of the Tier 4 scheme was that the migrant should have been sponsored by an educational institution holding a sponsor's licence. This requirement was laid down in Part 6A of the Immigration Rules, which dealt with the requirements to be satisfied by migrants applying for leave to enter or remain for the purpose of study. The criteria for licensing sponsors and the duties of sponsors once licensed were...

Shadow immigration minister Chris Bryant delivers major speech on immigration

Speech to the IPPR at the Local Government Association - Check Against Delivery - Chris Bryant MP, Labour's Shadow Home Office Minister, said: INTRODUCTORY REMARKS I am very grateful to both the LGA and the IPPR for hosting today's event. Local government has been at the forefront of many of the issues I shall be talking about today and Sarah Mulley at the IPPR has done a vital job in informing the debate on the centre left of British politics. So, thank you. I want to talk about what I believe is a distinctive view that we in Ed Miliband's Labour Party take of one of the key issues in British politics. I hope to do three things: first, look at the value and the challenges that immigration has brought and continues to bring to the UK; second, lay out where I think the Government is getting hold of the wrong end of the stick; and third, suggest some areas that Labour believes need to be addressed in making migration work for everyone, especially in relation to the labour market, the EU, sham marriages and the push factors in international migration. GROUND RULES But before I do that; the last...