RSL Blog

Right to rent – is it legal?

We are tempted to feel sorry for Prime Minister Theresa May. In the course of her Brexit struggles she is clearly experiencing a “hostile environment” in Parliament and she is finding it very difficult to persuade and cajole unwilling parliamentarians. But a few years ago, when she was Home Secretary, the boot was on the other foot and it was…

Immigration Judge tries to change his mind – unsuccessfully

As those who spend their time hanging around the First-Tier Immigration Tribunal will know, sometimes the Immigration Judge gives a verbal decision at the end of the hearing. In such cases it seems, in practice, that the Judge will only do so when the decision is positive (ie when the migrant is successful). And – highly presumably – only when…

Could you be deprived of your British citizenship?

This is a question that recently came to the fore in the media with the case of Shamima Begum, the teenager from London who went to join Islamic State (deemed to be a terrorist organisation) in Syria. She is – or rather was – a British citizen and the Home Secretary has stripped her of her British citizenship. Or at…

Brexit – EEA immigration rights – where are we?

The idea of Brexit seemed a simple one: The People (or some of them at any rate) would be able to vote in a referendum to decide whether the UK should remain in the EU or leave. Subsequently the Government would implement or abide by The People’s decision. But it became a great deal more complicated than that. The Government…

Ten years’ continuous residence – settlement – appeal

As many readers may know, there is a rule within the immigration rules that enables migrants who have lived in the UK for ten continuous years – under any type of visa or any combination of visas – to acquire indefinite leave to remain (ie settlement) on that basis. The principle is a simple one and, unless there are any…

Immigration Rules – children – sole responsibility

The UK Immigration Rules generally cater quite well for close dependants, ie partners and children. If the main applicant (in, for example, working, investment or study visa categories) meets all the various visa application requirements their close dependants can – unless there are any strongly adverse factors – successfully apply for dependant visas. If the main applicant’s application is unsuccessful…

Extradition request from Russia – Shmatko case

A recent case in the High Court of England and Wales, “Alexey Shmatko and The Russian Federation”, threw some interesting light on extradition requests from Russia and the view of the British courts. Some people might be surprised to know that Russia and the UK have an extradition arrangement. Also perhaps surprising for some is the fact that Russia, being…

Extradition requests from Russia – continued

We recently reported about the High Court case of “Shmatko”, in which Mr Shmatko successfully resisted extradition to Russia. He won the case on the basis of unacceptable conditions within the Russian prison system and human rights, but the court also appeared to have some strong feelings about the inadequacies of the Russian courts and justice system, although these issues…

Tier 1 Investor reform and Tier 1 Entrepreneur replacement?

Late last year the Home Office abruptly announced that the Tier 1 Investor visa route was going to be suspended then, equally abruptly, that it was not going to be suspended after all. The very vague given reason for this extraordinary volte face was apparently an objection from another Government department. As we explained at the time, the Home Office…

How criminal convictions affect settled status for EU citizens?

The EU Settlement Scheme scheme has been set up by the UK government for European residents to apply for “settled status” after Brexit. It is considered necessary because most citizens of European Union countries will lose their existing legal status in this country after it leaves the EU. EU citizens who do not apply for this new status will, eventually, become…

Tier 1 Investor visa to be suspended

   According to some media reports (including the BBC, so it must be true) the Tier 1 Investor scheme is to be suspended, possibly as early as Friday 7 December. Tier 1 Investors are able to acquire visas by investing at least £2 million in British companies or UK Government bonds, and the majority of such migrants are Russians and…

Questions & Answers: Unmarried partners of EEA nationals – unequal rights

  Question: There is no strict two-year rule for such unmarried partners: the migrant concerned only has to demonstrate that there is a “durable relationship” – but of course a lengthy cohabitation is useful evidence in such a case”. Is this not a prerequisite??? Answer:  Under UK immigration law, specifically the Immigration Rules, the basic requirement for an unmarried partner is…

Immigration Summary Summer 2018

If you are a migrant, or would like to be a migrant, Summer 2018 has not been entirely bad. We have a new Home Secretary, Sajid Javid, who is the first ethnic minority person to hold the position. A good sign perhaps? Well, we shall see. Anyway, although official immigration figures show that EEA immigration has been decreasing, non-EEA immigration…

Brexit – free movement – transition period

The media provides us with a blow-by-blow account of the British Governments’s negotiations with the EU about Brexit. From our point of view it is the negotiations about free movement rights for people that most command the attention. Very recently the Government has offered the EU a significant concession about this. There will be a two-year “transition period” after Brexit…

Points-based system rules are “rebarbative” – official

After having spent the last few years struggling with monumentally complex points-based system immigration rules we were delighted to read that Lord Justice Underhill, sitting at the Court of Appeal in a case called “Mudiyanselage”, has said of these rules that they constitute “a rebarbative system which makes navigation far from straightforward”. The word “rebarbative” sounds rather nasty, and we rushed to…

Serious immigration health cases – Court of Appeal follows ECtHR

The caselaw for removal and serious health cases is considered by many to be very harsh. Both the British courts and the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) have decided that in only the very most serious cases does a health condition stop a person being removed from the UK to somewhere where the medical treatment is inadequate; hence the…

Tier 1 Entrepreneur – an interesting but cautionary tale

The Upper Immigration Tribunal recently heard a deeply interesting Tier 1 Entrepreneur case called “Anjum”.  In its decision the Tribunal decided two things: firstly, that if a Tier 1 Entrepreneur applicant is interviewed by the UKVI in connection with their application, and if the interview is unfair, poorly structured or oppressive, and if the application is refused on the basis…

Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa applications – problems that have emerged and how they can be dealt with

As we explained in our last two articles, the refusal rate for Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa applications is high. This is at least partly due to the complexities of the rules and published policies. It is also partly due to what might be termed a “hostile environment”. This is not a term that we invented: we borrowed it from the Home…

Student numbers on the agenda again

There are some aspects of British life – like Coronation Street, Eastenders, repeats of Star Trek the Original Series – that seem to go on for ever. Another such aspect, although rather more obscure, is the ongoing fight between political figures as to whether foreign students should be included in the migration statistics or not. Students, according to some ways of…

Latest statement of changes to Immigration Rules

The Home Office has published the latest statement of changes to the Immigration Rules, which will in most cases come into effect on 11 January. The changes will affect Tier 4 students and Tier 2 General migrants. Tier 4 students will find it slightly easier to switch to Tier 2 General status (they will not have to wait for their…

The blue British passport will return

In what may have been intended as a sort of Christmas present for nostalgics and Brexiteers, the Government has announced that the blue British passport will be restored once Brexit has happened. There are evidently a lot of psychological issues and aspects invested in the colour of one’s passport, and this subject has caused quite a flurry of comment from…

Immigration Rules too complicated – is help at hand?

It is a trite observation that the Immigration Rules are too long and complicated. Lord Justice Jackson at the Court of Appeal achieved some measure of immortality when he claimed a few years ago that they had achieved a level of complexity “which even the Byzantine Emperors would have envied”. Anyone who has struggled with the intricacies of for example Tier 1…

Brexit deal is on the table – could be worse

As widely reported in the media, a Brexit deal is on the table; or at least the first course – a lot of the detail still has to be worked out. The Prime Minister Theresa May and her colleagues have finally succeeded in coming to a basic agreement with the EU on this painful subject. As far as immigration goes, the…

Tier 1 Exceptional Talent visa – what’s it all about?

Quite well-known are the Tier 1 Investor visa, which enables a person to invest loads of money into the UK and stay here on that basis, and the Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa, which enables a person to invest not quite so much money into a business in the UK and run it. Perhaps not quite so well-known is the Tier 1…

Tier 1 Investors – time may be coming up for extension

Only a few hundred Tier 1 Investor visas are granted per year; not surprisingly perhaps bearing in mind that, as per the “new rules” from 6 November 2014, the minimum investment required is £2 million. The Chinese currently lead the field, the Russians are second and Hong Kongers come third. Sharp readers will immediately spot the fact that Hong Kong…