As a result of the UK voting to leave the EU, the UK government has confirmed that EU, EEA and Swiss students will lose their home fee status from autumn of 2021 onwards.
But what are the implications of this announcement? And how will it affect international students who are already studying or plan to enrol at a UK university in the future?
The Implication of the Announcement on the Academic Year 2020-2021:
EU/EEA/Swiss students who are currently studying in the UK or will begin a full degree course in the academic year 2020-2021 and who are arriving/have arrived in the UK prior to the 31 December 2020 will continue to be eligible for home fee status in all four home nations until completion of their studies. These students will also be eligible for a tuition fee loan in England, Wales and Northern Ireland until completion of their studies.
EU/EEA/Swiss students who are in the UK prior to 31 December 2020 will also be eligible to apply to the UK’s EU Settlement Scheme, allowing them to remain in the UK after their studies and to work without requiring sponsorship, provided that they apply to the scheme by 30 June 2021.
EU/EEA/Swiss students who are starting a full degree course in the academic year 2020-2021 and will be arriving in the UK after 31 December 2020 will also be eligible for home fee status and a tuition fee loan in England, Wales and Northern Ireland until completion of their studies.
However, EU/EEA/Swiss students arriving in the UK after 31 December 2020 will need to apply for a student visa under the new student visa route and in order to remain in the UK after their studies in order to work, they will need to apply to switch immigration status under the Graduate Immigration Route upon completion of their studies.
The Implications of the Announcement on Future Academic Years:
EU/EEA/Swiss students starting a full degree course in the academic year 2021-2022 and arriving in the UK after 31 December 2020 will not be eligible for home fee status and will also not be eligible for a tuition fee loan. As a result of not being eligible for home fee status, they will be charged at international fee rate which is usually considerable higher.
Additionally, EU/EEA/Swiss students arriving in the UK after 31 December 2020 will need to apply for a student visa through the new student route and will also be eligible to apply for the Graduate Immigration Route upon completion of their studies.
The implications of the EU Settlement Scheme on tuition fees:
As mentioned above, EU/EEA/Swiss students who are in the UK prior to 31 December 2020 are also eligible to apply to the UK’s EU Settlement Scheme, allowing them to remain in the UK after studying, provided that they apply to the scheme by 30 June 2021.
If a student has pre-settled status, this will have no impact on their tuition fees and they will continue to be charged at home fee rate if they began studying in the academic year 2020-2021 or before; or at international fee rate if beginning studying in the academic year 2021-2022.
If a student has settled status prior to the first day of the academic year, is ordinarily resident in the UK on the first day of the academic year and has been ordinarily resident in the UK throughout the three-year period preceding the first day of the academic year, the student will be eligible for home fee status.

The UK Visas & Immigration service currently faces a backlog due to the COVID19 pandemic. As lockdown measures ease and the phased reopening of centres continues UKVI have temporarily changed the way some applications are processed. UKVI have introduced the IDV app which allows those applicants identified as eligible to reuse their biometrics from a previous application as part of their current application. The rollout of the IDV app commenced on 17th August 2020.
The reuse of biometrics is only available for in country applications. It has been confirmed that the following visa categories are eligible:
• work
• study
• family
• settlement
• marriage
• citizenship
• BRP replacement
• private life
Of those who have been identified as eligible to use the app they may choose to opt out of the scheme and continue with a UKVCAS biometric appointment. For those who wish to participate in the scheme The IDV app works on the following smart phones:
Android phones – running Android 7.0 and above with a camera with a minimum 5-megapixel camera
iOS – App works on iPhone 6 and above and having version iOS 12 and above.
The app allows the applicant to complete the following:
• Login to the app using their UKVCAS credentials
• Take a selfie
• Do a ‘liveness’ check
• Take a photo of their travel documents
• Submit the application to UKVI
The IDV app is designed to ensure you can upload your supporting documents to complete your application. Paragon Law will continue to advise initially on the merits of making your application and the documentary evidence that you will need in support. We will then assist in uploading all supporting documents as part of the application as well offering assistance with any difficulties our clients have in completing selfie/liveness checks. Decisions will commence once all supporting documents have been uploaded and submitted alongside the live ‘selfie’.
Those individuals who had already paid and booked for a UKVCAS biometric enrolment appointment but have subsequently moved over to the IDV app may be eligible for a refund. If you have booked an appointment, you must cancel your appointment on the UKVCAS website.
The app is currently open to those submitted their application on or before 31st July. If UKVCAS received your application on or after 1 August 2020, you won’t be able currently to book an appointment. This is because UKVI are assessing which customers are eligible for biometric reuse and the IDV app.
For those who applied up to 23rd August, UKVI have confirmed that they will be in we will be in touch as soon as possible to outline next steps.
Paragon Law will keep you updated on developments.

The landscape surrounding asylum seekers being entitled to work whilst waiting for a decision on their asylum claim has had a new update with permission being granted in the High Court for a judicial review of the current rules on permission to work policy for asylum seekers.

The current policy
The current policy is that asylum seekers are not allowed to work in the UK. Once an application for asylum has been made a person can only apply for permission to work if:
• they have waited over 12 months for an initial decision on their asylum claim or for a response to a further submission for asylum; and
• they are not considered responsible for the delay in decision-making.

Moreover, if granted permission to work an asylum seeker is currently limited to jobs listed on the UK’s Shortage Occupation List. The jobs on this list are almost exclusively at graduate level or above, some examples of the types of jobs listed in the Shortage Occupation List include:

• Paramedic
• Architect
• Civil engineer
• Graphic designer

Once a decision on the asylum claim has been made permission to work expires. Where the outcome is positive a person will be unrestricted in seeking work whereas where there is a negative decision there is no right to work.

The current landscape for asylum seekers being unable to work has generated widespread criticism for hindering integration, enforcing destitution and increasing vulnerability of asylum seekers. Internationally the UK’s restrictions are far more onerous in comparison with other EU member states with countries such as the Netherlands, France and Austria granting asylum seekers to access the job market after 6 months or less. Furthermore, some countries offer even more generous reception conditions such as Canada who allow asylum seekers to apply for a work permit immediately after their asylum claim has been lodged.


The current challenge to the UKs’ restrictive approach was granted permission for a Judicial review in June 2020. The legal representatives acting in this case argue that the restriction of jobs that an asylum seeker can carryout to only those that are on the shortage occupation list essentially prevents those who experience significant delays in a determination on their asylum claim to be able to work in any role. The Home Office prior to the commencement of litigation agreed to consider if the asylum seeker in this particular case should be granted permission to work outside the shortage occupation list but ultimately this was denied on the basis the asylum seeker had not raised any exceptional circumstances. The Claimant was granted permission based on the fact that the Home Office had provided ‘no clear policy as to the circumstances in which such exceptional permission might be given’.


The case has yet to reach an outcome but has the potential to change the landscape for those asylum seekers who face lengthy delays in waiting for a determination and force a change in a policy that currently limits employment to those listed on Shortage Occupation List which ‘arguably renders access to the labour market illusory’. It is likely, unless the Home Office wants to pursue this to an outcome in the courts, that the Home Office is likely to change its policy on an asylum seeker right to work in the UK and in what circumstances this will be allowed.


Paragon Law will keep you updated on development

Nottingham based Paragon Law, the East Midlands region niche immigration law firm has been awarded Mid-Market Business Immigration Law Firm of the Year by Global 100 and has been awarded Corporate Immigration Law Service Provider of the Year in England by the international network, Global Advisory Experts.

Both of the awards are given following peer recommendation and an assessment by a judging panel with no self-nominations from shortlisted firms taken in to consideration.

Global Advisory Experts (GAE) is a guide to the leading advisory professionals in the world, with a membership of over 2000 experts in over 140 countries. James Bailey of GAE said “this is our 11th Annual Awards and this year shortlisted candidates were judged on client testimonials, key transactions, rankings, overall reputation, publication contributions, speaking engagements and the performance and standing of teams and individual advisory experts. During the recommendations stage we received over 55,000 responses from business directors, finance professionals, independent advisory firms, high net-worth individuals, advisory associations and visitors to the GAE website and LinkedIn users. These recommendations were combined with GAE’s own independent research and following which Paragon Law were notified as being the winner.”

David Wakefield of Global 100 said “our publication consists each year of only 100 of the world’s leading firms and individuals, with votes received from our global readers, in over 163 countries worldwide. The purpose of the Global 100 is to provide our readership with a comprehensive understanding of those firms that are truly leaders within their chosen areas of specialisation. Once all the votes have been received an independent panel of judges review the votes and in 2020 the judges were asked to strongly focus on the complexity and strategic significance of the work conducted by the shortlisted firms. As a winner, Paragon Law demonstrated that they are an industry leader and are an exemplary team in immigration law.”


The firm also during lockdown once again secured a rating of Excellent with the Law Society’s Lexcel quality benchmark for law firms.
Lexcel sets the required Standard in seven different areas: structure and strategy, financial management, information management, people management, risk management, client care and case management.

Most importantly, according to Paragon Law’s Practice Manager James Firman, it helps raise standards and promote a quality management approach to practice management and client care. He said ‘this is our fifth Lexcel accreditation in a row and they are always an incredibly rigorous process. However, this year was made all the more challenging due to the unprecedented upheaval of the Covid-19 crisis and the associated Lockdown period. We were already working on a more agile approach to working prior to the crisis with remote and flexible working becoming more commonplace but that can present challenges, especially when you are working to the exacting standards expected of Lexcel.”

Paragon Law’s managing director said “the team have been quick to embrace the new ‘’normal’’ and we’ve been able to adapt very quickly to the changes as we have a very innovative culture here at Paragon. We are making major investments in our IT infrastructure and as well as working to the excellent guidelines of the Law Society. The support of the business community be it clients, suppliers, other professional services and organisations such as the East Midlands Chamber, MSDUK and Nottingham Partners has been invaluable to our business. Ultimately, our Lexcel rating and awards is testament to all Paragon people who have continued to provide excellent customer service and supported each other during this time”

The government has now announced details of how it will be assisting an estimated 3 million Hong Kong citizens to come and live in the UK. The new visa category is available to those who hold or have the right to hold BN(O) passports.

BN(O) status is a form of British nationality created for people from Hong Kong so they could retain a form of British nationality and connection to the UK after the handover to China in 1997 in line with the Sino-British Joint Declaration. BN(O) citizens can hold a British passport and get consular assistance and protection from UK diplomatic posts but they remain subject to immigration controls and do not have a right of abode in the UK.

The new visa will allow BN(O) citizens to live, work and study in the UK, with a potential pathway to settlement ( also known as indefinite leave to remain).

Currently BN(O) citizens can come to the UK as visitors for up to 6 months without a visa and are subject to immigration control meaning they cannot live, work or take up long term study in the UK without acquiring the appropriate visa first.

The new Hong Kong BN(O) Visa will be open for BN(O) citizens and their close family members from January 2021. BN(O) citizens will be able to apply from the outside or inside the UK through a digital application process.

From next year, BN(O) citizens will be able to apply to enter or remain in the UK for an initial period of 30 months, extendable by a further 30 months  or alternatively apply for 5 years leave from the outset. The new Hong Kong BN(O) Visa will allow BN(O) citizens to work and study in the UK but they will not be able to access public funds such as social welfare benefits.

    To be eligible for the Hong Kong BN(O) Visa, applicants will need to show that they: 

  • have BN(O) status;
  • normally live in Hong Kong (which includes those who may be temporarily in the UK);
  • can accommodate and support themselves financially in the UK for at least 6 months;
  • have a commitment to learn English (there will be no English language requirement on entry but applicants will require a good knowledge of the English language if they choose later to make a future application for indefinite leave to remain);
  • have obtained a suitable TB test certificate from a clinic approved by the Home Office;
  • have no serious criminal convictions or other character issues that would ordinarily lead to refusal of a visa   

 BN(O) citizens will need to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge until acquiring indefinite leave to remain and will be required to pay application fees when applying for leave to enter or remain. Those fees have yet to be set.

Holding a valid BN(O) passport is not necessary to apply for the new visa so long as applicants can demonstrate their right to BN(O) status. BN(O) citizens will not, therefore, need to renew their BN(O) passports or apply for a passport in the meantime.

BN(O) citizens will be able to apply for indefinite leave to remain once they have lived in the UK for 5 years and will need to meet the usual requirements for indefinite leave to remain at the time they apply. Those with indefinite leave to remain can go on to acquire British Citizenship, usually within 12 months.

BN(O) citizens already in the UK on another form of leave will be able to apply and switch to the Hong Kong BN(O) Visa from January 2021. BN(O) citizens already in the UK whose leave is due to expire before the Hong Kong BN(O) Visa is available, should look to extend their leave and then apply for the Hong Kong BN(O) Visa next year.

In situations where the family members of BN(O) citizens need to travel to the UK before the Hong Kong BN(O) Visa is operational, Border Force Officers will be able to consider granting Leave Outside the Rules for a period of six months at the UK border if they do not satisfy Border Force that they are eligible for entry via another immigration route.  

 For those Hong Kong nationals who are not eligible for the Hong Kong BN(O) Visa then the existing youth mobility scheme is still open to Hong Kong nationals aged between 18 and 30 years, with 1000 places currently available each year. Individuals from Hong Kong will also be able to apply to come to the UK under the terms of the UK’s Points Based System, which will enable individuals to come to the UK in a wider range of professions and at a lower general salary threshold than in the past.  

The recent epidemic of COVID-19 has dominated the news, as countries respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. This response includes travel and border restrictions with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office advising British nationals against all but essential international travel. As of the 24th March, the UK has implemented lockdown measures to combat the pandemic. In light of these restrictions the government has introduced new immigration policy measures to ensure that “nobody will be punished for circumstances outside of their control”.

Unable to return home

If your UK visa expires between 24th January 2020 and 31st May 2020 this will be extended to 31 May 2020, if you cannot leave the UK because of travel restrictions or have had to self-isolate. In order for your visa to be extended you will need to contact the Coronavirus Immigration Team at the UKVI (please find the contact details at the end of the article) to update your records.

The details you will need to provide are as follows:

  1. Full name (include any middle names)
  2. Date of birth (dd/mm/yyyy)
  3. Nationality
  4. Previous visa reference number
  5. The reason you cannot return to your home country e.g. the borders have closed     

Once you have informed the Coronavirus Immigration Team you will receive an acknowledgement of receiving the request and will be further informed when your visa has been extended. However, having made this contact with the UKVI, your immigration status will be safeguarded.

The extension has been put in place to give individuals peace of mind that they will not be penalised for overstaying their visa for a situation which is outside their control due to COVID-19.  The UKVI has been confirmed that the situation will be kept under regular review in case further extensions are needed.

It is expected that those who are granted an extension on their visa will return to their home country as soon as possible, once flight and border restrictions are lifted.

Applying for long-term Visa from within the UK

For those who want to apply for a visa in the UK long term the UK has temporarily expanded the in country switching provisions, including applications where you would usually need to apply for a visa from your home country.

If you are applying for a long-term visa you will still need to meet the visa requirements and pay the associated fees for the application and book a biometric appointment. Once your application has been submitted your current immigration status will be automatically extended until the UKVI make a decision on the new application.

The Home Office have also confirmed that in light of the current advice on self-isolation and social distancing they have waived some of the requirements for student and worker visas.

Students in the UK

  • Tier 4 students are now permitted to distance learn and it will not be considered a breach of sponsorship duties to offer distance learning to those students in the UK or overseas. Sponsors do not need to withdraw sponsorship where distance learning has been undertaken. In the circumstance where a student withdraws or defers their studies, usual reporting requirements apply; and
  • New international students who have been issued a Tier 4 visa but have been unable to travel to the UK are permitted to undertake distance learning. In this circumstance sponsorship does not need to be withdrawn; and
  • New international students who have not yet applied for a visa but wish to start a course by distance learning do not need to travel to the UK and therefore do not require sponsorship under Tier 4.

Workers in the UK

  • Sponsors of Tier 2 and tier 5 colleagues who are now working from home, rather than their normal workplace do not need to notify the home office of the change in circumstances as long as the reason the employee is working from home is directly related to the pandemic; and
  • All other changes of circumstances must still be reported

However, we are seeking further clarification from the UKVI on the following points:

  • Whether in the current circumstances an exception will be made that a sponsored worker can only be unpaid for a maximum of 28 days in a colander year; and
  • If an employer wanted to benefit from the Government Job Retention Scheme and thus reduce the salary to 80% or £2500 (whichever is higher) would this be an exception to the minimum salary requirements; and
  • Is there now an exception to the requirement that a migrant must be able to continue to carry out their duties as listed on their CoS if now required to work from home.

As soon as we have clarification on this we will update you.   

If you have made an application and are outside the UK  

At present many Visa Application Centres are closed or offering a limited service. In order to check what service your Visa Application Centre is currently offering you will need to look on the below websites

Where you have an appointment and your Visa Application Centre is closed you will be contacted to be told when your appointment will not take place.

For those who are due to take an IELTS test you should check whether your testing centre has been affected as many centres have suspended tests. For full information on your test centres current service please visit https://www.ielts.org/news/2020/covid19-information-for-our-global-test-taker-community .

Getting your documents

If you have already paid for a courier to return of your passport from a Visa Application Centre it will be returned, subject to courier routes remaining open. 

If your passport is currently held in a Visa Application Centre and you would like it to be returned by courier, you should contact the TLS or VFS if you have not already paid for courier return.

British nationals abroad who need to apply for a passport

If you are British national abroad who needs to apply for a passport because you need to travel urgently and your Visa Application Centre is currently closed, you can apply for an emergency travel document if all of the following apply:

  • you’re a British national
  • you’re outside the UK
  • your passport has been lost, stolen, damaged, is full, has recently expired or is with HM Passport Office or a foreign embassy
  • you do not have time to renew or replace your passport before you travel
  • you can provide proof of your travel plans, for example booking confirmations (or detailed written travel plans if you cannot book ahead)

Once you are issued with an emergency travel document you can use to travel to a destination through a maximum of 5 countries.

Court system procedures

As of the 25th March 2020 there is to be no face to face hearing in the Immigration and Asylum Chambers for both the First Tier and Upper Tribunal. The Courts will now determine whether a hearing needs to proceed, and if so whether it would be appropriate to use audio or video technology. The courts will also consider whether alternatives are appropriate such as adjournments or whether a decision can be made on the papers without a hearing.

The decision on the determination will be made on a case by case basis. The Courts will update those of any changes to individual hearings, this will be communicated directly to those affected in the usual way, by email and/or phone.

Closing Thoughts

As a law firm we are defined as key workers required to run the justice system. We are therefore an exception and categorised as essential workers at the current time.  The courts and Home Office are still operating and dealing with cases and decisions so we would like to assure all clients that we too are operating, and are contactable by phone and email.

We also want to assure clients that meetings will go ahead as scheduled but we will now be having these by phone or video conference.

It is important that you continue to comply with the requirements of your reporting duties or your immigration status. If your visa is due to expire, whilst you will benefit from your visa being temporarily extended it is nonetheless important that you continue to work with your legal team to ensure that once your application is ready to be filed it will meet the immigration law requirements.

We are at hand to continue to assist.

If you are a client or you need legal assistance following this briefing please get in touch with your usual Paragon Law contact or contact us at enquires@paragonlaw.co.uk or call us on 0115 9644 123.  Coronavirus Immigration Team contact details Email: CIH@homeoffice.gov.uk. Your email must be in English or telephone: 0800 678 1767 open Monday to Friday 9am – 5pm (calls are free of charge)  

See also our COVID-19 Statement

COVID-19, For Clients & Partners

Following the Government escalation over the past week we would like to update you of our business procedures during these unprecedented times. You can be assured that our top priorities are to take care of our people whilst continuing to support our clients.

Our senior leadership team are meeting regularly to assess, identify and reduce risks.  We continue to monitor the Guidance from the Government and as such we are adapting our working patterns, restricting travel of our people and cancelling events.  We will be offering online training and seminars that have been cancelled through video conferencing.

Continued Client Support & Advice

We are adapting to the environment and business continues.

Your case, projects and the people that you are caring for are extremely important to us and as such we remain committed to continue to offer our legal services.

Whilst for now we will not be seeing clients in person in the office (except in the most exceptional circumstances) to ensure the safety of our people and clients, we do however have procedures in place should you need to hand deliver documents.  Please email or phone your usual Paragon Law contact if this applies to you.

However, you can be assured that all our teams have full remote working capability and will continue to work on your case securely.  You will be able to continue to contact us by email, telephone and we will be able to set up both telephone and video conferencing.

Should illness affect our firm, our teams are ready to work across departments to prioritise you and your deadlines as efficiently as possible.

As immigration law experts we will continue to monitor Government announcements that will have an impact on the immigration status of your employees, your requirements as a sponsor or on your own immigration situation and we will update you accordingly. We will also update you should Government advice change.

Paragon Law has a first class multi-award winning team, all of whom are dedicated to successfully navigate through the challenges ahead.

Please remain in touch with your usual Paragon Law contact and please also feel free to contact me. 

#strongertogether

Best wishes,

Thalej Vasishta

See also our COVID-19 Immigration Law Update

Our Director and Immigration Specialist Kirin Abbas featured in last weeks Nottingham Professional Services Article, ‘Why Nottingham?’

Provided by Nottingham Professional Services

Q1: When Did You Start to Work in Nottingham?

I commenced my legal career in April 2000 with Berryman Solicitors (now Shakespeare Martineau) as an immigration law paralegal. At the time I had just completed my Masters in International Human Rights at the University of Nottingham and was looking to start the Legal Practice Course at Nottingham Law School, where I am now a visiting lecturer in European Law. Following an MBO of the immigration department at Berryman, my co-director Thal and I set up Paragon Law in 2003 which to this day remains a niche immigration law firm.

Q2: What Attracted You to The City?

A number of factors. Two great universities to continue my legal studies, close family members who live here and a close network of friends from university who had also decided to stay. The niche area of law that I wanted to pursue my career in was immigration law and as is the case to some extent even today, the main law firms and NGO’s that work in this area are based in London, a city which for me is a nice place to visit but not work. I had visions of commuting on the yellow line for the rest of my life and therefore I was lucky that the role at Berryman came at the right time. Nottingham for me at that time was very much like London but condensed into a smaller place. Nice restaurants, good destination place for shopping, a vibrant and diverse student city…………..

If you would like to read more please click the link below, and don’t forget to share it on Social Media.

Article prepared by Karen Rimmer

The Report

On the 31st December 2019, the House of Commons library published its briefing paper into the deportation of foreign national offenders[1]. The report provides a useful overview of the law relating to deportation and how it has evolved over time. It ends with a paragraph which scrutinises and indeed highlights criticism over the Home Office processes relating to deportations. Specifically, comments on how the Home Affairs Committee has criticised the Home Office’s failure to progress deportations properly.

The Process

The process of deportation begins once a conviction is received, which attracts a custodial sentence. Where that sentence is over 12 months, for non-EEA nationals the foreign national offender (FNO) is notified that their conviction has triggered automatic deportation proceedings, known as a “one-stop notice”. For sentences of over two years in the case of EEA nationals they are notified that they have become liable to deportation, and, in both cases, they are asked to provide reasons why they should not be deported.

After a written reply is received to that letter, along with evidence of the reasons given, the Home Office then apparently goes on to investigate the claims made and thereafter consider whether the deportation process should proceed. The stark reality for the FNO is that they will likely not then hear any more about it until the last calendar month of their custodial sentence when a (usually negative) decision will be received, either with or without the right of appeal attached to it. It is very rare for the Home Office to ask a non-represented person for further information or explanation.

Immigration practitioners will usually be aware that, in many cases, that period of silence does not result in the investigative processes that are supposed to take place at all. Quite the opposite, and, at the end of this stage of the deportation process, negative decisions that are subsequently received will be full of copy and paste errors, covering everything from the wrong country of origin[2], to the names of children not associated to the case and not known to the FNO, which have been inserted into decisions. This happens in all areas of immigration law, not just in deportations. The Home Office uses standard template letters and it has been known that they have not even taken out the “type text here” field before sending out the decision to the FNO, contrary in some cases to the principles of anxious scrutiny[3].

The Result

It is also clear that the Home Office routinely does not properly consider the evidence sent with the written reply to the one-stop notices as decisions will make findings on a case without the consideration of evidence put before the decision-maker, that evidence directly contradicting the findings made. 

The result of improper consideration of cases, is of course that those decisions subsequently become appealable and, in over half of the cases before the Immigration and Asylum Chamber of the First tier Tribunal, are successful. Such outcomes of course bear an impact on the government’s targets. However, it is important to take note of the fact that not all of those Appellants will have had access to a knowledgeable, fully trained and accredited legal advisor. Perhaps due to the changes to the way in which legal aid is administered, they could not afford access to justice. Those success figures could therefore have been much higher.

Deport First, Appeal Later

The “deport first, appeal later[4] regime is never far away from Home Office decision makers’ thoughts. However, since that practice was largely stopped by the decision of R (on the application of Kiarie) (Appellant) v Secretary of State for the Home Department (Respondent)  [2017] UKSC 42[5], it is replaced with the temptation of a “make a poor decision first, and justify it at an appeal later” mentality[6].

Major fallouts result from success government failure to monitor its ever-tightening vicelike grip on immigration, and particularly deportation, notwithstanding the consequences for ordinary people.

It is perfectly possible that, once the UK leaves the EU, without the regulatory impact the EU membership brings, further scandals on the scale of Windrush[7] will follow. The foreseeable impact of Brexit is that it is always going to be open to the government to push through yet another Bill for changes to the Immigration Rules on a whim, which might reasonably include enhanced powers for deportation.

FNOs carry a particular type of marginalised political subjectivity. Prison punishes the behaviour, then immigration detention and deportation punishes presence and being.

Because of the political weight it carries, deportation of FNOs will always be top of the political agenda in an effort to vote-boost, and so ever higher target figures are publicised, with the decision-making process being undertaken swiftly to cope with demand. It is that haste that leads to poor decision making and the subsequent barriers to removal by way of immigration appeals.

Two Wrongs Do Not Make A Right

It is important to remind the Home Secretary that two wrongs do not make a right. Human rights are just that: human, and even those people who have committed crimes are still human. They still deserve to experience a basic level of human decency when dealing with their cases, in order to allow them to facilitate whatever changes are needed to live a good, law-abiding life in future.

If you, or a family member are facing the prospect of deportation action, then it is important to act promptly. Obtaining sound legal advice early, as soon as notice of liability to deportation is received, can help to establish key legal arguments that might prevent deportation action being taken at all.


[1] https://researchbriefings.parliament.uk/ResearchBriefing/Summary/CBP-8062

[2] https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2019/oct/31/home-office-cites-iraq-in-copy-and-paste-refusal-letter-to-jamaican-man

[3] In practice, https://www.refworld.org/pdfid/478cc1a82.pdf ; https://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWCA/Civ/2019/673.html, para 181

[4] https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/537244/Immigration_Act_-_Part_4_-_Appeals.pdf

[5] https://www.supremecourt.uk/cases/uksc-2016-0009.html

[6] https://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWCA/Civ/2016/1307.html

[7] https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2019/jun/16/windrush-scandal-the-long-betrayal-archived-documents-david-olusoga

Data released last week by the Migration Observatory suggests that decisions on asylum applications are taking “substantially” longer than they were five years ago.

The analysis, which is published in the new Migration Observatory briefing Migration to the UK: Asylum and resettled refugees, shows a sharp decrease in the number of claims decided within 6 months, from a recent peak of 80% in the second quarter of 2014, to just 25% in the last quarter of 2018. 

The change precedes a Home Office decision earlier this year to drop its six-month target to make an initial decision on most claims.

Dr Peter Walsh, a researcher at the Migration Observatory at the University of Oxford, and author of the briefing said: 

“A few years ago, a solid majority of asylum seekers got an initial decision within 6 months, but now it’s only one in four. This of course is just the first stage of the asylum process, and after you factor in appeals, the whole process can take years for many applicants.

“There is no single explanation for the falling share of decisions taken in 6 months. Factors that could have played a role include changes to policy and management, the complexity of the cases the Home Office receives, and of course budget constraints.”

Dr Sue Conlan, a senior immigration adviser at Paragon law, said: 

 “The delays at the Home Office are unacceptable and place an intolerable burden on people in need of protection in the UK.  The Home Office is not allocating their resources depending upon how long a person has been in the asylum process but instead takes into account their nationality and whether they came through another EU country.  It is difficult for lawyers to explain the discrimination and even harder for people to have any control over their lives”.