Immigration News Weekly Roundup – 9 February 2024

 Immigration News Weekly Roundup – 9 February 2024

The asylum housing crisis has dominated headlines this week. The UK government previously proposed removing housing protections for asylum seekers, allowing landlords to skirt regulations for houses in multiple occupation (HMOs). This controversial policy, aimed to increase available housing by exempting landlords from registering with local authorities. After public backlash, the government withdrew the proposal.

However, the Home Office still faces financial troubles housing asylum seekers, requesting £2.6 billion in emergency funds after overspending on hotel rooms. Home Secretary James Cleverly formally appealed for the additional money, following a budget shortfall last year under former Home Secretary Suella Braverman’s leadership. Diana Johnson, chair of the home affairs select committee, plans to write to Cleverly questioning why asylum housing costs were omitted from the department’s estimates.

The crisis highlights the challenges in balancing humane treatment of asylum seekers against budget limitations. Withdrawing the deregulation policy was wise to avoid reducing protections, but long-term solutions are still needed for sustainable, ethical housing.

Several notable case law developments also fired up this week.

In Yalcin v Secretary of State, the Court of Appeal upheld a deportation appeal, disagreeing the tribunal misjudged the undue harshness test. It found the analysis, though imperfectly phrased, showed adequate application of the substantially higher subsection 6 threshold.

Contrarily in Secretary of State v AA (Poland), the Court allowed deportation despite 15 years’ residence, heavily weighing regulations directing little consideration to integrative links formed when offending. This reasoning clashes with CJEU guidance assuming continued integration during imprisonment.

Finally, in MT v Secretary of State, the Home Secretary admitted unlawful detention violating protections against inhuman treatment. The Appellant secured damages in settlement, demonstrating accountability for rights breaches despite the State’s power advantage. Their adept advocacy obtained meaningful remedy against detention abuses.

Case law developments this week illustrate evolving standards in UK deportation and detention jurisprudence.

Yalcin reinforces a rights-centred approach focused on substantive over procedural review, provided core legal tests are demonstrably understood. This upholds protections against deportation where undue hardship is established.

AA (Poland) diverges from emerging European standards assuming continued social ties during imprisonment. By minimizing integrative links formed when offending, the reasoning expands state power to deport EEA nationals despite long residence.

MT represents growing willingness to hold the government accountable for rights violations against detained individuals. The damages awarded create momentum for stronger safeguards and oversight of detention practices.

Together, these cases showcase the complex balancing of state immigration powers, human rights protections, and evolving legal standards in the UK system.

As we look ahead, important immigration reforms are on the horizon that warrant attention. The Immigration Health Surcharge rose on 6 February 2024, and more changes are slated for March and April, particularly with updates to the Sponsor Licence regime and Skilled Worker visas.

With changes to UK business immigration forthcoming, HJT Training also brings you a timely Sponsor Licence Masterclass and Expansion Worker Route led by expert trainer Sacha Wooldridge.  For booking and further information, click here.

For information on other upcoming courses including OISC and IAAS exam training and just added Skilled Worker & Global Mobility course, visit our course archive here

Staying current on policy changes is crucial in this field. We aim to keep advisors fully informed through professional development courses and briefings. Our upcoming courses provide a valuable opportunity to discuss the reforms and ensure everyone is ready to guide clients through new requirements. We look forward to seeing you at these events as we continue our shared mission to help navigate UK immigration efficiently, and successfully.

For enquiries, contact us or call 075441 64692.

For the full list of updates on media news, reported case law and Home Office Policy and other document updates, read below. 


Council of Europe calls on UK not to process asylum claims in Rwanda – The Guardian

Europe’s leading anti-torture watchdog has called on the government to process asylum claims in the UK rather than sending people to Rwanda because of the risk they may be exposed to human rights abuse.

In a report published on Thursday, the Council of Europe’s committee for the prevention of torture and inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment raises a litany of concerns after an 11-day visit to the UK in March and April last year.

The report warns that the UK’s Illegal Migration Act, which allows asylum claims to be determined in Rwanda rather than in the UK, and the migration and economic development partnership between UK and Rwanda “raise multiple concerns over the treatment of vulnerable persons” and warns that they may be subject to torture or inhuman, degrading treatment if they are sent to Rwanda.

For full report, click here

Home Office drops plan to remove housing protections from asylum seekers – The Guardian

A controversial policy to remove basic housing protections from asylum seekers has been withdrawn by the government.

The policy, first disclosed by the Guardian, outlined the proposed removal of houses in multiple occupation (HMO) regulations for landlords accommodating asylum seekers in their properties. People who are not seeking asylum are still entitled to access these safeguards.

The government argued that by removing the requirement for landlords to abide by HMO regulations, officials could increase the pool of housing available to accommodate asylum seekers. Under the changes, which have now been withdrawn, landlords of asylum seekers in England and Wales would no longer have to register with local authorities.

For full report, click here

Teenager trapped in Gaza brings legal challenge against UK government – The Guardian

A teenager trapped in Gaza and separated from his parents has brought an urgent legal challenge against the UK Home Office and the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) after the government refused entry clearance for him to join his family in the UK.

The 18-year-old man, whose life is at imminent risk, has been internally displaced several times and has been homeless. He is now staying with extended family in Gaza in a home subject to heavy bombardment.

For full report, click here.

Asylum seekers evacuated from hotel near Heathrow after power failure – The Guardian

There were chaotic scenes as the Home Office carried out a mass evacuation of one of the largest hotels used to accommodate asylum seekers after a failure of the power and water supply.

The hotel near Heathrow airport accommodates more than 500 asylum seekers – a mix of single adults, families, children, and babies. The Guardian was sent video footage of adults and children walking around the darkened reception area asking what was happening.

For full report, click here.

The House of Lords’ powerlessness to stop the Rwanda bill shows its limits – Letters from The Guardian

The Lords will try to put sensible amendments, but unless Labour’s frontbench is willing to make a stand and ultimately block bad law, then the government will win. Convention allows the Lords to do this, as disapplying the Human Rights Act was not in the Conservative party’s election manifesto, and there is no electoral mandate for this policy.

To read the full commentary, click here.

Home Office asks for emergency £2.6bn after asylum seeker hotels overspend – The Guardian

The Home Office has sought an emergency cash payment of £2.6bn after unforeseen expenditure on hotels for asylum seekers. James Cleverly has made a formal request for the money after a shortfall last year, when Suella Braverman was in charge for more than 11 months.

The request, made late in the financial year, has concerned Diana Johnson, the chair of the home affairs select committee. She plans to write to the home secretary to ask why the costs of housing asylum seekers was not included in the department’s main estimates.

For full report, click here.

Rishi Sunak says he was taken by surprise on £1,000 Rwanda bet – BBC News

The Prime Minister said he was “taken by surprise” when he agreed to make a £1,000 bet over his Rwanda policy.

Rishi Sunak said he was “not a betting person”, but denied it was a mistake after shaking hands with Piers Morgan, that deportation flights would take off before the next election.

Speaking on BBC Radio 5 Live, Mr Sunak said he was trying to convey his “absolute commitment” to the policy. Labour said it showed he was “totally out of touch with working people”.

For full report, click here.

Channel migrants: Man who piloted boat carrying 70 jailed – BBC News

A man who piloted a boat carrying more than 70 migrants who were rescued off the Kent coast has been jailed.

Howmalow Mawum-Duop was spotted in control of the boat which was heading to the UK from northern France by UK Border Force officers on 26 September.

However, he attempted to move away from the tiller as they approached, the National Crime Agency (NCA) said. The Sudanese national has been jailed for 18 months following an NCA investigation into people smuggling.

For full report, click here

Reducing Net Migration Factsheet – February 2024 – UKVI

The UK has experienced unprecedented levels of immigration since the pandemic. The latest official estimates show that net migration in the year to June 2023 was 672,000 – up significantly on pre-pandemic volumes but lower than the 745,000 who came in the year to December 2022.  

This is partly because of our generosity towards people fleeing conflict and persecution in Ukraine, Hong Kong, and Afghanistan; over 80,000 people have immigrated to the UK on as our Ukraine, BN(O) and resettlement schemes in the last year. But it is also because of rising numbers of overseas students and care workers. 

For full report, click here.


Yalcin v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2024] EWCA Civ 74

The Court of Appeal found that the Upper Tribunal was wrong to set aside an allowed deportation appeal, clarifying the correct approach to Section 117C (6) of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002. The Court emphasized that the focus should be on whether the judge performed the essence of the required task, which in this case was to consider relevant factors in assessing undue harshness and recognize the substantially higher threshold under subsection (6) versus subsection (5). Though not ideally structured or expressed, the First-tier Tribunal’s decision showed adequate understanding and application of the proper legal tests. Thus, the Court held that it was not clear the tribunal had misdirected itself and allowed the original deportation appeal to stand.

For full decision, click here.  

Secretary of State for the Home Department v AA (Poland) [2024] EWCA Civ 18

The Court of Appeal allowed a Home Office appeal to deport an EEA national convicted of serious sexual offences, despite the individual having resided in the UK for 15 years. The Court disagreed with lower tribunals that the 10-year continuous residency requirement was satisfied, as time in prison broke continuity.

The Court relied heavily on regulations stating little weight should be given to integration links formed at the time of criminal conduct. This reasoning appears inconsistent with CJEU guidance in B, which stated decision-makers should consider the strength of integrative links before detention and the individual’s conduct throughout imprisonment. The CJEU guidance assumes some continued integration during incarceration, whereas the Court of Appeal found the lower tribunal erred by attaching weight to the individual’s conduct in prison.

For full report, click here .

R (on the application of CX1 & Others) v Secretary of State for Defence and Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs [2024] EWHC 94 (Admin).

The High Court quashed refusal decisions under the Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy (ARAP) for two journalists who worked on UK-funded radio programs in Afghanistan. ARAP has specific conditions for assisting Afghans who aided UK objectives. The Court found the decision makers had erred in applying the test for whether the journalists’ work contributed to UK national security goals.

The key issue was Condition 2 of the immigration rules, which requires the work to have “made a substantive and positive contribution” toward UK military or national security objectives. The decision makers wrongly focused on whether the “goal” of the journalism itself was to further these objectives. The Court held the correct test was whether the work contributed, regardless of its aim. Since the decisions applied an incorrect test, they were quashed for the two journalists who met other ARAP conditions.

For full report, click here

R(MT) v Secretary of State for the Home Department AC-2023-LON-001114

In a recent legal case, the Home Secretary acknowledged violating Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which prohibits inhuman or degrading treatment.

The Home Secretary conceded the unlawful detention claim and agreed to pay £105,000 in damages to the claimant. The settlement demonstrates the government’s accountability for breaches of human rights laws prohibiting inhumane treatment. The skilled legal counsel secured justice for their client against the state’s abuse of power in detaining individuals unlawfully. The significant damages awarded highlight the gravity of the rights violation.

Full decision due to be published, but in the meantime summary of the case report can be accessed here


In brief: Deportation and early removal of foreign national offenders Research Briefing 2 February 2024 – Melanie Gower, Georgina Sturge

The House of Commons Library published a briefing last week on deporting and removing foreign national offenders (FNOs) in England and Wales. The briefing outlines key facts, including:

– The number of FNOs currently in England and Wales

– The Government’s legal powers to deport criminal offenders

– Statistics on how many FNOs are being deported or removed each year

The parliamentary research aims to provide objective, factual information on this issue in a succinct and accessible format for lawmakers.

For full report, click here

Prevention and identification of children and young adults experiencing, or at risk of, modern slavery in the UK – Project Report by ECPAT UK (Every Child Protected Against Trafficking) and the University of Nottingham’s Rights Lab

A new collaborative report from ECPAT UK and the University of Nottingham’s Rights Lab examines the issue of modern slavery and human trafficking involving children and young adults in the UK. The report finds that thousands of minors across the country are estimated to be victims each year, highlighting concerns about inadequate prevention and protection efforts. Among the wide-ranging issues considered, the report briefly discusses immigration matters, identifying uncertain immigration status as a major risk factor for exploitation of young people. Overall, the report calls attention to the problem of child trafficking and modern slavery in the UK, advocating for improved prevention initiatives and support for victimized youth.

For full report, click here 


Casework Guidance Facilitated return scheme has been updated 7th February 2024. To view the updated Guidance, click here.

Guidance: Register of licensed sponsors: workers has been updated on 7th February 2024. To view the updated Guidance, click here.

Guidance: Register of licensed sponsors: students has been updated on 7th February 2024. To view the updated Guidance, click here.

Form Unaccompanied asylum-seeking children: statement of evidence has been updated on 6th February 2024. To view the updated Guidance, click here.

Collection Archive: Immigration Rules has been updated on 6th February 2024. To view the updated Guidance, click here.

Guidance: Prove your English language abilities with a secure English language test (SELT) has been updated on 5th February 2024. To view the updated Guidance, click here.

Collection: Migration transparency data has been updated on 5th February 2024. To view the updated Guidance, click here.

Guidance Youth Mobility Scheme visa: ballot system has been updated on 5th February 2024. To view the updated Guidance, click here.

Guidance Visit visa: guide to supporting documents has been updated on 1st February 2024. To view the updated Guidance, click here.

Transparency data Ukraine Visa Schemes has been updated on 1st February 2024. To view the updated Guidance, click here





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