Immigration News Weekly Roundup – 13 January 2023

A warm welcome to 2023 to everyone, we hope you had a relaxing break and have settled back in their work routine.

We begin the year with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s announcement for changes which lie ahead. This included his pledged to “stop the boats” of migrants channel crossing, being flagged as one of his key five promises in 2023.

The statement coupled with the news of the High Court ruling that established deportations to Rwanda being lawful. This news continued to create shockwaves amongst refugees and immigration advisers.  An equally interesting development in contradiction to Mr Sunak’s pledge, is the statement issued by the Rwanda President Paul Kagame, who has announced that UK asylum seekers are not their responsibility.

Our Director, Mark Symes is a part of an acclaimed expert panel that will be holding a free webinar from Garden Court Chambers to discuss Rwanda policy next week.

On the Business Immigration front, Guidance on Licensed Sponsors, Skilled Worker visa, Global Mobility routes and Workers and Temporary Workers have been updated this week. Key changes such as reporting the commencement of employment, virtual checks etc. will come into action this year for all Sponsor License holders.

It is crucial that all business immigration advisors and Human Resource professionals advising and minding Sponsor Licenses for their organisations are aware of these changes and the practical measure needed to be in compliance with them.

HJT’s most sought Sponsor License Masterclass has been scheduled. For full course info or to book click here

We also outline three most trending reports i.e.;  Henleys Passport Index, Fragoman World Trends and World Talent Ranking from IMD. These reports give a comparative insight to the most sought countries to attract foreign workers, business investments and the key drivers impacting global mobility. This is particularly useful for the UK business advisors as they benefit from knowing about the UK’s position on the global index.

Amongst important announcements, the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) have yet again flagged the importance of ensuring that all legal advisors must keep themselves updated with the latest developments in their area of practice and keep a record of their Continuing Competence throughout the year

Considering the fast pace of developments happening in UK immigration, both the SRA and the OISC have started applying very strict scrutiny on the quality of immigration advice dispensed and the fact that these must be done by individuals under their official registers.

Similarly, OISC has published on their social media that all immigration advisors claiming to be regulated by them, must be on their official register. Considering the rise of unregulated advice being passed to vulnerable migrants, risking their immigration record whilst charging them a fee, the OISC are practicing a zero tolerance policy towards sham practices alleging regulation under their umbrella.

If you are aspiring to becoming an OISC advisor, we are scheduled to hold our live online course. How to set up and OISC firm on 7 February 2023.  You can find more about it and book your place from the link here 

For almost two decades, our most sought product, Mastering Immigration Law has served as the most reliable resource for many immigration advisors. With the most updated information, explanation on correct application of Rules, Case law precedence, Policy documents and CPD activity covered through online resources, practitioners are assured they are fully abreast with the on going developments and also meeting regulators compliance. Mark Symes works tirelessly in providing the most up to date resource available on the marketTo know more watch our video here

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These and more highlights on immigration developments from the news media, case law determinations and Home Office Policy documents updated for this week, covered in our newsletter..


SRA’S Strict Approach to continuing competence

SRA continues to emphasise the importance of continuing competence within legal practice as they published a reminder to all, on their social  network on 11th January 2023. To view their five step reminder approach to see what you need to do and our template to record your activities, click here

FREE WEBINAR – ‘Rwanda High Ct Judgment: implications & next steps’, 6.30 pm, Wed 18 Jan 2023 – Garden Court Chambers 

A timely webinar is being hosted by Garden Court Chambers for a joint discussion of the High Court’s recent decision regarding the lawfulness of removing people to Rwanda. The acclaimed panel also includes HJT’s Director, Mark Symes

To register, click here


Government review to explore options to improve civil legal aid market

A government review will explore options for improving the sustainability of the legal aid system for people facing civil (including immigration) and family legal issues. To read the full press release,  click here

Rwanda President Paul Kagame says refugees ‘are not our problem’ despite deal with UK to take asylum seekers – iNews

Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame has said his country cannot be accountable for refugees it hosts, even as the UK forges ahead with plans to send asylum seekers there. “We cannot keep being host to refugees for which, later on, we are held accountable in some way, or even abused about,” Mr Kagame said earlier this week. His comments were made despite the President signing a £120m contract with the UK Government to take asylum seekers from Britain, process them in Rwanda and keep those whose applications are successful.

To read the full article, click here

What does Rishi Sunak’s promise to stop the boats mean? – BBC News

In his first major speech of 2023, prime minister Rishi Sunak twice pledged to “stop the boats”. Listing five key promises at the beginning and the end of the speech, he said both times: “We will halve inflation, grow the economy, reduce debt, cut waiting lists and stop the boats.” To read the full article, click here

Age-check X-rays risk harming child asylum seekers, government warned – The Guardian

Advisers say biological tests carry physical and mental risks and cannot predict age precisely.

To read the full article, click here 

Suella Braverman plans to ditch key Windrush pledges – The Guardian

Suella Braverman is planning to abandon several of the key commitments made in the wake of the Windrush scandal as the UK government prepares to implement hard-line promises to fast-track the detention and removal of migrants.

To read the full article, click here

Brexit: thousands of Britons expelled from EU since end of transition period – The Guardian

More than 2,250 UK nationals ordered to leave bloc between January 2021 and September 2022.  To read the full report, click here 


AA and others v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2022] EWHC 3230 (Admin)

The High Court has ruled that the Rwanda Policy scheme did not breach the UN’s Refugee Convention or human rights laws.  However, the cases of eight asylum seekers had not been “properly considered” and would need to be reconsidered, judges added. To download the full decision, click here 


Anti-Money Laundering annual report 2021-22

To mark the occasion of 11th January as the National Human Trafficking Awareness Day, Solicitors Regulation Authority has published their annual report on the in relation to the emerging risks and areas of focus for the year ahead. The report gives a full detail on independent audits carried out on law firms by SRA in their role as an AML supervisor throughout the year.

Fragoman: Worldwide Immigration Trends Report 2023 

Fragoman has released their 2023 Worldwide Immigration Trends Report. The Report analyses key trends impacting immigration policy and global mobility. It is quite useful for the UK perspective as it gives insight how the skills shortages in developed economies like the UK could be the key drivers impacting immigration policies on the forefront. To request your copy of report, click here 

Henley Passport Index 2023

The famous Henley index, compares the visa-free access of 199 different passports to 227 travel destinations, is the go-to source for global citizens everywhere.

To see their latest report on where passports of different nations,  including the UK ranks, and what visa-free access is entitled to each nationality – view the full index by  clicking here

Our response to the recent AESAC report on using scientific methods to assess age – Refugee Council

The interim committee was asked by the Home Office to advise on methods that could be implemented within 12 – 18 months as a means to support the existing Merton  complaint process.  Its report focuses on biological methods utilising dental and skeletal development records for the age assessment. To read the full response, click here 

World Talent Ranking 2022

The independent report from the Institute for Management Development gives a great insight to the most sought countries for attracting foreign labour. This includes analysis about the UK as well in light of the Skilled worker visa and other routes available.  To download the full report, click here


  • Deprivation of British citizenship and withdrawal of passports Research Briefing has been published on 11th January 2023. To view the Paper,  click here 
  • Visit visa Caseworker Guidance has been updated on 3rd January 2023. To view, click here 
  • UK digital identity and attributes trust framework has been released on 11th January 2023. To view the Policy, click here
  • Guidance Register of licensed sponsors: workers have been updated on 11th January 2023. To download the Register, click here
  • Skilled Worker visa: caseworker guidance has been updated on 4th January 2023. To view, click here
  • Workers and Temporary Workers: guidance for sponsors: sponsor a seasonal worker has been updated on 1stJanuary 2023. To view, click here 
  • Global Business Mobility routes caseworker guidance has been updated on 1st January 2023. To view, click here
  • Guidance: Document checks and charges for carriers has been updated. To view, click here
  • Guidance: Prove your English language abilities with a secure English language test (SELT) has been updated on 9th January 2023. To view, click here 
  • Transit: caseworker guidance has been updated on 11th January 2023. To view, click here 
  • Guidance: Form UKM:(to register as a British citizen if you were born before 1983 to a British mother) has been updated on 4th January 2023. To view, click here 
  • Guidance: Form UKF: (to register as a British citizen if you were born before 1 July 2006 to a British father and your parents were not married) To view, click here 
  • Guidance Form MN1: has been updated on 3rd January 2023. To view, click here 
  • Guidance: Afghan relocation and assistance: funding instruction has been updated on 10th January 2023. To view, click here 
  • Guidance: Apply for a Ukraine Family Scheme visa has been updated on 6th January 2023. To view, click here 
  • Guidance Apply for a visa under the Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme (Homes for Ukraine) has been updated on 5th January 2023.  To view, click here 
  • Transparency data Ukraine Visa Schemes has been updated on 5th January 2023. To view, click here 
  • Policy paper: Draft Authority to Carry Scheme 2023 has been published on 9th January 2023. To view, click here 
  • Consultation outcome: Review of hybrid and distance working – Call for evidence has been updated on 21stDecember 2023. To view the Paper, click here   – To view the OTS report on hybrid and distance working, click here
  • Consultation outcome : Immigration Legal Aid: A consultation on new fees for new services has been updated on 20th December 2022. To view the Paper,  click here 
  • Policy paper The experience of immigration detainees in prisons has been published on 15th December 2022. To view the Paper, click here 
  • Policy paper Refugee Employability Programme was published on 9th December 2022. To view the Paper, click here 
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