Immigration News Weekly Roundup – 15 September 2023

 Immigration News Weekly Roundup – 15 September 2023

This week in our Immigration News saw a pivotal Statement of Changes published by the Home Office, unveiling an array of amendments across the immigration system.

The UK Home Office recently announced several upcoming changes to the immigration rules, primarily impacting EU citizens and Electronic Travel Authorization.

The EU Settlement Scheme, which grants status to EU citizens in the UK before 2021, will see appeals rights maintained while administrative review removed. This fulfils agreements to provide judicial redress. Some technical clarifications are also being made. See more about EUSS here

The new Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) scheme launching in October will no longer refuse applications solely based on NHS debt. However, entry could still be denied at the border for those with outstanding debts. The ETA exemption for Irish residents now clarifies proof of residency may be required if travelling within the Common Travel Area. 

The Youth Mobility Scheme expands eligibility for Australian and Canadian citizens to ages 18-35 for 3 years. It also now includes Andorra. Limits on self-employment are clarified.

Changes exclude previous versions of immigration bail, visitors, short-term students and seasonal workers from “lawful residence” for long residence purposes.

A new Appendix Children consolidates dependent and independent child applicant requirements for clarity across routes. Appendix English Language also expands accepted qualifications.

Settlement rights are being formalized for pre-1997 Gurkhas and Hong Kong military units and families.

And prison service officers now meet skills requirements for the Skilled Worker route if Civil Service nationality rules are met.

The changes largely take effect October 5th, aiming to streamline and clarify the immigration system.

With these impactful changes coming down the pipeline, it is clear the UK immigration landscape continues to evolve. For immigration advisors, staying current is crucial but challenging given the complex and ever-evolving rules.

This is where a reliable resource like Mastering Immigration Law’s annual subscription comes in clutch – the comprehensive yet accessible explanations and regular updates empower advisors to provide reliable guidance.

With our lead editor, Mark Symes decoding each policy change, advisors can rest assured they will be equipped with the latest intel needed to steer clients through the immigration maze successfully. As the Home Office continues remolding the system, having a trusted partner like Mastering Immigration Law resources making sense of it all is invaluable.

Currently on a Pre-Order offer, the annual subscription comes at a flat price of £199 only (no extra/hidden charges) Curious? Why not sign-up for 21 Day trial period here

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Also, with the UKVI frequently modifying reporting policies, education providers need to stay vigilant to maintain compliance as a Student Sponsor.

Our timely An Introduction to Student Sponsor Licence course on September, 26th covers the latest requirements specific to educator sponsor duties and due diligence. As more education institutes get approved for international student sponsor licences, immigration advisors, HR managers, and compliance officers would be wise to brush up on the most current standards expected of education sponsors.

This course delivers an invaluable refresher and ensures you are fully informed to help safeguard your institution’s licence. Register now and step into the new term compliance-ready. For bookings and further information on the course, click here

This and more are covered in our Immigration News Weekly Roundup. 




New Illegal Migration Act measures and age dispute assessment tests

A series of measures to strengthen the immigration system and prevent abuse are being introduced to Parliament this week, marking the next step in the delivery of the Illegal Migration Act 2023 and our plan to stop the boats.

Legislation signed on 11 September includes changes to strengthen the asylum decision-making process to clamp down on abuse of the system. This will see updated criteria for caseworkers assessing credibility of claims by explicitly setting out that factors such as the destruction of, or failure to produce an identity document, as well as refusal to disclose information required to access an electronic device like a phone passcode when asked, should be considered when assessing claims.

For full report, click here


Migrants involved in violence against French officers jailed

Salih Taib Abdullah, 33, and Ahmed Omar Saleh Khater, 25, were sentenced at Canterbury Crown Court on 8 September, to a combined total of two years and two months’ imprisonment for attempting to arrive in the UK illegally.

Both were involved in violence, which broke out on a French beach in June this year when French officers were attacked, by a large group of migrants attempting to leave on a small boat.

For full report, click here


Two-thirds of UK public ‘dissatisfied with government’s approach to immigration’  -The Independent

Dissatisfaction among the British public at the government’s handling of immigration is at its highest level since before the Brexit vote, according to research.

Two-thirds (66 per cent) of those questioned across England, Scotland and Wales said they are dissatisfied with the way politicians in charge are dealing with the issue, the Immigration Attitudes Tracker survey suggested.

The level is the highest it has been since 2015 when the survey began, and the latest figure is up from a low of 41 per cent in 2020.

For full report, click here


Post-Brexit shift in immigration may mean higher wages and more self-sufficient UK economy – The Guardian

Immigration played a key role in the UK’s decision in 2016 to leave the EU. Opinion polls showed strong support among leave voters for an end to free movement and for Westminster to decide who should be allowed to enter the country for work. That’s what the slogan “take back control” was largely about.

Since the Brexit vote, the mood has changed. There is still a feeling ministers need to do more to stop people in small boats crossing the Channel. But legal immigration has ceased to be such a hot political issue. Other issues, such as the cost of living and rising interest rates are ranked as more important.

For full report, click here


Colombian migrant begged to be sent home but died in UK detention – The Guardian

The family of a Colombian man who is believed to have killed himself at a Heathrow immigration removal centre says he begged for help and was willing to leave the UK.

Frank Ospina died within a month of being detained, while he was waiting to be deported. His family says he had no existing mental health problems.

The BBC has been investigating conditions inside immigration centres, at a time when the government is taking a harder line on migrants. We have also uncovered new details about an incident in which a group of detainees tried to kill themselves in the days following Frank’s death.

It comes ahead of the publication of a report, due next week, into abusive behaviour by staff at the Brook House facility, a centre near Gatwick. A public inquiry was launched following a landmark undercover BBC Panorama investigation, in 2017.

For full report, click here


More people see UK immigration’s positive effects but calls to reduce it rise –  The National

More people (43 per cent) think immigration has had a positive effect on Britain than the 37 per cent who feel its impact has been negative, the Immigration Attitudes Tracker survey has found.

But negativity has increased by eight percentage points from 29 per cent last year, the research by Ipsos and think tank British Future indicated. The survey of 3,000 adults online in July and August showed 48 per cent of respondents support reducing immigration – an increase from 42 per cent last year.

For full report, click here


Citizens’ rights and computer glitches: is digital immigration status fit for purpose? – Commentary by UK in a Changing Europe

The roll out of the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) was a major watershed in the UK immigration system. Until Brexit, immigration status was evidenced with a document held by the applicant: a passport sticker, a biometric residence permit, a permanent residence card, and so on. Since Brexit, online services are gradually replacing such documents.

Under the EUSS, immigration decisions are issued digitally and stored remotely – away from the status holder. Biometric cards, still issued for other immigration routes, are set to be phased out by 2024. Once completed, this reform will move immigration status online. Status checks will instantly reflect any upgrade, curtailment, or termination of the right to work, rent, and so on.                          

The UK immigration system often mandates multiple applications on the route to settlement. One status holder may have different decisions recorded for them on different case working platforms as they switch, renew, or upgrade immigration status, or as they challenge incorrect decisions through reviews and appeals.

In principle, an automated system might be able to always make sense of all these records. In practice, it fails to consistently do so at present.

For full report, click here


UK leading the way with Rwanda policy as other countries look at ‘similar solutions’, Sunak says – SKY News

The UK is leading the way with its Rwanda deportation scheme as other European countries look at “similar solutions” to tackle illegal immigration, the prime minister has said.

Rishi Sunak also said he discussed illegal immigration during a “meeting and a drink” with Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni as world leaders attend the G20 summit in Delhi.

Mr Sunak said they discussed how they can “work together” to tackle the “shared challenge” of illegal immigration in Europe.

For full report, click here


UK immigration policy blamed for unemployment rise in Scotland – The National  

Fresh statistics show Scotland’s employment rate rose in the last quarter to 75.1% while the estimated inactivity rate fell to 21.4%.

But the unemployment rate also rose to 4.3% – an increase of 1.2% over the period.

Neil Gray, Scotland’s Wellbeing Economy Secretary, said although a rise in employment was welcome; the UK Government has caused a recruitment crisis in hospitality and agriculture because of its controls on immigration

For full report, click here


Demolition at migrant centre could see it reopen – BBC News  

Plans have been submitted to demolish buildings at an immigration removal centre (IRC), which the government intends to reopen.

The Home Office plans to demolish two buildings at the Haslar centre in Gosport, Hampshire, which are “no longer fit for purpose”. The government will use the centre to house 600 men before they are removed from the UK. If demolition is approved, the centre could reopen at the end of the year.

For full report, click here


‘I struggle not knowing what the future holds’ – Asylum backlog reaches record high –  BBC News  

The number of people in the UK waiting for a decision on their asylum claims has risen to a record high, latest Home Office figures show.

More than 175,000 people were waiting for a decision on whether they will be granted refugee status at the end of June 2023 – up 44% from last year.

In December 2022, PM Rishi Sunak set a target of clearing the so-called legacy backlog by the end of this year.

Officials have cleared on average 2,061 of those cases a month since then.

With 67,870 of the legacy cases remaining, the Home Office would have to process around 11,311 of them per month if it is to meet its target.

For full report, click here


Immigration and mental health work forms updated 

Providers need to use amended CW2(IMM) and CW1&2 MH forms which have corrected instructions for under 18 applicants. For the full report published by Legal  Aid Agency, click here


Upper Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber) publishes new Standard Directions applying to represented appeals from 25 September 2023 – EIN

Principal Resident Judge Blum has issued the New Practice Directions on electronic bundles and skeleton arguments this month. The Directions will apply to all appeals where the parties are represented from 25 September 2023.

Principal Resident Judge Blum says in a covering letter that all practitioners and users of the UTIAC should familiarise themselves with the requirements of the new Standard Directions.

Judge Blum notes in particular that the Standard Directions now require the party who is appealing to generate the bundle of documents that will be relied on at the hearing.

To download the Directions, click here and for Guidance on Directions, click here




  • Policy paper: Statement of changes to the Immigration Rules: HC 1715, 19 July 2023 has been updated on 13th September 2023. To download the Paper,  click here


  • Transparency data: Migrants detected crossing the English Channel in small boat has been updated on 13th September 2023. To download the data, click here


  • Guidance: Extradition and mutual legal assistance agreements have been updated on 13th September 2023. To view the Guidance, click here


  • Policy paper – National Security Bill: overarching documents has been updated on 8th September 2023. To download the Paper, click here


  • Policy paper: Response to an inspection of Border Force insider threat has been updated on 7th September 2023. To download the Paper, click here


  • Guidance Afghan schemes: funding instructions 2023 to 2024 has been updated on 7th September 2023. To download the Guidance, click here
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