Immigration News Weekly Roundup – 24 March 2023

Concerns continued to loom this week for asylum seekers in the UK considering the recent changes to immigration policies. These changes have made the process of seeking asylum in the UK increasingly challenging, leaving many vulnerable persons at risk.

The deportation deal between the UK and Rwanda remains strong. The deal aims to combat illegal migration and reduce the strain on  UK’s immigration system. The Home Secretary recent visitation of Rwanda this week, further signifies that the Government remains adamant with their plans to send off anyone, who does not have a right to stay in the UK to Rwanda, should their own country of origin no longer remain an option for return.

In line with this, the UKVI department has implemented stricter measures for asylum seekers. This includes policy changes that replace interviews with questionnaires to determine the validity of their claims, and implementing more rigorous background checks. Additionally, the government has stated that they will be less tolerant of those who have entered the country illegally and will prioritise deportations. The Government’s view is that such measures will also help to reduce fraudulent claims and improve the efficiency of the asylum process. However, many have raised concerns about the impact these measures may have on genuine asylum seekers and their ability to access necessary support and protection.

Consequently, stricter measures for Right to Work (RTW) checks are also in place by the UKVI. UK Employers have even more responsibility to ensure that their employees have the legal right to work in the UK conduct these checks. The new measures require employers to conduct more thorough checks and to maintain better records of their employees’ right to work status. Employers who fail to comply with the new requirements may face significant fines and penalties. The UKVI hopes that these stricter measures will help to reduce illegal immigration and protect vulnerable persons from being victims of modern slavery as well.

Amongst all the doom and gloom there is good news for UK construction and hospitality industries. Recently published MAC interim report, it has been recommended that 5 construction sector Soc Codes should be added to Shortage Occupation List. For the hospitality industry, MAC is insistent that Chefs should remain on the SOL with an addition of Sommeliers under the industry’s request.

This and more covered for you in our Immigration News Weekly Roundup.

PS: Also…. our Director, Mark Symes, is delivering Live Webinar put on a short notice to cover the latest updates to the Immigration Rules. This will take place on 11th April, The New Immigration Rules (HC 1160; 9thMarch 2023). One not to be missed!

For more information and or to book, click here


UK and Rwanda strengthen agreement to deal with global migration issues – Home Office 

The Home Secretary hailed the strengthening of the partnership with Rwanda as both countries vow to step up efforts in dealing with global migration challenges. To read the full article, click here

UK asylum seekers who complain about conditions ‘threatened with Rwanda’- The Guardian 

Asylum seekers who complain about poor conditions in Home Office hotels have been threatened with being sent to Rwanda, according to a new report.

The report from the charity Refugee Action, entitled ‘Hostile Accommodation: how the asylum system is cruel by design’, is based on 100 in-depth interviews with asylum seekers in hotels in London, Manchester, West Midlands and Bradford.  To view the full article, click here 

Channel crossings scheme costs ‘could top £9bn in three years’ – The Guardian 

Charity says more than 250,000 asylum claims may be ruled inadmissible under illegal migration bill. The cost of detaining and accommodating people under the UK government’s controversial plans to tackle Channel crossings could amount to more than £9bn in the first three years, according to a refugee charity. To read the full article, click here

US calls conditions in Rwanda’s detention centres harsh to life-threatening – The Guardian

Britain’s closest ally, the US, has criticised Rwanda’s dire human rights record, describing conditions in the country’s detention centres as harsh to life-threatening. The British home secretary, Suella Braverman, took a group of journalists on a trip last week to reveal details of her £120m scheme to send all migrants arriving in the UK through irregular means to Rwanda whether they claim asylum or not. The legality of the scheme is due to be tested shortly in the UK court of appeal. To read the full article, click here 

Foreign secretary’s sanction of human rights abusers looks like a stunt – The Times 

The UK sanctions regime is not working because there is no clear policy on which human rights abusers to put on the list. On international women’s day this month, the foreign secretary, James Cleverly, announced sanctions against four human rights abusers for gender-based violence in Iran, Syria, South Sudan and the Central African Republic. To read the full article, click here 

Changes To Shortage Occupation List – Some Construction/Building Jobs Added but No Hospitality –MONDAQ

In advance of starting the full Shortage Occupation List (SOL) review, MAC was asked by the Home Secretary on 7 February 2023 to deliver an expedited review of occupations in construction and hospitality sectors, recommending the addition of eligible occupations to the SOL and RQF 1-2 occupations to the Skilled Worker (SW) route where appropriate. The MAC interim review of those sectors was published on 15th March 2023 and our article is focused on this published MAC review. To read more, click here

MoD apologises for asking Afghans to get Taliban’s approval to come to UK – The Guardian 

Afghans eligible for the Arap scheme but unable to leave on an evacuation flight in 2021 were told they needed to visit Taliban-run government departments to get documents validated. Citizens who worked with British government or helped army told to get necessary documents stamped by the authorities. To read the full article, click here

Home Office accused of ‘shunting’ Afghan child refugees around UK ‘like cattle’ The Guardian

After the Observer revealed cases of girls denied chance to sit GCSE exams, new evidence emerges of school pupils being uprooted. MPs and charities have condemned the Home Office for “shunting” young Afghan refugees around the UK “like cattle”, as new evidence emerges of children being moved out of London hotels weeks before their GCSEs. To read the full article, click here

Private firms profiting from UK asylum hotels –BBC News

Private firms are making increased in profits as the government pays millions of pounds a day to put up asylum seekers in the UK, the BBC has learned.

BBC News has been told 395 hotels are being used to house asylum seekers, as arrivals to the UK rose last year. Documents show one booking agency used by the Home Office trebled its pre-tax profits from £2.1m to £6.3m in the 12 months up to February 2022. To read more, click here

UK visas: How does the points-based immigration system work? – BBC News 

The government is adding five construction occupations to its list of jobs for which it’s easier to get a visa to come to the UK. The occupations include bricklayers, plasterers and carpenters. To read the full article, click here

Will the Budget’s immigration reforms help with labour shortages? – Construction News

In an article for Construction News, Fieldfisher’s Head of Immigration Joanna Hunt examines the immigration reforms announced in last weeks’ budget, and assesses the impact they will have on construction companies. To read the full article, click here


  • Transparency data Migrants detected crossing the English Channel in small boats has been updated on 1stJanuary 2023. To download the data, click here 
  • Impact assessment Digital right to work and rent checks for British and Irish citizens has been updated on 21st March 2023. To view the document,  click here
  • Construction and hospitality shortage review has been published by the Home Office on 15th March 2023. To read the full document, click here
  • Streamlined asylum processing for children: caseworker guidance has been published by the Home Office on 16th March 2023. To download the Guidance, click here
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