Immigration News Weekly Roundup – 7 September 2023

The hot topic in UK immigration this week continues to be asylum seekers crossing the English Channel in small boats. Despite a record number of arrivals this past weekend, Immigration Minister Robert Jenrick advised Parliament that total small boat crossings are down 20% compared to last year.

Jenrick also updated on Home Office efforts to tackle the backlog of asylum cases awaiting initial decisions. He stated 2,500 new caseworkers are in place and the backlog is on track for elimination by year’s end. This is welcome news, but many applicants have already waited well over a year.

On the procedural front, a new electronic filing practice direction for the Upper Tribunal’s Immigration and Asylum Chamber will take effect from November 1st, 2023. All documents must be submitted online, with only exceptional allowances for paper filing. This aims to modernize and increase efficiency, but could disadvantage appellants without digital access or skills.

Meanwhile, serious concerns persist over accommodating unaccompanied asylum-seeking children in hotels. Despite court rulings deeming this unlawful, over 100 minors have recently been housed this way. Organizations have criticized the practice given hundreds of children have gone missing from hotels.

The latest High Court judgment declared the Home Secretary’s routine hotel use for these children illegal. The Court also quashed an agreement between the Home Office and Kent County Council that had capped the number of minors Kent would accept. The Council maintains it cannot cope with arrivals seeking its care.

On business immigration, the Home Office continues expanding its advisory network on future skills-based policies. The most recent additions cover education bodies, as engagement across sectors is crucial for crafting a balanced, effective immigration system.

Also, the Home Office has published its latest figures on application fees on 7th September 2023. A breath of relief as its noted that no changes pertaining to the increment have taken place yet!

In summary, while asylum and skills-based immigration remains works in progress, the Courts and advisory groups provide checks on executive power and venues for stakeholder input. Sustained scrutiny and consultation will be critical as the UK navigates this complex policy landscape.

Additionally, least we forget the recent revelations about rogue immigration lawyers in the UK have provided further justification for the government’s increased scrutiny of immigration advisors. Legal regulators have responded by issuing new statements and policies aimed at ensuring stricter compliance standards among immigration advisors. This highlights the importance, now more than ever, for advisors to stay current on the latest rules and regulations. Doing so will enable advisors to strike the necessary balance of protecting clients’ best interests while also upholding the rule of law. Advisors must take care to provide lawful and ethical advice to avoid contributing to negative perceptions of the profession as a whole. Overall, the situation underscores advisors’ duty to proactively monitor regulatory changes and provide advice accordingly.

This week we announced our new season of bitesize courses. These cover a range of topics: The July Immigration Rules updates & Illegal Migration Act, Student Sponsor Licence Compliance, Home Office Audits, EU Settled Status Scheme and a session on Setting up an OISC firm to assist aspiring advisors gain successful registration with the OISC.   

Bitesize courses are an excellent opportunity to update yourself with the latest developments and learn to tackle complex issues on a variety of topics.  For more information and to book your spot, click here



Home Office immigration and nationality fees: 7 September 2023

The UKVI has released the latest figures on application fees. To view the updated information, click here


A re-inspection of the use of hotels for housing unaccompanied asylum-seeking children – UKVI

In line with his 2023-24-inspection plan, the Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration has commenced a re-inspection of the use of hotels for housing unaccompanied asylum-seeking children.

For full report, click here 


New practice direction for filing of documents for proceedings in the Immigration and Asylum Chamber of the Upper Tribunal

Sir Keith Lindblom, the Senior President of Tribunals, issued a new practice direction on electronic filing of documents on Wednesday, September 6, 2023 for Immigration and Asylum Chamber of the Upper Tribunal.

Further to this Direction, all documents filed in the Immigration and Asylum Chamber of the Upper Tribunal must be submitted electronically through an online portal. This applies to both represented and unrepresented appellants.

To download the Directions, click here


An inspection of the Home Office’s illegal working enforcement activity – UKVI  

In line with his 2023-24-inspection plan, the Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration has commenced an inspection of illegal working enforcement activity.

For full report, click here


Man who posed for selfies as he piloted small boat jailed – UKVI

Reda Hamoud Abdurabou, 25, was sentenced at Salisbury Crown Court on 1 September after being found guilty of assisting unlawful immigration to the UK and attempting to enter the country illegally.

Abdurabou took charge of a dangerously overcrowded small boat packed with 50 migrants during an attempt to reach the UK illegally in July 2022.

He took pictures of himself, saving images to his phone that would later be used as evidence by the Home Office’s Criminal and Financial Investigations (CFI) unit. 

For full report, click here


Minister Jenrick’s statement on illegal migration 

Minister for Immigration, Robert Jenrick, made a statement to the House of Commons on illegal migration.

To view the full statement, click here 


Highest daily number of Channel small-boat crossings for 2023 recorded  – The Guardian

More than 800 people crossed the Channel in small boats on Saturday, the highest number on a single day so far this year.

The latest provisional government data put the figure at 872 people in 15 vessels, suggesting an average of about 58 people in each one. The cumulative figure for 2023 now stands at a provisional 20,973. The previous high for a single day this year was on 10 August when 756 people made the crossing.

The total for the year so far is still lower than at this time last year, when 25,000 people made the journey. The record for a single day since current records began in 2018 was 1,295 on 22 August 2022.

Saturday’s arrivals mean 1,172 people have made the journey so far this week. Crossings were only seen on two of six days, with 300 people arriving on Tuesday.

For full report, click here


Home Office defies high court by placing 100 asylum-seeker children in hotels – The Guardian

The UK Home Office has placed more than 100 lone asylum-seeker children in hotels in recent weeks, despite the practice having been found unlawful by the high court.

The government’s continued use of hotels has been condemned by human rights and refugee organisations since more than 200 children have gone missing, including dozens who vanished from one hotel in Brighton.

One of the reasons why children continue to be placed in hotels, some for a number of weeks, is that Kent County council says it cannot cope with the number of children arriving. The council’s geographical location means it has a responsibility to take into care lone children who arrive at the Kent coast in small boats. It has warned that they are struggling to meet their legal obligations to the UK as well as asylum-seeker children.

For full report, click here


Slavery reaches into the heart of Life in the UK – Letters, The Guardian

Britain should come clean about the ‘illustrious’ historical figures in its citizenship test, writes Arthur Cunha. And other readers reflect on an uncomfortable legacy.

To read the full article, click here


Multiple passport holders in England and Wales double in decade – The Guardian

Rise in dual citizenship driven by migration from EU, and uptake of additional passports after Brexit.

The number of people with multiple passports in England and Wales has doubled in a decade, official data shows, with the rise thought to be partly down to Brexit.

There was a fivefold increase in people born in the UK holding both British and EU passports, according to an analysis of Census 2021 figures.

For full report, click here


New law may block aid being spent on asylum seekers in UK, says watchdog – BBC News

Ministers could be blocked from spending billions of pounds of foreign aid on housing asylum seekers in the UK by the government’s own new immigration law, an independent watchdog says.

The Independent Commission for Aid Impact says the Illegal Migration Act means those arriving in small boats are no longer deemed to be asylum seekers.

Therefore, they are no longer eligible for Overseas Development Assistance.

For full report, click here



R (on the application of ECPAT UK) v Kent County Council and another [2023] EWHC 1953 (Admin)

The High Court has ruled that the Home Secretary’s regular practice of housing unaccompanied asylum-seeking children in hotels is unlawful.

The Judge criticized Kent County Council’s ongoing refusal to accept newly arrived unaccompanied minors who are entitled to the Council’s care. The Judge issued a declaration that the Council’s actions are unlawful.

Additionally, the Court quashed the agreement between Kent County Council and the Home Secretary that had imposed a cap on the number of new unaccompanied minors the Council would accept. This “Kent Protocol” had been previously suspended by an August 1st court order.

For full decision, click here  




  • Policy paper: The UK’s future skills-based immigration system- advisory group membership has been updated on 6th September 2023. To view the Paper, click here


  • Complexity application routing solution (study): caseworker guidance has been published on 6th September 2023. To view the full Guidance, click here


  • Transparency data: Migrants detected crossing the English Channel in small boats has been updated on 6th September 2023. To download the latest data, click here


  • Statistics relating to the Illegal Migration Act have been updated on 5th September 2023. To download the latest data, click here


  • Guidance Pre-matching households to settled accommodation has been updated on 5th September 2023. To view the Guidance, click here


  • Transparency data – Windrush Compensation Scheme: July 2023 has been published on 5th September 2023. To download the data, click here


  • Policy paper: Response to the IMA report into certificates of application has been published on 5th September 2023. To download the Paper, click here


  • Immigration system statistics, year ending March 2023 have been updated on 4th September 2023. To download the latest data, click here      


  • Asylum accommodation factsheets have been updated on 4th September 2023. To download the latest data, click here
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