Immigration updated included in this months Employment Law newsletter.
1. European Economic Area (EEA) Nationals
Theresa May has started to reveal her proposals for EEA nationals currently in the UK. Subject to obtaining reciprocal protection for British expatriates in Europe, she has suggested that all those here before she triggered Article 50, will be allowed to stay. However the position of those who entered the UK after 29 March 2017 is still uncertain and will be a matter for negotiation.
She has suggested that there will be a new “settled UK” status for those who have been in the UK for 5 years, but we are still waiting for information on how that might work in practice. Donald Tusk, the President of the European Council said the proposal was “below our expectations” and more detail is required.
Meanwhile numerous reports have been published about the future implications of ceasing free movement, including by the CIPD and by IPPR.
2. Queen’s Speech
The Queen’s Speech on 21 June 2017 set out the Prime Minister’s legislative plans for the next two years. Unsurprisingly there will be an Immigration Bill. The details for this were sketchy, but it was focused on enabling the government to remove EU free movement rights and replace them with new British rules.
Many of the proposals set out in the Conservative manifesto were not mentioned. However, this may be because they can be implemented through secondary legislation and do not need to go through the full Parliamentary process. Examples include their plans to double the new Immigration Skills Charge by the end of the next Parliament, increase the minimum income threshold for a British national to sponsor their spouse for a visa and tighten up the rules for students, with an expectation that they will leave the UK after their studies. We will of course keep you updated on all of these.
3. Adult dependant relatives
The Court of Appeal has upheld the Immigration Rules regarding the requirements to be satisfi ed if British nationals wish to bring adult dependent relatives (such as parents) to the UK.
The Rules were being challenged by campaign group BritCits, on the basis that they are unlawful, because they are almost impossible to satisfy and breach the right to private and family life. However the Court of Appeal held that there will not always be family life between a British national and their adult dependent disagree and are seeking permission to appeal to the Supreme Court.
4. New charges to e-mail UKVI
From 1 June 2017, the Home Offi ce has outsourced “out of country” queries to Sitel UK. Callers with queries about applying for a visa outside the UK are used to having to pay to call for information. There is now also a charge for e-mails. This is set at £5.48, which is meant to cover the fi rst e-mail and any follow-ups relating to the same enquiry.
5. Deport first, appeal later
Under the Immigration Act 2016, an individual who is refused a visa and wishes to appeal may be forced to leave the UK before their appeal is heard. However the Supreme Court has now held in R (Kiarie and Byndloss) v Secretary of State for the Home Department  UKSC 42, that for an appeal to be effective, the appellant needs to be able to give live evidence. Video-link evidence given from abroad is usually costly and of poor quality, if it can be arranged at all. Whilst the Home Offi ce may take steps to improve this, it seems that for now any attempts to deport pending an appeal will be open to challenge.