The Law Commission, an independent body set up by Parliament in 1965 to keep the law of England and Wales under review and to recommend reforms, has proposed to simplify the Immigration Rules (Rules) to make them more accessible.

The lengthy Rules, which have grown from 40 pages in 1973 to approximately 1,100 pages today, have been criticised many times for being poorly drafted by immigration practitioners, the Law Society and even judges.

The Commission proposes to “provide a more logical structure, remove unnecessary repetitions and improve the drafting”. The 274 page consultation paper published on 21 January 2019 sets out some provisional proposals for change which comment on the structure, presentation and labelling of the Rules. While these proposals focus on how the Rules are presented and drafted; they do not consider any changes to the immigration policy itself.

There are 54 consultation questions in total and the deadline for responses is 26 April 2019. The process should conclude by the end of 2019 and a final report with recommendations will be published once the Commission has assessed the results of the consultation.