The effectiveness of freedom of movement for EEA nationals depends on the right of their partners to reside with them. However, their ability to exercise this right may be obstructed by the increasingly enthusiastic efforts of the Home Office to prevent abuse by non-genuine couples entering into ‘sham marriages’. Two recent cases provide guidance on the meaning of sham marriages, marriages of convenience and who bears the burden of proof.
Immigration Barristers' Blog
The Home Secretary has today published a Statement of changes to the Immigration Rules (HC309) setting out various amendments to the Immigration Rules for Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) migrants. The changes will apply to all Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) applications submitted from 11 January 2018.
The new NHS (Charges to Overseas Visitors) Regulations 2017 amend the 2015 Regulations and come into effect as of 21 August and 23 October 2017.
Three years on from the increase in the investment funds requirement from £1 million to £2 million and interest in the Tier 1 (Investor) visa category is on the rise again.
Employers are generally required to carry out a Resident Labour Market Test before sponsoring a non-EEA worker. The Resident Labour Market Test is designed to protect the settled workforce. This essentially means that before offering a job to a non-EEA foreign worker, the employer must advertise the role in the UK and assess any candidate who applies for it. If there is no suitably-qualified or skilled settled worker available to take up the position, then the employer will be permitted to bring in a non-EEA worker.
This is a word of caution for those who are considering the use of the Home Office’s Same-Day Premium Service when making an extension or settlement application.
In an important case to protect the rights of EU nationals and their family members in the UK, the Court of Appeal has overturned the Sala (EFMs: Right of Appeal)  UKUT 411 decision in relation to the Immigration (EEA) Regulations 2006.
It is not often that there are reported decisions from the Courts and Tribunals looking in depth at the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) category and even less frequent that the Tribunal considers the genuine entrepreneur test (For previous cases about genuineness see here or here). These cases are important, because while the Home Office produce guidance on the category, it is through the Tribunal decisions that we see independent reviews of how, in practice, the Home Office are and how they should be interpreting their Immigration Rules.
The ‘Genuine Entrepreneur’ test was introduced in 2013, and is a discretionary element of the otherwise fairly objective Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) application.
Imagine your case management hearing in the Immigration and Asylum Chamber taking place in a fully virtual courtroom, a Microsoft built prototype. Well, it is a possibility come this October. Home Office Presenting Officers or opposing counsel, Judges, HMCTS staff, your barrister and/or solicitor will all appear remotely by audio or video conference. It’s likely to be less intimidating than you might imagine: video links and telephone conference technology have been well tested in legal cases across the jurisdiction. These virtual hearings will apparently only take place where the tribunal considers that it is in the interests of justice. Unfortunately, as this is a pilot scheme, if you are chosen, you may end up being the subject of its testing phase.
A previous blog Home Office sets out Grenfell Tower Policy for survivors and directly affected individuals, 6 July 2017, analysed the directions given to caseworkers in the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire in West London in June of this year.
In Bilal Ahmed, the Court of Appeal concluded that an appeal under the EEA Regulations against a decision to refuse to issue an EEA document does not prevent the removal of the appellant where there is no other basis of stay. In other words, the appeal does not have suspensive effect.
Often, individuals need to make a visit to the UK at the request of their employer or to conduct some of their own business in the UK. However, the Immigration Rules and Guidance can be a little overwhelming or confusing for people who are trying to understand if it is possible for them to enter as a visitor and undertake the activities that they intend, or whether it is necessary to obtain a different type of visa to ensure that they do not breach any conditions of their stay.
If you are an employer seeking to recruit a non-EEA national worker, hiring a Tier 2 migrant may seem like a complex process. We have outlined below 5 things which could be helpful to know as you embark on the process of hiring a Tier 2 migrant:
In light of the Supreme Court judgment in MM (Lebanon) & Others v SSHD  UKSC 10 the financial requirement set out in Appendix FM has changed substantially.
Regulation 9 of the Immigration (EEA) Regulations 2016 took effect from November 2016, and sets out the criteria for when family members of British citizens can rely on the Regulations. It restricted the already tight approach of the 2006 Regulations.
As is well known, Tier 1 (Investor) visa holders must, within 3 months of entering the UK, make a substantial financial investment by purchasing UK Government bonds, share capital or loan capital in active and trading UK registered companies. Many Tier 1 (Investor) visa holders, seeking to balance risk and return, invest wholly or partly in UK Corporate Bonds, often on the advice of investment managers. However few, it would seem, are aware of a provision of the Immigration Rules which, unless addressed carefully, could result in their extension or settlement applications being refused.
Croatia has not yet been a member of the EU for five years, but it is nonetheless possible for Croatians and family members to acquire the right of permanent residence.