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The Home Office have reviewed visa fees again. The new fees are as follows.

Article 8 now extended to Points Based cases

The Upper Tribunal has confirmed in a recent case called CDS (PBS "available" Article 8) Brazil [2010] UKUT 305 that Article 8 (the human right to a family and private life in the UK) is applicable in Points Based cases. . To be fair, the proposition was first made in the now famous case of Secretary of State for the Home Department v Pankina [2010] EWCA Civ 719, although the CDS case is the first case that gives clear guidance on how to apply Article 8 in a Points Based case.

The resurrection of the 7 year concession?

On the 9th December 2008, the Home Office announced the withdrawal of the 7 year concession with effect from that date. The 7 year concession had been an extremely useful policy which for several years allowed some families with dependent children (in particular children under 18 years who were not leading an independent life) to be granted indefinite leave to remain if the children had been living in the UK for at least 7 years.

Home Office shifts goalposts

The Home Office have amended the Immigration Rules in what appears to be a desperate scramble to stay ahead of the outcome in Secretary of State for the Home Department v Pankina [2010] EWCA Civ 719. Pankina is the Court of Appeal decision which said that an applicant under the Points Based Scheme will now only need to demonstrate that they had £800 at the time of their application for purposes of proving adequate maintenance, and not for three months as previously required by the Immigration Rules.

Family reunion for over 18 children

Under the Family Reunion provisions, UK refugees are entitled to bring to the UK their pre-flight family. 'Pre-flight family' means the spouse to whom the refugee was married or children born to him before he fled to the UK.

For children, one of the key requirements to be met by a person seeking leave to enter to join a parent who has been granted asylum under the family reunion provisions is that the child must be under 18 in age.

Victory in Points Based System appeal

On 23rd June 2010, the Court of Appeal handed down a hugely important and long awaited decision regarding Points Based System (PBS) cases. In Secretary of State for the Home Department v Pankina [2010] EWCA Civ 719, the Court of Appeal eliminated the requirement that in order to prove adequate maintenance, an applicant under the Tier 1 (Post-Study Work) Migrant scheme must show that they have kept L800 in savings for at least three months prior to the date of application.

Immigration under the new government

The Conservative-Lib-Dem coalition government has announced a raft of possible changes to immigration.
Here is a brief over-view of the main proposals.

Further changes to UK Student visa

A number of significant changes will be introduced in the UK immigration regime in 2010. Here, I will only highlight the proposed changes to the student visa category under 4 heads as follows;

British citizenship can be lost

The recent case of KB (para: 320(7A): "false representations") Albania [2009] UKAIT 00043 demonstrates a typical situation in which a person may be deprived of British citizenship. In this context, reference is made to British citizenship obtained through naturalisation or registration.

14 year long residence rule relaxed

This is a short note on a recent decision handed down on 19th January 2009 by the Court of Appeal which clarifies the 14 year rule. The case is ZH (Bangladesh) v SSHD [2009] Civ 8.

Family reunion not available to all refugees

A recent decision in MS & Ors (Family Reunion: 'in order to seek asylum') Somalia [2009] UKAIT 00041 has been criticised in some quarters for creating two classes of refugees.

UK Visa on basis of access to children

Jermaine, a Jamaican male, came to the UK as a dependant of his wife who has Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) in the UK. Jermaine was given 2 years leave to enter the UK and brought with him the couple's two minor children. The marriage failed during the two year probationary period due to the unreasonable behavior of the wife. Jermaine does not want to return to Jamaica and wants to know what his immigration options are.

Home Office applications, deadlines, and bounced cheques.

The case of R (on the application of Teisha Forrester) v SSHD [2008] EWHC 2307 (Admin), decided by Mr Justice Sullivan is the latest in a string of recent decisions that have pushed the envelope in Article 8 (family life) cases. The claimant, Mrs Teisha Forrester, a Jamaican national, applied for settlement as the spouse of a person settled in the UK. She was married to a person who had been settled in the UK, following a grant of indefinite leave to remain, for over 30 years. Their daughter was a dependant on her application.

Chikwamba applied in childless families' cases

The Court of Appeal recently passed a very important decision called MA (Pakistan) [2009] EWCA Civ 953. It related to the application of the Chikwamba principles in childless families.

Court of Appeal gives hope to married asylum seekers

"So what on earth is the point of sending her back? Why cannot her application simply be made here?"

These are the telling words of Lord Scott of Foscote, one of the 5 Lord Justices who sat and passed the landmark and generous ruling in Chikwamba v SSHD [2008] UKHL 40.

Jail sentences and use of forged documents.

The Court of Appeal's Criminal Division recently passed a useful decision in the case of R v. Pangetti and Anor [2008] EWCA Crim 3120. This case deals with convictions for the use of false passports and whether this should always attract a jail sentence.

The case involved a Zimbabwean couple who were failed asylum seekers.

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