UK Immigration Policy: “Sheer Prejudice” and “xenophobic”

UK immigration policy is founded on “sheer prejudice” Alex Salmond, Minister for Scotland, told a gathering of International journalists in Edinburgh. Labour Party member Anum Qaisar described them to the same gathering as “anti-immigration and xenophobic”.

The SNP leader and First Minister of Scotland went on to promise “a very substantial change in immigration rules to work and study in an independent Scotland”. Asked specifically about immigration rules affecting Indian students, he said “We will look to restore and increase the number of Indian students in Scottish universities, which as you may know, has halved over the last four years as a result of the ridiculous restrictions being imposed by the Home Office”.

He continued “The Scottish Parliament… introduced the post-graduate work entitlement… students got automatic entitlement to work in the Scottish economy if they so chose. That was reversed by the Home Office in London, starting under the last Labour government… . Its the result of sheer prejudice, negativity and backward-looking policy from the Westminster government which we shall certainly reverse”.

cf the tone of pre-election immigration debate in the rest of the UK and Europe.

Immigration Lawyer Jeremy Chipperfield, practising from the chambers of Michael Mansfield QC, Chancery Lane, also writes at Immigration Barrister website iBarristersChambers

Entrepreneurs (and other PBS applicants) – Assume Disbelief

In Ahmed and Another (PBS: Admissible Evidence) [2014] UKUT 00365 (IAC) the Upper Tribunal IAC heard a Home Office Appeal of the cases of Pakistan and Nepal nationals who, having been students then post-study migrants applied for leave to remain as Tier 1 Entrepreneur Migrants. Their application was refused by the SSHD (who at this point revealed she didn’t accept the applicants were genuine) but their initial appeal was allowed by the First Tier Tribunal, after hearing the Appellants’ respond to the SSHD’s allegation.

The Home Office further  appealed, complaining that the Judge, in considering material which had not been produced with the original application , had acted contrary to Section 85A Nationality Immigration and Asylum Act 2002. The Upper Tier rejected the argument that in the actions complained of the judge was assessing the genuineness of the scheme the parties wished to pursue, rather than considering the acquisition of points under the PBS generally, and was therefore not prevented from hearing this evidence. Its reasons are stated in the Head Note: Where a provision of the Rules… provides that points will not be awarded if the decision-maker is not satisfied as to another (non-points-scoring) aspect of the Rule, the non-points-scoring aspect and the requirement for points are inextricably linked. As a result, the prohibition on new evidence in section 85A(4) if the NIAA applies to the non-points-scoring aspect of the rule: the prohibition is in relation to new evidence that goes to the scoring of points.  

All of which puts an even greater pressure on applicants to anticipate concerns the Home Office might have about their application (which may not be indicated by the HO at any stage in the process- even where there is an interview) and seek to cover that ground with evidence going beyond that which is required on the face of the application process.

See the case report  by clicking here, or for Free Movement’s take, click here