Immigration Rules – the Law Commission report recommends changes to unworkable Immigration Rules
Recently the Law Commission reported on the UK Immigration Rules. The Law Commission report concludes that the current UK Immigration Rules are ‘overly complex and unworkable’. The report says simplification of the Immigration Rules could save the government an impressive £70m over the next ten years.
Immigration solicitors have long argued that UK Immigration Rules are some of the most complicated rules that UK lawyers have to get to grips with. Most people agree that the Immigration Rules are far from user friendly for anxious visa applicants or vulnerable human rights and Asylum claimants. Anyone familiar with the Immigration Rules understands that there are numerous different procedures, intricate sub-rules and evidential requirements with limited appeal options.
UK Immigration solicitors
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Central London based OTS Solicitors are experts in individual immigration and business immigration law. Whether you are a visa applicant, Asylum seeker or a busy business owner, OTS Solicitors make complicated Immigration Rules user friendly. That way you understand your best Immigration options and the steps you need to take to achieve your Immigration goals. Call OTS Solicitors on 0203 959 9123
The background to the Law Commission report on the Immigration Rules
The Immigration Rules govern whether your visa application or business immigration application will be granted or refused. Depending on the interpretation of the Immigration Rules, your application for a spouse visa or a Sole Representative of an Overseas Business visa or Indefinite Leave to Remain application could be accepted or rejected by a Home Office official. That’s why the Immigration Rules are so important to not just the Immigration solicitors who pour over and study them but also to the individual visa applicants, Asylum seekers and UK business owners wanting to recruit non-EEA workers or ensure that their EU employees are ready for Brexit.
Those Immigration solicitors who are old enough to have been practising Immigration law for over a decade think back fondly to the ‘old days’ when Immigration Rules were complicated but were a lot shorter in number. Over the last ten years the Immigration Rules have quadrupled in length and are a charter to confuse the Immigration applicant who tries to go it alone or uses a solicitor who doesn’t specialise in Immigration law applications, such as British citizenship applications or spouse visa applications.
Whilst many Immigration solicitors and Immigration campaigners have long called for Immigration reform and rationalisation of the current Immigration Rules, it may take the Law Commission’s two hundred and twenty page report comprehensively criticising the poorly drafted Immigration Rules to bring about a change in the law on Immigration.
The Law Commission report doesn’t hold back in its criticism of the current Immigration Rules saying that the content of the UK Immigration Rules can at times be impenetrable and that the frequency of change in Immigration Rules just fuels their complexity. The Law Commission believes that simpler Immigration Rules would save money through less cumbersome applications with a consequent reduction in the number of applications for administrative review, judicial review or appeals to the first-tier tribunal or upper-tribunal and therefore a reduction in the costs of administering the Immigration system.
The Law Commission recommendations
In summary the Law Commission recommends that:
• The Immigration Rules are redrafted to make them simpler and easier to understand through use of plain easy to follow English
• The Immigration Rules are grouped in subject matter, such as Immigration applications by students, family members or workers
• The guidance documents that accompany the Immigration Rules are redrafted so that the number of guidance documents are reduced and therefore the Immigration Rules are easier to follow
• Updates to the Immigration Rules are only made up to two times a year.
It is necessary to summarise the Law Commission proposals as the report runs to two hundred and twenty pages of detailed analysis of the failings of the current Immigration Rules and the requirements for change to make the ‘unworkable’ fit for purpose.
The Home Office has previously said that it plans to introduce an Australian type points based Immigration system to attract ‘the brightest and best talent’ from around the world. The Law Commission report may therefore be good timing as all Immigration solicitors recognise that with Brexit and the end of free movement the current Immigration Rules need a major overhaul. If they could be streamlined and simplified at the same time as the Brexit changes that would be a major bonus for UK businesses, visa applicants and their Immigration solicitors.
The future of the Immigration Rules
You may question whether you should delay your planned Immigration application until the Immigration Rules are changed. Immigration solicitors certainly don’t recommend delay or waiting for the government to act on the Law Commission report. That’s because, all too often, Law Commission reports are ignored.
With the timing of Brexit and the additional workload that will be imposed on Home Office officials who are already tasked with making wholesale Immigration Rule changes, many specialist immigration solicitors are a little sceptical about whether the Home Office has the time and energy to rewrite the Immigration Rules as well as introduce a new points based post Brexit Immigration system. It is a golden opportunity to both write the post Brexit Immigration path for EEA and non-EU citizens as well as getting to grips with the current complex and unworkable existing Immigration Rules. However, Immigration solicitors fear that the opportunity may be missed in the rush to write the post Brexit Immigration rule book.
UK Immigration solicitors
OTS Solicitors are specialists in individual immigration and business immigration law. However complex the Immigration Rules the Immigration experts at OTS Solicitors will explain your best Immigration options and the strategy to achieve your Immigration and UK settlement goals. Call us on 0203 959 9123 or click here.
London based OTS Solicitors are recommended for Immigration law in the two leading UK law directories, The Legal 500 and Chambers Guide to the Legal Profession . OTS Solicitors also have Law Society accredited solicitors status as trusted specialists in Immigration law.