There have been three cases of significant importance within the Administrative Court in March:
Hafeez v Secretary of State for the Home Department
In R (on the application of Hafeez) v Secretary of State for the Home Department  EWHC 437 (Admin) it was found that a decision to certify, under Regulation 33 of the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2016 ‘The Regulations’, the removal of an EEA citizen pending an appeal against removal, was a measure that restricted freedom of movement under Article 27 of The Directive 2004/38 EC. As such the safeguards highlighted in Article 27 applied and therefore the Secretary of State was required to review the personal conduct of the relevant individual and apply an individualised proportionality test.
JS v Secretary of State for the Home Department
In R(on the application of JS) v Secretary of State for the Home Department  EWHC 500 (Admin) the defendant made a negative conclusive grounds decision due largely to inconsistencies within the appellant’s account. The judge was not satisfied that mandatory requirements of the defendants and guidance had been complied with or that the Claimant’s account has been given the required scrutiny. The negative conclusive grounds decision was therefore quashed.
TN v Secretary of State for the Home Department
R (on the application of TN) v Secretary of State for the Home Department  EWHC 481 (admin). The court found that the defendant had not acted irrationally in relying on a local authority age assessment which had found that the claimant was an adult and could, therefore, be detained pending deportation. A later age assessment conducted after the claimant’s release concluded that he was a child and meant his detention had been unlawful and that he was entitled to false imprisonment damages for the entire period that he was held in immigration detention.
There has been also a new statement of changes released with changes to the Immigration Rules. The new statement of changes makes a number of technical changes to Appendix EU of the Immigration Rules. A number of these changes are correcting inconsistencies and errors within the Appendix.
In respect of Surinder Singh there are renewed deadlines included.
A Surinder Singh application is one where a British national exercising treaty rights in another member state and returns to the UK. Because they have exercised their treaty rights in another member state, they are able to use the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2016 rather than domestic legislation contained in Appendix FM. The Surinder Singh route is also available through Appendix EU, however, the relationship between the British national and the third-country national must have started before 23:00 31 December 2020 and they must be living in another member state at that time, exercising treaty rights. If this requirement is fulfilled, then the couple can return to the UK any time before 29 March 2022.
Freezing Tier 2 and Quotas for Tier 5 Youth Mobility
As well as changes to Appendix EU the minimum salary threshold for indefinite leave to remain under Tier 2 will be frozen at £35,800 rather than increasing as previously proposed. There are also quotas contained in the statement of changes for the Tier 5 (Youth Mobility Scheme) which shows that the quotas for Australians, New Zealanders and Canadians has been reduced by 1000 visas per country for the tax year running 2020/2021.
Closures and Immigration Health Surcharge
In terms of the legal updates there have been closures across the globe to visa application centres, notably in China and Iran. And in case you’ve yet to hear, the Immigration Health Surcharge, currently at £400 per year of prospective visa will be rising to £624 in October 2020.
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