MAC Skewers Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visas

The home secretary’s advisers – the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) – have found that the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa route under the Points-Based System (PBS) is being used by “low quality businesses”. MAC, which consists of a publicly appointed chairman and four other independent economists, is adamant that it “found substantial evidence” for reaching this conclusion and opined that industry experts and leaders ought to be selecting entrepreneurs rather than civil servants. These criticisms are a further jolt to the UK’s high global ranking (6th) for entrepreneurship and opportunity because just two weeks ago while giving evidence to the Home Office Select Committee, Professor David Metcalf CBE, MAC’s chairman, hammered Tier 1 (Investor) “golden” visas as “absolutely not fit for purpose”. The UK is giving settlement and citizenship rights away to foreign elites he protested. British residents are footing the bill and he considers it pointless to reward foreign businessmen investing in gilts with accelerated settlement rights and citizenship. Metcalf also approves of the onerous minimum income requirements for spouses and partners under (the inexorable) Appendix FM of the Immigration Rules, which cannot be met by half of the UK’s population and are now being litigated in the Supreme Court – the court of last resort and the highest appellate court in the land.

Irrespective of the hardship caused by the harshness of the family migration rules, Malthusians such as Metcalf and Mrs May – who symbolise nothing short of a “population police” – must feel vindicated by recent estimates released by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) that Britain’s population will rise by 10 million over the next 25 years, and net migration will drive two-thirds of this growth. This figure makes a striking contrast with the rest of Europe as a whole where population is expected to rise at a rate of 3% in comparison with the UK where the rate is predicted to be 15%. The ten-year projection is that the UK population will rise by 4.4 million with the result that England’s population could swell as much as 7.5% by 2024. These trends suggest that the UK will leave France and Germany behind to become Europe’s most populous country by Continue reading

Posted in Appendix FM, Economy, Employment, Entrepreneurs, Immigration Rules, PBS, Tier 1 | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Former IRA Man Loses Supreme Court Appeal

R v McGeough (Appellant) (Northern Ireland) [2015] UKSC 62 (21 October 2015)

In this appeal from a judgment of the Court of Appeal in Northern Ireland – given by Morgan LCJ, Higgins and Girvan LJJ, [2013] NICA 22 (7 May 2013) – Lord Neuberger (President), Lord Kerr, Lord Hughes, Lord Toulson and Lord Hodge dismissed Terence Gerard McGeough’s appeal and their Lordships held that Council Directive 2005/85/EC (the Procedures Directive) did not help him in establishing that information contained in his asylum application (August 1983) in Sweden was protected from disclosure in his criminal trial (November 2010) in the UK. This unusual case involves the activities of the Irish Republican Army (IRA) and boasts quite unique facts. On 13 June 1981 McGeough was badly injured in an attack he mounted on the instructions of the IRA, along with another republican militant, in County Tyrone against Samuel Brush – a postman and also a member of the Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR). Expecting an attack on his life, Brush had been wearing a bulletproof vest. He also had a Smith and Wesson revolver for personal protection. Despite being hit by several bullets, Brush returned fire and injured McGeough who needed to have a .38 bullet surgically removed from his body.

Although in the Republic of Ireland, Monaghan is not far from Aughnacloy in the townland of Cravenny Irish, the spot near which the attack on Brush took place in a remote part of County Tyrone in Northern Ireland. McGeough’s critical condition meant that to cope with the gunshot wound to the chest, he was airlifted from Monaghan and admitted to a Dublin hospital. When he was returned to a hospital in Monaghan, despite being under police guard he managed to escape on 27 June 1981 and made his way out of the country soon thereafter. Three decades later on 18 February 2011, at Belfast Crown Court Stephens J convicted McGeough of attempted murder, possession of firearms with intent to commit an indictable offence, and two counts of membership of the IRA (a proscribed organisation) from 1 January 1975 until 14 June 1981. McGeough was sentenced to a 20-year prison term but served less than two years under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement 1998, he was released in January 2013. Continue reading

Posted in Asylum, British Bill of Rights, Disclosure, ECHR, European Union, Human Rights Act, Immigration Rules, Refugee Convention, UKSC | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Supreme Court Allows Evidential Flexibility Appeal

On 14 October 2015, a generous Supreme Court allowed four appeals in as many judgments. In Gohil [2015] UKSC 61 and Sharland [2015] UKSC 60, among other things, “opening the floodgates” the court held that Varsha Gohil and Alison Sharland were entitled to have their divorce settlements reopened and seek new payouts because their former husbands had concealed vital financial information during their divorce cases. In Shahid [2015] UKSC 58, the court found that the appellant – who was convicted of the racially-aggravated abduction and murder of a 15-year-old boy – was segregated unlawfully during three separate periods totalling 14 months and that his article 8 rights had been violated. And in the immigration case of Mandalia [2015] UKSC 59, holding that the government’s “high level of pedantry” was “misplaced” the court unanimously allowed a Tier 4 (General) student’s appeal and quashed the refusal of his visa extension application. Presently aged 33, an Indian national, Mr Manish Mandalia entered the UK as a student in February 2008. His visa was extended until 9 February 2012. With just two days to spare, on 7 February 2012 he sought to renew his leave to continue his studies but his application was refused because his bank statements were not as specified by the rules.

Pursuing a two-year certified accountancy course, Mandalia submitted his application with evidence that he had held at least £5,400 for a consecutive period of only 22 days ending no earlier than a month prior to the date of his application whereas the rules underpinning his application exacted that his bank statements needed to show that he had held the said amount for a consecutive period of 28 days. He complained that the evidential flexibility policy, which allowed him to cure his mistake before his application was refused and a decision to remove him was made, was not applied to him. The question for Lady Hale DPSC and Lord Clarke, Lord Wilson, Lord Reed and Lord Hughes JJSC was whether the home office acted unlawfully in refusing Mandalia’s application without first inviting him to provide a further bank statement or statements which showed that he had also held at least £5,400 throughout the missing/preceding six days? Continue reading

Posted in Article 8, Immigration Rules, Legitimate Expectation, PBS, Students, Tier 4, UKSC | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Tier 1 Investor Visas ‘Not Fit For Purpose’

According to Professor David Metcalf OBE, Tier 1 (Investor) visas are “absolutely not fit for purpose” and he said the UK derives “absolutely no gain” from the operation of this golden system of immigration and citizenship for wealthy individuals. Quite paradoxically, these revelations, made by the chair of the independent Migration Advisory Committee (MAC), come off the heels off the government’s concerns that criminals are using the buoyant London property market to conceal their ill-gotten gains. Under fire from the Home Affairs Select Committee on Tuesday 20 October 2015, Metcalf also admitted before MPs that the home secretary failed to consult him prior to launching her failed bid to reduce net migration to the tens of thousands. Things are made even more scandalous by the fact that the British taxpayer is doling out huge sums of money to potentially dodgy foreign businessmen and oligarchs who invest in gilts and are recklessly rewarded with accelerated settlement rights and citizenship over and above the interest money earned from investing in government bonds. Interestingly, Metcalf also backs the controversial minimum income requirements for spouses and suggests a “minimum gross income figure to support a two-adult family of between £18,600 and £25,700”.

So-called Tier 1 “golden visas” are fashionable among the Chinese and Russian elites and Chinese investors (more than 350 in 2013-2014) using the scheme are increasing at an exponential rate. Although the scheme brings billions to the UK in investment its weaknesses are all too apparent to MAC and Transparency International says that the visas are being used to launder money. Metcalf is very concerned that the home office is handing settlement rights out to rich individuals and he also thinks that the UK is paying foreigners for the privilege of acquiring British citizenship. Metcalf’s claims could not have come at a more inopportune moment because the Chinese president Xi Jinping is visiting the UK on a four-day state visit and the two countries have just signed business deals worth £40 billion. The seriousness surrounding the deal-making was so profound that even Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn succumbed to pressure and decided not to engage in political grandstanding by upsetting Xi Jinping – who was clear that opportunity may knock just once and had played hard to get with president Obama Continue reading

Posted in China, Citizenship and Nationality, Immigration Rules, Judicial Review, MAC, Pakistan, PBS, Settlement, Tier 1 | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Tier 1 Exceptional Tech Talent Visas

During colonial times, British bayonets and bullets butchered entire populations. The British were notorious for blowing people to bits at the cannon’s mouth. But now British battalions are chicken to pull the trigger in the battlefield against baddies such as the Taliban. So they want a British Bill of Rights to solve the problem. Ministers want to be able to detain people such as Serdar Mohammed – accused of being a bomb-maker – indefinitely in some Afghan hellhole but since the courts said otherwise, the government now wants to derogate from the “ludicrous” European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) so that the British war machine can confidently enter war zones with a “licence to kill”. Because it has cost the government £150 million to defend thousands of judicial reviews and compensation claims arising out of British misconduct in Iraq and Afghanistan, action is being taken to discipline lawyers making bogus claims and “two human rights firms” have been referred to the regulator to “end the human rights farce”. As promised in Theresa May’s recent speech, rogue lawyers will no longer be allowed to misuse human rights but the army will be permitted to indulge in abuse and torture. Forget human rights, turn to tech!

Although we have entered an era when the kid gloves have come off, there is a brighter side to life outside the ECHR and asylum and the global war on terror. Notably, despite all the gloom and doom, a few foreigners are still welcome but the deal is that you must be an asset to the UK. Clever foreign technology specialists are in high demand and the Tier 1 (Exceptional Tech Talent) scheme caters to them. Tech City UK, the taxpayer-funded organisation designed to promote the UK’s digital technology sector, received 19 applications and approved 17 but it has an annual capacity of 200 annual places. Since there was too much red tape for small companies to cut through, there will be four new ways for foreign technology specialists to satisfy the criteria. Tech City UK’s mission is to attract and secure world-class talent from outside the European Union (EU) and the Tier 1 (Exceptional Tech Talent) scheme will open on 12 November 2015 and the full criteria and application process will go live on that date. Continue reading

Posted in Afghan War, Business, ECHR, Exceptional Talent, Immigration Rules, Iraq, PBS, Tier 1 | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Theresa May’s New Crusade

Life should be a fairy tale if you are Theresa May but things are not going according to plan in her Alice in Wonderland world. Although economic and social realities negate everything she claimed in her recent speech at her party’s conference, she could not resist declaring another immigration crusade. The fact that she clearly failed in reducing net migration should be a tipping point in the debate because her inability to curb the influx of foreigners signifies the UK’s skills deficit. However, since delegates paid £250 per head to attend the event, she was under pressure to perform. With adrenaline pumping through her veins at the podium, in a state of total euphoria the home secretary again attacked those without hope who have fled terrible predicaments – as ever, to her refugees are fit and wealthy. Although her pronouncements failed to create the narcotic results she was hoping for, one thing is for sure. In light of her speech, all foreigners are evil and immigrant bashing is the new British fad again. However, since bashing “Pakis” is a decades old tradition in the UK, she added nothing new to the debate and only made herself more dislikeable.

Bewildered by the dehumanising way in which British and European politicians have reacted to persecuted people seeking sanctuary, the UN high commissioner for human rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein recently drew parallels with 1938 when the free western world limited its intake of Jews fleeing Nazi persecution and arguably even contributed to the Holocaust. David Cameron’s “swarm” remarks and Theresa May’s maxim that immigration makes it “impossible to build a cohesive society” seemed to be at the forefront of his thoughts but he did not name and shame them out of politeness. The UN official urged a closer examination of history and thought that the use of language, even the use of the word “migrants”, made it appear “as if they don’t have rights.” Protesting that “these are human beings”, Al Hussein called upon wealthy European countries to produce a blueprint for the intake of one million Syrian refugees over the next five years. Continue reading

Posted in Access to Justice, Appeals, Article 8, Court of Appeal, ECHR, Immigration Bill 2015, Immigration Rules, Judges, Judicial Review, UKSC, Women | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Former Rogue UBS Trader Kweku Adoboli Loses Deportation Appeal

In comparison to Tom Hayes (who got 14 years’ imprisonment and is appealing his sentence and conviction) and others being prosecuted for benchmark rigging, it is arguably quite scandalous that UBS rogue trader Kweku Adoboli (who was convicted of two counts of fraud and sentenced to seven years’ imprisonment) was released from prison after spending just a bit over three years behind bars for losing $2.5 billion in unauthorised trading. Ghana-born Adoboli – who travelled the world as a child – is said to be the son of a United Nations official/diplomat. Because of his misconduct, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) understandably wishes to ban Adoboli, who reckoned he had a “magic touch”, from being a regulated person in financial services. But now it has emerged that Adoboli was notified of his liability to deportation and has lost his appeal in relation to the decision to deport him from the UK. The 35-year old Ghanaian national, who has resided in the UK for 23 years but never got around to obtaining British nationality, was released from prison in June 2015 and reportedly found the immigration tribunal’s decision upholding his deportation to be “heartbreaking”. His rogue trading wiped off £2.7 billion ($4.5 billion) from UBS’s share price.

The media suggests that the former public school head boy and University of Nottingham graduate – holding a degree in e-commerce and digital business studies – plans to appeal the tribunal’s decision. It has been reported that the home office only seeks to deport individuals whose sentence is longer than four years (Immigration Rules, Part 13, Deportation and Article 8, paragraph 398(a)) unless they are able to demonstrate otherwise. (A sentence of four years’ imprisonment or more means the person is a serious criminal and “very compelling circumstances” is an extremely high threshold. As a general principle, the greater the public interest in deporting the foreign criminal, the more compelling the foreign criminal’s circumstances must be in order to outweigh it.) However, under paragraph 398(b) the deportation of a person from the UK is conducive to the public good and in the public interest where they have been convicted of an offence for which they have been sentenced to a period of imprisonment of less than four years but at least 12 months. It is common knowledge that anyone who has been convicted of Continue reading

Posted in Article 8, Automatic Deportation, Business, Court of Appeal, Immigration Rules, Tribunals, UKSC | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment