Imperial College Healthcare Charity

A call to arms!

The Imperial College Healthcare Charity raises and manages charitable funds for all hospitals within our area including Charing Cross, Hammersmith, Queen Charlottes & Chelsea, St Mary’s and Western Eye Hospital. The Charity is independent from the Trust, but works directly with it to support patient care. The funds raised enhance the quality of care people receive across the hospitals as well as enabling the charity to award grants for research projects and fellowships.

For further information click here to visit their website.

Forced Returns to Italy

Image courtesy of

The case of R (Mahlu) v SSHD (CO/11265/2011) involved an asylum applicant challenging the Secretary of State’s decision to remove him to Italy under the Dublin Regulations.

Dublin II Regulations allow EU countries to return asylum seekers back to Italy (or any other European Country) if that is the place they launched their first asylum application.

The quality and conditions of the asylum process are subject to a Court of Appeal hearing which is due to take place in September 2012. The court sided with Mahlu and granted a stay against his removal to Italy pending the decision of the Court of Appeal. The court also decided that this decision can be cited in any other cases in which the Secretary of State is attempting removal to Italy.

More when we have it.

Leave to Remain - Film Academy Opportunity

LTR casting flyer

A message from Ellie Vainker of the Film Academy:


I am e-mailing regarding a Film Academy that will be taking place in September specifically for young asylum seekers and refugees. We are trying to make as many young people as possible aware of the project, so please pass this on to anyone who might be interested.

For the past three years the Leave to Remain team have been running a Film Academy which aims to give unaccompanied minors transferable skills that can be used to gain employment or further education. Drama professionals have mentored students in acting and film production, resulting in short films that are scripted, filmed and edited by our students. Past films, along with testimonials from our graduates, can be seen here: [1].

The Film Academy is part of a larger project set up by Bruce Goodison, a BAFTA-winning Director, who has been working for the past few years with child protection agencies including the Refugee Council and Detention Action. He has scripted a film that tells the story of three young people seeking their Leave to Remain. We will be shooting in the autumn and will be running the Academy again in September out of which we will train and cast the young people in the film. All participants in the workshop will have the opportunity to be involved in the film either as an actor or as an intern in a specific area of production.

I have attached a letter from my Producer which explains a little more about the project, as well as a flyer that can be given to anyone interested in being involved. Please feel free to contact me with any questions you may have.

Many thanks for your help in this endeavour.
Kind regards,

Ellie Vainker [2]
07912 624 068 [3]

Vacancy at Seraphus

Seraphus is pleased to announce the following vacancy.

Vacancy: Immigration Caseworker

Expected Start Date: September 2012

The Vacancy

Seraphus is a law firm specialising in private and publicly funded immigration, asylum and nationality advice. Seraphus was awarded the LSC Quality Mark in June 2012 and is aiming for Lexcel Accreditation in early 2013. Seraphus is committed to maintaining and building its reputation for high quality advice. As a result Seraphus is currently in high demand and is ready to expand the Immigration Team.

The new team member is expected to work on a supervised caseload and cover the team where required. It is expected that the majority of the work will be related to asylum applications and appeals. The new team member is also expected to be enthusiastic and willing to be engaged in the evolution of the immigration team by, for example, writing blog posts for the firm’s website, Facebook page and Twitter feed, developing links with outside organisations, reporting cases, and evolving the team templates. The new team member will be responsible to the Supervisor for fee earning and case management. For other purposes the new team member will be responsible to the Director.

Seraphus is a small, growing practice, as such the new team member will need to be flexible and willing to work in, and around, an expanding firm. The new team member is expected to have excellent case and time management skills, strong organisational skills, and able to work under pressure.

The new team member must be accredited at the IAAS Level 2 or be very experienced at IAAS Level 1 and able to achieve Level 2 accreditation shortly after joining Seraphus.

Competitive salary and dependent on qualifications and experience.

How to Apply

If you are interested in applying for this role, please download the application pack and return it to or post by the closing date.

Recruitment Pack (Version: Microsoft Word)

Recruitment Pack (Version: PDF)

Recruitment Pack (Version: Pages)

Amnesty International needs Bernard Mboueyeu

Dear All,

Paul Dillane, Refugee Researcher - Refugee Programme, of Amnesty International UK is looking for Bernard Mboueyeu, a Cameroonian national featured in an online Guardian piece yesterday.

The Guardian article detailed the plight of Bernard, a Cameroonian national whom the UK Border Agency are trying to remove. Bernard fears persecution and jail on return to Cameroon and this is the second time the UKBA are attempting to remove him. Bernard married Sharon, a charity worker in 2010. Bernard is a step-dad to Sharon’s children and also a step-grandard. The UKBA appears not to dispute this, but have asked Bernard to return to Cameroon, risking persecution and jail, in order to apply for entry clearance to come back as Sharon’s spouse. Quite how they consider that reasonable is another question.

So, if anyone knowns Bernard ask him to contact Paul on 0207 033 1575.


Judicial Reviews in the Upper Tribunal

The House of Lords Committee debated an amendment to the Crime and Courts Bill in order to transfer all immigration, asylum and nationality judicial reviews from the High Court to the Upper Tribunal. Currently the Upper Tribunal is limited to judicial reviews in fresh claim matters. It was agreed that the amendment should proceed. From 02 July 2012 the judicial reviews will be transferred on a staggered basis. The full debate can be read here (column 494 onwards).

Immigration Rule Changes: Overstayers

Following the changes to the family migration routes, the Immigration Rules are being changed from 01 October 2012 to restrict further applications where a migrant has over stayed by more than 28 days.

Currently some categories ‘allow’ further applications where a migrant has overstayed by more than 28 days, which is of particular benefit for those applying under the Points Based System, as well as the following additional categories:

  • all working and student routes;
  • visitors;
  • long residency;
  • discharged HM Forces;
  • UK ancestry routes.

However, from 01 October 2012 this will no longer be possible and those applying after 28 days of overstaying will be refused and will be expected to leave the UK and reapply from abroad. If there are any migrants who have overstayed and are planning to reapply, they should do so ASAP and no later than 27 September 2012.

Immigration Rule Changes: Families

The Secretary of State for the Home Department is at it again, bringing in a raft of changes to the Immigration Rules relating to family members of non-European Economic Area migrants. The SSHD wants to ensure those who come here 'can do so only on the basis of a genuine relationship, that once here they can pay their way, and that they can integrate properly into British society’. If not already, the chances come into force on 09 July 2012.

Now that we've survived the rush to help as many people as possible to apply before 09 July 2012 we can catch our breath, sit down, and update you on what is changing. We suggest you also take a seat...

Income Thresholds for Partners*, plus Children

The SSHD has placed a minimum income threshold of £18,600 for those wishing to sponsor the settlement of a partner in the UK. That threshold will increase with each additional child under the age of 18. With one child it increases to £22,400 and an additional £2,400 for each further child. What a child alone 'will cost' is not yet clear. The financial requirement does not apply to children who are British.

The SSHD will no longer accept financial support from third parties / other family members. Gifts (and therefore not loans) can be included. Savings over and above £16,000 can be used to offset any shortfalls in income.

Where the sponsor is in receipt of any of the following disability-related benefits the applicant will be exempt from the financial requirement:

- Disability Living Allowance.
- Severe Disablement Allowance.
- Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit.
- Attendance Allowance.
- Carer’s Allowance.

The applicant still will be required to demonstrate that they will be adequately maintained and accommodated without direct recourse to public funds.

Settlement for Partners

As it currently stands, when the SSHD allows a partner can join their UK based partner, s/he is given a 2-year residence permit, and before that expires s/he can apply for permanent residence. The changes increase the initial probation period from 2-years, to 5.

For those who have lived together overseas for at least 4-years, they could currently obtain permanent residence from the outset. From 09 July 2012 s/he will be given a 5-year probation period before being eligible to apply for permanent residence.

The 5-year period will be reached in two periods of 30-months, which means two applications, and two UKBA application fees, before being eligible to apply for permanent residence (and another application, and UKBA fee).

An applicant for further leave or indefinite leave to remain on the five year family route who fails the new financial requirement will be granted further leave on the 10-year route if they qualify for it on Article 8 grounds. Those on the 10-year route will not have automatic access to public funds.

Genuine Relationships

The SSHD will publish guidance setting out a list of factors which she associates with a genuine relationship, so if your loving and long-term relationship does not meet these factors it will not be considered genuine.

Adult Overseas Dependent Relatives

Following the changes, adult dependent relatives will only be able to apply from overseas, and not (as they currently can) in-country. And they can only do so if they demonstrate that, as a result of age, illness or disability, they require a level of long-term personal care that can only be provided in the UK by their relative here and without recourse to public funds. It will also only apply to immediate family members, therefore aunts and uncles will be excluded. In changing this route the SSHD pointed out that it was ‘far too easy’ to come here under the current rules.

Life in the UK Test

From October 2013, everyone applying for permanent residence will be required to pass the Life in the UK test and present an English language speaking and listening qualification at B1 (currently A1) level or above. Those aged 65 or over, or have a physical or mental condition that prevents them from meeting this requirement, will be exempt.

Long Residency

The current rules allowing for those who have been in the UK illegally for 14-years to apply for permanent residence will be scrapped and replayed with a 20-year threshold.

Article 8

The new approach to Article 8 has already started. The rules sets out the SSHD's stricter interpretation of Article 8, Family and Private Life, under the European Convention for Human Rights. Unsurprisingly, it contradicts the interpretation of national and European courts. The SSHD asks that the courts interpret Article 8 in-line with the interpretation with the rules. However, the courts will eventual rule in many cases that the rules are incompatible with European law. Inevitably the SSHD will blame the courts for allowing people to remain in the UK, and 'winning' a PR battle.

Discretionary Leave

Discretionary leave is effectively being removed. If someone cannot meet the rules or leave outside of the rules on an exceptional basis (which appears to be so exceptional that the SSHD does not believe it will ever occur) they will be expected to leave to the UK.

Those who applied before 09 July 2012 under any of the rules, but do not qualify for the rules they applied for, will not be considered under the discretionary leave policy. Their application will instead be refused, and any further application must be made on the new rules.


Those with criminal sentences of under 4-years will normally be deported unless (i) they have a child and it is unreasonable to expect that child to leave with the parent and the child cannot be cared for by other family members in the UK, and the child is British / lived here for the last 7 years; or (ii) they have been in the UK lawfully for at least 15 years, while in a genuine and subsisting relationship with a British / settled / refugee / HP partner, and there are unsurmountable obstacles to continuing family life with their partners overseas; or (iii) they have been continuously resident in the UK for at least the last 20 years (excluding any period of imprisonment) and they have no social, cultural or family ties with their country of origin, or they are aged under 25 years and have spent at least half of their life residing continuously in the UK (excluding any period of imprisonment) and they have no social, cultural or family ties with their country of origin. Still with us?

For those with sentences over 4 years, it will only be in 'exceptional circumstances', that family life, the best interests of the child, or family life will outweigh criminality.

The new criminality requirements apply to all cases decided after 09 July 2012, therefore, it does not matter if the application was made before.

What happens if I applied before 09 July 2012?

A person who has been granted or has applied for leave based on the family rules before 09 July 2012 will remain subject to the old rules. But they will nevertheless have to meet the new Life in the UK Test rules (subject to the exemptions).

In Summary

If there is anyone still out there yet to apply, please do so. Now.

*Partner includes fianceĢ(e), proposed civil partner, spouse, civil partner, unmarried partner or same sex partner, unless otherwise stated

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