- United States
The United Kingdom (UK) Home Office recently announced that it will produce changes in the new enacted immigration rules in the country in response to the Court rulings last week that ruled against the enactment of the law on grounds that it had not been properly presented in the parliament for approval.
The UK government, in a written ministerial statement laid before the parliament, outlined some changes it had made in the immigration law. The United Kingdom Border Agency (UKBA) said that the changes were made in response to the verdict of the particular case, and that the changes are not going to affect the current criteria of the UKBA for considering applications. The Home Office said that the changes will in no way affect the position of those who currently apply for visitor, skilled migrants or family visas.
The office also said that certain guidance will be issued by it for the cases that had been decided in the light of the previous rules, which could date back to 2008.
“The changes will not affect the way we consider applications,” said the Home Office officials, “They support our ongoing work to simplify the immigration system and ensure that existing policy and guidance is transferred into the Immigration Rules where necessary.”
The issue had begin with the decision of the Court in the case of a Pakistani immigrant, who had been refused leave to stay in the United Kingdom on the grounds that his occupational skills were not in correspondence with the list of skilled occupations.
The Court, in the verdict of the case, had said that the list that contains the selected skilled-occupations criteria under the Point-based immigration system (PBS) could not be relied upon as it did not have proper approval of the parliament. The mentioned list was made part of the immigration rules by the Home Office. To this the Court had objected and said that the list did not form the part of the immigration rules as it was among the documents which were not presented in the parliament in the first place with the immigration rules.
The PBS had been implemented back in 2008 to replace the older visa program for employee work permit. It contained a list of certain attributes that had to be met by any non- European Economic Area (EEA) immigrants if they wished to apply for work permits etc. Points were awarded to the applicants on the basis of these attributes and their case was to be decided in the light of these points.
The immigration rules stated that the points are to be awarded to only those persons whose occupations are mentioned in the list of skilled-occupations.
Lord Hope, in his leading statement, had said that it is not in the Home Secretary’s jurisdiction to control the immigration rules through means other than those specified in the rules themselves.
“The rules are not subordinate legislation,” he said. “They are therefore to be seen as statements by the Secretary of State as to how she proposes to control immigration. But the Scope of the duty is now defined by the ‘Immigration Act’. The obligation under the Act to lay statements of the rules, and any changes in the rules cannot be modified or qualified in any way by reference to the common law prerogative to control immigration. It excludes the possibility of exercising prerogative powers to restrict or control immigration in ways that are not disclosed by the rules.”
Tags: England, European Economic Area, Immigration, Lord Hope, Point-based immigration system, UK Home Office, UKBA, United Kingdom, United Kingdom Border Agency