Thu, 19 Jul 2012
A Supreme Court judgement made yesterday could allow individuals, who were refused entry under the governments points-based immigration system as far back as 2008, to overturn their decisions, potentially allowing them to work in the UK and helping reduce the skills gap.
In what was described by chair of the home affairs committee, Keith Vaz, as delivering a hammer blow to the points-based system the judges ruled that ministers could not ban non-European workers from the UK unless the regulations used to reject their claims have been shown to parliament first.
The case involved a Mr Alvi, a man of Pakistani origin, who was refused permission to extend his work permit in 2010. Alvis application was rejected by the Home Office because he did not meet the necessary skill level a requirement set out in guidelines rather than in formal immigration rules.
As a result of the ruling, applicants whose visa claims were turned down as long ago as 2008, when the points-based system was introduced, could now appeal against their decisions. According to immigration lawyers, this would be on the basis that while the immigration rules for the points-based system received parliamentary scrutiny, neither the guidance or the codes of practices used as the basis on which their claims were rejected were considered by parliament.
Jill Gray, head of immigration at Adams Solicitors, tells Recruiter: This is good news for companies and individuals who have the resources to fund litigation and may mean that staff who are needed to fill skills gaps can now successfully challenge refusals. The guidance which has not received scrutiny will now have to go before parliament in order to be enacted into the immigration rules.
Caroline Williams, associate in the immigration team at Charles Russell, tells Recruiter: This case may well provide ammunition for many immigrants not just Tier 2 (general) immigrants to challenge refusals, if the reason given for the a refusal is non-compliance with the relevant published policy guidance or codes of practice.
The Home Office says it will act quickly to meet the requirements of the judgement.