The following Immigration practice note Produced in partnership with Latitude Law provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:
A statement of policy or practice issued by the Secretary of State for the Home Department (SSHD), acting by UK Visas and Immigration, explains or expands on—but can never limit the scope of—an aspect of the law or Immigration Rules. It may take the form of a policy statement, guidance or staff instruction.
There has been significant growth in Home Office reliance on such documents. Perhaps most notable is the area of sponsor licensing (both Tiers 2 and 4), where policy guidance is everything; there are no corresponding Immigration Rules applicable, and statute has only a limited role to play in the administration of the various licensing schemes. Another example is the published guidance on employer duties in the context of illegal working provisions, founded in statute and the subject of a particularly detailed policy statement. For further details, see the Points-Based System (PBS) sponsorship under Tiers 2 and 5: Employers and Preventing Illegal working topics in Lexis®PSL Immigration.
The principal check upon the scope of such guidance, which is amended frequently, is the usual public law duty to act fairly and consistently. Changes to the statutory appeal regime introduced by the Immigration Act 2014 (IA 2014) mean that judicial review, with its well known deficiencies of scope, is often the only forum for seeking review of the exercise of such powers.
Another significant development was the
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