Tag: Asylum

Law Society Immigration and Asylum Accreditation Achieved

We are delighted to announce that several members of Sterling Law team successfully completed assessment under the Immigration and Asylum Accreditation Scheme (IAAS) which covers all immigration and asylum advice and services work.

Our lawyers Josephine Smith, Jelena Ivanova, Nozima Rakhimjonova, Inna Semeniuk and Solomiya Boyar received their successful exam results from Central Law Training in August 2018 and now are in process of completing their membership registrations with the Law Society.

 

What is the Immigration and Asylum Accreditation?

This accreditation was introduced by the Law Society and is a mandatory requirement for immigration practitioners who wish to undertake publicly funded advice and receive payment under a Legal Aid Agency (LAA) contract in the immigration and asylum category.

The immigration and asylum law accreditation provides recognised quality standards for asylum practitioners. It is designed to cover all aspects of asylum law. Accreditation covers all practitioners providing advice under a legal aid contract and can be used as a quality mark for privately funded work.

By completing the assessment, the practitioners showed that they have achieved the required level of competence and knowledge in this area of law as defined by the Law Society.

Please follow our further updates on the immigration and asylum practice on our web-site and Facebook page.

Complex asylum appeal of Ukrainian national subject to conscription won

Sterling & Law Associates LLP continues to receive successful decisions from the Immigration Tribunal in the asylum cases.

Recently, we have successfully appealed a refusal of an asylum claim of an Ukrainian national who was subject to mobilisation in Ukraine and was summoned to join military service. The case was based on the applicant’s fear of returning to Ukraine because of the potential persecution by the Ukrainian authorities for his unwillingness to undertake military service and fight in the Russia-Ukraine war.

The asylum claim of the Appellant went through many difficulties due to his extradition to Hungary and return to Ukraine. This separated the appellant from his dependent wife and two children in the UK.

Upon his return to Ukraine, the Appellant was stopped by the border force and was detained for a short period of time. After release, he continued to receive summons. He had a strong reluctance to serve in the Ukrainian army and returned to the UK to be with his family. The second attempt to claim asylum ended with a refusal.

One of the reasons was the Home Offices`s disbelief that the applicant was still subject to undertake military service. Moreover, it was not accepted that his return to Ukraine would result in persecution or mistreatment. Another reason was the appellant’s failure to claim asylum as soon as he arrived to the UK.

Asylum Grounds

After the assessment of the Home Offices`s Country Guidance and Note dated April 2017 about Military Service in Ukraine, the Immigration Judge accepted that the Appellant fell within the criteria for those who are subject to military service in case of return to the country of origin.

The Judge found that the Appellant holds strong views against signing up for military service because “he is was not trained to fight at the front line and he is concerned what fill happen to his family if he is killed or injured“. Further, the real risk of arrest and persecution upon returning to Ukraine and the potential detention and imprisonment conditions according to VB Case led the Judge to a conclusion that would constitute a breach under the Article 3 ECHR.

On this basis, the appeal was allowed on human rights grounds. The decision was promulgated on 19 March 2018.

 

Asylum & Immigration Assistance

For expert advice and assistance in relation to your particular immigration case, please contact our immigration lawyers on Tel. +44(0)20 7822 8535, Mobile / Viber: 074 6338 2838, by e-mail: contact@sterling-law.co.uk or via our online appointment booking form.

Safe Returns Policy – New Policy Applicable to All Refugees in the UK

All those who applying for settlement protection after completing the appropriate probationary period of limited leave will be subject to a safe return review with reference to the country situation at the date the application is considered. Those who still need protection at that point will normally qualify for settlement.

In March 2017, the Home Office announced that a new policy regarding all individuals with the Refugee Status. The policy has an effect for all existing and future applications for Indefinite Leave to Remain (‘ILR’) as a Refugee (a further step after Leave to Remain application). In order to make an ILR application a refugee has to use ‘SET(P)’ form. The ILR allows refugees to have further access benefits which were granted under the Leave to Remain application, such as, access to public funds, education, or employment. 

Unlike the old policy, the new policy does not grant an automatic grant of settlement.

The exemptions when the automatic grant was not given to the applicant by the Home Office are the following:

Trigger 1: Review on the basis of information relating to actions (or alleged actions) of an individual refugee. In this section, any actions taken by the refugee to be against the security of the UK and/or any (criminal) allegations may take away the Refugee Status from a refugee.

Trigger 2: Review on the basis of a significant and non-temporary change in the conditions in a particular country (cessation). This is where the country from which the refugee is feared from persecution will no longer apply due to significant and non-temporary change in country. This trigger, the Home Office claims, to apply to all applicants of ILR regardless of the timing of their application. This is what is most importantly implied by the new Policy.

A “significant and non-temporary change in country situation” is described in the new policy:

In relation to changes to the country situation, this refers to changes that are significant and non-temporary such that a fear of persecution can no longer be regarded as well-founded. Caseworkers should note that the overthrow of one political party in favour of another might only be transitory or the election of a new government may not automatically mean that there is no longer a risk of persecution for the individual refugee. The changes must be such that the reasons for becoming a refugee have ceased to exist.

This implies that a change of personal circumstances may disqualify a refugee who faces a misappropriate impact on the refugee after they settle, for instance, women refugees who are at risk of domestic violence or FGM. The policy acknowledges such circumstances by stating: 

Caseworkers must consider whether the grant of refugee status was for more than one reason. For example, a woman may have been granted on the basis that she refused to agree to a forced marriage. If she is now married, she may still face a risk of persecution if she has married without the consent of her family. They may also fall within another category of risk and as such, revocation would not be appropriate. Revocation action on grounds that the protection need has ceased to exist should only be considered where there is no risk of persecution or serious harm on any grounds.

Trigger 3: Where the Secretary of State for the Home Department has announced to Parliament a review based on a significant and non-temporary change to a country situation. (No countries as of yet have been announced).

There are also other reasons to refuse settlement for a refugee:

  • There have been changes in personal circumstances
  • The refugee has returned to their country of origin or habitual residence
  • The refugee has obtained a national passport from their home country
  • There is evidence the original decision to recognise refugee status was incorrect
  • Any dependents of the refugee have travelled home or obtained a national passport

Within the application it is important for the refugee to be in the UK during the application period and the application should include all dependents living with the refugee including those who were born in the UK since the moment when the Refugee Status was granted.

The applications prior to March 2017, took under 6 months and resulted in a grant of ILR, however with the Brexit atmosphere and harsher Immigration Law changes, the new policy intends to demonstrate, as Immigration barrister Colin Yeo claims, “either that the Government does not want refugees to integrate or at least that there is no-one sufficiently senior at the Home Office who is responsible for thinking about integration”. In such hostile environment, it has been raised repeatedly that the right legal advice is mandatory to ensure the success of a refugee’s application, however there are a few changes that should be known about the new policy.