‘Immigration system seriously flawed and is ruining lives’
The Law Society of England and Wales says failures in the United Kingdom’s immigration and asylum system are undermining the rule of law and having devastating people’s lives.
Official figures released last week revealed that nearly half of appeals are upheld – suggesting that many people are being wrongly refused the right to stay in the UK in initial rulings. The Law Society said this is “clear evidence of serious flaws in the way visa and asylum applications are being dealt with.”
It also warned that Brexit may lead to “possibly the largest single influx of applications in its history”, when EU nationals are required to formalise their status after the UK leaves the European Union.
Currently family members seeking indefinite leave to remain in the UK are each charged £2,297 (€2,650) and these fees are expected to rise.
The Law Society said that errors and delays sometimes force applicants, including children, to wait years for decisions. The Society’s President Joe Egan said: “While they wait their life is on hold: they cannot plan, may not be allowed to work, travel or access a wide range of state support.
“These grave problems in our immigration and asylum system undermine the rule of law, while also damaging our country’s reputation for justice and fairness.”
Meanwhile, more than 60,000 people signed a petition to prevent the deportation of a 31-year old doctor from Singapore, Luke Ong, in Manchester, who has lived and studied in the UK for more than ten years and was five months from becoming a GP. He said the Home Office refused to accept a successful appeal ruling which overturned the Home Office’s decision to deny him permanent residency because his application was 18 days late.
His MP, Manchester Central’s Lucy Powell, said: “The case is ridiculous. He’s not allowed to work at the moment. He is a fantastic young man who wants to have a life here in the UK.”
The Home Office said in a statement: “All visa applications are considered in line with immigration rules and on the evidence provided.
“Dr Ong’s case is currently under appeal and it would be inappropriate to comment further whilst legal proceedings are ongoing”.
You may also be interested in: