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Changes To Immigration Laws

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

GMB calls for urgent review as changes to immigration laws cause confusion and harm families.

Clearly there needs to be an investigation into how this situation has been arrived at and the multitude of law changes and shoddy bureaucratic claptrap, so that this couple can continue to live together happily in the UK as man and wife says GMB.

GMB is backing Hayes residents Derek and Kalpana Rawlings for a review of the Home Office decision that could see Kalpana being deported on 8th January. The couple are still awaiting a reply to an appeal to the Prime Minister send on 21st December for him to reverse a Home Office decision. Mr Rawlings a long serving GMB Branch Secretary and 20 years employee of G4S believes that a serious error has been made resulting from a category of official failures and constant changes to UK immigration law that makes the whole system incomprehensible. See the text of Mr Rawlings letter in Notes to Editors 1.

In his letter Mr Rawlings cites the 97 changes to immigration laws since 1994 as indicative of how immigration case law regularly causes confusion, with policy changes introduced so rapidly that even officials cannot keep up. This belief is reflected in a statement by Lord Leicester in Hanzards and extract of which follows here. See link for full House of Lords debate.

Lord Lester of Herne Hill: My Lords, perhaps I may add to what my noble friend has just said. My wife is an immigration and asylum judge and from time to time she and her colleagues are sent for training in order to try to understand what the Home Office is producing. I hope that she does not mind my mentioning this, but she and her colleagues find themselves in a quite terrible situation in trying to understand the Kafkaesque material that flows out of the Home Office. There are two people in the Chamber who will understand these amendments-one is the Minister and the other is my noble friend Lord Avebury. I do not understand them. For me to understand them I would have to read the three different Acts of Parliament, all of which are put in play in these amendments, and I would have to listen and read again what has been said by the Minister. The net result would be that we will continue to have a network of regulations that it is quite impossible for ordinary men and women, including Members of this House, to understand unless and until the Home Office does what we have repeatedly asked it to do for the past many years-to consolidate the legislation into a single measure that can be understood by users, whether they be would-be immigrants, refugees or asylum seekers, or lawyers, NGOs or the public. At the moment it is almost incomprehensible and lacks, therefore, legal clarity. I very much hope that, when I do understand these amendments, what I have just said may be listened to by the Home Secretary and other Ministers who will instruct their officials, please, to come up with consolidating legislation that we can understand.

Mr and Mrs Rawlings have been married since 12 December 2009. They have lived happily in the UK since then.

Paul Kenny, GMB General Secretary said, “Derek’s account of the catalogue of official failures that have lead to the threat to deport Kalpana is truly shocking.

It appears that we are in danger of our frequently changed immigration laws splitting the family apart. The ceaseless changes are making the law incomprehensible.

Clearly there needs to be an investigation into how this situation has been arrived at and the multitude of law changes and shoddy bureaucratic claptrap, so that this couple can continue to live together happily in the UK as man and wife says GMB.

We are waiting to hoping to hear positively from the Prime Minister in the next few days.”


Contact: Derek Rawlings, GMB A37 Branch Secretary 07534 849 129 or GMB Press Office on 07974 251 823. Mr and Mrs Rawlings are available for interview and photographs.

Notes to Editors

Dear Mr Prime Minister,

With tears in my eyes and anger in my sole this Christmas I am writing to you, as my heart is breaking at the though of this government making a very wrong and unfair decision in regards to my wife’s further leave to remain.

Under your leadership and with utter madness the lunatics have taken over and are destroying our great nation from within.

This must stop immediately.

You are the Prime Minister how can you let this happen.

I am holding you personally responsible for this decision as the man in charge. I am a British citizen who paid my taxes all my working life and am a person who have always strived for the good of all. Is it a crime to fall in love with a non EU citizen, why has this government failed to recognise my right to have a private family life, a love life in the country i was born?

Love and family has no boundaries, the value of this to society is immense but it appears to be invisible you. Despite how i can further comment, the blind eye your government has given to human beings in this country is shocking*

Why does your government make rules that penalise genuine relationships and have a system in place that even qualified solicitors have trouble keeping up with. (why is it your government always want to have their cake and eat it).

I have been happily married since the 12 December 2009 enjoying all the benefits of being in a relationship with the one I Love. I am very angry and upset by the decisions taken by bureaucrats in the Home Office that will ultimately destroy any chance I have to a family and home life.*

I have lived and worked in the United Kingdom all my life. I have also invested nearly twenty years service with my current employer G4S; I have a very good working relationship, which I have built over the years in the capacity of GMB Lead Representative. I am also the European and National Representative for Aviation on behalf of the UK Employee’s.*

I have a large family in the UK who we have a great relationship with, my wife is a part of that family and the bonds are very strong. They are her family as well!

My wife was granted leave to remain as my spouse from 20th May 2010 to the 20th May 2012.*

On the 18 May 2012 Visa Logic applied on behalf of my wife for further leave to remain as the spouse of a person present and settled in the UK. We received an acknowledgment letter from the UKBA on the 31st May 2012 informing us that the application had been passed to a casework unit.

On the 21st June 35 days later Visa Logic received a letter from the UKBA, which was dated the 18th June, stating that the application was invalid due to the specified fee not being paid. No valid reasons of why the fee was not processed. The explanation they set out is as follows:

“Although a credit/debit card have been provided, the issuing bank rejected the payment. There may have been insufficient funds in the account or the details provided did not match the information held by the bank. For security reasons the cardholders name, address or expiry date and the issue number supplied on the payment form must correspond to the information held by the issuing bank. If the details fail to match the bank will reject the payment.”

I contacted the credit card Company to enquire why payment to UKBA was rejected and I was informed that no payment was rejected and I had sufficient funds. If we had been made aware and the application was subsequently invalid and rejected on the 18th May 2012 because they could not process the fee, we could have rectified this within a day.

Although the Home Office failed to provide proof that the application was invalid.

The Home Office took 35 days to notify us that there was a problem with the payment. We received this notification from the UKBA on the 21st June 2012.

On the 22nd of June 2012 the application was resubmitted. This time the payment was taken on the 27th June only 5 days later.

On July 2nd 2012 we received an acknowledgment letter from the UKBA informing us that the application had been passed to a casework unit.

We then waited patiently until receiving a biometrics invitation letter from the Home Office on the 29th August 2012. We completed the biometric test on the 3rd September 2012 without causing any delay.*

On the 30th November 2012 the Home Office contacted us again, this time to request further documentation. On the letter they stated that this information needed to be provided by the 27th December 2012. We submitted the requested documentation on the 7th December 2012.*

On the 20th December 2012 we received the Notice of Decision from the Home Office Refusal to grant leave to remain with the statement,

“Your previous leave to remain expired on the 20th May 2012. As you did not make a valid application, i.e. with the appropriate fee payment before your leave to remain expired, you did not hold limited leave to remain in the United Kingdom at the time of this application. You do not therefore meet the requirements in terms of leave set out in paragraph 284(i):*

The system that the Home Office has in place clearly does not work they themselves have caused a huge delay and put my wife in the position where her valid leave to remain expired at no fault of her own. The home office took a very unfair and harsh decision at the cost of my wife and without proper consideration of my human rights.

The Home office fee was not processed immediately on receipt of the application and before an acknowledgment letter has been sent. With failure to collect the fee in an application made in time, there should be prompt communication with the applicant to afford an opportunity to check or correct the billing data.

My wife was:

Not given an opportunity to check the accuracy of the billing data and re-submit the application before her leave had expired;

Not given the opportunity to check whether the billing data was accurate after the processing has failed;

Not given any evidence-based specific reason why the processing has failed.

The consideration of this application is unfair. The unfairness of payment procedures for postal applications. The harsh decision with no due consideration to any natural rights of justice, human rights or under article 8.

The decision for refusal has caused great distress for my family, she has no other family ties in South Africa besides a 78 year old grandmother who lives on government benefits. My wife has no suitable accommodation in South Africa. We built a life here with strong family ties and great friends. I have nearly 20 years service with my company. It would not be possible for my wife and myself to move to South Africa.

I believe that the Government is abusing the trust and power the electorate has given them and is using the power for their own benefit, without giving any consideration to the normal person in the street. Your average Human Being.

The regulations have always been very strict around immigration but it appears that it no longer matters if the relationship is genuine or the criteria are met.It is purely based on finances and the government will use any clause they can to obstruct honest peoples applications.*

We actually meet all the criteria under both the old rules and the new ones, which came into effect on the 9th July 2012. It appears the home office are using some of the new rules and avoiding others with a very harsh and unfair consideration.

It is an absolute disgrace that an honest hard working couple can be subjected to this kind of treatment by a government that claims to have the interests of the nation at heart. We are all human beings and can very easily make mistakes, but very few would lead to such drastic consequences.

This government doesn’t know the people and are very disconnected; they are trying to curtail the immigration from Non EU countries at the detriment of our multicultural society imposing unnecessary restrictions. Allowing only the wealthy access to our shores.

I urge you to assist me by writing to the Home Office in support of my case as soon as possible. Hopefully together we can stop this lunacy and ensure that this decision is overturned. UKBA case reference P1191423.

Technicalities should never be a decision maker when it involves human rights.

I am a hardworking taxpayer who has spent a considerable amount of my working life helping others in the workplace. All I want is to be able to have a family and home life with the woman I love.

Kind Regards

Derek Rawlings, A37 Branch Secretary, GMB London Region, 07534 849129*

2 List of changes to UK Immigration Laws since 1994.

The Home Secretary has made the changes hereinafter stated in the rules laid down by her as to the practice to be followed in the administration of the Immigration Acts for regulating entry into and the stay of persons in the United Kingdom and contained in the statement laid before Parliament on 23 May 1994 (HC 395) as amended. The amending statements were laid before, or presented to, Parliament on 20 September 1994 (Cm 2663), 26 October 1995 (HC 797), 4 January 1996 (Cm 3073), 7 March 1996 (HC 274), 2 April 1996 (HC329), 30 August 1996 (Cm 3365), 31 October 1996 (HC 31), 27 February 1997 (HC 338), 29 May 1997 (Cm 3669), 5 June 1997 (HC 26), 30 July 1997 (HC 161), 11 May 1998 (Cm 3953), 8 October 1998 (Cm 4065), 18 November 1999 (HC22), 28 July 2000 (HC 704), 20 September 2000 (Cm 4851), 27 August 2001 (Cm5253), 16 April 2002 (HC 735), 27 August 2002 (Cm 5597), 7 November 2002 (HC 1301), 26 November 2002 (HC 104), 8 January 2003 (HC 180), 10 February 2003 (HC 389), 31 March 2003 (HC 538), 30 May 2003 (Cm 5829), 24 August 2003 (Cm 5949), 12 November 2003 (HC 1224), 17 December 2003 (HC 95), 12 January 2004 (HC 176), 26 February 2004 (HC 370), 31 March 2004 (HC 464), 29 April 2004 (HC523), 3 August 2004 (Cm 6297), 24 September 2004 (Cm 6339), 18 October 2004 (HC 1112), 20 December 2004 (HC 164), 11 January 2005 (HC 194), 7 February 2005 (HC 302), 22 February 2005 (HC 346), 24 March 2005 (HC 486), 15 June 2005 (HC 104), 12 July 2005 (HC 299), 24 October 2005 (HC 582), 9 November 2005 (HC 645), 21 November 2005 (HC 697), 19 December 2005 (HC 769), 23 January 2006 (HC 819), 1 March 2006 (HC 949), 30 March 2006 (HC 1016), 20 April 2006 (HC 1053), 19 July 2006 (HC 1337), 18 September 2006 (Cm 6918), 7 November 2006 (HC 1702), 11 December 2006 (HC 130), 19 March 2007 (HC 398), 3 April 2007 (Cm 7074), 4 April 2007 (Cm 7075), 7 November 2007 (HC 28), 13 November 2007 (HC 40), 19 November 2007 (HC 82), 6 February 2008 (HC 321), 17 March 2008 (HC 420), 9 June 2008 (HC 607), 10 July 2008 (HC 951), 15 July 2008 (HC 971), 4 November 2008 (HC 1113), 9 February 2009 (HC 227), 9 March 2009 (HC 314), 24 April 2009 (HC 413), 9 September 2009 (Cm 7701), 23 September 2009 (Cm 7711), 10 December 2009 (HC 120), 10 February 2010 (HC 367), 18 March 2010 (HC 439), 28 June 2010 (HC 59), 15 July 2010 (HC 96), 22 July 2010 (HC 382), 19 August 2010 (Cm 7929), 1 October 2010 (Cm 7944), 21 December 2010 (HC 698), 16 March 2011 (HC 863), 31 March 2011 (HC 908), 13 June 2011 (HC 1148), 19 July 2011 (HC 1436), 10 October 2011 (HC 1511), 7 November 2011 (HC 1622), 8 December 2011 (HC 1693), 20 December 2011 (HC 1719), 19 January 2012 (HC 1733), 15 March 2012 (HC 1888), 4 April 2012 (Cm 8337), 13 June 2012 (HC 194), 9 July 2012 (HC 514), 19 July 2012 (Cm 8423), 5 September 2012 (HC 565) and 22 November 2012 (HC 760).


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