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Complex immigration rules replaced with ‘raft of appendices’

the Law Society Gazette

28 May 2021


The Home Office has declared that it will build on the progress it made last year to simplify the Immigration Rules – however, solicitors still have their work cut out as they now have to deal with a raft of appendices, the Gazette has learned.

Pressing ahead with its New Plan for Immigration reforms, the department published a legal migration and border control strategy statement this week, which stated that it would continue to simplify the Immigration Rules ‘and make them as user-friendly and accessible as possible, building on the progress made in 2020’.

The document said: ‘Over the course of many years our rules, guidance and templates have become long, complex and repetitive – numbering over 1,000 pages. The Law Commission’s review of the rules identified principles under which they can be redrafted to make them simpler, more accessible and fit for the future. We have begun to address this through the new rules for the points-based system routes which replace the complex rules with rules which are clearer, more consistent and reduce duplication.’

The Home Office said it made ‘significant progress’ on simplifying the rules, including redrafting and simplifying over 500 pages of rules, and simplifying 21 routes, including visitor, student and work routes.

However, solicitor Vanessa Ganguin, managing partner of London-based Vanessa Ganguin Immigration Law, told the Gazette that simplification so far ‘has effectively entailed repackaging already existing categories into separate appendices of the Immigration Rules’.