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UK Law Commission Finds 1,100 Pages Long Immigration Rules Unclear and Unworkable


Back in 1973, Immigration rules fit in just 40 pages, now they are over 1,000 pages long. Based on Law Commission’s report (a 200-odd pages long document per se), the current Immigration rules in the UK are ‘overly complex and unworkable’.


The body recommends that the government updates and clarifies the rules to save over £70 million in execution in the next decade. In the past ten years, the volume of rules has grown by four times.


The rationale behind verbose Immigration rules was to make them more comprehensive and cover all possible cases. In fact, just the opposite has happened. Multiple enhancements and iterations made the rules hard to follow resulting in errors and misspent taxpayer funds.


Law Commission suggests that the rules have to be restructured leaving out the inconsistencies and improving the drafting. The body believes this will save money in the long run and boost the rules’ credibility.


As applicants try to get things done without proper representation, they often fail to understand the rules and the practice. Law Commission points out that the regulations influence millions of people on a yearly basis. With an overcomplicated structure, numerous inconsistencies, repeated wording and overlapping provisions, Immigration rules are intimidating and scarcely efficient, finds the body.


The rule of law implies that applicants understand the requirements so they can act upon them. The Home Office would also benefit should there be clear instructions in place. Faster decision-making, fewer appeals and reviews, easier maintenance would help the UK government save up to £70 million in the course of ten years.


Law Commission suggest a complete overhaul of the rules that would include clear division by subjects. They also recommend capping the frequency of updates to twice a year.


Historically, applicants have expressed little trust in the system. Many believe the Home Office makes things harder on purpose looking to turn down more applications. The Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants also emphasises the pressure caseworkers are subjected to. They often have limited training and are prone to decline applications rather than look deeper into each case.


Astons is a leading global immigration advisory firm with offices in London, Beijing, Moscow, Dubai and Limassol (Republic of Cyprus) and offers residency & citizenship investment solutions worldwide including UKTurkeyVanuatuEU & the Caribbean.


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