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The UK Border Agency has announced important changes to its published policy on judicial review challenges for cases where they “are seeking to remove people from the United Kingdom”.

The changes to the policy will come into effect on 3 August 2009.

The changes are part of the agency’s drive to establish a “swift end-to-end process” for concluding asylum cases and deporting foreign national prisoners.

Any decision that the UK Border Agency (UKBA), or public body, makes can be challenged in the courts under the process known as ‘judicial review’, if it is believed that the decision was made ‘unlawfully’ or ‘irrationally’ or was otherwise flawed.

Immigration cases should not reach the stage of judicial review until they have been through the entire appeals system.

The change to UKBA policy covers situations where a person’s case has been finally determined and they have exhausted all statutory rights of appeal. If they then issue a claim for a judicial review up to three months after their statutory appeal was concluded, the current policy is normally to suspend their removal.

Under the new policy, the UKBA will normally proceed with the removal, although they will still defer removal in appropriate cases.

In addition, the UKBA are extending the current policy on people who issue a claim for judicial review up to three months after a judge has refused permission on a previous judicial review application.

This revised policy, which came into effect on 30 January 2009, currently applies only to cases where people have been detained. From 3 August it will be extended to include non-detained cases.

These changes in policy will only affect those cases where the claimant has raised nothing new (having lodged the same or virtually identical grounds) to the material that was previously considered or that could reasonably have been raised previously during the statutory appeal.

Any individuals affected by the new policy, and their representatives, will be informed that that the UKBA intend to proceed with removal and that they will therefore need to obtain an injunction in order to prevent their removal.

If you need any immigration advice or help with Settlement, Citizenship, Sponsorship, extending Work Permits, Visa or an appeal against a refusal email: info@immigrationmatters.co.uk or visit www.immigrationmatters.co.uk

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