Another legal victory over the Home Office 10 December 2008. Thousands of skilled migrants are celebrating a second legal victory over the Home Office after being given the go-ahead to challenge retrospective visa changes.
Campaigners HSMP Forum, a non-profit organisation which supports and helps skilled migrants in the UK, has won permission from the High Court to challenge Government rules forcing skilled migrants to extend their visas to five years when they were originally promised permanent settlement in the UK, known as indefinite leave to remain, after four years.
A High Court judge said HSMP Forum "clearly has an arguable case", and threw out Home Secretary Jacqui Smith’s bid to put a brake on proceedings. A full hearing is to take place soon.
Earlier this year, HSMP Forum won a long-running legal battle forcing the Government to repeal changes making it harder for skilled migrants to settle permanently in the UK. The Government subsequently repealed these stricter rules but not the change from four to five years.
Amit Kapadia, executive director of HSMP Forum, which campaigns on various immigration issues, says several people have won individual cases forcing the Home Office to grant them permanent settlement after four years:
"The rule changes we are fighting against have been repeatedly condemned on all political sides, including by the Government’s own MPs, members of the House of Lords, various government and non-Government committees and human rights experts – and, of course, by the High Court.”