7 Keeping up-to-date with immigration law
Immigration law is one of the fastest-changing areas of legislation in the UK.
Part of the skill and competence of immigration advisers is to be up-to-date with laws, processes and procedures. This takes both time and practice. There is growing emphasis on continuous professional development (CPD), which links to the fitness for practice discussed in later sessions.
Immigration control is maintained through a range of sources:
- primary legislation of the UK Parliament
- secondary legislation
- the Immigration Rules
- Home Office policy
- obligations under international conventions
- the discretion of the Secretary of State to admit a person who does not satisfy any of the above.
All of these sources are amended from time to time. Only the most recently amended versions will represent the current state of the law. However when collecting evidence and considering the applicable rules in any given immigration or asylum case, care must be taken as in some cases it is the law applicable at the date of application that is the relevant law and not, for example, the date on which instructions were given to an immigration adviser.
Tips on keeping up-to-date
Check against the law as it is today (or if refusal reasons are being considered, the law as it was at date of refusal): never presume the law is still the same as when last considered.
Always make a note of the source so it can be referred back to.
It is not realistic for anyone to try and memorise all the details of immigration laws, regulations and rules, past and present. The skill and competence of an immigration adviser comes in knowing where to look to obtain the information needed.
It can be helpful to know which legislation covers which major issue. This can help when searching for the relevant legislation and identifying which part or section deals with the particular issues under consideration.