19 September 2019 – Just useful and interesting UK & EEA Immigration Law news and updates from the Legal Centre – Open 7 days a week - www.legalcentre.org – +44(0)3300010342, +44(0)7791145023 (WhatsApp/Viber)

>>> Document reduction pilot

Beginning the 16 September 2019 the UKVI has launched a document reduction pilot for Settlement Appendix FM Spouse and Partner applications submitted at 6 VACs in India (New Delhi, North Mumbai, South Mumbai, Jalandhar, Chandigarh and Ahmedabad).

UKVI has confirmed as follows:

1. That they want to ensure this pilot runs as smoothly as possible and involves all parties so they are proposing that it is run in 2 phases starting from 16 September. Phase 1 will trial the pilot in the 6 Indian VACs mentioned above before they extend it out to other locations.
2. That the pilot won’t stop customers submitting additional evidence if they want it to be considered. UKVI will be asking their Commercial Partners to relay to customers that the quantity of relationship documentation isn’t required by UKVI and giving them guidance on what they may like to submit to satisfy what UKVI want to see, remembering that there is no specified evidence requirements when submitting relationship evidence. But if a customer insists on submitting thousands of photos and conversations, then they won’t stop them from doing so.
3. Phase 1 of the pilot is expected to run for around 8 weeks before being evaluated, at which point consideration will be given to extending the pilot before any recommendations are made to make it permanent.
4. With regards to evaluating the pilot UKVI intend to capture data in regards to the conversations that have taken place with customers and what documentation is then submitted, evalu-ate that and evaluate both the customer experience from feedback requests as well as the operational decision making impact.
5. With regards to anticipated next steps the trial will be phased with incremental increases before proposals to make this permanent are considered in 2020.

The text of the notice produced by UKVI for use by the VACs is as follows:

“Scanning documents provided to support Appendix FM Spouse/Partner visa applications

Customers often tell us that it is difficult to be sure which documents to provide in support of a settlement visa application. This can often lead to far too many documents being brought to the visa application centre to be scanned.

With immediate effect, we have instructed our commercial partner, VFS not to scan all documents provided in support of:

- Appendix FM spouse (where the sponsor is in salaried employment and non-salaried employment in the UK) and;
- Appendix FM partner (where the sponsor is in salaried employment and non-salaried employment in the UK) visa applications and;
- Children under the age of 18 years who are applying at the same time as the main applicants as described above.

The documents we will NOT accept are:

• Money Transfers
• Greeting Cards
• Phone Cards
• Letters from friends
• Call Logs
• Wedding Receipts/Invitations
• USB/DVD’s
• Newspaper Clippings

We will only accept a limited number of pages of the following documents:

• Chat history (WhatsApp and social media) - If you wish to submit copies of chat history, you are strongly advised to submit no more than 10 A4 pages of chat. The chat history should demonstrate your relationship over a period of time.
• Photographs - You are strongly advised to submit no more than a total of 10 photographs. You can include photographs from your wedding and/or a range of other photographs sup-porting your relationship over a period of time.

These are the documents that customers most commonly send us. It is not compulsory for you to provide any of these documents. If we need any further information to decide your visa application, we will contact you direct by phone or email.”

>>> CJEU: expulsion of family members who lose right of residence must still comply with EU law: http://curia.europa.eu/juris/documen...1&cid=14628768

The Court of Justice held that a person who had previously been a qualifying family member under Directive 2004/38 but had later lost that status could only be expelled in compliance with Articles 27 and 28. Further, the automatic ban on re-entry was not permitted:

“the expulsion decision that may be made in the case in the main proceedings cannot, under any circumstances, impose a ban on entry into the territory.”

The judgment in Chenchooliah therefore requires a serious rethink on the treatment of family members who have lost their EU law residence rights. The same applies to recognised extended family members. The arguments against expulsion are in fact far broader than previously understood and in the UK go far beyond the very limited provisions at paragraph 276ADE of the Immigration Rules. The UK re-entry ban rules do not on the face of it breach EU law as clearly as do the Irish rules but there is an argument to be had there should a family member seek return after removal.