Supreme Court Strikes Down Changes To Immigration Rules

Just over a week since far-reaching new immigration rules took effect – which will permanently separate many British citizens or settled residents from their non-European spouses, children and ageing relatives – the home secretary has suffered a severe defeat in the supreme court. In the case of Alvi [2012] UKSC 33, handed down today, the court struck down a previous attempt by the Home Office to introduce substantive immigration requirements through the back door of policy, guidance or instructions, rather than in the body of the immigration rules themselves. As a result, legal commentators anticipate an onslaught of legal challenges to the new rules, which rely extensively on accompanying guidance.