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Colin Yeo

  • Call: 2002
Colin Yeo
"His work is excellent and displays unquestionable judgement. He has a firm, comprehensive and thorough knowledge of the complexities of our immigration system."

Chambers UK, 2019

"He writes the blog that all immigration lawyers read"

Chambers UK, 2016

“His work is excellent and displays unquestionable judgement. He has a firm, comprehensive and thorough knowledge of the complexities of our immigration system.”
Chambers UK 2019 (Immigration)

“He is a confident and persuasive barrister with broad knowledge in this area.”
Legal 500 2019 (Immigration)

He is an excellent practitioner who has encyclopaedic knowledge of the area. He has an extraordinary amount of energy and commitment.
Chambers UK 2018 (Immigration)

Very sharp, approachable and good to work with
Legal 500 2017 (Administrative and Public Law)

An esteemed and popular immigration barrister, he is particularly highly regarded by peers and widely recognised for his editorship of the Free Movement blog. His client base is varied, and includes high net worth private individuals, law centres and businesses of all sizes. “Extraordinary energy and commitment.” “Very responsive. He offers highly detailed advice and comprehensive knowledge of case law.”
Chambers UK 2017 (Immigration)

Very dedicated and knowledgeable.”
Legal 500 2016 (Administrative and Public Law)

“He writes the blog that all immigration lawyers read.” “He is an extremely experienced counsel, is very knowledgeable, approachable and committed.”
Chambers UK 2016 (Immigration)

“He has strong knowledge of EU law.”
Legal 500 2015 (Administrative and Public Law)

A sought-after immigration junior who displays exceptional talent when representing refugees, high-profile individuals and businesses at court. He also edits the acclaimed Free Movement blog and Butterworths Immigration Law Service. “He has good knowledge of the broader palette of immigration and can always place the issue in the wider context.” “He has a solid understanding of immigration law, including the very complex matters, and is able to deal with things promptly.”
Chambers UK 2015

Has a wide-ranging practice and regularly represents both clients in asylum cases and high net worth individuals. “He is clear, to the point and practical, which is always an important skill, particularly in immigration matters.” “I have found him to be very thorough and responsive. The clients like him and feel confident in his ability to represent them.”
Chambers UK 2014

Colin Yeo is an ‘excellent’ barrister, who is rated highly by instructing solicitors. He is acknowledged by the immigration practitioners’ community not only for the casework he undertakes but also because of the widely read Free Movement blog he produces.
Chambers UK 2013


Colin is well known and widely respected in the immigration sector. His work ranges from business and sensitive personal immigration issues with boutique firms through family immigration work, nationality opinions and EU free movement issues to domestic violence and asylum cases for law centres and high street practices. His practice covers the full spectrum of immigration law.

He also has experience in family law children proceedings, particularly in cases with an international or immigration dimension, and regularly drafts expert opinions on immigration matters for family law proceedings, being one of the few barristers with genuine experience in both areas.

In 2007, Colin founded the widely respected Free Movement immigration law blog and he is active on Twitter: @ColinYeo1

In suitable cases, Colin will undertake public access work directly for members of the public.


Colin joined Garden Court Chambers in August 2013, having previously practised at Renaissance Chambers. Before coming to the Bar he was Director of Legal Services and Training at the Immigration Advisory Service, prior to which he worked as a Legal Officer at the Refugee Legal Centre.

Reported Cases

GJ and Others (post-civil war: returnees) Sri Lanka CG [2013] UKUT 00319 (IAC)
Country Guidance case on Sri Lanka on the post-conflict risk to returned Tamils and others. Colin acted for the Intervenor, Tamils Against Genocide.

MN and others (Ahmadis – country conditions – risk) Pakistan CG [2012] UKUT 00389 (IAC)
Landmark and successful Country Guidance case on Ahmadi Muslims from Pakistan and religious persecution claims.

Jarusevicius (EEA Reg 21 – effect of imprisonment) Lithuania [2012] UKUT 120 (IAC)
Heard by the President of the Immigration and Asylum Chamber of the Upper Tribunal, this is one of a series of cases which saw the tribunal revisit its approach to residence rights in EU free movement law.

JD (Congo) & Ors v Secretary of State for the Home Department & Anor [2012] EWCA Civ 327, [2012] 1 WLR 3273, [2012] Imm AR 719
Reported in The Times and elsewhere, Colin acted in the leading case on the interpretation and effect of the ‘second appeals test’ on permission to appeal to the Court of Appeal.

MS (Somalia) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2010] EWCA Civ 1236
Led by Stephen Knafler QC on the interpretation of domestic and international provisions on refugee family reunion.

W (A Child) [2009] EWCA Civ 370, [2009] 2 FLR 436
Leading case on shared residence orders in the family courts and the circumstances in which a shared residence order might be granted to a parent with relatively little contact time with children.

MD (Guinea) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2009] EWCA Civ 733
Court of Appeal case on the assessment of credibility of child witnesses in an asylum context.

DM v SSHD (Timing of funding application) Zimbabwe [2006] UKAIT 00088

N v SSHD [2005] UKSIAC 18/2002, KA v SSHA (Draft-related risk categories updated) Eritrea CG [2005] UKAIT 00165

MN v SSHD (Entry clearance facilities – availability) Iraq [2004] UKAIT 00316

IM v SSHD (Article 3 – Orhodox Jew – Military Service) Russia CG [2002] UKAIT 05952

HM v SSHD (Mental Health) Sierra Leone CG [2002] UKAIT 04459


Books and Online Services

Journals and Articles

  • Raising the spouse visa age [2009] IANL 365
  • Protecting family members [2008] IANL 147
  • Conditions in detention: the use of Article 3 ECHR in removal appeals [2003] IANL 229
  • Agents of the State: When is an Official of the State an Agent of the State? [2003] International Journal of Refugee Lawat 509
  • The ‘Internal Flight Alternative’: Counter-arguments [2000] IANL 9