Colin Yeo

Year of Call: 2002

"In my view there is no greater expert in the field."

Chambers UK, 2024

"A real activist. He speaks out about the problems in the immigration and asylum system."

Chambers UK, 2023

"His writing is second to none. He is the go-to authority on immigration law, and is one of the most senior and experienced barristers around."

Chambers UK, 2022

"Colin is exceptionally well-versed in the history and development of UK immigration, asylum, and nationality law. Historical knowledge allows Colin to add valuable context and insight to present immigration issues."

Legal 500, 2022

"Colin is an exceptionally astute barrister; especially good on Brexit-related issues and advice."

Chambers UK, 2021

"Colin has an encyclopaedic knowledge of immigration law; he is able to think outside the box and is great to work with."

Legal 500, 2021


To get in touch:​ Or you can contact the relevant​ Practice Team Clerks directly and they will be happy to assist with your enquiry.

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Legal 500 2023: Leading Junior

Colin is an experienced and specialist immigration barrister working in all areas of immigration law for a full range of clients, from law centres to high net worth individuals. He also regularly appears in the media and edits the widely read immigration law website Free Movement.

Immigration Law


Well known and widely respected in the immigration sector, Colin's practice covers the full spectrum of immigration law. This includes opinions, appeals and judicial reviews in family, asylum, EU, nationality and business cases.

Notable Cases

Entry Clearance Officer, Sierra Leone v Kopoi, 2017 EWCA Civ 1511 - Important case on when it is and is not possible to appeal against refusal of a family visit visa.

The Secretary of State for the Home Department v SU, 2017 EWCA Civ 1069 - Unusual case on entry in breach of a deportation order followed by an application for revocation.

Ryanair v Secretary of State for the Home Department C50CL033 - Unusual and unsuccessful appeal against imposition of a carrier sanction on an airline in the case of a claimed family member of an EU citizen.

Sleiman (deprivation of citizenship; conduct: Lebanon), 2017 UKUT 367 (IAC) - Addresses tests to be applied in deprivation of citizenship cases and causal link between deception and the grant of citizenship.

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.

MD (Guinea) v Secretary of State for the Home Department, 2009 EWCA Civ 733
Guidance 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 - National security case on revocation of a deportation order made against a Pakistani national accused of nuclear proliferation activities.

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

Contact Colin



Colin 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.

Notable Cases

W (A Child) [2009] EWCA Civ 370, [2009] 2 FLR 436 - Addressing 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.

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Notable Cases & News

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Colin joined Garden Court Chambers in August 2013. 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.


Books and Online Services

  • Colin is editor of the widely respected Free Movement immigration law blog (, which he founded in 2007
  • Author of Free Movement ebook guides to EU law applications, naturalization applications, refugee law, visit visa refusals, Surinder Singh applications, costs in immigration cases and the Immigration Acts 2014 and 2016
  • Editor of Jackson and Warr, Immigration Law and Practice (5th ed, forthcoming)
  • Contributor to Macdonald's Immigration Law and Practice (9th ed)
  • Contributor to JCWI Guide to the Points Based System (2010)
  • Contributor to ILPA Best Practice Guide to Working with Refugee Children (2010)
  • Editor of Country Guideline Cases: Benign and Practical? (2005)

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 Law at 509
  • The 'Internal Flight Alternative': Counter-arguments' [2000] IANL 9


Training and Seminars

Colin provides online training and information to other immigration lawyers and others through the Free Movement website, which he owns and edits. He also speaks at conferences and events and has regularly appeared in the media, including in The Times, The Telegraph, The Guardian, The Economist, The New York Times, The Independent, BBC Radio 4 news programmes, Newsnight, Channel 4 News and Sky News.


  • BA (Hons) Modern History, St John's College, Oxford
  • Diploma in Legal Studies (CPE), University of Birmingham
  • BVC, Inns of Court School of Law

Professional Membership

  • Immigration Law Practitioners' Association (ILPA)
  • Refugee Legal Group

We are top ranked by independent legal directories and consistently win awards.

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