Home Secretary Jacqui Smith announced that launch of the country's new UK Border Agency on the 3rd April 2008. The new Agency, established as a shadow agency of the Home Office, is intended to protect our borders, control migration for the benefit of the country, prevent border tax fraud, smuggling and immigration crime and implement quick and fair decisions.
Targets were announced for the new agency in its business plan They include targets to:
- expel 5,000 foreign national prisoners from Britain this year, up from 4,200 last year;
- sustain last year's increase in the seizure of class A drugs by seizing at least 2,400 kilograms of cocaine and 550 kilograms of heroin by April 2009;
- increase by 50 per cent the number of asylum cases concluded in less than six months;
- extend the UK's visas regime to cover a larger proportion of the world's population; and
- increase detention capacity by 20 per cent over the next two years to help increase the number of immigration offenders we can remove from the country.
The Immigration (Notices) (Amendment) Regulations 2008 No. 684 amended regulation 7(1) of the 2003 Notice Regulations. It provides that notices may be served electronically, by document exchange, by courier or can be collected. More info
The remaining parts of HC 321 came into force on 1st April 2008.
The new changes insert a new paragraph 320(7A) and 320 (7B) into the immigration rules, creating two new mandatory grounds for refusal. 320(7A); where somebody has submitted a false document or made a false representation in an application for leave to enter or remain. The rule is to apply irrespective of whether it was material to the application or even if the falsehood was in the knowledge of the applicant.
320 (7B); an applicant who has previously overstayed; breached a condition attached to his leave; was an illegal entrant, or use deception in an application for entry clearance, leave to enter or remain is to be refused. The refusal under 320(7B) will not apply if the applicant overstayed for 28 days or less and left the UK voluntarily, at their own expense; the deception was more than 10 years ago; they left the UK voluntarily, at their own expense more than 12 months ago; left the UK voluntarily, at the expense of the Secretary of State more than 5 years ago or was removed or deported from the UK more than 10 years ago.
It also amends the Paragraph 135, the rules governing applications under the Highly Skilled Migrant program. More info
AA (Spent convictions) Pakistan  UKAIT 00027
Convictions that are 'spent' for the purposes of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 should not normally be the subject of reference in appeals before the Tribunal. The exception is in S.7(3) of the 1974 Act, which allows spent convictions to be proved if the interests of justice require it: it is for the Respondent to prove that they do.