The UK home secretary, Theresa May was forced to take emergency action after a Supreme Court ruling earlier this week threatened to render illegal thousands of decisions made under Britain's skilled migrant programme.
The Guardian newspaper quoted immigration lawyers as saying that the court ruling represented a 'wholesale collapse of the legal framework of immigration policy in the UK'.
The Supreme Court declared unlawful all the recent changes to the points-based system of skilled migration, visitor visas and family migration rules because it has not been directly approved by Parliament. Changes to lists of shortage occupations, salary and skill levels, as well as advertising requirements are also affected by the ruling.
In reaction to the ruling, the Home Office has put a statement of immigration rule changes before Parliament on 19 July, in order to come into effect on 20 July 2012, in order to safeguard their lawful operation. A guidance will also be issued on visa applications that were refused under the unlawful rules, which could involve cases that date back as far as 2008.
The BBC quoted the Migration Observatory think-tank at Oxford as saying that it was a potentially very significant development that could call into question the validity of immigration rules as a whole.
It is clear from the court ruling that rather than a simplified system that the UK Government was aiming to achieve, the current UK immigration rules are in shambles and more difficult to interpret and apply than ever before. In the light of this, BIC would like to urge clients to now more than ever before seek help with new applications. Furthermore, clients who feel that their visas might have been refused due to the unlawful rule changes must contact BIC for assistance and clarity on the issue.