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Inspection Report on the Home Office process of removal of status from migrants in the UK

Posted by Ruken Sahin on February 08, 2018

There are a number of mechanisms by which the Home Office are able to remove a person’s status, depending on the grounds for doing so. The various terms used to describe the act itself: “revocation”, “cancellation”, “cessation” and, “deprivation” all have the same effect: the individual becomes liable to removal from the UK, or to the refusal of entry if outside the country at the time.

A new report: “An inspection of the review and removal of immigration, refugee and citizenship “status” (April-August 2017)” was released by the Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration in January 2018.

Focussing on three sections of the Home Office, namely the Special Cases Unit, the Status Review Unit and the Cancellation, Cessation and Revocation team, this inspection examined the efficiency and effectiveness of the Home Office’s processes for reviewing and removing a person’s immigration, refugee or citizenship status. It primarily considered how cases were identified for review, progressed, and the overall quality of decision-making. Various methodology was used including visiting the units for familiarisation briefings by managers and a walkthrough of the units’ functions and processes


The inspection made a number of criticisms including:

  • The fact that although exercising broadly similar powers the units operated isolation from one another, with no regular communication, no sharing of lessons learned or ‘best practice’, or of how they are interpreting and applying relevant legislation and policies.
  • The fact that there were different approaches to casework management with some adopting an “end to end” process, where the same caseworker retains a case for its adoption to its completion; while others adopted a “stage by stage” process, where a caseworker completed an action (“stage”) and passes the case on to another caseworker for the next action.


The Report set out a number of recommendations to the Home Office including:

The appointment of a Senior Responsible Owner (SRO) to oversee the use of measures to remove Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR), refugee status, and “citizenship status” across the Home Office

The development of performance measures for the removal of Settled Status, refugee status, and “citizenship status”, in order to ensure that the relevant outcome data (e.g. the individual’s departure from the UK or refusal of entry) was captured to enable the meaningful evaluation of their effectiveness.

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The full report can be read here