It has been reported that the UK immigration rules have changed so frequently since 2010 that they have essentially doubled in length. Successive Home Secretaries in that time have tried to push forward the Government’s attempt to promote certainty of immigration outcomes by restricting appeal rights and wording the rules more precisely. However it would appear that the net result of all the changes has been to make the immigration rules less transparent and more confusing even to lawyers and judges. There have even been reports of poorly drafted rules having to be amended shortly after publication. More applicants have had to resort to lawyers for their visa applications, as it becomes harder and harder to navigate the rules independently.
A review and simplification of the UK immigration rules is overdue; not of course to make yet more changes and further complicate the situation, but to take a good hard look at what the rules have become, so that comprehensive changes can be made to help them achieve the aim of certainty without the unfortunate side effect of excessive complexity.
The former UK home secretary Amber Rudd referred the rules to the Law Commission in December 2017, and they are currently thought to be working on simplifying the rules.
The Guardian’s reporting of this story can be found here.