Alvi, Regina (on The Application of) v Secretary of State for The Home Department: SC 18 Jul 2012

The claimant had entered as a student, and then stayed under a work permit. New rules were brought in, and because his occupation as a physiotherapy assistant was not listed, he was not credited with sufficient points for a permit. The Court of Appeal upheld his claim saying that the use of a list not laid before Parliament to decide such an issue was impermissible. The Secretary of State appealed.
Held: The appeal failed. The eventual document settling the clamant’s fundamental rights was the ‘List of Skilled Occupations’ published on the appellant’s web-site and elsewhere. However, it had not been laid before Parliament. The essential question was whether this was sufficient to meet the requirement imposed by the 1971 Act. The list itself and the statements of policy it contained were not were laid before Parliament. It was no longer proper for the Appellant to suggest reliance upon common law under the Royal prerogative. The rules are not subordinate legislation, nor to be seen as statements by the Secretary as to how she proposes to control immigration. The scope of her duty is now defined by the statute. The obligation under section 3(2) of the 1971 Act to lay statements of the rules, and any changes in the rules, is not to be modified or qualified in any way by reference to the common law.
The appropriate test between documents which needed or did not need to be laid, is found by centering on the word ‘rule’: it should be possible to identify from an examination of the material, taken in context, whether or not it has the character of a rule or is just information, advice or guidance as to how the requirements of a rule may be met. The Codes referred to also contain material which is not just guidance, but detailed information which will determine whether or not the applicant will qualify. The statement as to the rate of pay in particular was properly part of the Rules. Though the requirement to lay such voluminous materials befoe Parliament may be onerous, perhaps rules might be developed to take advantage of modern technology.
Lord Hope said: ‘The content of the rules is prescribed by sections 1(4) and 3(2) of the 1971 Act in a way that leaves matters other than those to which they refer to her discretion. The scope of the duty that then follows depends on the meaning that is to be given to the provisions of the statute. What section 3(2) requires is that there must be laid before Parliament statements of the rules, and of any changes to the rules, as to the practice to be followed in the administration of the Act for regulating the control of entry into and stay in the United Kingdom of persons who require leave to enter. The Secretary of State’s duty is expressed in the broadest terms. A contrast may be drawn between the rules and the instructions (not inconsistent with the rules) which the Secretary may give to immigration officers under paragraph 1(3) of Schedule 2 to the 1971 Act. As Sedley LJ said in ZH (Bangladesh) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2009] Imm AR 450, para 32, the instructions do not have, and cannot be treated as if they possessed, the force of law. The Act does not require those instructions or documents which give guidance of various kinds to caseworkers, of which there are very many, to be laid before Parliament. But the rules must be. So everything which is in the nature of a rule as to the practice to be followed in the administration of the Act is subject to this requirement.’
Lord Dyson said: ‘a rule is any requirement which a migrant must satisfy as a condition of being given leave to enter or leave to remain, as well as any provision ‘as to the period for which leave is to be given and the conditions to be attached in different circumstances’ (there can be no doubt about the latter since it is expressly provided for in section 3(2)). I would exclude from the definition any procedural requirements which do not have to be satisfied as a condition of the grant of leave to enter or remain. But it seems to me that any requirement which, if not satisfied by the migrant, will lead to an application for leave to enter or remain being refused is a rule within the meaning of section 3(2). That is what Parliament was interested in when it enacted section 3(2). It wanted to have a say in the rules which set out the basis on which these applications were to be determined.’

Lord Hope (Deputy President), Lord Walker, Lord Clarke, Lord Dyson, Lord Wilson
[2012] UKSC 33, UKSC 2011/0182, [2012] 1 WLR 2208, [2012] WLR(D) 211, [2012] 4 All ER 1041, [2012] INLR 504, [2012] Imm AR 998
Bailii, Bailii Summary, SC, SC Summary, WLRD
Immigration Act 1971 1(2) 3(2), Immigration Rules
England and Wales
At first instanceAlvi, Regina (on The Application of) v Secretary of State for The Home Department Admn 25-Oct-2010
The claimant, a 32 year old Pakistani national, had been refused leave to remain as a Tier 2 (General) Migrant worker. He had worked as a physiotherapy assistant, and said that this should have entitled him to 50 points under the assessment system. . .
CitedOdelola v Secretary of State for the Home Department HL 20-May-2009
The appellant had applied for leave to remain as a postgraduate doctor. Before her application was determined, the rules changed. She said that her application should have been dealt with under the rules applicable at the time of her application. . .
ConfirmedSecretary of State for The Home Department v Pankina CA 23-Jun-2010
Each claimant had graduated from a tertiary college and wished to stay on in the UK. They challenged the points based system for assessing elgibility introduced in 2008 after they had commenced their studies. The new rules tightened the criteria for . .
Appeal fromAlvi, Regina (on The Application of) v Secretary of State for The Home Department CA 9-Jun-2011
The claimant appealed against the refusal of the Secretary of State to grant him leave to remain to a non-EEA economic migrant. The claimant had entered as a student and stayed working as a physiotherapy assistant. He said that on the change of . .
CitedRegina v Home Secretary, ex parte Hosenball CA 1977
A United States’ citizen was subject to a deportation decision which was held not amenable to judicial review on the ground of national security. He appealed.
Held: Neither a failure to lay rules before Parliament within the allotted time, nor . .
CitedHuang v Secretary of State for the Home Department HL 21-Mar-2007
Appellate Roles – Human Rights – Families Split
The House considered the decision making role of immigration appellate authorities when deciding appeals on Human Rights grounds, against refusal of leave to enter or remain, under section 65. In each case the asylum applicant had had his own . .
CitedSmith v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions and Another HL 12-Jul-2006
The House considered whether under the 1992 Regulations a self-employed parent could use for his child support calculation his net earnings as declared to the Revenue, which would allow deduction of capital and other allowances properly claimed . .
CitedMunir and Another, Regina (on The Application of) v Secretary of State for The Home Department SC 18-Jul-2012
The claimants were subject to deportation, but had settled here and begun a family. An earlier concession would have allowed him to stay, but it was withdrawn. The court was now asked whether statements by the Secretary of State of her policy as . .
CitedEnglish UK Ltd, Regina (on The Application of) v Secretary of State for The Home Department Admn 9-Jul-2010
Foskett J interpreted Pankina: ‘The Court of Appeal held that the revised criterion could not be put in place by virtue of a process of issuing guidance. The ratio of the decision appears to me to be that a provision that reflects a substantive . .
CitedHumphreys v Revenue and Customs SC 16-May-2012
Separated parents shared the care of their child. The father complained that all the Child Tax Credit was given to the mother.
Held: The appeal failed. Although the rule does happen to be indirectly discriminatory against fathers, the . .
CitedJoint Council for The Welfare of Immigrants, Regina (on The Application of) v Secretary of State for The Home Department Admn 17-Dec-2010
The claimants challenged the imposition by the defendant of interim limits on (1) the number of applicants for entry clearance who may be issued with visas under Tier 1 (General) of the Points based system (PBS); and (2) the number of certificates . .
CitedRegina (Purzia) v Secretary of State for the Home Department Admn 2011
The court considered what matters had to be incorporated directly within the Immigration Rules, and what might be properly contained in documents referred to by the Rules.
Held: There is a spectrum that operates on the extent to which the . .
CitedNew London College Ltd, Regina (on the application of) v Secretary of State for the Home Department CA 2-Feb-2012
The court was asked whether the removal of a Tier 4 General (Student) Sponsor Licence issued by UKBA which enabled it to issue a visa letter or confirmation of acceptance of studies to non-EEA students lacked the necessary legislative authority . .
CitedAhmed, Regina (on The Application of) v Secretary of State for The Home Department Admn 2-Nov-2011
The governing principle laid down by Pankina as understood and applied in subsequent cases was that a substantive or material change to the content of the Immigration Rules must be made by way of amending rules which must be laid before Parliament, . .

Cited by:
AppliedFerrer (Limited Appeal Grounds; Alvi) Philippines UTIAC 1-Aug-2012
UTIAC (1) In deciding an application for permission to appeal the Upper Tribunal against the decision of the First-tier Tribunal, Immigration and Asylum Chamber, a judge of that Chamber should consider carefully . .
CitedNew London College Ltd, Regina (on The Application of) v Secretary of State for The Home Department SC 17-Jul-2013
The Court was asked as to: ‘the system for licensing educational institutions to sponsor students from outside the European Economic Area under Tier 4 of the current points-based system of immigration control.’ The appellant’s license to sponsor . .
CitedPatel and Others v Secretary of State for The Home Department SC 20-Nov-2013
The court was asked as to the respective duties of the Secretary of State and the First-tier Tribunal, on an appeal against refusal of an application to vary leave to enter or remain under the Immigration Act 1971, and more particularly as to the . .
CitedHesham Ali (Iraq) v Secretary of State for The Home Department SC 16-Nov-2016
The appellant, an Iraqi national had arrived in 2000 as a child, and stayed unlawfully after failure of his asylum claim. He was convicted twice of drugs offences. On release he was considered a low risk of re-offending. He had been in a serious . .
CitedMM (Lebanon) and Others, Regina (on The Applications of) v Secretary of State and Another SC 22-Feb-2017
Challenge to rules requiring certain minimum levels of income (Minimum Income Requirement – MIR) for allowing entry for non-EEA spouse.
Held: The challenges udder the Human Rights Act to the Rules themselves failed. Nor did any separate issue . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Immigration, Constitutional

Leading Case

Updated: 11 November 2021; Ref: scu.462944