When the Nationality and Borders Act became law last year, it introduced ‘differentiated status’ for people who were granted refugee status. They were to be put into Group 1, or Group 2. Group 1 is regular refugee status which you can read more about here.
Those in Group 2 would be granted a lesser type of leave. Instead of refugee status, Group 2 refugees were granted something called ‘temporary refugee permission’. This status gave only 30 months of leave to remain in the UK, with an option to settle (this means live permanently in the UK) after 10 years of lawful residence under the long residence rules.
Yesterday, on 8 June 2023, the Immigration Minister Robert Jenrick announced that this two-group system is going to be ‘paused’ (effectively discontinued) from July of this year, and that anyone who has so far been classified as Group 2 will be ‘upgraded’ to Group 1.
So, this part of the Nationality and Borders Act is being scrapped less than one year after it was introduced. This is yet another piece of proof to show that many of the cruel policies and laws that have been introduced over the last few years (like the Nationality and Borders Act, and the Rwanda plan) do not make any sense and are impossible to put into practice.
This is a relief and a victory, especially for the people who have been placed in Group 2 over the last year.
However, things are far from perfect. The “Illegal” Migration Bill is still making its way through the House of Lords, and the government is aiming to pass it into law in July. However, it is facing much criticism and amendment by the Lords, as well as the migration justice and wider human rights sector.
It’s important to note that where parts of the Nationality and Borders Act were unworkable, almost the whole of the “Illegal” Migration Bill is unworkable. If it does pass, we would not be surprised if we had to write a piece similar to this one (about how unworkable it is) by this time next year.
If you would like to know more about the “Illegal” Migration Bill, you can read our Medium article below.
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