Number of people granted LTR on 10 yr family settlement route with NRPF condition

The request was partially successful.

Dear Home Office,

I am requesting the following data under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

The following data has been published by the Home Office or has been acquired through previous FOI requests:

Number of people granted an extension or change to their visa (leave to remain):

2016: 234, 419
2015: 152,044

Number of people granted leave to remain on the 10 year Family Settlement route:

2016: 21,228
2015: 17,058

Number of people granted leave to remain with the NRPF (No Recourse to Public Funds) condition attached to their visa:

2016: 136 505
2017: 147, 135

Question:

Could you please provide data on the number of people granted leave to remain on the 10-year Family Settlement route who had the NRPF condition attached to their visa in:

(a) 2016 and
(b) 2017

Yours faithfully,

Anna Mulcahy

FOI Requests, Home Office

Ms Mulcahy,

Thank you for contacting the Home Office with your request.

This has been assigned to a caseworker (case ref 51645). We will aim to send you a full response by 23/01/2019 which is twenty working days from the date we received your request.

If you have any questions then please do not hesitate to contact us.

Thank you,

P. Zebedee
FOI Requests
Home Office

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FOI Responses, Home Office

3 Attachments

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Dear Ms Mulcahy

 

Please find attached a letter in response to your FOI request of 20
December.

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

J Jones

CCT FOI

Central Operations

 

 

 

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Dear J Jones,

I am writing in response to your request for clarification regarding my FOI request (ref. no. 51645).

You requested that I clarify what I mean by the term '10-year Family Settlement route' as you 'have never heard of this term'.

I was surprised that clarification was necessary in this instance since the visa application / status I am referring to is variably described as 'Family Life (10 year route)', 'family life (as a partner or parent) and private life: 10-year routes', 'leave to remain on the basis of family life as a partner or parent or on the basis of
private life, on a 10-year route to settlement.' in the government's own guidance.

Plainly, it is clear what I am referring to through the phrase '10-year Family Settlement route'. Indeed, entering '10-year Family Settlement route' into a search engine brings up a number of results from the government's own guidance referring to the type of visa secured on the basis of family life on a 10 year route to settlement.

I feel this request for clarification, and the subsequent instruction to submit a new FOI with the clarification is not legitimate. It was clear what the FOI request referred to and as such this clarification simply does not warrant the delay that would be caused by me resubmitting an FOI . A resubmitted FOI would simply reword the phrase '10-year Family Settlement route' to 'a visa on the basis of Family Life on the 10 year settlement route' since this is the terminology used by the government. It is not legitimate to suggest that there is a significant difference between these phrases that warrants such a rewording.

Therefore, I will not resubmit my FOI. I request that you confirm, within three working days, that you will respond to this FOI within the original deadline, given that this clarification was superfluous and does not warrant a delay.

If you are not able to confirm this I will submit a complaint to the ICO as your response is plainly a dereliction of the Home Office's duty under Section 16 of the FOIA that legally requires public authorities to be assistive to the FOI requester. I would strongly argue that the claim that it is unclear what the phrase '10-year Family Settlement route' means is not in keeping with the Section 16 requirement.

Yours faithfully,

Anna Mulcahy

Dear J Jones,

I am writing in regarding my FOI request (ref. no. 51645).

On the 10th January you requested I clarify the term '10-year Family Settlement route' used in my FOI, as you have 'never heard of this term', and resubmit my FOI.

On the 10th January I responded and explained that I would not be resubmitting an FOI as the term I used (10-year Family Settlement route) is clearly referring to a visa on the basis of Family Life on a 10 year route to settlement. This unnecessary clarification doesn't warrant the delay that would be caused by a resubmission.

Could you please confirm today that you accept this response and that the original request was clear and that you will be proceeding me with a response by the original deadline of the 23rd January. If you do not confirm this today then I will submit a complaint with the ICO.

You may be interested to know that in recent days the Home Office has responded to a separate FOI request, requesting different data that also referred to this type of visa as '10-year Family Settlement route'. However, there was no confusion around this term and they helpfully supplied the requested information. In their response they categorised the case type for people with a visa on the basis of Family Life on 10 year settlement route as 'Family/Private Life 10yr-LTR(E)'. Perhaps this is helpful for you to know to help you identify the relevant cases.

Yours faithfully,

Anna Mulcahy

FOI Responses, Home Office

2 Attachments

                       

 

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Dear Ms Mulcahy

 

Thank you for your further email of 15 January.

 

Thank you for providing the relevant information to enable us to provide
you with the correct data.  I am sorry for the confusion surrounding your
FOI request.  We will endeavour to prioritise your FOI request with the
information you have provided. 

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

J Jones

CCT FOI

Central Operations

 

 

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Dear J Jones,

Many thanks, I look forward to hearing from the Home Office on or before the 23rd January.

Yours faithfully,

Anna Mulcahy

FOI Requests, Home Office

Dear Ms. Mulcahy,

 

Thank you for contacting the Home Office with your request.

 

This has been assigned to a caseworker (case ref 51928). We will aim to
send you a full response by 12/02/2019 which is twenty working days from
the date we received your request.

 

Thank you,

 

N McKenzie

Home Office

 

 

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Dear J Jones,

The FOI request I submitted on 20th December 2018 (ref. no 51645) is now overdue. By law the Home Office should have responded by or on 23rd January. Please provide a response as soon as possible.

Many thanks,

Anna Mulcahy

FOI Requests, Home Office

Dear Ms. Mulcahy,

 

Thank you for contacting the Home Office. Our records show a response to
your FOI request 51645 was sent to you via email on 10/01/2019.

 

I have forward your email to the case officer who dealt with your request
for resending.

 

Thank you,

 

N McKenzie

Home Office

 

 

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Dear N Mckenzie

The message that was sent to me on 10th January was a request for clarification not a response. I provided a clarification on the 10th January and they confirmed again they would respond on or before the 23rd January on the 16th January. The history of the FOI can be viewed here https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/n...

Please request the case officer provides a response at their earliest convenience.

Yours sincerely,

Anna Mulcahy

FOI Requests, Home Office

Dear Ms. Mulcahy,

 

 

Thank you for contacting the Home Office. Your follow up FOI request 51928
is currently on-going. The response target date is 12/02/2019

 

I have notified the case owner of your email for their records.

 

 

Thank you,

 

N McKenzie

Home Office

 

 

 

 

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Dear N Mckenzie

The response target date is not 12/02/2019.

The Home Office asked for a clarification on the 10th January for my FOI case no. 51645. They claimed they had never heard of the '10-year Family Settlement route' visa. The HO said they I needed to provide clarification on what this was and then resubmit the FOI.

This visa is variably referred to, in the government's own guidance, as 'Family Life (10 year route)', 'family life (as a partner or parent) and private life: 10-year routes', 'leave to remain on the basis of family life as a partner or parent or on the basis of private life, on a 10-year route to settlement.

The HO's request for clarification was at best unwarranted, at worst obstructive. It is plain what I am referring to and, as explained to J Jones the CCT FOI Officer in my response on the 10th January, a resubmitted FOI would simply reword the phrase '10-year Family Settlement route visa' to 'a visa on the basis of Family Life on the 10 year settlement route' since this is the terminology used by the government.

It is not defensible to suggest this warrants a new FOI and the subsequent delay this would cause.

J Jones responded to my point and accepted that they would respond to my original request and did not require a resubmission

As such, the original case ref no. 51645 still applies, with the original time limit. Which ended yesterday, meaning the response is overdue.

In light of this, please confirm that you will endeavour to respond to the request as soon as possible, not by 12/02/2019 as you suggest in your last message.

Yours sincerely,

Anna Mulcahy

Dear N Mckenzie,

The response to my request case ref. no. 51645 is overdue. The Home Office should have responded by law by the 23.1.2019.

Although in your last response you claimed that the response date was 12/02/2019, this is in fact incorrect and I explained as much in my last message on 24.1.2019.

Please provide a response to this overdue request at your earliest convenience.

A history of the FOI request can be found here https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/n...

Yours sincerely,

Anna Mulcahy

FOI Requests, Home Office

Dear Ms. Mulcahy,

 

You clarified request was logged as a new request on 15/01/2019. The
response target date therefore is 12/02/2019 which is twenty working days
from the date we received your request.

 

Thank you  

 

N McKenzie

Home Office

 

 

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Dear N Mckenzie,

If you read through the request history you can see that the HO's request for clarification was unnecessary and did not warrant a delay, it was simply an untrue and unreasonable claim that the HO did not know what visa I was referring to when I said '10-year Family Settlement route'.

I responded and said that I would not accept a delay and the response from J Jones implied that the HO accepted that and would not be treating my clarification as a new request.

I accept that the ICO rules are that if a public authority requires clarification from the requester, then the authority can respond to the request within 20 days from the point it received clarification (as stated in the ICO guidance. Note this guidance also says that clarification should be sort as soon as possible, yet the HO sought clarification 12 working days after it received it in this case). However, my request was not unclear and did not require clarification. It is extremely poor practice for the HO to request superfluous clarifications to delay providing an FOI response, especially as FOI clarifications, even when legitimate, do not automatically warrant a delay / resubmission. The time used by the HO to insist that a delay is warranted would have been better spent responding to the request.

If you insist on continuing to unlawfully extend the response deadline and do not provide a response by the end of the week I will request an internal review into the handling of this request.

Yours sincerely,

Anna Mulcahy

FOI Requests, Home Office

Dear Ms. Mulcahy,

 

As stated previously, your clarified request was logged as a new request
on 15/01/2019 as is standard practice. The response target date therefore
is 12/02/2019 which is twenty working days from the date we received your
request.

 

You should be aware that you cannot request an internal review of your FOI
request until such time you are in receipt of your response.

 

Thank you  

 

N McKenzie

Home Office

 

 

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Dear N Mckenzie

Thank you for the clarification re. internal reviews. I will submit an internal review on the 12/02/2019 and forward on to the ICO as I think this is a good example of how the ICOs input could help authorities improve the handling of FOI requests, avoid superfluous requests for clarification and speed up responses for the benefit of both the requester and the authority.

Yours sincerely,

Anna Mulcahy

Jones Jennifer, Home Office

3 Attachments

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Dear Ms Mulcahy

 

Please find attached a letter in response to your FOI request of 15
January. 

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

J Jones

CCT FOI

Central Operations

 

 

 

 

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FOI Responses, Home Office

3 Attachments

 

 

   

[1]Logo for letterhead.png  

 

                     

 

Dear Ms Mulcahy

 

Please find attached a letter in response to your FOI request of 15
January. 

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

J Jones

CCT FOI

Central Operations

 

 

 

 

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Jones Jennifer, Home Office

Jones Jennifer would like to recall the message, "FOI Request 51928".

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To whom it may concern,

The deadline for the Home Office to provide a response to my FOI request case ref. no. 51645 was 12th February. On Monday this week you messaged to say the response would be delayed. Could you please provide an estimate for how long this delay will be, i.e. when we should expect a response by. If you are not able to provide a reasonable deadline (before the end of next week) then I will request an internal review into the handling of this request.

Yours sincerely,

Anna Mulcahy

FOI Responses, Home Office

3 Attachments

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Dear Ms Mulcahy

 

Thank you for your further email of 15 February.  I am sorry for the
continued delay in providing a response to your Freedom of Information
request (FOI).   

 

We are proactively processing your FOI request and as soon as we have
obtained the relevant information, a response will be sent to you.  Whilst
all efforts are made to provide you with the relevant information within
our service standards, we regret that some may take longer to complete. 
Unfortunately, we do not believe a response will be forthcoming to you
this week and we do not have a timescale that we can give you for a
response to your FOI request.         

 

Thank you for your continued patience in this matter.

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

J Jones

CCT FOI

Central Operations

 

 

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Dear J Jones,

Thank you for the update. I would like to note at this point that this FOI was submitted on the 20th December 2018, and the HO already delayed the response by waiting until the 15th January to request a clarification on what the '10 year route to settlement' meant. As such, I'm sure you'll appreciate that this continued delay is frustrating and subsequently I will be in touch later today to request an internal review.

Yours faithfully,

Anna Mulcahy

FOI Requests, Home Office

Dear Anna Mulcahy,

 

 

Thank you for contacting the Home Office. Your email has been forward to
the case owner dealing with your request for a response.

 

Thank you,

 

N McKenzie

Home Office

 

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To whom it may concern,

Please forward this to the department responsible for internal reviews of FOI requests within the Home Office.

I am writing to request an internal review of the handling of my FOI request, ref. no. 51645 (post-clarification FOI ref. no. 51928), submitted 20th December 2018.

There are two aspects to the complaint that I wish to make. Firstly, the superfluous request for clarification from the Home Office that delayed a response, and secondly the Home Office's ongoing failure to provide a response, despite 39 working days passing since my request was submitted and 27 days since I provided clarification.

I submitted the FOI on the 20th December 2018. The HO contacted me to ask for a clarification on the 10th January. While I appreciate this spanned the holiday period, the HO still took 12 working days (excluding bank holidays) to contact me for a clarification, which is not in keeping with the ICO FOI request guidance that the authority should seek a clarification quickly:
"The authority should ensure that there is no undue delay in requesting clarification. This is emphasised in Part II paragraph 9 of the Section 45 Code of Practice which states, ‘…it is important that the applicant is contacted as soon as possible, preferably by telephone, fax or e-mail, where more information is needed to clarify what is sought."

The HO then re-started the 'clock' from the point when they acknowledged the clarification (15th January), rather than the day after I supplied the clarification (10th January), incorrectly making the deadline 12/02/2019, which is another basic error that clearly contravenes the ICO guidance:
"If the requester subsequently provides enough detail to enable the authority to identify and locate the information, then the authority must respond to the clarified request within a new 20 working day time limit with the ‘clock’ starting the day after it receives the required clarification."

Crucially, I would also suggest that a reasonable person could not determine that the HO's request for clarification was legitimate as the point on which they asked for clarification would not be unclear to even someone with the most basic understanding of immigration. Below is copied from my response to the Home Office requesting me to clarify what I mean by the term '10-year Family Settlement route', which I used in my FOI request:

"Dear J Jones,

I am writing in response to your request for clarification regarding my FOI request (ref. no. 51645). You requested that I clarify what I mean by the term '10-year Family Settlement route' as you 'have never heard of this term'.

I was surprised that clarification was necessary in this instance since the visa application / status I am referring to is variably described as 'Family Life (10 year route)', 'family life (as a partner or parent) and private life: 10 year routes', 'leave to remain on the basis of family life as a partner or parent or on the basis of private life, on a 10-year route to settlement.' in the government's own guidance.

Plainly, it is clear what I am referring to through the phrase '10-year Family Settlement route'. Indeed, entering '10-year Family Settlement route' into a search engine brings up a number of results from the government's own guidance referring to the type of visa secured on the basis of family life on a 10 year route to settlement.

I feel this request for clarification, and the subsequent instruction to submit a new FOI with the clarification is not legitimate. It was clear what the FOI request referred to and as such this clarification simply does not warrant the delay that would be caused by me resubmitting an FOI . A resubmitted FOI would simply reword the phrase '10-year Family Settlement route' to 'a visa on the basis of Family Life on the 10 year settlement route' since this is the terminology used by the government. It is not legitimate to suggest that there is a significant difference between these phrases that warrants such a rewording."

The ICO guidance on what requests might warrant a clarification is as follows:
"too unclear or non-specific for the authority to identify and locate the information requested; or, ambiguous and can be interpreted in more than one way."

I would again strongly suggest that a reasonable person could not argue that the term I used, '10 year Family Settlement route', is either unclear, or warranted a clarification. From previous FOI requests, I am aware that the case type code used by the Home Office to identify cases on the 10 year to settlement on the basis of family
on the Home Office database is: 'Family/Private Life 10yr -LTR(E)'. When compared to the terminology and case codes used by the Home Office themselves, it is not reasonable to suggest that the term I used originally, '10-year Family Settlement route' would meet the definition of ambiguous, non-specific or open to multiple interpretations.

I can only assume the Home Office's request for clarification was therefore either an attempt to delay having to provide a response, or a failure by staff to understand the most basic terminology relevant to their work.

This unnecessary request for clarification, which significantly delayed the response, combined with the ongoing failure to provide a response, reflects poor practice by the HO in regard to the handling of FOI requests and for this reason I am requesting an internal review.

The Home Office has already demonstrated in previous FOI requests that it is able to run database reports to identify all the case types classified as 'Family/Private Life 10yr -LTR(E)', as well as all their cases with condition code '1' (No Recourse to Public Funds), suggesting it is within the Home Offices capability to run a query to establish the number of people granted leave to remain on the 10 year route to settlement on the basis of their Family or Private Life who are subject to the No Recourse to Public Funds condition between any given time frame.

I hope that the Home Office will reconsider their approach to this request and provide the necessary data, which they have access to, promptly.

You can view the correspondence history of this request here https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/n...

Yours sincerely,

Anna Mulcahy

FOI Responses, Home Office

4 Attachments

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Dear Ms Mulcahy

 

Please find attached a letter in response to your FOI request of 15
January.  I apologise for the delay.

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

J Jones

CCT FOI

Central Operations

 

 

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Dear J Jones,

I am requesting an internal review into the handling of my FOI request 51928.

In my FOI request, ref. no. 51645 (post-clarification FOI ref. no. 51928) submitted on the 20th December 2018, I asked the Home Office for data on the number of people granted Limited Leave to Remain on the basis of Family Life (parent or partner) on the 10 year route to settlement who were assigned 'No Recourse to Public Funds' as a condition of their leave, in 2016 and 2017.

The Home Office responded on the 27th February 2019 and provided the following data:

In 2016, 13,975 people

and

in 2017, 18,630 people were given leave to remain as 'Family/Private Life' on the 10 year route to settlement with the NRPF condition.

I would like to request an internal review into the handling of this request as this data does not seem to be accurate. I believe the data is inaccurate on the basis of information taken from the government's own published Immigration Statistics on extensions to stay, year ending 2018.

In these statistics, the number of people given leave to remain on the basis of Family Life on the 10 year route to settlement are as follows:

2016: 21,542
2017: 28,342

Everyone granted leave to remain on the basis of Family Life on the ten year route to settlement are subject to the condition of 'No Recourse to Public Funds' by default unless the individual requests otherwise, providing evidence why they specifically require recourse to public funds. From the government's own guidance on leave to remain on the basis of Family Life on the 10 year route to settlement:

"Where entry clearance or leave to remain as a partner, child or parent is granted under paragraph D-ECP.1.2., D-LTRP.1.2., D-ECC.1.1., D-LTRC.1.1., D-ECPT.1.2. or D-LTRPT.1.2., it will normally be granted subject to a condition of no recourse to public funds, unless the applicant has provided the decision-maker with:
(a) satisfactory evidence that the applicant is destitute as defined in section 95 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999; or
(b) satisfactory evidence that there are particularly compelling reasons relating to the welfare of a child of a parent in receipt of a very low income."

(See https://www.gov.uk/guidance/immigration-... )

From the government's own Policy Equality Statement on the No Recourse to Public Funds policy:
(See https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk...

"The data contains 11,046 cases granted under the 10-year family and private life routes from 1 January 2014 to 31 December 2014. Of these cases, the majority (92%, 10,213) were granted leave with no recourse to public funds. In the remaining 8% of cases (833), the no recourse to public funds condition code was not imposed or was lifted."

The default is to assign people on the 10 year route the NRPF condition, with the onus on the individual to demonstrate otherwise if they need recourse to public funds, meaning that in theory the majority of people on the 10 year route will be assigned NRPF. In practice, the public equality statement confirmed that indeed the majority on the 10 year route (over 90%) are being assigned NRPF.

As mentioned, in 2017, 28,342 people were given leave to remain on the basis of family life on the 10 year route to settlement according to the governments published Immigration Statistics. The Home Office claimed that, in 2017, the number of people granted leave to remain on the Family Life / Private Life 10yr route who had a NRPF Condition was 18,630. That is, just 66% of the total people granted leave on this basis in this year. In 2016, the Home Office claimed 13,975 people were given NRPF, this is 65% of the total people granted leave on this basis in this year.

This proportion, and therefore data, is not in keeping with either the Home Office's guidance on assigning NRPF, the Home Office's published evidence on what is happening in practice in terms of the proportion of people given NRPF, or the experience of civil society organisations conducting research on this issue or supporting people with NRPF. That is, the proportion is significantly lower than the other evidence indicates.

As this data is not in keeping with other evidence, I request an internal review of the process used to attain this data. If after this review, the Home Office maintains the original data they provided is accurate, would it be possible to be provided with an explanation for why this data is not in keeping with other evidence, including the governments own evidence on the proportion of people on the 10 year route assigned NRPF?

Many thanks in advance for your help,

Anna Mulcahy

FOI Requests, Home Office

Ms Mulcahy,

 

Thank you for contacting the Home Office with your request.

 

This Internal Review has been assigned to a caseworker (case ref 51928).
We will aim to send you a full response by 09/04/2019 which is twenty
working days from the date we received your request.

 

If you have any questions then please do not hesitate to contact us.

 

Thank you,

 

P. Zebedee

FOI Requests

Home Office

 

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FOI Responses, Home Office

1 Attachment

 

 

Dear Ms Mulcahy

 

Please find attached the Home Office response to your request for an
internal review of FOI case 51645

 

Yours Sincerely

 

M Riddle

Knowledge and Information Management Unit

Performance, Assurance and Governance Directorate

Lower Ground Floor, Seacole

2 Marsham Street

London

SW1P 4DF

T: +44 (0)20 7035 4848

 

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FOI Responses, Home Office

1 Attachment

 

 

Dear Ms Mulcahy

 

Please find attached the Home Office response to your request for an
internal review of FOI case 51928

 

I apologise for the delay.

 

Yours Sincerely

 

M Riddle

Knowledge and Information Management Unit

Performance, Assurance and Governance Directorate

Lower Ground Floor, Seacole

2 Marsham Street

London

SW1P 4DF

T: +44 (0)20 7035 4848

 

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