Surinder Singh for Dual British and Irish nationals

Response to this request is long overdue. By law, under all circumstances, Home Office should have responded by now (details). You can complain by requesting an internal review.

Dear Home Office,

Could you provide me with any guidance, legislation or otherwise which might outline a prevention of a dual irish/british national from benefiting from the case of surinder singh via ireland.

Yours faithfully,

Sukwant Singh

FOI Requests, Home Office

Thank you for contacting the FOI Requests mailbox.

Your message has been logged and will be dealt with shortly.

We aim to provide a response to all FOI requests within 20 working days.

If your message is with regard to an existing FOI case or is a general
query please ensure you have left any file references and contact details.

 

Thank you.

 

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Freedom Of Information Team ( IND ), Home Office

Dear Sukwant Singh

 

Thank you for your recent e-mail, we are dealing with your enquiry and
will respond in due course. Your reference number is FOI 30095

 

Information Access Team 

www.gov.uk/home-office

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European Operational Policy Enquiries, Home Office

Dear Mr Singh,

Thank you for your email of 28 December to the Home Office Freedom of Information team regarding the Surinder Singh provisions under European Union law and how they apply to dual British/Irish citizens. Your query has been passed to the European Operational Policy Team for a response. We are treating your request as a general enquiry rather than as a request for specific information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

You have asked for "any guidance, legislation or otherwise which might outline a prevention of a dual Irish/British national from benefiting from the case of Surinder Singh via Ireland". I have interpreted this to mean whether a dual British/Irish citizen can rely on the judgment in Surinder Singh when moving to the UK after a period of residence in Ireland as a worker or self-employed person. Please let me know if this is incorrect.

The Home Office has not produced any guidance on this specific subject. However, in the case of Shirley McCarthy (case C-434/09), the Court of Justice of the European Union ruled that Directive 2004/38/EC ('the Free Movement Directive') is not applicable to a Union citizen who has never exercised his right of free movement, who has always resided in a Member State of which he is a national and who is also a national of another Member State.

You can view a summary of the McCarthy case at the link below:
http://www.eulaws.eu/?p=323

The ruling itself can be found at the following page:
http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexU...

The UK interprets this judgment to mean that a dual British/Irish citizen cannot rely on their Irish citizenship to exercise free movement rights in the UK (and so bring in family members under EU law). Similarly, the same person cannot rely on their British citizenship to exercise free movement rights in Ireland. In both situations, the person would be residing in a Member State of which they are a national and in which they enjoy an unconditional right to reside. Consequently, a dual British/Irish citizen moving from Ireland to the UK would not be able to be able to invoke the judgment in Surinder Singh in order to engage family reunification rights, because their residence in Ireland would not have been covered by the Free Movement Directive.

There is, of course, nothing to prevent a British/Irish citizen from exercising their free movement rights in a Member State of which they are not a national and relying on Surinder Singh on their return to the UK (or Ireland, as the case may be).

I hope this has clarified the Home Office's position.

Your sincerely,

European Operational Policy Team
Operational Policy & Rules Unit
Immigration & Border Policy Directorate
Home Office

Level 5 | Vulcan House (Steel) | 8 Millsands | Sheffield | S3 8NU

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Wayne Pearsall left an annotation ()

OK, couple of things...

The Law on Reg 9 previously stated:
Family members of United Kingdom nationals

9. (1) If the conditions in paragraph (2) are satisfied, these Regulations apply to a person who is the family member of a United Kingdom national as if the United Kingdom national were an EEA national.
(2) The conditions are that—
(a)the United Kingdom national is residing in an EEA State as a worker or self-employed person or was so residing before returning to the United Kingdom; and .
(b)if the family member of the United Kingdom national is his spouse or civil partner, the parties are living together in the EEA State or had entered into the marriage or civil partnership and were living together in that State before the United Kingdom national returned to the United Kingdom. .
(3) Where these Regulations apply to the family member of a United Kingdom national the United Kingdom national shall be treated as holding a valid passport issued by an EEA State for the purpose of the application of regulation 13 to that family member. .

and after the Centre of Life amendments which became operational on 1st Jan 2014 this was later ammended to:

“Family members of British citizens

9. (1) If the conditions in paragraph (2) are satisfied, these Regulations apply to a person who is the family member of a British citizen as if the British citizen (“P”) were an EEA national.
(2) The conditions are that—
(a)P is residing in an EEA State as a worker or self-employed person or was so residing before returning to the United Kingdom; .
(b)if the family member of P is P’s spouse or civil partner, the parties are living together in the EEA State or had entered into the marriage or civil partnership and were living together in the EEA State before the British citizen returned to the United Kingdom; and .
(c)the centre of P’s life has transferred to the EEA State where P resided as a worker or self-employed person. .
(3) Factors relevant to whether the centre of P’s life has transferred to another EEA State include—
(a)the period of residence in the EEA State as a worker or self-employed person; .
(b)the location of P’s principal residence; .
(c)the degree of integration of P in the EEA State. .
(4) Where these Regulations apply to the family member of P, P is to be treated as holding a valid passport issued by an EEA State for the purpose of the application of regulation 13 to that family member.”.

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2013/...

At no point does the law actually state that the UK Citizen cannot be a national of the other member state...

Dear European Operational Policy Enquiries,

Ref: 30095

Thank you for your response to my query regarding Dual Irish and British nationals.

As pointed out on What Do They Know, the law in regards to Regulation 9 is pretty clear:

“Family members of British citizens

9. (1) If the conditions in paragraph (2) are satisfied, these Regulations apply to a person who is the family member of a British citizen as if the British citizen (“P”) were an EEA national.
(2) The conditions are that—
(a)P is residing in an EEA State as a worker or self-employed person or was so residing before returning to the United Kingdom; .
(b)if the family member of P is P’s spouse or civil partner, the parties are living together in the EEA State or had entered into the marriage or civil partnership and were living together in the EEA State before the British citizen returned to the United Kingdom; and .
(c)the centre of P’s life has transferred to the EEA State where P resided as a worker or self-employed person. .
(3) Factors relevant to whether the centre of P’s life has transferred to another EEA State include—
(a)the period of residence in the EEA State as a worker or self-employed person; .
(b)the location of P’s principal residence; .
(c)the degree of integration of P in the EEA State. .
(4) Where these Regulations apply to the family member of P, P is to be treated as holding a valid passport issued by an EEA State for the purpose of the application of regulation 13 to that family member.”.

There is no mention what so ever that the British Citizen cannot be a national of the other member state.

I therefore clarify my request.

As the McCarthy judgment stated that a national who has always resided in "A" state that he is a national (singular), I also highlight that in the case of Chen the movement from Northern Ireland to Great Britain (Wales) being sufficient to invoke treaty rights.

As an EU national enjoys a right of Residence for up to three months (unconditional) under Article 6 of Directive 2004/38/EC, a simple holiday in Spain/France/ETC would therefore remove the barrier (and therefore mean that the EU citizen has not always resided in a state of which he is a national).

I note that Directive 2004/38/EC provides the ability for an individual to not only work/provide services, but also be the recepient of services.

Can you please provide me with information you hold upon this point. Whilst I do appreciate your previous response, it is clear that your response misrepresents the current status of the law.

If the Home Office hold an official document of any sort (training material, policy update, memo ETC) which outlines the "Fact" that the Home Office would not consider Surinder Singh via Ireland as sufficiently excersising treaty rights as an EEA national, then please provide me with this information.

If the Home Office store information which outlines the other side of the coin (that Surinder Singh via Ireland IS sufficient) then please also provide that information.

Yours sincerely,

Sukwant Singh

European Operational Policy Enquiries, Home Office

Thank you for contacting the European Operational Policy Team.

This mailbox is for policy-related enquiries only. We endeavour to respond
to queries received into this mailbox within 10 working days.

IMPORTANT - PLEASE NOTE

The European Operational Policy Team cannot advise or comment on
individual applications. If you wish to contact the casework team
responsible for your application, you can do so in writing to the
following address:

UK Border Agency
European Applications
PO Box 306
Liverpool

You can find information about applying for a document confirming a right
of residence under European law on the UK Border Agency website:
www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/eucitizens

Please be advised that if your enquiry is regarding an individual
application you will not receive a response from this mailbox.

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European Operational Policy Enquiries, Home Office

Dear Mr Singh,

Thank you for your email of 3rd February to the European operational policy enquiries mailbox. Please accept our apologies for the delay in replying.

We propose to consider your request as a general policy enquiry, since you are essentially seeking clarification of how regulation 9 applies to dual nationals. We need to consider the points you have raised further and will respond to you as soon as possible.

Our apologies once again for the delay.

Kind regards,

European Operational Policy Team
Operational Policy & Rules Unit
Immigration & Border Policy Directorate
Home Office

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Clive Waterman left an annotation ()

There appears to be a delay to them responding to this too?

Dear European Operational Policy Enquiries,

RE: 30095

I would of expected that a response would be with myself by now. Even more so considering that case C-456/12 has had it's judgement released - a judgement I am sure the Home Office did not appreciate.

Yours sincerely,

Sukwant Singh

European Operational Policy Enquiries, Home Office

Thank you for contacting the European Operational Policy Team.

This mailbox is for policy-related enquiries only. We endeavour to respond
to queries received into this mailbox within 10 working days.

IMPORTANT - PLEASE NOTE

The European Operational Policy Team cannot advise or comment on
individual applications. If you wish to contact the casework team
responsible for your application, you can do so in writing to the
following address:

Home Office
UK Visas and Immigration
European Applications
PO Box 306
Liverpool

You can find information about applying for a document confirming a right
of residence under European law on the Home Office website:
https://www.gov.uk/browse/visas-immigrat...

Please be advised that if your enquiry is regarding an individual
application you will not receive a response from this mailbox.

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Communications via the GSi may be automatically logged, monitored and/or
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Dear Home Office,

ref 30095

please can you conduct an internal review into my Freedom of Information request 'Surinder Singh for Dual British and Irish nationals'.

A full copy of my request is available https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/s...

I requested stored information. You did not confirm or deny whether you hold this information. I have chased you up on this request a couple of times. You have still not responded.

Yours faithfully,

Sukwant Singh

FOI Requests, Home Office

Thank you for contacting the Home Office FOI Requests mailbox.

The Freedom of Information (FoI) Act 2000 provides public access to
recorded information held by the department.
If you have submitted a valid FoI request, we will acknowledge your
request within 24 hours, and aim to provide the information requested
within 20 working days as specified under the FoI Act.

Please note we are unable to respond to non-FOI immigration enquiries. If
you have a general immigration enquiry, or require an update on a specific
case, contact information can be found here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/organisati... and
https://www.gov.uk/visas-immigration

 

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Dear Home Office,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Home Office's handling of my FOI request 'Surinder Singh for Dual British and Irish nationals'.

30095

I still await your response regarding my freedom of information request in December. You said that you would come back to me with further commnts, but this has not happened. I have requested an Internal Review, and you have ignored this request.

In addition to this, I would like to receive a copy of the case files into the handling of request 30095. This includes all internal and external communications in regards to this freedom of information request.

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/s...

Yours faithfully,

Sukwant Singh

FOI Requests, Home Office

Thank you for contacting the Home Office FOI Requests mailbox.

The Freedom of Information (FoI) Act 2000 provides public access to
recorded information held by the department.
If you have submitted a valid FoI request, we will acknowledge your
request within 24 hours, and aim to provide the information requested
within 20 working days as specified under the FoI Act.

Please note we are unable to respond to non-FOI immigration enquiries. If
you have a general immigration enquiry, or require an update on a specific
case, contact information can be found here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/organisati... and
https://www.gov.uk/visas-immigration

 

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Communications via the GSi may be automatically logged, monitored and/or
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FOI Requests, Home Office

Sukwant Singh

 

Thank you for contacting the Home Office with your request.

 

This has been assigned to a caseworker and you will receive a response in
due course (new ref 32642).

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

 

Thank you

 

FOI Requests

Home Office

 

 

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Grant, Peter, Home Office

Dear Mr Singh,

 

Re 30095 – Surinder Singh for dual British and Irish nationals

 

Thank you for your request dated 15^th August for an internal review into
the handling of FOI request 30095.  Since the original query was dealt
with outside of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (‘the Act’) (see our
response of 13^th January and further email dated 25^th March), we are
unable to conduct an internal review into the matter.  However, your
request for “a copy of the case files into the handling of request 30095”
is being handled as a new request for information under the Act under case
reference 32642.  We aim to respond to this new request by 15^th
September. 

 

In the mean time, we would like to take the opportunity to respond to the
question you originally asked, which was essentially: “can the family
member of a dual British and Irish citizen qualify under the Surinder
Singh route (regulation 9 of the EEA Regulations) where the dual
British/Irish citizen has been working or self-employed in the Republic of
Ireland?”  This question is being considered outside of the Act since you
are primarily seeking clarification of the policy rather than the release
of specific information held by the Home Office.  I apologise for the
unacceptable delay in dealing with this matter.

 

In our original response of 13^th January, we advised that, in the
circumstances described above, the family member would not qualify under
Surinder Singh because our interpretation of the McCarthy case is that an
EEA national cannot exercise free movement rights in a Member State of
which they are national.  Consequently, an Irish citizen living and
working in the Republic of Ireland would not be exercising free movement
rights.  This would not affect the ability of the dual British/Irish
citizen to exercise free movement rights in a Member State other than the
UK or Ireland, with the result that his or her family members may be able
to rely on Surinder Singh on return to the UK. 

 

You disputed this interpretation in your email of 3^rd February and,
following this, we committed to seeking further legal advice in order to
confirm/clarify the position. Subsequent discussions on the issue have
been both lengthy and complex, which has partly resulted in the delay in
providing a further response.

 

Having now considered this matter further and discussed with legal
advisors, our amended advice is that, as the EEA Regulations are currently
drafted, there is nothing to prevent the family member of a dual
British/Irish citizen from qualifying under regulation 9 as a result of
the British/Irish citizen having resided in the Republic of Ireland as a
worker or self-employed person (since the Republic of Ireland meets the
definition of “EEA State” in regulation 2(1)), provided all of the
requirements of regulation 9 are otherwise met.  We are considering
whether we need to amend regulation 9 to better reflect the relevant
case-law (including McCarthy) and this matter is still under
consideration.

 

I trust this has clarified matters and I apologise once again for the
considerable delay in responding.

 

Kind regards,

PG

 

 

P. Grant

European Policy Team

Immigration & Border Policy Directorate

International & Immigration Policy Group

Home Office

 

Level 5 | Vulcan House - Steel | 8 Millsands | Riverside Exchange |
Sheffield | S3 8WA

 

 

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FOI Responses, Home Office

1 Attachment

Please find attached, a letter about your Freedom of Information request.

Information Access Team
Home Office

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FOI Responses, Home Office

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Singh

 

 

Please find enclosed response to your FOI request.

 

 

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

Information Access Team

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Communications via the GSi may be automatically logged, monitored and/or
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Dear Home Office,

32642

You don't appear to have included the emails. Can you send them please.

Yours faithfully,

Sukwant Singh

FOI Requests, Home Office

Thank you for contacting the Home Office FOI Requests mailbox.

The Freedom of Information (FoI) Act 2000 provides public access to
recorded information held by the department.

If you have submitted a valid FoI request, we will acknowledge your
request within 48 hours, and aim to provide the information requested
within 20 working days as specified under the FoI Act

PLEASE NOTE

If you have a general immigration enquiry, or require an update on a
specific case, you should contact UKVI directly, contact information can
be found here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/organisati... and
[1]https://www.gov.uk/visas-immigration

General enquiries should be directed to
[2][email address]  

 

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Communications via the GSi may be automatically logged, monitored and/or
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References

Visible links
1. https://www.gov.uk/visas-immigration
2. mailto:[email address]

FOI Responses, Home Office

17 Attachments

 

 

From: FOI Responses
Sent: 26 November 2014 09:16
To: ''[FOI #190917 email]'
Subject: FW: FOI Request 32642

 

Dear Mr Singh

 

Further to our email of 20 November 2014 enclosing the response to your
FOI request.

 

Please find enclosed Annexes 1 to 17 which was omitted from our email.

 

 

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

Information Access Team

 

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Dear Home Office,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Home Office's handling of my FOI request 'Surinder Singh for Dual British and Irish nationals'.

In Annex 6, the message Dated 13/3/2014 14:54 states "corrective action now taken by the IMS team".

Can you please provide all sorted information relating to this "corrective action" (AKA: Fraud? / False Record Keeping).
Confirmed by the message 13/3/2014 15:03 "To be fair, I’m not sure IMS knew about the request as he sent it direct to the Euro ops policy mailbox
(on 3rd Feb)."

"I have also attached new guidance recently issued for completing the new Template and standard wording for FOI responses."

Can you provide them, as per my request...

Furthermore, Annex 7 - 24.3.14 15:53- "I’m afraid I haven’t started on this one yet. As the deadline has long passed (as previously discussed,
the request was originally received on 3rd Feb but not spotted or formally allocated until 10th March), I
haven’t accorded this one my highest priority, so I could concentrate on work where I could meet the
deadline." - Where's your defence for a prompt response? "oh f..k it. It's late anyway, why bother"...

Annex 8 - Clear circumvention of the FOIA...

To be honest, I am totally disgusted. As if it wasn't enough that the Home Office didn't respond promptly, to have the coverup presented... that's priceless!

FOIA requirement: Confirm or deny. Do you hold the information. FOIA requires you comply.

Annex 10 - <Text removed – out of scope>
< Please supply the full emails as requested. (This is certainly a valid FOI request - as the "Out of scope" text is in the message string, it is certainly within scope. (is that clear "My good friend").

<...Redacted – s. 36(2)(b)(ii)...> I don't agree with. I will pursue a complaint with the ICO on this matter.

This is being used as somebody cocked up, and you're covering for them. Not fair game. I am deeply upset by this entire request. Your own staff even accept my request was valid!
"Well, there *was* a valid FOI request there, we just chose to treat it as BAU for our convenience.
True, there can’t be an internal review as such, but <...redacted – s. 36(2)(b)(ii)...>. Whether that
should be dealt with as a TO or general correspondence is another matter; I’ll ask if it can be dealt
with as the latter." Annex 13 - 20.6.14 14:44

Attachments should of been included. If they were in the emails, they are in scope. They form part of the messages which I requested.

From: <Redacted>
Sent: 15 May 2014 11:11
To: <Redacted>
Subject: RE: FOI case ref. <Redacted – s. 40(1)> 2014-05-09 (IIPG)

FOIA requests are releases to the public. I expect release. At the very least you should of contacted the other requested to see if s/he authorised the release of their details. Was this request filed on WDTK or? If on WDTK the requester has agreed to their name ETC (exc emails ETC) being released by submitting the request

"so long as I answer the question asked, he should be happy enough." Well guess what. I'm back, deeply unhappy. I was unhappy at the response, I was unhappy at the service. and to be clear. I'm unhappy at the coverup also.

"This is something we’ve actually got going up to LAB at the moment as part of <out of scope>," What's with all the clearly in scope, <Out of Scope> remarks. If it's deemed sufficient to refer to it, it's clearly in scope. Finally getting the time to be reading this response is making me consider that we are not actually such good friend's afterall. Why would you treat a good friend in such a manner? Why?... (Seriously why... Please provide the information that you certainly store, which highlights the reason for the coverup :) < FYI - thats a valid FOI request)

I'm considering that this email chain is evidence of Misconduct in Public Office - A Crime under UK Law? - wow, and I know just the people to deal with handling allegations of crime. (oh, that'ld be you guys wouldn't it... No justice today I guess).

Seriously, the <out of scope> is beyond a joke. Clearly BAU scam didn't work. Out of scope won't either.

So, I'm confident that in the complaint T7580/14 and FOI 32642, you've made my case for distress caused.
And your clear failure to provide the service which I expect. Which should be afforded a compensatory (Consolatory) payment.
I am not out for personal gain. But as I am owed compensation I would appreciate a donation being made to a very good Charity - Great Ormond St Hospital -
http://www.gosh.org/dm-landing-pages/spe...

Let's just be clear, and state this: The entire request was a FOI request. You attempted to treat it as BAU, yet We ALL know it was FOIA material. The HO covered up. But not well enough. It altered documents to meet service standards. and well, frankly, I am disgusted. I shouldn't be the only person disgusted either. If this is the manner in which the team plays... I feel sorry for the poor folks in IMS who have to clean up your messes.

Further To the Valid FOI request above, I would like a copy of the handling of my request 32642. (I am sorry for the further handling request, but... well, look at the very valid reason for the request...) - this is obviously a complaint that will be pursued all the way. I'm confident more shenanigans are looming behind the scenes.

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/s...

Yours faithfully,

Sukwant Singh

FOI Requests, Home Office

Thank you for contacting the Home Office FOI Requests mailbox.

The Freedom of Information (FoI) Act 2000 provides public access to
recorded information held by the department.

If you have submitted a valid FoI request, we will acknowledge your
request within 48 hours, and aim to provide the information requested
within 20 working days as specified under the FoI Act

PLEASE NOTE

If you have a general immigration enquiry, or require an update on a
specific case, you should contact UKVI directly, contact information can
be found here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/organisati... and
[1]https://www.gov.uk/visas-immigration

General enquiries should be directed to
[2][email address]  

 

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Communications via the GSi may be automatically logged, monitored and/or
recorded for legal purposes.

References

Visible links
1. https://www.gov.uk/visas-immigration
2. mailto:[email address]

FOI Requests, Home Office

Sukwant Singh

 

Thank you for contacting the Home Office

 

This will be handled as an Internal Review of your Freedom of Information
request (case ref 32642) and has been assigned to a caseworker to
investigate and respond to you in due course.

 

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

 

Thank you

 

FOI Requests

Home Office

 

 

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Dear FOI Requests,

32642

Please do not forget my new FOI requests in addition to the clear written complaint I have raised about your handling of my request, which has caused myself substantial offence.

Have the persons responsible for this offence, and the Misconduct in Public Office been spoken to?

Please highlight the information you store related to the offence, and the processes taken when your organisation identified the fact that such an offence had been committed.

Further information on this offence is obtainable from the CPS: http://www.cps.gov.uk/legal/l_to_o/misco...

Yours sincerely,

Sukwant Singh

FOI Requests, Home Office

Thank you for contacting the Home Office FOI Requests mailbox.

The Freedom of Information (FoI) Act 2000 provides public access to
recorded information held by the department.

If you have submitted a valid FoI request, we will acknowledge your
request within 48 hours, and aim to provide the information requested
within 20 working days as specified under the FoI Act

PLEASE NOTE

If you have a general immigration enquiry, or require an update on a
specific case, you should contact UKVI directly, contact information can
be found here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/organisati... and
[1]https://www.gov.uk/visas-immigration

General enquiries should be directed to
[2][email address]  

 

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References

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1. https://www.gov.uk/visas-immigration
2. mailto:[email address]

CA Purkis left an annotation ()

Corruption and cover up is rife in the Home Office. Lets not even mention their incompetency. That is right off off the Richter Scale. They lie, they cover up and the deny. Fact.

Sukwant Singh left an annotation ()

The ICO are handling my complaint under ref: FS50568921

They have outlined that they intend to progress my initial request of December 2013 for complaint consideration...

"My intention is to progress this case on the basis of your 28 December 2013 request. Focusing on your earliest request will provide the likeliest route to you gaining access to at least some of the information you requested."

FOI Responses, Home Office

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Singh

 

Please see attached  the response to your request for an internal review
of your FOI  request.

 

Thanks

 

 

A. Wareham

Information Access Team

Home Office

 

Please note any further correspondence should be sent to
[email address] not FOI responses.

 

 

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Wayne Pearsall left an annotation ()

LMFAO. Guess you were the other individual then...?

"Oh crap. He's got a valid reason to complain. What do we do?" "He's clearly vexatious!"

Wayne Pearsall left an annotation ()

http://pic.twitter.com/WSLlLtcXIj (Bottom of page). I have to say, I really didn't think that the email was relating to you.

http://youtu.be/W91toD3-_iI

Sukwant Singh left an annotation ()

27 March 2015
 
Our ref: FS50568921
 
Dear Mr Singh,
 
Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA)
Home Office
 
I write further to previous correspondence about this case, which concerns the following information request made by you to the Home Office on 28 December 2013:
 
“Could you provide me with any guidance, legislation or otherwise which might outline a prevention of a dual irish/british national from benefiting from the case of surinder singh via ireland.”
 
I have been in correspondence with the Home Office about this case and in this email will set out how I intend to proceed with this case from this point and will ask that you respond again confirming your agreement to this.
 
I asked the Home Office to consider issuing a fresh response to the above request. As the Home Office had stated specifically that this request was not dealt with under the provisions of the FOIA, instead it was dealt with as ‘business as usual’, I suggested to the Home Office that it now issue a fresh response under the FOIA. The response from the Home Office was that it did not intend to take this step.
 
My intention now is to draft a decision notice that requires the Home Office to issue a formal response under the FOIA to your request of 28 December 2013. That response should confirm or deny whether recorded information falling within the scope of that request is held by the Home Office and, in relation to any information that is held, either disclose it or specify the grounds under the FOIA as to why it will not be disclosed.
 
The other issue is the 23 February 2015 response that refused your correspondence of 10 January 2015 as vexatious. As I have stated previously, my recommendation is that you focus on your original 28 December 2013 request. That was the substantive request from which all the subsequent correspondence proceeded. Once you have received the response ordered in the decision notice described above, you may no longer feel it necessary to pursue the issue of the 23 February 2015 response. However, if you do wish this office to consider the 23 February 2015 response, a separate case will be created for that purpose.
 
Taking the above into account, please now respond to the following:
 
 
Confirm whether you agree with my intention to issue a decision notice that requires the Home Office to respond to your 28 December 2013 request under the FOIA, and
State whether you wish this office to also consider the issue of the 23 February 2015 response.
 
I will take the appropriate action once I have received your reply. Thank you in anticipation.
 
Yours sincerely,
 
 
Ben Tomes
Senior Case Officer
 

Clive Waterman left an annotation ()

ICO Decision Notice: https://ico.org.uk/media/action-weve-tak...

Decision (including any steps ordered)
1. The complainant requested information relating to immigration law. The
Home Office did not respond to this request in line with the FOIA as it
stated that it dealt with it as an enquiry, rather than as a request for
recorded information.
2. The Commissioner’s decision is that in failing to deal with the
complainant’s request in accordance with the FOIA, the Home Office
breached section 1(1) of the FOIA. It is now required to respond in
accordance with the FOIA.
3. The Commissioner requires the Home Office to take the following steps
to ensure compliance with the legislation.
 Issue a response to the complainant’s information request under
the FOIA.
4. The Home Office must take these steps within 35 calendar days of the
date of this decision notice. Failure to comply may result in the
Commissioner making written certification of this fact to the High Court
pursuant to section 54 of the FOIA and may be dealt with as a contempt
of court.

Wayne Pearsall left an annotation ()

Wonder whats going to happen here then...

Brook Adrian (IMS), Home Office

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Singh

 

Please see the attached letter.

 

Regards

 

Adrian Brook

Information Access Team

Knowledge and Information Management Unit

Performance and Risk Directorate

Home Office

2 Marsham Street, London SW1P 4DF

Tel: 020 7035 1022

[1][email address]

 

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Wayne Pearsall left an annotation ()

Second Decision Notice has been issued for this topic: https://ico.org.uk/media/action-weve-tak... (The meta data refusal). Other than the long time taken to issue a clear cut DN, I have to admit that the ICO are holding up these very valid FOI requests.

Dear Home Office,

Further to the ICO Decision Notice https://ico.org.uk/media/action-weve-tak...

I trust that I shall receive a response to all of the FOI request's I have filed on my request @: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/s...

However, I do highlight that Annex 11, of 32642 ( https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/1... ) states:
"He has come back disputing this interpretation. His email is quoted in full further down in the chain
(highlighted in yellow) but the key points he raises are below [with my comments in square brackets]. "

I cannot see the message referred to, but would obviously expect sight of the comments made in square brackets. I note that you rely on 36(2)(b)(ii) a lot, but as you will be aware of in the case of Home Office and Ministry of Justice (MoJ) v ICO it was clear that the public interest in disclosure far outweighed, and I am certain that the same is true in this case.

I take this opportunity to remind you of the case, and the specifc arguments, and the view of the court...:
1. The Tribunal considered these arguments in turn at paragraphs 45-60. Regarding the chilling effect, the Tribunal considered existing IT decisions (Guardian and DfES v IC and Evening Standard) which place some scepticism on the risk of such a chilling effect on the future conduct of officials (paragraph 46). Although it was accepted that there could be a chilling effect in particular cases, this argument could not be maintained in this case as much of the evidence was on the basis of dealing with meta-requests generally. The Tribunal recalled the evidence in the reasonable opinion of a qualified person, that ‘much of the information created by a public authority in dealing with a request for information is not actually sensitive’ (emphasis added). In light of the existing IT decisions, little weight was applied to this public interest argument by the Tribunal. This position was corroborated in the High Court appeal.
2. The PA argued that there would be a disproportionate diversion of valuable resources to deal with meta-requests which would have an impact on resources to deal with substantive FOI requests. However, the public authority presented contradictory evidence which said that meta-requests had not stopped them dealing with ‘substantive’ requests for information and additionally, that the information relevant to meta-requests will often be relatively easily available and cannot be ruled out on grounds of cost. The Tribunal did not give a firm view in response to this, but it clear that there is little or no evidence to suggest that meta-requests create a disproportionate diversion of resources and that therefore this is a weak public interest argument.
3. The PA’s argument that meta-requests circumvents established FOI complaints/appeals procedures was accepted as fundamentally misconceived by the Tribunal and viewed as another weak public interest argument in favour of maintaining the exemption. As detailed at paragraph 50, FOIA provides for information to be released in response to requests unless exempt by virtue of the provisions in the Act; there is no exemption for circumvention of FOI processes in the Act.
4. In considering the public interest argument that the information contains little or no material that would serve the public interest, the public authority argued that the information would not inform public debate, drawing upon the case of Foreign Office and ICO v Friends of the Earth, which noted that there is a clear distinction between information that simply adds to the sum of human knowledge and information that actually furthers a clear public interest (paragraph 52). However, this was countered by the argument that there is an important public interest as such information shows the processes are working well or otherwise; this is emphasised by the fact the appellant sought to apply additional late exemptions to the information, which demonstrates that they considered that some of the information in this case has value (paragraph 53).
5. In response to the argument put forward that meta-requests are an irresponsible use of the Act that serves an individual’s private interests, the Tribunal accepted evidence from the Commissioner that irresponsible requests should be dealt with as vexatious under s14 and that the concept of irresponsible use has no place outside of s14. Private interests behind a request should not be taken into account as the Act is motive blind. Therefore little weight was given to this public interest
6. Lastly, the Tribunal attributed little weight to the public interest argument in regard to the ‘backdoor access’ argument. The public authority had argued, in the reasonable opinion of the qualified person that meta-requests could be used as a backdoor method of obtaining information previously withheld — “the public authority would have no choice but to undertake the time consuming task of collating and auditing all the internal information that has been created, to ensure that any reference to the details of previously withheld information is identified”. However, although it was accepted that dealing with meta-requests could be time consuming, the Tribunal found that time spent is of no relevance and has limited weight. The exemption at s12 provides for costs and s14 if it encompasses a repeated request. Furthermore, there was no evidence that meta-requests have been used to gain backdoor evidence in general, or in this case.
(Read more: http://foiwiki.com/foiwiki/index.php/Lin... )

Yours faithfully,

Sukwant Singh

FOI Requests, Home Office

Thank you for contacting the Home Office FOI Requests mailbox.

The Freedom of Information (FoI) Act 2000 provides public access to
recorded information held by the department.

If you have submitted a valid FoI request, we will acknowledge your
request within 48 hours, and aim to provide the information requested
within 20 working days as specified under the FoI Act

PLEASE NOTE

If you have a general immigration enquiry, or require an update on a
specific case, you should contact UKVI directly, contact information can
be found here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/organisati... and
[1]https://www.gov.uk/visas-immigration

General enquiries should be directed to
[2][email address]  

 

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Brook Adrian (IMS), Home Office

4 Attachments

Dear Mr Singh

 

Please see the attached letter and enclosures. As the letter explains, a
further response will be sent to you shortly.

 

Sincerely

 

Adrian Brook

Information Rights Team

Knowledge and Information Management Unit

Performance and Risk Directorate

 

Home Office | 4th Floor | Peel Building | 2 Marsham Street | London SW1P
4DF

Tel: 020 7035 1022

[1][email address]

 

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