Home Office officials have made more than 5,700 changes to the UK immigration rules since 2010, a Guardian analysis has revealed, making the visa system nearly impossible to navigate, according to senior judges and lawyers.
The rules have more than doubled in length to almost 375,000 words, resulting in a complex system which has been called “something of a disgrace” by Lord Justice Irwin and prompting a radical overhaul.
The analysis shows that at some points the Home Office introduced changes at dizzying speed, publishing new sets of changes a week apart or less on seven occasions.
The frequency of the changes means it’s very difficult to keep on top of them. You have to read all the immigration rules updates that’s coming out and it’s very hard to be certain you’ve captured every single change that might be relevant to your clients. The changes are often hurried out, which means they can be badly written. They can be very difficult to understand, even for judges and lawyers.