By January 2021, the Home Office intends to entirely reformat the “confusing” Immigration Rules.

The Home Office has accepted the need to simplify the “complex and confusing” Immigration Rules and says that the work is already underway.

In an official response to the Law Commission’s recent report on the subject, the department says that “we have already begun the process of reviewing, simplifying and consolidating the Rules”.

Immigration minister Kevin Foster adds that the aim is to complete the overhaul by January 2021.

The Law Commission’s report, published in January 2020, made 41 recommendations for redrafting the “overly complex and unworkable” regulations at the heart of the UK immigration system. The Home Office says that it is accepting 24 of them and partially accepting the other 17.

In terms of overall structure, the department’s proposal is broadly in line with the Law Commission’s. The simplified Rules would start with rules that apply across the board, such as how to make a valid visa application and the general grounds for refusal, followed by the rules specific to each visa.

“Our aim”, says Foster, “is to complete this overhaul by January 2021”.

He also writes in the foreword: “For far too long, users have struggled to understand the confusing and complex Immigration Rules”. The minister is to be commended for his candor, given that his party has been in charge of the Rules for almost a decade.

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