A date stamp in a passport or travel document does not confer ILR in cases of returning residents, the Upper Tribunal has held in an interesting case. The facts make it all the more interesting: it involves a recognised refugee from Libya who had returned to live in that country and obtained a Libyan passport, has been absent for more than two years and on return did not present his passport but instead his refugee travel document.
The official headnote:
(1) The judgments of the Court of Appeal in R v Secretary of State for the Home Department ex parte Bagga  1 QB 485 are authority for the proposition that, if there is no practice on the part of the Secretary of State of using a date stamp to record the grant of leave under the Immigration Act 1971, even a ‘blameless’ individual will be unable to derive any material benefit from that stamp.
(2) The corollary, however, is not that a blameworthy individual must automatically be able to benefit from such a stamp, which is used in practice to record the grant of leave. Someone who, by misrepresentation, induces an immigration officer to proceed on a mistaken basis is not automatically entitled to succeed, merely because a mistaken decision has been formally recorded.
(3) In such a scenario, consideration must be given to:
(a) the person’s actions and understanding; and
(b) what the immigration officer thought he or she was doing by affixing the stamp.