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Date stamp does not not confer ILR in returning resident cases

Date stamp does not not confer ILR in returning resident cases

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 [1991] 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.

Source: B, R (on the application of) v Secretary of State for the Home Department (recording of leave – date stamps) (IJR) [2016] UKUT 135 (IAC) (26 February 2016)

Colin Yeo

Immigration and asylum barrister, blogger, writer and consultant at Garden Court Chambers in London and founder and editor of the Free Movement immigration law website.

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