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Meaning of “false” document and the difference between visiting and inspecting

Meaning of “false” document and the difference between visiting and inspecting

In Begum (false documents and false statements) [2015] UKUT 00041 (IAC) we are educated by the tribunal as to the difference between a “visit” and an “inspection” and the blameless appellant is refused entry and perhaps banned from further entry for 10 years. Some might think the case just a little harsh.

An professional inspector of properties had visited a house in a private capacity. He later produced a letter in a professional capacity stating that he had “inspected” that house. The tribunal decided that this amounted to a false statement and therefore that the document was a false document and therefore that the application for entry clearance fell to be refused under the general grounds for refusal, specifically paragraph 320(7A). This hair splitting was despite the appellant knowing nothing of the alleged “false” document, the fact that the accommodation concerned was in fact entirely adequate (and therefore the report accurate) and the fact that all other requirements of the Immigration Rules were¬†satisfied.

What is not said in the case is that the same appellant now faces a potential ban from the United Kingdom for a period of 10 years owing to paragraphs 320(7B) and (7C) of the Immigration Rules if it is considered there was “deception” in the use of the alleged false document. One would hope not and that common sense and the case of AA (Nigeria) v SSHD [2010] EWCA Civ 773 (blog post) would prevail, but that does not seem to have helped the poor woman so far.

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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