General grounds for refusal: alleged deception and innocent mistakes

Making a mistake on an immigration application form can be disastrous. If the mistake is interpreted by officials as an attempt to mislead or deceive, the application will inevitably be refused. If the application was for entry clearance, it will also lead to a 10 year ban on re-entry to the UK. There are a number of relevant court cases and Home Office policies that can help if such a situation does arise, although of course it is far, far preferable to avoid such a problem in the first place. What are the Immigration Rules on deception? Automatic refusals There are two key effects of a finding of deception by an…

28th March 2017 By Colin Yeo

Visitor deceived authorities by failing to disclose relationship on entry

Another case here that serves as a warning against attempting to arrive on a visitor visa to marry an EU national while not telling the Immigration Officer that this is in fact your reason for entering the UK. Despite “some 500 pages” of evidence substantiating the genuineness of the relationship at the marriage interview, the Claimant’s withholding the true reason for his coming to the UK from the Immigration Officer at Luton Airport proved fatal to his case that he did not enter the country by deception. An interesting point is that apparently it can in some cases be proper for an Immigration Officer to enquire about the sex life of…

13th July 2016 By Paul Erdunast

Rule imposing mandatory refusal for deception is not ultra vires says Court of Appeal

Rule imposing mandatory refusal for deception is not ultra vires says Court of Appeal. Unsurprisingly. A student was convicted for driving with excess alcohol and also for driving without due care and attention. He was made subject to a community order with an unpaid work requirement and a requirement to attend a drink-drive rehabilitation course. He failed to disclose this when he applied to extend his leave. His application was refused under paragraph 322(1A) of the Immigration Rules, which provides that an application must be refused: Where false representations have been made or false documents or information have been submitted (whether or not material to the application, and whether or not…

12th February 2016 By Colin Yeo

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…

3rd February 2015 By Colin Yeo

Non disclosure of criminal convictions

With thanks to the excellent Fawzi Zuberi of Lighthouse Solicitors, I thought it might be worth flagging up an obscure, very well hidden but very useful part of the modernised guidance on General grounds for refusal. It comes at p98 onwards of a ridiculously long document (which of course is far LESS user friendly and comprehensible than before it was ‘modernised’) and the most useful bit reads as follows: You must consider refusing an application on character and conduct grounds if a person fails to declare a criminal conviction, especially when explicitly asked to do so on an application form. However, an application must not be refused if you believe the…

3rd June 2013 By Colin Yeo

Two tribunal cases on deception

In the case of Mumu (paragraph 320; Article 8; scope) Bangladesh [2012] UKUT 143 (IAC) Judges of the Upper Tribunal Storey and Lane have dismissed an appeal against a refusal under paragraph 320(7A) of the Immigration Rules. This reads as follows: (7A)  Where false representations have been made or false documents or information have been submitted (whether or not material to the application, and whether or not to the applicant’s knowledge), or material facts had not been disclosed, in relation to the application. The tribunal finds, perhaps rather unsurprisingly given the text of the rule, that the deception need not be that of the applicant and dismisses the case under the Immigration…

23rd May 2012 By Free Movement

Meaning of ‘false representation’: AA Nigeria case

The Court of Appeal has adopted a helpfully limited approach to the meaning of ‘false representation’ in Immigration Rules 320(7A) and 322(1A), restricting it to cases of deliberate falsehood rather than accidental mistake. The case is AA (Nigeria) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2010] EWCA Civ 773 and the outcome is completely opposite to the tribunal’s consideration of the same issue in FW (Paragraph 322: untruthful answer) Kenya [2010] UKUT 165 (IAC). It really is remarkable how often the tribunal adopt the most restrictive possible interpretation and how often the higher courts disagree. It rather starts to call into question the judgment of some senior members of…

13th July 2010 By Free Movement