Home Office refusals and “innocent mistakes” – recently published Home Office instructions

There are many cases where applicants make mistakes on their application form. The implications of this can be massive and can even lead to a ten year ban from the UK, if the application were for Entry Clearance.

The two rules that the Home Office use to refuse applications if they believe there was an attempt to mislead or deceive are as follows :

  • If false representations are made in an application for Entry Clearance to the UK, then there is a mandatory refusal under paragraph 320 (7A) of the Immigration Rules;
  • If there has been a previous immigration breach or a refusal under paragraph 320 (7A) then this will lead to a mandatory refusal and a ten year ban under paragraph 320 (7B), if the application were for Entry Clearance.

The above refusals and the ten year ban affect many applicants every year as they are mandatory, however there are two instances where we are able to potentially have these revoked.

Firstly, there must be a deliberate intention to deceive, there is authoritative case law from the Court of Appeal confirming this, this can either be clarified at appeal, if there is a right of appeal, or in a future application.

Secondly, there is a Home Office Instruction/Guidance that has recently been published and made available publicly, addressing ‘innocent mistakes’, so for instance if an applicant ticks the wrong box on a form, i.e. if they tick saying that they have not been refused a visa by mistake and they submit their passport with their application that has a visa refusal stamp it in, then the Entry Clearance Officer should consider it to be an ‘innocent mistake’ as opposed to one of deception. However, in reality this is not always the case, so we would raise this specific policy, as above with the case law, at appeal, if there is a right of appeal, or in a future application.

If you have a refusal then please feel free to contact us and we will be able to use our experience and knowledge to advise you accordingly and to best represent you.

Posted in English on Oct 07, 2013.