Invalid applications result in gaps in continuous lawful residence

Mistakes made on application forms, including innocent mistakes may render an application invalid and accordingly result in a gap in an individual’s “continuous lawful residence” in the UK. This is important because in most cases of Indefinite Leave to Remain applications, there is a necessary period of “continuous lawful residence” in the UK as part of the requirements to meet in order to make a successful application. The applicant in Das (paragraph 276B – s3C – application validity) Bangladesh [2019] UKUT 354 (IAC) was unfortunate in this regard.

Background facts of the case

Mr Das made an application on 11 September 2008 to extend his student visa in the UK. Instead of using the August 2008 version, he mistakenly used to April 2008 version of the application form. When this fact was become known, he submitted his application on the correct form and subsequently was granted his student visa extension.

When Mr Das applied for Indefinite Leave to Remain on the basis of 10 years’ continuous lawful residence 10 years, the Home office refused his application because of the wrong form mistake he made in 2008. At that time, he had submitted the new form after the expiry of his visa, which made him an ‘over-stayer’ until his application was granted several months later in March 2009.

The Upper Tribunal’s reasoning

The court propounded that submitting the wrong form automatically invalidates an application. The situation was deemed to be “materially indistinguishable” from failure to pay the required application fee, which also invalidates an application automatically. Accordingly, there was a gap in Mr Das’ “continuous lawful residence” in the UK and the appeal was dismissed.

Posted in English on Nov 28, 2019.