The Home Office have introduced a Fast Tack Pilot Scheme to work hand in hand with the traditional Subject Access Request. If you have entered the UK it is likely the Home Office will hold your immigration records on their database. Obtaining these records could be essential before submitting an another application to enter or remain in the UK, especially in circumstances where you have lost your previous passport and you are not aware of your immigration history. You can obtain your immigration records from the Home Office using the Subject Access Request Service (SAR).Obtain your Immigration Records from the Home Office using Subject Access Request
Why make a Subject Access Request
The essential purpose and use of a Subject Access Request is that it provides you with the opportunity to view all your immigration records that are held by the Home Office. These can be particularly useful in circumstances where you have misplaced information about your immigration history or cannot recollect specific dates and events about your immigration status in the UK, which you need in order to prepare your next immigration visa application. Depending on the amount of time and type of information required, you will then need to decide whether you should make a Fast Track Subject Access Request or the traditional Subject Access Request.
Subject Access Request – New Fast Track Pilot Scheme
The Home Office have introduced a new Fast Track Pilot Scheme handled by the Appeal, Litigation and Subject Access Request Directorate (ALS Directorate), which has been set up as a substitute to the traditional Subject Access Request, for people who require information about their immigration records quicker. Whilst the Fast Track Pilot Scheme is currently being evaluated, applications are still being accepted. Some practitioners form the opinion that the fast track scheme was created to control and assist with the large backlog of Subject Access Requests. The benefit of submitting a fast track application is the processing times are slashed by half and you receive a response within 20 days from the date of the Home Office’s acknowledgment. Under this Scheme you can expect to receive your: IT records, entry clearance records and landing card records. In our expert opinion, the new Scheme is useful for people that need basic information about their immigration records for the purpose of making their immigration visa applications. However, it is not appropriate for people who required detailed information about their immigration records whereby the traditional Subject Access Request would be more appropriate.
Traditional Subject Access Request
If you submit a Subject Access Request using the traditional route, you should receive a response within 40 days from the date of the Home Office’s acknowledgment of your request. However, this timescale is very rarely maintained due to a large number of requests to the Home Office and responses far exceed the 40 days guideline. In a bid to control the number of Subject Access Requests submitted, the Home Office have introduced key changes to the process by which a Subject Access Request is submitted. As of 11 July 2016, the Home Office requires all requests to be accompanied alongside an original copy of your certified identification and should be dated no more than 6 months before the submission of your request. The Home Office has made the entire process cumbersome by imposing stringent requirements and declining applications if any of them are not met causing further unnecessary delays.
What kind of records can you expect if you submit a Subject Access Request?
- Previous UK Applications submitted;
- UK Entry and Departure dates;
- UK Visas granted and declined;
- UK Detention records; and
- Work Permits.
It is important to note there is no guarantee you will receive full copies of your immigration records. Therefore you should not rely on the Subject Access Records to determine your full immigration history in the UK.
Advice from UK Immigration Solicitors on submitting a successful Subject Access Request
Our team of solicitors and barristers bear in mind the paramount duty of all legal representatives to act in your best interest whilst complying with the strict letter of the law. Our team of specialists can be distinguished from other law firms with our client-tailored approach and scrutiny of options available to you from the outset. We will be able to advise you in respect of the merits of your Subject Access Request by providing you with advice from our leading team of solicitors before your matter even reaches the Home Office. We can assist you with the preparation of your visa application and ensure that you meet all the requirements of the relevant rules.
If you wish to consider your options, please call our Immigration Team so we can assess your matter and if necessary advise you of the next steps you should take in a consultation.
We are based in the legal epicentre of London, just across the road from the Royal Courts of Justice in order to ensure we get the best results for our clients. We are minutes away from the Immigration and Asylum Tribunal, the Royal Courts of Justice and other central London courts.
If you need professional legal advice about submitting a Subject Access Request please contact us for a case assessment on 02071830570. You can also reach us via our contact form.