Success Story: Indefinite Leave to Remain application granted after 6 years of uphill battle with the Home Office

We recently received some delightful news that our client’s (the “Applicant”) indefinite leave to remain application had been granted after 6 years of ongoing litigation with the Home Office. The Applicant initially submitted an indefinite leave to remain application in 2013 but her application was refused, and as a result, the Applicant appealed the decision. This was a complicated case and the Applicant’s appeal had been heard at the Court of Appeal but unfortunately, her appeal was dismissed harshly on a technicality. After a detailed assessment of the Applicant’s position, we advised her that the best option open to her was to submit a fresh indefinite leave to remain application. The crux of the Applicant’s fresh application depended on whether she had been covered by Section 3C leave of the Immigration Act 1971 during the appeal process. Further, the Applicant would be submitting her fresh indefinite leave to remain application without sitting the Life in the UK test as her passport had been retained with her initial application 6 years ago.      

Background to the indefinite leave to remain application

The Applicant arrived in the United Kingdom in 2003 and she had submitted an indefinite leave to remain application in 2013. The Applicant’s application was refused on the grounds that there was a gap of over 2 years where she did not hold a valid visa. The Applicant explained to the Home Office that she was not aware that she did not hold a valid visa as she was a minor and she had assumed that her parents had applied for a visa for her. Further, the educational institution she was studying at the time also did not raise an issue in respect to her visa status so she had always assumed she had a visa. The Home Office did not accept the Applicant’s explanation and has refused her application.

The Applicant appealed the decision to refuse her application at the First Tier Tribunal and her appeal was allowed. However, the Home Office opted to appeal the decision further at the Upper Tribunal on the grounds that the First Tier Tribunal judge had made an error of law. From this point onwards for the next 5 years, the matter was in and out the Tribunals and there were 3 different Case Management Review hearings (CMR). The Upper Tribunal finally concluded and dismissed the Applicant’s appeal on the basis that she did not meet the requirements when she had applied for indefinite leave to remain. This position was also accepted by the Applicant but she had argued that the Home Office should exercise discretion in her favour due to the positive work she was doing in the United Kingdom with the NHS. The Applicant’s activity in the United Kingdom positively contributed to society and her work directly resulted in many lives being saved of young children. There was ample evidence submitted to the Home Office in support of her claims. The Upper Tribunal’s final decision itself contradicted previous judgements in respect of the application of discretion. The Applicant appealed the decision further at the Court of Appeal and her appeal was harshly dismissed on a technicality. Following the Court of Appeal’s decision, we advised the Applicant that she should submit a fresh indefinite leave to remain application as she had acquired a further 10 years of lawful and continuous leave from 2008 to 2018. Further, the period the Home Office previously wished to rely on was no longer applicable as it was before 2008 therefore not relevant to her fresh application. The key issue in the fresh application was whether she had been covered by Section 3C leave under the Immigration Act 1971 during her appeal process.

Our specialist Immigration team have an in-depth understanding of the Immigration Rules and take great care and attention in preparing indefinite leave to remain applications and preparing strong legal arguments. The Applicant’s application was granted and she was delighted with the outcome.

How is Section 3C leave relevant to indefinite leave to remain applications?

Section 3C under the Immigration Act 1971 is a contentious area of immigration law which is often misinterpreted. The principle behind Section 3C leave under the Immigration Act 1971 is to offer a shield of protection for Applicants who have Immigration applications and appeals pending with the Home Office. If an Applicant is protected by Section 3C leave his/her immigration will be extended until a decision is made on his/her immigration application or appeal. Without the virtue of Section 3C leave Applicants would often be in danger of overstaying their visa resulting in Applicants having no lawful immigration status in the United Kingdom. Without lawful immigration status in the United Kingdom Applicants are directly in breach of the United Kingdom’s Immigration laws and are liable to be removed.

Can indefinite leave to remain applications be submitted without the Life in the UK Test?

In this case, the Applicant had submitted her indefinite leave to remain application without sitting a Life in the UK Test as her passport had been retained by the Home Office with the previous application. To sit a Life in the UK Test Applicants are required to provide a formal ID document.  In our legal representations, we had made it clear that the Applicant had tried everything in her power to sit a Life in the UK Test. The Applicant had tried to book the test with a Home Office approved certified copy but this was not accepted by the test centre. In our legal representations, we had requested that the Home Office either make arrangements for the Applicant to sit a test or return her passport. The Applicant’s passport was sent to us and she was able to sit a test and pass the test.

What are the requirements for Indefinite Leave to Remain applications?

To successfully apply for indefinite leave to remain under the Long Residence route (10-year route) Applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • You must show that you have acquired at least 10 years continuous lawful residence in the United Kingdom with valid visas;
  • You must not have excessive absences from the United Kingdom;
  • You must have regard to the public interest there are no reasons why it would be undesirable for you to be given indefinite leave to remain on the ground of long residence;
  • Must show sufficient knowledge of the English language and Life in the UK.

The Home Office will take into consideration the following:

  • Age and strength of connections in the United Kingdom;
  • Personal history, including character, conduct, associations and employment record;
  • Domestic and compassionate circumstances.

Our Solicitors and Barristers regularly assist Applicants with successful indefinite leave to remain applications. Contact us for a detailed case assessment on your case or if would like some assistance in the preparation and submission of your application.

Using Legal Representation to submit an Indefinite Leave to Remain applications

Legal representatives, such as our specialist immigration and visa law firm, are qualified to advise you on immigration law and your immigration status. It is possible to instruct an immigration and visa legal representative to submit an Indefinite Leave to Remain application.

Caseworkers at the Home Office are trained to reject applications which are improperly prepared, for example by failing to provide the correct supporting evidence. In order to ensure your Indefinite Leave to Remain application succeeds, all necessary documents must be provided.

This can be a significant administrative task and you will need to submit the correct documentary evidence. The UK Immigration Rules are complex and a legal representative can help ensure that your Indefinite Leave to Remain application meets the Immigration Rules.

Successful Indefinite Leave to Remain applications

Our team of solicitors and barristers are specialist immigration lawyers who act in your best interest. We offer a client-tailored approach from the outset. From the very first meeting, we will be able to advise you in respect of your immigration status and the merit of your Indefinite Leave to Remain application before your matter even reaches the Home Office UK Visa & Immigration department. We can assist you with the preparation and submission of your Indefinite Leave to Remain application and ensure that you meet all the requirements of the relevant rules.

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. LEXVISA is just minutes away from the Immigration and Asylum Tribunal, the Royal Courts of Justice and other central London courts.

Preparation is the key to a successful Indefinite Leave to Remain application. Our UK immigration and visa solicitors are here to guide you through the complex immigration rules and requirements. If you wish to meet one of our lawyers, please call our Immigration Team so we can assess your case and arrange your legal consultation.

Contact our London immigration solicitors on 02071830570 or complete our contact form.

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