UK Tier 1 Visa Refusal Case: Shebl (Entrepreneur: Proof of Contracts) [2014]

Last week, the Upper Tribunal handed down a judgement in Shebl (Entrepreneur: proof of contracts)[2014] UKUT 00216 (IAC) in relation to the Secretary of State’s application of paragraph 41-SD(c)(iv) of Appendix A to the Immigration Rules in Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa applications. In this case, the Appellant Mohamed Adel Mohamed Mohamed Shebl was refused leave to remain in the UK as a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) migrant. The Home Office refused the application on 17 May 2013 and and gave the appellant the right to appeal.

Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa Refusal: Facts of Shebl

The application was refused on the basis that the Appellant had not provided evidence that he met with the requirements of provision (d) of Table 4 to Appendix A (iv). Under this provision, Applicants’ have to show that they are engaged in a business activity, other than the work necessary to administer their business, in an occupation which appears on the list of occupations skilled to National Qualifications Framework Level 4 or above, as stated in the Codes of Practice in Appendix J. In addition to this, Applicant’s must provide the specific evidence in paragraph 41-SD.

The Secretary of State maintained that the Appellant had not provided sufficient evidence to show that he was a ‘Sales and Managing Director’, despite the fact that he had provided evidence such as tax documentation, accounts and advertising and marketing information.

Shebl: Upper Tribunal’s Determination

The Tribunal Judge’s found that a combination of the documents that the Appellant had submitted with his application including the Certificate of Incorporation of the company and numerous purchase orders/Pro-forma invoices and sales/commercial invoices, proved that he was indeed working as a Sales and Marketing Director for his company.

Vice President of the Upper Tribunal C M G Ockelton stated:

“The Secretary of State’s position  is that the Immigration Rules envisage a contract included in a single document, and that a series of documents that together show all material required by the Rules does not constitute “a contract”.  We can see no proper basis for that assertion.  The intention behind the Rules is that the claimant be able to show that he is genuinely trading.  It strikes us as inconceivable that the entrepreneur route was to be confined to the types of trading in which contracts are made by single documents.  Paragraph 41-SD very properly specifies that there must be documentary evidence sufficient to show genuine contracts, and containing sufficient information to enable the Secretary of State to check the matter with the other parties for the contracts if she chooses to do so.  But there is a world of difference between requiring contracts to be evidenced by a proper paper trail and requiring each contract to be contained in a single document.  In our judgment the Rules require the former, but not the latter.”

For the reason that multiple documents may be used to evidence the relevant requirement and not be contained in a single document the Secretary of State’s appeal was dismissed.

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