At Primus Solicitors, with our expertise in UK immigration law, we can guide you through the intricate aspects of any UK Visa application process. In this article we aim to break down the grounds for refusal of a UK immigration application under Part 9 of the Immigration Rules. Understanding these grounds is crucial for any applicant currently in the UK immigration system.
Part 9: General Grounds for Refusal
Part 9 of the immigration rules are the main set of rules that set the general grounds for refusing UK immigration applications. It’s applicable to a broad spectrum of applications, however, it’s still important to recognise its exceptions. Most notably, Part 9 does not encompass applications under specific categories like Appendix EU, Appendix S2 Healthcare Visitor, among others. It partially applies to applications under categories such as Appendix FM and Appendix Private Life.
Key Grounds for Refusal under Part 9
1. Breach of Immigration Law
Any breach of immigration law, as defined in Part 9, which includes actions like overstaying, breaching conditions of stay, illegal entry, or attempting to deceive Home Office Case Workers in applications. The consequences vary, with mandatory refusals for recent breaches and discretionary refusals for older cases. Deception in previous applications also constitutes a ground for discretionary refusal.
Criminality as a ground for refusal can be complex. Serious offenses typically lead to mandatory refusals, especially in cases of custodial sentences of 12 months or more, or for persistent offenders. Less serious offenses may result in discretionary refusals. For Appendix Visitor applications, there are specific mandatory provisions concerning criminality.
3. Non-conducive to the Public Good
These grounds for refusal are crucial, as thy focus on the applicant’s conduct and character. It’s a mandatory grounds for refusal, that evaluates whether the applicant’s presence in the UK is desirable or not n the basis of their judged conduct, character, or associations. The assessment includes the seriousness and frequency of the behaviour and the reliability of the evidence.
Options after Refusal on Part 9 Grounds
Facing grounds for refusal under Part 9 of the Immigration Rules can be a challenging situation to be in, however, it’s important to understand that several legal routes may still remain open for recourse.
Some of these options may include:
Submitting a Fresh Application
- Eligibility Assessment: Before reapplying, assess your eligibility carefully. Ensure that the reasons for the initial refusal are thoroughly addressed in your new application.
- Different Immigration Route: Consider if a different immigration route may be more suitable based on your circumstances.
- Documentation and Preparation: Pay close attention to documentation. Refusal under Part 9 often highlights areas that need stronger evidence or clarification.
- Understanding Administrative Review: This is a review by the Home Office of the decision made on your application. It’s specifically for identifying any case worker errors.
- Process: You need to request an Administrative Review within 14 days of receiving the refusal notice (28 days if you’re outside the UK).
- Outcome Possibilities: The outcome can either uphold the original decision or overturn it, potentially leading to a grant of leave.
- Nature of Judicial Review: It’s a legal process where a judge reviews the lawfulness of a decision or action made the Home Office.
- When to Consider: Judicial Review is an option if there are grounds to believe that the refusal was unlawful, irrational, or procedurally improper.
- Legal Representation: Due to the complexity of Judicial Reviews, obtaining professional legal advice from Primus Solicitors is strongly recommended.
- Timeliness: You should be aware of strict time limits for applying for a Judicial Review, generally within three months of the decision.
- Seeking Expertise: Given the complexities involved in immigration refusals, especially under Part 9, consulting with our immigration law experts at Primus Solicitors can help provide clarity and increase your chances of a more favourable outcome.
- Tailored Approach: Every case is unique, and our professional, expert guidance can help tailor your approach, whether it’s reapplying, Administrative Review, or Judicial Review.
Analysis of Part 9 Grounds for Refusal
Breach of Immigration Law
The consequences of breaching immigration law can be severe. When an individual is over 18 years old and overstays their visa, breaches the conditions of their stay, enters illegally, or uses deception in any application, it constitutes a breach. The severity of consequences depends on the nature and timing of the breach. Particularly, re-entry bans, a critical component under paragraph 9.8.7, can range from a minimum of 12 months to a maximum of 10 years, especially in cases involving deception.
Grounds for Refusal Due to Criminality
The threshold for criminality as a ground for refusal is quite diverse. Mandatory refusals are clear in cases involving custodial sentences of 12 months or more, persistent offenders, or offenses causing serious harm. Discretionary refusals are more nuanced, covering less severe offenses, shorter custodial sentences, and out-of-court disposals. Understanding the distinction between mandatory and discretionary grounds here is key for applicants with a criminal history.
Non-conducive to the Public Well-Being
These grounds for refusal, while broad, are important. They include not just criminal convictions but also behaviours that are deemed a threat to UK society. Home Office Case Workers judge the nature, seriousness, frequency, and other relevant circumstances of the behaviour. Home Office guidance stresses the importance of the reliability and relevance of the evidence, making it a complex and highly subjective area of consideration.
Addressing a Refusal
Applicants who face refusal under Part 9 have limited but significant options. While the right to appeal is constrained, the potential for submitting a new application, pursuing Administrative Review, or seeking Judicial Review remain as a viable legal avenue. Each path has its intricacies and should be approached with careful consideration and preferably with professional guidance form Primus Solicitors.
Part 9 of the Immigration Rules presents a complex landscape for applicants. From breaches of immigration law to criminality and non-conducive behaviour, the grounds for refusal are varied and substantial. Understanding these grounds for refusal and their consequences and the options available post-refusal is crucial for understanding the UK immigration process and successfully entering the UK Legally. At Primus Solicitors, we emphasise the importance of staying informed, being prepared and seeking out expert legal advice in these matters.