In the case of R (Singh v the Secretary of State for the Home Department)  EWCA 1669, the issue in dispute was whether the applicant could rely on a provision under the “old rules” in which applicants were required to submit supporting documents within 15 days by post or the application would automatically be rejected. However, under the new rules, the onus was on the Home Office to chase outstanding documents and subsequently allow an additional 10 days for documents to be submitted.
In this particular case the applicant, Mr Singh, submitted an online application on 22 October 2014, prior to the expiry of his leave. The rules changed on 16 October 2014 but the Home Office stated that only applications made after 6 November 2014 would be assessed under the new rules. As Mr Singh’s application was submitted prior to the implementation of the new rules and he failed to submit his documents within 15 days, his application was automatically rejected. On appeal, Mr Singh argued that he had, in fact, submitted an “invalid” application as his passport had not yet been submitted to the Home Office and he should therefore benefit from the transitional arrangements.
The Court of Appeal did not accept Mr Singh’s argument and held that his online application was valid at the time of submission whether or not the supporting documents had been provided to the Home Office. As such, a further assessment on the validity of the application would only take place after the online application had been submitted. In any case, it was not intended that the new rules could possibly distinguish between “valid” and “invalid” applications at the time of their submission.
Although this led to an unfortunate outcome in Mr Singh’s case, it is important to make sure that any UK visa applications submitted online or via post comply with the Immigration Rules at the point of submission to avoid potential issues in the future.
Gherson has over 30 years’ experience assisting with various UK visa applications. Should you wish to discuss your immigration matters with a member of our team, please do not hesitate to contact us.
The information in this blog is for general information purposes only and does not purport to be comprehensive or to provide legal advice. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the information and law is current as of the date of publication it should be stressed that, due to the passage of time, this does not necessarily reflect the present legal position. Gherson accepts no responsibility for loss which may arise from accessing or reliance on information contained in this blog. For formal advice on the current law please don’t hesitate to contact Gherson. Legal advice is only provided pursuant to a written agreement, identified as such, and signed by the client and by or on behalf of Gherson.