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Home Office Accused Of Incompetence Over Deportation Of Highly Skilled Migrants

Posted by: Gherson Immigration

Home Office Accused Of Incompetence Over Deportation Of Highly Skilled Migrants

A group of around twenty MPs and a member of the House of Lords are to establish separate pressure groups to persuade the Home Office to stop deporting highly skilled migrants using paragraph 322(5) of the Immigration Rules (“the Rules”).

Applications by Tier 1 (General) Migrants for Indefinite Leave to Remain (“ILR”) are being refused due to allegations of discrepancies in their taxes. Usually this arises from material differences between the earnings declared to the Home Office as part of an application for leave to remain in the UK and to HMRC as part of their tax returns during the same period. According to the support group Highly Skilled Migrants at least 1,000 highly skilled migrants are wrongly facing deportation for making minor amendments to their tax records, even though HMRC has not fined or pursued criminal cases against them.

This use of paragraph 322(5) of the Rules to refuse an ILR application is troubling as the paragraph was designed to tackle terrorism and those judged to be a threat to national security. Errors in tax returns or failure to declare earnings were not supposed to be caught out under this provision. By relying on paragraph 322(5), as opposed to 322(2), of the Rules, the Home Office appears to be avoiding the need to prove the applicant’s dishonest intent to deceive the Home Office or HMRC.

Calling the use of paragraph 322(5) “draconian”, Lord Dick Taverne QC has stated that “there is no justification and no humanity” in the Home Office’s use of the paragraph.  Whilst Steve Reed MP, who is setting up the group of MPs, has stated, “it’s now clear the government’s ‘hostile environment’ immigration policy goes far wider than the Windrush scandal”.

The controversial paragraph comes with devastating consequences, as migrants immediately become ineligible for any other UK visa and many are given just fourteen days to leave the UK. In addition, people deported under this terrorism-associated paragraph will have a ‘black mark’ on their immigration history and are likely to struggle to ever get a visa to visit or work anywhere else in the world.

Gherson has over 30 years of experience in assisting with various immigration matters. If you need assistance or wish to receive more information regarding your immigration matters, please 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.

©Gherson 2018

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