In September 2010 Penningtons' immigration team achieved a successful result on behalf of a client who had been refused entry to the UK as a visitor four times; the last decision had resulted in a ten year ban.
In February 2010, our client, a 27 year-old Nigerian citizen, made an application for entry into the UK for a period of three weeks in order to visit his brother, a British citizen. Our client had previously been refused entry into the UK in 2007, 2008 and 2009. Following this fourth application, he was refused entry once again by the Entry Clearance Officer (ECO). Under paragraph 41 of HC 395 (the immigration rules), various requirements must be met by a person seeking leave to enter the UK as a general visitor. In this case, the ECO refused our client entry on the basis that he was not satisfied that (i) he was genuinely seeking entry as a general visitor solely for a period of three weeks; and (ii) he intended to leave the UK at the end of that period. In addition the ECO stated that our client had failed to disclose previous refusals for entry into the country, and on this basis, entry clearance was to be refused as our client had breached the UK's immigration laws by using deception in a previous application for entry clearance (paragraph 320(7B) of the immigration rules).
Penningtons argued on the client's behalf that he had declared his previous entry clearance refusals to the ECO and in the event that he had not declared such refusals, this was a genuine mistake on his part. Since he had not kept copies of the previous applications, he was not able to refer to them. In addition, Penningtons argued that it had requested copies of the previous entry clearance applications from the ECO; however the ECO had failed to provide them.
The immigration judge concluded that because the ECO had failed to disclose copies of the previous applications, these being the same documents that he was relying on, then the immigration judge could not be satisfied that the client did fail to disclose the previous refusals. Following Penningtons’ submissions, the first-tier tribunal judge found in favour of our client, and allowed him entry into the UK.