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UK Immigration: the importance of making an in-time and valid extension

15 June 2010

This article intends to focus on two key aspects of an extension application, namely the importance of lodging (a) an in-time and also (b) a valid application.  These two very different issues both merit careful consideration.

In order to make a successful extension application, migrants will need to show that they and their dependants are able to meet the relevant immigration requirements. However, this is not per se sufficient to be granted further leave to remain in the UK since the UK Border Agency will routinely refuse applications unless accompanied by the correct fee(s) together with the correct and up-to-date form(s). The easiest way to understand why is so important to satisfy (a) and (b) mentioned above is to consider what might happen when an applicant fails to comply.

When an application is not submitted in-time, migrants will usually lose their right to appeal.  Therefore, they will not be able to request an immigration judge to apply their own judgment as to the merit of the refusal and the supporting evidence under section 85(4).  Further, even when an application is approved following a late submission, namely after the expiry of one's leave, the applicant would have by then  incurred a gap in his "continous" residence and thus a break in the five years period leading to settlement under a working or PBS category or worse a gap in the 10 years period under the long residence.   This might also have an impact on their eligibility to naturalise as British Citizens.

A similar outcome may result when the application is deemed invalid i.e. the form is out-of-date or is meant to be used for a different category. Further, if one were to re-submit an application after 28 days from the initial refusal and the application were again to be refused, the applicant may by then have become an over-stayer resulting in a re-entry ban of at least one year if he/she were to leave voluntarily the UK.

Finally, still on the subject of application form, it cannot be stressed enough how important it is to answer truthfully and accurately to any questions listed on the form since an omission or a failure to disclose any information, may lead to a presumption of deception leading to a possible re-entry ban and prejudice any future applications. In FW (Paragraph 322: untruthful answer) Kenya [2010] UKUT 165 (IAC) the Upper Tribunal took a belligerent approach on what might be a false representation and a material non-disclosure ruling that "When a direct question is asked, and answered untruthfully, there is both a false representation and a non-disclosure; and it is not open to an Appellant who gives an untruthful answer to a direct question in an application form to say that the matter was not material."

However, the Upper Tribunal in US and MV (PBS – applicants from same family) Malaysia [2010] UKUT 167 (IAC) has decided to use a more grounded approach in ruling that "There is no proper basis for the Secretary of State to treat a valid application as invalidated by the presence in the same envelope of an invalid application by a member of the same family."

This is a welcome decision and a break from the past, however it remains paramount to seek professional legal advice before submitting any application bundle, particularly in case of doubts or concerns with one's immigration history, status or compliance.

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Migra & Co is a private immigration company, regulated by the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC), reference number F200900038. This website is not a government website and as such, we are not linked or affiliated with the UK Visas and Immigration. We offer expert legal advice and flexible tailored solutions to both private and corporate clients to ensure that their immigration needs are met. If you wish to download or prepare a UK visa application form, you can do so free of charge by visiting the Official UKVI website.