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UK Immigration : Maintenance and use of an overdraft facility

23 February 2010

The UK Asylum and Immigration Tribunal in the case of IK (Immigration Rules- construction - purpose) Pakistan appeal vs SSHD confirmed the hard line approach taken by the AIT in connection with the maintenance requirement under the different Tiers of the Points Based Scheme.

The determination, which was issued on 27 January 2009, confirms that “[…] the purpose of the Tier 1 “route” does not entitle decision makers to re-write specific requirements of the Rules, which are on their face sufficiently plain, whether or not a judicial fact-finder thinks the provision in question might have been differently phrased, compatibly with the purpose articulated in paragraph 245V[…]”.

In this particular case, the applicant, attempted to rely on an overdraft limit with Barclays Bank in the amount of £1,500 to show that he held the required funds, namely a daily balance of £800 in the three months preceding the application. He also claimed that he had the required funds as shown by a loan in the amount of £13,000 made to his uncle preceding the submission of his application.

Please note that the policy guidance allows a prospective Tier 1  applicant to rely on loan. We wish to refer you to section 98 of the guidance stating that “The evidence of maintenance must be of cash funds in the bank (this includes savings accounts and current accounts even when notice must be given), loan or official financial or government sponsorship available to the applicant. Other accounts or financial instruments such as shares, bonds, pension funds etc, regardless of notice period, are not acceptable.”

The Tribunal concluded that the new policy guidance continues to require specified documents and that personal bank statements are required to show that there are enough funds present in the account (the balance must always be at least £2,800 or £800 as appropriate). As the Tribunal recently said in PO (points based scheme: maintenance: loans) Nigeria [2009] UKAIT 00047, this “is a simple and readily intelligible requirement”.

Although, many migrants may feel that a common sense should prevail, documents which fail to show this, will lead to a refusal.

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