Virginia, US
Article image
| Charles Green

UK's Increase in Refusals and Adverse Decisions to Continue

In recent years, we have seen a  steady increase in the number of people approaching our UK office for assistance following  refusals/ adverse decisions and this trend shows no sign of abating. Indeed, following last June’s referendum decision for the UK to leave the European Union (BREXIT) , the imminent prospect of  significant changes to UK Immigration law, and the  confusion that arises therefrom, we expect refusals of leave to enter and remain to continue to rise.  We have observed that the Home Office has been rigorously  sanctioning ever more businesses that do not strictly comply with their obligations as Sponsor Licence holders, where there may previously have been a willingness to exercise discretion following minor breaches of such obligations. The result has been a  steady increase in the number of Civil Penalties that have been imposed (running to many millions of pounds) as well as a spike in the number of Sponsor Licences that have been suspended or revoked.  This has affected the ability of businesses to recruit foreign workers and run their commercial operations effectively. Where the entity in question is an Education Provider, such as a college or university, a decision to suspend or revoke the Sponsor Licence may affect the provider’s ability to attract foreign students to the UK. In both examples, this can result in highly damaging and in some cases fatal, adverse commercial and reputational consequences for the businesses in question.

There are a variety of ways in which a refusal or adverse decision might be challenged if there are valid grounds, and some of these include a formal Right of Appeal to an independent Immigration Judge; a request for an Administrative Review or a Judicial Review. We have experience of successfully pursuing each of these options. Our dedicated team of Private Client lawyers will provide an expert, initial assessment of the refusal/adverse decision and advise on the merits of challenging it. They will also advise on the most appropriate mode of challenging the decision and formulate a well-constructed argument to maximise the prospects of the decision being reversed. In certain circumstances, a fresh application might also be the most viable course of action for the client to take. In these situations, we can prepare a strong, second  application which comprehensively addresses the reasons why the first application was refused thereby maximising the prospects of success.

One prominent area of our Contentious work is re-entry bans which can be imposed on individuals following findings that they previously breached UK Immigration law and/or sought to practise a deception in seeking to enter the UK.  Re-entry bans can be imposed for between one and 10 years, with the 10-year ban applying to findings of deception, which might occasionally arise from what transpires to have been an honest and innocent mistake on the visa application form. A long and disproportionate ban on the ability of an individual to enter the UK is always distressing and we have succeeded in having many of these overturned through careful analysis and expert legal argument.  We have also been successful in representing clients who have had Civil Penalties imposed on them by the Home Office, often following allegations of having employed illegal workers. In many cases we have been able to show that our client has a Statutory Excuse (a defence) to the allegation, thus avoiding the Civil Penalty altogether .In other situations our representations have resulted in a considerable reduction in the level of the Civil Penalty imposed, often much to the relief of financially exposed small business.   

Whatever the course of action might be, our advice will always be pragmatic and based on the most careful analysis of the facts; an in- depth knowledge of the law and procedure and  experience of how similar cases have been successfully resolved in the past. It is true to say our Private Client lawyers have successfully challenged every type of refusal the Home Office can impose. The Private Client (Contentious) Team welcomes queries from  individuals and businesses facing any refusal or adverse decision made by the UK immigration authorities.  Should you wish to discuss any such matter, please contact Charles Green at or on 0207 090 9100 for an initial, free of charge consultation.  

Charles Green, Manager of the Private Client (Contentious) Team and a Senior Solicitor with over 20 years experience advising clients in both contentious and non-contentious areas of UK immigration law is leading a new dedicated practice area to provide our clients with the very best representation in a true ‘end to end ’ service,  helping clients successfully challenge refusals of leave to enter  or remain in the UK and other ‘adverse decisions’ that are made by the Home Office against individuals and businesses.