Britain to review rejected immigration pleas

July 25th, 2010 - 9:35 pm ICT by IANS  

London, July 25 (IANS) The UK Border Agency (UKBA) has announced it will review applications of migrants whose pleas were refused solely because they failed to meet the financial requirements for maintenance.
The review, under all tiers of the points-based system, is limited to those who unsuccessfully applied for entry from outside Britain between June 23 and July 22 this year.

The review will include cases of those seeking extension from inside Britain (at a time when they had lawful status in this country) on or before July 22.

The review was announced after the high court ruled in an immigration case that the maintenance funds assessment must be made in line with the immigration rules.

The immigration rules only specify that the migrant must hold the required level of funds on the day the application was made.

The immigration case, called the Pankina case, drew the court’s attention to the time period for which an applicant should show as having adequate funds for self and any dependents.

Hitherto, separately from the rules, the UKBA had issued guidelines which stated that applicants had to show evidence of cash funds, in the form of personal bank or building society statements covering a period of three months, dated no more than one month prior to the date of submitting the application.

It was also necessary that the balance should not fall below the required minimum at any time during the three month period.

This condition proved difficult to meet for many applicants as they had to show a balance of anywhere between 3,000 pounds and 5,600 pounds in their bank accounts continuously for a period of three months.

The court ruling means UKBA’s policy guidelines have to be incorporated into the immigration rules for them to be binding.

This is because the rules are binding as they have been approved by parliament, whereas the guidelines can be reviewed any time as they have not been brought before parliament.

On July 22, the UKBA issued revised guidelines — which turned into law the following day — that “migrants are required to demonstrate that they hold the required level of funds (for the entire family) at the closing balance on any one day (emphasis by UKBA) during the one month period prior to the date of application”.

Applicants have until June 22, 2011 to request a review. Applications currently with the UKBA will be automatically considered in line with the revised policy guidelines.

Welcoming the review, Amit Kapadia of the HSMP Forum, a platform for immigrants, said the ruling will make the UKBA think twice before issuing questionable immigration guidelines.

“The review comes as a respite to applicants. More importantly, the UKBA will now have to incorporate its policy guidelines into the immigration rules to make them binding,” Kapadia said.

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