Types of UK Visa Refusal on General Grounds

The post explains the details of immigration refusals on general grounds under Paragraph 320 and refusals of visitor visa applications under Appendix V for Visitors.

Refusals under Paragraphs 320(1)-(23) and V3.1-3.16 for Visitors

Types of UK Visa Refusal on General Grounds

The Immigration Rules have two (2) types of refusal on general grounds. It depends on the grounds an immigration officer (ECO) is using to refuse as to how ECO considers the application.

If it is a mandatory ground for refusal the application must be refused. If it is a discretionary ground for refusal then ECO can consider whether the circumstances allow using discretion.

Paragraph 320 of the Immigration Rules, Part V3 of Appendix V

Paragraph 320 of the rules sets out these general grounds for refusal:

For visitors, Part V3 of Appendix V sets out the general grounds for refusal.

Entry Clearance Requirements for All Applications

For Entry Clearance following needs to be considered:
  • whether there are any general grounds for refusal;
  • whether the application can be refused under the category the person applied for.

This means, for instance, in an application for Tier-1 Entrepreneur, an applicant needs to fulfill the requirements of Paragraphs 245D to 245DF of the Immigration Rules, Attributes Required for Tier 1 Entrepreneur spelled at Paragraph 35 to 53 of Appendix A, English Language Requirement sets out in Appendix B and Maintenance Requirement in Appendix C. Even all the aforesaid requirements are fulfilled, but the ECO finds any noncompliance to General Grounds for Refusals stated at Paragraph 320 of the Immigration Rules then the Tier-1 Entrepreneur Application will be refused despite fulfilling all the Category Related requirements.

What Needs to be Checked (for UK Visa & Immigration)

The Evidence Needs to be Checked for:
  • adverse behaviour (using deception, false representation, fraud, forgery, nondisclosure of material facts or failure to cooperate);
  • Nonconduciveness, adverse character, conduct or associations (criminal history, deportation order, travel ban, exclusion, non-conducive to public good, a threat to national security);
  • adverse immigration history (overstaying, breaching conditions, illegal entrant, using deception in an application);
  • adverse health (medical reasons).

Where the Evidence (for UK Visa & Immigration) is Checked

Following standard checks are executed:

  • Home Office security checks
  • other security checks
  • Police National Computer (PNC)
  • internal Home Office systems
  • information on the application form
Other information that may help in considering an application – if appropriate:
  • interviews
  • check local sources of information
  • medical examinations
The statutory duty to children, under Section 55 of the Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Act 2009, must be carefully considered before applying the instructions under UK immigration rules/guidance either to children or people with children.
If the application for UK Visa and Immigration is only refused under paragraph 320 and an appeal is allowed, then the application cannot be reconsidered for the specific category and entry clearance will have to be given.
The ECO must consider if there are any human rights reasons, such as:
  • the right to family life under article 8;
  • any exceptional, compelling circumstances which could justify giving entry clearance.

Such a case is referred to casework unit (RCU) by using the Home Office (HO) referrals process. RCU will decide whether to give entry clearance outside of the rules.

Mandatory Refusals on General Grounds- Paragraphs 320(1)-(7B)

Paragraph 320(1) to 320(7B) relating to Mandatory Refusals of the Immigration Rules Part 9Grounds for Refusal reads as under:

320. In addition to the grounds of refusal of entry clearance or leave to enter set out in Parts 2-8 of these Rules, and subject to paragraph 321 below, the following grounds for the refusal of entry clearance or leave to enter apply:

Grounds on which entry clearance or leave to enter the United Kingdom is to be refused

(1) the fact that entry is being sought for a purpose not covered by these Rules;

(2) the fact that the person seeking entry to the United Kingdom:

(a) is currently the subject of a deportation order; or
(b) has been convicted of an offence for which they have been sentenced to a period of imprisonment of at least 4 years; or
(c) has been convicted of an offence for which they have been sentenced to a period of imprisonment of at least 12 months but less than 4 years, unless a period of 10 years has passed since the end of the sentence; or
(d) has been convicted of an offence for which they have been sentenced to a period of imprisonment of less than 12 months, unless a period of 5 years has passed since the end of the sentence.
Where this paragraph applies, unless refusal would be contrary to the Human Rights Convention or the Convention and Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees, it will only be in exceptional circumstances that the public interest in maintaining refusal will be outweighed by compelling factors.

(2A) DELETED

(3) failure by the person seeking entry to the United Kingdom to produce to the Immigration Officer a valid national passport or other document satisfactorily establishing his identity and nationality save that the document does not need to establish nationality where it was issued by the national authority of a state of which the person is not a national and the person’s statelessness or other status prevents the person from obtaining a document satisfactorily establishing the person’s nationality;

(4) failure to satisfy the Immigration Officer, in the case of a person arriving in the United Kingdom or seeking entry through the Channel Tunnel with the intention of entering any other part of the common travel area, that he is acceptable to the immigration authorities there;

(5) failure, in the case of a visa national, to produce to the Immigration Officer a passport or other identity document endorsed with a valid and current United Kingdom entry clearance issued for the purpose for which entry is sought;

(6) where the Secretary of State has personally directed that the exclusion of a person from the United Kingdom is conducive to the public good;

(7) save in relation to a person settled in the United Kingdom or where the Immigration Officer is satisfied that there are strong compassionate reasons justifying admission, confirmation from the Medical Inspector that, for medical reasons, it is undesirable to admit a person seeking leave to enter the United Kingdom.

(7A) where false representations have been made or false documents or information have been submitted (whether or not material to the application, and whether or not to the applicant’s knowledge), or material facts have not been disclosed, in relation to the application or in order to obtain documents from the Secretary of State or a third party required in support of the application.

(7B) where the applicant has previously breached the UK’s immigration laws (and was 18 or over at the time of his most recent breach) by:

(a) Overstaying;

(b) breaching a condition attached to his leave;

(c) being an Illegal Entrant;

(d) using Deception in an application for entry clearance, leave to enter or remain, or in order to obtain documents from the Secretary of State or a third party required in support of the application (whether successful or not);

unless the applicant:

(i) overstayed for-

(a) 90 days or less, where the overstaying began before 6 April 2017: or

(b) 30 days or less, where the overstaying began on or after 6 April 2017

and in either case, left the UK voluntarily, not at the expense (directly or indirectly) of the Secretary of State;

(ii) used Deception in an application for entry clearance more than 10 years ago;

(iii) left the UK voluntarily, not at the expense (directly or indirectly) of the Secretary of State, more than 12 months ago;

(iv) left the UK voluntarily, at the expense (directly or indirectly) of the Secretary of State, more than 2 years ago; and the date the person left the UK was no more than 6 months after the date on which the person was given notice of liability for removal, or no more than 6 months after the date on which the person no longer had a pending appeal or administrative review; whichever is the later;

(v) left the UK voluntarily, at the expense (directly or indirectly) of the Secretary of State, more than 5 years ago;

(vi) was removed or deported from the UK more than 10 years ago or;

(vii) left or was removed from the UK as a condition of a caution issued in accordance with section 22 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 more than 5 years ago.

Where more than one breach of the UK’s immigration laws has occurred, only the breach which leads to the longest period of absence from the UK will be relevant under this paragraph.

320(7BB) for the purposes of calculating the period of overstaying in paragraph 320(7B)(i), the following will be disregarded:

(a) overstaying of up to 28 days, where, prior to 24 November 2016, an application for leave to remain was made during that time, together with any period of overstaying pending the determination of that application and any related appeal or administrative review;

(b) overstaying in relation to which paragraph 39E of the Immigration Rules (concerning out of time applications made on or after 24 November 2016) applied, together with any period of overstaying pending the determination of any related appeal or administrative review;

(c) overstaying arising from a decision of the Secretary of State which is subsequently withdrawn, quashed, or which the Court or Tribunal has required the Secretary of State to reconsider in whole or in part, unless the challenge to the decision was brought more than three months from the date of the decision.

(7D) failure, without providing a reasonable explanation, to comply with a request made on behalf of the Entry Clearance Officer to attend for interview.

Please Note: Part 9 of the Immigration Rules pertains to General grounds for the refusal of entry clearance, leave to enter or variation of leave to enter or remain in the United Kingdom (paragraphs A320 to 324)

Discretionary Refusals on General Grounds Paragraphs 320(8)-(23)

Paragraph 320(8) to 320(23) relating to Discretionary Refusals of the Immigration Rules Part 9Grounds for Refusal reads as under:

320. In addition to the grounds of refusal of entry clearance or leave to enter set out in Parts 2-8 of these Rules, and subject to paragraph 321 below, the following grounds for the refusal of entry clearance or leave to enter apply:

Grounds on which entry clearance or leave to enter the United Kingdom should normally be refused

(8) failure by a person arriving in the United Kingdom to furnish the Immigration Officer with such information as may be required for the purpose of deciding whether he requires leave to enter and, if so, whether and on what terms leave should be given;

(8A) where the person seeking leave is outside the United Kingdom, failure by him to supply any information, documents, copy documents or medical report requested by an Immigration Officer;

(9) failure by a person seeking leave to enter as a returning resident to satisfy the Immigration Officer that he meets the requirements of paragraph 18 of these Rules, or that he seeks leave to enter for the same purpose as that for which his earlier leave was granted;

(10) production by the person seeking leave to enter the United Kingdom of a national passport or travel document issued by a territorial entity or authority which is not recognised by Her Majesty’s Government as a state or is not dealt with as a government by them, or which does not accept valid United Kingdom passports for the purpose of its own immigration control; or a passport or travel document which does not comply with international passport practice;

(11) where the applicant has previously contrived in a significant way to frustrate the intentions of the Rules by:

(i) overstaying; or

(ii) breaching a condition attached to his leave; or

(iii) being an illegal entrant; or

(iv) using deception in an application for entry clearance, leave to enter or remain or in order to obtain documents from the Secretary of State or a third party required in support of the application (whether successful or not);

and there are other aggravating circumstances, such as absconding, not meeting temporary admission/reporting restrictions or bail conditions, using an assumed identity or multiple identities, switching nationality, making frivolous applications or not complying with the re-documentation process.

(12) DELETED

(13) failure, except by a person eligible for admission to the United Kingdom for settlement, to satisfy the Immigration Officer that he will be admitted to another country after a stay in the United Kingdom;

(14) refusal by a sponsor of a person seeking leave to enter the United Kingdom to give, if requested to do so, an undertaking in writing to be responsible for that person’s maintenance and accommodation for the period of any leave granted;

(16) failure, in the case of a child under the age of 18 years seeking leave to enter the United Kingdom otherwise than in conjunction with an application made by his parent(s) or legal guardian to provide the Immigration Officer, if required to do so, with written consent to the application from his parent(s) or legal guardian; save that the requirement as to written consent does not apply in the case of a child seeking admission to the United Kingdom as an asylum seeker;

(17) save in relation to a person settled in the United Kingdom, refusal to undergo a medical examination when required to do so by the Immigration Officer;

(18) DELETED

(18A) within the 12 months prior to the date on which the application is decided, the person has been convicted of or admitted an offence for which they received a non-custodial sentence or other out of court disposal that is recorded on their criminal record;

(18B) in the view of the Secretary of State:

(a) the person’s offending has caused serious harm; or

(b) the person is a persistent offender who shows a particular disregard for the law.

(19) The immigration officer deems the exclusion of the person from the United Kingdom to be conducive to the public good. For example, because the person’s conduct (including convictions which do not fall within paragraph 320(2)), character, associations, or other reasons, make it undesirable to grant them leave to enter.

(20) failure by a person seeking entry into the United Kingdom to comply with a requirement relating to the provision of physical data to which he is subject by regulations made under section 126 of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002.

(21) DELETED

(22) where one or more relevant NHS body has notified the Secretary of State that the person seeking entry or leave to enter has failed to pay a charge or charges with a total value of at least £500 in accordance with the relevant NHS regulations on charges to overseas visitors.

(23) where the applicant has failed to pay litigation costs awarded to the Home Office.

Please Note: Part 9 of the Immigration Rules pertains to General grounds for the refusal of entry clearance, leave to enter or variation of leave to enter or remain in the United Kingdom (paragraphs A320 to 324)

General Grounds for Refusing a Visitor Visa Part 3, Appendix V

Part V3 (3.1 to 3.16) of Appendix V for Visitors of the Immigration Rules, reads as under:

PART V3. SUITABILITY REQUIREMENTS FOR ALL VISITORS

V 3.1 This Part applies to all applications for visit visas, leave to enter, and an extension of stay as a visitor except where explicitly stated otherwise.

Not conducive to the public good: exclusion and deportation
V 3.2 An application will be refused if:

(a) the Secretary of State has personally directed that the applicant’s exclusion from the UK is conducive to the public good; or

(b) the applicant is currently the subject of a deportation order or a decision to make a deportation order.

V 3.3 An application will be refused if the decision maker believes that exclusion of the applicant from the UK is conducive to the public good because, for example, the applicant’s conduct (including convictions which do not fall within paragraph V 3.4), character, associations, or other reasons, make it undesirable to grant their application.

Not conducive to the public good: criminal convictions, etc.

V 3.4 An application (except for an application for an extension of stay as a visitor) will be refused if the applicant has been convicted of a criminal offence for which they have been sentenced to a period of imprisonment of:

(a) at least 4 years; or

(b) between 12 months and 4 years, unless at least 10 years have passed since the end of the sentence; or

(c) less than 12 months, unless at least 5 years has passed since the end of the sentence.

Where this paragraph applies, it will only be in exceptional circumstances that the public interest in maintaining refusal will be outweighed by compelling factors.

V 3.4A An application will be refused if the presence of the applicant in the UK is not conducive to the public good because they are a person to whom the Secretary of State:

(a) has at any time decided that paragraph 339AA, 339AC, 339D or 339GB of these rules applies; or

(b) has decided that paragraph 339AA, 339AC, 339D or 339GB of these rules would apply, but for the fact that (a) the person has not made a protection claim in the UK, or that (b) the person made a protection claim which was finally determined without reference to any of the relevant matters described in paragraphs 339AA, 339AC, 339D or 339GB.

V 3.5 An application will normally be refused if:

(a) within the period of 12 months before the application is decided, the applicant has been convicted of or admitted an offence for which they received a non-custodial sentence or out of court disposal that is recorded on their criminal record (except for an application for an extension of stay as a visitor); or

(b) in the view of the Secretary of State the applicant’s offending has caused serious harm; or

(c) in the view of the Secretary of State the applicant is a persistent offender who shows a particular disregard for the law.

False information in relation to an application

V 3.6 An application will be refused where:

(a) false representations have been made or false documents or information have been submitted (whether or not material to the application, and whether or not to the applicant’s knowledge); or

(b) material facts have not been disclosed, in relation to their application or in order to obtain documents from the Secretary of State or a third party provided in support of their application.

Breaches of UK immigration laws

V 3.7 An application, except an application for an extension of stay as a visitor, will be refused if:

(a) the applicant previously breached UK immigration laws as described at V 3.9; and

(b) the application is made within the relevant re-entry ban time period in V 3.10 (which time period is relevant will depend on the manner in which the applicant left the UK).

V 3.8 If the applicant has previously breached UK immigration laws but is outside the relevant re-entry ban time period the application will normally be refused if there are other aggravating circumstances, such as a failure to cooperate with immigration control or enforcement processes. This applies even where paragraph V3.9A applies.

V 3.9 An applicant, when aged 18 years or over, breached the UK’s immigration laws:

(a) by overstaying (except where paragraph V3.9A applies); or

(b) by breaching a condition attached to their leave; or

(c) by being an illegal entrant; or

(d) if deception was used in relation to an application or documents used in support of an application (whether successful or not).

V3.9A This paragraph applies where:

(i) the overstaying was for-

(a) 90 days or less, where the overstaying began before 6 April 2017; or

(b) 30 days or less, where the overstaying began on or after 6 April 2017; and

(ii) in either case the applicant left the UK voluntarily, not at the expense (directly or indirectly) of the Secretary of State.

For the purposes of calculating the period of overstaying, the following will be disregarded:

(aa) overstaying of up to 28 days, where, prior to 24 November 2016, an application for leave was made during that time, together with any period of overstaying pending the determination of that application and any related appeal or administrative review;

(bb) overstaying in relation to which paragraph 39E of the Immigration Rules (concerning out of time applications made on or after 24 November 2016) applied, together with any period of overstaying pending the determination of any related appeal or administrative review;

(cc) overstaying arising from a decision of the Secretary of State which is subsequently withdrawn, quashed, or which the Court or Tribunal has required the Secretary of State to reconsider in whole or in part, unless the challenge to the decision was brought more than three months from the date of the decision.

V 3.10 The duration of a re-entry ban is as follows:

Duration of re-entry ban from date they left the UK (or date of refusal of entry clearance under paragraph f)

(a) 12 months left voluntarily at their own expense.

(b) 2 years left voluntarily at public expense within 6 months of being given notice of liability for removal or when they no longer had a pending appeal or administrative review, whichever is later.

(c) 5 years left voluntarily at public expense, more than 6 months after being given notice of liability for removal or when they no longer had a pending appeal or administrative review, whichever is later.

(d) 5 years left or was removed from the UK as a condition of a caution issued in accordance with section 22 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 (and providing that any condition prohibiting their return to the UK has itself expired)

(e) 10 years was deported from the UK or was removed from the UK at public expense

(f) 10 years used deception in an application for entry clearance (including a visit visa).

V 3.11 Where more than one breach of the UK’s immigration laws has occurred, only the breach which leads to the longest period of absence from the UK will be relevant.

Failure to produce satisfactory identity documents or provide other information

V 3.12 An applicant will be refused where the applicant:

(a) fails to produce a valid travel document that satisfies the decision maker as to their identity and nationality except where paragraph V3.12A applies.

(b) fails without reasonable excuse to comply with a requirement to:

(i) attend an interview; or

(ii) provide information; or

(iii) provide biometrics; or

(iv) undergo a medical examination or provide a medical report.

V3.12A The document referred to in paragraph V3.12(a) does not need to satisfy the decision maker as to nationality where it was issued by the national authority of a state of which the person is not a national and the person’s statelessness or other status prevents the person from obtaining a document satisfactorily establishing the person’s nationality.

Medical

V 3.13 An applicant will normally be refused where, on the advice of the medical inspector, it is undesirable to grant the application for medical reasons.

Debt to the NHS

V 3.14 An applicant will normally be refused where a relevant NHS body has notified the Secretary of State that the applicant has failed to pay charges under relevant NHS regulations on charges to overseas visitors and the outstanding charges have a total value of at least £500.

Litigation costs

V3.14A An applicant will normally be refused where the applicant has failed to pay litigation costs awarded to the Home Office.

Admission to the Common Travel Area or other countries

V 3.15 An applicant will be refused where they are seeking entry to the UK with the intention of entering another part of the Common Travel Area, and fails to satisfy the decision maker that they are acceptable to the immigration authorities there.

V 3.16 An applicant will normally be refused where they fail to satisfy the decision maker that they will be admitted to another country after a stay in the UK.

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Related Posts UK Visa and Immigration Refusal on General Grounds:

  1. Reasons for Refusing UK Visa on General Grounds Paragraph 320
  2. Purpose NOT Covered in the Rules
  3. Deportation Order, Conviction
  4. Deception- Paragraph 320(7A) and V3.6
  5. False Representations
  6. False Documents
  7. Material Facts Not Disclosed
  8. DER, DVR 320(7A-7B), V3.6-3.11
  9. EEA Family Permits
  10. Previous Breach of UK Immigration Rules
  11. Paragraph 320(7B) does not apply
  12. Standard of Proof- UK Visa Refusal under 320(7B), V3.9
  13. Removals 320(7D), AVR (V3.10)
  14. Working Holidaymakers- Working in Breach UK Visa Refusal 320(7B)
  15. Failure To Attend Interview- UK Visa Refusal on Rule 320(7D)

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