Re-Entry Ban UK: what to know, how to challenge? Best Free Advice

Common reasons for re-entry ban under paragraph 320(7b)An applicant usually gets UK reentry ban 320(7b) or for a previous breach of UK immigration laws. Perhaps, the previous breach could be due to overstaying, breaching a condition attached to the leave, illegal entry to the UK and using deception in an application. Accordingly, depending on the nature and severity of the previous breach an applicant gets a one to ten years re-entry ban under paragraph 320(7b) or 322(2) of the Immigration Rules. However, before an application is refused under paragraph 320(7B), it is usually checked if an applicant is applying in a category which is free from re-entry ban under paragraph A320, B320 or 320(7B). Accordingly, the post covers the following topics:

  1. Common reasons for re-entry ban under paragraph 320(7b)
  2. 10-year re-entry ban for using deception in the previous application
  3. Rules for overstayers in the UK and Exceptions
  4. One year re-entry ban for voluntary departure at own expense
  5. 2 or 5-year re-entry ban after voluntary departure from the UK
  6. 10-year re-entry ban for removal or deportation
  7. When re-entry ban 320(7B) is not applicable?

Common reasons for re-entry ban under paragraph 320(7b)

Perhaps, depending on the severity of the breach, the re-entry ban may range 1 to 10 years from the date of the previous breach of UK immigration laws. Accordingly, if an applicant applies for an entry clearance application after previously breaching UK immigration laws then the refusal will usually state:

“…You have [been in the UK illegally, breached your conditions of stay, overstayed/used deception in an application for leave to enter or remain] and [left the UK voluntarily at own/public expense on…][ was removed/deported from UK on……]. I am therefore refusing you entry clearance under paragraph 320(7B) of the Immigration Rules. Any future applications may also be refused, for the same reason, under paragraph 320(7B) of the Immigration Rules until [1, 2, 5 or 10 years after the applicant left the UK]….”

Re-Entry Ban 320(7b) for a previous breach of UK immigration laws

Duration from date of breach Reason for the previous breach
one year
Voluntarily departure at own expenses
2 years
Voluntarily departure at public expense, no more than 6 months after the date on which the person was given notice of the removal decision, or no more than 6 months after the date on which they exhausted their appeal rights against that decision, whichever is the later
5 years Voluntarily departure at public expense
10 years
Enforced removal or deportation at public expense
10 years re-entry ban under 320(7b) for entry clearance or 322(2) for leave to remain application
For the use of deception in support of a previous application- 10-year deception ban: under paragraph 320(7A) for a previous entry clearance application. And also under paragraph 322(1A) or 322(2A)
5 years
If left or removed from the UK as a Condition of a Caution

The starting date for calculating re-entry ban

When one or more of the above conditions are met, entry clearance is refused if the applicants apply within the following periods (when the relevant breach took place in the UK, the start date for calculating the ban period is the date the applicant left the UK)

When the applicant has breached more than one of the UK’s immigration laws, that breach which leads to the longest period of absence from the UK needs to be taken into account.

Can an applicant challenge re-entry ban 320(7b)?

Yes, an applicant can either file an appeal or a judicial review to challenge the re-entry ban 320(7b) within the specified duration. Accordingly, for an appealable immigration refusal decision, an applicant can file an in-country appeal or entry clearance appeal within 14 or 28 days of the refusal decision, respectively. However, can also file a judicial review within 3 months of a refusal decision with no or limited right of appeal. If you like to challenge your re-entry ban then contact specailist immigration solicitors.

10-year re-entry ban for using deception in previous application

An entry clearance application is automatically refused for up to 10 years under paragraph 320(7B) if the applicant had previously used deception (false representation, false representation, fraud, forgery, nondisclosure of material facts) in leave to enter [320(7A)] or leave to remain [(322(1A), 322(2) or 322(2A)] application unless the applicant used deception more than 10 years ago.

Evidence of the previous breach and 320(7B) re-entry ban

To refuse under paragraph 320(7B), the ECO must have good evidence that the applicant has previously breached the UK immigration law. The legal standard of proof required is ‘balance of probabilities’. This means that it is more likely than not that they have breached UK immigration law.

False documents and the standard of proof

Perhaps, when a false document refers directly to the applicant (for example employment references, qualifications or financial details), the claim is only acceptable if the applicant can give clear evidence that an error has been made. Accordingly, it could be a written confirmation from the author of the document to confirm that they had previously supplied the Home Office with incorrect information. However, if an applicant is not able to give such proof, it is usually considered that the officer who took the decision used the correct burden and standard of proof unless the decision was later overturned at appeal.

Examples of the correct standard of proof

  • Home Office holds an electronic copy of the refusal notice only – the applicant was refused for failing to meet the needs of their immigration category but the notice mentioned that they had used false documents
  • the Home Office holds an electronic copy of the refusal notice only – the applicant was refused under 320(7A), 320(11) or other deception rules
  • the Home Office holds an electronic copy of the refusal notice which makes reference to deception and the false documents or relevant papers.

An appeal overturned an earlier decision

In cases where the earlier decision is overturned in an appeal, then the decision maker needs to ascertain whether the determination has also overturned the finding relating to the use of deception. Accordingly, if the appeal overturns the decision relating to deception then a re-entry ban under paragraph 320(7B) is not applicable. Moreover, even if the determination is not available, then the applicant is usually given the benefit of the doubt and decision maker assumes that the decision on this point is overturned.

Rules for overstayers in the UK and Exceptions

When determining whether a re-entry ban applies because of paragraph 320 (7B) the period of overstaying is calculated in line with the interpretation of overstaying under paragraph 6 of the Immigration Rules.

Overstayed” or “Overstaying” means the applicant has stayed in the UK beyond the latest of:

(i) the time limit attached to the last period of leave granted, or
(ii) beyond the period that his leave was extended under sections 3C or 3D of the Immigration Act 1971

Accordingly, an entry clearance application is subject to a re-entry ban from one to ten years under paragraph 320(7B) if the applicant had previously overstayed in the UK unless the applicant overstayed for 30 days or less, or 90 days or less if the overstaying began before 6 April 2017, and left the UK voluntarily, not at the expense of the Secretary of State (whether directly or indirectly), subject to the following exceptions.

Exceptional periods and rules for overstayers in the UK

According to the rules for overstayers in the UK, the following exceptional periods are excluded for calculating the period of overstaying:

  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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.

One year re-entry ban for voluntary departure at own expense

If a person has overstayed in the UK and left the UK voluntarily at own expense then is subject to a re-entry ban under paragraph 320(7B) for up to one year from the date of voluntary departure from the UK. For instance, if a person overstayed in the UK and subsequently voluntarily left the UK on Jan 1, 2019, at own expense then any future entry clearance application will remain subject to re-entry ban until Jan 1, 2020.

Accordingly, the following types of immigration offenders are usually subjected to a mandatory one-year re-entry ban if they leave the UK voluntarily at their own expense:

  • illegal entrants
  • those who breach a condition attached to their leave
  • those who overstay their lawful leave by more than:
    • 90 days, excluding any exceptional periods, where the overstaying began up to and including the 5 April 2017
    • 30 days, excluding any exceptional periods, where the overstaying began on or after 6 April 2017

Exemption for family members and children under 18

Certainly, the 12 months re-entry ban is not applicable for entry clearance as a family member (under Appendix FM of the Immigration Rules), or if the applicant was under 18 at the time of the most recent breach as set out at paragraphs A320 and 320(7B) of the Immigration Rules. For instance, if a person overstayed in the UK and subsequently voluntarily left the UK at own expense on Jan 1, 2019, then he/she don’t need to wait for 12-months before applying for spouse visa entry clearance application under Appendix FM.

2 or 5-year re-entry ban after voluntary departure from the UK

When the applicant left the UK voluntarily at public expense, then either a 2 or 5-year mandatory re-entry ban is applicable under paragraph 320(7B) of the immigration rules However, the duration of the re-entry ban depends on whether or not they left more than 6 months after their removal decision or more than 6 months after they exhausted their subsequent appeal rights.

The 6-months timeframe for voluntary departure

In some circumstances, the 6-month timeframe in which a person must depart to benefit from a 2-year ban, rather than a 5-year ban, may be reset to start again. The 6-month clock may be reset due to a new decision, late appeal, fresh claim and further submissions.

  1. New Decision – the removal decision was substituted for a new decision where a fault was found with the original decision
  2. Late Appeal – the applicant was appeal rights exhausted, but then lodged an out-of-time notice of appeal with the Tribunal seeking an extension of that time limit and the Tribunal extended the time limit – in these circumstances, the applicant will be subject to a 2 year re-entry ban where they left the UK voluntarily at public expense no more than 6 months after the date on which their subsequent out-of-time appeal was eventually dismissed;
  3. Fresh Claim – the applicant made further submissions to the Secretary of State which, following consideration under paragraph 353 of the Immigration Rules, was refused but were found to constitute a fresh claim – in these circumstances, the applicant will be subject to a 2 year re-entry ban where they left the UK voluntarily at public expense no more than 6 months after the date of their latest removal decision or no more than 6 months after the date on which they no longer had a pending appeal against that decision, whichever is the later;
  4. Further Submissions – the applicant made further submissions to the Secretary of State which were only determined more than 12 months after their submission – in these circumstances, the applicant will be subject to a 2 year re-entry ban where they left the UK voluntarily at public expense no more than 6 months after the date on which the further submissions were determined and found not to constitute a fresh claim.

Assisted Voluntary Return (AVR) at Public Expense

An applicant who has previously breached UK immigration laws and who left the UK voluntarily at public expense through an assisted voluntary return (AVR) or AVR for irregular migrants will have future applications refused for either 2 or 5 years.

For applicants who returned under the voluntary assisted returns and reintegration programme, it must be satisfied that the applicant has breached UK immigration laws. If this is the case, they will also have future applications refused for 2 or 5 years.

A person left the UK voluntarily at Secretary of State’s expense

Perhaps, not all people who leave the UK voluntarily at the Secretary of State’s expense may necessarily depart through an AVR programme. Accordingly, some people may express a desire to leave the UK but may not wish to return home through an AVR programme but at their own expense. Moreover, some may not be eligible to return through AVR because of rejection or exclusion of their application.

Apparently, those who leave the UK voluntarily, but their flight ticket is purchased by the
Secretary of State (self-check-in removals for example) are also recorded as voluntary departures at Secretary of State’s expense.

10-year re-entry ban for removal or deportation

An applicant who has previously breached UK immigration laws and has been removed will then have future applications refused for 10 years. However, if an applicant has previously been given a notice identifying them as an immigration offender (form IS.151A), the applicant may still have left the UK voluntarily. Accordingly, in such cases, the applicant’s future applications are usually refused under paragraph 320(7B) for 1, 2 or 5 years re-entry ban.

Refusal or Removal at the Port of Entry- One Year Ban

Applicants who have been refused or removed at port of entry are only subject to a one year ban if they have fully complied with the terms and conditions placed on them by the refusing port.

Removal decisions for re-entry ban under paragraph 320(7b)

For the purpose of paragraph 320(7B) of the immigration rules, a removal decision relates to the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999, Immigration Act 1971 and Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006. Accordingly, if an applicant was either voluntarily or involuntarily removed or deported from the UK, then a subsequent entry clearance application is subject to a 10-year re-entry ban under paragraph 320(7B).

Section 10 removal decision Immigration and Asylum Act 1999

In terms with section 10 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999, a person may be removed from the UK under the authority of the Secretary of State or an immigration officer if a person requires a leave to enter or remain in the UK but does not have it.

Removal of an Illegal entrant under the Immigration Act 1971

A decision to remove an illegal entrant by way of directions under paragraphs 8 to 10 of Schedule 2 to the Immigration Act 1971.

Section 47 removal decision and statutory extended leave

A decision to remove in accordance with section 47 of the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006 against a person with a migrant has statutorily extended leave to remain in the UK. A statutorily extended leave occurs where a person has made an ‘in-time’ application to vary leave to remain or where the UK Border Agency is curtailing leave to remain. Accordingly, it extends leave until any appeal against the variation or curtailment decision is determined.

An applicant left or removed as a condition of caution

A migrant gets a 5- year re-entry ban under paragraph 320(7b) if the applicant left or removed as a condition of caution in accordance with s.134 Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 more than 5 years ago.

The wording of refusal letter under 320(7B)

“……You have asked for leave to enter the United Kingdom as a [category]. However, on [date] you were issued with a conditional caution for [offence] and removed from the UK. In accordance with section 134 of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012, you accepted the condition to leave the UK and not to return for a specified period. You were also made aware that the immigration rules require that leave to enter be refused to a person subject to such a caution condition who seeks to enter the UK within five years of their removal or departure from the UK. Accordingly, your application for leave to enter is refused…..”

When re-entry ban 320(7B) is not applicable?

A re-entry ban under paragraph 320(7B) is not applicable in the following circumstances.

Family members under Appendix FM

In terms of paragraph A320 of the Immigration Rules an entry clearance, leave to enter or remain application as a family member under Appendix FM cannot be refused under paragraph 320(7B).

Perhaps, if an applicant has previously breached the immigration laws but is applying in a category which is exempt from paragraph 320(7B) then usually the application is considered under paragraph 320(11) relating to contriving the intentions of immigration rules in a significant way to frustrate the rules.

An application under Appendix Armed Forces

In terms of paragraph B320 of the Immigration Rules an entry clearance, leave to enter or remain application under Appendix Armed Forces cannot be refused under paragraph 320(7B).

Children under 18 years of age

Paragraph 320(7B) is only applicable where the applicant is aged 18 or over at the time of the most recent breach of the UK immigration laws.

An applicant not aware of the false documents or representation

Moreover, a re-entry ban under paragraph 320(7B) is also not applicable if an applicant is accused of either using false documents or making false representations in a previous entry clearance or leave to enter or remain application, but the applicant was not aware that either the documents or representations were false. However, this is only applicable if an applicant can prove that he/she was not unaware of the deception.

The specified period of re-entry ban ends

Certainly, when the specified period of 1, 2, 5 or 10 for re-entry ban ends then an entry clearance application may no longer remain subject to a refusal under paragraph 320(7B) of the immigration rules. For instance, a person was deported from the UK on April 1, 2009, then the specified period of 10 years after the deportation will end on March 31, 2019.

Home Office grants leave in spite of a breach

If after a person has breached UK immigration laws, the Home Office gives a visa or leave to enter or remain in the knowledge of that breach then refusal under 320(7B) for a previous breach of immigration rules no longer remain applicable. For instance, if a student who has overstayed but was granted leave to enter following an out of time application

Concessions Outside the Immigration Rules

A re-entry ban under paragraph 320(7B) is also not applicable if the applicant has been accepted by the Home Office as a victim of trafficking. And for those applicants who were in the UK illegally on or after March 17, 2008 (known as March 17, 2008 Concession) but left the UK voluntarily before 1 October 2008.

The March 17, 2008 concession only applies to voluntary departures, whether or not at public expense. Certainly, it does not apply when the person was removed or deported from the UK.

Students refused leave to remain after 1 September 2007

An application must not be refused under paragraph 320(7B) for overstaying in the UK if they were refused leave to remain as a student solely on the basis that they had made an out of time application.

An appeal overturned an earlier decision

In cases where the earlier decision is overturned in an appeal, then the decision maker needs to ascertain whether the determination has also overturned the finding relating to the use of deception. Accordingly, if the appeal overturns the decision relating to deception then a re-entry ban under paragraph 320(7B) is not applicable. Moreover, even if the determination is not available, then the applicant is usually given the benefit of the doubt and decision maker assumes that the decision on this point is overturned.

Working holidaymaker and 320(7B) re-entry ban

A working holidaymaker will breach their conditions if they work in the UK for more than 12 months. The application cannot be refused under paragraph 320(7B) if they previously worked in the UK for 12 months or less as a working holidaymaker.

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