Hadi Law

Applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) is an exciting process. Having ILR means you can live and work in the UK without restriction, access public funds, and leave and enter the country freely. It also means that after one year, you can apply for British Citizenship. However, UK Visas and Migration (UKVI) regularly refuse ILR applications. To find out the most common reasons for ILR refusal, keep reading. If you require any assistance regarding your Settlement application, please do not hesitate to contact our friendly and experienced Immigration Law Solicitors. The top four reasons for UKVI to refuse ILR applications are:

One – Mistakes or Omissions in the Application and/or Supporting Documents

It cannot be emphasised enough that carefully preparing your application and supplying the correct supporting documents is absolutely crucial when applying for ILR. UKVI caseworkers need little excuse to refuse an application – do not give them one by filling out the form incorrectly or failing to provide the required paperwork. Although it may cost a little extra to have an Immigration Law Solicitor check your application, knowing you have everything correct will provide you with peace of mind, as well as saving you money having to reapply again. In addition, your Solicitor will swiftly spot any weaknesses in your application and provide advice on how to rectify these to ensure you are granted Settlement.

Two – You Have Not Met the ‘Continuous Residence’ Requirement

If you are applying for ILR under the five year route to Settlement (for example, you have been in the UK on a Skilled Worker Visa or Global Talent Visa), you must not have spent more than 180 days outside the UK in any 12 months during the qualifying period. This is known as the ‘continuous residence’ requirement. For Settlement applications made from 11 January 2018, absences from the UK are considered on a rolling basis, meaning that any consecutive 12 month period can be considered. A UKVI caseworker has the discretion to allow an ILR application if you do not meet the continuous residence requirement provided you can show you had “serious and compelling reasons” for being out of the country for more than 180 days in any 12 months during the qualifying period. Serious and compelling reasons may include:
  • A natural disaster.
  • War
  • You or a close relative have had a serious illness.
An Immigration Law Solicitor can collate the necessary evidence and produce a letter explaining why UKVI should exercise discretion and grant your application, even if you do not meet the continuous residence requirement.

Three – You Have Not Paid Your UK Taxes Correctly

Some applicants may find themselves taken aback and often distressed when UKVI scrutinises their tax records and discovers a variance between their taxable income and the income they have declared. This situation arises due to Paragraph 9.3.1 of the refusal grounds, which stipulates that an application for entry clearance, permission to enter, or permission to stay may be denied if the applicant’s presence in the UK is deemed detrimental to the public good due to their behaviour, character, associations, or other factors (including convictions not falling under criminality grounds). Previous instances have seen the Home Office using inconsistencies in tax and income as grounds for refusal, contending that this casts doubt on the applicant’s conduct. However, the Court of Appeal has clarified that UKVI cannot automatically refuse an application on this basis. They are obligated to inform the applicant of the discrepancy, allowing them an opportunity to provide new information, and must assess whether there was a deliberate attempt to deceive. Nonetheless, it is prudent from the outset to ensure that the income figures provided to UKVI as part of your ILR application align with those reported to HMRC.

Four – You Have a Criminal Conviction

Although having a criminal conviction does not always result in Settlement being refused, in the following cases, a caseworker must deny an application:
  • You have been convicted of an offence for which you have been sentenced to imprisonment for at least four years.
  • Within the last 15 years, you have been convicted of an offence for which you have been sentenced to imprisonment for at least 12 months but less than four years.
  • Within the last seven years, you have been convicted of an offence for which you have been sentenced to imprisonment for less than 12 months.
  • Within the 24 months prior to the date on which the application is decided, have been convicted of or admitted an offence for which you have received a non- custodial sentence or other out-of-court disposal that is recorded on your criminal record.

Concluding Comments

If you need legal advice concerning acquiring ILR in the UK or wish to challenge a refusal, the Immigration Solicitors at Hadi Law can provide friendly, fast, trustworthy assistance. We have positively advised thousands of clients on immigration law matters over the past decade. Although UKVI regularly refuses ILR applications, however, your chances of success are greatly improved if you work with one of our team. For further information on any personal or business immigration matter, please speak to our immigration law team on 01772 447000 or reach out to us on our seven-day-a-week WhatsApp helpline on 07869760533.

Leave a comment

× Chat Now...