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UK Government makes a U-turn on immigration rule 322

The government, in the form of Home Secretary Sajid Javid, is reported to have agreed to stop removing from the United Kingdom individuals who were denied permanent residency in United Kingdom as a result of the controversial use of rule 322 (five).

Paragraph 322(5) of the Immigration Rules is one of the “general grounds for refusal”. It states that applications for leave to remain should normally be refused where it would be undesirable for a person to remain in the UK in light of their conduct, character or associations.

UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI)’s use of paragraph 322(5) to refuse immigration applications has been criticised over the past few months. There have been many reports of applications falling for refusal because of discrepancies between the income declared to UKVI and information provided to HMRC. In some cases, this appears to be due to applicants (or their representatives) having committed minor errors on their tax returns, which were subsequently corrected without incurring any penalty from HMRC. Other examples have included cases when there have been logical explanations for the differences, such as the incomes relating to different earning periods. The probem appears to be particularly affecting people who entered the UK under the Tier 1 (General) visa category (which catered for “highly skilled” migrants).

The Government has said that it is not policy to refuse applications solely due to minor tax errors, and that applicants are given an opportunity to explain any discrepancies. It has confirmed that applications have been refused where there are “substantial differences” between the earnings claimed in support of an immigration application and in the applicant’s HMRC records.

The government was criticised for the use of this provision as it led to Many individuals being asked to leave the United Kingdom despite the fact that they had done very little room, and those who had done something wrong were disproportionately punished for it.

Many highly skilled individuals applied for relevant visas to come to United Kingdom on the basis after certain amount of time in the United Kingdom they could then apply for what is known as indefinite leave to remain, which allows individuals to permanently reside here.

Those individuals Were often self-employed and so submitted the tax returns when asked to buy the Home Office.

The use of this role was especially controversial because Home Office would essentially inspect the accounts even though they were not the official government body that manages tax affairs, that being HMRC, and if they found any aspect of those accounts they did not like, they would suggest that the individual should be refused under paragraph 322 (five), despite the fact that this provision was originally Designed to prevent individuals terrorist leanings from obtaining residency in the United Kingdom.

Also increasingly Difficult was the home offices own assertion that they were qualified to review account, which turned out to be Pateley falls. Many new reports indicate that immigration officials or unable to understand the difference between net figures in gross figures, They were also unable to understand the individuals who had submitted a tax return could in subsequent years amend those tax returns with the permission of HMRC.

All of this lead to individuals being removed from United Kingdom or being left destitute as a result of them exercising appeal rights which can often take a year to resolve but not being able to work in the meantime.

Westkin associates has experience in assisting those individuals who are affected by rule 322 (5) and so individual should contact us today for further assistance.

Westkin Associates


5th Floor, Maddox House,
1 Maddox Street
United Kingdom
0207 118 4546

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