Mr. Z was a student in the UK. While he was in the UK, he had received a suspended sentence for a minor offence. Mr. Z had to leave the UK and apply for entry clearance as a Tier 4 Student, so he could return to the UK and complete his final year of studies after significant time and investment in the first two years of his course.
Mr. Z was honest and frank in his Tier 4 application regarding his minor offence and he obtained reference letters from his previous tutors stating he was a person of good character and he should not be excluded from the UK based on his past minor criminal matter. Also, he made it clear that he was only given a suspended sentence and that discretion should be applied by the Entry Clearance Officer (ECO), taking into consideration the glowing reference letters from his tutors.
The Entry Clearance Officer (ECO) considered the application and refused it on a mandatory basis under paragraph 320 (2) (c) of the Immigration rules, because it was alleged that Mr. Z was convicted and had been imprisoned.
Mr. Z was devastated, as the decision was received very close to his University admission date.
Mr. Z was devastated, as the decision was received very close to his University admission date. Failing to attend the admission date meant that he would have to wait for another academic year and scupper his future. Also, there was no guarantee that his future Tier 4 Student Visa application would be successful.
Mr. Z sought legal advice, and he was told that he had no chance of winning as he had committed a criminal offence in the UK. He then contacted A Y & J Solicitors and had an initial consultation with us. He was advised that he did have a case and he could challenge the refusal of his Tier 4 Student visa.
A Y & J Solicitors were instructed, and an application for an Administrative Review was submitted. This is a process that needs to be followed when challenging the decision of an Entry Clearance Officer (ECO) if the refusal concerns to a point based system application. It was argued on Mr. Z’s behalf that the ECO applied the wrong rule and misunderstood the nature of the offence committed. The ECO was directed to the Criminal Law and their policy that a suspended sentence is not imprisonment and hence does not fall under the mandatory refusal of 320 (2) (C) of the Immigration Rules.
Furthermore, A Y & J Solicitors persistently followed up with the ECO for a positive decision so that Mr. Z did not miss his admission date.
Mr. Z later received an email from the ECO confirming that the decision to refuse his application for a Tier 4 student visa was unlawful and that he would now be granted entry clearance to come to the UK before his admission date. Mr. Z is now in the UK fulfilling his desire to finish his course and move forward towards his career ambitions.