UK Home Secretary Puts on Hold Removal of Immigrants Over Tax Records

UK Home Secretary Sajid Javid said that he has asked Caroline Nokes, the UK immigration minister, to carry out a review of cases under section 322(5).


UK Home Secretary Sajid Javid has put on hold action being taken against immigrants who had been facing deportation due to discrepancies in taxation documents, the Financial Times reported. In a letter sent to Yvette Cooper, the chair of the House of Commons Home Affairs Select Committee, that was released on May 29, Javid also wrote that he has asked UK Immigration Minister Caroline Nokes to carry out a review of cases.

“I can confirm that all applications potentially falling for refusal under the character and conduct provisions of paragraph 322(5) have been put on hold pending the findings of the current review,” Javid wrote in the letter, dated May 25. The Home Office was also dealing with 226 inquiries from citizens of Commonwealth nations who were denied entry into the United Kingdom after visits abroad even though they had the right to remain in the country, Javid revealed in the letter, according to the report.

Section 322(5) of the Immigration Act was formed partially to address terrorism and people who are assessed as threats to the security of the United Kingdom, and has reportedly been misused to target immigrants over trivial issues.

In response to the letter, Cooper welcomed the decision made by Javid for reviewing all the cases and putting the decisions on hold, the report said.

Javid stated in the letter that as part of the review of these cases, individual case records will be checked to identify any applicants who were removed having been refused Indefinite Leave to Remain under paragraph 322(5). “We have identified 19 individuals who were refused Indefinite Leave to Remain(ILR) and subsequently made voluntary departures from the United Kingdom. One has since been issued with a visa to return to the United Kingdom,” he added in the letter.

Between Jan. 1, 2015 and Dec. 31, 2017, a total of 238 applicants sought to challenge the refusal of an application for ILR in the Tier 1 (General) route through a Judicial Review, of which 189 were against a refusal on paragraph 322(5) grounds, Javid stated in the letter.

“I am clear that all the operational teams within the Home Office must have the resources they need to run an efficient and effective migration system, tackle illegal immigration and keep the United Kindom safe,” Javid wrote in the letter.

He also said that further data regarding other individuals who were refused ILR after applying under the 10-year Long Residency provision and who were previously in the Tier 1 (General) route is being analyzed. This is being done to determine how many people might have been refused visa under paragraph 322(5) and were subsequently removed or made voluntary departures from the United Kingdom, according to the letter.

The Tier 1 (General) visa route was aimed at attracting highly skilled migrants to the United Kingdom. In order to apply for an ILR, an applicant needs to complete a period of five-year stay in the United Kingdom.

As many as 20 Members of Parliament (MP) of the United Kingdom and a member of the House of Lords earlier said that they would form separate pressure groups to convince the UK Home Office to stop the deportation of highly skilled migrants. Many MPs and immigration experts have earlier condemned the use of the controversial Section 322(5) of the Immigration Act.

According to experts, highly skilled workers, including teachers, doctors, lawyers, engineers and IT professionals, are being declined indefinite leave to remain (ILR) in the United Kingdom after accusations are leveled against them of lying in their applications — for either making small and legal modifications to their tax records, or for having inconsistencies in the income they have declared.

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