The UK government policies regarding immigration are based off of laws that have been passed over the last few decades. These laws exist to regulate procedure regarding different immigration case scenarios that the Home Office is obligated to abide by.
The Home Office is the government department responsible for handling cases related to immigration and is headed by the Secretary of State. All decisions on immigration cases, which includes cases related to asylum, deportation, stateless persons, detention, and visa applications, are made by the Home Office. If permission is granted, a legal immigration document or visa is granted to the individual, on the basis of which he/she can enter the UK. If permission is refused, a notice letter detailing the reason for refusal is sent along with informing the person of his/her right to appeal the decision in court.
Several refusal scenarios related to visa applications for all categories i.e. Tier 1, Tier 2, Tier 4 and Tier 5 exist. General grounds for refusal on visa applications of any category (UK Tier 1 investor visa, London investor visa, student visa, visit visa etc.) are outlined in Part 9 of the Immigration Rules and are summarized below.
General Grounds for the Refusal to Enter the UK
- The person demands entry for a reason not defined in the UK Immigration Rules.
- If the person who wishes to enter the UK on any visa category (such as work visa, UK business investment visa, study visa etc.) has been ordered to be deported before the application for further entry is submitted.
- If the person has criminal record where he/she faced a sentence of 4 years minimum.
- If the persons seeking entry fails to produce relevant documents such as passport or any travel documents to an Immigration Officer that are necessary to prove his/her identity.
- If the Secretary of State personally orders the person seeking entry to be refused entry on the basis of the good of the public.
- If the person seeking entry falsifies or misrepresents information presented in the documents required to be submitted along with the application.
- If the person fails to disclose any facts that the Home Office feels were relevant to his/her application for entry into the UK.
- If the person applying on any visa category has a past record of overstaying past the legal limit in a previous visit to the UK
- If the person applying on any visa category (UK business investment visa, UK Tier 1 investor visa, visit visa, temporary worker visa etc.) has a past record of entering the UK illegally.
- If the person fails to attend an interview without a reasonable explanation.
Grounds for Decrease in the Period of Stay in UK
Tier 2, Tier 4 or Tier 5 Visa Category
The Home Office holds the right to curtail the period of stay of any person staying in the UK in the Tier 2, Tier 4 or Tier 5 category if:
- The sponsored work that the person in the Tier 2 or Tier 5 category came to the UK to do has ended before the prescribed original date recorded on the Certificate of Sponsorship Checking Service. Period of stay can also be curtailed if a Tier 2 or Tier 5 visa holder’s sponsored work did not commence at all. Furthermore, this work could have been that of employment, job shadowing, training or volunteering depending on the case; or
- A Tier 4 visa holder who entered the UK for study purposes does not continue or fails to start studying as he/she originally detailed with the sponsor, period of stay can be curtailed. It can also be curtailed if the Sponsor excludes or withdraws the person from studying in the course of study that was originally described. Furthermore, this rule also applies if the course of study completes before the originally planned date recorded on the Certificate of Sponsorship Checking Service.
- The original sponsor who sponsored the Tier 4 visa holder withdraws his/her sponsorship recorded on the doctorate extension scheme.
- The original sponsor who sponsored the Tier 4 visa holder withdraws his/her sponsorship because of the visa holder having insufficient knowledge of the English language. This language skill deficiency must be reflected from a pre-sessional course where the English language abilities were assessed to be lower than level B2. The grade must be lower than B2 in all categories i.e. speaking, reading, listening and writing.
- Period of stay can be decreased if the Tier 4 visa holder’s sponsor ceases to possess a sponsorship license.
- The sponsor of the Tier 2, Tier 4 or Tier 5 visa holder hands over the business for which the person works for, to a person who does not possess a sponsorship license or fails to apply for one within 28 days of having acquired the business. Consequently, this also implies that if the person who has taken over the business refused the sponsorship license, the original holder’s period of stay can be curtailed. In the scenario where a sponsorship license is granted to the business owner in a category that is not authorized to sponsor the visa holder, period of stay will be applicable to be decreased.
The above mentioned rules for each specific visa category apply to all people excluding the ones mentioned below as:
- A person who is under the age of 18, and consequently categorized as a child under UK law; or
- The visa holder has a dependant who is under the age of 18; or
- If the period of stay is decreased in such a way that the person only has 60 days of time remaining in the UK; or
- If another sponsor has sponsored the visa holder a sponsorship letter under the same category; or
- If the person has changed immigration categories and is applicable to stay in the new category; or
- The person still has an application to stay in the UK pending with the Border Agency of UK; or
- The person has an appeal currently in process under the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act of 2002.
Conditions of Employment not allowed to be changed for Tier 2 and Tier 5 Visa Categories
The following changes are not permitted once a Tier 2 or Tier 5 visa is granted by the Home Office. The changes can be applicable if the person makes a new application to remain in the UK where permission is granted regarding the below mentioned changes.
- The Tier 2 or Tier 5 visa holder is not allowed to be absent from his/her workplace for a period of 1 month or more without pay, and during any time of the year. It does not matter whether this is over 1 time cycle or several. However, if the person is absent given that it is on maternity leave, paternity leave, a sick leave of one month or greater over a single cycle, or an adoption leave, this rule can be exempted on the visa holder.
- The Tier 2 or Tier 5 visa holder is not allowed to change his/her employer or sponsor. However, the below listed categories of people are exempted from this rule.
- A Tier 5 visa holder on the Temporary Worker category who has been granted a visa in a government authorized exchange program; and the employment change is by permission of the sponsor and is part of the job which includes volunteer work, or if the person is job shadowing.
- If a person is employed under a new sponsor and is covered under the 2006 regulations of Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment). It could also be a similar protection act.
- A Tier 2 visa holder under the Sportsperson category or a Tier 5 visa holder under the Temporary worker category working under the below listed conditions:
- The sponsor of the visa holder is a sports club.
- The visa holder is being sponsored solely as a player who can be transferred to another sports club temporarily.
- Loaning a player is allowed under the regulations of the relevant governing body of the sport.
- The club the player is being loaned, allows the person’s sponsor to make arrangements of a nature that enable the sponsor to continue his/her duties as sponsor.
- At the end of period the player is being loaned for, the player will go back to continue playing with his/her sponsor.
- The visa holder’s employment cannot change to work not listed in the same Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) code.
- If a person holds the Tier 2 visa under the Intra-Company Transfer category or the Tier 5 visa under the General Migrant category, and the job changes to work that even though listed in the same SOC code, produces a total annual salary for the visa holder that is less than the salary listed for that work in the Codes of Practice of the UK Immigration Rules.
- If the visa holder’s employment changes to work that is of a lower level, as listed in the Codes of Practice of the UK Immigration Rules.
- If the person holds the visa of the Tier 2 General category, and changes his/her job to work not listed in the Shortage Occupation List of the UK Immigration Rules.
Although reductions in salary are not allowed, exemptions exist if the person wishes to change employment due to paternity leave, adoption leave, maternity leave, sick leave longer than or equal to 1 month, continuation of the sponsor’s work without being physically present or if the person has to undertake any training or examinations for a considerable time period under the sponsor’s supervision.
Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa Category
If the regulatory body that sponsored the Tier 1 Exceptional Talent visa holder withdraws its sponsorship, the Home Office will be obligated to curtail the period of stay of the visa holder.
Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur Visa Category
Under the UK immigration rules, the period of stay of a Tier 1 graduate entrepreneur visa category holder can be decreased under one of the below listed circumstances:
- If the regulatory body that sponsored the visa holder originally that led to his/her being granted the visa is no longer of a status where it is capable sponsoring individuals for the Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur category.
- If the regulatory body described above is longer of a status of a Highly Trusted Sponsor under the Points Based System, where the reason of it losing it status is irrelevant.
- If the regulatory body described above is no longer a sponsor possessing an A-rating under the Points Based System; due to its sponsor license being taken away or downgraded.
- If the regulatory body described above withdraws its sponsorship of the visa holder
Under UK law, any person who is a member of a ship, international train service, hovercraft, aircraft or hydrofoil can be categorized as a crew member. The definition also applies to any member of the crew who wishes to enter the UK for repatriation, medical treatment or transfer to another ship, international train service, hovercraft, aircraft or hydrofoil.
Any additional period of stay of crew members is to be refused by law unless the purpose of extension is such that it coincides with the original purpose of entry into the UK or unless the crew member qualifies as a civil partner or spouse as defined in the UK Immigration Rules.