Immigration – Leave to remain

Immigration – Leave to remain. The respondent Secretary of State had discharged the burden of proof, under para 322(1A) of the Immigration Rules, that the degree certificate relied on by the claimant in his application for further leave to remain as a Tier 2 Skilled Worker migrant had been a false document. The Court of Appeal, Civil Division, in dismissing the appeal, further held that the Secretary of State’s finding of dishonesty had been made out.

The appellant applied for further leave to remain as a Tier 2 Skilled Worker migrant. The application relied, amongst other things, on a degree certificate, purportedly issued by a university. The respondent Secretary of State refused the appellant’s application for further leave to remain on the grounds that he had relied on a false document and the additional finding of deception. The First-tier Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber) and the Upper Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber) dismissed the appellant’s appeals and he appealed. The issues for determination were: (i) whether the Secretary of State had discharged the necessary burden of proof, under para 322(1A) of the Immigration Rules, that the purported degree certificate had been a false document; and (ii) whether the finding of deception had been one that the Secretary of State had been entitled to make on the material then available. The Court of Appeal, Civil Division, in dismissing the appeal, held that, first, the Secretary of State had discharged that burden. There was nothing to contradict what the university had said about the certificate’s lack of authenticity. The tribunals had been right to say that, in the absence of any evidence to support the appellant’s bare denial of the contents of the letter from the university, the Secretary of State had properly discharged the necessary burden of proof as to the falsity of the certificate. Second, the Secretary of State’s finding of dishonesty had been made out. The falsity of the document was not unconnected with the person relying upon it and the absence of any alternative narrative led inevitably to the conclusion that the Secretary of State had been entitled to make the finding that the appellant was guilty of deception.

Source: LexisNexis

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