Mitigation of innocent mistake

Danielle Cohen
By Danielle Cohen Immigration Law Solicitor Linkedin
Danielle Cohen has over 20 years of experience as a lawyer and a reputation for offering professional, honest and expert advice.
19 January 2024

We acted on behalf of Filipino Nationals in connection with their application for entry clearance to the UK as a dependent partner and dependent children of the mother who was in the UK on a skilled worker visa.

The mother was granted a skilled worker visa for the UK and entered the UK in September 2023. A month later the husband and the children made an application to join her in the UK but this application was refused on the basis that the father failed to declare on an application form that he has been refused a visa to the UK in 2005 and the Entry Clearance Officer was satisfied that false representations or information was submitted in support of the application. This application was refused under paragraph 9.7.1(a) and (b) of the Immigration Rules Part 9 in line with paragraph SW27.1 of the Immigration Rules of any skilled worker.

The applications of the children were refused on the same date on the basis that the father’s application was refused and his children could not show that they were children of a person who has permission as a skilled worker or is at the same time is applying for entry clearance or permission on a skilled worker route.

It was our instructions that the Applicant misunderstood the question on the application form which states “have you ever been refused a visa to the UK or any other country?” and thought it referred only to the last ten years.

We provided a statement from him where he provided an explanation regarding the event that took place, together with documents he received from the immigration expert who assisted him. We also obtained the Data Protection disclosure from the Home Office according to which he was refused entry clearance in 2005 and 2006 whilst he was trying to join his mother as a minor. The applications were refused on the basis that the Entry Clearance Officer was not satisfied that the mother had sole responsibility for him and he made no applications as an adult.

We made a fresh entry clearance application for him and his three children to join the mother who was in the UK as a skilled worker. We succeeded in arguing that there should be no findings of deception made against our client and that he previously did not breach Immigration Law for the purpose of paragraph 9.8.1(a) and (b) Part 9 and he was not subjected to monetary refusal or ban.

We drew attention to the Home Office guidance on suitability for false representations and deception and explained that it did not apply to our client, as he had not previously breached Immigration Law and he had no intention of deceiving the Home Office and that was reflected in the decision to refuse his application under paragraph 9.71. His failure to declare his past refusal was an honest mistake on his part and given that we satisfied the Secretary of State that no false representations or information has been submitted in relation to his previous, or the current application, and that there has been no failure to disclose material facts, the application should be successful.

Furthermore, as always, we have argued that the interference with the right of family life must be proportionate to the protected interests and that it is in the best interests of the children to join their mother and for the family life that exists between the Applicant and the mother and children should continue. Family life automatically exists between a parent and a minor child and it is clearly in the best interest of the children if they are able to join mother in the UK, where a suitable care arrangement has been put in place for them and where the parents intend to enrol them in a nearby school.

The application has been successful and the particular strength of this case is in the fact that we have managed to demonstrate that the failure to disclose was an innocent mistake.