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Date stamp does not not confer ILR in returning resident cases


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A date stamp in a passport or travel document does not confer ILR in cases of returning residents, the Upper Tribunal has held in an interesting case. The facts make it all the more interesting: it involves a recognised refugee from Libya who had returned to live in that country and obtained a Libyan passport, has been absent for more than two years and on return did not present his passport but instead his refugee travel document.

The official headnote:

(1) The judgments of the Court of Appeal in R v Secretary of State for the Home Department ex parte Bagga [1991] 1 QB 485 are authority for the proposition that, if there is no practice on the part of the Secretary of State of using a date stamp to record the grant of leave under the Immigration Act 1971, even a ‘blameless’ individual will be unable to derive any material benefit from that stamp.

(2) The corollary, however, is not that a blameworthy individual must automatically be able to benefit from such a stamp, which is used in practice to record the grant of leave. Someone who, by misrepresentation, induces an immigration officer to proceed on a mistaken basis is not automatically entitled to succeed, merely because a mistaken decision has been formally recorded.

(3) In such a scenario, consideration must be given to:

(a) the person’s actions and understanding; and

(b) what the immigration officer thought he or she was doing by affixing the stamp.

Source: B, R (on the application of) v Secretary of State for the Home Department (recording of leave – date stamps) (IJR) [2016] UKUT 135 (IAC) (26 February 2016)

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Colin Yeo

Immigration and asylum barrister, blogger, writer and consultant at Garden Court Chambers in London and founder of the Free Movement immigration law website.