Updates, commentary, training and advice on immigration and asylum law
First reported PBS appeal decision
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The determination concerns the award of a qualification for the purposes of Tier 1: Post Study Work rather than the bigger issue of the silly maintenance requirements. Senior Immigration Judge Spencer finds that a person has not been awarded a qualification until they have received the qualification certificate.
My own view, for what it is worth, is that this is a daft outcome. What neither the Home Office nor many immigration judges seem to understand is that the world does not revolve around their other worldly evidential requirements. Banks are not willing to issue the letters the Home Office requires for maintenance to be proved. Educational institutions do not understand the fine legal distinctions and technical wording that disqualified this appellant.
I have to add that I won a first instance appeal on exactly this point a few weeks ago, where the immigration judge accepted that a results letter and a letter confirming successful completion of the course was sufficient. However, it looks like the guidance might have changed yet again on this issue since then, and of course the old guidance is now unobtainable.
Paragraph 6 of the determination is interesting, in that the tribunal seems to have entertained the possibility that had the certificate been obtained by the date of the appeal hearing that might have changed things. Immigration judges are divided on the question of whether, if an appellant meets the requirements at the date of the appeal but not when the application was made to the Home Office, the appeal can be allowed. There is no consistency at all and outcomes are quite random, making it impossible properly to advise clients on the prospects of success. However, this was not a senior AIT panel, the point isn’t decided anyway and too much should not be read into this as a precedent.