Updates, commentary, training and advice on immigration and asylum law

Meaning of “false” document and the difference between visiting and inspecting


Older content is locked

A great deal of time and effort goes into producing the information on Free Movement, become a member of Free Movement to get unlimited access to all articles, and much, much more


By becoming a member of Free Movement, you not only support the hard-work that goes into maintaining the website, but get access to premium features;

  • Single login for personal use
  • FREE downloads of Free Movement ebooks
  • Access to all Free Movement blog content
  • Access to all our online training materials
  • Access to our busy forums
  • Downloadable CPD certificates

In Begum (false documents and false statements) [2015] UKUT 00041 (IAC) we are educated by the tribunal as to the difference between a “visit” and an “inspection” and the blameless appellant is refused entry and perhaps banned from further entry for 10 years. Some might think the case just a little harsh.

An professional inspector of properties had visited a house in a private capacity. He later produced a letter in a professional capacity stating that he had “inspected” that house. The tribunal decided that this amounted to a false statement and therefore that the document was a false document and therefore that the application for entry clearance fell to be refused under the general grounds for refusal, specifically paragraph 320(7A). This hair splitting was despite the appellant knowing nothing of the alleged “false” document, the fact that the accommodation concerned was in fact entirely adequate (and therefore the report accurate) and the fact that all other requirements of the Immigration Rules were satisfied.

What is not said in the case is that the same appellant now faces a potential ban from the United Kingdom for a period of 10 years owing to paragraphs 320(7B) and (7C) of the Immigration Rules if it is considered there was “deception” in the use of the alleged false document. One would hope not and that common sense and the case of AA (Nigeria) v SSHD [2010] EWCA Civ 773 (blog post) would prevail, but that does not seem to have helped the poor woman so far.

Relevant articles chosen for you
Picture of Colin Yeo

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.


2 Responses

  1. 320(7A) specifically includes use of deception where the applicant is unaware, however 320(7B) does not, according to HO guidance. See page 31 of the policy on the General Grounds of Refusal:


    “In addition, you must not refuse entry clearance under paragraph 320(7B) if:
     They used false documents or made false representations in a previous visa or leave to enter or remain application, but the applicant was not aware that the documents or representations were false. This only applies if the applicant can prove they were unaware of the deception.”