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Non disclosure of criminal convictions


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With thanks to the excellent Fawzi Zuberi of Lighthouse Solicitors, I thought it might be worth flagging up an obscure, very well hidden but very useful part of the modernised guidance on General grounds for refusal. It comes at p98 onwards of a ridiculously long document (which of course is far LESS user friendly and comprehensible than before it was ‘modernised’) and the most useful bit reads as follows:

You must consider refusing an application on character and conduct grounds if a person fails to declare a criminal conviction, especially when explicitly asked to do so on an application form. However, an application must not be refused if you believe the person has made a genuine error.

For example, a person may not have been aware that they needed to declare a fine for a motoring conviction, however, this is different to a person who fails to declare a conviction which resulted in a period of imprisonment. Each case must be considered on its own merits.

This was new to me and I assume therefore also new to at least some readers. It may well be helpful in deception refusals as well.

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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.


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