‘Promising’ Student Wins Appeal to Remain in UK
A ruling which left a “promising young man” in a “Catch-22” situation forcing him to leave the UK and abandon his studies, has been overturned in the Court of Appeal.
The 25-year-old from Nigeria had been granted a visa to study his A-Levels in the UK after which he made an application to extend his leave to remain so he could study for a BSc in Business Management. However, the Home Office denied receiving his application and he was told he had to end his studies, forcing him to leave the UK.
Despite the Home Office denying they had received his application, they were in possession of his passports so when the student tried to leave the UK, in order to get his passports back he had to sign a disclaimer.
Permission to apply for a judicial review to challenge the Home Office’s decision was refused in an Upper Tribunal in September 2014.
However Court of Appeal judges quashed this decision saying the student had been put in an “impossible position”.
In their ruling Lord Justice Geoffrey Vos said: “The Secretary of State told the appellant (student) he must leave the country, so he attended the voluntary departure unit to be told for the first time that the Secretary of State had his passports.
“To obtain their return, he is required to sign immediately that he will withdraw all applications and all claims. He does so, only to find that the Secretary of State uses that declaration to oppose his claim that he had indeed submitted the original application.”
He added: “Of course the Secretary of State can rely on the Immigration Rules but not in order to put an appellant in a no-win position where every point taken is only open to her because of an error in her own office.”
Quashing the original decision and issuing a mandatory order that he can return to the UK for a period of 60 days so he can reapply, Lord Justice Vos said: “I only add that it is a shame that this promising young man’s studies have been interrupted for so long by this unfortunate state of affairs.”