Major judgment offers hope in immigration tax cases


We recently acted for a client in the Court of Appeal who successfully challenged a Home Office decision to refuse him indefinite leave to remain on the basis of his tax record.

Our client, Tahir Yaseen who has been a resident in the UK for the last 10 years, has had to fight hard for his victory, the whole way from the First-tier Tribunal, through to the Upper Tribunal and then finally the Court of Appeal.  The judgment in his case, handed down on 14 February, can be read here.

The Court of Appeal’s judgment concerns “character” and “conduct” issues arising from tax related matters in the context of Paragraph 276B(ii)(c) of the Immigration Rules.

The Court of Appeal found that the First-tier Tribunal “proceeded directly from the adverse finding on conduct and character, albeit not based on dishonesty, to uphold the refusal of [indefinite leave to remain], without considering the positive evidence as to the Appellant’s conduct and character, and without conducting the balancing exercise necessary for a lawful conclusion”.

The Court of Appeal went on to say that: “There should be a balancing exercise, taking into account any positive factors”.

The Court of Appeal further stated that: “In all but the most extreme cases, where the conduct complained of is such that on any view the balance must fall against an applicant, even where a sufficient character or conduct issue is proved, a balancing exercise is required”.

Our Partner and Head of the Immigration Department, Syed Naqvi, said:

“This was a very difficult case, which had been turned down not just by the Home Office but also by the lower courts. As a result of the obligation on decision makers to conduct a balancing exercise taking into account any positive factors, our client now stands a very good chance of having his appeal allowed by the FtT.”

If you find yourself in a similar position and require assistance in relation to an application for leave to remain which has been turned down on tax related issues, please contact our Immigration Department on 0203 909 8100 for further assistance.

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