Applying in the UK: validity of applications for leave to remain
Applying in the UK: validity of applications for leave to remain

The following Immigration practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Applying in the UK: validity of applications for leave to remain
  • The date an application is treated as being made
  • Validity of applications
  • Administration fee for invalid applications
  • Single opportunity to correct matters that render an application invalid and discretion
  • Forms
  • The online application form
  • The paper application form
  • Problems relating to the application fee or immigration health charge
  • Consequences of an invalid application
  • More...

There are a number of Immigration Rules relating to the validity of an application for leave to remain. These are set out in the Immigration Rules, Part 1, para 34. If an application is not validly made it is treated as having never been made. After a gradual roll-out of online procedures across various immigration categories, since November 2018 the vast majority of applications are now made online. Prior to the move to online forms, it was not uncommon for there to be issues as regards the validity requirements, eg problems with payment being taken, or with photographs. Such problems could have very serious consequences, as if an application is returned as invalid after a person’s leave has expired, they are now an overstayer, and do not benefit from the protection of section 3C of the Immigration Act 1971 (IA 1971). There was various litigation which resulted from these types of problems.

However, many of these potential issues have now been eliminated as an online application form cannot be submitted until it is fully complete and payment has been taken. Also, photographs are now taken at the appointment.

The full set of requirements relating to validity will remain relevant for the small number of applicants still using a paper form. They may also be relevant as regards persons making long residence applications, or other applications for

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