The following Immigration practice note produced in partnership with Sarah Pinder of Goldsmith Chambers provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:
Important note—Archived Practice Note: this Practice Note is no longer updated as it relates to the position prior to the introduction of simplified Immigration Rules and procedures at and before the end of the Brexit transition period. It has been retained in archived form for historic interest.
This Practice Note outlines the evolution and scope of evidential flexibility policies in the consideration of UK immigration applications. It also covers how evidential flexibility operates when challenging refusals.
'Evidential flexibility' is a term that originally arose as the name of an internal policy of the former UK Border Agency (UKBA) in relation to Points-Based System (PBS) applications. Evidential flexibility provisions are now primarily found in the Immigration Rules themselves.
Evidential flexibility allows Home Office decision makers to request additional information and/or documents from an applicant in certain circumstances and/or to approve an application in limited circumstances where documentation has not been submitted. However, evidential flexibility provisions will not necessarily assist an applicant who has been unable to obtain a document or who omitted to submit one, unless specific circumstances are met.
The nature and scope of the evidential flexibility policy for PBS leave to remain applications were first considered in detail by the Upper Tribunal in the case of Rodriguez (Flexibility Policy); Rodriguez v Secretary of State for
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