‘The Hostile Environment Immigration Policy’ – Parliamentary debate over the recent controversy over paragraph 322 (5) affecting highly skilled migrants, set to take place on 13 June 2018

Alison Thewliss MP, the MP for Glasgow Central  is set to lead a  debate in Westminster Hall, on Wednesday 13 June 2018 at 4,30 pm to, on paragraph 322(5) of the Immigration Rules.

What is Immigration Rule 322(5)?

Paragraph 322(5) of the Immigration Rules is one of the “general grounds for refusal” of leave to remain, variation of leave or curtailment of leave.

Grounds on which leave to remain and variation of leave to enter or remain in the United Kingdom should normally be refused

(5) the undesirability of permitting the person concerned to remain in the United Kingdom in the light of his conduct (including convictions which do not fall within paragraph 322(1C), character or associations or the fact that he represents a threat to national security;

All immigration categories are subject to this paragraph but refusal under this section is not mandatory.

The problem with paragraph 322 (5):

The Home Office has refused many applications for leave to remain, under this ground of refusal, including applications made by highly skilled/Tier 1 migrants on the basis of minor and non-criminal tax discrepancies. This is in spite of the fact that the Home Office is able to use their discretion and not apply this rule to applications that come before them to be considered. It appears applicants are being caught by this  as part of the hostile environment policy.

Further controversy over the use of paragraph 322 (5)

The House of Commons is set to debate the application of paragraph 322 (5) on Wednesday 13 June 2018 as it has come to light over recent months that the Home Office has refused many applications because the applicant’s income has been found to differ from information provided to HMRC. It appears that applications made under the Tier 1 general visa category are particularly affected by the application of paragraph 322 (5) and an application may be refused even where there is a logical explanation for the discrepancy (although the Home Office has said that they do give the applicant an opportunity to provide an explanation).

Potential consequences of an application falling for refusal under paragraph 322 (5)- the “hostile environment policy”

  • The applicant may lose their immigration status in the UK, which in turn may lose the right to employment, the right to be able to rent a property, and cut their access to certain public services.
  • In the worst case scenario, the applicant may be asked to leave the UK
  • Not every applicant will be able to appeal the decision – some applicants may only be able to seek administrative review (internal review)

If you have any concerns about your immigration application or any issue relating to your immigration status, do not hesitate to contact us on 020 3503 0880, or alternatively by email: and one of our immigration specialists will thoroughly review your case and ensure that you receive the best possible advice regarding your application.

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